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Ms MARCH 9, 2014


All That Glitters



The Unstoppable Amina Sheikh



inside unwind —

What’s hot and happeining

domestic goddess —

Berry berry delicious



Section In-Charge: Batool Zehra Sub-Editor: Amna Hashmi

The Jack of All Trades



the buzz

Amina Sheikh isn’t one to be rushed and somehow, taking things as they come has truly worked in her favour. The model, movie star, brand ambassador and overall success story chats with Ms T to revisit some of the milestones she has achieved in her career by Amna Hashmi




By the time arrive for my meeting with Amina Sheikh, I am slightly worse for the wear. The blazing heat and lackadaisical Karachi traffic have rendered all my premeditated coolness futile and I literally bite my tongue lest I lash out at the lift operator who is taking his sweet time greeting a colleague across the reception. “Relax,” I tell myself as I make my way up. “It will be just fine. She’s just another, regular woman.” But of course, that isn’t ever remotely true! The most sought-after actress of Pakistan, producer, director, brand incubator and national celebrity, Amina has recently clocked in over a decade of consistent hardwork and monumental success in the Pakistani showbiz industry. A favourite at all fashion events, Amina’s talents as a model are vouched for by the impressive roster of designers she has worked with. Her powerhouse performances in telefilms like Aasman Chuh Le and ‘Seedlings’ have earned her international recognition, including the award for Best Actress at last year’s New York International Film Festival. With that under her belt, Amina is ready to set the big screen ablaze once again with the upcoming thriller Operation 021, alongside the legendary Shaan Shahid. And so, I cannot help but feel a tad bit intimidated as I fumble into the room and come face-to-face with the ‘Pakistani Angelina Jolie.’ Today, clad in jeans and a sweater with only a sweep of eyeliner a welcoming smile as accessories, Amina’s uncanny resemblance to the Hollywood starlet is even more startling. The nicer surprise, though, is her amiability. She laughs as I apologise for my tardiness, saying “Nahin nahin, it’s okay.” We settle onto the chairs laid out for us and between intermittent sips of coffee, Amina narrates the story of how she came to where she is. “I initially started acting during school,” she says. “I was doing English plays with the great Rahat Kazmi and I loved it. Ironically, I never thought I would end up doing it professionally. I was more inclined towards the production aspect of filming so after completing my degree in arts, I took up an internship at a production house in New York. Fortunately or unfortunately, my parents wanted me back in Pakistan so here I am!” As Amina continues to share her experiences with swift hand movements and frequent chuckles, I can’t help but wonder how an accomplished actor like her can be so laid back! In the course of our conversation, I realise that she really is just another, regular woman with a very regular story, albeit in a seemingly more exciting industry. “It doesn’t matter what you do or where you work,” she explains. “The first seven to eight years of one’s career are always the hardest. You have to put in double the effort to make a future for yourself. I also had to work extremely hard to reach this

achieve their dreams. “The problem in our part of the world is that there is immense talent but no scope,” she says. “Girls have dreams but aren’t equipped to make them come true. I joined Always Karo Yaqeen because on some level, it reminds me of myself in the initial stages of my career. I want them to fulfil their aspirations, just like I have. I can relate to these girls and want to bring forth their hidden talents. Thankfully, I am now in the position to inspire others to go out and get what they want.” It may be her position as mentor that she relishes but Amina has always had a passion for her profession. I am hardly shocked when she confesses she can’t imagine working in anything that is not related to films, especially since she beat out all odds for it. “I was the first person in my family to study arts so you can imagine the apprehension my parents felt when I decided to pursue films,” she shares, laughing. “But now, they have come full circle and always praise my work. In fact, my father has appointed himself as my designated career mentor now.” Between back-to-back shoots, interviews and travelling, she must be a workaholic, I ask. “Not at all!” she responds. “I love being home too. Yes, my career is my top priority but so are my family, home and health. No one knows this but I absolutely love my garden and take out time for it whenever I can.” This reminds me that an hour has gone by already and I must speed up the meeting to accommodate Amina’s next appointment; after all, she is a very busy lady. I had been made aware of her professionalism earlier when she criticised others for arriving late to shoots, being rude on the sets and the general “lack of structure” that the Pakistani showbiz industry suffers from. I begin to appreciate that Amina epitomises the typical modern Pakistani woman: she is the ideal combination of a traditional homemaker with the diligent work ethic of the contemporary career woman. She works hard all day but only to return home and unwind with her family. Amina likes to take matters into her owns hands, be it rehearsing her lines on the sets or catering to the small vegetable patch she has grown in her garden. She has mastered the art of mixing business with pleasure, serving as an inspiration to women across the countries who are trying to balance their careers and their homes. This woman of the 21st century is strong, independent and not afraid to follow her heart. “I draw inspiration from other female artists like Bushra Ansari and Saba Hamid,” says Amina. “They are icons! Both women have had exponential acting careers and still continue to do so, even after so many years.” But longevity isn’t the main aim for Amina. “As an actor, my aim is to touch the hearts of my viewers. I don’t want them to see Amina Sheikh in a role. I want them to see and feel the emotions I am portraying. That is the true mark of a great actor: when the viewer forgets the actor, the film and everything else and just relates to the story.” As a closing note, I ask Amina to share some advice for young girls seeking a career in modelling or acting and she pauses for a second, as if reminiscing about her own days as a newbie in the industry. “Do your research and always be well prepared,” she finally says. “If you aren’t intelligent, people can and will take you for a ride. And of course, stay focused and hope for the best!” With her confidence, ambition and ability to sail through even the hardest of times, Amina has garnered in little over ten years what most cannot achieve in a lifetime. One would think she is all set for life, with a stringent plan of what to achieve in the next phase of life but in reality, she just wants to go with the flow. “I want to keep evolving as an actor,” she states. “The showbiz market is limited and fortunately, I have already done most of what it has to offer. But like I said earlier, life is a domino effect. One door leads to another and who knows which one I’ll be knocking on next,” she adds with a mischievous smile. As I get up to leave, I feel a strange sense of warmth – like I had just made a good friend. That, in a nutshell, says volumes about the charm of Amina Sheikh.

I want girls to fulfil their aspirations, just like I have. I can relate to these girls and want to bring forth their hidden talents. Thankfully, I am now in the position to inspire others to go out and get what they want.” point. There were lots of rejections, bounced cheques, cancelled shoots, etc. I had to do my own research, make my own way. Success takes a lot of patience and perseverance, especially in showbiz.” So what was the turning point for you, I inquire to which she curtly replies “Nothing.” Nothing, I repeat skeptically and she says “Yes, nothing. I don’t believe in turning points; they don’t exist. Life is more of a domino effect: one thing leads to another just so long as you keep at it.” Deeply impressed by her independent thinking and candidness, I wonder if this is what encouraged Amina to endorse the Always Karo Yaqeen campaign, launched by P&G to empower women in Pakistan and help them

I don’t believe in turning points; they don’t exist. Life is more of a domino effect: one thing leads to another just so long as you keep at it



en vogue




Farah Farooqui’s latest collection shines so bright, you wouldn’t want to miss it!

Model: Abeer rizvi Designer: Farah Farooqui @ House of Nofa Hair & Makeup: N-Pro Photography: Umair bin Nisar





Revenge, season 3

Ms.T ’s recommendations for everything that is doing the rounds across the world. Make sure you give each a shot to stay in the loop! Maybe Someday Give yourself a break from your hectic schedule and indulge in the latest offering from the New York Times best-selling author Colleen Hoover. Maybe Someday is an epic saga about friendship, romance, betrayal and a passion for music which helps young college student Sydney Blake through life. The story follows Sydney as she experiences everything the life of an average university-goer is incomplete without: changing friendships, broken hearts, studying, working to make your dreams come true. She stumbles and falls but she gets back on her feet every time, ready to take on the next challenge life tosses her way. If you are a fan of chick-lit and a sucker for all things romantic, Maybe Someday is a must-read for you.

Everyone’s favourite saas-bahu drama is back! No, we aren’t referring to the evil saas and passive bahus of desi drama serials but the very strong, sharp and sophisticated Victoria Grayson and Emily Thorn/Amanda Clarke, who give a new spin on this hyped-up relationship as they battle it out on every episode of Revenge. The family drama went on a mid-season hiatus in January after ending with multiple cliff-hangers like the return of Conrad Grayson’s ex-wife and Aidan Mathis being blamed for murder. Fortunately, we no longer have to wait. Revenge is back with a bang this Sunday and guarantees even crazier plot twists, changing loyalties and all the suspense we have been waiting for. So make sure you catch the rest of season three from today onwards. You wouldn’t want to miss it!

Napa Theatre Festival 2014 Love theatre? Karachi’s National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) which turned nine last week, is hosting the annual International Theatre Festival from March 4 - March 27 and this year, it is going to be bigger than ever. Apart from local talent, the festival is bringing together theatre artistes from Germany, England, Nepal and India – including the legendary Naseeruddin Shah – and boasts of an impressive line-up of 16 short plays, three dramatic readings and talks, storytelling and musical sessions. The Pakistani talent includes Tehreek-i-Niswan and Lahore’s Ajoka Theatre as well as NAPA’s students themselves. The sessions are open to all and tickets will be available at the gates so if you are in town, we recommend you check the festival out, especially if you are a performing arts enthusiast.

domestic goddess 7



Berry Streusel Cake Not sure which cake would be best for your next tea party? Try my recipe for delicious and warm berry streusel cake and basque in the aroma of the fresh fruit and soft cake. It is berry, berry delicious! Seemi Aamir is a part-time teacher and mother of three who spends much of her free time trying out new recipes and creating her own

Method • Preheat oven to 180C degrees. • Grease an eight-inch cake pan with oil and line it with butter paper. Grease the butter paper as well. • In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients to make the batter. Mix in the eggs, yogurt and melted butter. Once the batter is prepared. Beat with an electronic mixer until all the ingredients have mixed completely. • Fold the berries into the batter gently. • Pour the batter into the cake pan and set it aside. • Prepare the streusel in a food processor by mixing the butter, sugar, white oats and pulse a few times, until a crumbly mixture has formed. • Sprinkle the streusel over the cake batter and place the pan in the oven for baking. • Bake the cake until it rises. Use a toothpick to ensure it has cooked completely. • Take the cake out and allow it to cool. • Slice the cake and serve it with hot coffee on the side. Your guests will love it!

For the cake

For the streusel

Flour 2 cups

Brown sugar 1 cup

Baking powder 3 tsp

Butter (melted) 4 oz

Eggs (lightly beaten) 2

Strawberry yogurt 8 oz (2 small containers)

Blueberries (canned or fresh) 1/2 cup

Strawberries (sliced) 5 – 6

White oats 1/2 cup

Brown sugar 3 tbsp

Butter (cold) 2 tbsp


hottie of the week 8

Status Born

Married Multan, Pakistan


2nd November, 1981



Junaid Khan



Who is he? What do you call a man with exceptional achievements in nearly every aspect of life? You call him Junaid Khan because this handsome gentleman is just that: a jack of all trades. You might recall Junaid from a concert, a drama serial, a modeling campaign or an advertisement – this guy is literally everywhere! He began his tryst with the world of showbiz back in the early 2000s as frontman of the popular rock band Call, belting out smash hits like ‘Sab Bhula Ke’ and ‘Jilawatan.’ His musical prowess was lauded time and again with numerous awards and prizes but of course, Junaid wanted more. He burst onto the small screen in the 2010 ATV drama ‘Dil Ki Lagi’ and followed it up with Hum TV’s ‘Kabhi Na Kabhi’ and ‘Mujhe Roothnay Na Deyna.’ With numerous other projects to his credits, an undergraduate degree in engineering, masters in business and a wholesome family life, we can’t help but wonder how he manages to do so much!



Why we love him With Junaid’s charismatic personality and creativity, one can’t help but love him. His rugged good looks have been vouched for by the numerous modeling assignments he is regularly signed for, including his participation at last year’s Bridal Couture Week Pakistan. Junaid takes good care of himself and works out regularly, no matter where he is. He draws inspiration from things around him and believes an artist should constantly observe and reinvent himself to remain successful. Constructive criticism is one of Junaid’s strong suits and he tries to incorporate it into his work every day. Organised and practical, Junaid doesn’t like leaving anything on chance: even his holidays are expertly planned out in advance!

What you didn’t know about him Junaid likes bright and busy cities and Dubai is one of his favourites. He is a complete cinema-geek and can watch even the worst movies at the theatre so long as he gets a glass of iced tea and fresh popcorn. Although a total foodie, Junaid’s favourite cuisine is Pakistani.

Total Package


The Express Tribune hi five - March 9  

The Express Tribune hi five for March 09th 2014