‘Churails’ – The Gang To Punish Unfaithful Husbands Is Here
One of the many upcoming Pakistani originals on Zee5 is “Churails”, a series based on four women hailing from Karachi who formulate a gang to expose and punish disloyal husbands. Starring Sarwat Gilani, Nimra Bucha, Mehar Bano, and Yasra Rizvi, “Churails” has been written and directed by Asim Abbasi and produced by Shailja Kejriwal and has garnered a lot of attention owing to its poster and trailer reflecting modernity, progression, and rebellion. Naya Daur caught up with all the four protagonists of the series to talk about their respective characters.
As someone who has always taken care to do strong roles, what do you think makes your character in “Churails” different from your previous characters? What is it that the viewers should look forward to in your role from this web-series?
Yes! I have always portrayed strong women on both the small and big screens. But in all of those projects, it was always a man who came to rescue me when things got worse. The herculean character would usually be a brother, a father, a husband, or a fiancé who would help me out of my predicament. It’s different from “Churails”, which subverts the idea and depicts women who are intelligent enough to understand their problems and find a way out of them on their own. The women are both the victims and the heroes in this series, which is something which sets it apart from all other dramatic works.”Churails” will make women understand that they are born with wings, and therefore what is required of them is to fly and not to crawl. It will give them a reminder that they are women of today, who are strong enough to face their problems, find solutions to them and also uplift the women around them.
Do you feel that this project is a dream-come-true for you, as you are very choosy about your work and have mostly done artistic off-beat stuff? Being an avid reader, do you think that you can connect your character to a book character, something like Sabyn Javeri’s adventurous, burqa-clad women?
It’s a misconception that I haven’t worked much. I have, but yes, with selected writers and directors. And I consider myself lucky in this regard that I have always been given very fine scripts to perform in. Even if the scripts weren’t good, the directors were so creative that they chiseled them and made them worth watching. Talking about the script of “Churails”, it’s a kind of work that can be appreciated as a piece of fiction, complete and enjoyable in itself, even in its off-screen form. Before our shoot began, I would often read the scenes before going to bed and would laugh and cry along, imagining how we would materialize all the scenes on screen. My character, Batool, doesn’t follow a stereotypical arc. Characters’ destinies are also pre-written, their actions directing them towards success or punishment. But Batool isn’t someone like that. She, like other fictional characters of women, does not repent on her aggression or violence or is not made to feel guilty about it and brought back into what the society may call a “normal” gender role. Whenever I have tried to analyze my character from “Churails” based on my past experiences, both real-life and of acting, I have always found Batool to be different and fresh and therefore challenging. Both Shailja Kejriwal and Asim Abbasi also wanted the same for it. They didn’t want to make it a boxed character, and I also didn’t let that happen.
Tell us something about your character from “Churails”. How does it stand out from the characters of the other three protagonists? Having worked with writers like Saji Gul, Zafar Mairaj, and Zanjabeel Asim Shah, what was your initial response when you received this offer and read the script?
My character is named Zubaida and is the youngest of the “churails”. At the same time, she is also the muscle of the gang, as she is quick in her actions to be taken against perpetrators of disloyal activities. All the same, Zubaida is someone who evolves. She gradually starts to implement all the rules set by the older “churails”. Since she is the youngest, her character and the changes in her personality are quite visible and leave an impression. Talking about my career, I have always worked with the best of writers but Asim Abbasi’s script was quite hard to come by. It’s the first of its kind, and I consider myself very lucky to be a part of a project like this. When I read it, I found it to be very different from even the good scripts I have worked on. While “Churails” is a story born out of reality, it also takes you to a world where women can do everything, which is also something that might make some people consider it an outrageous attempt. It reminded of my importance as a woman who has a life of her own and who does not need to fulfill all the expectations a patriarchal society has from her. It will teach the same to all the other women out there.
We know you as someone who possesses poetic sensibility and has usually played soft characters. What were the main challenges that you came across while working in “Churails”?
It’s always a pleasure for any artist to be given to do something different from what he or she has been doing in the past. It was a cathartic experience for me, as the aggression in it allowed me to channel out all the anger and frustration that I had kept hidden inside myself for a smooth flow of life. So, that catharsis on my part made it a challenging job for the director perhaps, who apart from my aggression in the role, also had to keep up with my emotional outbursts as a person, something which I’ll regret when I’ll look back at my collaboration with Asim Abbasi. He bore me with a lot of patience. Throughout the whole process of working on this character, I was emotionally quite volatile. What was also difficult for me was that I had to commit myself to do justice to such a good script.