She is much more than meets the eye. She is totally the opposite of the goofy Momo, who we see day in and day out on the popular sitcom Bulbulay. She is a highly educated, well-read, well-versed and intriguing person with a spiritual side most of us are unaware of. She is the uber talented Hina Dilpazeer, a force in her own right.
Busy in between recordings and other work related activities, we somehow manage to find enough time to meet up at Espresso for a cup of coffee and some nibbles. Hina literally breezes in with an aura much bigger than her impressive personality and the staff and guests, at the coffee shop, are awed by her presence making way for her to perch herself atop one of the seats and the ball is set rolling.
“If I hadn’t been an actor I would surely have been a teacher,” shares the learned Dilpazeer who has done her Masters in Psychology and is currently doing her second Masters in Quantum Physics.
Let’s rewind quickly and start at the very beginning of her interesting story.
“I have spent all my life in Karachi, though we travelled a lot. My father was in Emirates so we got to travel often. After Matriculation I moved to Dubai with my family. We stayed on for the next 12 years or so. After completing my Masters in Psychology I started working at a radio station as programmes director for their Urdu service. My job included writing the scripts for radio plays, conducting shows etc. The radio station was later bought by a Maliali (South Indian) group and they closed down the Urdu service so I was now without a job. My education was completed; I had no job so I decided to come back to Karachi. Once back home, I found myself with nothing to do. I applied to quite a few educational institutions but somehow nothing seemed to work out at that time as I could not decide. I had written a script, which one fine day I ended up taking to a private channel. They took the script, put it aside, and offered me a role in Burns Road ki Neelofer. I was taken aback and I kept on asking them why they wanted to cast me in the extremely challenging role of Saeeda, mother of nine, since I had never acted! I was not even asked to audition. However, since I am always open to new experiences I did not hesitate and I thought to myself ‘if they see it in me then let them have it’. Though I still don’t know why they gave me that role, a newcomer with no prior experience – that remains a mystery,” she shares.
" I have never felt the need for someone to complete me. I have learnt the art of being complete in my own self "
“I remember my first few days were extremely stressful. I was working with senior artists like Abid Ali and I was a nervous wreck not wanting to goof up there. I had fever on the first day of shoot, and whenever I was not recording a scene I would scurry in a corner in wonderment and fear how I would fare,” recalls the now well-versed Dilpazeer. “Was I surprised by the reaction of my family, friends and media the next day after the serial was aired? The phone did not stop ringing the whole day,” reminisces Dilpazeer fondly about her debut project.
Getting permission from her parents was never an issue. “My mother was a bit skeptic but my dad was completely supportive of me. He has always supported me and so has my mother. They have both been my pillars of strength. As far as dad is concerned I always got my strength from him. I have learnt honesty and integrity from my father. Even today, when he is no more, I hold on to his beliefs and he continues being my strength,” says a melancholic Dilpazeer. Talking about her father instantly lights her up making her sad at the same time.
But she now has a devoted friend in the form of her 20-year-old son Mustafa Dilpazeer. “He is my darling, my life. I love him to bits and am blessed that the intensity of my love is reciprocated. He cannot live without me. We have our squabbles and big ones too. We have difference of opinion and he’s always complaining ‘you don’t understand me.’ But in the end we are inseparable and I love him like I’ve never loved anyone in my entire life,” says she with love evident in her animated eyes.
Despite the fact that Dilpazeer has been a single parent, she has always been there for him.
Which brings us to the oft repeated, inevitable query, that didn’t she ever feel the need to remarry?
“I have never felt the need for someone to complete me. I have learnt the art of being complete in my own self. I don’t need to look up to another individual to do it for me. I am definitely not against the institution of marriage, and I’m not even against the idea of remarrying but I haven’t felt the need neither had the time to think about it. I believe in going with the flow,” she says candidly about one of the most important relationships in our lives.
She has obviously had suitors coming up to her doorstep but Dilpazeer is in no mood to settle down just yet. On a comic note she laughingly adds, “I tell everyone, if you need a proposal simply act in a play. And then sit back and enjoy the cue.”
Over the years, Dilpazeer has become a hot commodity due to her off beat roles like Saeeda of Burns Road ki Neelofar and Momo of Bulbulay – whatever the role, she fits in like a hand in glove and the result is hilarious to the point of craziness.
“I have to give credit to script writer Fasih Bari Khan, and director Mazhar Moin for giving me my first big break. They saw the spark in me and I am glad they did because acting is something I greatly enjoy. And I love experimentation also, that is also a reason you will not see me typecast. I prefer to give my audience something interesting each time and that is also something they have come to expect from me.”
In the case of this star, what you see is what you get… even in the myriad TV programmes that we see her in, she is truly herself. She is a natural with a flair for acting. “I’ve never acted on screen. I am what I am and have to make no efforts whatsoever.” Does that also mean that she has something in common with the comic characters we see her play in various serials?
“Not at all! I am nothing like the characters I portray. I am quite the opposite. I’m a serious minded, reserved person who does not open up to anyone and everyone. Of course I’m very friendly but I’m also stern at the same time. People know that they can’t mess with me.”
She is not one to get angry easily; in fact she does not get angry at all. “This is where I need to act often. I have trained myself not to get angry and have now reached a point where I’m always calm and happy. So at times when I have to show anger it’s all acting really.”
Dilpazeer has recently done a flick with Zee films. Penned by Fasih Bari and directed by Meenu and Farjad. She calls it as an “amazing experience, especially working alongside the legendary Naseeruddin Shah. Both Meenu and Farjad are extremely talented directors and I loved working with them.”
Direction is also on the cards for the multi-talented lady some time in the future. “It’s all still in my head but it will materialise soon,” signs off Dilpazeer rubbing off on me a feeling of happiness and optimism – traits I have now come to associate with the affable yet intriguing Hina Dilpazeer.