At first, it baffles you why Hindi Medium makers cast a lesser known Pakistani actor Saba Qamar opposite Irrfan Khan, probably one of the most illustrious actors in Hindi film industry. But when you see Saba’s galaxy of work in several Pakistani serials and films, you have second thoughts. Unlike most Bollywood female actors who often play to the gallery in Indian films (playing second lead to male heroes), Saba’s repertoire has a more diverse range of work. Saba has done some fascinating and mature characters in hit Pakistani serials like Dastaan, Uraan and Maat.
Her new found identity among Indian audience, courtesy Hindi Medium is that of a hot and beautiful actor who also knows how to act. But when you see her performance in Pakistani dramas, you might have think again about her talent. One of her most popular roles is in Dastaan opposite Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan. Saba acted as Fawad’s maternal aunt in the hit show. Fawad, who played the lead role of Hassan in this drama, had some endearing scenes with Saba, including some of the most adorable moments as the two stars shared a beautiful relationship as part of the plot. Hindi films and serials might have forgotten to capture the minute details of a close-knit family, but several scenes in Dastaan are woven around the same. Dastaan is set in the pre-Partition era and one of the highlights of the show is how Fawad teased his ‘khala’ and the exchange of banter between them. Their scenes take you to simpler days when there was all the time in the world to indulge in long conversations.
— Fawad Khan FC (@TeamFawadAKhan) March 28, 2015
Hindi Medium director Saket Chaudhary during an interview said that he cast Saba after watching her in Pakistani television shows. “When I approached actresses for Shaadi Ke Side Effects, it was a struggle for us to find someone who was willing to play a mother on screen. So I knew it that there was an issue already here. We tried to think of whom we could cast and that’s when I saw Saba in a couple of Pakistani television shows. I knew she would fit the bill of a next-door Punjabi girl and decided to take her on board. The equation between the countries was much better back then,” Saket told Deccan Chronicle.
Dastaan was based on India-Pakistan partition. It was also aired on Zindagi channel in India under the name of Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam in 2015.