Meet Zara - you’ve probably experienced her magnetic screen presence in some of the biggest shows of the year, or scrolled through her glamorous images on social media. Her sky-rocketing career encompasses everything from modelling to acting, but despite this jam-packed schedule, she seems to never break a sweat and has perfected an effortless balancing act between her life on set, and off camera.

This season- abandon the stereotypes and carve your own fashion identity with flattering new silhouettes and bold re-interpretations of classics. Fashion is all about self-expression, so why rely on somebody else to speak for you? Take a leaf from Zara’s book and make a loud and proud statement with your originality. Here, Zara embodies casual chic, in a breezy multi-coloured lawn kurta, tailored to her perfect fit.

Out of all the characters that you have played, which was the easiest to embody vs. the hardest and why?

“I think the easiest was Rani from Ehd e Wafa. Comedy wasn’t a challenge for me, because of my khala and my mother. Since I’ve been surrounded by these wonderfully hilarious women all my life- it came very naturally. It’s like second nature to me: it’s like breathing. And obviously my director, Saife Hassan, was an amazing source of support and guidance. Badshah Begum was the hardest because I have never done something like that before! I have never held an AK-47 or delivered dialogues in such a different way, so I think it was a great learning experience for me. But again, an insanely talented director Khizer Idrees made me do it. So, I think all the credit goes to my directors.”

What career path would you follow if you weren’t an actor, and why?

I think it’s very important to understand that if you aspire to be a powerful, assertive woman- you need to have physical and spiritual strength.“I think I would be a Yoga teacher if I wasn’t an actor. I’ve recently gotten super involved in it, and I can’t get enough! It’s such a good way to get in touch with your body and emotions, really feel everything and let it all out. Plus- whenever I watch a movie I love, I get super inspired by the characters. I just finished watching Deepika Padukone’s portrayal of “Alisha” in Gehraayian and completely fell in love with the complexity of the part- and guess what: she’s playing a yoga instructor.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

If there’s one thing that this beautiful journey of life has taught me- it’s that it all works out in its own magical way. I’d to tell my younger self to make more mistakes and worry less. In fact, I would tell my present self the same thing! I always try to remind myself to calm down, relax, and stop overthinking because life is way too short to be stressing!

What message would you pass on to aspiring artists?

“Seek inspiration, learn every day, evolve, and aspire to be a better version of you.”

What is something that you do for yourself that helps you unwind from your stressful routine?

“I’m a simple girl- I just love watching a good film or spending quality time with my family. It grounds me and helps me find a sense of calm in my crazy life!"

How do you manage to stay positive during the pressures of your career and life?

Living in the present, living in the moment - this thought process has done wonders for me because it’s true, you only do have just one life. This is what I think helps me stay optimistic and live life to the fullest. I believe that stressing over the future and overthinking is a waste of time as it just robs one of the gift of the present.

Who/What inspires you the most?

“My mother is my biggest inspiration. She fought cancer and went through multiple painful surgeries, but still manages to smile her way through all the challenges that life throws her way. She’ll go to the Itwaar Bazaar and shop around for the brightest, funkiest outfits, and wear her bold, blue eyeliner. I think the idea of living life is living her way or no way at all- and that never fails to inspire me."