Ramsha Khan - Holding a glimmer of passion, twinkle of positivity & lots of craziness

Ramsha Khan is a simple girl – she likes reading books, playing video games and hanging out with her friends. She loves indulging in some home-made biryani and wishes to explore Hawaii soon. She laughs out loud, loves to have good conversations and is incredibly friendly. Alongside her easy-going demeanour, we also see a strong, passionate and hard-working side. This young over-achiever has already dabbled into a few different things in her first year in showbiz, with commercials, fashion shoots, a film and a couple of dramas, and does not intend to slow down. Ramsha opens up to MAG about love li fe and what the future may hold for her. Excerpts:

Her social media page describes her as an actor, animal lover and a humanitarian, but even the slightest bit of conversation with this pretty lass will tell you that she is so much more than this. In her own words Ramsha describes herself as “that one annoying kid in every group” who is extrememly “hyper” and “ a complete attention seeker”. Being an older sibling to her sister who was “pampered” and “a spoilt brat” soon changed things for her. “Like it happens with every eldest sibling, I feel like I grew up faster and was more mature and responsible than my sister even though we’re just a year apart. I still feel she’s immature. I always had this sense of responsibility ever since I was a kid,” Ramsha describes her childhood. She adds, albeit playfully, that she “started off as an A-grader but over the years, [the grades] kept spiralling down to B, C, D and then to a point where I would be releived of passing my papers.” It sounds like she naturally deviated from hardcore subjects to focus on artistic and creative ones, but that is not the case. As a primary level student, Ramsha recalls to have loved drawing and sketching, and being fond of performing in school plays during her secondary schooling. But as adulthood kicked in, bringing with it a certain maturity and practical mindedness, she thought it best to look into business studies. “It was only later that I decided on pursuing acting seriously. I didn’t even know I wanted to act, it was actually my mom who pushed me towards it. She always believed in me,” she reveals.

My goal is to be the best at what I do but I don’t know what’s going to happen in 10 years. Maybe I’ll be a super star or maybe I’ll retire, get married and settle down. I like to think of the present and am not a planner

Like most young girls, this 23-year-old shares a special bond with her mom. “I am from a broken family. I never had those typical dreams and aspirations of a Pakistani girl,” she says about marriage specifically and continues, “I have seen my mom working really hard from a young age and she inspired me, which is why I wanted to work. She is a stewardess. I remember watching her get ready at four in the morning and work a 12-hour shift. It pushed me to be independent and hard-working.” This may be another reason why Ramsha has the rock solid personality we see today. “I have always held a job, even if part-time, to support myself financially. I feel humiliated asking anyone for money, even from my mom. So to take care of my expenses and earn pocket money, I started working part-time from when I was in school.” It was during that time that Ramsha’s mother forced her to try her hand at acting. “She kept telling me ‘it’s your thing’. I argued that it wasn’t but [I thought] there was no harm in giving it a shot,” shares the actress who now realises that her mom had been absolutely right. But acting is not what started her career in showbiz – it was VJ-ing. “I was still in school when a team from this channel visited us for talent scouting. They gave me a recorded show twice or thrice a week. I did this for around six months,” the former video jockey discloses. Years later when she finally decided to enter this field professionally, modelling seemed to be her calling, but she soon found out that her true calling lay elsewhere.

“I am 5’7 and a half, so most people would approach me for modelling. I started off by doing a campaign for a local textile brand,” Ramsha continued to describe her first modelling experience that turned to be a nightmare, “The shoot was for 18 hours. I modelled one dress after another, some 50 dresses non-stop. I had to stand in heels. I couldn’t even sleep properly after that, as my back was hurting so much. That’s when I realised this is just not for me, and I went on to doing commercials.” Her professional ride hasn’t been as smooth as it sounds so far. This Cancerian had major stage fright to get over in order to perform her best. “I was really nervous the first time I had to stand in front of the camera [for the fashion shoot]. The make-up artist actually helped me with the poses because I had no idea.” Things had been similar when she held the VJ-ing gig about eight years back and had her first shot in front of a camera. “The team there made me stand in front of the camera for three hours to get rid of my camera-shyness. They told me to keep reading my script till I get it right. For the first few minutes I couldn’t even get the words out,” Ramsha says, adding that her nervousness got the better of her and she declined the offer to move on to live shows.

Some of my friends are actors, as well. I could never understand how they could remain single for so long. They’d tell me that there is just no time, and now I know they’re right

Getting rid of her shyness was just one of the things she had to work hard at. She had a bigger challenge waiting for her right at the start of her journey in this field. “Someone who was very close to me and was a very good friend at the time told me that I couldn’t possibly act, that I didn’t have it in me to become a heroine. I didn’t have the face and dedication to be a leading actor. I haven’t told this story to anyone,” Ramsha lets me in on a personal story and the real reason why she took up acting. “I was told by the same person that I couldn’t put in 10-hours a day for it and work hard. This former ‘best friend’ of mine would actually put me down.” It was during the same time that she got offered a role in the film Thora Jee Le. “I gave an audition which went awfully but the director said that he wants me for the character,” she speaks of Rafay Rashdi, owing her acting prowess to him. “He taught me and worked with me to make me better. The film didn’t do too well but that project made me the actor I am today.” Among the important things that she has learnt from her very short time here is that “it is not necessary to rote the lines, but to understand the meaning behind them” and that you shall attract things that are already in you.” She elaborates, “Basically it is the vibe that you give to people. If your vibe is shady, that’s what you’ll attract. If you’re positive, that’s what you’ll get.” Talking about her close circle, she proudly adds, “It has only been a year and I have come across a lot of negativity in this field. But those who I consider ‘my people’ are not from this industry; they’re from outside and I feel safe with them.”

Ramsha may be just a year old in the industry, but she has already dabbled into modelling and acting in commercials, silver screen and big screen, something that take actors years to achieve. “Wow, I hadn’t even realised that these things have happened until you just mentioned,” she acts surprised when I ask her if she has a strategy in place. She thinks the reason of her being so unaware of her achievements might be her invariable focus on how to improve herself and do better work. She takes a moment to recover and says, “I realised how ungrateful I have been. Obviously I consider myself lucky, but as far as strategies are concerned, I do get picky about the roles I select. For me, the concern is not a start-studded cast in the serial that I am being offered. It is important for me that the director is good and that I like the story. If the script excites me, it will probably do the same for the audience, as well.” She even has a few things she practises regularly. “I’m a very spiritual person and am connected to God. I have immense amount of faith. Before starting any scene, I say Bismillah. That’s my mantra I guess.” An advice that she follows religiously is to “stay humble, grounded and true to yourself, and don’t let the fame and this industry change you.” There are still things that scare her, though. She calls being typecasted her worst fear. She made her debut with Woh Aik Pal with a dark character, Hina. “I kept getting offers of similar roles [after that] which is why I did Tumhari Mariam. Even though it was your average saas-bahu story but it had to be done to show people that I can be versatile. Now, Mah-e-Tamam will feature me in a different way than these two dramas,” she sheds light on a project that she is shooting for these days. Based on a novel by Amna Riaz, the drama is being directed by Ahmed Kamran (of Digest Writer fame) and co-stars Navin Waqar, Emmad Irfani and Wahaj Ali. The project will show Ramsha playing Shifa, “a college-going girl who is a patakha but also quite gullible and naïve.” The story shows how her personality transitions towards maturity.

Ramsha clarifies that this is the only project she is working on these days, as she doesn’t “want to do too much work, be over-exposed or too much out there.” She wants to “remain exclusive and do good work.” She explains, “I have been saying ‘no’ to so much, some probably good things as well. I am going to be really picky because I don’t want to say yes to everything that comes my way. I want to wait for good offers and things that will excite me.” Her future plans make no mention of a love interest, so I take the liberty of asking about how things are in her romantic life. “I am single right now,” she states, blaming the lack of a romantic life on the busy schedule her work entails. “Before getting into this industry I was dating. I thought I could make it work, but after I started acting, I just couldn’t find the time and had to break up. Some of my friends are actors, as well. I could never understand how they could remain single for so long. They’d tell me that there is just no time, and now I know they’re right.” But if there were a guy, what would he be like? “My thing is humour and intellectual compatibility. Looks do matter but not above personality. The guy has to be tall, as well. Short height is a huge turn off for me,” Ramsha gives out a naughty laugh. She wants to keep her options open and doesn’t want to worry too much about the future. “My goal is to be the best at what I do but I don’t know what’s going to happen in 10 years. Maybe I’ll be a super star or maybe I’ll retire, get married and settle down. I like to think of the present and am not a planner,” she signs off.