Modeling is not an Easy Job


11 October 1969


You sit down to read the newspaper, and right on the front page you find Rakhshanda, wearing huge sunglasses, staring out at you. Now turn the page to read the comic strip, again you’ll find Rakhshanda in a different pose advertising q beauty soap. You put down your newspaper and pick up a magazine and on the cover Rakhshanda now sitting in a car trying to convince you that the paint she is holding is the paint for you. Finally it is television time. You switch on your TV set and once more you’ll find Rakhshanda gliding across the screen in a flowing sari.

 Rakhshanda hails from the famous Khattak family. Her mother is a Burmese and her father a Pathan. Rakhshanda the combination of the two has turned to be a striking Burmese-Pathan beauty. Although she has a height few Pakistani girls can be proud of, she certainly has a figure to match. Besides being gifted with physical beauty, Rakhshanda can fluently speak five languages – Burmese, Pushto, Punjabi, Urdu and of course English. 

Although “Rakhshi” (as she is known by some of her friends) has never taken any course in designing or interior decorations, she designs her own clothes and stitches a few of them herself. Her house has been beautifully decorated with a professional touch and if you see it, I am sure you will agree with me that it is something out of this world. Actually Rakhshi has endless talents – she cooks some very delicious dishes like spicy Burmese delicacies, but if you prefer something Pakistani then just name and you’ve got it! 

Most of her leisure time is spent reading comics. She prefers these to novels and other reading matter because she feels that comics can be finished faster and one does enjoy them. 


To get down to her modeling career I asked was it that made her model. Was it money? Fling of adventure or just the excitement of seeing one’s face in the newspapers and on the screen. 

“it surely isn’t money or “fling of adventure” as you call it: one day a close friend of my family asked me if I would like to model for this particular product as I saw nothing wrong in it I just went ahead and modelled.” 

So far you have modelled for over twenty assignments, have you had any ghastly experiences?”

“Not exactly ghastly. You see I model for the best advertising companies. When I started out new in this field I did not know the tricks of the trade. Then I got wiser by the day. I have now employed the services of a good lawyer. I f I have any trouble he deals with it.” 

“Do you prefer modelling for the stills or for the movies?” 

“Stills are easier and faster to get by, sometimes making a 15 second movie can take as long as six to seven hours. One or two hours go for just makeup and the rest of the time goes on adjusting the lights and the camera. 

Things could be done much faster if everyone came prepared. “ 

“What is your impression on our local Pakistani movies? I hear rumors that you intend joining the industry.” 

“I don’t see many of our local pictures, the reason being obvious our movies have nothing to offer. The boy-meets-girl stuff crammed with meaningless songs. I practically know the end of the picture before it has even started! Yes I was offered some leading roles but I refused. Who knows I might change my mind. They say you can never tell a woman’s mind, I think this is very true.  

“They say the public is very observant, do you get recognized when you go out?” 

“Talk of the public being over observant. I think they watch every move I make on the screen. I once appeared in an Ad, where a little girl calls me “Ammie”, now every time I go out shopping, I hear people calling out “Ammie”, even at parties I usually hear one lady whisper to another, “Isn’t she the one who appeared in that Ad.” 

“Looking at this album of yours, I see you keep a record of all your snaps any special reason?”

“You might say I like to look at myself time and again! There are those sneaky advertisers who have the habit of taking out the photographs, then they tell me that the snaps are not being used, after a year or so they sneak in an Ad with my snap, in this way chances are they can get off the hook paying me.” 


 “I think I have taken enough of your time, so to wind up, what advice would you give to girls who would like to take up modeling?”

“First let me squash all the rumors that the advertisement line is not clean enough for respectable girls. If one goes to see there are wolves everywhere, it depends what you make of the situation. If you go through reputable companies as I have gone through then the going won’t be so rough. Modeling cannot be takes as a full time job, that stage in Pakistan has not been reached yet. Modelling is not an easy job. The final finish is not half of what has been done to gain the finish. It means standing for hours under the glare of heavy lights with a certain pose till every muscle in the bodies cries out with pain. Besides you have to be smart and businesslike otherwise you will lose miserably in the long run. Every new girl is bound to have experiences, but it is only through experience we learn.

A photographer tried an experiment with Rakhshanda's face. The material used were a camera and only one light. The result is this fantastic profile.


Mopping up can be tiring