“I got a lot of proposals before marriage but I scared people away by telling them something unusual about myself such as I am a shopaholic. There was no truth to it though. I messed up with those who brought proposals because I never wanted to go for an arranged marriage.”
These are the honest words of Samina Peerzada, one of Pakistan’s best known actors, who is idolised for her grace on and off screen. Morning show host Sanam Baloch, who has worked with Mrs Peerzada, had a candid talk about marriage, how to bring up children and not messing with ghararas.
I met Usman when I went to drop my cousin at the location he was shooting. I was just a second-year college student.
He wore black that day and I already like black a lot. He was courteous and got up with respect. I criticised him for some reason but even then he took it gallantly.
After that meeting, a lot of people asked me what he was like to which I replied “good husband material”. I was just a little girl at that time.
I think mannerisms are important in a man, the way you talk, sit and interact with people. I was quite comfortable with him and he was very courteous. So, I proposed to him on the second day of our meeting. We met at director Shahzad Khalil’s studio.
We met in the evening again on the same day. He asked if he should drop me home. I told him to come over because I make amazing coffee. So I made coffee for him. The next day he picked flowers on his way and brought them for me. He smiled at the proposal and told me no then because he had a lot of responsibilities.
I told him I was in no rush. I had to do my BCom and go abroad for studies. I wanted to do Chartered Accountancy and an MBA. It was a yearlong plan. I made it clear to Usman that if you are not going to marry me, I have no time to waste. We met in 1973 and we got married in 1975.
Having it all
My mother was quite uncomfortable. She believed acting was not a stable job and worried how we would run the household.
But I knew it I wanted this man. I used to tell my mother we will make our future together. I will build the house and buy a car myself.
Society will talk. We will have to change society’s thinking by proving them wrong.
Look at me. I run my household, I brought up Amal and Anam, my mother-in-law was so proud of me for managing everything. A woman has to work hard for it. You may not do tea parties anymore or won’t get time for shopping. But you can live your life on your terms.
When Anam was born, I was under anaesthesia so Usman held the baby in his arms. I held her after gaining consciousness. So my ammi or khala took a picture. The baby turned around and looked at the camera. I was like, this kid is really smart.
My daughters are grounded. I have desi children who are modern though.
I never felt the need to have a son. I thought it will be difficult to raise a son because of the type of work I do. Maybe my husband misses having one.
My daughter, Amal, is married now and we have a son-in-law who is more like our own son. Plus there are other boys in the family who often visit us. I honestly never felt the need for a son, or maybe I never thought about it.
When my parents separated, it was a big setback in life because we all got separated. I am one of those people who likes to keep everyone together and make sure no one is sad.
I have an elder brother and two younger sisters. My siblings got separated as well after our parent’s separation. We had a reunion later.
I have a collection of sarees so I love wearing them. They add grace to your personality but a saree’s fall must be good and the blouses should be well-stitched.
It’s unfair what we are doing to ghararas. Change it a little but don’t deviate from what it actually likes it else it can’t be called a gharara.
I did a drama in which I died. This affected my daughters a lot. One of them used to cry in the balcony. I did not know they were watching the drama.
I noticed change Amal’s trying to cut her hands with a knife; luckily she was holding it in a wrong way. This was because when I was playing a character in Zard Dopehar. My character was in search of the murderer with a knife.
After that, I made sure no one watches my plays at home. Once my mother and mother-in-law cried a lot when one of the characters I played died.