Sat in the middle of the room in a camouflage-green suit, Hajra has her enviously curly locks tied up in a clean bun and is sporting big loops that accentuate her striking features even more. The young actress has a constant resolute expression on her face, which is at par with what’s going on in her head. If there is one word that describes her, it is ‘focused’. It may be her age to have fun, but mostly, she is in an all-work-no-play state and wants to achieve big things in life. The starry-eyed actress sits down with MAG to reveal her dreams and how she plans to achieve them in the future.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Well, I am somewhere in the middle because it depends on my mood.

Your first crush?

So many! Pierce Brosnan, Richard Gere, Bradley Cooper. These names are really just a few of the lot.

Someone who you would like to work with?

Saba Qamar, Samia Mumtaz and Sania Saeed.

What kind of colours are your type?

I like warm colours – like a nice deep shade of red, bottle green or a burnt purple.

A personality you would like to spend a day with?

Anwar Maqsood! Back in my theatre days, I did a play with him called Siachen. I was one of the actors, as well as the set designer and production manager, and got to spent a lot of time with him. He carries this amazing aura around him. Plus, he loves listening to old songs, and I am also a fan of old songs.

Your most memorable moment?

When I saw my first theatre play Bombay Dreams in Islamabad. The play was so magical, full of drama, romance and old Bollywood songs and at the very moment I decided that this (acting) is what I want to pursue.

If you were stranded on an island?

I would be glad about it with no technology around.

Any crazy fan encounters?

Well, it was more sweet than crazy. I couldn’t join the cast of Maan Jao Naa for promotions in Islamabad and this one person travelled all the way from there to Lahore just so that he could have a picture with me and tell me he was a big fan! And that really meant a lot to me.

If you could wake up as someone else, whose life would you want to live?

I wouldn’t want to be anybody else because you never know what another person is going through, or what sort of a life they have had.

If you weren’t an actor?

I think I would probably be a zoologist or a wildlife photographer. I always wanted to be a vet.

The scariest moment?

The first one when a lot of people around me started having problems with my career choice, because this made me doubt my decision. But fortunately, it all worked out eventually. And the second was when I was supposed to jump in a pool for an underwater shot, which was scary because I don’t know how to swim.

If you could go back in time and undo something, what would that be?

At this point in my life, I wouldn’t want to change a single thing but instead re-live all of it.

If you were granted three magic wishes, what would you wish for?

The first would be to become a jumper and be able to travel to any destination without a passport, just like in the movie Jumper. The second would be, super strength and third would be to eat anything in the world and not get fat.

If you could have a super power, which one would you want?

Flash speed, because I hate wasting time. I like getting all my work done without getting tired, or without losing focus.

If you were made the president for a day, what would you do?

I would not only make education compulsory but also free for everyone. Because then it would be free, and nobody would really have an excuse.

You fear?

Not being able to do what I love – acting.

Full proof way of winning your heart

[Practice] honesty, gratitude, courtesy and respect.

Ideal man?

[One who practices] courtesy, honesty, acceptance, gratitude, respect. More importantly, I would look for the same kind of passion [in him] as is within me, so that I can be inspired.

Ideal woman?

A woman who supports other women instead of bringing them down.

A turn on?

[Having] a nice, cozy, clean space for myself.

A turn off?

If somebody doesn’t clean up after themselves.

You’re most nervous when?

A couple of hours before my performance, or on the first day of any project. Aside from that, when I am driving. Whenever I am on the road, I am always nervous.

Something you’re good at?


Something you’re bad at?

I just can’t deal with unprofessionalism at work.

How long does it take for you to get ready?

I usually like to keep it simple, but if I am in a mood to properly dress up then I take all my time to decide my wardrobe and make-up.

Your favourite thing to wear?

My PJs.

A habit of yours you like?

I am focused, determined and passionate about my work. Secondly, as a person I am very flexible to work with.

One thing you don’t like about yourself

I trust people too easily.

You’re most comfortable when?

Either I am around people who don’t judge me, and give me positive vibes, or when I am at home, in my own space, around my pets, reading a book, listening to music, or watching my favourite Netflix series.

If your life was a book, it would be called?

Curls with Twists and Turns.

If you could live out a movie/character?

Priyanka Chopra in Mary Kom, Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada, or Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

Your favourite actors?

Sania Saeed, Saba Qamar, Samia Mumtaz, Numra Bucha, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway.

The last movie you watched?

Revolutionary Road

Favourite season?

Autumn is the ideal season for me.

Beaches or mountains?

Both! I love to hike but at the same time I love collecting seashells on the beach.

An advice to your 10-year older self?

Be stronger than before and be proud of all the choices you made in life.

An advice to 10-year younger self?

Don’t be scared to take risks and enjoy life to the fullest. Be a survivor.

Something you can’t forgive?

I don’t forgive anybody who lies and anybody who is mean to someone for no reason. People who use others for their personal gains are just unacceptable to me.

You can’t live without…?

Food… I just love food!

You get emotional when?

When anybody does something special for me. It could be the tiniest thing, like pulling up a chair, or offering something [to eat], or talking to me in a nice way.

Favourite co-star?

I loved working with Rehan Sheikh in Tou Dil Ka Kiya Hua. It was a learning experience, and the chemistry our characters shared was just amazing! I miss working with him.

What’s your workout regime?

If I am working everyday in 12-14-hour shift, I don’t want to exhaust my body. That is when I skip workout for weeks. I diet then and do portion-control. Otherwise, I usually do weight training because it gives me strength.

What’s your beauty regime?

Because I have extremely curly hair, I apply a mask once or twice a week, depending on how damaged my hair is. Aside from that, for my skin, I like following home remedies, like Multani mitti, moisturising with sweet almond oil, using rosewater and milk, and vitamin C masks.

What’s your style sense like?

It’s very random; I wear whatever I feel comfortable in. I always try to mix and match.

What makes you impatient?

I like getting things done on time. I don’t like to wait.

How do you relax after a tiring day?

I love coming home to my two rescue cats. One is two years old and the other is eight months old. Whenever I come home, my cats just come and jump up on me. Both of them are definitely the highlights of my day.

What are some of the most important things you have learnt in life?

There are a lot of things that I have learnt in life the hard way. First and foremost, money is not important, so it is completely off my list. Instead, I think about making memories and gaining [good] experiences. Secondly, honesty towards yourself, your work and life in general. If you are honest and have good intentions in life, you are sorted.

Three words that describe you?

Passionate. Survivor. Honest.

Anything you are specially addicted to?

There isn’t any one thing that I am specifically addicted to. But I am very much addicted to living alone. I love having my own space. The apartment that I live in, I have set it up in a way that I don’t ever want to step out of it. Aside from that, books! I love reading.

If you were invisible…

I would travel without a passport!

Men should always…

They should always look at women as fellow human beings rather than an object for their entertainment.

Men should never…

Take a woman’s patience for granted.

Women should always…

Support other women. We need that kind of positivity. I don’t think there is any reason for women to feel insecure of each other or to be jealous because God has made them beautiful in their own way.

Women should never…

Degrade or undermine themselves because of a man. I think they should always believe in themselves and believe in the fact that they are made strong to do the things that are right for them.

Hair, Makeup and Photography: Akif Illyas
Styling: Aneela Murtaza
Model: Hajra Yamin