Faysal Quraishi’s new drama serial Haiwan, which has been making waves for tackling the sensitive theme of child abuse, started on Wednesday night and made a powerful beginning.
The cast and crew of Haiwan was introduced to the media earlier the same day and we got to meet the director, Mazhar Moin, and two prominent cast members: Faysal Quraishi and Sanam Chauhdry. They shared that the drama not only addresses the threats our children face but also highlight the inattentive behaviour of parents who are often careless and blindly trust acquaintances around their kids.
Faysal Quraishi who is playing the lead character Hameed, spoke at length about the heinous nature of the crimes being committed and their repercussions on society.
“I am sure viewers will hate me for playing this character. But they should hate Hameed, not Faysal. I had serious reservations when it was first offered to me but once I read the script I realized that it is a grave issue that is needed to be addressed appropriately,” he said.
“Hameed has hidden a few skeletons in his closet and he knows in his mind that he is guilty. When something happens to his own daughter, all his guilt and fears come up at once. This is the reality of life; you can hide behind a façade but deep down all of us know what we are capable of,” Quraishi revealed.
Speaking exclusively to Something Haute, the Baba Jani star also emphasized vehemently that parents should have a friendly relation with their children so that they open up in times of need and do not seek refuge elsewhere.
“If a man teases a girl on her way to the college, her mother will ask her to stay quiet and bear it so that she doesn’t bring shame to their name. Moreover, girls are warned that their father or brothers will force them to leave studies. Can you justify this practice in the name of safety and honour? Parents should be supportive and at the same time wary about whom they are entrusting their kids to,” the actor said. “A parent-child relationship should have a balance and it is very important to maintain it,” he added.
Sanam Chauhdry – who is playing the role of a young girl Momina whose sister goes missing – expressed that the gripping script immediately caught her attention. “I liked the script, then the director and the cast. The production team had Faysal Quraishi on board and he has been my favourite for a long time. Also, my best friend Wahaj Ali is playing a ‘hero’ opposite me. I knew that this is going to be a huge project and wanted to be a part of it instantly.”
About her character in the play, the actress asserted that the character took a toll on her.
“I used to cry while reading my scenes before each shot,” she said.
“Momina is a girl who feels shattered after a tragedy hit their home but she acts strong to support her single mother. She will stand against these ‘haiwans’ [beasts] and seek justice,” Chauhdry said whilst stressing that socially relevant subjects provide a much-needed respite from the saas-bahu sagas which are only sensationalizing familial bonds.
Episode 1 & 2 of Haiwan
Talking about the hashtag that Haiwan is promoting on social media – #mychildmyresponsibility – Mazhar Moin asserted that we live in a highly volatile world. “I think that not only parents but elders including siblings should not trust people without much reflection. You should keep two factors in mind; firstly ‘how trust worthy is a person?’ and ‘how much reliance is enough?” Moin commented.
One of the content heads of the network airing the play, Ali Imran was of the view that we immaturely expect a play to bring revolution. “Media’s job is to record and remind what is currently relevant to society, not to reform or revolutionize. It is an individual’s responsibility to think about the message and bring changes,” he commented.
The team knows that their efforts aren’t going to change perceptions overnight. “Our target is to change the life of at least one person and urge him/her to think. We will be succeeded if even one mother will start thinking on these lines but we hope the number grows. I also applaud the efforts made by schools to educate children about it,” Quraishi said.
The play also features Savera Nadeem and Iffat Omar in pivotal characters.
The first two episodes were on-aired on 10th October, and it will telecast every Wednesday at 8 pm on ARY Digital. This is definitely a drama serial to follow.