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In conversation with Hira Mani

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Alongside a lucrative career in talk shows, what inspired you to start acting?

I started working with talk shows when those were a huge deal – when I got married Mani was a talk show host as well and I got some pretty good offers. My own first choice was not acting and I enjoyed hosting a lot. I was often offered scripts here and there but as long as 5 years passed working with talk shows before I realized I wanted to give acting a shot. But i had a very young kid at a moment and the camera often unnerved me. I was quite indecisive at the time as well. Eventually when I felt like I could divide my attention and when my kids became slightly more independent, I felt like maybe I should take on acting. Even during the hosting days maybe there was an actor deep inside but I could still never imagine mainstream television acting like it became afterwards.  

What project would you say was very critical to your career in the entertainment industry and why? 

Yakeen Ka Safar was very critical. The novel by Farhat Ishtiaq really touched a chord with me and the role I was offered was of the character called Gayti. But the thing is I did not prefer doing second leads. All my roles have been lead roles. But initially the character of Gayti was a new flavour for me. She was a nutritionist and I had to work my way into this character. Why it was a challenge was because Gayti did not have supporting roles to lean on. She was a widow. She didn’t have a mother in law either. Performance margin was not there through other roles. The character was not pivotal to the storyline and I did not get a lot of screen time. So my method was simple: whenever I did have a scene, I gave it my all. Completely.

What is Hira Mani’s take on the television industry? 

I think its grown too much. Too many different people from very diverse walks of life are a part of it. TV industry has overtaken the film industry as well and it is not just for actors, it has evolved into a major amalgamation and I feel like there is nothing missing or nothing exceeding here. Everything is in equilibrium. Its become a WOW industry. 

Your drama project Bandish takes on some interesting aspects of paranormal activity. Please tell us more about it?
When I read the script the topic really struck with me. I saw the opportunity to do something different, something fresh. I’ve often seen people repeatedly do the same things over and over. Doing something fresh is always a tough decision. I’ve always had really romantic story lines. This was horror, scary, paranormal! I actually got curious about how I would perform under the stress of fear. How I would look screaming or running around. Besides, my parents’ roles are being played by Sajid Hassan and Marina Khan. They are both acting legends and its going to be a fun gathering too. I was unsure of the shift in people’s responses after Dil Moam Ka Diya. I signed Bandish for my own entertainment – I don’t believe in magic and working on a magic storyline is quite exciting. I would suggest our audiences to consider television as just that. Take away good messages, if there is something you don’t understand, just change the channel!

Your husband was also your longtime colleague in the television industry – how does the Hira-Mani brand work as a professional relationship?

We don’t have a professional relationship. We got married 11 years ago and that is the relationship we have. We were both pretty young. We grew up together, switched cars and houses together. Its like two people start studying the same subject, one is a pre-schooler and one is a graduate. I was the pre-schooler and Mani the graduate. He is a real trendsetter. The cool and quirky method of hosting that is so big in the industry now was conceived by Mani, it was introduced by him. He has empowered a lot of people to act themselves and be themselves. Hosting with Mani was quite intimidating because I did not want to embarrass him at any point. I took a lot of notes from him. I miss working with him on shows. We both have a very organized, healthy working relationship. I’m not the kind of woman who pretends to not need her better half. He is the support I always need and always get! Our kids Muzamil and Ibrahim have also become quite organized watching us!

Hira Mani is a household name. Any advice you would like to give to the newcomers coming into the public eye?

Please be sure that there is something extraordinary inside you and that if you look for it enough you find it. Life passes on without fame. Fame is in the hands of God. Everyone can act like heroes and heroines on television. The real deal is to be heroes and heroines in real life. Don’t let the industry and its expectations get to your real life. Don’t let it get under your skin – be steadfast. Keep believing in yourself and take that road that pays you off most. Once again, don’t lose the human touch. Being human is being the real heroes! 

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Transforming Mind and Body

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Losing weight can seem like an enormous task, so how does on begin this journey to transform their mind and body? We sat face to face with blogger Hadiyya Aazer and asked her what motivated to take on the task to transform her lifestyle.

Working out at Evolution Fitness

Whats inspired you to begin this transformation journey? 

I have been overweight my entire life. When I turned 30 last year, it hit me that if I dont control it now, my health issues could become a serious problem. What can I say, I decided to change my habits and put my hundred percent into evolving my lifestyle.

Where have you been training?

My personal trainer is Haseeb Mirza at Evolution fitness. He is amazing and has a certain rhythm in the gym. He has been a great supporter and motivator through all of this.

Before and After


What does your usual workout routine look like?

It is a mix of weight training, cardio and Abs, which is necessary for me. It is essential to work according to your bodies needs and stamina and create a tailor made workout to assure its effectiveness.

What kind of a diet do you follow?

 My diet is eating in small portions after every 2 hours. All in all 5 controlled meals over the day.

What is your goal ? 

I am aiming to reach 65kgs soon!

March 2018 v March 2019


What advice would you give to someone struggling with weight issues? 

Don’t give up! Will power is key and once you’ve decided to take the necessary steps, nothing can stop you. Take it step by step, but eat healthy and work out. Ive lost almost 40 kg in a years time, slow and steady wins the race!

March 2019


How does it feel losing so many dress sizes?

One can only imagine fantastic! I have never imagined myself wearing jeans and dresses. It feels so good to wear clothes that I’d never imagined I could.

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SHE CAME, SHE SAW, SHE CONQUERED

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Pakistani entertainment industry has a special league of actors, who are not only got fame because of their beauty but also with their brain. Hareem Farooq is one of them, who besides having a flourishing acting career is also a producer of box office success Janaan and Parchi. A bachelors in Sociology and journalism from Quid-e-Azan University, Hareem started her acting career in 2012 from a theatre play of veteran Anwar Maqsood Pawnay 14 August by playing the role of Fatima Jinnah. The following year, she made her big screen debut with a leading role in a horror thriller film Siyaah and came to television in Hum TV serial Mausam in 2014. Then there was no stopping. Now at this young age, Hareem has many popular dramas as Diyar-e-Dil and films like Parchi at her credit. She went on to become a first female actor-producer of Pakistan, by producing Janaan and Parchi under the banner of IRK Films. Last year, Hreem formed a global entertainment company, IHA, which soon entered into an agreement with top entertainment in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), as the first distribution firm.

Apart from acting and production, Hareem has been proudly become the official Spokesperson for Loreal Professional, Pakistan since 2017.

Last month she was in Paris to represent Pakistan at L’Oreal on its 110th anniversary. She was extremely excited and responsible at the same time to be a part of those celebrations. We talked to this young, beautiful and talented lady about her visit to the Paris and of course her upcoming feature film Heer Maan Ja supposed to be released on Eid Ul Aza.

How was the excitement to be in Paris for L’Oreal?

It was a great opportunity for me to represent Pakistan among lot of people, coming from different countries at L’Oreal 110th anniversary in Paris. I was the only Pakistani who represented my country there and felt very proud and honoured for this. I hope I lived up to the expectations.

 What were your activities there?

It was a multiple-event celebrations spreading on almost a week. It was their 110th anniversary so they made it huge. In these types of events, you get to mingle with lot of people from different countries, where you show them the positive and lighter side of your country. I did the same.

What and who did wear in those eventful celebrations?

I wore Pakistani designers in all events, including Sania Maskatiya, Munib Nawaz, Rici Melion, Mahgul, Zuria Dor. As far as what I wore, I must tell you that we have to follow a certain dress codes when on these type of international events. We need to show the world that we can compete on international level when we have to, but we made sure that our Pakistani designers should also be promoted there. Again it was a matter for me to represent Pakistan there. If I had to decide, I would wear shalwar kameez, as I love my national dress. 

How did you find Paris?

It was so exciting to be there. They are very rich in art, architecture, and weather. People all are also very nice and welcoming. I am glad that finally L’Oreal is tapping into the Pakistan market. There are very few people from Pakistan who are invited by L’Oreal from Pakistan and it’s a pride for me that I am one of them. They were very surprised to see Pakistan there.

Have you ever been to Paris before?

It was my first visit to Paris. But I am sure it will not be the last. 

Did you learn any French there?

Very little. Only few words like bonjour, mercy, beaucoup. I am trying to learn the language.

What did you observe in Paris while with L’Oreal?

It was a great exposure. They are very skilled people. I came to know that where and how L’Oreal actually works. How they cope up with new techniques and innovations all over the world. There was somewhere around five to six thousand people from various countries of the world.

Are you eying to participate in Cannes as well?

Why not? It is just a start. I believe when you are sincere with your work, anything is achievable. 

You met with Pakistani ambassador (Moin Ul Haq) in Paris? What was discussed in the meeting regarding Pakistani entertainment industry?

It was a great surprise. I was very glad and honoured that they had me come there and invited me to the embassy. The ambassador is very progressive He wants to promote a softer image if Pakistan in world. And Pakistan really needs this at the moment. His ideas and vision, which we are aiming to implement, I am sure will be productive for Pakistan. Whatever we have discussed, it will be executed soon and people will know about it.

This year is also important for you as your film Heer Maan Ja is coming on Eid-Ul- Azha. Shed some light on your role in the film?

I like experimenting with my characters as I believe that audience should get something new every time. It is a little journey from Iman of Parchi to Heer of Heer Maan Ja. They are poles apart. Iman is a very strong woman who stands up for everything while on the other hand Heer is a very next door desi girl. She is sweet pretty and innocent, for which most Pakistani girls are known for. It was a lot fun playing that character.

By Kaukab Jahan from Pakistan and Ashfaque Chaudhry from Paris

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Discovering Africa with Hajra Tariq

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Hajra Tariq is a full time Graphic Designer and Photographer (IG: pinkrikshaw.studio ). She is also an aspiring traveler.  Having lived in different countries around the world, she realized how important art and design was and how different cultures have helped evolve her. 

“My goal in life isn’t to travel the world, to not regret not doing something my heart has longed to do. My latest travel expedition took me to the heart of East Africa, Kenya. I’ve always imagined myself on an African safari and my dream finally came true! We’ve all seen things that take our breath away. For me, it was a perfectly clear night at the Mara Ashnil in the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve where you were literally inches away from the “BIG 5”, and facing the sunset on a yatch in the middle of the Kilifi Creek . Two extremely different things, in one country, and yet they both didn’t fail to amaze me.”

Accompanied by her favourite travel buddy, her sister, here are a few of her best memories…

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