The truth of Veena Malik
Zahida Malik (born Veena Malik on 26th of February, 1987) is a Pakistani Fashion model, Film actress, Reality TV star and Social Worker. Her debut in feature films happened as early as in 2002 when she starred in Tere Pyar Mein. The film was a huge commercial success in Pakistan and marked Veena’s entry into the limelight. She also went on to do a special appearance in a supporting role in Javed Sheikh’s Yeh Dil Aapka Hua in the same year.
Family and Background
Born in Rawalpindi on the 26th of February 1987 at the CMH Hospital, to Mohammed Ali Malik, a Pakistani Army Major and his wife Zeenat Malik, she was the third child in a family of six sisters and one brother. Veena spent most of her childhood away from her parents in Punjab and was brought up by her paternal grandfather who was a well-known Zamindar (landlord) of Punjab and grandmother. Veena moved back with her parents after the demise of her grandmother when she was in 7th standard. She felt a strange alienation at the Malik household owing to her staying away all these years. Though her parents visited her regularly at Punjab, her bonds were obviously stronger with her grandparents. Today Veena shares a deep bond with her parents and her siblings. Her eldest sister is a lecturer at the A Q Khan College, Rawalpindi and Veena’s only brother practices Criminal Law at the Rawalpindi Bar. She lost one of her younger sisters in a road accident at a young age and says that the incident has forever changed her life and her outlook towards childhood and children.
Education and Extra Curricular Activities
All through her schooling, Veena stood out as one of the most bright and prominent students. Veena Malik passed her matriculation from F.G School in D.I.Khan. Her graduation was in Sociology, Psychology and Persian from F.G. College in Rawalpindi.
It was during her school days she took up modeling and her first TVC was aired when she was in 9th Standard. Veena not only excelled at academics but was also a fore runner in extracurricular activities and sports. She has been a basketball player through school and college. She won a lot of laurels in literary activities such as debates, Quirat and Naat competitions.
It was in the year 2004 that Veena Malik moved to Lahore after her graduation and took up showbiz as her profession for good. Though she had a choice between choosing Psychology as a career path, the glitz glamour and recognition that the movie industry could offer to her was too lucrative for her to choose anything over it.
Her debut film, Tere Pyar Mein released in the year 2002 and was very well received across the nation. Her second film during the same time was Javed Sheikh’s Yeh Dil Aapka Hua. She starred in an Indo Pak production titled Pind Di Kudi in the year 2005. The high points in her career came with the releases of Koi Tujh Sa Kahan (2005), Kyon Tumse Itna Pyar Hai (2005) and Mohabbatan Saachiyaan (2007). She caught the attention of a pan audience with her performance in the first film production of UAE called Waapsi which was made in Arabic and English and later dubbed into Urdu and Persian. The film released across United Kingdom, Iran, United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. Her stint at the Indian Film Industry, popularly known as Bollywood began in 2010 with her doing a cameo in Mandeep Kumar’s Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya. Her upcoming Hindi movie projects are Daal Mein Kuch Kaala Hai and Zindagi 50 50 in which she will be portraying the role of a commercial +++ worker.
Veena started her career in television with hosting Prime Gupshup on Pakistan’s Prime TV which was a children’s based programme. Around this time she was also offered a television series called Mirch Masala with which she became a household name in the country enjoying recognition and popularity. In the year 2007, she began hosting Hum Sab Ummeed Se Hain, a socio-political satire which won her a lot of appreciation for her honest and bold expression of the country’s state of affairs. She followed this up with Miss Duniya (2009), a show with a similar theme and became one of the forerunners to speak openly on television about the political situation of the country.
A popular Indian news channel did a feature on Veena Malik’s political satire based TV shows and the soon the Indian media began to take notice of this fearless, outspoken celebrity. In the year 2010 she was invited to be a part of Bigg Boss season 4. Veena was one of the final six contestants out of the original fourteen who had participated. She was also a part of the grand finale of the show. Veena also hosted a reality TV show titled Bigg Toss during the 2011 International Cricket World Cup.
She will soon be seen in the 4th season of Swayamvar, a reality show on the Indian channel Colors.
Modeling and Commercials
Veena started modeling while she was still in school. Her first TVC aired while Veena was still in 9th standard.
Her earliest commercials include Coca Cola, Sunsilk and Misfits, a teen apparel brand. Recently she has also been on the covers of reputed magazines such as the Women’s Era and Fantasy.
Awards and Honors
The Lux Style Award for the most Stylish Celebrity on the Red Carpet in the year 2007.
Bolan award in the year 2007 for the best new face for the film Mohabbatan Saachiyan.
She has travelled across many villages in Pakistan with the World Health Organization as their representative and ambassador spreading awareness among rural women about the importance of their children’s’ health and education. She has adopted two boys Zain and Zafar who were earthquake victims from the SOS Children’s Village in Pakistan. This resulted in a letter of appreciation to her from the then Chief Minister of that state Mr. Shahbaaz Sharief. She is also part of the services extended by the Shaukhat Khanum Cancer Hospital in Pakistan.
In 2010 she joined PETA and turned completely vegetarian. She believes that a speechless animal is as important as any other higher being and that they should not be butchered and slaughtered just for their meat, skin and other parts.
Recently, in India she has sponsored a girl child by the name of Payal Kamble who was a victim of human trafficking through the NGO Sahaara Charitable Society in Navi Mumbai and has taken on the responsibility of the girl’s entire education and other expenses till she is ready to face the world on her own.
Controversies and Criticisms
Veena faced a lot of negative publicity and criticism in Pakistan after her appearance on an Indian Reality TV show called Bigg Boss. She had to literally defend herself and her stand against that of a well revered Mufti Sa’ab, on a news channel aired on Empire News in Pakistan.
Veena has also boldly aired her views on the match fixing allegations and trial of the Pakistani cricketer and erstwhile boyfriend Mohd Asif.
In the Media
English-Canadian columnist, author, public speaker, radio host and television talk show host Michael Coren on his show The Michael Coren Show called the entire Veena Malik-Mufti Sa’ab episode “A trial of this woman on national TV in Pakistan.” In support of her he went on to say that, “She is an independent woman who dared to have a career.” He added, “She is beautiful, bright and brave.”
She has also been called The Hero of Liberal Pakistan by media across the world for sticking firm on her ground against all the criticisms and allegations levelled against her.
Veena started dating Babrak Khan whom she met on the sets in 2005. The couple maintained that the main reason for them coming together was because of a lot of similarities in their personalities. In 2007, Veena got engaged to Babrak Khan with consent from both the families. But in early 2008, Veena called off the engagement citing issues of loyalty from her partner’s side.
In mid 2008, Veena met Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Asif at a public function. After a brief period of regular interaction they decided to make their relationship official. After a ban was imposed on the cricketer as a result of a doping case, she helped him through the rough patches of his life. It was in June 2009 that Veena decided that she could not carry on with this relationship as it was at that point and ended it officially.
Months before her entry into the Bigg Boss House, she got engaged to Faisal Akbar Khan at the behest of her family but called off the engagement after four months because there was severe compatibility and personal outlook issues between both the individuals.