“What’s going to happen in Dillagi?”
That was the only thought in the mind after watching the last episode. It delivered a brilliant performance by the entire cast and a stellar script by Faiza Iftikhar. The dialogues between Mohid and Anmol (Humayun Saeed and Mehwish Hayat) are romantic and dreamy but it’s Saba Hamid’s character that is most inspirational. When she tells Mohid that he’s attacked a woman in two areas that she can’t defend herself in – he’s slapped her and she can’t physically slap him back and he’s allowed her to leave the safety of her home in the darkness of the night; women cannot kick their husbands out – she sends out such a strong message. A man’s responsibility is to protect, respect and honour his wife no matter what.
Moving on, we got in touch with Humayun Saeed on Sunday and luckily managed to meet up for a brief tête–à–tête. Dressed very casually in shorts, a blue shirt and sandals (he’s usually very formal), Humayun was visibly basking in the success of the previous night’s episode and had lots to say without, obviously, giving too much away. This is what we spoke about, over coffee and chocolate cake…
Me: Dillagi’s protaganists are both very strong and share equal footing. Even Saba Hamid’s character has immense identity. Who has done the casting?
Humayun Saeed: Nadeem (Baig, the director) and I both have a role in it. With this play it was already decided, when it was being written, that I would play Mohid. For the female lead we all thought of Mehwish because Mehwish did very well in Manjali. So we had thought of Mehwish since the beginning for this play.
Me: Your pairing had worked out well in JPNA as well.
HS: Yes, but this is the first time we’ve worked on TV. I was doing a drama serial after four years and even Mehwish hadn’t done any drama since 2.5 years. We just thought that the role would suit her well. She’s a good actress. I was reading some comments of people and they were saying how they love her. That’s how people’s sympathy is. First they hated her guts and now suddenly she is a good woman after being slapped.
Me: Lot’s of people commented on the slap and whether it was really needed for the story to move along?
HS: The drama was successful even without the slap. Of course when there is an event like this, the response is more prominent. Whether it’s negative or positive; it’s not like the drama only did well because of the slap. The people who were going to be happy with the slap became happy and the people who didn’t want the slap are saying she shouldn’t have been slapped.
Me: What do you feel as a man?
HS: (Laughs) I could never slap a woman. But people actually didn’t understand why he slaps her. It’s not because he suspects her but because she’s willing to bad mouth herself. He flips at things that she says.
Me: And now people are worried about a new thing: Is this fairytale a tragedy or a happy ending?
HS: We have shot two endings (smiles).
Me: Two endings?!
HS: Before the last episode, I’m going to put out a little video, asking people what they want. I’m sure people don’t want him to die. But circumstances are about to become tough.
Right now it’s an open ending. I think, “mil jaana chahye”, people have waited long enough. But even in Pyarey Afzal we had two ends. Kill him or not? I wanted him dead. Our writer Khaleel sahab didn’t think so. He had originally not written his death. I got after his life, saying that we should kill him. So let’s see what we decide here.