Known for her designer blouses as much as she is for her fiery television debates, Khushboo Sundar C. is forever in the news. Sometimes it is for her quick comebacks to political rivals on social media, a few times for her bold and daring views and mostly for playing a doting mother two her teenage daughters.
Born in a Muslim family in Mumbai, Nakhat Khan, a child artiste took the screen name Khushboo as she started out with a career in Hindi movies. “My venturing into cinema was purely because my parents, especially my father who wanted it”, says Khushboo. “So I grew up with cinema. Cinema absorbed me and gave me peace of mind, applause and a fan following”.
Khushboo was introduced to South Indian screens through the Telugu film Kaliyuga Pandavulu (1986), opposite Venkatesh. After that, she moved her base to Chennai and started focusing on Tamil and other South Indian film industries.
The talent powerhouse who had a temple built in her honour ventured into politics and soon switched parties, but she says, “My friendship with Kalaignar Karunanidhi’s family continues.
I have shared some very special moments with the party cadres and leaders. Politically I found my own path, but I hold no ill feelings,” she smiles. Having moved on, Khushboo was catapulted to a national role and along with was handling a busy production house that made films with her husband Sundar C. and many other top stars.
“I am the backbone to everything that happens in my family. Key decisions and conversations revolve around me. I needed to shoulder some responsibility too on the production front. In addition to this I had kids who were growing up who needed my attention. Politics too consumed me leaving me very little time for films,” she says.
Spotted at award ceremonies around the world, Khushboo sat on the sidelines and applauded her colleagues or gave away awards, but she sure must have wanted for a day to come where she is back in front of the camera? “Yes, cinema can never go away from my DNA. I don’t just enjoy cinema, I live it. I value performance and the craft very much. I will return if there’s a good script.”
Recently, Khushboo had tweeted to her fans asking if she should or not return to films and the overwhelming response was for her to light up the big screen again. Speaking on this, she says, “Twitter fans have been an integral part of my success story. I have made some crucial decisions owing to the knowledge I picked up from twitter and at every juncture the love has outweighed the hate. This time around when I was contemplating a comeback I sure had to ask for my tweeple’s opinion.”
Be it silencing online trolls attacking her religion, or slapping men who grope her, Khushboo has faced it all with her head held high. Always in midst of controversies about her statements, actions and physical appearance, she refuses to get intimated by it. “I am a sensitive person and initially used to be perturbed. I no longer allow these insecure comments to affect me. Paying heed to them is not worth the time. As a woman I’ve realised keeping our dignity is far more necessary than knee-jerk reactions to detractors.We have seen politicians from different political parties making derogatory comments on women politicians,” she says dismissing it as an insecurity of the haters. male work place insecurity and concludes “The haters aren’t gender specific. Men and women can spew hate, we mustn’t make these arguments about men or women. It is a battle of the small minds with those who are rising and rocking each day.”