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From 'Tom Boy' to Jane Bond

G. D. Ghauri

EVENING STAR

30 May 1970

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“I WAS BROUGHT UP LIKE A TOM BOY, I ALWAYS WORE BOY’S CLOTHES – HEANS AND PANTS TILL I WAS 13”.

These words were told to me by Rakhshanda, better known as Rakhshanda Khattak, in an interview on Tuesday morning. She is appearing for the first time in films, starring in Jane Bond 008 Operation Karachi, still under production. She was delighted to receive me at her well-furnished house in Saddar area without an appointment.

In answer to my call first her servant peeped through a window and later she herself came out to inquire who I was. She directed me to a luxurious air-conditioned drawing room. Soon she reappeared in her sleeveless shirt and un-ironed trousers. She looked quite relaxed and fresh: her untamed hair falling over her shoulders. She reclined on a couch in front of me, with a packet of cigarettes. She lighted her cigarette and playing with a cushion talked quite informally.

She was frank and free in her replies all the time. But to spare her embarrassment I would avoid questions that were private and personal. There are still many things that are taboo in a society “like ours”.

She continued smoking with breaks and ordered refreshments for me. Here is the interview:

Q. What is your original name?

A. Rakhshanda Khattak.

Q. What is your family background?

A. I was born in a respectable Pathan family. My father is a retired army officer. I hail from a place beyond Peshawar.

Q. How old are you?

A. Twenty-one, to be exact. I don’t want to keep my fans ignorant about it.

Q. What you do in your spare time?

A. I design my own clothes, decorate house. I am, also fond of fish and partridges. I like to read detective novels in my spare time. I am fond of riding, hunting, shooting and swimming. When exhausted, I go out of the town to my farm for relaxation. I paint also. Sometimes I remain busy with it for hours. I am also fond of dancing and it is a good exercise to keep oneself active and agile.

Q. Who is the most important thing for you in the world?

A. I have no time to think about anything. But I sometimes long to build a house in Switzerland, and have a big car. Though the idea may be crazy yet I have the ambition. I love my mother most who is a Burmese. Being a religious minded person she has taught me the Holy Quran at my house. I prefer highly educated and well cultured boy friends from respectable families. Because they know how to behave and respect a woman. I am fond of travelling too but prefer to travel alone.

Q. What is your opinion about the present movies?

A. I seldom see Pakistani firms. They are not up to the mark. Our producers and directors mostly base their films on love stories. Love can be expressed in many ways. Sometimes small gestures and motion are enough to express the depth of feeling. In Pakistan, films are mockery of themselves. Hugging and embracing make them unreal because they are not followed by other actions so natural in that situation. If they insist, they should follow the example set by the Indian film makers where kissing in love scenes is freely allowed.

Q. Which type of role do you like?

A. I can successfully play any role – of a mother, sister or even of a child. In my school days I used to play boy’s roles in dramas.

Q. What are your educational qualifications?

A. I passed my Senior Cambridge from St. Marie, Rawalpindi in 1965. I am fond of learning foreign languages. I know Arabic, Persian, Pushto, Urdu, English and Punjabi. Currently I am learning French and Italian.

Q. When are you going to be married?

A. Within three months or as soon as I finish the work relating to my assignment. (She wants her future husband to be anonymous at the moment).

 

 

 

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