In Pakistani folklore, the concept of pardesi (foreigner) is one who leaves not to return but takes their beloved’s heart with them. Bangladeshi actress and once Pakistan’s heartthrob Shabnam, also a pardesi, broke her fans’ hearts when she left but then to their delight she made a brief comeback to Pakistan to attend Karachi Literature Festival. And her fans couldn’t help but once again give her their love and affection.
The actress made it to her session titled Phool Aur Shabnam 45 minutes late owing to a traffic jam in the city, but Shabnam came and conquered in the small time given to her. Her session was moderated by Bushra Ansari, who kept the audiences entertained while they waited.
“I decided to leave Pakistan and retire with respect and you people have treated me so well, how can I ever forget that,” the actress said as soon as she came in and sat down.
Talking about coming back to the country she once called home, the actress added,
“I have given two decades of my life to this industry, didn’t my loved ones back in Bangladesh also deserve my love? I gave you all so much love and now, my family needed it too. Hence, I left.”
Apart from her career, one thing the actress couldn’t help but remember in tears was her husband, the maestro Robin Ghosh who passed away last year.
“I’m very happy I came to Karachi. It’s very sad Robin (Ghosh) is not with me now. I was with him at all times, this the first time I’ve traveled without him. He never said no to me when it came to working. We both trusted each other and he never once asked me why I came home late,” Shabnam remembered.
Although the session ended on a bittersweet note owing to the time-crunch, on an ending note Shabnam promised that she would return to the country whenever she was invited. Hers was a genuine and sincere session.
The actress will also take part in another session on KLF’s last day, where she’ll be seen with fellow contemporary, Nadeem Baig.