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10 Aug

It is unfortunate that Pakistan doesn’t have a platform to show progressive and real stories: Sarwat Gilani


Asim Abbasi’s upcoming web series — Churails — which is releasing on Zee5 on 11th August, is the talk of the town these days. Despite the controversies surrounding its trailer or the fact that it is releasing on an Indian digital platform, there are high hopes from the project. Sarwat Gilani, one of the leading ladies in the cast, recently spoke about signing the audacious script in an interview on BBC Asian Network.

When asked if Sarwat thought that Pakistan is ready for this kind of content while reading the script, the actress laughingly admits that she was shocked to see such a script in Pakistan.

“I knew how Asim writes because I had read Cake’s script. He knows the art of delicately weaving the characters and the story together so when I read the script of Churails, it blew my mind,” she said adding, “In my 18 years of experience as an actor or as a viewer, I have never seen something like this. I thought where has he come from? We don’t know this kind of writing or story-telling in Pakistan.”


Sarwat was asked the most obvious question that how did she convinced herself that Churails can be executed in Pakistan and also accepted by the viewers because this kind of content is far beyond what is seen in movies and television here?

“When somebody writes something so unusual, they know what’re getting into. We knew it’ll be very tough; we knew there will be consequences but we wanted to jump. And not just Asim, but each and every actor who read their part, knew that we have to go into a safe house after the release because it is very unusual. We don’t get that kind of content or response here,” she said.

Read: Trailer review: Churails is a web series about women’s quest to breathe free

“I started talking to my family; discussing whether I should do it or not. It is a tricky script because it could either turn out amazing or fall flat on face. Of course, after 18 years of acting career, you want to fall flat on your face in the right puddle. I wanted to take the plunge and every moment of it was just worth it,” Sarwat revealed.

Talking about scripts on television, Sarwat opened about the ridiculous content that is running like a vicious circle on TV.

“When you see the kind of stuff that is being well-received on TV, you want to jump out of the balcony with frustration. But I’ve been playing the victim, the bahu, the girl next door, and it was all safe. This was time to do something different,” she said.

The actor went on to say that she was bored of the stories on television. “I’m bored of the narrative where the entire focus of the a film or drama is around marriage. I’m married, I have two kids, I shouldn’t have to go through this anymore,” she laughed.

Sarwat also shared how delighted she is to have a platform — like Zee5 — to show women in diverse roles. “I remember Nimra Bucha pointed out in one of the interviews how there are no roles written about women of her age. It seems like women in her 40s turn into aliens and shift to Mars or something. Our dramas start from a girl’s college life, move forward to her domestic issues, her love life and that’s about it. We don’t really want to talk about real-life issues,” she added.

“I think the kind of limitations PEMRA and all these people have imposed creates a facade on our screen. The stories that come out of that are not real,” she continued, “it’s unfortunate that Pakistan didn’t have a platform the could show such progressive and real stories and it had to be another country to come in and rescue us.”

Sarwat also finds this debate about ‘Pakistani artists should not work across the border’ ludicrous.

“Artist all around the world are one; we don’t have borders. I feel that you cannot lock up art in a box and say this is Pakistani and this is Indian. To judge artists, saying you can’t work there or you shouldn’t work there is ridiculous. It is just like children; you can polish them, you can help them evolve, you cannot contain them in a box,” Sarwat emphasized.

Watch the complete interview here:


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