LAHORE: Alhamra Arts Centre’s Hall 2 was packed by the time veteran actor Bushra Ansari and filmmaker Sarmad Khoosat got on the stage for the session In Conversation with Bushra Ansari.There was pin drop silence in the room by the time the conversation started.The actress spoke at length about her initial struggles in the field of show business, taking the audience through the various joys and sorrows and successes and failures in her journey.She talked about bravery and resilience of Pakistani women. “We have combated every challenge with patience and ambition, and at the same time made a mark in our respective fields. I don’t understand why people label women as survivors in Pakistan. We’re not just survivors, we are fighters. We carry the torch for others and lead by example. We are the best at multitasking,” Ansari said.Regarding working women, she said they delivered under constant pressure and manage their careers and homes.“We feel the need to ensure that our hair is done, we have nail polish on, we are working and at the same time keeping and managing the home. And women who can’t manage these roles at the same time learn how to do so with time, like I did,” she said.The veteran actor ensured that her talk was an amalgam of sentiments and wits, making the audience laugh every now and then with her funny anecdotes and witty remarks. The audience responded with thundering applause.When Khoosat asked her to recount her reasons for choosing comic roles at a time when other actresses were opting for serious roles, she said, “I went ahead with whatever made me comfortable. I sang and I performed as a comedienne. You can say I was simply going with the flow,” she said, “I remember I used to joke around and have a laugh on sets and make everyone else laugh as well. They looked so serious and under pressure, wanting to get everything right.” Ansari added that since her disposition came across such, people started recognising her as a comedienne. It was a matter of time that such roles started coming her way. “You see, I had been doing serious roles alongside as well. I didn’t pick and choose, because I knew I was a versatile actress and I could do justice to both genres,” she said.However, she made it clear that she shouldn’t just be identified with the comic characters she has played. She said she was a commercial actress and felt that people needed to identify her like that.Bushra also discussed how she had balanced her domestic roles with her demanding career. She said she and her husband had given complete freedom to their daughter Meera Ansari, who is a recognised model-turned-actress, to choose whichever profession she wanted for herself.Published in Daily Times, November 19th 2017.