Actor Hina Khan says she is proud that her career of 11 years is defined by tough yet independent decisions, which involved going against her parents’ wishes and defying societal conventions.
One of India’s popular stars, Hina Khan first faced the camera in Star Plus’ Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai in 2009. But as she was gearing up for what eventually became one of TV’s biggest shows, Hina’s relationship with her family only became tumultuous.
Opening up about her 11-year-old journey to Humans of Bombay, the actor said, “I come from an orthodox Kashmiri family where becoming an actor was never an option. My parents were even hesitant to send me to Delhi for college but somehow, I convinced Papa. So, when a friend suggested auditioning for a serial, I said no. Upon insistence, I gave it a go and the casting directors loved me! The next day, I was selected for the lead role!”
View this post on Instagram
“I moved to Bombay without telling my parents; I was 20. The production people helped me find a place. It took me weeks to tell Papa. He was livid. Mom’s friends and relatives cut ties with us. But by then, my serial had gained popularity,” Hina said.
The actor’s father finally got convinced but on a condition. “Papa said, ‘You can continue only if you complete your studies.’ Then, my parents moved to Mumbai.” So, even as her show reached new peaks of TRPs, Hina found herself juggling between shoots and books.
“I’d shoot all night, study in the breaks, then fly to Delhi to give my exams. The family stress was constantly looming–I told Mom to not bother, but it wasn’t easy. We’d argue a lot. But every year, my serial was the number 1 show; I fell in love with the camera.”
Talking about the familial resistance she fought over her relationship with beau Rocky Jaiswal, Hina said that it shocked her parents because no one in her family had ever had a love marriage.
“And just when my parents had gotten used to me being an actor, I told them I was seeing Rocky. It came as a shock; everybody in our family has had arranged marriages. But I gave them time and now, they love him more than me!”
After her successful Bigg Boss 11 stint in 2017, Hina Khan didn’t return to television until recently (in Naagin). Taking a risk, the actor instead shifted her focus to the movies followed by OTT.
Hina shared how she had a kissing scene in one of her recent ventures but the actor agreed to it only after she convinced her parents that it was the script’s demand.
“This year, I moved onto OTT platforms–the script demanded a kissing scene, so I spoke to my parents. I said ‘yes’ only after they understood it was needed for the role; my movie became one of the most watched films on the platform.”
As she looked back at how far she has come in her career, Hina Khan said the girl growing up in Srinagar would have never imagined walking the Cannes red carpet one day.
“It’s been 11 years since I first faced the camera–the little girl growing up in Srinagar would’ve never imagined walking Cannes. But a series of difficult choices have gotten me here. From Srinagar to Bombay, from being the first actor in my family to dating someone out of the community to giving up easy money at my peak, I’ve proudly carved my own way,” Hina concluded.