Kashmir has adopted me, says writer Bhavani Iyer
After Raazi and Kaafir, writer Bhavani Iyer set to pen another web series based on the history of the Valley.
She may be a woman of few words, but give her a pen and paper, and her stories will do the talking. Bhavani Iyer, who — with a repertoire that includes Black (2005), Guzaarish (2010) and Raazi (2018) — has fast sealed her place as one of the most promising screenwriters in the industry, is busy at work on her next web series that chronicles the history of Kashmir.
"The show is titled Srinagar. The first season will showcase the events between 1985 and 2000 while season two will chronicle [the time] from 1947 to 1971," says Iyer, whose last work, Kaafir, too was set in the state. It is easy to see that the Valley, with its trials and tribulations, holds a special place in her heart. "I've been there so many times, it feels like Kashmir has adopted me," she smiles.
Directed by Onir, the latest series will go on floors next year. The research and material collated for her past offerings will come handy as she gives shape to her new project. "I have met people who have been part of the custodial system, legal system, the BSF and CRPF. Onir and I have done exhaustive research on the state. We have recorded different perspectives on the issues and how the locals are merely pawns in a political minefield that is being created."
Narrating a story of the Valley comes with its set of controversies, but Iyer has faith in her material. "I don't intend to tell the story for the sake of sensationalising it. I want to chronicle it to give people all the perspectives on the subject. We sit here cocooned in our safety, unaware of the pain and angst that the Kashmiris carry within themselves. I met this young boy who said, 'Aaj main school bus se utra, toh meri talashi huyi' [I was searched when I got off the school bus]. For him, it is a rite of passage. Why is that the reality of a 13-year-old, when we can change it? If I ruffle a few feathers in the process, so be it."
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