MAG THE WEEKLY | INTERVIEW Magazine Page
"You only live once"
Misbah Khalid
by SUMEHA KHALID
05 - 11 Sept, 2015
#content
"You only live once"

Be it mountaineering, kick boxing, teaching French at the French Cultural Centre or directing plays, you name it and this dynamic lady has surfeited it all. This is the uber talented Misbah Khalid who we all grew to love in the 80s, during the PTV days.
“I am humbled by the fact that I get so much recognition and praise as an actor considering the fact that I have acted only briefly and have actually been directing since ages,” says the modest Misbah.
It all started while she was still a first year student of Arts at St. Joseph’s College. “The funniest part is that while in college my teacher always used to tell me that I should not even think about acting as she thought I didn’t have it in me. I was heart-broken. It was around this time that I attended one of Bajia’s serials on location with my mother’s friend, Begum Khurshid Mirza. Bajia saw me and offered me a role in her play Afshan which I excitedly accepted.”
Her happiness knew no bounds especially after all the times that her teacher had discouraged her by saying she could not act. “I was not even asked to audition and was sent to shoot the very first day. I remember walking into the impressive and imposing PTV studios control room with all the cameras, monitors and equipment and that is when I knew I wanted to be a director. I loved the electrifying atmosphere; then I ended up acting in Ankahi and Shaheen and the ball was set in motion,” she recalls fondly.
Time went on and the young and beautiful Misbah made sporadic appearances on TV while progressing in studies simultaneously. She was completing her Masters in English Literature when “I met my husband Khalid Soorty. We met at a Valentine’s party and the very next day Khalid sent his mother to my house asking for my hand in marriage. My mother-in-law was a very cool and upbeat lady. I took an instant liking to her. She was proud of the fact that I was an actor and never once expected me to give up my work just because I was going to marry her son. She would fondly tell all her friends that her bahu was an actor,” she reminisces about her earlier days of courtship.
“Obviously I did not acquiesce immediately to Khalid’s proposal; rather I asked my mum-in-law if I could meet him. After a few meetings, I found him to be a very interesting and intelligent man. The best part was he made me laugh… and he made me laugh so much that I finally decided to give it a shot,” she says with eyes gleaming from the memories.
Right after marriage, Misbah landed the USAID Scholarship for Production and off went the lovebirds to the USA. “We stayed there for eight months. It was a great learning experience. By the time we returned, NTM had been launched so we did a music show, Music Challenge which was followed by drama serial Tumharay Saharay.”
Soon after, the stork made a couple of visits to the Khalid household, and they were blessed with a girl and a boy both, two years apart. “Life after kids was super busy. It did not leave me with much time for my television activities. I was involved in their lives and did not have time for direction. However, I continued doing some project or the other as direction gets me going.” But did she ever think about acting again? “No, I never did as acting requires long hours. I love direction and have always enjoyed what I do.”
Both Misbah and her hubby are in the same field; however, they make sure that they mind their own business. “We did try to work together; in fact Khalid took over Music Challenge from me while I got busy with another project. We are both strong-headed people and were constantly arguing so it was finally decided that if we wanted peace at home it was best that we worked independently,” shares the director with a hearty laugh.
Next followed Laila Majnoon which earned Misbah accolades for her brilliant work, followed by Mere Paas Paas and then Ijazat. She has been giving the audiences one master piece after another which the masses have been lapping up. She has now started her own production company M&M Productions, in partnership with her sister Mahrukh and together they have produced an award-winning sitcom Uff Meri Family while Kuch Iss Tarha was nominated for Lux Style Awards.
Little do people know that Misbah, who is an authority in television direction, started her career in journalism and then moved on to teaching French at the Alliance Francaise where she herself was a student. “The director thought my pronunciation of French was quite good and that I could be a teacher. I was sent on a workshop to Paris and South of France. It was an exciting time in my life; in fact one of the most memorable times. It was simply awesome. I am that kind of a person who loves to live life to the fullest,” she reveals about her nature.
A fact she further reiterates by disclosing her recent escapades at Lake District. “We went mountain climbing and what an experience it was! Especially when you get to the peak and you are hit by an adrenaline rush. It’s something one should do at least once in a lifetime,” says Misbah animatedly.
It’s no wonder then that this go-getter has become so to ned and trimmed. She is in great shape these days. “I have just finished a six-week boot camp which included kick-boxing, military training and the works. It was an extremely strenuous workout regime but I’m happy with the results,” she shares.
Misbah has never been your typical girl, coy and demure. She’s a tomboy through and through. “I loved activities even as a child. I was a complete tomboy dressed in jeans and jacket, sporting a short haircut. People often mistook me for a boy,” she says mirthfully recalling her golden days.
“My time was mostly spent at one cousin’s house or the other,” she fondly shares. “Dad was my favourite armchair. I was very close to him. However, all that I am today is because of my mother. She was a true disciplinarian and she was also the one because of whom, I am in show business today. Dad was never in favour of my becoming an actor, but my mom was all for it. She believed that girls should be confident and independent and should be given opportunities to prove themselves. Mom was an advocate of women empowerment while dad was extremely protective towards his daughters. I still remember one day I was busy at the studio, dubbing for a play, when in walked dad and he told me to pack up and go home with him. He said it was 10:00 pm and that was very late for a girl to be out,” she remembers with a gentle smile playing on her lips.
And now that she is a mother herself she can totally relate to her father’s protective and doting nature. Misbah’s priorities are very clear; her kids and family come first and then anything else. She makes sure she spends quality time with her children, Karishma, 18 and son Chengez, 16. “My kids are no less than a miracle for me and I love spending time with them,” she shares lovingly about her inexplicable beautiful bond with them.
When asked what’s next on the agenda, pat comes the reply, “Film banani hai abhi (I have yet to make a film)! And it will of course be a romantic one. I am working on a script currently and plan to go in shoot around April 2016. Besides that I plan to travel a lot as you only live once, then why not make the most of it?” Misbah Khalid says, bringing our lovely chat to an end as she has to get back to her recording which was put on hold.


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