Mahira Khan is a name that doesn’t warrant an introduction. She’s one of the most popular faces in the Pakistani entertainment industry. She gave Bollywood one of its biggest hits, last year. And there was also some intense controversy around the woman. But she powered through all of it with her head held high. She’s given us countless reasons to be proud of her. She represents the country on many platforms and she never shies away from standing up for what is right. In all of this, we take a look at where she started from and everything that she had to do in order to get where she is, i.e., right on top.
Mahira Khan started off her journey into the world of entertainment as a VJ – first for MTV Pakistan
And then for Aag, in her show “Weekends With Mahira”
We then saw her make her film debut with one of the biggest films to have ever come out in Pakistan, Shoaib Mansoor’s “Bol”
Mahira played a supporting role, against Atif Aslam’s Mustafa, where she tries breaking the shackles that her orthodox father has put on them, in hopes of pursuing her passion for music. This leads to her sneaking out of her house, with the support of her mother and sisters, and eventually getting to perform on stage. The film addressed many taboo topics, in our society, and is still used as a reference point by many.
In the same year, she made she debuted on the small screen, as well, with Mehreen Jabbar’s “Neeyat”
Before there was “Bin Roye” Mahira Khan and Humayun Saeed appeared together in “Neeyat”. The story revolved around Ayla, played by Mahira Khan, and Sikander, played by Humayun Saeed who are trying to sort their lives out, in America. After Sikander is made redundant and is being deported, Ayla asks him to marry Marium, who is an American resident, with the understanding that he is only doing so to obtain citizenship. While Marium starts becoming too comfortable and falls for Sikander, she refuses to let him out of the relationship, and Ayla realizes that the man she loves. The story is a roller coaster of emotions with parallels coming in and adding complications to the lives of Ayla and Sikander.
It wasn’t until “Humsafar”, though, that people officially knew that Mahira Khan had arrived
She played a young girl, Khirad, who has not only lost her father, but also her mother very early on, and is then married to her first cousin, Asher, as her mother’s final wish. Khirad’s character goes from a timid girl to one who knew how to fight her battles herself. Whether it was being thrown out of the house by her mother in law, or having to bear the pain of childbirth, alone, or even to face her husband after all those years because she couldn’t afford treatment for her daughter’s open heart surgery. All in all, Khirad was a strong-willed character, who knew how to fight for her rights and how to never let anything tarnish or harm her self-respect. She won the Lux Style Award for Satellite Best TV Actress and the HUM Award for the Best Onscreen Couple for her explosive chemistry with Fawad Khan.
In the same year, she was named as the Most Beautiful Woman In Pakistan, by Eastern Eye
We saw her next in Sarmad Khoosat’s groundbreaking “Shehr E Zaat” where she plays Falak
Falak was a young girl, an only child born to rich parents, who was too deeply in love with the idea of her romantic perfection. She makes a statue of, according to her, the most handsome man on earth, and when she sees a man who looks exactly like her statue, she falls in love with him. “Shehr E Zaat” was Falak’s journey was one of self discovery and finding out that there is so much more to life that the shallowness that we see on the surface. That all it takes is a little scratching and you’re all set to discover yourself, and in a way, God. When Falak found out that the man of her dreams, whom he had married with such dreams, was cheating on her with a woman she thought to not only be average looking, but also
In Muhammad Ehtishamuddin’s “Sadqey Tumhaare”, we see Shanno as a pillar of strength who fights for her love
We’ve written extensively about Mahira’s character, Shanno. But it never seems to be enough. Shanno’s was a character that was fearless, in the face of love. She refused to let anything and anyone come between the man she loved and herself. Whether it was her family, her mother, or everyone else. She was a poetess, and she was a singer. She was a fighter and she was a lover. She won a LUX Style Award for Best TV Actress and a HUM Award for the Best Actress Popular and Best Onscreen Couple, along with Adnan Malik.
With “Bin Roye” in 2015, Mahira only further strengthened her place as one of the best actresses in the industry
She was both the innocent Saba who believed that her cousin, Irtaza, is in love with her because of the loving gestures that he showed her. She was also the more mature, post Irtaza-Sanam shaadi Saba who couldn’t believe that she had lost the man that she loved to her own sister.
“Ho Mann Jahan” got Mahira a LUX Style Award for Best Actress
The story of four friends who are trying to face all odds and make it big in the music industry, with their band, “Ho Mann Jahan” was also the a love story and a triangle between the three lead actors. While two, Manizeh and Nadir, love each other and want to get married, the third, Arhan, proclaims his love for Manizeh. This, in turn creates complications between the friends.
In 2017, Mahira gave us two films in the same year: the blockbuster “Raees”
Opposite the always-reigning King of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira was appreciated for her role, amidst all the controversy that surrounded the release of the film. Moreover, the film also initiated a ban on Pakistani actors working in Bollywood, however, the film went through, in spite of Mahira not being allowed to promote the film in India. And also apparently having had some of her scenes cut out of the film.
And the extremely controversial “Verna”
She also became the first Pakistani to become the brand ambassador for L’Oreal Paris and she sprinkled her announcement speech with a truckload of feminism
Mahira has also become the face of quite a few brands and campaigns. She’s raised her voice for quite a few issues. And she held her own when a cyclone of controversies tried knocking her over.
Mahira is all set to appear in two movies coming out, soon, “Saat Di Muhabbat In” and “Maula Jatt 2”
She’s starring opposite Shehryar Munawwar in “Saat Din Muhabbat In” and opposite Fawad Khan in “Maula Jatt 2”.
We can’t wait to see what else Mahira has in store for us in the coming years. Looking at her incredible journey to get where she is is inspiring, to say the least. They are both said to be well underway, in terms of shooting and we’ve got our fingers crossed for seeing a trailer or two soon enough.