Each Ramazan brings with it a wide array of cooking shows with culinary experts taking over the screen. Among those experts, Zubaida Apa had always been a hailing queen.
Her delectable cuisines, totkas, tips, and pieces of advice related to home-making, cooking and beauty were lifesavers for every woman. Things will not be the same now that Zubaida Apa is not with us anymore, but her legacy will live on for years to come.
The beginning of the legacy.
Zubaida Apa gained recognition in the late 1990s with her guest appearances on a culinary show aired on NTM, which ultimately resulted in garnering her an entire show to host. Her trademark saari-clad style with kaanch ki choorriyan adorning both her wrists and her hair pulled back in a tight bun became her identity and a mark of elegance and grace.
Later, Zubaida Apa joined a channel dedicated solely to cooking.
She even did various radio shows, endorsed quite a few brands, authored several culinary and-household tips-based books and ran her own restaurant. She was quite an all-rounder, if you ask me.
She had life-saving totkas for EVERYTHING. From a minor cough…
…to a fever – she had you covered.
I lived for her tips during Ramazan.
But she had a fair share of beauty tips too.
Of course, she was human and she, too, slipped up at times.
Zubaida Apa made her very own skin whitening soap, which stirred up quite a controversy due to its tagline, “Ab gora ho ga Pakistan”.
The big loss.
The most celebrated culinary expert of Pakistan left us devastated and mourning on January 5th, 2018. The entire nation – from her colleagues, celebrities, politicians to her fans – everyone mourned the loss of the renowned figure. Pakistanis took to social media to express their sorrow over the tragic news:
Dr. Shaista Lodhi posted a picture of Apa embracing her on Twitter with tender words.
Zubaida Aapa u were such a motherly soul. Will always remember ur kindness, genuineness and simplicity.
May Allah grant her highest place in Jannah. Ameen pic.twitter.com/USu0d7zwa1
— Dr. Shaista Lodhi (@IamShaistaLodhi) January 4, 2018
Maria Memon couldn’t help but remember her maternal nature.
RIP Zubeida Apa ; a motherly figure to millions of households. Hers was a life well spent ; positive, kind and so full of life. Saw her interview where she she showed her bangle collection – Nearly 5000 of them. What an iconic figure!
— Maria Memon (@Maria_Memon) January 4, 2018
Mahira Khan shared her admiration on Twitter.
Known her since I was a little girl.. she was all heart, always. Rest In Peace Zubaida Khala.
— Mahira Khan (@TheMahiraKhan) January 4, 2018
Maya Ali shared some deep words.
— Maya Ali (@mayaali07) January 4, 2018
Pakistanis, in general, couldn’t keep from sharing their grief.
#RIP Zubaida appa … I still remember the last time I ran into her at Khi airport she was so active and all dressed up, always full of colour and life … you will be missed big time
— madeha naqvi (@madehanaqvi) January 4, 2018
Can't believe Zubaida Aapa passed away. May she rest in peace. Her kind and gentle soul will be missed. ?
— Brashna Kasi (@Brashnaa) January 4, 2018
While remembering Zubaida Apa in all her glory, I asked her family members how they felt, too.
Her brother, Amir Maqsood Hameedi, talks about his loss: “She wasn’t just a sister but my best friend. We were inseparable and don’t think I was prepared for this.”
Her niece, Mariam Hameedi, shares, “It still feels surreal when I use past tense for her. I miss all the spontaneous calls I’d make to ask her for a recipe and how willingly she would give it despite the time. She’s surely missed a great deal at all family gatherings!”
I can’t help but feel that Zubaida Apa’s last message before her death consists of a lesson for all of us.
Zubaida Apa recorded this message for the New Years that turned out to be her last. This message is definitely a strong token of her memory.
This Ramazan will not be the same without Zubaida Apa. The star that I had been watching since my childhood is lost somewhere and will be dearly missed. May she rest in peace!
Do you miss Zubaida Apa too? What’s your fondest memory of her? Let us know in the comments.
Cover image via dawn.com