The red off-shoulder top sat perfectly on the dainty Mahenur Haider, who looked gorgeous with her hair gathered in a side swept. The 22-year-old appeared to be nothing but pretty when gracefully posing in front of the camera. Despite being in the modelling industry for the past four years, Mahenur is a relatively new name among the television-watching masses. One must have spotted this gorgeous face on billboards around the city but would still not be familiar with her pleasant personality. However, it isn’t too late to get to know her, as she gears up to set the silver screen ablaze with her killer looks and beautiful smile. MAG sat down to chat with the diva to introduce her fun-loving, quirky persona to its readers.

Interviews make me nervous,” Mahenur says, as we sit down to talk during a warm December afternoon. “I get nervous when I have to speak in front of a large crowd because I have mic phobia. I can’t make videos either. All of this is really nerve-wrecking.” Nevertheless, she did not look a bit nervous during the photo shoot, for her natural chemistry with the camera seemed effortless from every angle. Completely in awe of her perfect skin, I couldn’t stop myself from asking if she follows a beauty regime. “I don’t actually have a beauty philosophy. Just wash your face before going to sleep,” advises Mahenur and adds, “Beauty is within. A person who is happy from the inside and is satisfied enough reflects positivity (on the) outside and looks beautiful.” It was an unexpected answer coming from someone whose job requires her to look absolutely perfect almost all the time. Her petite frame and youthful looks are enviable, but Mahenur doesn’t do much to keep it that way. “I used to workout when I was in Lahore. My trainer would train me at 6:30 in the morning because the rest of my day would be very busy because of work,” she says talking about the fitness regime she once followed. “But it’s been a long time. I naturally have a good physique and control my diet a lot. Even though healthy eating is good enough, I really need to get back to exercising.”

For those unfamiliar with Mahenur’s career, it was at the age of 17 when she first stepped into modelling in 2013, an age when most are struggling to figure out their life and future plans. But Mahenur knew what she was doing and kept up with not just her work but also her studies side by side. Her first stint in modelling was with photographer Hamza Ali Butt for an editorial shoot. Even though she calls it a “bad shoot”, Mahenur seemed to get addicted to the world of fashion for she has been photographed for almost every other clothing brand in Pakistan. However, she soon resumed her graduate studies and took a break from work for a year-and-a-half but later worked only during the weekends. So Mahenur isn’t just beauty, but brains too.

Life is very short; your family and friends are the only people who will stay with you, so you really need to give them time.

“I am a Visual Communication Design graduate from Beaconhouse National University (BNU). The foundation year of my studies was very tough, so I took a break and focused on it. During the second year, I would work on weekends but would never take an off from university. I would submit my assignments and never let my work and university life muddle up,” she proudly speaks about her priorities.

As soon as she was done with her studies, Lady Luck followed Mahenur and she was soon approached by the film producer Imran Kazmi, who wanted her to be a part of his project and it was then that Mahenur agreed to make her silver screen debut among a host of other talented artistes. She also joined the cast of Ahsan Rahim’s directorial in Poland while managing the shooting spells of both her projects, simultaneously. However, the two movies aren’t the only ones where she would get to act, for Mahenur has already tested her acting chops on different platforms. “I have done theatre six years ago, as well as a couple of non-commercial short films for friends,” she tells me.

Talking about her characters in both the big screen projects, Mahenur reveals, “They (characters) are different in both the movies and are of a supporting nature. The best thing is that I get to work alongside talented people.”

Being a model and an actor with the experience of doing theatre and now movies, I ask Mahenur what she finds most enjoyable. “I love my work, there’s no comparison. Shoots are different, movies are different. Even though movies are a bit tiring because you have to promote them, which can get really hectic, while modelling is easier in comparison. Yet I can’t compare them for I enjoy everything equally.”

There’s no recipe to success. One should stay true to their work and be professional. Here, people are not professional. The more successful people get, the more they tend to take it easy.

Showbiz isn’t the only experience Mahenur has on her résumé. From being a swimming instructor to a marketing manager, Mahenur has tried her hands in different fields, and that too as a teenager. “I could never sit idle and would always keep doing something or the other. I have done a lot of internships, designed clothes, been a teacher’s assistant and had the experience of public dealing ever since I was 15. My work has always made me more confident and helped me throughout,” she shares her vast experience in multiple areas.

Mahenur is quite an eccentric individual; she has a smile on her face throughout our conversation. I was curious to know if she was like this even as a kid. “I have never been a serious person. I have always been a fun-loving, hyper and outgoing individual. I have always had a lot of friends around me and had a very happening life,” she quips in a jiffy. I quickly enquire if she was mischievous during her childhood days. “I can’t think of anything that got me scolded by my parents. I wasn’t naughty but had a very fun childhood,” says the multitalented lass, who is an atypical elder sibling to her sister.

This practical Virgo does not, apparently, believe in love. Why, I ask? “Love has faded in the age that we live in. It’s not the same, like it used to be when parents and grandparents were younger. Now, the feelings are different and (finding) love has become too convenient for everybody (using technology). Love is losing its meaning because people keep swiping and it’s not real anymore,” says the girl who will be seen decked up in all her bridal glory next year, as she is currently engaged to her fiancé, Zarrar. Was it love that struck her heart’s chords? “I really wish it was a love marriage but it’s completely arranged. His family had come with a proposal and that was the only time we had met, two days before I left for Poland to shoot for a film. We were engaged 10 days after I came back from the film’s shoot,” Mahenur blushed, as she spoke about settling down with her parent’s choice and seemed happy to start her married life in Islamabad with her husband-to-be.

After having observed her for an hour or so, it was obvious that Mahenur is one hard working individual our industry must cherish. So before wrapping up the conversation, it was important to know what the talented beauty plans to do next. “I will be working because I can’t sit idle. I’ll be definitely doing something, if not films,” says Mahenur whose motto in life is to “keep going and never look back”. •