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My Best is yet to come

Tabu is looking at life beyond cinema, finds out RADHIKA RAJAMANI in this chat.


SHE IS breathtakingly beautiful as Meenaxi in M.F. Husain's latest tale - a tale set in three cities -- Hyderabad, Jaisalmer and Prague. A tale in which the celebrated painter's vibrant palette (enhanced by Santosh Sivan) creates poetry on celluloid. Tabu essays her role brilliantly. Her oeuvre spans all kinds of cinema - mainstream and parallel/art, and of late her performances in the latter have fetched her accolades. As an artiste, she is able to portray a kaleidoscope of emotions and impart a sense of realism to her roles. Be it Mumtaz, the bar girl of Chandni Bar, Nimmi, the mistress of Abbaji, the don in Maqbool or the wife in Astitva, she gets into the skin of the character and delivers a natural and flawless performance. Her other superb portrayals include in films like Maachis, Kala Pani, Virasat, Kandukondein Kandukondein and Abar Aranye. She has worked with the likes of Gulzar, Gautam Ghosh, Rajiv Menon, Priyadarsan, Madhur Bhandarkar, Mahesh Manjrekar, M.F. Husain besides a host of others.

Tabu glides through Meenaxi... A Tale of 3 Cities smoothly. As Meenaxi and Maria she is able to bring out the nuances (particularly the language) and subtleties perfectly. "It was great, lovely and certainly different. It was not the regular form of story-telling. I got to take a lot from Husain Saab - at this age he has explored a different realm and carried his experience forward. For me it was very enriching."

"I didn't look at it as a challenge, I just went with the flow. Husain Saab's passion and hobby rubs on to the others. I never felt I was acting and working in a film. I had a lot of freedom, there was no pressure, no deadline. I worked the best and had a good time." Being the actor she is, Tabu was able to impart her touch to the film through her dialogues as well. And she did not prepare for them. The Hyderabadi dialect comes naturally to her and her slow rendition as Maria is impressive too. "I never worked on the dialogues. Maria's were out of my own imagination. I guess there was some magic."

Tabu had a blast doing this film. "It was one of the best experiences of my career. There was absolutely no strain of any sort. In Prague we used to wait for pack-up as Husain Saab would take us to a restaurant every evening. So I remember this more than the shooting." Would she like to work with Husain Saab again? "Of course, if he wants to take me."

She has spent quite a few years in the industry now. "I signed my first film at the age of 16. It's fun being here. I feel a sense of belonging here. I am used to this life. I love the songs and dance. " Has she ever reached a saturation point?

"Maybe if I had done the same thing repeatedly then I would have felt saturated. My best is yet to come (are film-makers listening?). I want to go easy now."

Tabu is looking at life beyond cinema. "I never intended it to let it become big." Whether it means marriage or anything else your guess is as good as ours. For the time being her feet are entrenched in tinsel town.

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