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Kahkashan Farooq & Hina Pervaiz “The greater the soul is, the greater the grief given to it,” once said another living legend Bano Qudsia about the great artist Roohi Bano. A shy and timid young girl of 17 entered into the world of acting and gave a new dimension to it, of its own kind.
Having won three graduate awards, the Nigar Award, President Award and two PTV awards, she has now made a comeback after a long, painful and sad period of absence. Roohi Bano a veteran actress reminisces about her glowing past with the Eyecandy team
She said, “I was only 17 when I thought of joining this field. Initially it was not very hectic but afterwards it turned otherwise. Although I was very young and shy, but I discovered a hidden actress inside me. As soon as I would come in front of a camera that actress used to emerge. I took admission in GCU Psychology Department and did my
masters in 2nd division. I was not very bright in academics but I had keen interest in the creative arts, theatre and other co-curricular activities.” As we all know that joining show biz at that time was not a very strong means of earning and was not considered very proper among the masses.
When she was asked about the situation she said, “Yes, indeed a lot of effort was required in this field but with no return. I didn’t earn a substantial amount of money, but only fame came as a reward. I needed money as well. I wanted to have my own house and car.
So far as joining media is concerned, I faced no opposition from my family; in fact my mother was a great support. She helped me a lot. It was her dream that I should have fame and my name should be known everywhere.” Talking about her lifelong acquaintanceship with Bano Qudsia, she stated, “She has always been my favourite, she liked me and she wrote about me.”
Talking about her favourite plays, delightedly she said, “Darwaza and Sarab were my favourite plays. The script of Darwaza was really inspiring and it was directed by one of my favourite directors MNH.
The most memorable characters of these two plays were Usman Peerzada and Rahat Kazmi besides my own role.” Nowadays it is the fashion of the day to find rivalry among co-stars, however when we asked Roohi Bano about she fellow actresses she commented, “My favourite actress was Saira Kazmi in TV, but I never considered any of them to be my competitors.
My focus was my work, which was my passion. Although rivalry existed at that time as well, but I was hardly affected by it. In the film industry, there was lot of jealousy for me. Shamim Ara and Zeba were my competitors. I did a few films but people did not let me ‘click’. Furthermore, in our films there is a tendency for exaggeration and overexposure.
At that time, there was no proper script. Although big directors were working, like Shabab Kiranwi, but he also could not give me a proper breakthrough. Besides, my identity was TV. In films a lot of effort was required, so I could not manage to surmount the obstacles. In the Indian film industry, I was inspired by Madhu Bala and Nargis.”
For artists fame and appreciation are just like oxygen, because the art of any artist breathes through it. But as we all know that nothing is that easy and simple in this world as it appears to be. So, when we asked Roohi Bano about the good and bad thing about being famous she told us that good thing about being famous is that people recognize you, while the bad thing is that people tease you unnecessarily.
According to her, nowadays one thing has changed about the acting profession, “Today, it is not the same as in the past when people used to rush whenever they would see a famous actor in some market or public place. Now, they have become accustomed to seeing them at such places thus they do not find that much charm in it.
It is not a surprise for them any more. Instead, like western countries, they find themselves rubbing shoulders with them off and on. They respect them but do not get dazzled by their presence.”
What is life? When this perplexing question was asked from Roohi Bano she gave a very simple answer: “Life keeps on moving, no full stop comes even if you wish so, however, if you don’t wish it, then it definitely comes.” As we all know that the mushrooming of TV channels has changed the media scene but somehow we don’t find ample focus on the quality and content of TV productions.
When we asked the veteran actress her comment on this, she said, “As far as the lot of contemporary directors is concerned, I am not really satisfied. All the directors I liked have retired. I don’t find the same quality of writers, actors or directors and as far as the quality of channels is concerned, I don’t think that they have much standing, because they don’t tend to produce masterpieces and they haven’t really owned the master figures like us.
Probably due to this, the quality of the TV productions has declined.” When she was asked about her present interest and activities, she replied “I am reading stories these days. My favorite writers and poets these days are Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, Bano Qudsia, Ashfaq Ahmad, Dr Anwar Sajjad and others.
I spend my time in watching art movies because I am planning to write and produce a play of my own. These days, I am working on a telefilm which is a remake of Darwaza.”
Sharing her political views with Eyecandy team, she opined that now politics is in a much better position. “Somehow God has listened to us,” she commented, “The changes can be witnessed at the grass root level but it is a high time now that we should institutionalize our politics.”
How composed she is now, thinking that we thanked the legend and ended the interview.