Sunday, August 1, 2010

What's Tanvi upto these days?

The beautiful Tanvi Azmi talks on why she's not doing enough acting work, and remembers her transition into the Azmi household after her marriage

The cherubic-faced Tanvi Azmi never fails to evoke fondness, even if she gave up films in her prime and did the disappearing act on television too. The actress, married to cinematographer, Baba Azmi was in the city for the book launch of Gouri Dange - who happens to be one of her oldest friends. Looking fresh, and younger by years, and dressed in a simple black-gold salvaar kameez, her kohl eyes sparkled as we wondered aloud about her absence from acting. One saw her last in a forgettable role in Delhi 6, but otherwise, she's been completely out of the film circuit. In between, she'd put on plenty of weight and didn't seem inclined to act. But looks like the actress is gung-ho about life once again.

About her disappearce in the last many years, she smiles acceptingly, "I know. Both sides of my family are completely tired of me. Shabana, in particular is very upset with me. I am such a fuss-pot you know. And to make matters worse, whenever we're watching some film, I blurt, 'Hey, I was supposed to do that role!, 'Hey, that role was offered to me' - that really irritates everyone. They're like 'Then why aren't you doing these roles?' I don't know what to say... mera dimaag kharab hai."

Remind her of how she is viewed as a tremendously underutilised actress and she twinkles back, "Good na... since I work less, people don't find out about my limitations. They keep thinking - 'she has something more to offer'"

The actress, who charmed audiences with her debut film, Pyaari Behna, fell in love and married the film's cinematagrapher, Baba (Shabana Azmi's brother), several years older than her. She was all of 21, and was entering an illustrious family, comprising of strong-minded and highly accomplished women like Shabana and Shaukat Azmi (Tanvi's mother-in-law). Was it a tough transition to make? "Yes, people felt I would be completely over-shadowed and over-powered by the women in the family. But that never happened really. I gave them respect, and I got it from them. Of course, you must earn your respect, and I think I did," she says, adding, "My background was very different from my husband's. I belonged to a middle-class Maharashtrian family. My father was a professor, my mother (Usha Kiran) was an actress. Yet, in terms of cultural leanings, I was never out of place at my in-laws. Because even at my maher (mother's place), we had writers and poets visiting us. There would be discussions and talks. Hence it was only about adjusting from Marathi to Urdu, the sensibilities were the same," she says, even as she warmly hugs some of her close friends from Pune, who walk upto her in the course of the interview. There are many - acquaintances and buddies - vying for her time, so we suggest that we could talk on the phone later. "Oh no," she reasons, "My phone is always on silent, I rarely pick it up. If I had to do an interview on the phone from home, it will never get done. There are more people there and I will be called for one thing or the other," says the actress, who also happens to be a great dog lover.

Just a word on her husband, Baba, who we spotted inquiring about the availability of a few Hindi books. Being several years younger than him was she babied in the initial years of her marriage? "No, I was never babied," she smiles with a 'please-don't-believe-me' expression, "Men don't baby their wives. But I think I have a great comfort level with him. He's always been there. I asked him to come with me for this launch, and he did," she says, with happy thoughts of domestic bliss.
So is she planning on taking up more roles now? "Yes, I am doing a film with Nagesh Kukunoor called Yeh Hausla. It's about five women protagonists, and I absolutely love the way the film has turned out. It's just the kind of work I want to do," she says excitedly.
We too can't wait to see more of her!

-Sandhya Iyer


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