"
See, I would have loved to do a film with Aamir. We even did a photo-shoot together for Mann. I'm clueless about what happened after that. I've been at the receiving-end far too often. Manipulations are a part of this game. It happens to every heroine. Also, it would have been great fun to do Kunwara with Chi Chi. Again, I don't know what happened behind the scenes. I've gone through my share of disappointment and humiliation. But I hold no grudges, they get you nowhere."
(Tatanova, Sep. 4, 2001)

TabuActress, poet, songstress, would-be director: Tabu wins the title of Most Ambitious Actress in Bollywood.

    Her official debut, Prem, bombed at the box office. But then Vijaypath hit big, and it seemed she was on the fast track to super-stardom.  Instead, in keeping with family tradition (the reigning actress of Indian art films, Shabana Azmi, is her aunt), Tabu chose to walk an unconventional path, earning respect with intense roles in dramas like Maachis, Virasat, Astitva and Chandni Bar. Alas, though the movies won critical acclaim, they failed to light fires at the box office.

   Only now has Tabu begun to angle for more conventional success. She has surprised all filmdom with her decision to perform a reputedly steamy item number in the upcoming multi-starrer Kaante, but the performance should offer little challenge. "I love dancing. There is no effort while I am dancing, it comes very naturally to me. I have not learnt dancing as such, but I love it anyway." (Rediff, Apr. 1997)

  Tabu's personal life has not provided much grist for the scandal mill.  She publicly disavows her father, whom she allegedly resents for abandoning her mother: "I have never seen my father. I don’t think I would like to meet him. For me it is my mother who is my father." (B4Utv.com) As for her love life, she had a serious relationship with fellow actor Sanjay Kapoor (most recently seen in Shakti and Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe) that dissolved after the release of 1995's Prem. Her next flame was Sajid Nadiadwala, to whom she was briefly engaged.

    Now that she's single again, the press has started to speculate on a possible romance with married actor Sanjay Dutt. "I'm aware of when these rumours started," she tells Filmfare in the October 2001 issue. "Sanju, a group of friends and I had a rip-roaring time in Sun City where we'd gone to attend an awards function. No one had ever seen me freaking out earlier. So imaginations ran riot." Apparently it was enough of a riot to provoke another actress to complain about the noise level on their flight home. "We were making a racket. But hey, Waheedaji [screen legend Waheeda Rehman] wasn't angry. In fact, since our group was seated on both sides of her, she offered to move down so we could all be together, which was sporting of her, really." (Filmfare, Oct. 2001) Still, certain journalists insist that she has been caught necking with Sanjay in a parked car. Naturally, she scoffs at the idea.

  So does Sanjay. "I'm 43 years old and all these girls you are talking about are younger than me by 12 to 13 years. They are kids. Some section of the media just writes whatever it wants. They have some preconceived notions about me. Just because I did some wild things in the past, they write whatever they want to about me. It used to affect me, but not any more. I care a damn about it." (Filmfare Online, 2002)

    One rumor that holds water is Tabu's estrangement from renowned actor Anupam Kher. He has accused Tabu of breaking verbal contract and allotting shooting dates for Meghna Gulzar's Filhaal that she had assured him were reserved for his directorial debut, Om Jai Jagdish. Tabu doesn't like to discuss the incident. "Iím glad itís over and done with. I didnít say anything even when the controversy was raging, I donít want to say anything now. The fact is that I tried to sort things out, but I didnít have an option. Dates for my other film Filhaal were given in July 2000. Things are okay now. I even met Anupam after the episode and weíve put the incident behind us." (Tatanova, Dec. 4, 2001)

    Tabu was also present at the scene when Salman Khan shot and killed a black buck, an endangered species protected by the government. He was thrown into jail for the incident, but Tabu was exonerated of any involvement. The memory is still unpleasant for her: "Please, I am not involved in it, please don't mention it. It makes me feel sick," she told Rediff in a March 1999 interview.

    As far as her personal life goes, Tabu has few friends, and almost none in the industry. "I am not very social, I don't party. So I guess I have not made friends within the industry. Also, it's very difficult for me to make friends. I am happy the way I am. I have a few friends outside the industry that I am very close to. I have one who's so non-filmi that she's not even allowed to go out. I am content with these friends, and with my family. If I am not shooting, you will always find me at home. I love being home. If I am out, then it's only to my friend's place in Bandra. That's it. " (Rediff, Apr. 1997) Apparently most of those friends are men: "I have more male friends than female ones. I can't bond easily with women because there's a certain element of rivalry. Don't ask me to name anyone but my experiences with women friends haven't been very happy. My friendship with men has always lasted longer, much longer." (Filmfare, Oct. 2001)

   Always looking ahead, Tabu has several plans for the future: "I want to direct a film. But first I have to learn a lot, which I plan to do by assisting either Mani Ratnam or Priyan, somebody whom I know. I am shooting a song for television based on a poem I have written. I write a lot, I do poetry. Gulzarsaab promised me that he would publish my poems. He loves them and encourages me all the time. I write in English, but soon, I hope to write in Urdu or Hindi. I thank God for giving me these good habits. I like reading, too. I read a lot of non-fiction, like autobiographies of important people. I will start shooting the song when I get some time. People have to take me seriously first." (Rediff, Apr. 1997) In the face of such talent and drive, anyone who doesn't take her seriously will no doubt live to regret it.

 

Tabu
real name: Tabassum Hashmi
born: November 4, 1974 (?)
height: 5' 8"

FILMS

1986 Hum Naujawan
1994 Pehla Pehla Pyar
1994 Vijaypath*
1995 Haqeeqat
1995 Prem*
1995 Saajan Ki Bahu Main
1995 Tu Chor Main Sipahi
1996 Himmat
1996 Jeet
1996 Maachis*
1996 Saajan Chale Sasural
1996 Saza-E-Kaalapani
1997 Border*
1997 Chachi 420*
1997 Duniya Dilwalon Ki
1997 Jab Dil Kisi Pe Aata Hai
1997 Virasat*
1998 Darmiyaan
1998 Do Hazar Ek
1998 Sikander
1999 Biwi No. 1*
1999 Hu Tu Tu*
1999 Hum Saath Saath Hain
1999 Kohram
1999 Thakshak
2000 Astitva*
2000 Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar
2000 Ghaath
2000 Hera Pheri*
2000 Shikari
2000 Tarkieb
2001 Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiya
2001 Chandni Bar*
2001 Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya
2001 Maa Tujhe Salaam
2002 Filhaal*
2002 Zindagi Khoobsurat Hai
2003 Hawa
2003 Jaal - The Trap
2003 Maqbool*
2004 Meenaxi

* acclaimed performance


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