She is super busy, producing as well as conducting live cooking shows on a private channel these days. Foodies, you can be rest assured that when you’ll switch on the telly your favourite host will be whipping up some gourmet dish or the other which you can try out the same day. She’s the sweet and gentle Kiran Khan we have all become accustomed to by now… a superb host who keeps you glued to your sets with her classy choice of guests and lip-smacking dishes she presents on her show day in and day out.
While she entertains us with exotic desi, continental and Middle-Eastern treats, little do people know that her favourite food is the simple daal chawal and karahi qeema. “I dislike under-cooked food like sushi,” she says grimacing. A foodie through and through she loves to eat, however she’s not a big eater. “I love to nibble on food, in fact that’s also the best part of being a cooking show host – you get to taste lots of good food,” she says chuckling.
Kiran is not just a good host but is an equally good cook, if not better and that’s also what’s said in the showbiz circle. “I wouldn’t know about that, but yes, that is something people say. They like my cooking. I enjoy it too, provided I have the time.”
Be it food, vacation spots or any aspect of life, Kiran likes things to be simple and unaffected by modernity and machines. She is a nature-lover and loves things in their natural state. She loves to travel and her ideal vacation spot is London. “I love London and dislike any place which has no nature and has been modified using artificial means for tourist attraction,” she quips.
Kiran has been part of some interesting international ventures in recent times including Rung Dai India, a travel show that covered the culture, food and people of various cities of India. “We went to Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai for the travel show and it was a fun experience for sure. I also did a show which was held in collaboration between Pakistan and the USA. The show was shot in America and revolved around the lives of successful Pakistani residents based in America,” she shares.
And last year we saw her in the serial Yahan Pyaar Nahin Hai in the garbs of Zunairah. She did a fine job and though the play remained somewhat below the radar, Kiran nevertheless, proved to be a shining star. Fans are now anticipating more such powerful performances from the artist, but Kiran says she will take things as they come. “I am not planning on acting full time at the moment. I did act in many teleplays in the beginning but somehow I’ve never been passionate about this genre. I take a lot of stress while reading the script. Secondly, acting is extremely time-consuming. I cannot act; and I don’t act. I am my natural self even in front of the camera. So I prefer hosting and that too, live shows. All in good time is what I believe.”
As for modelling, “It has never really been my thing. Be it on the ramp or still shoots, I am not inclined towards it. Not that I didn't taste it. Have done that too but I feel I get a little camera shy when it comes to posing.”
However, if she gets a good offer from India for a film, serial or commercial she would love to do it “provided I get a good role.”
Though an expert in what she does, being in showbiz was not something Kiran had always wanted to do. “I had never thought that I would end up in show business. But some things are meant to be… it just happened. I was teaching in a Montessori at that time. I submitted my photographs for Face of the Year 2002 contest and won the title. I continued being a model and a teacher for the next seven years, but eventually gave up teaching. Even now it's not that I want to see myself on television. To me it’s purely work. I'm not fascinated by the glitz and glamour aspect of my field,” she articulates.
Could it be that she was enamoured by her older sister Amber Khan, also an actor, host and beautician for the last many years? “When I decided to become an actor I was not met by resistance as Amber was already an actor, so showbiz was not an alien concept for my parents; they were quite supportive since the beginning. Especially my mother; she has always encouraged us. Despite the erratic hours, my mother not only put up with me but also took care of me especially on days when I was down or unwell. They feel proud and still get excited seeing Amber and me on TV. They are also proud about the fact that we have carried ourselves with dignity in this industry.”
Youngest of three siblings, Kiran has an “elder brother who’s a doctor. Then there’s Amber and myself. I have always been a very naughty sibling. As kids, we used to get in bouts of fighting and I was always a tattletale. Being the youngest with an 8-year age difference, I was pampered the most. But as we grew up, we got sensible and today we share a special bond,” she fondly recalls.
It was while she was busy with producing and hosting cooking shows that she met her husband and decided to tie the knot. “Well I guess everyone has their priorities and goals to achieve. Mostly people in this industry want to reach the top and do as much work as possible and earn more and more. I am happy for whatever I have earned and for all that Allah has blessed me with. So I believe my marriage was designed by Allah and it had to happen at that specific time,” she says.
Kiran takes each day as it comes and is not big on making five or ten year plans. “I believe no matter what you plan or how hard you strive for something you will only get it when Allah deems it fit. We should always thank Him for all his blessings because only He knows what’s best for us. All we need is firm faith in Allah, a positive attitude and patience. I thank Allah for everything he has blessed me with and also for things taken away from me,” says the wise Kiran.
She is a celebrity and has been for the last many years yet she is still unaccustomed to the attention that she garners.
“Sometimes it's strange because I really don't consider myself a celebrity. Being a host is work for me, and I work hard like everyone else does in their respective fields. But I guess people really do look up to celebrities – they are impressed by those who come on television. I love it when fans appreciate my work. Sometimes it's awkward especially when you’re out with family for an outing… Or at a shadi… They sometime stifle you, unknowingly, and don't even let you eat!” she says laughingly.
Having said that, Kiran loves her fans and considers them to be an integral part of her success. “Artists are who they are because of their fans.” She’s a people’s person, a great talker and likes honest simple people who exude warmth. “I cannot stand liars and hypocrites.”
Future plans for Kiran include “Lots of travelling. I would love to travel around the world!” •