Shehryar: Your ultimate film fantasy?
Shehryar: If you have to think that much then it can’t be your ultimate fantasy!
Syra: (Turns the table) What is your ultimate fantasy?
Shehryar: Someone in a full white sari, not me of course. (Laughs)
Syra: I hope not.
Shehryar: (Laughs) But, yes, full on rain scene
Syra: (Asks in excitement) Rain Scene? Even me, even me! Not in a white sari, but definitely a rain scene.
Shehryar: Do you mean a full on romantic scene with rain falling?
Syra: Yeah, I don’t mind that.
Syra: What turns you off about a girl?
Shehryar: Do you mean like physical stuff?
Shehryar: I tell you what turns me on–I like nice hands and feet and decolletage. I think those are very interesting…
Syra: (Interrupts) That wasn’t my question!
Shehryar: (Laughs) I think I got carried away; I should stop now.
Shehryar: (Repeats the question) What turns me off? Let me think!
Shehryar: If I say body odor…
Syra: (Interrupts) That’s what I’m saying, no BO or bad breath, that’s just basic. Who can tolerate that?
Shehryar: (Repeats the question) What turns me off? Girls who use the “I’m a girl” card. That’s a complete no, no!
Syra: (Imitates) But I’m a girl.
Shehryar: Yes, I dislike that. I believe in equality. I give you respect, you give me respect. Don’t pull out that I am a girl card that is very demeaning to all girls, period.
Shehryar: What turns you off about a guy and what turns you on?
Syra: Turns on include he has got to smell good, and be smooth and confident, but not cocky. It’s a turn off if they guy is full of himself.
Syra: Don’t take it personally.
(Shehryar and Syra both laugh)
Shehryar: No, I wasn’t taking it personally really, just self-analyzing. Ok let’s take Shehroz out of the picture…but let’s say you have a celebrity crush who would it be?
Syra: See all my friends make fun of me, but my type of boys are more like Edward Cullen type.
Syra: So he must have that don’t talk to me kinda look.
Shehryar: OK, OK!
Syra: Your celebrity crush?
Shehryar: You mean currently? ‘Cuz it keeps changing. Well apart from you…
Syra: Yes, I think Maya is pretty.
Shehryar: Yes, she is doing amazing work these days. I wouldn’t mind working with her.
Syra: Why do you select these roles where you are always fighting with yourself? Is there a fight within you?
Shehryar: It’s interesting you asked me that. It’s because I really look for those kinds of roles. They allow you to do a lot.
Why do you like having the girl next door image?
Syra: I don’t enjoy that and I don’t like playing that.
“That is why I am super excited about Project Ghazi because I have a very different role in it”
Shehryar: But you do. I have to say that because she (the girl next door) is sitting right next to me.
Syra: I have no idea why, but yeah that’s what I get offered. And that is why I am super excited about Project Ghazi because I have a very different role in it.
Shehryar: Would you do a negative role?
Syra: I’ve done a negative role.
Shehryar: Oh yes, I saw it.
Syra: I would love to do it again.
Syra: Did you see it really?
Shehryar: No, I didn’t!
Syra: You know a lot of people want to know about you?
Shehryar: They do?
Shehryar: Can I be honest? Whenever we go to work we put on our public face and I am really good in public but then I come home exhausted.
Syra: You can’t do small talk?
Shehryar: I can but for me that is work too. It takes me a long time to open up to someone.
“I think Maya Ali is doing amazing work these days. I wouldn’t mind working with her”
Syra: So you are very reserved.
Shehryar: Yes, I am very closed up. I don’t like showing what I am actually like.
Sana: What does your tattoo say about you?
Shehryar: It’s a suad and a meem, which a lot of people don’t believe because they think it’s a socialist symbol but it’s not a sickle and hammer . Inversely, suad and a meem also stand out for Safia Munawar and Munawar Siddiqui, my parents’ initials, and I’ve just added roses because I think roses are interesting.
Sana: What about the one on your back?
Shehryar: That is shaped like wings but it’s actually calligraphy and it says, “Nahin tera nashiman.” The weird thing is my mother didn’t know about it for the first two years. When she saw a photoshoot that showed my tattoo, she said they must have had to work really hard on it. My father, who was sitting on the table, pulls my shirt and points towards it. (Laughs) This one represents Aztec warriors, people fighting for their culture. Since I’m half Baloch and half Brahui, I feel like I’m fighting too. Ours is also a dying culture.
What is the story behind your owl tattoo?
Syra: It’s because I am nocturnal and I also feel like it’s a very misunderstood bird.
Shehryar: So, you feel misunderstood?
Syra: Yes, mostly
Shehryar: What is the real Syra like?
Syra: People tell me that it’s the way I am. People misunderstand what I say and how I say it. That’s where the issue lies, but I am not mean… (Laughs)
Shehryar: Yes, we all have seen a certain show we put on that’s all I am going to say, just kidding. (Laughs) But what’s the story behind that tattoo?
Syra: It was spontaneous.
Shehryar: Pre or post Shehroz?
Syra: Pre. He couldn’t say much (double standards you know) because he has one too. All he said was, “You got it?!”
Shehryar: Do you feel we have double standards? You guys were friends before you guys got married, so how was it different before and after marriage?
Syra: Initially, there were some double standards. He was immature, and I was also immature.
But Shehroze has really changed and evolved over time.
Shehryar: Who wears the pants?
Shehryar: Shabash! (Well done)
Syra: He gives me authority here and there and we both respect each other.
Shehryar: That’s really good!
Coordination and styling by Sana Zehra
Photography by Arsalan Bilgrami of a.bilgrami studio
Shehryar jacket by Ismail Farid and own
Saira outfits and accessories by Anam Salman,
Splash and Pepe Jeans.
Set by Dawat
Saira hair and makeup Nabila at NPRO
Shehryar hair and makeup by JY style studio