“Bin Roye is amongst my best novels. I cried and laughed with Saba. Saba’s character is very close to my heart” – Farhat Ishtiaq
Farhat Ishtiaq is a force to be reckoned with. The writer has catapulted herself into one of Pakistan’s most precious gems, with penned words that have beautifully strung together to tell unarguably one of the greatest tales our literature takes pride in. The author has given us treasures like ‘Humsafar,’ ‘Diyar-e-Dil,’ and ‘Bin Roye’ among others, writing breathtaking novels and crisp screenplays that have revolutionized Pakistani television. She’s a wonder really, and while actors are indeed the ships that carry stories forth, it’s the hushed writer who is the anchor giving direction to an otherwise floating hollowness.
Farhat has written countless novels, breathing life upon family values, the disparities within love and the unfortunate hopelessness that stems from loss
Novels like ‘Mata-e-Jaan Tu’ and ‘Bin Roye Ansoo’ are just a few breathtaking pieces of literature from the esteemed writer.
It was ‘Humsafar‘ that transcended time and essence and became one of Farhat’s first novels to transition to screen in what was a revolution
‘Humsafar‘ marked the starry rise of both Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan and is considered as the pioneering catalyst that revived an otherwise faltering Pakistani television. The story delved into matters around misogyny, class conflict and social issues incredibly pertinent to contemporary Pakistan. Directed by the effervescent Sarmad Khoosat, the drama marked the beginning of a glorious revolution.
‘Rehaai’ was a hit written by Farhat with an incredible cast of Samina Peerzada, Noman Ejaz and Maria Wasti
‘Rehaai,’ meaning ‘freedom’ told the heartbreaking story of women in Pakistan’s belittling society, with mother Shameem whose son is abusive in nature and ruthless – where men reign and women are cast into the shadows, with little or no voice. The drama was far crisper and raw in tone from ‘Humsafar,’ and focused primarily on lower class struggles, shedding light on violence, child marriages, and prejudice. The drama was directed by Mehreen Jabbar, the indie director behind the aching film ‘Ramchand Pakistani.’
‘Diyar-e-Dil‘ was another one of Farhat’s jewels, that was a haven of family morals, life lessons and a sturdy didactic moral compass
With an ensemble cast of Sanam Saeed, Ali Rehman Khan, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Hareem Farooq, Maya Ali, Osman Khalid Butt and the venerated Abid Ali – ‘Diyar-e-Dil’ was brilliant. Set in the North, the story focused on the aftermath of Behroze defying his rigid father by marrying out of his family and class. The story was primarily built upon the heartbreaking relationship between Behroze and his younger brother Suhaib.
‘Udaari‘ swept up the entire country in its magnificent whirlwind and brittle telling of social injustice within a small rural pocket
Urwa Hocane played Meera, the aspiring musician hailing from a small village, and her struggles with seeping into the more urban life in Pakistan as she climbed the ladder to her dreams. Social injustice prevailed within the village, with Sajida bibi’s life in turmoil; her husband Imtiaz (played by the thrilling Ahsan Khan) is the child predator who rapes Sajida’s daughter Zebo. The drama was brutal, vivid and shone a light on something so profound within our country. It was critically acclaimed, and once more marked Farhat Ishtiaq as the writer of the moment.
‘Bin Roye,’ based on the novel ‘Bin Roye Ansoo’ was the only of Farhat’s stories to be molded into both drama and film
With an underlying darkness that set this story apart from the rest of its counterpart dramas of the time, ‘Bin Roye’ starred Humayun Saeed, Mahira Khan and Armeena Khan as the star-crossed lovers in a tangled triangle of love, pain, and loss. Mahira is Saba, the frivolous young girl in love with Irtaza (Humayun Saeed), who in turns marries cousin Saman (Armeena Khan) after her foster parents die. How the drama unfolds is based primarily on the trials and tribulations of these three protagonists. The drama fared incredibly well with Pakistani audiences, and later a film too was released, starring the same three.
‘Yakeen Ka Safar‘ was incredible and gave us stars and real life couple Sajal and Ahad
The drama has reached cult status and stars Shaz Khan, Hira Mani, Sajal Ali and Ahad Raza Mir in leads. The drama began its premise on humble lawyer Daniyal fighting for justice for an impoverished girl subjected to rape – however as life has it he is unlawfully murdered, and it is this event that changes his incredibly tightly bound family. His younger brother Asfandyar leaves the country, only to return five years later to still be haunted by his brother’s unjust murder. The drama is absolutely spectacular and has swiftly transitioned into the most watched drama of recent times on television.
‘Parwaaz Hai Junoon,’ a film about our Air Force was a grand, grand cinematic experience
With an incredibly familiar undertone of the monumental ‘Pearl Harbor,’ the cast holds current kids on the bloc Ahad Raza Mir, Shaz Khan, Kubra Khan, Hania Aamir and Hamza Ali Abbasi in what is set to be quite the emotional rollercoaster. And with Farhat behind this tale too, it is bound to be utterly perfect.
What is your favorite Farhat Ishtiaq novel?