Reema Khan – a gorgeous woman with an equally beautiful personality. She is not only adored by millions in Pakistan but also has a huge fan following across the globe. A seasoned artist and a superstar who has acted in more than 200 renowned films, Reema Khan is also a devoted homemaker and doting mother. She has always been a strong influencer and an entertainer, her exceptional work, her charm, charisma and wisdom has won the hearts of her fans.
Admiring her for the wonderful person she is, I recently sought to have a heart to heart conversation with this exemplary woman. I wanted to dig deeper and get to know her better so I started from her early life. Upon asking how she used to be as a child, Reema said, “Something that still makes me very happy is the fact that I was a very obedient child. I respected my parents and whatever my mother said, I obeyed. I was one of those children who keep sitting in one place when asked by their mothers. Even today, I try to go about my life as per my parents’ wishes. I have a strong belief that if you are respectful towards your parents, Allah will bless you unconditionally. It has surely proven to be true in my case.”
I was curious to know what made Reema realize she was made for the film industry and upon asking, she replied, “To be honest, I wanted to become a teacher – becoming a star was purely accidental. There were some financial constraints which led me to start working at a very young age but mainly, I was passionate about making a difference in the world. I wanted to be known for the work I did and be acknowledged for the traits I had. I wanted to live in people’s hearts forever and this motivation was the driving force towards my career.”
Belonging to a Persian family, Reema had to face some resistance from her extended family during early years of her career. She explained, “My paternal side was not in the favor of pursuing a career in this field, and when I did so, they refused to meet me for a good 2 to 3 years. However, the director who gave me my big break was none other than the legendary Javed Fazil Sahab. His niece used to study with me in convent and that is how he got to know me and found my hidden talent for acting; he further polished me with his directions. He was my mentor who guided me to become a successful actress, who is not only honest but also dedicated to work. He made sure that I become an artist that directors and actors desired to work with.”
Reema contends that she has been very selective about the people from the film industry she fraternized with. I was intrigued and inquired, how she managed to survive in the industry without socializing, to which she replied, “I chose to be different from day one. I felt that whatever everyone else was doing was bringing them temporary joy which wouldn’t last forever. I had bigger goals, dreams and ambitions. Hence, I resisted things which I thought would affect my personality or character. At that time, people even made assumptions that if I did not mingle with the crowd of the industry, I would not be able to make it big. I was also offered work by different Bollywood directors, but I am very patriotic and would never want to take any role from them as I cannot let myself or fellow citizens down.”
Being quite inspired by her, I questioned how she handled the film industry and self-grooming together, as most people from her era focused more on the former, slightly neglecting the ‘essential’ latter. Reema replied, “Acting is a time consuming job, it leaves you exhausted but a person constantly needs to work on creating a better version of themselves. We need to stop pointing fingers at others. On the contrary, analyze your own personality on a day-to-day basis. Search for negative traits that you have as an individual and correct yourself. There are many people who will criticize you. You can be the best judge of how valid their opinions are, if you truly believe you need to change yourself, set your ego aside and bring that change before it is too late. This is something I have followed throughout my 20 years in the industry and I have implemented that in my personal life too.”
She further enlightened me about how after moving abroad, initially, her life was tough as she is a patriot at heart, moving across the seven seas meant a lot of changes and adaptability. Still, with her husband’s love, affection and support, she won hearts of her in-laws and the community in which she is now thriving. After moving to America, Reema also had to take up the challenge of keeping aside all the glamour and accept the life of a simple, married woman which she whole-heartedly enjoyed. According to Reema, her biggest achievement is changing the perception of a Pakistani actress in the eyes of the masses. People love her and praise her, not only because she is a superstar but she is a woman who manages everything – be it her personal or professional life. She said, “Times have changed and a lot of well-educated girls are stepping into the film industry.”
When it comes to social work, Reema informed that she has been the breast cancer awareness ambassador for Shaukat Khanum for 15 years. She has tried to educate the masses about this horrifying yet curable disease. Reema has also recently joined hands with Musarrat Misbah as the goodwill ambassador of Depilex Smile Again Foundation (DSF) to empower women who went through the trauma of an acid attack to help them become self-sufficient members of society. DSF aims to support women subjected to domestic violence, particularly in the area of deliberate acid attacks and kerosene burning. Reema’s main aim will be to spread knowledge about the horrific crime and also to raise awareness for the need of a stronger legislation specific for this issue in the society.
While we discussed her regrets in life, she shared, “I regret not being able to complete my studies but I think, learning is a never-ending process. Even today I am very enthusiastic about seeking knowledge and I do not miss any opportunity where I think I can gain something.”
Lastly, she gave an extremely important message for the women of Pakistan. Reema stated, “Be positive towards yourself and towards others. Never lower your guard and never let anyone take advantage of you. You are the one who will define boundaries for others so tow your lines wisely. Be happy for people who are more successful than you, pray for others and Allah will bless you too. Everyone should be open to change. Do not resist change, do not let ego take over you and learn from your mistakes. Only this is the key to excel in life.” HH
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