A person who has defined the journey of life as living on her own terms, who, despite her influential family background, has always remained grounded, Tabassum Fatima Hashmi, aka Tabu proudly says Hyderabad has always been and will always be special to her. The actor was in the city for the ‘FICCI FLO Change of Guard’ event where she openly expressed her love for the city of Hyderabad.

Love for Hyderabad
Born in a Hyderabadi Muslim household, the actor says she has always felt connected with the city and people here. It is common knowledge that the actor almost refused to continue in the film industry as she was afraid that it would separate her from the city.

Talking about the reasons behind it she says, “I’m a Hyderabadi first and then everything else follows. I was born and brought up here, a larger part of my childhood was here, my school, friends, etc., everything is here.” The actor says even the thought of moving away was very painful, “Tearing me away from Hyderabad felt like injustice.

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But, I insisted that I would complete my schooling here as I didn’t want to move away from my friends. So, when my mother and sister went to Mumbai, I stayed back with my aunt to finish my tenth standard and then went. Even after all these years, I still don’t think I’ve recovered from the shift,” she adds with a smile. Having said that, the actor says life in Mumbai has also been excellent.

Debut in Telugu industry
Tabu did her first film as a lead actor in Coolie No.1, alongside actor Venkatesh. “I consider the cast and crew of the film as my founding pillars in the industry. Whatever I know about acting, I learnt it through that film.” Tabu says she would jump at the chance to work with Telugu film industry again and is believed to soon make a comeback with Illayraja’s untitled next.

She got introduced to films at the young age of nine and was 14 when she played the on-screen daughter of legendary actor Dev Anand in Hum Naujawan (1985). On being asked about it, she says, “It just happened. I did my first film and immediately went back to school as I felt I was too young for the industry and also didn’t want to compromise with my education. With just that one film, I became a centre for unnecessary attention at school so, I decided put it off until later.”

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From bubbly roles to powerful ones
With a career spanning over 39 years, Tabu essayed many vibrant roles – some of a bubbly girl-next-door characters while some serious and powerful ones. When asked about what made her decide on this shift, the Ninne Pelladta fame says, “I was enjoying doing the commercial films, I was young and bubbling with excitement and pretty much everything else that came with being in the industry, but, then, I also knew that there was much more to me than just that. I wanted to play roles that mean something and are more significant to the script, that have some kind of reality to them, portray layers of personality in just one character”

Interesting choices
Her choice of scripts has always been interesting; choosing something as funny and light-hearted as Golmaal Again or power-packed ones in Astitva, Drishyam, and Andhadhun, her work in Saajan chale sasural or the one in Maachis opposite Ajay Devgn that won her a National Filmfare for best actor female, etc.

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“I always wanted to do something that helps me connect with the audience best. Whether it is by making people laugh or cry doesn’t really matter to me. If my work manages to leave a positive impact on the minds of the audience, touch their hearts in some way and evokes some kind of emotion in them, then, that’s all that matters,” says the energetic 47-year-old star.

Whenever she’s not shooting, she enjoys writing or taking a walk. “I don’t write on a regular basis, but, whenever I do, it’s largely based on my surroundings and the kinds of situations I am in. I write for myself. I recently developed a liking towards photography and I feel it is a really nice way to keep memories alive,” she adds. #KhabarLive