Durefishan Saleem, who starred in Kaisi Teri Khudgarzi, said she would never watch or work in another “toxic” show. However, she thanks the Ahmed Bhatti director for finally giving her fame so she can pick her own scripts.
Saleem told the BBC Asian Network that consumers were watching toxic shows and not feminist and progressive ones. Why would she choose this project if she never watches Kaisi Teri Khudgarzi? The actor said the project opened many doors for her professionally and showed a narrative our society is infatuated with—a boy protecting a girl.
“I would never watch or work in a genre like this again because I belong to a type of society where people truly prefer ladies being saved from any poisonous region around her,” she said. The host questioned whether such stories became toxic, enabling viewers and society.
Durefishan Saleem agreed and replied, “Yes, but that’s because our audience is solely focused on the narrative that a female needs to be saved by a boy.” It’s how we raise women, not how that boy saves you. We tell them, “Your brother, father, and husband should be around you.”
In Kaisi Teri Khudgarzi, Saleem plays Mehak, a terrified victim who falls in love with her abductor. “When I read the script, perhaps Duresfishan would never have acted like Mehak, but someone like Mehak would have.” “Because Mehak is a Pakistani girl who never had boys and was never told she was good.”
The host then mentioned plays like Mawra Hocane’s Sabaat and Sajal Aly’s Yakeen Ka Safar, where a man supports a woman but she’s autonomous and asked Saleem whether she’s getting “progressive” scripts where the lady has her own mind.
I’m getting those scripts after Kaisi Teri Khudgarzi. It aided producers and me in accepting my decisions.”Today, if I receive 10 scripts and I am not loving 10 of them, I would get five more because they would be like, ‘Oh, we want her on board,’ ” she remarked, asking whether female-centric dramas draw as well as “toxic” dramas.
Are these dramas commercially successful? We hope so, because producers have already received their money back.”If you’re not bringing them the views, no matter how progressive or feminist-driven the drama is, they won’t be able to develop another one,” she concluded.
Kaisi Teri Khudgarzi, written by Radain Shah, stars Danish Taimoor, Nauman Ijaz, and Atiqa Odho.