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Did you know that Tabu was to play Tehzeeb and Urmila Matondkar was actually the choice for the mentally challenged girl's role played by Diya Mirza in Khalid Mohammed's 'Tehzeeb', but Khalid thought her glamour and lack of 'ultra-seriousness' made for good casting in the part that Tabu didn't play. Incidentally Shabana Azmi and Urmila Matondkar also shared memories of playing mother and daughter in Shekhar kapoor's 'Masoom' when Urmila was just a child. Javed Siddiqui embroiders Mohammed's screenplay 'Tehzeeb', while Santosh Sivan is the cinematographer and Sreekar Prasad an innovative editor. The film was shot in 40 days without any delays or cancellations.
Tehzeeb is a film based on a mother-daughter relationship, which promises to bring back the whiff of Bergman. Khalid started working on this film essentially after 'Fiza' following a discussion with Shabana Azmi. The screenplay by Javed Siddiqui is different from Bergman's Autumn Sonata. Tehzeeb is an emotional drama and seems to weave together this mother-daughter relationship for the audiences to like it.
'Tehzeeb' begins in the early '80s but the goings on is in the present. Shabana Azmi is Rukhsana Jamal, this career woman-playback singer mother, an invincible singer, who has been recording private albums besides giving playback to film songs, since years. Come trends and fads, she's a survivor. Separated from the husband, at one stage of her career a major scandal had erupted. Her daughter Tehzeeb has never forgiven her. In fact, she has sought to move away from the shadow of her mother. Tehzeeb chooses to marry than make a career.
Rukhsana, on visiting her daughter Tehzeeb (Urmila), is confronted with the waste of her singing talent in stubborn housewifery, and her mentally challenged second child (Diya Mirza) brought home from the institution where she had been placed. Busy concert tours and studio recordings had left the mother little time for either child and the elder believes that neglect has affected the younger sister. Warmth soon gives way to tensions. Tehzeeb finally asks her mother about her lover. She tells the mother that she has to face things and cannot escape from reality. After a break of nearly five years, the mother and daughter meet for reconciliation. They two are incredibly polite with each other till the masks of courtesy fall...