Charged with verve and ambition, Quratulain Khan, better known as Annie, has all the ingredients needed to take her to high places. Soft spoken and lady like she commands respect as a producer at HUM TV, and glamorous and confident, she is a woman to be noticed on the catwalk or on the mini-screen when comparing a show. Fashion Collection speaks to her about her past achievements and future plans.
Did you start your career with modeling or production or as a host of TV shows?
I started with modeling but prior to that I had been approached by Telebiz for their BBC programme ‘Face to Face’. I didn’t get the programme but I ended up doing lot of different news anchor jobs for them, such as for Business Round-up, Business-Links and Business Breakfast, as well as helping out with overall production and generally learning the ropes. So it was a simultaneous entry into two fields, more-or-less.more
Who launched you in the world of modeling?
I started modeling with Creative Services and still model for them. I made my debut with Imperial Leather Soap and modeled for its commercial, bill-boards and print-media ads.
You’ve only modeled once for the catwalk so far and that too in Dubai. Could you tell us a little about that show?
I did a fashion show in Dubai for Spotlight Productions, which was aired on GEO and ARY, A number of designers participated in the event including Nomi Ansari and Maria B.
Why haven’t you been modeling more frequently?
Well I joined Business Plus as a producer after my stint at Telebiz, which took up a lot of my time. Then, after nearly a year of producing programmes and hosting shows for them, I joined HUM TV as its producer and that gives me no time at all for modeling, although I do realize that I want to keep it up. For the time being, I have let modeling take a somewhat back-seat in my life. Having said that, I have recently done a shoot for a magazine in which I have modeled Rizwan Beyg’s outfits, and also participated in a show at Labels featuring Shehrezad’s jewelry and Nomi’s ensembles.
Would you say modeling is your ‘bachpan ka shauq’?
Well, my oldest khala modeled once for the cover of Mag, and my younger khala, Sonya Sheikh, participated in a fashion show as well as appeared in many photo shoots. She also acted in a number of plays and serials. I was very close to her – she is only five years older than me – and I would accompany her whenever she went on her shoots or rehearsals. I probably absorbed all her interests in my subconsciousness, without actively thinking of adopting any of it as a profession for myself.
How did you wind up producing shows with no prior experience?
Well, actually I had developed a few concepts while at Telebiz but they were never executed. When a friend of mine joined Business Plus, he remembered one of my concepts and asked me to bring it in, and to join them as producer and host. I jumped at the opportunity although I was petrified initially as I had never ventured into this field before. The programme did very well though, and is in fact, being re-run on the channel.
Which shows are you currently producing at HUM TV?
Parvarish, Perahan, Humara Hafta—which I am directing and producing—and Humara Ghar, which I am producing and hosting.
But you appear as a host in quite a few other shows as well, don’t you?
Yes, I did a couple of Kara interview shows and covered the entire Kara event, interviewing the celebrities that had come for it and reviewing the films, etc. I’ve also hosted shows for the marketing department of HUM TV, and done back-stage management for many of their events. I‘ve also recently acted in a music-video for Shehzad Roy.
Do you plan to focus on production in the future?
I plan to concentrate on acting now and have acted in the past as well. In fact, that’s how I got introduced to Sultana apa – I had come to act in a telefilm, ‘Raastay’, a Sprite ‘Thund’ telefilm started by them. I hope to focus on learning acting and drama direction as well.
Is ‘Raastay’ your stint in acting so far?
Actually, my very first exposure to professional acting was during the days I used to accompany my khala to PTV. Fatima Surraya Bajia was auditioning her for a role in ‘Uroosa’ and she observed my interest in her acting, so asked me to audition as well. She liked my acting so much that she actually added a part in the play especially to accommodate me and the shooting were all recorded. But later, for various reasons it never went on air. Then, in about 2003 or 2004 I acted in a telefilm ‘Suspense Diary’—for Indus Vision. I had a major role in it, as indeed also in ‘Raastay’.
Any more plays in the offing?
Well, actually I am waiting for my I-20 to come through and then I will be off to New York to learn film-making. Once I have completed my three month course and returned, I will probably take up acting seriously.
Will you be exploring other options while in New York?
I am looking at modeling options, although I don’t have the right height for ramp by international standards. I’m developing my portfolio too, and am open to anything that might come my way. I seldom plan out my life from before and prefer to take things as they come. I think that’s the secret to success to make the most of opportunities as they materialize.
Would you act in Indian movie, if the opportunity arose?
Why not! There was a point when I was learning to dance from Sheema, and also took up singing from an ustaad, but then I had to leave for Boston and after I returned I couldn’t keep up with my erratic schedule.
Any plans of tying the knot?
Not yet, I guess I ‘ll marry when I find the right person. It will happen when it is meant to happen, But, I’ve been lucky so far!
And will you chuck up your career when it does happen? Well, knowing myself, I will probably always be doing something or the other, even if I don’t take up a full time job. It’s all about managing your time properly.