Once in Jabalpur,I threw my cousin out of our house for cheering the Pakistani cricket team. When I was in Mumbai,an estate broker threw me out of his office after discovering that my last name is Khan. In Dubai,a doctor said his country was calling him back,so he resigned and returned to India.
Once upon a time,I heard a dialogue from a film,which said that fiction has to make sense,not life. That line amazed me because it was such an obvious truth but we never somehow articulated it. I grew up outside India,listening to my father saying he will not die anywhere except in his country.
With the demolition of the Babri Masjid,my father was under tremendous pressure to sell his car as he was drawing attention for it. So he sold it over night and it broke his heart. And I knew it was not because of the car,but for
the India he had come back to. He felt betrayed,by himself and his own beliefs.
That incident introduced me to the word,complicated. Its complicated that I dont get a house in this country due to my surname but its simple that this country is my home. Its complicated that my husband is a Hindu but its simple that we are married.
Its complicated that we shoot people in fake encounters but its also simple that someone is investigating it. Its complicated that we brand Muslims as terrorists but simple that we also make them presidents.
When I wanted to sell the rights to Qubool Hai,(Qubool Hai is a daily soap,which airs on Zee TV.) I took it to various broadcasters and was not having much luck getting a buyer.
I never screened the serial publically because I was apprehensive about people wanting to air the show. I sensed that a Muslim show would not be well received given the countrys climate of polarisation.
I always remembered what my father had told me. He had said that a car doesnt matter,but what matters is your faith. Dont let anyone take that away from you. The other thing he told me was to have belief. And thankfully Zee TV bought the rights to the serial. But then I was scared that nobody would watch it But Qubool Hai became the No 1 show on Zee TV.
Then I thought to myself how easily we give in to our thoughts and our doubts.
When Qubool Hai became successful I was not happy as a director or a producer. It actually meant something much greater to me,as a person and an Indian.
I was so happy to realise that a 3.4 rating meant almost the whole country was watching the serial.
Then it occurred to me that even though we might be polarised and there might be boundaries around us,but they have not reached our hearts yet. And that inside us,before anything else,we are Indians first.
And thats why this Independence Day means little more to me than the other ones.You see its complicated but its also very simple.
So Happy Independence Day to all of us.