No one could have anticipated the overwhelming following that drama serial KhaaniÂ has picked up in 29 episodes, least of all its producers Abdullah Kadwani and Asad Qureshi. But it has broken all records and ratings have been sky rocketing – call that ‘7th sky rocketing’ – consistently for months; even surviving the embargo on GEO TV channels.
â€œKhaani has broken all records and will be regarded as one of the most successful dramas in history,â€ Abdullah Kadwani, one of the two directors at 7th Sky Entertainment, discussed when I met up with him and his counterpart, Asad Qureshi, at the 7th Sky offices in Karachi. â€œThe consistent ratings of Khaani has exceeded the ratings of any other drama in the history of Pakistani dramas.Â Weâ€™ve seen a lot of successful dramas in the past, and weâ€™ve actually made many of them, but I canâ€™t recall any drama serial previously, whose teaser would be trending on number one. Khaani is one such exception, as weâ€™ve seen its teaser and episode trending on number one (on YouTube) simultaneously. The kind of buzz Khaani has created is unparalleled in the history of television in Pakistan.â€
Yes, the recorded ratings are even higher than Humsafar, he replied when I asked.
â€œHere at 7th Sky, we always believe in working backwards,â€ Asad Qureshi reflected on what he felt was the reason behind Khaaniâ€™sÂ success. â€œAll the production houses we have here sell their drama the minute they have the concept in place; we work the other way around. We donâ€™t believe in cutting corners in any way. If we feel a certain star is apt for the role, we wait for him. Similarly, if we want to show the grandeur of a house, weâ€™d wait for it till we can have it. We are perceived to be expensive but itâ€™s not just because of the money we spend but also because we invest time, our heart and soul to a project. Thatâ€™s what makes us who we are.â€
Of all the drama serials that 7thSky Entertainment has produced over the years (there are more than 110 of them), Abdullah and Asad count Khaani, Shehr-e-Zaat, Daam, DorahaÂ and Meri Zaat Zarai BenishanÂ as the top five, with KhaaniÂ at the very top of this list.
Do they think that Khaaniâ€™s political undertones and the fact that it isnâ€™t your usual saas-bahu saga worked in their favour? Both Abdullah and Asad agree that it did, but it was a combination of components that came together so well.
“For any project to become this successful, the credit cannot solely go to us,” Asad Qureshi graciously credited the team behind its success. “Weâ€™re a very small component of that. The way Feroze has played Mir Hadi, heâ€™s not just created relevance to the subject but he has built connectivity with the audience; they feel his pain. And that alone, for an actor is huge. Even if you look at Sana as Khaani, people also feel her pain when they watch the drama. So the point Iâ€™m making here is that had there been any other actors in Sana and Ferozeâ€™s place, I feel that relevance and impact would be missing because they both are so convincing in their respective roles. Moreover, Asma Nabeel took an idea and wrote an extremely powerful story; Anjum Shahzad is a perfectionist and pays attention to detail. All these elements added up and contributed to the success of Khaani. â€
And now, with two episodes left, we’re eager to see how the story concludes and whether fans get the ending they are looking for! We’ll have to wait and see.