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The Tabu File

January 2008
The Tabu File


2 Times she has won the National Film Award for Best Actress.

5 Languages of films she has appeared in.

9 Acting awards she has won.

15 Age when she appeared in her first film.

37 Her age (She was born Nov. 4, 1970, in Hyderabad).

65 Films she has appeared in.

174 Her height in centimeters.


“I know I am not going to get the kind of roles that Julia Roberts gets. I feel we should get real about what we can do (in Hollywood) and what we definitely cannot.” (Koffee with Karan)

“Once in cinema you can never retire from it. It's like a joint family -- everyone stays connected." (DNA)

"About acting, I'll never feel burnout. I'll always feel there's something more I can do." (Hindustan Times)

"I love watching comedies. I become an embarrassment in theaters — I fall off the seat laughing." (DNA)

"I have no plans for the future. If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." (India Today)


Tabassum "Tabu" Hashmi made her acting debut as a teen-ager in Dev Anand’s Hum Naujawan (1985). She spent two years at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai before joining Bollywood fulltime.

Though few of her early films did well in the box office, she gradually gained attention for her acting skills. In 1995, at age 25, she won the Filmfare Award for Best Newcomer.

Appearing in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and English films, she has shown a willingness to accept roles in artistic, low-budget films that are more likely to gain critical approval than box office success.

In 2007, she starred in her first Hollywood movie, The Namesake, directed by Mira Nair, and won praise from critics.


She is the niece of Shabana Azmi and the younger sister of actress Farha Naaz.

Her mother was a school teacher and her maternal grandparents were retired professors who ran a school.


"Even if the women go to their parents, the parents might just say, ‘Just try to work it out,’ or ‘Oh, just have a child, that'll make things better.’” -- Shobha Rao, a program coordinator with the San Jose, Calif.-based Maitri, which helps South Asian families deal with domestic violence. (AP)

“Suffice it to say he won’t be making that ceremony.” – New York City Department of Investigation’s commissioner, Rose Gill Hearn, on a scheduled ceremony to honor Balram Chandiramani for 37 years of service to the Department of Transportation. Chandiramani, director of the department’s movable bridges bureau, was arrested by federal agents and charged with soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. (New York Times)

“India has so much activity and crazy stuff going on wherever you look, it always blows my mind.” – Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, explaining why India is his favorite place to visit. (New York Times)

"He's as human as everyone else, and sometimes we all make mistakes." – Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Michael E. Busch, on the arrest of House Majority Leader Kumar Barve, a supporter of stricter drunken-driving laws, for allegedly driving under the influence. (Baltimore Sun)

"Nobody comes to our help in these parts. The officials and the police are corrupt and anti-poor. So sometimes we have to take the law in our hands.” – Sampat Pal Devi, member of the “gulabi gang” (pink gang), a group of women in northern Uttar Pradesh who wear pink saris and dispense “justice” to corrupt officials and rude men with sticks and axes. (BBC.co.uk)

"Aren't Indian people entitled to world-class shopping? You need to change with the times." -- Rekha Satyani, 49, of Pune, who used to shop at a mom-and-pop store, but now patronizes a large Reliance Retail supermarket. (World Politics Review)

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