Odho was born in Karachi, Pakistan on the February 12, 1968. She is married, and has three children. She started her professional life as a make-up artist and hairstylist in 1989. While working as a make-up artist for various advertising agencies in Karachi, she was discovered by television personality, Anwar Maqsood. She starred in his play, “Sitara Aur Mehrunissa” in 1993; the role turned her into a household name in Pakistan.
Odho has since worked in many popular television and film projects and has been actively involved in both media and the cosmetic industry in Pakistan .
She lives in the UAE and Pakistan. Currently she is engaged in philanthropic activities. She has been working for Shaukat Khanam Cancer Memorial Hospital, Fatmeed Foundation and nowadays working as a social worker in “Hamara Mulk, Hamaray Log”.She is currently CEO of Odho Cosmetics, and Odho Productions.
Atiqa Odho is an accomplished actress and model. Now, as she takes on the role of chat show queen, she talks of her life and the impact she’s made on an industry struggling to survive
Star appeal is an abstract phenomenon; some entertainers are born with impeccable comic timing, others with twinkling toes, while few latch themselves on to a godfather and going down the make up and training route, strut the stage. And then there are the few who simply exude elements of style and give off vibes of a elevated persona; it is done with such effortless ease that the mass public cannot help but regard the artist with a degree of awe.
Although all performers start with high ambitions, yet the large variety of them end up pandering to conservative social dilemmas and perhaps curbing whatever little joie de vivre they started out with. Therefore whilst playing the co-host at the recent Lux Style Awards, Atiqa stunned the audience with a single remark. Flicking back her hair in trademark femme fatale style she responded in part dialogue to Marina Khan’s question “What did you wear on your wedding?”
by cooing “Kaunsi shaadi? Pehli, doosri ya jisey akhbarat likhte hain hone wali hai?” The medley of giggles, snickers and “ohmigod how could she!” ensued. Atiqa was disdainful. She was merely living up to her own adage of “darling if you have to do it, do it with style.”
The onlookers and particles of the industry have varying opinions. Some call it a “begum act” others shudder at what they feel is “excessive high maintenance” yet this is one woman who knows her mind and thank heavens is not part of the clique whose tale commence on a note of a young damsel in distress being thrown on to the ramp and told to shed its cocoon.
It is a mindset varying from the norm at the moment, as numerous Asian productions are making their presence known globally with films heading towards the Oscars and channels supplying the desi culture from Timbuktu to New Zealand.
Atiqa feels that “more than one element keeps our Pakistani programs from moving abroad, not just the financing which would be required for such a project, also the size of a select audience it would be catering to.
“It has taken a project like Lagaan for the Indians to break in to the foreign scene and with our home in such a mess we need to sort things out here before moving anywhere else.”
In the early years one of the most common sights onscreen was her portrayal of a young mother trying to convince the pesky brat to consume a glass of Nido or tell all the onlookers to use a particular brand of cooking oil. Debuting as Anwer Maqsood’s Sitara she enacted the pretty and fragile character who invoked empathy and reactions that made the average Jane relate more to her than the firebrand Mehrunnisa thus ensuring that a star was born. “A lot of it depends on kismet, the way people receive your play or react to it.”
Going by her career chart you do believe her statement that all her roles have a strong element of diversity to them. Instead of forever playing the spoilt little princess or the Muslim social drama post Sitara aur Mehrunnisa she went on to do the role of a slum- living, perpetually pregnant woman in Nijaat which was part of the family planning propaganda. “There were lots of people who warned me against doing that play.
They all said that I would be slotted forever in the de-glamorized role, but I went ahead and it worked.” Explaining how “people think I take my work very lightly and it is part time hobby for me but little do they know that not only does it hold extreme importance in my life I also do take it extremely seriously.”
It is back to television these days, not just as the producer of a television serial that is going to be directed by her long time friend Marina Khan. Also on the cards is producing and hosting a talk show aimed at showcasing the creative genius of Pakistan.
“Basically I love people, and I feel that there are so many of them who have contributed to society not just by doing charity work or such noble acts but even by generating a controversy they add to the growing picture. I want to discuss with them the good, the bad and all the other issues ranging from the environment to what their interests were and why they have spent their lives nurturing them. Having shot a number of episodes I was very surprised to see that most of them are very patriotic despite the fact that some have gone through a pretty rough time here but amazingly their spirits do not sag.”
What sets her and a few select apart from the television behnjis and the film starlets is the different attitude. Loathing the constant moaning and whining that is carried out by the entertainment industry en masse, she says: “A lot of people bemoan the lack of professionalism and the work conditions here. But as I keep telling them this is the one place where you can stand out and carve a niche for yourself.”
Instep recently carried a story on the hypocrisy of PTV’s censorship policy; her opinion on the subject was that work frustrations have little to do with what is not allowed. Instead her primary concern lies with how private productions are dealt a worse hand.
“A PTV show can get away with so much more as it is a part of Pakistan Television’s in-house efforts. Her outrage at the treatment of private production houses who are not just providing programs but also paying for the on air time is that “on one hand a constant reminder of what is allowed and what is not continues and on the other you have the cinema catering to the masses which shows ten-year old children holding guns.”
To her it is more about fair play than a self-imposed moral brigade. “But the issue lies with the fact that right now we have shows on television where there are nautch girls performing and if it was a level playing field I would have no problems with it. The things we can’t do by holding hands and embracing, need to be done through emoting expressions. It is so much more difficult to show physical attraction here than anywhere else because here it is all in the eyes, and that makes it very challenging.”
Quoting the last episode, “All these acts in the mentality of a parallel strange has been breached a scene from a play of mine with happy Humayun because it required him holding my hand and said he had found the girl he is going to marry. Because on one side there is a man who has shown which is used his hands to reach his wife, and that it is not allowed except when the other is used to highlight the softness will be hacked, “he said. The response was set out to achieve her about the incident by an official in the TV shy, “I am sure someone is very jealous that he (Humayun Saeed) was holding your hand.”
Go to the cinema was her decision to work in the films have a degree of shock value. This was, perhaps still, praising everything from the background of female socially prominent, not just imagine it themselves. Again, before embarking on this note I got a fair share of warnings and the logic of a specific audience that it attracts a very trivial. Her reply is a short declaration on this point. They fully meet the scenes on television courtesy of the same ship, “and despite the fact that television has a policy of control and respond to a lot of crap in it.” It maintains its position that “if the change is bound to be all that needs to be generated by people who know what quality is all about.”
Vintage remember an incident a week before the shooting Joe Darr Gaya Woh Mar Gaya started. Was in a television station, is being criticized by most of the people sitting there any 1 any step towards her celluloid. Became Director of the station supporter of her single “because he looked at a group of sitting around complaining of the fact that something should be done to repair the film industry, saying only that at least it is moving forward and do it instead of just making small talk.”
The desire is to try to form a pretty good team for the film business. “The art of cinema was not an option because you have enough to be responsible for the market, which works for and the money does not play an important role in this business, and like any other site, you have to be very careful and responsible when dealing with other people’s money, there are a lot of people I have come across through fashion, style and the film industry who insist they want to do a movie but can not work with the current mafia movie. “
So far, in spite of careful planning, flops like a mummy did not happen. Excuse is that “my intentions were true. Often as we enter in a project with good intentions but just did not work.”
With three films and youd have to credit, and it was Joe Dar Gaya Woh Mar Gaya car for the first time that was singing duets with Nadim also ran on the piano. Followed by the mummy of their fate at the box office was barren, and not the last of which was the biggest hit of the trio – Moggi Chaand Chahiye. The role of Shan’s mother is not one that many actresses under the age of 50 and flavor, but the old chatted with the moon during a large part of three hours and got the award collectively for it. “No one of the roles has been my model. Glitter there, and the songs are there, dancing and there was, but I’m basically there as a performer and that is exactly what led me to play the mother of Chan in the MCC. It’s not a Barbie role of the doll, and this is one thing I hate to bear
As a New Yorker she was there during the September 11 attacks, and you wonder if there was a feeling of vulnerability and fear at any time for a foreigner in Manhattan? She denies it, utterly used to absorbing all in to her stride and claims not to have faced or felt any kind of discrimination or difficulty. “The emotional reactions of the masses were exhibited and then it just all retreated as normal life went on.”
Having acquired a certain amount of technical knowledge courtesy workshops and classes in happening New York, her aim is to try and uplift the entertainment industry which has been completely ignored in this country for so many years. She is savvy enough to understand and accept that overnight miracles will not happen and with other, greater problems to be faced in a world gone mad, a change in the entertainment industry will take time and oodles of patience. The realisation does nothing to deter her. This modern day sophisticate rushes around, flashing her diamonds one moment, balancing her briefcase the next, instructing the secretary all the time. The phone buzzzes constantly. It’s just another working day in the life of a woman named Atiqa.
Since 2009, she has also been engaged in philanthropic activities. She has been working for Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital,Fatmeed Foundation and as a social worker in “Hamara Mulk, Hamaray Log”.She is currently the CEO of Odho Cosmetics, and Odho Productions. She is also the ambassador for the campaign on awareness of breast cancer in Pakistan.
In 2010-11, Odho became a member of the All Pakistan Muslim League.
On June 5, 2011, Odho was caught at Islamabad Airport for possessing two bottles of imported liquor. She was scheduled to travel to Karachi from Islamabad by PK-319 flight. Odho told ASF officials that she had previously been taking champagne but none stopped her before.She was allowed to go by the officials without taking any action apparently due to influence used by her.
Subsequently, she tendered her resignation from party’s basic membership following the instructions of APML’s senior leaders.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took suo moto notice of the incident and the case was taken up for hearing on 8 June 2011. Sources said the FIR had been lodged on behalf of an Assistant Collector Pakistan Customs in the Airport Police Station. She has been booked on the charges of carrying two bottles of imported wine.
* Jo Darr Gya Woh Marr Gya
* Mujhe Chand Chahiye