Not everyone born poor is destined to be poor. Most of us have been acquainted with this phrase since childhood but societal pressures and financial instability usually get better of those who decide to dream. However, an Indore-based fruit-seller was adamant of not letting his financial insecurities come in the way of his daughter’s aspirations.
It is not easy for a fruit-seller from a small town, or any poor for that matter, to fund his daughter’s education, especially if the daughter chooses to follow her creative zeal and opts for a course that deviates from the “mainstream” education. But he did everything he could to make his daughter financially independent. Today, she is an established costume designer in Bollywood and an aspiring actress.
Meet Jwala Sheikh alias Afreena. Her story resembles dreamy fairy tales that we have all grown up listening to. The only difference is that in Afreena’s story, there is no ‘prince charming’ – she is the one to have scripted her own success story with her undying spirit and unwavering support from poor parents.
From an early age, when kids of the poor need to first think of survival in this harsh world, Jwala Sheikh wished to be associated with arts and creative fields. This innate zeal had Afreena opt for a fashion designing course in Indore. She later shifted to Mumbai, where she started working as a costume designer. After a brief period of deadly struggle, Afreena had a chance meeting with director Satya Dubey. The director signed Afreena for an album.
Released under the ‘Shemaroo’ banner, this album gave her instant popularity alongside few other film offers. In one of the upcoming films, she will be seen sharing the screen with critically acclaimed actor Paresh Rawal! Her new film, ‘Tere Ishq Mein Qurbaan’ is set to hit the theaters soon.
Although she is now getting numerous film offers, she has not sacrificed her first love – costume designing – for acting. The lady, who started her costume designing career with Aakash Pandey’s film ‘Bhanwar’, is of the view that hard work is always rewarding and that there is no shortcut for good fortune.
Afreena says that she met the ‘Lahu Ke Do Rang’ director at a Mumbai restaurant by chance. She grabbed the opportunity to show some of her designs to Akash, following which she was selected for the film. She has designed both traditional and western outfits for the film.
She is currently working as costume designer for an upcoming Anupam Kher film.