Huma Qureshi is making loads of movies and thanking her stars, but landing a guy has been tough. She shares her check list with Shubarna Mukerji Shu.
DEDH ISHQIYA has her pitching her face, her sensuality and her entire act against someone who was once - and still is - the best in the business. How will Huma Qureshi hold forth? “It is not fair to draw comparisons to the sun! Madhuri Dixit is the epitome of grace, beauty and sensuality…” she whines. And perhaps it isn’t… but that hasn’t stopped the accolades from pouring in… “I am glad that there have been people appreciating my look in the film. After all, I am a girl and an actress; I love it when people find me beautiful…” Yet, everyone is surprised to see her success in filmdom, herself included. “I always wanted to be an actor, I admit that but I never thought I would reach where I have. I thought I would get some chotu-motu roles somewhere and that would be it. But He had a bigger plan and I cannot help but feel blessed.”
Given the many whispers about alleged link-ups with directors that have been surrounding the actress, her success has been significantly marred but not tainted. “I wouldn’t say it’s marred either,” she counters. “There have been people talking and each of us involved in the tale has given our own explanations. As of now, I believe I am unnecessarily being pulled into something for no reason other than malice but that’s not unnatural for people like me, whose success cannot be explained. I have such a busy schedule that if I have to find a guy to date me, he would have to be a super human being to be able to keep pace!”
But that’s the thing with girls; we would, as it is, prefer a super human, right?
“Actually, I feel a little bad for guys… When I see my brothers and male friends, they are clueless as to how to deal with today’s women. Their only point of reference is their mothers. Our mothers have been mostly housewives, making a home, making a family… very unidirectional. Today guys cannot go around behaving like they wear the pants around, for girls are doing everything. They are not the old school submissive type of women anymore – they are equals and yet they want their men to be chivalrous, to open doors for them, pull the chair for them… Guys also know that girls have a mind of their own and can get offended if they come across as too over-bearing. Poor things, na, they don’t know which way is right anymore!”
Being an actress, one would have thought Huma would be more sympathetic about her own cause. After all, it is known to all that actresses find it very tough to find love…
“Seriously, yaar, no one told me that before I signed up for being an actress,” she laughs, “But it is a fact and I already notice the signs. Like, when I go to Delhi and meet my friends they start seeing me as an actress and not me! Worse, when I meet a guy for the first time, they assume I would be like the characters I play. If you take DEDH ISHQIYA, for instance, I am nothing at all like Muniya. She is someone who is not at all romantic, whereas I am a sucker for romance. She is someone who will do what she thinks needs to be done, despite feeling otherwise, whereas I go with my heart… So a guy who I have never met before would not know these things about me, instead having a Muniya at the back of his mind. I love my profession for giving me the opportunity to play varied characters but it messes things up when people start assuming that I am one of them. Plus, as an actress, we often have people flirting, paying too many compliments etc… A guy would not like it – heck, I would not like it if my guy is surrounded by girls every time we go out! So it is tough, it is not about being jealous or insecure; it is instinctive…”
It does sound messed up… “Yes, but I have always been an eternal optimist. As it is, my check-list is pretty bare minimum when it comes to my ideal guy. I just want someone I can talk to, someone who will take me to see movies, show me a good time, share a laugh with me… I am not high maintenance. In fact, I am a very cheap date – I could even be impressed with a yummy masala dosa!” she beams, not giving up hope as yet. But she did open a whole new gamut of questions, beginning with her family and friends who have a strictly non-film background and their reactions to her, the actress… Given she has to dress accentuating herself in the best possible way, many might perceive it as provocative, and thus disapprove…
“Once you become an actress, everyone who is anyone has an opinion on you, on what you wear and how you should conduct yourself. Yes, just about everyone is out there to pass a judgment but I have really not been able to find purpose in explaining or giving reasons to them. I frankly don’t care. Having said that, I would like it if people cut me some slack from time to time! It is tough to look perfect all the time. The second you reach a venue you have 20 million cameras pointed towards you in the worst possible angles. You cannot look perfect. Like I said, cut me some slack, it is human to suffer glitches. I am still learning my way around here. I really believe people make mistakes but mistakes don’t make them.”
So what would she like, just go on doing the work and not have people talk about her at all? “No yaar, that would be worse! I love it when people take notice of me, pay compliments…find me looking appealing. It feels good. Now, I am just a girl, I am allowed to be a contradiction, like we all are! I like being talked about, but perhaps I only like to hear the good things. Because, as my friends keep telling me, I am pretty critical of myself otherwise…” Like, how?
“Like when I see myself onscreen, I often cringe. There are times when you would think I have nailed the scene, but in my heart I know I didn’t feel the scene when I enacted it and, to me, it shows.” Obviously, that takes us to the many intimate scenes in the films she has done, which may have her cringing. After all, we would like to know if she felt it… or simply nailed it…
Laughing, she washed her hands off the question, “I am not answering that, you purposely twisted my honesty into this whole mess. Whichever way I answer that, it would land me in a mess!” Well, we for sure will get back to the question some other time, when she is a little less on guard – nothing is more refreshing that a little bit of spontaneity.
This article first appeared in December 2013 issue of Cine Blitz magazine