Saima Akram Chaudhry has been the master mind behind some of the critically acclaimed drama series like “Suno Chanda”, “Chupke Chupke” and “Ishq Jalebi”. She sat down with Something Haute to reveal how she came up with the stories and her inspirations behind them. When discussing “Chupke Chupke”, Saima said that she was still shocked by the success “Suno Chanda” had received so she wasn’t sure that her fans would enjoy this work since they wanted her to write season 3 of the show. She said that she had always envisioned “Chupke Chupke” to be a light-hearted family drama which people from all ages can watch together, but originally she was told to prevent writing in Punjabi because she might alienate people who didn’t speak the language so she had to request her seniors to let her write freely:
“My intention with Chupke Chupke was to create a family drama which people of all ages could enjoy and watch together. Originally I had to make a lot of changes to the show for instance the studio people wanted me to write less in Punjabi because they thought there were many people who couldn’t speak in the language. But I convinced them to let me write freely since a lot of my characters like the grandmothers were inspired by my own hometown and spoke fluent Punjabi.”
When coming to the inspiration behind her characters, she revealed that Ayeza Khan’s character Meenu was inspired by her best friend, and she was happy with Ayeza’s take on the role despite people commenting that she was “too old” to play a college student.
“My best friend Misbah Nosheen was the inspiration behind Meenu, since they both share the same personality and my friend also dreamed about getting married. Even though she has two daughters, she still a very energetic and lively woman and people do get shocked like they are at Ayeza. But I would like them to know that maturity doesn’t come with age, and we should all learn to be like Meenu. I also think that Ayeza did an excellent job with her character, and I cannot think of anyone else who could have done a better job than her.”
The writer also elaborated on her writing process, saying that she focuses on her characters first and then writes the story. She said that the names she chose were picked carefully as they served their purpose throughout the story, and revealed the inspiration behind some of her characters:
“When I’m writing I always focus on the characters first and their names serve their purpose throughout the story. In my home, I have a big book of children’s names so I’m sure that parent’s don’t make that much effort to name their children the way I try to name my characters. Meenu from Chupke Chupke was named after my niece who was just born so I wanted to use her name for my stories. Miskeen was given the name because he’s a miskeen after all. Faaz means hard working and Kafayat means profit so it served his purpose.”
Coming to “Suno Chanda”, Saima Akram revealed that she originally did not want to write the story because she had previously received criticism for writing light-hearted material so she began writing novels on serious topics. Then later when her father had passed away, she had gotten in touch with Sara Ghulam Naveed who worked at Khawateen Digest, and was the one who pushed her to write the show. When the producers of Hum Tv received the script, they liked it a lot and invited her down to Karachi for a meeting with the Vice President Maimoona Siddiqui and she chose to stay and finish the script:
“I had previously been criticized by people for not being a real writer because I wrote on light-hearted topics, so I had switched to writing novels on serious topics. Then when my father had died and I wasn’t in a state of mind to write at all, I received a call from Sara Ghulam Naveed who worked at Khawateen Digest. She was familiar with my work and studios were requesting her to send some material for a Ramazan series so she suggested me. When I wrote some of the characters and the story and forwarded it to her, she liked it and the studio asked me to come to Karachi for a meeting. When I got there, I met Maimoona Siddiqui who was the Vice President of Hum TV and convinced me to stay and finish the series.”