Dhoop ki Deewar – to judge or not to judge? That is the BIGGEST question
The trailer for the much anticipated Dhoop Ki Deewar released today. I clicked on it with a huge grin on my face. And the next moment the grin was gone.
The trailer opened to the ICC cricket world cup semi-final 2011 or was it the T20 world cup final 2007? It doesn’t really matter.
We lost both.
That paddle shot by Misbah scooped him right off my list of hotties to notties. And let’s not go to the dreaded Mumbai semi-final. I had to take three Lexotinols to drown my sorrow that day and it still failed to drown.
I haven’t watched cricket since then. Such was the trauma.
At War With Each Other By Choice
Now imagine the trauma the families of martyrs endure.
How would they feel when they hear the protagonist say, “Dushman ka dukh bhi tou hamaray jaisa hai!”
Now, the narrative that is run in their respective countries is poles apart. India believes “terrorists” attack their check posts. Pakistan believes “mujahideen” fight for their freedom, hence, should be supported. Pakistan believes India creates unrest in Balochistan. India believes that Mumbai Attack was a planned terrorist’s activity by Pakistan.
Being Pakistani, we also believe India’s behaviour toward Kashmir is unjust and often barbaric. The recent (2019) revocation of the limited autonomy granted to Kashmir under Article 370 is proof enough.
The only silver lining I see here is that many liberals in India opposed the act. They’ve started making web series that focus on the curfews in Kashmir. This only suggests they wish to change their ways and their image as this jingoistic nation.
Pakistan, on the other hand has always been the bigger person. Look at Sunny Deol destroying entire Pakistan in Gaddar and then remember Kashif letting go of a “dushman sipahi” by saying, “Ja lalay tujhe maaf kiya” in Alpha Bravo Charlie.
Only recently, in Kaaf Kangna and the last episode of Ehd-e-Wafa did we stoop low. The whole Abhinandan scenario didn’t sit well with me and many others because we’re used to Pakistan being the saner voice.
Then why are we suddenly so against the idea of peace between India and Pakistan?
I realised this when I saw a small portion of the audience going absolutely crazy, sending shame and cancel orders against the cast and the writer. According to them, our makers are furthering Indian propaganda because they wish to bathe in money.
Let’s say this is true. Then what exactly is the propaganda being propagated by DKD? The “other side” is also human and feels the same pain as you?
Even if we do end up believing this; how will it hurt any human?
If these neutral minds will sit and talk for Kashmir’s freedom, the people of Kashmir will be more than thankful.
But no, how can a Pakistani actor play the character of an Indian soldier and make him look human?
Lock the traitor! So what if we haven’t seen the entire series yet.
I remember growing up in a household where army was blamed for everything. Sindh isn’t as successful as Punjab because army creates unrest in Sindh – this was the popular belief. I grew up. I was taught we won all wars against India due to our brilliant army. Then Faraz, Kashif and Gulsher further strengthened my belief that army isn’t evil like my elders suggest. They became my heroes.
I grew up some more and realised my History books hadn’t been completely honest with me. The status of armed forces went from being heroes to humans.
I evolved and kept learning and unlearning things. Why can’t you? This current madness of ‘saviours of Pakistan’s sovereignty’ is unsettling.
Maybe the jingoistic lot always existed in Pakistan and I was blissfully unaware. Maybe all the viral videos of atrocities have made us unforgiving.
Whatever it is, the question is: is it doing any good?
I don’t believe so. It is only making us intolerant. We’ve blurred the lines between fiction and reality. Add to it the religious aspect and people lose their marbles completely!
“Musalmaan larki ko HINDU larke se mohabbat hogayi??? Murder of our values, culture, nation…uff how will we survive??”
Are the makers showing your Muslim girl running off with the Hindu boy? It doesn’t seem so from the trailer, so why are you getting worked up?
On the contrary, the trailer suggests Sajal’s character, Sara, will happily marry another man (played by Raza Talish as we know from the leaked BTS) and Ahad’s character, Vishal, will cry his eyes out, because he apparently has no qualms in falling in love with a Muslim girl.
Oh, sweet revenge. You show us losing world cup matches. We show you losing the love of your life! And while we’re at it, we also show you getting killed in the battle field. Take that Vishal you Indian soldier!
But, again, why think this way?
Why not acknowledge that India’s value system is different and inter-religious marriages are common. So if Vishal doesn’t feel odd falling in love with a girl from another religion then it isn’t because Umera Ahmed has sold her soul to Zee5.
It is because she has honestly portrayed the behaviour of an Indian and Pakistani teenager.
People who have too much venom against India will find fault in anything. For example, they might term Vishal’s death as, “Dekha Indian soldiers ke liye sympathy create kar rahi hai writer.” And if Vishal kills Raza Talish’s character, they’ll say, “Dekha Indian soldier ko zyada powerful dekhaya hai Pakistani soldier se.”
They’ve made up their mind and no amount of convincing will unconvince them. Add to it, Umera Ahmed’s Peer-e-Kaamil and people refuse to believe that the same pen can write something so neutral.
But are they really at fault for finding the entire narrative skewed in India’s favour?
Stereotyping & Islamaphobia
The poster showed a woman in hijab which took me aback too, because that’s blatant stereotyping, and with Islamophobia rising, it could’ve been avoided. Since it wasn’t, I’d like to believe it was deliberate.
I feel the aim of the poster was to portray how religious fanatics on both sides are the root cause of the never ending hatred.
Unfortunately, it is.
But this isn’t time for pointing fingers and whataboutery. It is time for both the countries to sit back and assess where they went wrong.
More importantly, find out who bears the brunt? The families who lose their members to war. So, ask them if they want war or peace?
Let’s Talk About Dhoop Ki Deewar
Coming back to Dhoop Ki Deewar’s trailer, we clearly see the families are against the idea of making peace with the enemy. Both Sara and Vishal get one tight slap each for getting chummy with each other over Facebook.
Also, dear writers, what is this obsession with online friendships?
Call me old school but I’d rather my protagonists met for real.
Well never mind, that would lead to yet another controversy because, “PAKISTANI AUR INDIAN LARKE LARKI KO EK HI HAWA MEIN SAANS KAISE DILWAYA?? They’re sharing oxygen! Astaghfirullah.”
On the surface, Dhoop Ki Deewar looks like a teeny bopperish series set in the backdrop of war, where the Pulwama Attack is used as a reason to bring the two protagonists face to face with each other. Maybe it is just that – a love story of teenagers – which means its target audience is different from what we had assumed earlier.
But I have a feeling it’s not.
Another Doomed Love Story?
In the trailer, the Indian media and that uncle, who says “Geedar ki beti”, are all shown in their jingoistic glory. The Pakistani side is more sedate and mature.
Then we see a shift in sentiment as Vishal realises maybe he went a little too far and he contacts Sara. The two bond over grief while their families continue to hate each other and rightfully so. Eventually Sara happily goes off with her husband while Vishal mopes around until he goes to war and dies.
Now, is this really the story of Dhoop Ki Deewar? I don’t believe so.
Do Sara and Vishal know each other beforehand? I’d like to believe their families are linked in some way as this will add depth to the story.
Is the story propelled through Sara and Vishal’s Facebook chats only? Not really. These nightly chats are a relief for both Sara and Vishal.
The real story is what happens during the day. How Vishal grows into the man of the house. How Sara matures into a woman of substance, who not only takes care of her grandparents, but also her siblings and mother.
Does Vishal really turn into a forlorn lover or he takes a chance with another relationship? We can say he does, because makers have left Zoya Nasir and Zara Tareen totally out of the trailer. This is a hint enough that they did not wish to reveal everything in the trailer. And I appreciate that.
Recently, most of the shows that I’ve seen – Ek Jhooti Love Story, Yeh Dil Mera, and Chupke Chupke – lay the story out in the trailer and teasers.
In Dhoop Ki Deewar, at the cost of getting slack for not being exciting enough, the makers have only revealed one dimension of the story in the trailer.
Dream Team, Unrealistic Dialogues & Addressing The Kashmir Issue
And even that one dimension shows such compelling performances that your attention doesn’t waver for even a nanosecond. Ahad Raza Mir and Sajal Ali suck you in and take you on a journey with their honest portrayal. I connected with Sara and Vishal like I’ve known them since childhood. Then you see glimpses of Manzar Sehbai, Samiya Mumtaz, Sawera Naddem, Samina Baig, and you make a mental note of scheduling a binge session on the 25th of June.
The thing which dampened my excitement were the dialogues. While there were some impactful statements by Vishal and Sara, the way the mothers spoke against the “dushman” was not tasteful or relatable. Who talks like that? You’d rather say, “Tumhara baap maara gaya inkay haathon phir bhi tum unki tarafdari kar rahi ho”, or something along these lines. Make the dialogues personal. Not clichés out of a war film.
This is the con of asking the writer to write on a pre-mediated subject instead of letting them choose the topic they wish to write on. I felt some scenes and dialogues were forced in Ek Jhooti Love Story and I have a feeling I’ll have similar complaints with Dhoop Ki Deewar.
Another important questions is: Will Kashmir issue be tackled sensitively? The story isn’t based on Kashmir so expecting it to focus on it will be unfair.
Let’s Not Make Haste & Wait For The Show To Air
Mass media impacts and shapes behaviours and we hope the makers of Dhoop Ki Deewar realise that they aren’t just entertaining but also influencing young minds.
Having said that, it’s too soon to judge. Hopefully, the entire narrative will flow so beautifully on screen that we won’t have qualms over Sara being Pakistani and Vishal being Indian or the writer being Pakistani and the production house being Indian.
Please Note: The views & opinions in this article belong solely to the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FUCHSIA Magazine