At a recent promotional event of Kuttey, actress Tabu spilled the beans on her first association with writer-director Gulzar on Maachis (1996), which also stars Chandrachur Singh and Jimmy Sheirgill in the pivotal roles.
While recalling her first encounter with Gulzar, she shared, “It was at his bungalow Boskiyana, Bandra. Shabana (Azmi) aunty told me that he wants to meet me. Gulzar saab had a cold at that time so we both didn’t speak but he gave me the script of Maachis. Back then, actors didn’t get bound scripts. I was so scared and thought that I had to learn the whole script and then come for the second meeting. I went back and read the script. After two days, I went to meet him and again, we didn’t talk much. I was young back then. He would say a few sentences and I used to absorb them. I was overwhelmed and mesmerised with the idea that I was going to work with him in Maachis. I don’t know what and how I did but I did something.”
Adding further she said, “When we used to give good shots, Gulzar saab used to give us toffees. It was his ritual. Since we all were new actors in the cast, he used to hide and give me toffee at times.”
When asked Gulzar about his first impression of her, he revealed, “When Shabana suggested her name to me, I wished to see her. I wanted a tall, Punjabi-looking girl for my film and when she walked in, I knew, she will do it. I wanted to speak to her to know her dialect. By the second meeting, things became informal between us.”
Tabu won her first National award for the film Maachis and later joined hands with Gulzar in Hu Tu Tu (1999) alongside Suniel Shetty and Nana Patekar.