All eyes are on Raees, the big Shah Rukh Khan film that releases this week. The film has been in the news for several reasons and controversies but one big reason to watch out for it is the debut of Pakistan’s hugely popular superstar Mahira Khan. Over a coffee conversation with our writer Sadiq Saleem, Mahira opens up like never before on her life, the controversies she has found herself in and of course, the charm of Shah Rukh Khan. Here are excerpts from the interview that will be out in Masala! this week. Grab your copy soon!
ON SHAH RUKH, THE CO-STAR
Shah Rukh. Working with the larger-than-life leading man of the film must have been an experience in itself. Mahira clearly remembers their first meeting. “AssalamAlaikum’ was his first word when he came to see me after I signed the film,” she smiles. “I remember my photo-shoot was going on. Like a thorough gentleman, he asked me about how I and my family was. It was very brief and he said, ‘We are looking forward to working with you’. And I reassured him that it would be good.” She even remembers the exact date - “2 December, two years ago”.
ON HER BIG DEBUT
“I had lost my sleep,” she says excitedly about the time she watched the trailer for the first time. “I wanted to be up all night but by six or seven in the morning, I started to doze off. By 12noon, I heard a commotion in my house so I stepped out and asked my brother ‘Has any one seen it? How is it? He gave me a strange look and said, ‘You watch it’ and replayed it for me. It was just A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I cannot describe that in words; all I wanted to do was cry but I was smiling”.
ON DEALING WITH CONTROVERSIES
How did she find the courage to face the harassment and negative criticism on social media, a reality most stars have to contend with, these days? “When your intentions are good, when your heart is clear and you know you have done your work with full honesty then the courage comes automatically,” she says. “You feel stronger from within. It really helps to know that you have been honest with your work and as many sleepless nights I may have had, whenever I sleep, I sleep with a feeling that I did not do anything wrong. Also, I have been blessed with a very strong support system. My industry, the media and my friends protected me like a baby when there were dark clouds hovering over the film and there were rumours about my replacement.”
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW IN MASALA! ISSUE DATED JANUARY 26, 2017.
Sadiq Saleem is a Dubai based writer and can be contacted on www.sidsaidso.com