Recently, the father of actor Khushbu died in Mumbai. Although she was informed about his death, she was not keen to go and pay her last respects – because she didn’t have any respect for him. Why? To understand that we have to know her life story.
Khushbu was born Nakhat Khan on September 29, 1970, in a lower middle-class Muslim family in Mumbai. She was the fourth and only girl child of the family. The parents could not afford a television set that she used to visit her neighbourhood to watch films on TV. In an interview she said, “We used to pay 10 paise to the neighbours to watch Chitrahaar.”
However, her proximity with actor Hema Malini’s family drew her to films. She acted as a child artist in 1978 Hindi blockbuster The Burning Train.
Her major break came with Naseeb. She was just 14 years old when she acted in Dard Ka Rishta, Jaanu, Tan Badan and Meri Jung. With new roles came money and her father was only interested in grabbing the money. While her mother was a pillar of support she was assaulted verbally, physically and mentally by her father in front of others. He would beat up her mother and siblings too. While she reveals her mother’s name, Najma Khan, she does not want to utter or even remember her father’s name. “I don’t want to tell you his name. I have good memories with my mother, not with him,” she says.
“I hated him and wanted to escape from his clutches. For him money was everything.” But after some time, she started to ask for the details of her money. This infuriated him. He transplanted his family to Chennai. He cleaned up all her bank accounts and went with the money. The 16-year-old struggled to find work and look after the family. She managed to bag a role in a Telugu film Kaliyuga Pandavalu, opposite Telugu actor Venkitesh. Her producers in the Telugu film industry, like K Raghavendra Rao, protected her from the father. “When he went to them asking for money, they lied to him that all my dues were cleared, and gave the money directly to me,” she says.
When money was hard to come by for him, he broke the windshields of the first car she bought. “He told me that I will come begging him to take me back. I told him that I would kill everyone in the family and myself, but I won’t go back to him.” Recently, when her father died, she came to know about it. In a message to her friend, she said, “I have disassociated with him long back. I don’t want even to remember him.”