By Twinkle Ghosh

In Mira Nair’s adaptation of ‘A Suitable Boy’, the evergreen Tabu steps into the shoes of courtesan Saeeda Bai – a gifted musician with captivating beauty. Experienced in entertaining wealthy men with both, Saeeda is surprised when her flirtation with a younger man (played by Ishaan Khatter) develops into something deeper. In an interview, Tabu talks to CanIndia about her character in the series and more.

Who is Saeeda Bai and what is her journey?

Saeeda is a courtesan, musician and singer. She inhabits a very different world than the world of the other characters in the story. It has a life of itself. She is not directly involved in the main plot but is definitely connected to it.

How would you describe your character of Saeeda Bai?

She’s an emotionally rich person because of the life she has led and because she has allowed herself to experience a gamut of emotions. She’s carrying forward the lineage of her mother and her grandmother to her great grandmother, who lived in this world with music, beauty, love and romance. She is broken but also very strong and resilient – trying to lead her life in the best way possible. She wants a good life for her sister.

How will modern audiences relate to ‘A Suitable Boy’?

As human beings, we all go through similar experiences and we have our journeys. We have societies that define us and that we are a product of. We have love and we have separation – so it feels like A Suitable Boy could have been a story of today. These characters could very well exist today in any part of the world, in any country. I think also because emotions, people and feelings are the same around the world, we will all keep making these journeys. People will be able to emotionally identify and relate to this story in so many ways.


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