Pakistan"s Cross-Dressing Talk-Show host Begum Nawazish Ali hastened out of Mumbai to avoid a Shiv Sena backlash soon after being evicted from 'Bigg Boss' House. But before that she took some time out and had a chat with us.
We"ve been watching you on Bigg House. What are you plans?
As soon as I came out of 'Bigg Boss' I went to a friend"s house in Mumbai. In the morning I returned to my hotel by an auto-rickshaw. This evening (Saturday) I leave Mumbai.
You should have stayed a while?
I don"t think the channel wants me to, not after the Shiv Sena"s protests. I"m going back home , I"m missing my mom. I"ve been completely cut off inside 'Bigg Boss'. When I came out of the House they didn"t allow me to talk to my family until very late in the night. I got a mobile phone at 1 am. At that time I woke up my Mom and Dad. Both my parents had been watching me on 'Bigg Boss' and were very proud of me.
When you came out of 'Bigg Boss' you must have heard of the political campaign to get you out of the country?
I did hear about it. It surprised me. I saw no logic behind this kind of a protest . Both Veena Malik and I were inside the House not as representatives of any country but as players in a game show. I didn"t choose to be born in Pakistan. It"s something that just happened to me. If I was born in Mumbai I"d have been an Indian. 63 years ago we were one nation. Mere dil se dua hai ki hum phir ek ho jayen. If that happened the entire South- East Asia would prosper so much. Why do we waste so much time in negativity?
Was there a solidarity between you and Veena Malik in the 'Bigg Boss' house?
The interesting thing is, both Veena and I are from Pakistan and we"re both from television. But we"ve met only 2-3 times. But obviously when you"re abroad then meeting someone from home means a lot. Even as a person I like Veena a lot. She"s frank and she said what she had to in front of you. Not like some other 'Bigg Boss' housemates who bitched behind your back. She isn"t two-faced.
Shweta Tiwari. But Veena, Anchal Kumar and I really bonded. We used to converse in Punjabi in the House. I also become very friendly with Rahul Bhatt, a harmless soul. And Seemaji(Parihar). Hrishant Goswami was sweet. Manoj Tiwari is quite a politician. Who harfan maula hain. I really didn"t face any unpleasantness from anyone. No complaints. But there was a tussle between Manoj and Samir Soni. Considering they were the senior-most members of the House I found their behaviour immature.
You"ve a strong feminine side to your personality. Why did you choose to focus on the masculine side inside the 'Bigg Boss' house?
I was born a man. But to become 'Begum" needs elaborate preparation. I need a whole team of people to dress me up.
Are you saying Begum is just a character you play?
No she is a part of me. But she"s very high-maintenance.
Is it too difficult maintaining a bi-sexual life in a conservative society like Pakistan?
Not at all. Contrary to belief Pakistan is not such a conservative country. Pakistan has accepted me. I"m free to lead my life how I choose to. Now I need to go home and take some time off. I"ve been on camera for 20 whole days. I couldn"t forget you were being watched all the time. I feel drained. Because I was just being myself. There were problems with the food also…what I could eat and couldn"t. At home we never think of such restrictions.
Was it like going to boarding school?
Exactly. As a child I went to the best boarding school for boys in Pakistan. I ran away in a month. I don"t like restrictions. It"s against my nature. But I enjoyed my stay in 'Bigg Boss'.
You live with your parents in Pakistan?
My parents are separated. I live with my mother in Islamabad. My father lives in Karachi. I spend a lot of time doing my television work in Karachi. When I"m there I stay with my father. But my bonding with my mother is unique.
Do you have a love life?
I had a love life. Now I am going to a normal life.
Do you plan to return to India?
I"d love to. Baat simple si hai. I don"t like to mince my words. At the moment Pakistan is plagued with problems. Entertainment is not a priority there. I am an entertainer. And India can provide me with lots of work. When I come to India I don"t come as a Pakistani. I come here as an actor. If I get work of course I"ll return.
You are always welcome in India?
I know that. Thank you. I know the Shiv Sena was not speaking on behalf of all Indians. Indians are so hospitable. So many artistes from Pakistan are always welcome here. The Shiv Sena must have its own agenda. Hamara unse kya lena? Our life goes on as normal.