Aam­ina Shaikh

Aam­ina Sheikh talks to Slo­gan

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Q. With your mul­ti­ple tal­ents, you could also have been a singer. Why did you be­come an ac­tor and model?

A. That’s kind of you to say but a singing abil­ity is some­thing I greatly ad­mire in oth­ers and never thought to be a singer my­self. I guess that’s what it’s all about. With my the­atri­cal back­ground all through aca­demics and a ma­jor in film, I ‘thought’ about be­ing given an op­por­tu­nity to act com­mer­cially and once I en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence I fo­cused all my en­er­gies to­wards it. That’s how I chose a ca­reer path in the per­form­ing arts!

Q. How did you get cast in Seedlings (Lamha)?

A. I got an in­quiry to which I re­sponded and met with the young and dy­namic team of Bod­hicitta Works who then knit­ted me into their story as Mal­iha of ‘Seedlings.’

Q. How many movies have you ap­peared in in­clud­ing Seedlings?

A. Four so far. As ‘Mal­iha’ in ‘Seedlings’, ‘Fatma’ in ‘Josh’, ‘Zarnab’ in the Tarang film ‘Ar­maan’ and one movie un­der the banner of Zeba Bakhtiar and Azaan Sami Khan which is cur­rently un­der pro­duc­tion.

Q. What was the most mo­ti­vat­ing or con­vinc­ing as­pect of Seedlings that made you give such an out­stand­ing per­for­mance?

A. Out­stand­ing or not is for the au­di­ence to de­cide. But what did mo­ti­vate me to give it my all was the scary fact that the story it­self de­picted a real life in­ci­dent close to the writer’s heart and know­ing that this is a jour­ney of many in the ‘real’ world.

Q. How did it feel bag­ging two awards at the New York Film Fes­ti­val?

A. Sur­real. Felt so blessed and hon­oured.

Q. Tell us about your as­so­ci­a­tion with the ‘Al­ways Karo Yaqeen’ Cam­paign. How did you be­come a part of this ini­tia­tive?

A. Rarely do multi­na­tion­als de­vote their en­er­gies and bud­gets to­wards causes that make a dif­fer­ence. Pri­mar­ily a so­ci­ety like ours is most dif­fi­cult to tackle when it comes to chang­ing mind­sets or life­style choices as so much is em­bed­ded in re­li­gious and cul­tural ide­olo­gies. Any con­crete de­vel­op­ment or im­pact is hard to gauge. So when a multi­na­tional de­votes it­self to this kind of thing, it is very heart­en­ing and ac­tu­ally an hon­our to join hands with them in mak­ing this much needed ef­fort. Aware­ness of women’s health and hy­giene, de­vel­op­ing body-im­age con­cepts and con­fi­dence in a con­ser­va­tive so­ci­ety like ours, where a lot of taboos al­ready ex­ist, in even ba­sic com­mu­ni­ca­tion is in­te­gral. For it to be

A. I am evolv­ing! ex­e­cuted sen­si­tively and in­tel­li­gently is even more es­sen­tial. I am most im­pressed by the brand Al­ways and P&G in their fan­tas­tic ap­proach in tak­ing up the chal­lenge and do­ing the nec­es­sary. One has to be in­spired by a con­cept in or­der to en­dorse it so, for me, this was very much in align­ment with my ide­olo­gies and hope for Pak­istan.

Q. What are you do­ing these days?

Q. What are your plans for the com­ing 5 years?

A. As an ac­tor, my ef­forts will con­tinue to groom and ed­u­cate my­self in or­der to con­stantly evolve and bring some­thing new, more lay­ers, more nu­ances and ma­tu­rity in my per­for­mances. One must ex­pe­ri­ence and ob­serve each day of life and of this world to the fullest. My fo­cus will most def­i­nitely con­tinue to be on films and I will be con­tin­u­ing in my ef­forts to see a boom­ing Pak­istani film in­dus­try in our life­time.

Q. How do you feel you can be a source of in­spi­ra­tion for the mil­lions of Pak­istani girls out there whom you will be reach­ing out to as part of the ‘Al­ways Karo Yaqeen’ Cam­paign?

A. There are many oc­ca­sions when I find new in­spi­ra­tions. Re­cently I was re­minded yet again about the power of the word! How much that can in­flu­ence and change minds. Then there is the power of an im­age, of a per­sona - they are all ve­hi­cles of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and change. It is these tools that due to the blessed na­ture of my pro­fes­sion have been handed to me to use, to bring about a change and some dif­fer­ence re­gard­less of how mi­nus­cule it may be.

Q. As much as it is clichéd but please do tell us how much you have achieved of what you are today?

A. It would be so much eas­ier to tackle this ques­tion if I had one def­i­nite an­swer. There are a mul­ti­tude of fac­tors re­spon­si­ble for where each of us stand today. Hav­ing said that, an­other truth is that it def­i­nitely starts some­where. In my opin­ion it starts with a thought. The rest is up to you - how much en­ergy, how much phys­i­cal, men­tal, emo­tional hard work you choose to put in that thought - that is what de­cides the jour­ney of that ini­tial thought. My thought and my jour­ney are right in front of you.

Q. What’s your present dress-code?

A. I don’t have a con­sis­tent dress code. Ver­sa­til­ity is my code.

Q. Who would you con­sider your moral sup­port in this jour­ney of suc­cess?

A. Mo­hib Mirza, ab­so­lutely - my part­ner in crime all the way.

Q. What lies ahead of you - both in life and work?

‘I think I’m fairly easy to see through, un­less the char­ac­ters in my projects re­quire a fa­cade for reel life.’

A lot of learn­ing, grow­ing and evolv­ing, in­shal­lah.

Q. Where do you hail from?

A. My par­ent’s thoughts.

Q. What does the word LOVE mean to you?

A. It means grat­i­tude.

Q. What names in the in­dus­try can be said to have in­spired you?

A. Many as­pects of many per­son­al­i­ties in­spire me on a daily ba­sis.

Q. What does beauty mean to you?

A. It is a state of be­ing, dif­fer­ent for each, yet in­trigu­ing for all.

Q. Any guilty plea­sures?

A. Deserts

Q. Who are you in real life as a per­son?

A. I am who I am. I think I’m fairly easy to see through, un­less the char­ac­ters in my projects re­quire a fa­cade for reel life. Apart from that, what you see is what I am.

Q. What other la­tent tal­ents do you have?

A. I was trained as an artist, that is paint­ing and sculpt­ing. My fa­ther con­stantly de­sires me to tap into that when­ever I can, but I haven’t done so since col­lege. I guess that would pass for a la­tent tal­ent.

Q. How would you best de­scribe your­self, both at work and in life?

A. Pas­sion­ate at both - and be­ing lazy!

Q. A can­did fi­nal word to the

as­pir­ing young girls out there who look up to you …

A. When you have a thought which is pro­gres­sive, pos­i­tive and holds po­ten­tial of greater good, act on it!

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