Farhat Siddiqi -- who put her life into acting


For years Farhat would be known as, ice-cream, name of a character which she played in one of her serials.


Acting was a tough job but it was her interest which would keep her spirit high.


During childhood as soon as she would finish watching the Indian actresses on television – she would make her way direct to the mirror to imitate them.


“I don’t know how the knack for acting got into me but it would always soothe me.”


Seeing her passion for TV, her brother, one day, took her to the state owned television channel Doordarshan.


Farhat’s brother’s friend would work in DD Kashir. He introduced him with her. She was instantly taken to host a children’s program known as ‘baman’.


“Initially I would do a lot of practice before hosting the show but within days I began to write my own script and would need no assistance to carry out the program.”


Anchoring the children’s program proved a boon for Farhat as she met the director who asked her to work in one of her shows.


“Opportunity was knocking at my door but I was drenched in sweat for I didn’t know how to carry this out.”


In 21 years of her career Farhat played many toles but ‘mouj’ – mother – is one of her favourites.


“I was too young to play the role of a mother but director thought I am perfect for the character. I acted with all my sincerity and it paid me in long way.”


Farhat is still known for her role in the serials and after that she bagged many other roles and became a prominent face of DD Kashir.


Career of Farhat kick started, during nineties, when she was just 14 years of age and Kashmir passing through a politically volatile situation.


Bullets and crackdowns – were like an everyday affair then – but that couldn’t break her commitment and passion for television.


“I used to don burqa whenever situations would worsen but never stopped going to studio.”


This behaviour of her was disliked by every other person except her family. Living in old city of Srinagar in Kashmir, she says, has added to her problems. 


“Acting is altogether a different ballgame. You know nothing about your schedule. You have to go outdoors, have to practice for hours in the studio and in all this I would never reach home on time. My neighbours would never like this.”

They would visit her house to ask her family to refrain her from going out in such an unscheduled way. 


“They would at times threaten us of dire consequences but my family stood firm and always supported me.”


Farhat’s working for TV and radio was an advantage to many a girls as she had set the precedence.


“I got so many roles may be because I was talented or either for less availability of girls.”


Her enthusiasm for learning keep on increasing as Farhat went into gaining expertise in her acting field therefore she joined Kashmir kalaa manch.


“It was there I learned about the intricacies of acting. I learnt a lot about other things which further helped me in being a good actress.”


Apart from TV and radio she now began doing theatre. 


In budshah festival she performed four shows. There was an event started on her name known as farhat festival – just because she did four shows in a day.


“In that festival I got the best actress award for a show namely ‘wit’ri binyol’.”


While performing for shows and other programs, Farhat continued her education also.


Meanwhile relatives boycotted and stopped talking to her but that couldn’t humble her.


Though there are many girls who are into this field but producers still prefer her for varied roles.


Inspired by her, her sister too joined her.


Because of lack of funds in DD she joined a local theatre group recently.


In three years Farhat took part in many theatre plays here. In one of the famous plays namely ‘a country without post office’ she played four roles at Kerala and Pune.


“Lot has changed since I joined this field. Those who would bitch about me are now seeking inspiration from me. My same neighbours who would harass are now bringing their kids to me for getting an exposure in this field.”


After 24 years of struggle and hard work Farhat is capable of directing and producing her own serials, plays and documentaries.


“I directed plays at Delhi for Doordarshan and produced various serials.”

Talking about scope of acting in Kashmir, Farhat says, “Industry has exhausted. Nothing is left of this industry now. If someone wants to pursue acting s/he should go outside.”