Rakhshanda Khattak, the first Pakistani woman to earn black belt in Karate and the torchy star of the 1970s movie “Jane Bond 007”, a Pak-Iran coproduction made in both Urdu and Farsi (Persian) versions and costarring Iranian actor Reza Fazli, is at last back in town after an extended sojourn in Calgary, the Canadian town celebrated in cowboy lore as the site of the legendary Calgary stampede.
When Ms Kahattak was last here in April, 1982, she said – just before her departure for Calgary – she would be back in a matter of months, if not weeks, leaving some fans of the stunning former actress and occasional fashion model counting the days to her return.
But as the weeks stretched into months, the months into years, without any news of when Ms Khattak would once again grace the city with her presence, her fans began to despair of her ever coming back. In fact, one fan of our acquaintance was so distraught at the prospect of never seeing her again, he even seriously considered migrating to Calgary himself, and was frequently to be seen wandering about in a disconsolate manner muttering brokenly to himself “Rakshanda tum kahan ho?” (Rakhshanda where are you?)
Despite the heartbroken condition of such fans, Ms Khattak remained absent from these shores. Sometimes there were rumors she had been seen at the gambling tables in Las Vegas. Sometimes she was reported as being in Berlin, a city she had also visited earlier to pose for photographs illustrating an unarmed combat manual used by – of all people – the West Gunman police forces. And last November there was even talk that she was due here any day, leading the aforementioned disconsolate fan to perk up immediately so much so that he was once heard actually singing a jaunty air.
It is only now, however, that Ms Khattak has in fact come back. But since her return to Karachi last week Ms Khattak has been keeping a more or less low profile, which is not exactly easy to do in her case, considering the impact she has on her male fans wherever she goes. No one appears to know what her plans are or how long she will be staying.
On Friday night, however, Ms Khattak was seen living the hours away at Bilun’s, a private disco in a house in Defence named after another beautiful lady who has, sad to say, recently left us for her native Turkey. But even as we bid goodbye to Bilun (whose face adorned a score of Pakistani TV commercials for over a year), we are delighted to be able to concurrently say, “Welcome home, Rakhshanda”. Which in martial arts terminology is perhaps the same thing as saying “Hai, karate!”