The entertainment industry is an artist’s galaxy, and I believe that there’s no shame if an artist crosses a border for the sake of his recognition and fame.
However, there are many Pakistani artists who have worked in Bollywood or who are still willing to work, whereas on the other hand, there are also those who are extremely possessive and sensitive about their country and could never even think about working across the border.
Saba Qamar’s Bollywood debut ‘Hindi Medium’ opposite Irrfan Khan just recently hit the cinema screens and is getting a positive response from the masses.
While having a conversation with Hindustan Times, Saba Qamar proudly stated:
“I was never desperate to work in Bollywood though I aspired to do a movie across the border but only if I was offered a strong character and a main lead. My plays are widely watched in India and are equally popular. Irrfan had also watched my serial on YouTube and he recommended me to the director.”
“At first when I received a call from Irrfan’s manager, I thought it was a prank call but later the casting director called and offered me the role. The director wanted someone to portray a role like Kareena Kapoor Khan did in Jab We Met.” The Lahore Se Aagay star revealed she was more excited to sign the project because it is being directed by Saqib Chaudhary – who has belted out popular films including as Pyaar Kay Side Affects and Shaadi Ke Side Effects. Also, the film is being produced by the makers of Cocktail and Love Aaj Kal. “So, I had faith in the entire team that they will make something good.”
Speaking about her experience of shooting Hindi Medium, she added:
“I had the best time shooting for the movie. It was an amazing experience. Everybody from the hero to the director to spot boy was so humble and gave me the utmost respect. Even the designers would address me as ‘Ma’am’.”
According to the opinion of most of the people; working in Indian is not an easy job, especially when both of the countries are not on good terms since quite a while now.
However, Saba Qamar feels otherwise. She said:
“I was given royal treatment. I was protected and pampered so much that I was put in the best five stars hotels. My mini bar would never end. They would ask me my favourite dishes and drinks, and anything I needed was arranged for me.”
“I never felt strange or alien in India. I am not scared of death. If my fate is to die in India, I will die there. In fact Irrfan would always say ‘Saba tou cheeti hay, kissi say nahi darti’. I really hope the issues between the two countries are resolved because I would love to work in Bollywood for all the respect and honour that I have received there. Mein do do hath jaon gee phir say Bollywood, jo nakhray meray wahan uthaye gaye aur mujhey saatwein aasman pay bethaya.”
While sharing her experience about how India welcomed her with open arms, and how comfortable she felt while working with the director, crew and sharing her chemistry with Irrfan Khan, Saba said:
“He is a superstar. I was so nervous on my first day of shoot but after one hour all my nervousness went away because Irrfan made me so comfortable. He and I shared a very strong on screen chemistry and we would hardly do more than two takes. I am by nature very rebellious and I said to myself I will either do or die here. I had to prove myself. I often would ask Irrfan about my shots and he would say, ‘Why are you asking me, you know better, tum tou mujh say bhi aagay nikal rahi ho’ and I would say, ‘App meri kit laga rahein hain’.”
Apparently, Saba Qamar recently boycotted Lux Style Awards because she felt the event did not deserve her attendance.
“Ever since I have had a Bollywood stamp, all the top brands are chasing me for endorsements. Where were all the brands before I went to India. No one has ever approached me for the last thirteen years that I have been working. But I have gotten immense support from my colleagues such as Ahsan Khan, Mahira Khan, Ayesha Omar, Jami and Sarmad Khoosat. They even gave me a shout out on Twitter for my film.
“Even Hindustan Times and Pinkvilla have compared me to Mahira Khan and given a verdict that my performance is far better than hers in Raees.”
It seems like after all that Saba Qamar has been through, she has received so much love, affection and respect from India, more than she could even imagine. And not only that but she has been considered a far better actress than Mahira Khan. Well, I am sure she would have been on the 7th sky after hearing that.