In a recent interview, actor Hareem Farooq revealed that she refused her father’s offer to send her abroad to pursue her acting dreams in Karachi alone, without any monetary help from her family. The journey to fame was rather difficult for her, and this is the first time she’s speaking about how dark and traumatising but equally empowering the route was for her.
In conversation with Fuchsia, Farooq shared that her father once told her something that she holds on to date. “He would always tell me to think before deciding to not pursue something. ‘Don’t stop thinking that you’re a woman. There should be other reasons. Don’t bring gender into your decision-making.’ We bring gender into everything though, sadly,” she said.
However, the host questioned whether a girl from a poverty-ridden background can afford to not bring gender in a highly intrusive society. “There’s no doubt that I come from a very privileged background. I don’t deny that, but when I told my father that I want to act, he told me that he’ll send me abroad and everything will be handled,” she said, adding that she denied that to make a name for herself without her privileges.
“I wanted to struggle. I was naive to think that I could do it on my own. I don’t know what happened but I asked my dad that I won’t take money from him and I’ll make them proud. I came to Karachi, alone, without any connections or friends in the industry. I didn’t have money. I ended up living in an apartment without electricity and water. I ironed my clothes on set secretly. I even took showers on set,” she revealed.
A breaking point for Farooq was an extremely hot and humid day without electricity in her apartment where she broke down, and wanted to give up. “The sun was at my head, and I cried my eyes out thinking if all of this was so important and if my dream of acting was worth it. I didn’t have my family, not even real friends and there was always gossip. There were a lot of opinions around me, and everyone would say random things,” she exclaimed.
“I told myself to wipe tears, stand up, pick out clean clothes from the dirty pile of clothes, and go to set. I got my strength from God then. As a woman, I will never let anything stop me. My passion is with me, I am honest and ready to work as hard as anyone wants. I’m a woman, I’m a man, and I’m transgender. I just need humanity,” she added.
Upon where the Parchi actor has been lost, Farooq said that she was exploring life. “I’m still exploring. I learned that life is all about discovering yourself. I have no complaints about life but when you are seeking something, and God finds you a way, you have to just take it, or you’ll explode,” she said, mysteriously, adding that she’ll talk about her struggles when she’s ready.
“I’m not ready now, but maybe someday, if I think it will help others, I will share it,” she said. “Everything is perfect and suddenly something happened and I started questioning where I was wrong. But now I have realised that I wasn’t wrong and everything happens for a reason.”
Farooq shared that she is as honest as she can get. “Everyone in life comes to a phase where they are in a delusion that they are living. There’s something missing from within, and they might look great, but they feel empty. For me, I couldn’t live with that. I couldn’t fake it. I felt that I was lying to myself and others about how I’m living my best life but I really wasn’t. I didn’t feel happy,” she concluded.