What do Dhoop ki Deewar and Aik Jhooti Love Story (web series) have in store for us?
As rain pelted away in Karachi, I came across a montage by Zee5. I saw glimpses of my old favourites – Diyar-e-Dil and Mata e Jaan – but what truly made me sit up straight were the risqué shots of Saba Qamar, Bilal Abbas waltzing with a glittering lady, and Ahad Raza Mir getting a slap.
My brain went into an overdrive and reached the conclusion that these must be the five web series we’ve been hearing about. I excitedly opened Twitter to gauge the enthusiasm and lo and behold! The entire Twitter universe was having a collective meltdown.
To read more on that please refer to: Oh Zee, yet again?
Over here we talk about the two most anticipated web series – Dhoop Ki Deewar and Aik Jhooti Love Story – that are set to release on the digital platform. Both the series are written by one of the most celebrated writers of the country, Umera Ahmed, and directed by Haseeb Hassan and Mehreen Jabbar respectively.
DKD stars the likes of Ahad Raza Mir, Sajal Ali, Manzar Sehbai, Sameena Ahmed, Samiya Mumtaz, Sawera Nadeem, and many more talented artists while Aik Jhooti Love Story includes Bilal Abbas Khan and Madiha Imam, Kinza Razzak, Kiran Haq, Fawad Khan, Beo Zafar and Mohammad Ahmad.
When it comes to DKD, the biggest debate that began online was: Sajal Ali and Ahad Raza Mir? Together? Again? How boring.
Trust me this one gave tough competition to the whole India-Pakistan “bhai bhai” news.
How many times are we going to discuss this? We discussed it last year when DKD was announced. Did you expect Mir and Ali to magically disappear from the project when it releases?
Just to recap: The proponents argued, “Sajal and Ahad are amazing actors and create magic together so let’s be happy that the world will get to see them.”
The opponents maintained, “Yawn. We won’t watch it.”
To proponents: Well-done, because Haseeb Hassan agrees with you.
To opponents: Don’t watch it. You are not the target audience any way.
On a serious note, Pakistan is really not Zee5’s primary target audience. We share a language that’s why the Indian platform approached us, so don’t worry that they will be bored by the Ali-Mir pair. They’re still under the spell of Mahira Khan, Fawad Khan, and Saba Qamar!
Let’s hope that our newbies mesmerize them equally if not more.
But how did Mr. and Mrs. Mir end up together in DKD?
“My team lays a lot of importance on casting. We have multiple meetings and Umera Ahmed [the writer] is also involved and these two fit perfectly in their roles so here they are,” says Hassan. “People in Pakistan have seen them together in [three] shows but Zee5’s audience hasn’t.”
Their engagement trended in India, so they know about “Sahad” we assume?
“Zee5 has a much bigger audience. It is much bigger than India and Pakistan. It is global. That’s the beauty of going digital,” Hassan explains patiently.
In short, Sajal and Ahad’s pair isn’t boring for them. In fact, they’re such great performers that their presence will only add value to the project.
For the local audience – as much as I agree that the on-screen pair needs a break, I have to admit that they’ve always chosen different stories and characters. Never have I seen Ali and Mir on-screen. Their equations, chemistry, and portrayal has been different every single time.
But I do have a question for Ali and Mir – why are you doing this to yourself? Please expand your horizon.
Another thing that stood out was Bilal Abbas Khan and Madiha Imam’s pair in Aik Jhooti Love Story. We’ve only witnessed a breezy scene in the montage shared by Zee5 but that was enough to determine that the team has nailed the casting.
“Casting is always a process, but the main thing is that it was based entirely on the suitability of the actors for the characters. There was no pressure to cast for ‘ratings’ or for any reason other than these actors would fit the role perfectly. I am very happy that they were cast.”
Ah, to be free of the pressure of ratings! How must it feel for our makers? We’ll witness the proof once the web series go live on Zee5.
In the end, I ask both the makers to give us a little sneak peek into the stories of the two web series.
Dhoop Ki Deewar – A story that hasn’t been told before
“Dhoop Ki Deewar is a story that hasn’t been told before,” Haseeb Hassan piques our interest. “It will strengthen your belief that emotions are universal. Insaan [sarhad ke] iss paar ho ya uss paar, ussay dard utna hi hota hai. Our struggles are similar….all I can say right now is that it will touch your heart.”
Since I had his attention, I had to ask him, “Do Sajal and Ahad have any scenes together? A lot of people are speculating that they won’t share much screen space?”
Haseeb Hassan laughs and asks us to wait for the teasers to release.
Such a tease!
Aik Jhooti Love Story – Something different from Umera Ahmed’s pen
Coming to Aik Jhooti Love Story, we all know Jabbar doesn’t agree to direct any and every project; what convinced her to say yes to this?
“So this project came to me already half written,” Jabbar reveals. “I’ve always loved working with Umera Ahmed and this particular series was a different genre than her usual writing. The producers were also insistent that Umera and I collaborate on this, so I took this one and I am very happy I did.”
We’re happy too. We’re still reeling in the magic of Daam and Doraha, and hope to witness Aik Jhooti Love Story leave a similar impact on the audience!
The makers kept mum on whether we’ll see a second season of these shows or not. We do know that shooting’s complete for both and release will happen within two to three months.
Also, the web series will release in one go on Zee5 – the digital platform which will go live on the 27th of July and will be available in Pakistan. You’ll have to subscribe, like you do for Netflix. If you’re still confused whether you should spend on an Indian platform or not, ask yourself one question:
Do I watch Indian content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Voot or any other digital streaming platform?
If the answer is yes, then silently subscribe to Zee5. You are giving views to Indian content; you might as well encourage Pakistani content too.
If you’re boycotting everything to do with India to lodge your protest, then keep at it.
Find out why Zee5 is the Platform that might launch a thousand Pakistani faces onto an international audience – and why it matters!
After doing her Masters in Advertising and Media Management, Rozina Bhutto found herself on the web desk of The Express Tribune. SO NOT what she had planned. According to the seniors, she was lucky to be part of the “exciting times” of the 2013 general elections, but she soon found out, that reporting about Imran Khan’s probable death wasn’t her idea of “exciting”. To make her life less exciting, but equally interesting, she joined an entertainment website as a Subeditor and left it as the Features Editor.
Her next stop was Women’s Own, where she served as the Managing Editor, before finally landing at Limu Studio. It was here that she found her true calling as she dabbled in various arenas of digital content creation. But the writer in her felt ignored, so here she is! Oh, and she also has a diploma in Interior Design and loves anything and everything to do with fashion.