Young lovers Saira and Shahroz tie the knot

Published: November 5, 2012

The couple talks about falling in love and finally making it. PHOTO: YELLOW JACKET

The couple talks about falling in love and finally making it. PHOTO: YELLOW JACKET The couple talks about falling in love and finally making it. PHOTO: YELLOW JACKET The couple talks about falling in love and finally making it. PHOTO: YELLOW JACKET
KARACHI: 

She’s the youngest of four sisters; he’s the only child of Mr and Mrs Behroze Sabzwari. She’s composed, with a charming, girl-next-door appeal; he’s the talkative and hopelessly romantic ladla. Meet TV actors Saira Yousuf and Shahroz Sabzwari, who got hitched last month after years of on and off romance.

Welcoming The Express Tribune into his home on Saturday evening, 25-year-old Shahroz and his better half were ecstatic about sharing their romantic journey and their intimate nikaah ceremony.

“We met at a mutual friend, Ali Tariq’s wedding,” Shahroz begins, talking about the first time he saw Saira before she joins us. “That was six years ago! I was 19 and she was 18. During events like the mehendi, dholkis, dance practices, I started to like her,” he says. Abandoning all notions of bashfulness, he adds: “Before that, I had seen her in a couple of ads and had thought to myself — who is this cute girl in town?”

Wearing a casual red shirt with jeans, Shahroz gets comfortable on a sofa and talks about his induction into showbiz. “I am a parchee,” he says, admitting that he had help from his father Behroze, who is a senior actor in our entertainment industry. He also says that his father saw the talent in him. “Dad would initially make phone calls [within the industry] to cast me as an actor in upcoming plays,” he adds. He then smiles and reiterates his initial view: “That makes me a parchee.”

As the conversation progresses, Saira walks into the room, radiant and adorable in jeans and a white top, bearing her contagious trademark smile. As he glances at his pretty 24-year-old wife with Afghani features, his eyes light up. Clearly, he is head over heels in love.

But while the young couple started dating in 2006, their relationship saw its shares of ups and downs. Both, however, refuse to acknowledge that they had ever completely broken things off.  “We were together on and off,” Sabzwari says disappointed. “Other things mattered more at the time and we grew apart.”

Shahroz adopts a sincere and open stance as he explains the shortcomings he had when he was younger. “For a 19-year-old, I was really immature and Saira was way more mature than any girl at 18!” He adds, “I was very insecure and over-possessive about her then.”

He fondly recalls memories of their teens. “She literally grew up in this house! We used to hang out so often. Our families knew each other and her parents often visited our place,” he says.

At this point, Saira speaks up. She says that even during their break-ups, she knew they were made for each other. “He started dating again and went out with a couple of other girls,” she says, in a playful tone. But Shahroz is quick to interrupt her as he interjects with “just a few!”.

With a chuckle, Yousuf continues. She explains that in her heart, she knew that there was a strong connection between them. “I somehow knew he will come back to me!” she shares.

Shahroz continues, saying that the couple has scores of mutual friends who always pictured them together, despite them being apart. “It was always ‘Saira-Shahroz’ for them even when we weren’t together,” he says with a smile. Even when they were not dating, they say they were always civil towards each other and accepted TV play offers, when they were cast in the same production.

It was the new drama, “Tanhaiyaan: Naye Silsilay” that brought them back together. “In this play, there were love scenes between us; either she was wooing me or I her,” Shahroz says with excitement. “Although we were always civil with each other, the passion was there and I fell in love with her again.”

But Saira felt differently. “I was cordial and the attraction was there, but at the end I knew it [being formal] was going nowhere!” She continues, “I told him we should stop fighting. For him, whenever we were civil, we ended up talking about marriage.”

He took the plunge and popped the question, asking for her hand in marriage and — like the romantic that he is — wanting to elope. “Let’s go to the mosque and do it,” Shahroz had said to her at the time. “We will let the families know later.”

Saira was more composed, and decided that involving the families is a better idea. “Let’s go the right way,” she had told him. That’s when Shahroz told his father. From being a ‘baat pakki’ event, upon the parents’ insistence, it transpired into an intimate nikaah ceremony. Shahroz’s mother designed an ivory-coloured chicken-kari outfit with kaamdani work for Saira. Thus, on October 21 — the date when they were supposed to exchange rings — they became husband and wife.

Saira shares how their friends’ reacted to the development. “When we were hanging out, it was acceptable to everyone because dating and party ‘scene on hai’,” she says. “But when we announced our marriage, they felt it was too early for us to settle down.”

“They forget that we grew up together,” Saira adds. “We experienced each other as friends first; then we grew apart and came back to one another. I believe we are good together.”

Since then, some friends have bombarded Shahroz with questions like: “When is the doomsday, yaar?”  Other people in the media industry, have said: “Your career is over, dude!” Shahroz doesn’t appreciate such remarks, “Bakwas! We believe in fate, we will be together,” he says with pride. “With this development, we have gained immense popularity and respect from our fans.”

Agreeing that the feeling of being married has not sunk in yet, both of them say that they will support each other in their professions. “We don’t like to control each other. We give each other the space that’s needed. I don’t like to interfere in her work or her life and neither does she in mine,” says Shahroz.

With a rukhsati ceremony scheduled to be held in December this year, the honeymoon is likely to be in either Australia or Europe. “We like old heritage buildings,” says a beaming Shahroz. “We’re fine with a cup of tea at a roadside café,” he smiles.

As our meeting came to an end, Shahroz lovingly put his arm around his wife. The couple laughed as Shahroz said he is happy to spend money on their honeymoon, cheekily adding that she is a shopaholic. We wish them a happily married life!

Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (47)

  • Khurram Awan
    Nov 5, 2012 - 8:25PM

    As he glances at his pretty 24-year-old wife with Afghani features ???

    Pathetic writing and pretty racist at the same and show us the inferiority complex of some people. Kindly visit Outside Karachi in the whole of Pakistan to see these same looks before generalizing and writing like that. There is nothing special and her features are pretty ordinary and nothing else.

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  • sana
    Nov 5, 2012 - 8:26PM

    whattay cutes. big up to saira for disproving the supremely annoying “brides pe chotay baal suit nahi kartay” bakwas, she looks adorable!

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  • Awais Masood
    Nov 5, 2012 - 8:28PM

    “finally making it” : As if getting married is like successful Everest summit expedition. Its rather more of a folly that two people of such tender age can commit.

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  • Gem
    Nov 5, 2012 - 8:40PM

    She is half Afghani! What’s so racist about that?

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  • Foolitics
    Nov 5, 2012 - 8:41PM

    “Afghani features”? Haha. I thought that observation was funny. Her features are typical of girls where I come from and I am not from Afghanistan.

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  • Forever Alone
    Nov 5, 2012 - 8:57PM

    Jeez … always crying commentators … She is BEYOND pretty, just ask any guy in Pakistan.

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  • Zaheer
    Nov 5, 2012 - 9:06PM

    @Khurram Awan:
    Sir you are too harsh here. Come on, i don’t see any racism in the comment. Moreover, you said her looks are ‘pretty ordinary’, get a life man. She is gorgeous.

    I love both of these nice faces. I would certainly wish them a happy married life.

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  • Chamchi
    Nov 5, 2012 - 9:13PM

    @Gem Actually most of the commentators who read ET are Pakistani diaspora living abroad and in Europe and America I have seen that characterization of someone based on Physical features is not Appreciated in News and tabloids. For example you will never see BBC, sky news or the Sun stating that a Girl with Features of a certain country as it is considered a generalization of one race and that is a Taboo. So in that context these people are right but they dont know the General mindset in Pakistan where even Express tribune writers need to be educated to be careful with their choice of words.
    Bye the way I am a Pakistani girl and even i dont know what is meant by a Features thing?. May be the writer tried to imply that Pakistani girls have horns on their heads as otherwise Girls with such features are in abundance here!!.Recommend

  • TAK
    Nov 5, 2012 - 9:23PM

    @Khurram Awan:
    Stupidest comment ever. Congrats!

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  • Shaami
    Nov 5, 2012 - 9:24PM

    @Gem: Afghans are our brothers and Many are Pakistanis now but Khurram Awan said it in a different context and i agree with him that that how come you can judge someone by some facial features and then mention it on the news channels like these. As who can explain what makes such features in the first place that are judgmental of your origin.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Nov 5, 2012 - 9:28PM

    @Khurram Awan:
    Why are you so obsessed with pushtuns, get a life man ……..Recommend

  • Khurram Awan
    Nov 5, 2012 - 9:40PM

    @Pakistani: Well my second language is Pushto for your information but i am obsessed with Ignorance prevailing in Our society. My upbringing is European so my be I am a misfit in this society. I once visited Karachi and i dont want to name but one ethnic members told me some racist things about Migrants of India living in Karachi and i was shocked at the ignorance portrayed by them in Karachi and when we try to discuss race, color and origin on mainstream media then more differences evolve in my view as people start differentiating each other based on that. May be I am a misfit in this country or may be my family have not taught me well that Pakistan is different than West altogether as features, color, ethnic and race pride is a part of daily life..
    I think i should not even comment here on ET again as well. So have a nice day and Bye.

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  • Jacob Avrunin
    Nov 5, 2012 - 9:50PM

    As a westerner, I see her features as typical Indian-type of features, especially North-Indian type encountered from western UP, Rajastan, Punjab, and Sindh. That is, the nose is more rounded and broader at the base.

    Having lived in Afghanistan, her features don’t look typical afghani at all. Afghans from the heartland have a sharper hooked-nose type of look with high cheekbones.

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  • I.
    Nov 5, 2012 - 10:19PM

    Big LOL at almost all the commentators above.
    Does it really matter what her features are like? :o
    Can’t u just congratulate the couple,lar kyu Rae hu sub :o
    Anyways, CONGRATS saira and shehroz :D
    U guys look awesome together Masha-Allah :D

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  • Zalmai
    Nov 5, 2012 - 11:23PM

    @Jacob Avrunin

    “Afghans from the heartland have a sharper hooked-nose type of look with high cheekbones”

    Another racist comment. Where did you live in Afghanistan where you saw women with hooked noses? Afghans cover the entire spectrum of racial features, which include white, brown and olive complexioned people as well as people of Mongoloid stock. Your stereotype is downright racist and ignorant.

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  • ss
    Nov 5, 2012 - 11:37PM

    she is pretty ordinary, not attractive at all

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  • Shenaniganman
    Nov 6, 2012 - 12:03AM

    Guys please. Let’s put the focus back on how completely unintellectual this article is.

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  • The Khan
    Nov 6, 2012 - 12:21AM

    Congrats : )
    To people who think she is ordinary, you are just jealous. I would bet my life that your wife aint pretty as her

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  • axfar
    Nov 6, 2012 - 12:47AM

    she is not prretty ordinaryy u dont have eyes i think! i dont think u have such a complete packege like her here in pak she posses both a western and eastern beauti her smile is addorable @ss:

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  • ayesha
    Nov 6, 2012 - 2:32AM

    Cutest couple ever,adore them a lot :)Recommend

  • fus
    Nov 6, 2012 - 4:58AM

    Calm down guys, why can’t you just wish the couple best of luck rather than getting into idiotic discussion. Her parents are Afghani that is why the writer probably mentioned it. What is the bug, nobody is being racist here. It is time to GROW UP. No every remark is Racist.

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  • islooite
    Nov 6, 2012 - 9:17AM

    i was so waiting for this interview ! enjoyed it totally .this is the cutest couple in town . Many congrats you two :))

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  • talha
    Nov 6, 2012 - 9:20AM

    @The Khan:
    @fus:
    why all of you are acting like an anchor persons in our media, simply putting your words into the others month. Every persons has a right to talk about their views, if she is ugly or pretty that’s someone’s point of view. i request to all my countryman to bring harmony among us and ignore hatred for others. keep smiling

    Anyway, good and happy wishes for the beautiful couple, keep rocking

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  • HH
    Nov 6, 2012 - 9:20AM

    Beautiful Couple!! A marriage at the right time….

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  • Wanderer
    Nov 6, 2012 - 9:49AM

    One of the cutest couple in town.. they both are adorable!
    Wishing you guys a very happy married life :)

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  • JD
    Nov 6, 2012 - 10:09AM

    @Shaami:
    Afghans are our brothers? This notion of Muslim brotherhood sentiments is a very Pakistani thing; no other Muslim country especially our loving neighbors Afghanistan think very highly of us. Pakistani’s are apparently the appointed saviors (and adorers) of the Muslim world.

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  • Glenn Ryall
    Nov 6, 2012 - 10:11AM

    They are such a cute couple, may God bless them and their marriage :)

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  • Jameel
    Nov 6, 2012 - 11:29AM

    Saira and Shahroz you are beautiful! So happy to see two people in love and celebrating it. WIsh the same for all of us.

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  • HH
    Nov 6, 2012 - 11:41AM

    Extremely cheesy article by ET.

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  • Ehsan karim
    Nov 6, 2012 - 11:47AM

    @HH:
    absolutely right..

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  • Bilal
    Nov 6, 2012 - 11:52AM

    I loved that Parchee Part !! :D lol

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  • Pragmatist
    Nov 6, 2012 - 12:05PM

    They make a great couple.Recommend

  • nwaq
    Nov 6, 2012 - 12:39PM

    They are simply looking adorable,may Allah bless them always.This article provides detailed information about them that is welcoming.I don’t what is the idea of starting an argument about certain remark.

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  • Daniyah Sehar
    Nov 6, 2012 - 12:46PM

    I always knew you guys were made for each other . It was so obvious ! Wishing you both a happy married life and May your love for each other never lessens Ameen !

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  • SurelySure!!
    Nov 6, 2012 - 1:12PM

    i think we can be easy with words! its not a Physics formula; simply a short story or Update about 2 celebrities and thats all. atleast we can congratulate!
    Happy Marriage/Nikah to both of you!

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  • A J Khan
    Nov 6, 2012 - 1:23PM

    Best Wishes

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  • MukamilAhmad
    Nov 6, 2012 - 3:16PM

    I will just say Get a life @Khuraam Awaan.As her bio suggests she is Half Afghani.Being Afghani, I am happy for her as she has chosen right partner for herself. she was our senior when she was in ILM school in Peshawar.She is nice girl though.I do not understand why some people are so obsessed and carry so much hatred against Pashtoons. Come on they are part of this society and specially against Afghans.Wish them happy and successful life ahead.

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  • Nov 6, 2012 - 3:40PM

    What a couple…. mA :-)

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  • Natasha Zafar
    Nov 6, 2012 - 3:47PM

    Awwwwwww…So cute <3 xoxoxoxox
    Congrats :)

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  • Zuhaib Khan
    Nov 6, 2012 - 6:27PM

    I think, the writer has said “Afghani features” as she has Afghani roots. I don’t see any problem with it. I am surprised at those who have problem with this statement. A pathetic comment by Khurram Awan though. You are blaming ET for inferiority complex but I would say, you are suffering from the same problem, that is pretty clear from your all comments. Moreover, where in Europe you have learned such thinking approach to take a normal informative statement into racist comment ?

    Just for information, Afghani doesn’t mean that she is Pashtoon. She is of Persian origin if I recall correctly.

    Congrats :) They are looking great.

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  • Temur
    Nov 6, 2012 - 7:59PM

    These comments make me laugh. I think those girls who were desperately anticipating to marry this boy but could not succeed are the one who are making disparaging remarks about her look. I find the girl quite attractive and enchanting, they will make a good couple.

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  • Temur
    Nov 6, 2012 - 8:23PM

    @@Jacob Avrunin…Maybe the people of northern India have mostly small and broad noses, but not in Pakistan. Most of the Sindhis and Punjabis have long and straight noses.

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  • Hasan Cheema
    Nov 6, 2012 - 9:33PM

    Well first of all She in not even a Pushtoon so what hate you are talking about?. She is of Persian Origin actually and I dont think Khurram does means hate as Awans are mostly Hazaras living in KPK and in Potohar regions and they have close links with Pushtoons..

    @Zuhaib Khan It needs a lot of education to understand the statement what Khurram Awan have made but sadly Our Education System and way of thinking will not allow us to think much about that. It is a very wise comment by Khurram Awan and i appreciate and sadly our people dont think much like that.
    You know My friend in Karachi have some Dark Features and some of my Pukhtoon friends make fun of him and call him a Black Indian Muhajir and It is disheartening for me. For me He is a Pakistani and his features will not make him a less Pakistani and nobody have a right to tell him what his features are to Generalize anyone’s Origin and that is the statement what Khurram Awan have made.
    Nobody in modern world can determine anyone’s features and origin in any manner and one must digress from such statements at all costs and i concur with Khurram in this case.Recommend

  • Diesel
    Nov 7, 2012 - 10:06AM

    All ethnicities have equal rights in Pakistan weather it is anybody. Paktoons are also well respected in Pakistan. So my dear Afghan Paktoon, why do not you do one thing, try to get your rights in Afghanistan first ,be it in Politics, Army, Media and other government institutions!!!!Recommend

  • Zuhaib Khan
    Nov 7, 2012 - 6:44PM

    and by the way, She is pretty cute and attractive ;)

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  • Zuhaib Khan
    Nov 8, 2012 - 5:24PM

    Kind of strange that my pretty valid comment got filtered.Recommend

  • Sonia
    Nov 11, 2012 - 12:35AM

    @Zuhaib Khan:
    Thanks for writing out just exactly what was in my mind!!!

    The writer HONORED Afghans by referring to the linage- how dumb can people get!!!!

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