With a possible threat of war looming over the two neighbourly nations — India and Pakistan — since February, it is indeed a crucial time for the entertainment industry to make efforts to put across the idea that war isn’t the solution. It has detrimental effects on society; where people are either displaced or left without their loved ones who lose their lives in the line of duty.
Renowned drama writer, Umera Ahmed, has taken up the subject to raise awareness and put a lid over this hate-mongering. Backed by Haseeb Hassan, who is directing and producing the web series. Set against the backdrop of Kashmir and Pulwama attacks, the script is inspired by true events. It includes a heart-rending narrative of people who lost their loved ones during war time, including what families and kids of martyred army officers and jawaans go through on both sides of the border.
Titled Dhoop Ki Deewar, the series follows the story of two teenagers whose lives change forever overnight. Can you imagine who are these two teenagers? In a conversation with Instep, Haseeb Hassan has revealed the names.
“Dhoop Ki Deewar features Ahad Raza Mir and Sajal Aly in lead roles, while it has an all-star cast including Samiya Mumtaz, Samina Ahmed, Savera Nadeem and Manzar Sehbai. It will release online on various international platforms that might include Netflix too,” he said.
He also added that the project is shot in line with the requirements of foreign streaming sites – from camera to sound design to other technical aspects.
Given the subject, it would have been appropriate to cast actors from the other side of the border as well, but the situation wasn’t in favour. “Initially we thought to have Indian actors on board too but considering the present scenario in India, we dropped the idea,” Haseeb said in interview with Instep.
However, he revealed that Indian characters in the project, such as the role of Ahad’s mother and grandmother, are played by Samiya Mumtaz and Zaib Rehman, respectively. On the other hand, Manzar Sehbai and Samina Ahmed will be seen as Sajal’s grandparents while Savera Nadeem will essay the role of her mother. This clarifies that Ahad will be playing an Indian boy while Sajal is going to be a girl from Pakistan.
Talking about the script, playwright Umera Ahmed shared with Instep that it’s not a love story.
“Dhoop Ki Deewar is not a love story: it is a love-hate story based on the love-hate relationship between people of India and Pakistan. That’s the only way WE can write and read a love story between these two people,” she said, adding, “That’s what almost 70 years of unending hatred does to people and their sensibilities. And the most difficult thing for a writer in the subcontinent is to write an Indo-Pak love story.”
Other actors who play important roles in the project include Adnan Jaffer, Zara Tareen, Paras Masroor, Hammad Siddiqui, Ainy Zaidi, Salma Hasan and Lubna Aslam. Raza Talish of Suno Chanda 2 fame will be seen as a Pakistani captain.
Based in Pakistan, including Karachi, Lahore, Swat and Kashmir, more than half of the project has been shot and it is expected to launch in the coming months. Keep looking at this space for more updates.