For Saba Qamar, wearing a burqa to being called rebellious and being unapologetically human is part of being herself. In a recent interview, the Baaghi actor opened up about the little things in life that make her happy, including anonymous retail therapy.
On May 12, Qamar appeared on a show Gup Shup by Fuchsia Magazine where she revealed details about her career. She called the start of her career a time that taught her "patience and humility" as she started to value the crew on set and workers at home. She's also learned the importance of being able to enjoy life, including learning how to cook and going shopping as her alter ego Rasheeda, a woman who wears a burqa and mask.
"There's very less time for me. It's not like that I don't like my fans coming to me for pictures, because they show me love and appreciation. Who doesn't like all of that? But in my case I hardly get time to be free and secondly I don't shop for myself but the little things I need for my home. I'm a gharelu bacha, I like being involved in the sense of finding the right interior, chairs, bedspread, the right pillow and all that home stuff. So the time I have, if I go to the mall just like that, half of my time goes by in taking photos. I don't like saying no to my fans so that's why I wear a burqa to shopping malls," she explained.
The actor shared a time when she fell in the basement of a shop in a mall due to her burqa getting stuck. Qamar said while she and her sister had a good laugh as she picked herself up, her sister asked her to take it off but shopping and anonymity came first for her.
"I wear whatever I want to below. It's so much fun watching people continue their daily routine while you walk past them and they have no idea that it's Saba Qamar under the burqa and mask. Sometimes I do stupid things around my family like demanding to eat regular ice-cream. At times my sister wonders what would people think of her dressed in a very modern outfit along with her kids and then there's me in the burqa," Qamar said.
Maintaining that anonymity, she said that her sister often changes the name in public and calls her Rasheeda and many other names other than Saba.
For the actor, it's the small things that matter the most — like if someone sends over a bouquet of her favourite flowers or makes a cup of her favourite green tea. Upon being asked about the challenges and difficulties she has faced in the industry or in her personal life, Qamar said, "Life is difficult on its own, that one chapter is not enough to talk about. I think every day be it me or anyone else, there's struggle in everyone's lives. I was innocent and very naïve. The first experience of mine was very shocking."
She went on to speak about her thoughts on marriage. "I think in love marriages, when two people love each other, according to me, those two would never look around or think about someone else. So to get a proposal from a man who is 'happily married' in a love marriage was the first lesson I learnt. I had the reaction that 'oh my god, he just got married' and his marriage was something that everybody knew about. So for me it was like yeh bhi hota hai [this also happens]," she said.
Qamar also opened up about women in this field that struggle to find someone to love and a companion to rely on. She said that for her, compatibility matters. Everyone in the world wants to be loved, including her. "Women always have a soft corner, no matter how successful she is or what heights she has reached. A woman is vulnerable so her love corner is always there. Of course it gets difficult to find a companion when you have experiences of your own and that if that person hasn't been through any of them, they won't be able to handle you."
She also agreed with the host that such challenges make success difficult for women. "I feel like women still compromise. It's not the fault of men either, it's society that made them conscious that they are a man, superior and opinionated. Till this day I have seen that even if a woman is running the house, the only person who will be heard is the man who is doing nothing at home," she said.
When asked how someone can win her heart, she said that extraordinary things don't please her and sometimes small gestures are enough, like sending flowers — her favourites are lilies. "To take care of someone, for example making me a cup of green tea of a specific brand I like, so things like these matter for me," she revealed.
Qamar also hinted at the "happy" life she's living currently and announced that maybe she might announce something by the end of this year. The actor is currently promoting her film Ghabrana Nahi Hai alongside Zahid Ahmed and Syed Jibran and will be seen in drama Fraud with Ahsan Khan and Mikaal Zulfiqar starting from May 14.