Half sugar half spice

It’s not every day that you meet someone like Tooba. Enthusiastic but not vulnerable, upfront but not stubborn, savvy but not dumb; a girl who isn’t afraid of speaking her mind and who always delivers her best on the ramp or in front of the camera. Self-assured, Tooba knows what she wants in life and gets it. Impulsiveness and diplomacy are characteristics that are alien to her nature. But at the same time, honesty, sincerity, trust and confidence are her hallmarks.

What did you start to consider modeling a proper career? Who motivated you?
I started off my career four years back. It was a charity show and I did that for the heck of it. Later on, I was asked by Athar Shahzad to do a shoot, which I accepted without thinking twice. And the rest is history.

There’s this general impression that models are just mannequins and they can’t act to save their lives. What do you have to say about this as you are into acting as well?
To some extent this statement is correct. Here our models are usually more concerned about their looks rather than the character they ought to portray. They trip out the moment you ask them to act sans makeup. And believe me, most of them are like that.

Including you?
Absolutely not! In my case the equation is just reversed. I don’t apply much make up and try to go according to the situation or the character.

One has been hearing a lot about a chill between you and photographer Munna Mushtaq. Is it true that you refuse to work with him?
It’s nothing but a false piece of information. Yes, there were hurdles between us in the beginning, but they have been removed already. Now there is no cold or hot war going on now. See, everybody has his or her own priorities, so have I. I love to work with Arif, Shamyl, Abid, Deevees, and frankly speaking, Munna is the last resort.

You have been modeling for the last four years but you have not been slotted in the A league despite the fact that you have all the right indigents. Why is it so?
Everyone is here to make money and I would be lying through my teeth if I said that I model for fun. We all want to make money and that’s what we all are here for. At times, you end up doing crap just because the payment is lucrative. I didn’t have any godfather like other models – I was fighting my own battles. And I still am. I did some ghastly stuff in the beginning but at that time there was nobody to guide me. New, after spending some time in the field. I have gotten to know how important is to have an image.

One heard a lot about your alleged affair with Iman Ali’s ex-boyfriend. Good catch, haan?
Sorry to disappoint you but this is incorrect news. We are just good friends. Nothing more and nothing less!

Oh yes! We believe you!!
I think people make up such stories because they don’t have anything to do. But honestly speaking, it’s nothing like this.

And what about Imran Abbas? Heard that you and he are getting closer day by day and that you insisted to your directors to cast him in the all the ventures you are starring in. what is brewing between the two of you?
Imran and I are having an affair? It’s the joke of the Century! Yes, we started our career together and have done lots of projects together. It is because we look good together. And apart from that we are on the same wavelength. The chemistry between us is lethal, off-screen and on-screen. We are thick pals and that’s about it. There is no chakkar-shakkar going on. Though I must say he is the one guy every girl would like to go out with as he is a thorough gentleman. But, I repeat, I am not seeing him.

Your favorite shoots to date?
Most of my shoots are with Rizwan Baig of Deevees. He takes the best out of me. Then there’s this shoot of Deepak Perwani, which I did for Diva. It is also one of my favorite shoots.

What is the real Tooba Siddiqui like?
Happy-go-lucky, very laid back, down-to-earth. The real Tooba is a doll. But be careful; this doll can be Chucky too. So don’t rub her the wrong way.

Why aren’t good new models coming up when we possess so much talent?
Pakistan is a small country and the fashion industry is even smaller. The main reason I guess why new models aren’t coming up is that there is nobody to show them the right patch. They are no modeling agencies to gauge their potential. Nobody is ready to explore new talent and that’s the main reason new talent is not coming up.

Have you ever been in love?
I have a very practical approach towards life and I just don’t believe in love. I think true love doesn’t exist anymore. Yes, I had a few crushes here and there but that’s it. I can make good friends rather than getting involved in a relationship. Because love fizzles out after a while but friendship is forever.

Who are your favorite photographer, designer and makeup artist?
I like Deevees as a photographer, Maria B as a designer and Saima and Laiqa Hasan for makeup.

You are one of those few models who got a chance to work in both Lahore and Karachi. What differences did you find between the two cities?
I guess Lahore is badly suffering from the mafia system. They do not like to introduce new faces and want to stick to their in-house models and that’s why their work is getting stagnant. For example, models from group A are not allowed to work with group B, and vise verse. If you do it, you are out of the camp. That’s bad. While clans don’t exist in Karachi and there is a chance to grow. Everybody is working with everybody and that’s healthy.

If I am not mistaken Tariq Amin is the one who introduced you in this field. How come you are working with the rest of the world but not with him? Any professional or personal differences?
Yes, it was Tariq who introduced me to the fashion world but we had a lot of issues when we worked together. I tried to sort out our differences but things didn’t work out and we drifted apart. Tariq is not as professional as other people think he is. I believe no matter how high you go you have to keep your feet on the ground. This is what matters and this is what people appreciate. Everybody is replaceable here. There’s a substitute for everyone. But I am always open to apology.

Don’t you feel privileged when a top-notch designer like Maria B stands by your side; goes to another level and even changes the hair and makeup artist just because he has major tiffs with you and he wanted you out of the show?
Maria B is not only a great designer but a great person as well. She always stands by my side and I can do anything for her. I really, really love Maria.

Anything in the pipeline?
I recently returned from the USA. It was a great trip. I did two local fashion shows and some shoots for local magazines. This year. You will see me in action. You are going to see Tooba on top. Just you wait!

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