I was used as a pawn: Jemima Khan
In a recent interview with the Evening Standard on Wednesday, Jemima Khan opened up about her dilemmas, fears, success and married life.
Khan, the former wife of Prime Minister Imran Khan, shared how she reconnoitred different horizons of her personality and lesson learned from her marriage. Whereas, the creative pursuits came to her after her divorce since she was too young when she got married.
She spoke about the lows and highs of her life, and how she pulled herself together after her divorce instead of falling apart. Khan pursued her Master’s degree at the age of 30 from SOAS and started her career as the Editor at Vanity Fair. She became a columnist at New Statesman and explored the production side also by documenting films.
The first subject Khan chose for her documentary was her friend Monica Lewinsky who had an affair with the then US President Bill Clinton. The documentary was later aired as a TV serial in the US.
“During the interviews, she was describing the FBI sting, and I suddenly realized that the same year, in Pakistan, I’d had to leave the country because I’d also been threatened with jail on politically trumped-up charges. I’d been accused of smuggling antiques, one of the few non-bailable offences in Pakistan. I realized there were parallels, marrying an older, politically powerful man and being used to undermine him.”
Khan has visually depicted the issues that surround her through her documentaries or editorials. She very well knows the art of delivering narratives that are relatable. She discussed in her interview that it took her 10 years to write the script of the movie “What’s love got to do with it”. This movie is about a filmmaker who decides to travel to Lahore to document a marriage of a British Pakistani man.
“I spent ten years writing that script. I just rewrote it and rewrote it,” said Khan. The film is informed by her years in Pakistan, if not a direct representation of them. When I went to Pakistan, I probably had the same views as the rest of my friends about the concept of arranged marriage, which is that it is a mad, outdated idea. But I came back after ten years with a slightly different view, whereby I could see some merits to it. In a world where we are led entirely by the idea of romantic love, if we could inject some pragmatism into that, a little more objectivity, then we might find a middle ground somewhere between passion and pragmatism, and we might make better decisions.” Khan told the Evening Standard.
Khan and Imran Khan’s marriage was once the talk of the town so, how could she skip that part of her life in her interview. She shared the dilemmas of getting married at such young age, 21, with a man who was double her age and had a completely different culture, brought up, ethnic and religious background.
“At that point in my life, I found some reassurance in the prescriptiveness of that culture, that religion, that man. When my sister [India Jane Birley] was asked in an interview why I went there she said, very intelligently, ‘moral certitude.’ It was seen as this great amorous adventure, and I am not sure that was the whole story. I would say, in retrospect that moral certainty might have been more of a driving factor…But after ten years, what had felt reassuring — deferring to other people and not having to come up with solutions myself — began to feel like a loss of autonomy. As you get older, you realize that you have the capacity to find some of the answers in yourself.” She told Evening Standard.
Khan said that she likes to stay busy so, she doesn’t have time for anything else. Currently, having her hands-on in the production of political documentaries and comedy, she also harbours a wish to write a book so much so that she said if she would not get a chance to distil her thoughts on papers, and compile a book before she dies then she would think that she has failed.
She also shared that she used to write her vacation stories, but somehow, she lost confidence, and since she regained it, she wished to make the most of it by letting readers read her side of the story.
Khan is currently single with her two boys; one is working, and the other is studying. She is living in West London.
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