Anwar Maqsood is known for his illustrious plays, one of which was recently running successfully in Karachi. His play Saadhay 14 August premiered on this Independence Day and brought the theatrical trilogy that started about a decade ago, and included Pawnay 14 August and Sawa 14, to an end. However, what set the new play apart was Maqsood’s decision to add an item song, which didn’t sit well with the audience and critics.
In a recent interview, the playwright candidly talked about the thought process behind his decision, and how he felt it was essential to include an item song, given the time and setting the play was based in. “There is an item number because an item number was an important part of Hindustan’s film culture. However, now this culture has left Hindustan as Delhi is in ruins [after the Partition]” he said.
“The making and tune of my item number are different as it is based on the whole play. Through it, I wanted to say that this is the culture of Hindustan and that this song is necessary for every film. Without it, no film can be a hit, and there’s no point to the song otherwise. We have heard so many songs from Hindustan, but we have never heard a song like this that becomes a part of every film,” he shared.
He also added how he wanted to portray Bollywood and India’s messed up priorities when it came to item songs. “In my life, I never would have done such a thing, but due to the worsening conditions of our neighbouring country, I wanted to show this scene. I wanted to show that in a country where crores are spent on such songs, there are millions that are hungry,” he said.
However, he also ended up apologising for the item song in an almost-sarcastic, humorous tone. “I want to apologise to everyone who was offended by the item song. However, even those who were offended were viewing the song with the utmost attention,” he said.
Watch the entire conversation below.