Shaista Lodhi wants more dramas about older people falling in love
Dr. Shaista Lodhi spoke to BBC Urdu about her on-air drama ‘Samjhota’, which revolves around an elderly man getting married for the second time to a divorcee, after his first wife passes away.
Lodhi revealed that she wanted to do this drama because it explored the kind of stigma elderly people face, and encouraged them to remember that they can restart their lives after retirement.
“Whenever I’m offered a project, I try to make sure that it is on a subject that can be relatable for a lot of people…So when I heard about this story, I felt like I should do it because we need to address this issue in our society…It showed that at a certain age when we think our elderly mother and father are only around to take care of our children, but instead you’ll witness the love story between these two main characters in the drama. I thought this was such a great example being set. The other thing is in our society at a certain age our parents are left lonely while we get busy building our own lives. We seem to think that our parents can’t find a new partner after their own spouse and they don’t have a life of their own. We are busy with our own life, we aren’t able to give them any time, or the responsibilities we have as their child. We also can’t imagine if our father gets married for the second time. So I thought this would be food for thought for our society, and I liked the script and decided to take it on.”
She also talked about the ways ‘Samjhota’ breaks away from formulae drama, and brings the love story between an elderly couple to the forefront.
“It’s incredibly important that we remind our elderly that life doesn’t end when you grow old. Once they age, we restrict them in a box, and I don’t think any other drama has taken a step to discuss this topic…If our father is coughing, why do we want to send our house help to get him a glass of water and cough syrup? Instead, why don’t we show our father getting up and keeps working in this age so he can prove that he is an active part of the social set up. We snatch this energy from elderly people by telling them that they’re retired so they must sit at home…Don’t you think that as a society we are cruel to the growing segment that we call ‘elderly’ because we completely ignore them? We ignore children the same way we ignore our elderly. We only cater to the middle ground because that is the only way we can get ratings.”
On the feedback she has been receiving on ‘Samjhota’, Lodhi said a lot of people meet her on planes and continuously ask her questions about her dramas, and have praised her for her performance.