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Interview: Siblings Saqib Saleem and Huma Qureshi are the perfect frenemies

On the occasion of World Sibling Day, which falls today, Bollywood's brother-sister duo Huma Qureshi and Saqib Salim talk about what makes them tick and what ticks them off about each other.

Q. What kind of equation do you share?
Saqib: When we were growing up, we were not that loving towards each other. It is only when we moved from Delhi to pursue acting in Mumbai that we got close. I found true love for Huma. We are like buddies and can talk about and share anything with each other.

A childhood picture of Huma and Saqib with their parents
A childhood picture of Huma and Saqib with their parents

Q. What do you’ll squabble about?
Huma: We fight about everything and anything. From his dirty socks lying in the living room, to him eating peanut butter sandwich with his mouth open.
Saqib: Now this calls for another fight! And we just squabbled this morning.
Huma: But we have a short memory span, so the fight is forgotten soon.

A tender moment from their childhood
A tender moment from their childhood

Q. Do you’ll help each other on the professional front?
Saqib: Yes, all the time. In fact, we were recently discussing about the stuff that we want to do. We keep talking about our profession; it helps us.
Huma:
It’s nice to have family around to speak your heart out to, especially when you are confused or stressed. Saqib is my sounding board. Whenever I have any problem, I always talk it out with him.

Q. How do you react to rumours and gossip?

Saqib: The best way is to not react at all. Huma and I laugh away gossip. We are actors and are in the public domain, so there will be something or the other that’s written about us. It doesn’t make a difference to us.

Q. How many times have you helped Saqib get a girlfriend?

Saqib: In fact she’s responsible for all my break-ups.
Huma: Saqib is smart enough to figure his way around women. He doesn’t need anybody’s help, but there was this one time when I was responsible for a break-up and he hated me then.

Q. You’ve recently worked together.
Saqib: We were always keen on working together, but we didn’t know it would happen so soon in the Hindi remake of the Hollywood supernatural flick Oculus. For the first few days, I didn’t know what was happening as I had to be the brother as well as play the character. But, after a point it all came naturally.
Huma: I think it was far easier for him to balance things out. It got a little blurry initially as I always think of him as a brother first. So it took longer to adjust to things for me.

Q. Any childhood story you remember?
Huma: Yes, I have one story.
Saqib: I have five stories! We were fighting and I didn’t even hit her, but Huma started crying and pretended that I had. Huma hit me with a leather ball on my head once.
Huma: He was cheating during a game we were playing and that’s why I did it. On another occasion, we had gone to a friend’s house. I broke the dressing table mirror there and messed things up, but Saqib started crying and was asked to apologise. Five years ago, my mother was talking about the same family when Saqib had a eureka moment and told Mom that he had not broken the dressing room mirror. I had to own up after that. Mom was shocked that. I had kept it a secret all these years.

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