Recently released dubai-based Pakistan film Pinky Memsaab has got its critical acclaim because of its story and good work by actors. One of its characters was Kulsoom, which though remained onscreen for very short time but left a strong impact on audience. The talented actress who played Kulsoom is Hajra Khan, who has proved in her debut film that what the character adoption is. Hajra started her acting career in 2009 with Go TV paly Buri Aurat. Keen to carry on with her education, she took a break of two years to complete her studies in Business Management from Dublin Business School. Born in Quetta to a Pashtun family, Hajra moved to Karachi at very early age. The family went back to Quetta, where she completed her secondary school before coming back to Karachi and since then the city is her base, from where she is giving full focus to her acting career.
How you were approached for the role of Kulsoom in Pinky Memesaab?
I was approached by Shazia Khan, the director and producer of the film. She had taken many auditions before but many perspective choices were very apprehensive as firstly, the character had very minimal screen time and secondly, they were concerned about how they would be portrayed as bar dancer when the film is directed by a first timer. Then Shazia called me in desperation and asked me to do the role of Kulsoom.
Why did you accept the role despite the reservations by their earlier options?
I also showed my reservation about the length of character but Shazia assured me that despite having a shorter screen time, it has a strong impact on the whole story. I also liked it, so even with my reservation, I accepted it. I even visited some bars in Bur Dubai and met with a few bar dancers there to get the feel of the character. I also insisted on adding a dance number as it was supporting the character and whole story of the film.
So, do you think that you did justice to your role?
I did, but at the premier, when I watched the film, my role was badly chopped off. It had lost its strength and soul at the editing table. I recorded the whole song, but in film it was less than a minute. I was really disappointed to see my role ruin like that.
But it is also a truth that many of our new directors shoot almost double of the actual length and then edit it hastily. Don’t you think that was the case with this film too?
I agree. People find an only two-hour long film a drag because it had many unnecessary and irrelevant scenes but was short of many important ones. The camera work was not even satisfactory, as there were very long scenes in extreme close ups. Lighting was poor that it showed all the actors in bad shape. It was not fair with the actors. An art film doesn’t mean that you figure people badly.
So, you will be more careful in choosing your next project?
Of course! But despite all my reservations, I am grateful to people, who are praising my acting in Pinky Memsaab. I also loved the story and my character, I had a great experience of shooting in Dubai but what I have seen on screen has really shocked me.
Do you wish to do any particular role to play in a drama or film?
I think an action role is the most challenging role for a female actor. I wish to do one.
Who is your inspiration?
I am a big fan of Sri Devi. She is my ideal. Her Chaalbaaz is my all-time favourite. I have watched this movie more than 100 times and still love it. Sri Devi gave two block buster films when she was over 50. The woman has made the history in changing the status of women in subcontinent cinema.
What else you want to pursue in this field besides acting?
I am also writing a story of a film and have been in touch with Sabiha Soomar to direct it. I will also act in it. It is a women centric film as I think we have to come out from the stereotype and regressive representation of women on screen. Even our female writers are compelled to write these types of roles for women. We have to change this perception and this change can only be initiated by writers. The film will be available on digital platforms like Netflix or Amazon.
In Conversation with SOCH the band
SOCH the band, comprises of two immensely talented musicians, Adnan Dhool and Rabi Ahmed. The duo offers a unique, fresh and soulful approach to their earthy music.
Adnan Dhool at the helm, with his gritty vocals, complemented by Rabi Ahmed’s guitar rhythms. With their thought provoking lyrics, Soch takes us on a journey, hitting on to the harsh realities to the raw emotions of life. Within months of the songs release, Soch’s first ever single “Bandeya” – it received major mainstream radio airplay of which the World-wide release was done in collaboration with Indya Record and was first exclusively aired on 9x Network in INDIA and bagged #2 on ARY Musik and Oxygene and remained in the charts for over 8 weeks.
So we decided to dig deeper and ask the talent behind the band a few questions about how they got together, where they see themselves going in the future and also their experience singing for Bollywood.
1.Tell us a little about how this band was created?
This band was created by me (Adnan Dhool) back in 2005 when I wasn’t even sure about it . A few years later in 2007, my partner Rabi Ahmed joined in and since then it’s been going wild and strong
2. The song Avari in Ek Villain was sung by you guys, how was your experience singing for Bollywood?
It was definitely a great experience working across the border with some of the well known names. Not only did it bring pride to us but an award too.
Being nominated for IIFA in itself is a huge privilege.
3. How did that make you feel?
A privilege if course, see it’s the biggest award show in Asia and the world knows about it, fans all across wait for it so it was a major break and an honor for us as well.
4. How many times have you been featured in Nescafe basement?
Twice, season 1 and season 5, and it has been a splendid experience. We feel so much pride to be part of the Pakistani Music scene especially when we are on the brink of a musical revolution.
5. What was the story behind your sensational hit Bol Hu?
There’s isn’t any story but the thought is to connect with your Rab while going through the toughest phases of your life when you aren’t sure about things and experience a constant defeat, then you need to create your own world and see what that brings to you.
6.If you could jam with one musician, dead or alive, who would it be?
The one and only Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sahab
7. Any advice for the rising stars of Pakistan?
Just stick with your own original sound instead of copying others. Originality and candid, raw emotions will be your road to success.
#BossLady: SHE MAKES IT HAPPEN!
CO-FOUNDER OF SOUCHAJ, A PASSIONATE DESIGNER, DOTING MOTHER AND DEDICATED WIFE, MEHR KHAN IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF TODAY’S MODERN AND ALL-ROUNDER WOMAN.
Did you stumble upon your career or was it something that you always wanted?
I used to work in the fashion industry for different high street brands. My husband, Shoaib Khan and my brother-in-law, Junaid Malik, encouraged me to let go of the employee tag and become my own boss. I have always dreamt big and that is how SOUCHAJ was created.
What was your “aha!” moment?
When I finally left my job and decided to work under my own banner.
Who has been the greatest inspiration in your life?
My greatest inspiration has been my better half- Shoaib Khan. He’s been the most supportive person whilst going forward with the venture. He has pushed me to keep going when I thought I had already reached my limits and has constantly helped and supported me throughout this journey. SOUCHAJ wouldn’t be what it is today, without the support and motivation of myhusband as well as Mehak (my sister) and her husband, Junaid Malik.
When was the time you felt completely discouraged and how did you push through it?
I have never felt discouraged but sometimes you do feel low. Nonetheless, we all have moments of inspiration and ways to fuel our creative vibes.
What was the best advice that your mentor gave you?
Don’t listen to what others have to say.
What are the top 3 things you cherish in your life?
1- My parents for being the constant support
2- My son, the shining light of my life
3. Last but not the least, I greatly cherish seeing SOUCHAJ grow every day.
What is the #1 thing that is yet to be ticked off your bucket list?
Scuba diving is definitely on the list!
What does nobody tell you about being the boss?
The biggest misconception everyone has about being your own boss is that you can take as many days off as you want. It’s actually quite the contrary, you can’t take any time off or your brand will suffer! We ourselves are responsible for any success or setback that the brand faces,
*Name one boss lady that you admire and how she still inspires you? *
There are many wonderful women who fall into that category but Victoria Beckham definitely has to be right there. She was named Female Entrepreneur of the Year at this year’s Glamour. There is this thing she said that speaks volumes of her humility, “Many women look up to me as an achiever, but I’m someone who is still learning something new each and every minute.” This really teaches us how to deal with the rapidly rising success of SOUCHAJ, and how to keep pushing forward without getting too ahead of ourselves.
Describe a day in your life
Well it’s usually the same activities everyday. Wake up early in the morning to send my son to school. Take some time out for myself to get ready for work. Reach SOUCHAJ studio with an everlasting sense of passion, enthusiasm, and a new set of goals and aspirations each day. Mehak and I try to achieve the very best we can, for ourselves and for the business, each and every single day. This includes putting in the hard yards with co-workers, maintaining a certain standard of work and assuring quality, giving some helpful suggestions to our precious clients, and what not. The day must end with spending some quality time with the family.
Complete this sentence: To me, a #BossLady is…”
Someone who is bold, beautiful, and stays true to what she truly believes in and aspires to be..
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
Thankfully, I haven’t ever faced a “failure” as such. setbacks, sure, but nothing too serious. However, every minor setback just serves as a reality check for us and urges us to improve and get better than before.
Which world leader would you most like to have dinner with?
The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. I really admire him for how understanding and inclusive he is towards all kinds of people, irrespective of their cast, colour, creed or religion. He is the kind of leader every nation needs in this modern world.
What advice would you give to young girls out there who have dreams and goals like yours?
Keep striving. Follow your dreams. Enhance your passions. Dream big and work hard. There’s no substitute for hard work and effort. Just keep striving and don’t look back, you’ll reach there eventually.
Ramsha Khan Steals the show in Kaisa Hai Naseeban
Ramsha Khan has recently become one of the most seen faces on the television screens and it is mainly because she plays different roles effortlessly and with true commitment. One such spectacular performance delivery can be seen in her current drama serial Kaisa Hai Naseeban that airs on ARY Digital.
The drama is centered around a very common yet very ignored social issue of domestic violence and abuse that young girls face at the hands of their in laws.
Ramsha Khan plays the role of domestic violence victim in the drama and definitely nails it.
She plays the character of Mariam, a young girl who is raised with love in her family and suffers mental, physical and emotional abuse after she gets married.
Her role in the drama is extremely difficult but being known for her effortless performance, Ramsha Khan simply nails her performance and that leads us all to completely feel her character. Her acting skills and the way she displays her pain, her tears and her agony leaves a dramatic effect on the audience leading the drama to a greater success.
She speaks about why Kaisa Hai Naseeban is a project she personally felt compelled to do.
Talking about Kaisa Hai Naseeban, Ramsha Khan said that the first time she read the script of the drama, she instantly felt connected to the character and there was no second thought in accepting the role.
There were two main reasons she chose to do the role of Mariam.
First, she wanted to spread the message of women empowerment through her role. Ramsha Khan’s character as Mariam does begin with suffering in silence but when she loses her child because of domestic abuse, it makes her realize that suffering in silence is not the answer and that she must fight back for her rights and her dignity.
That’s when we see Ramsha Khan turn from a brutally suffered victim to a strong woman who is now ready to fight, to speak and to seek justice. And that is the message she wants to spread through her role.
Another reason of choosing the role was the challenge it brought.
The character of Mariam in Kaisa Hai Naseeban is very challenging to begin with. There is a character development within the drama as it proceeds and Ramsha Khan has to first portray a young girl in suffering and later as a strong-willed girl who wants to fight back.
The challenge in the role has definitely brought out the best of Ramsha Khan as she does an outstanding job in carrying both the characters. Her journey within the drama shows epic acting skills and a powerful display of role portrayal which makes watching the drama all the more worthwhile.
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