The actor and the woman – Day 2093

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

What about career conflicts, do they resolve on their own? “No, every action has a reaction, every choice has a counter effect, but it is okay, all actors have their defense mechanism and learn to survive the challenges.  After shooting a very intense film, I look forward to shooting with David Dhawan because it is like a paid holiday. Sometimes, you do films for emotional reasons. When Ashok Kaul told me that he was making an animation film on Hyderabad city, I felt I should be a part of it because it was about ny home town. Similarly, I agreed to be part of Ram Gopal Varma’s debut home production because I am familiar with Telegu and I love spending time in Hyderabad”.

Why do you think you have survived this long when all your contemporaries have packed up? What is the secret of your success? “No secret” replies Tabu, “I did the same masala films as my contemporaries, made the same mistakes too but was lucky to grab some great roles and films. My strength is that I was not desperate to fill up my diary and let me tell you this was unacceptable till a few years ago.  In Hollywood, every one takes a break to refuel themselves, now it is happening here as well thank God. I had the confidence to show restraint. I wasn’t insecure”.

An actor prepares – Day 2092

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

So how did you evolve into such a good dancer eventually? “I really don’t know, probably I am still not good because I feel awkward and my directors say that they like me because I’m awkward. I know Priyadarshan signed me for Saza-E-Kalapani because I look older and can pass off as a Mayali. He would wake us up at 3 a.m every morning and pan the first shot at 5.30. Every day, I had to learn long lines in Malayalam. One day, for a difficult scene I did not get it right after 15 takes and everyone was impatient so I burst into tears.”

That’s a difficult situation to handle, isn’t it? Tabu says all talented directors drive their actors crazy and actors feel frustrated when they are unable to deliver their potential”. Are you as you as vulnerable in a personal crisis? Tabu thinks for a while, “No…” she replies “Because there is a lot more at stake in personal life than in your career and therefore, one is always weighing the pros and the cons of an outburst. I am always worried about how my reaction will affect my loved ones and if hurt, I would rather withdraw. It is strange but in moments like these I wish that the conflict resolves on its own but most of the time it doesn’t”.

To be continued

Tabu: The sole survivor – Day 2091

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Tabu is the only heroine of the 90s who is as relevant in 2020 as she was in the early days of her career. While most of her contemporaries (Kajol, Karisma Kapoor, Monisha Koirala, Urmila Matondkar and Shilpa Shetty) have disappeared over a period of time, Tabu continues to make an impact! Every time you watch her on screen, you wonder what makes her so special? Her talent, of course, but also her persona.

There was a time when she was winning all the awards of the season and one expected her to be giddy with attention but Tabu was strangely unaffected, she said, “I don’t take the applause seriously; I treat it like it’s happening to someone else because I have learnt that everything about show business is temporary. My first film Prem took five years to take off and by then the industry had written me off. I was low in confidence and burst into tears when I had to shoot my first dance sequence.No matter how hard I tried, I could not get the steps right and choreographer Saroj Khan yelled at me in front of the entire unit. It was a nightmare”.  

To be continued

Mughal-E-Azam and Raunaq Jassi – Day 2090

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

1999: Salesman Ramlal: Ramlal is an ordinary man with extraordinary dreams and Satish Kaushik is the right actor for the right role. He reports for rehearsals 9.30 in the morning and leaves for shooting at 1.30 where he is directing Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hain. Such dedication and focus can only come from a true theatre lover. During rehearsals, Satish is forever scribbles notes. Not surprising his performance is extraordinary.

I will not talk about Mughal-E-Azam and Raunaq & Jassi because operas like these cannot be described they have to be witnessed inside an auditorium.

Concluded

Saalgirah and All the Best – Day 2089

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

1994: Saalgirah: Saalgirah evokes immediate identification and a contrived fantasy that the couple will get together. Casting Kiran and Anupam Kher together is a practical decision. They share hotel room and there is no tension in adjusting rehearsal dates. What is attractive about Anupam Kher is that he is keen to return to theatre at a time when he is at the peak of his film career. Many critics view Saalgirah as a sequel to Tumhari Amrita. I disagree, there are similarities but they are not an extension of each other. Amrita evokes nostalgia and the writing is almost poetic while Saalgirah evokes identification.

1997-1998: All the Best / Chaar Din Pyaar Ke / Mahatma v/s Gandhi: I launch two productions directed by outsiders All the Best (Hindi) my most successful play and Chaar Din Pyaar Ke. It’s around this time I see Marathi play Gandhi and I sign Naseeruddin Shah, Kay Kay and Mrinal Kulkarni for the key roles. The rehearsals are in progress but two weeks prior to the show we realize that the play isn’t working. There is no novelty about the script considering all the three (Hindi/Marathi/Gujarati) versions of the play are running to packed houses. We need to do something drastic to save the play, so we take a break and I rewrite the play. It works this time. Our journey all over South Africa is an unforgettable experience of my life.

To be continued

Eva Mumbai and Tumhari Amrita – Day 2088

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

1991: Eva Mumbaima: is inspired from the West Side Story which in turn is borrowed from Romeo and Juliet.  Once again, the opening night is a disaster. The audience is unprepared for the high-level energy exuded on the stage, unprepared for so many characters and sets.  I’m thinking of closing down my company when a friend suggests I give it one last shot before I down the shutters. A miracle happens, the auditorium is packed with youngsters and the chemistry is perfect. The show is a success finally and we are traveling all over India.

1992: Tumhari Amrita: A friend gives me the script of the English play Love Letters. I give a copy of it to writer Javed Siddiqui and another to Shabana Azmi. The Hindi adaptation is ready in a month but the last letter evades us. Two nights before the show, actors Farooque Sheikh and Shabana Azmi want to know where is the final letter. “It will come,” I reassure them. It does and the finale is outstanding!  The pauses between every letter reflects the passage of time. It’s my most difficult and emotional play.

 To be continued