Ever Green Beauty.
Laila Zuberi, an evergreen lady who has been the centre of attraction of TV audiences for the last 22 years, is still charming. This green-eyed iconís beauty is still charming. She started her career as a child star and child broadcaster. Her zodiac sign is Leo. She was born and did her graduation from Karachi. She married her cousin and she has two daughters. Currently she is living with her family in Islamabad. Recently I met this charming lady one evening and got to know her better. Though somewhat proud looking she is charming and affable. Following are her answers to a few questions I asked her:
How did you enter TV?
I joined the TV and radio in my childhood. My first play was Omar Marvi and after marriage I started working for PTV in a proper way, because Kazim Pasha offered me the play Aabroo. This play became very famous and I got a positive response from the public.
What kind of difficulties have you faced in this field?
After marriage, when I started my career as an actress I faced a lot of criticism from my in-laws, especially from my father-in-law. But my husband supported and encouraged me and I didnít face any other hurdle in this field.
What is the most memorable character and play in your career?
My most favorite play was Khak Jahh. In this serial I played a role of beggar girl, who collected the things from garbage; that was my most memorable character.
What differences in TV do you find in the1985 period and today?
(She smiled) I have worked in many plays on TV. I feel sad whenever I asked friends and viewers about my dramas and they simply nodded their heads obligingly.
But it is the fault of viewers because in period of 1985 only one channel was on air and viewers would watch that play with concentration. Now today there is boom of TV channels and every channel is showing different play for viewers. So in fact, today the situation has changed very much and advanced.
What about your production house?
I launched my production house in 1999. One of my plays Aap Ko Kia Takleef was on air on Aaj channel and one play Mr and Mrs was on air on Hum channel. My play Wilko Iíve given to PTV and many other plays are running. Now I am going to start a play about anti-narcotics to promote awareness among the young generation; the title is Zindagi. This play will soon be aired on PTV. I am also acting in this play.
Which is your favourite TV centre?
I like Karachi centre, as they are quite advanced and efficient. I enjoyed myself in Lahore and the spicy food of this city. However, in Islamabad you will not find many artists. Usually artists are called by the Islamabad centre from other centres. The Islamabad centre is also lacking the sharp and professional atmosphere of Karachi and Lahore.
What film offers have you received?
I have received many film offers but the film industry is lacking professionalism and serious people. There is a dire need of professional people who could boost this industry in a positive and effective manner. If a film is like Khuda ke Leye, then I would think about working in films.
Is acting hard or easy?
Everyone canít do acting. We have a lot of talent in our country. I always encouraged newcomers and educated people should join this field. One academy ĎNepaí is working in Karachi for newcomers and will shortly be starting in Islamabad.
When you go out what sort of response do you get from the public?
I am used to this now and at the same time I feel happy to meet people. Everywhere I get a good response from people and they give me special attention in every public place, markets, banks etc.
Do you watch your own plays?
Of course I watch my plays with my family and also receive criticism from my family. So in this way I can improve the shortcomings in myself. One of my plays was Rawal Jugni. I didnít like my character in this play as my character was not powerful.
What about professional jealousy?
Professional jealousy is a major problem in this field. Some people think that I feel pride when I find people are jealous of me. But I am not really like that.
What facilities are provided to artists in our country?
No facilities are provided to artists in our country. There should be rules and regulations for channels, like before casting an artist a channel should make a firm commitment and change their decision. When payment is made the artist often finds it less than what was agreed. Artists do hard work and they should be given respect like other professions. PTV is the only channel that still has professionalism in every manner.
Currently Laila Zuberi is doing a play on ATV channel Khuda Gawah and she is playing the role of a Prime Minster. She is also known as a social activist and she is the chairperson of the ĎRed Crescent Society.