Bloom Sana on her new movie,man and mindset
A new film, a new body, a new man and a new attitude, whatever happens in the future, 2008 is unlikely to be the year Sana will forget. For this year is liable to be the most significant for her professional as well as personal life. Javed Sheikh's long-awaited magnum opus, Khulay Aasman ke Neechay finally hit the theatres and the buzz was tangible.
Sana's look was glamorous and her character hard-hitting. The Sheikh-Sana pairing has always been a success whether it was in the average Mujhay Jeenay Do or the spectacular Yeh Dil Aap Ka Huwa, which went on to become the biggest hit of all times.
So with KAKN, expectations were high as well. And on the personal front, her engagement to Lollywood stud, Fakhar Imam, will end in a grand wedding by the end of this year, even though her involvement with Javed Sheikh and recently, Emraan Hashmi, became tabloid fodder, instigating media frenzy. Sana put an end to all the vicious tongue wagging and chose Imam as her man for life. Atta girl, Sana! What a retort to all the fabricated scandals. So, 2008 belongs to Sana.
Be it the rain-drenched mutyaar strutting her stuff in the raunchy “Paindi Aey Barsaat Wey" in Humayun Gujjar in Bari Studios or the sari clad sophisticated girl singing "Tum Milay Jab Se" in Ye Dil Aap ka Huwa, Sana is at ease with all the characters she has played over the years.
She is one of the few film divas who have successfully survived in the industry sans being involved in petty politics, cutting and scheming. Whatever she says makes sense. She is not painfully uncouth like the rest of her contemporaries and her conversation lacks the vulgar abuse which is regularly employed by most of the Lollywood leading ladies.
She is the only heroine who is bankable other than Saima and a safe bet at the box-office. Plus she has a reputation of minding her own business. If that doesn't make her unique, I don't know what else would.
I remember meeting Sana in 1995, her debut year. There she was, quietly stashed up in a private corner of Syed Noor's glass room in Sangam, her first film. Politeness knew no bounds and silence was at its best. Co-star Shaan (being a typical Casanova) was trying his best to titillate the new starlet (old habits die hard), but the newcomer was adamant and would not succumb.
I knew Sana was a star even before she had given her first shot. She was always ambitious and passionate about her work and eventually she catapulted to immense fame. Senior contemporary, Reema, predicted stardom for Sana the same year in an interview she gave to me for an English daily stating that out of all the newcomers, Sana will do the best and will achieve success slowly but steadily. And so she did, as she quietly made inroads into the mainstream Lollywood.
As she entered my studio for the shoot and interview, I was astounded to see a slimmer Sana. And even though she could still shed a few more pounds, her figure is fit for a film diva. My first question was obviously about her recently acquired slim status, and she eagerly replied, “All credit actually goes to Fakhar.
He’s a fitness freak and inspired me to shed the extra kilos. We enjoy working out together and it’s become a routine for us to go to the gym daily.” Hmm… And that’s not the only change that her fiancé has brought about in her life. Sana has also become a heavy bike rider, something Fakhar loves doing, and he has a collection of heavy bikes which they both ride every now and then for fun.
Oh my goodness, the young man is already bringing about positive changes in her life. But then, she being a film diva and he a novice, how did the two meet, when did Cupid strike, and they decide to spend their lives with each other? Sana shies and smiles, “I did a few films with him.
We were not paired together but did have scenes together. So we met on the sets and as I got to know him better, I discovered his good side and soon we got along like a house on fire. As the meetings continued in various rendezvous, we eventually fell in love and decided to tie the knot.”
So is she all excited and geared for a lavish wedding this year? After all, our film industry needs some happy moments in this sad state of affairs. “Sure,” she said. “I would love to have a big wedding with friends and family. It has to be the event of the year. I am so happy and so is he and we have not hidden anything from anybody, so we will have a blast.” That’s great. But will she continue her film career after the wedding? “See, I have not decided as yet,” she confirmed. “Fakhar has no issue, my in-laws are extremely cooperative.
It is up to me what I do. I might or might not.” But isn’t it difficult to leave the limelight and glamour, I asked. “I have achieved whatever I wanted to,” she said. “I have seen the peak of my career; I have fame, money and success. What else is there? I am lucky that I have come across such a gentleman to be my life partner. So why shouldn’t I settle down? After all, every girl wants to do that eventually.”
But what about her alleged liaison with Javed Sheikh? Was there ever any truth to it or was it mere fabrication? Sana was quite sure when she replied, “Javed Sheikh will always be my mentor. I have learnt a lot from him. He has made a star out of me. I owe a lot to him. He is my good friend and I respect him a lot. He will always have a special place in my heart. But the involvement thing is all baseless. If I am close to somebody, it does not mean that I am having an affair with him. No way.”
Then why does he insist on including her in the cast of all his high profile projects? She continued, “That’s because he is comfortable working with me. Everybody has favourites. I am able to satisfy him through my onscreen performance so he considers me in his home productions. Some people believe in working with teams. I am a part of his team and I am happy about it.”
And what about the recent Emraan Hashmi controversy, I probe. Sana laughs, “I don’t even know the guy, leave alone have an affair with him. Even when I was shooting in India, I never came across him. I think it was just a very silly effort by somebody to sensationalize my personality.”
By the time this interview goes in print, Javed Sheikh’s Khulay Aasman ke Neechay would have been released. Sana is happy about it but why did it take years before it could finally grace the silver screen? His last venture, Yeh Dil Aap ka Huwa, was released in 2002. Sana said, “That is something you should ask him actually. I feel every filmmaker works at his own pace. Sheikh sahib is a perfectionist.
He wants things to be done his way. He worked really hard in this film and good films take time to complete, especially in the absence of technical facilities in your own country. He completed most of the venture in India and Australia. And then the post production was also done abroad. So it takes time. When you see the film, you will realize the amount of hard work put in it.”
And being an integral part of the JS team, has she ever forced the director to chop scenes of her female co-stars in the film? She vehemently denied, “No way. I don’t interfere in anybody’s work. I am just concerned about my own work. People in the industry know that I don’t do all that. In fact, I appreciate the work of my co-stars. I would never compel the director or producer to cut anybody’s scenes. I know this will have a bad effect on the film of which I am a part of, too. I just do my own bit to the best of my abilities and leave the rest to God. I am not an insecure person by nature.”
And with her kind of reputation and talent, why didn’t Syed Noor (who actually launched her) repeat her in any film after Sangam? Sana thinks and replies, “I think because soon after that he had begun to cast Saima in all his films and the rest is history. I am no exception. He does not work with any other heroine, hence me too. I have no regrets even though I feel that had he given me a few more chances after Sangam, I would have been in a better position at the very beginning. But it took a while before I could make it big. Thanks to Javed Sheikh’s Mujhay Jeenay Do, where I was actually noticed and entered the A league.”
With better films from the Sheikh banner, why did she resort to cheap Punjabi cinema with films like Wehshi Haseena and Hawas? Sana laughed and said, “I feel an actor should do all kinds of roles. When I did these films, I was satisfied with my characters. But if the overall production is tacky, I can’t be held responsible for that. I have learnt from my mistakes. Plus, Sheikh sahib makes one film after 5 years. I can’t wait for that long or my name will be obliterated from mainstream cinema.”
Parallel to her soft and refined persona in Urdu films is her loud image of a Punjabi mutyaar. Something which Firdous, Aasia, Anjuman and Saima have done before her. The Pakistani film industry always needs a mutyaar alongside other female facades.
What does she enjoy doing more, I asked in the end? “I like doing all kinds of roles. Whatever characters I have done, I have enjoyed them all. We already have a very limited setup. I take my work very seriously and put in my best effort in all the roles. I have done some good Punjabi films and will do more when offered.”