It’s not an easy ride to the top, and a recent interview of superstar Ali Zafar with the Bombay Times is testament to that fact. In an interview, when asked about his early life, Ali replied, “My father was a painter; he retired as the Chairman of the Fine Arts Department of his college.
My mother was the first scholar in library science. When I was a kid, my parents built a small house with a lot of difficulty in a posh area of Lahore by borrowing money from friends. When I was about 14, we moved out of that house, as my parents couldn’t afford it. I asked my dad, the amount of money we needed to live there and he told me, Rs10, 000. At that point I told him and decided that, I will make that money.”
“At the age of 18, I started making portraits at the PC Hotel lobby. I would make quick sketches for Rs500. My day would start with getting up at 6am, going to college, then the gym, then straight to PC, where I’d stay till midnight. From that time till today, every single penny I earn, I give it to my dad. For four years, I continued working at PC and collected money till I made my first song Channo, which was a big hit and changed things for me, overnight – I became a star. It took me time to come to terms with it. I won all the awards and got signed up by big brands. My dream was that one day, I’d step on stage and there would be an ocean of people who’d sing along with me; that dream came true with my first concert.”
Ali was then asked how he manages to give all his money to his father, despite being married and having a family of his own, to which he replied: “We have now shifted back to the same house, where I stayed as a child. I live there with my parents and my two brothers. I have no idea what money I have and where it goes.”
“I feel money is good for all your needs, but obsession with money stresses me out. As long as my basic needs are fulfilled, I don’t care. It’s also a very convenient structure for me, as my father manages everything. My wife is extremely non-materialistic and is happy to get a monthly pocket money from him. I have a joint account with him; he either invests the money or donates it to a few charities where I want the money to go. My father is the conventional good person who has never done anything wrong in his life,” reported Times of India. It is clear that Ali is one star who has not let fame go to his head.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2014.