If you grew up in the ‘90s, then you grew up watching Ainak Wala Jinn, a comedy serial that taught an entire generation how to dream. Boasting quirky characters like Charlie Mamu, Zakoota and the wise old Nastur Jinn, the show provided the ideal respite from the pressures of school and homework.
Amongst its memorable characters was Bil Batori, played by none other than the very talented Nusrat Ara. Although Batori was a negative character, Nusrat’s way of rendering her signature line ‘Bil Batori Nasa Chauri Adhi Mithi Adhi Kauri’ made us both laugh and cry at the same time.
Unfortunately, her stardom faded away as quickly as Ainak Wala Jinn’s viewership grew up. The actor, now 65, is struggling to make ends meet in a small rental home in Lahore’s Samanabad locality.
Originally a resident of Karachi, Nusrat relocated to Lahore about 30 years ago, hoping to further her acting career. Life took a turn for the worse once Ainak Wala Jinn ended, forcing her into unemployment and poverty. Decades later, Nusrat is still struggling. To make matters worse, she has developed depression and related mental disorders over the course of time.
Sad and dejected at how destiny took an ugly turn, Nusrat sits in a dingy room and narrates the story of her life. “I am ashamed of myself. I never thought my life would come to a point where I would have to beg for a morsel of food,” Nusrat tells The Express Tribune. “When I moved to Lahore, I didn’t think I would have to beg for my life. I have given my youth to the people of Pakistan, made them laugh while barely getting by myself. But who was there to help me? Who came to wipe my tears?”