Tabu, known for her iconic roles in movies like “Maqbool,” “Chandni Bar,” “Haider,” and “Astitva,” wasn’t always aiming to become a groundbreaking actress in the Hindi film industry. Her journey started quite differently. It was her collaboration with director Gulzar in “Maachis” that changed her path in the industry and set her up for long-term success.
The Beginning of Tabu’s Career in Mainstream Cinema
Tabu’s debut in Hindi cinema was in a film called “Pehla Pehla Pyar,” where she starred alongside Rishi Kapoor. She then appeared in commercial movies like “Vijyapath,” “Prem,” “Saajan Ki Baahon Mein,” “Haqeeqat,” “Himmat,” “Jeet,” and more. These films were quite different from “Maachis,” which was a serious movie dealing with the aftermath of Operation Blue Star, a significant event in Indian history.
Gulzar’s Unique Vision for Tabu
Gulzar, the director of “Maachis,” saw something special in Tabu. He thought she was the perfect fit for the role of Veeran, a simple Punjabi girl who becomes involved in the militancy. Even though the nature of the films she had done before was very different from “Maachis,” Gulzar saw her potential in this serious role.
A Poetic First Meeting with Gulzar
Tabu’s first meeting with Gulzar was poetic in its own way. They sat together for an hour without speaking a word, and it was during this silent exchange that Gulzar decided to cast Tabu in his film.
Tabu’s Initial Nervousness and Excitement
At first, Tabu was nervous about playing the role of Veeran in “Maachis” because she hadn’t played such serious characters before. But she was excited to have a substantial role in a story for the first time in her career. The heavy and political subject matter of the film initially overwhelmed her, but she later understood its significance.
The Impact of Working with Gulzar
Working with Gulzar and the enriching relationship that developed between them played a pivotal role in Tabu’s life. She won her first National Award for “Maachis,” and she continued to collaborate with Gulzar in other films. This partnership transformed her as an actor, and she found a mentor and a calm presence in the often unpredictable world of the movie industry.
In a nutshell, Tabu’s early success in Hindi cinema was shaped by her collaboration with Gulzar and her role in “Maachis,” which paved the way for her remarkable career in the industry.