Posted on March 17, 2016 at 3:02 pm

Featured Indian TV What's Happenin'

"No one recognizes me as Nell" – Aamina Sheikh

Aamina Sheikh is one of the best known faces of the Urdu diaspora and is known for playing strong female characters. One of the strongest roles she has portrayed in her career is that of Nell, a Black-British woman providing emotional and moral succour to a young man in distress in Zindagi’s Main Abdul Qadir Hoon that airs Monday to Saturday at 10:20 PM.


The former supermodel is very discerning while choosing her roles, preferring characters that take her away from real life. Striving to find a balance between rehearsing and spontaneity while working in front of the camera.

Nell, the character that Sheikh plays is an ex- call girl, who now suffers from AIDS and has since turned to religion. She is introduced in the show, when she runs into Abdul Qadir the main protagonist outside a pub when he is beaten by thugs. Abdul Qadir hires her as a maid, he is so influenced with Nell that the two eventually get married. Nell gradually brings him back to religion, which he uses to cope with his emotions when Nell passes away due to the fatal disease. The role is a pivotal role which changes the course of the protagonist’s life and has a profound effect on his character and his being.

Sheikh worked on her physiognomy and her ensemble for a week before playing the Black-British woman in Main Abdul Qadir Hoon”, says director Babar Javed who is all praises for her work. “It is immensely gratifying to work with someone as professional as Aamina who also does her homework.”

“My job description is to bring honesty and integrity to any role that I take up,”

says Aamina about her role in the show

Nell Ibrahim, the woman that I am playing in the serial, is a Black-British woman with an Indian Muslim mother. Since Ibrahim is British, I wanted to adopt an authentic accent. I got help from Raana Khan, a make-up artist who specialises in fashion shoots, and she created Ibrahim’s look by giving me thick lips, a black complexion and dreadlocks. I remember going onto the set when the film was being shot. I covered myself in a blanket and everyone looked at me saying, ‘what is this coming.’ It took a while for everyone to digest my appearance because they all felt that it was as close to a black-British woman as it should get.”

What will happen when Faiz will disclose the truth of Nell’s past to Abdul Qadir? How will Abdul Qadir deal with Nell’s past? Will Nell’s past change everything between her and Abdul Qadir?