After a three year long bumpy ride, from notoriety to repentance, Veena Malik is back. Her flight landed early Wednesday morning in Islamabad from Dubai.
While speaking to the media, she said, “I have returned to the country as a mature girl.” Dressed in a black colored abaya, she was accompanied by her husband Asad Basheer Khan Khattak, a Dubai based businessman.
She came to Pakistan after three years and for now her intention remains to host a Valima reception here in Pakistan, possibly in Lahore.
Her father arrived and a few of Khattak’s relatives arrived at the airport to receive the couple. She said that she was overwhelmed with emotions at her arrival back in her home country.
It remains unclear for how long she is here, but her publicist Sohail Rashid told The Express Tribune, that she plans on hosting shows for TV channels, whichever ones she gets approached for.
Her career began in 2008, when she appeared in the Punjabi film Mohabbatan Sachian, the film received several accolades and was a commercial success, but Veena didn’t get to share much of the limelight. However, her fortune changed soon enough, it was the popular comedy TV show, Hum Saab Umeed Say Hain, which won great applause for her mimicry, primarily of her peers Reema and Meera.
Later, she enjoyed continued fame when she appeared in the Indian reality television show Bigg Boss Season 4 the Indian reality TV show, or rather infamy, as her actions on the show created quite a controversy. However, her height of notoriety came with her allegedly nude photo shoot for the Indian online edition of the international monthly men’s lifestyle magazine FHM. In the pictures a tattoo on her arm was entirely visible and it wasn’t just any tattoo, but a tattoo of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). After this, there were speculations that Veena was acting as a Pakistani spy in India; a claim she blatantly denied. This move made her a highly controversial figure across Pakistan. Later in India, she tried her luck in films; she acted in successive failures including Zindagi 50-50, Tere Naal Love Hogaya and in an item number for the movie Gali Gali Chor.
Last year, around Christmas time, reports surfaced of her engagement in Dubai to Khattak, it was a very private affair. Later, Malik had a big wedding in the US, in February this year.
We also saw Veena, clad in her abaya and hijab, setting off for Umrah and asking people for forgiveness for her past mistakes and requesting them to pray for her so that she is able to stick to this change in her life. She announced her retirement from the Indian and Pakistani film industry but has promised that she will work for social welfare projects in the future.
And now, after three years of notoriety and creating many haters in Pakistan, Veena is back indefinitely. Even though she claimed in her interviews that her well-wishers from all over the world have been congratulating her and sending her prayers, we are waiting to see how the media and public will react to her return and are eagerly anticipating her future endeavours.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2014.