A few months ago, in an interesting turn of events I managed to conduct an exclusive Twitter interview with the Queen of Hearts! Fast forward a few months, with an evident buzz of excitement in the air I paced my room, phone firmly gripped and eyes glued to the screen as I awaited a conference call with the same Mahira Khan to speak about her recent blockbuster ‘7 Din Mohabbat In.’
Alas, I was told that there’s bad news. Mahira couldn’t attend the call and the interview had been cancelled. With an overtly expressive, ‘Oh no!’ I felt terrible that the interview wouldn’t take place. With nothing much to say I remained quiet. I was told that they requested Mahira for the interview by asking if she remembered the ‘Twitter Girl’ and she had said she didn’t remember, I picked up on the mischievous tone and excitedly retorted, ‘It’s impossible that she’d forget that interview, she had loved it!’ Then Mahira’s adorable giggles chimed on the line! Who would’ve known, our very own Mahira likes to play pranks!
Just as we were about to begin the interview Mommy Mahira was called by her little one, Azlaan, to make pancakes. Fulfilling her motherly duties she paused the interview and attended to her son, asking him to give her just a few minutes to wrap up the call. Who says you can’t balance a professional career and motherhood simultaneously, Mahira definitely can!
As for all of her fans, here’s Mahira like never before, speaking the language of love!
Hira Hyder: Let’s talk about Neeli in ‘7 Din.’ It’s rare to see characters like hers, because let’s face it, heroines in love tales are shown to be exquisitely beautiful, mature and soft spoken in our main stream media. What does Neeli teach us about love?
Mahira Khan: When I was first introduced to Neeli’s character I wanted to make her look different from mainstream characters. I wanted to go all out, with the clips, the clothes and the colours! The clips were actually a prop I said that I just had to use. Neeli lives in her own bubble. Her perception of love is idealistic, somewhat based off of fairy tales like Cinderella; that a Prince Charming would come to her doorstep and whisk her away. You know, I have often been asked that, ‘Sacha pyaar ka waqai mein mil sakta hai? (Can one actually find real love?)’ it takes me by surprise that we ask these cynical questions and I wonder what kind of a world do we live in.
Hira Hyder: Often we see that people’s mental health is negatively affected as a result of having failed relationships, not having a love interest or not finding the ‘right one.’ How can such toxic thoughts be overcome?
Mahira Khan: That’s an excellent question and the answer is quite broad, but it starts with the fact that in our society we do not take mental health seriously, let alone talk about it. We should first and foremost stop passing ignorant remarks like, ‘Woh tou pagal hai, chup para rehta hai (He’s crazy, keeps quiet)’. It is essential to be compassionate, be aware of symptoms that lead to mental health issues and have active conversations about what we are feeling. I also strongly believe that another factor which adds on to people’s deteriorating mental health is social media. When you see everything portrayed as ‘beautiful’, from travelogues to fashion blogs and personal lives, one starts to compare their life with what they see online which contributes to the vicious cycle.
Hira Hyder: Two of your sensationally popular and well-loved characters, Falak from Shehr-e-Zaat and Shaano from Sadqay Tumhaare, were shown to be individuals in love while simultaneously being in tune with their spirituality. Do you personally believe that love and spirituality can coexist, how are they linked?
Mahira Khan: Oh yes absolutely, they do coexist and are definitely linked! I vividly remember my Mamu (maternal uncle) telling me that whether you fear God or love God, in both cases you will be a good person. I had replied to him saying that I choose to love God. We often associate love with a significant other and forget that the base of any love should be faith. Falak was a complicated character, her journey as a faithless girl started with the obsession she had with a man and deemed it to be ‘love’, whereas later she discovers that the true essence of love can only be known after discovering the love for God. As far as Shaano’s character is concerned- I love her! She is an exemplary individual who defines the reality of love and faith coexisting. Like the character says, ‘Muhabbat mein ilhaam na ho, tou fittay mun muhabbat ka.’
Hira Hyder: You’re coming to Canada for the 6th HUM Awards and we’re elated! How do you feel that our Pakistani entertainment industry is achieving such brilliant milestones that grand shows are now taking place in North America?
Mahira Khan: Bilkul! We are all coming your way and I feel extremely excited about being a part of the HUM Awards that will be taking place in the west for the very first time. It is absolutely great what we are achieving as an entertainment industry, there are plenty of exhilarating performances and surprises for the event but I don’t want to say more to spoil what we have in store for you!