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Playing Zaara is a zabardast break-thru for me: Eisha Singh

Monday, March 12, 2018
By Chaitanya Padukone

In compliance with their channel brand-philosophy of presenting 'progressive' content on fiction shows, Zee TV has flagged off a new thought-provoking entertaining fiction show titled 'Ishq Subhan Allah'. This show commences telecast on Zee TV from Wednesday, March 14, in the 10.00 pm slot and will be aired Monday-Friday. A path-breaking lavishly-mounted Muslim social-cum-romantic saga which highlights the socially volatile issue of 'triple talaaq', the venture is co-produced by 'showman' Dheeraj Kumar (of 'Creative Eye'). The show, written by the erudite Danish Javed, has charming TV star Eisha Singh (of 'Ishq Ka Rang Safed' fame) playing the lead female character 'Zaara' opposite the debonair, smart actor Adnan Khan who is cast as 'Kabeer'. Among the supporting cast, the suave senior actor Vinay Jain, (he plays 'Shahbaaz Ahmad' the hero’s father), vivacious glam-girl Monika ('Zeenat') Khanna and winsome bubbly Anjita Poonia.  Afternoon D & C connected with the outspoken yet exuberant Eisha Singh.

What’s this new Muslim social show 'Ishq Subhan Allah' on Zee, all about?
Essentially it's a romantic kahaani as the show 'title' itself has 'Ishq' in it. It showcases 'woman empowerment'. While the sensitive subject of 'triple talaaq' awaits judgment in the Parliament, and is being discussed widely in cosmopolitan society, my lead character Zaara and the hero’s character Kabeer are directly grappling with the same issue. The show has its basic backdrop of exotic Lucknow city in which Kabeer and I are shown as devout followers of Islam.

Please continue…
But both of us (Kabeer and Zara) tend to interpret the holy scripture 'Quran' differently. 'Dono ka ek hee 'Khuda' hai, lekin dekhne ka nazariya judaa hai!' In fact Kabeer (actor Adnan Khan) is shown playing a 'maulvi' who abides by the traditional, moral ethical code as prescribed by the Shariyat board.  Writer Danish Javed, has shared with us that for the first time in Indian television, a 'maulvi' is playing the 'hero' in a TV show.

What about your rebel character 'Zara'?
Actually, that’s what fascinated me initially when I was offered the breakthrough role. 'Zaara' is a bold, honest, well-educated young woman. She has studied Islam in-depth and applies the revered teachings of Allah to a logical, liberal way of life based on practicality, gender equality and justice. Our show is daringly different and challenging for me. Even my mother (Rekha Singh) whom I am very close to as my life-line, support and mentor, was delighted when I was finalised for this zabardast role.

What is Zara’s view on 'triple talaaq'?
In 'Ishq Subhan Allah', she is of the view that the customary 'triple talaaq' practice is 'un-Islamic', as it has no mention in the holy scripture 'Quran'. According to her staunch beliefs, a 'talaaq' is to be administered over a period of '60 days' . Which in turn, gives adequate possible opportunity for both the estranged spouses to amicably reconcile their mutual differences.

Do you anticipate any controversy or protests?
Not really. Because we have a team of qualified Islamic experts and the show is written by the eminent Danish Javed and produced by the seasoned and experienced Dheeraj Kumar-Sir. They have exercised due diligence to ensure that the effective dialogues and vibrant visuals will connect 'positively' with the home audiences. Our show attempts to highlight the drastic difference between the 'soch'  and the 'sach'. In any case, I am fully concentrating on my role and performance.

What is the 'prep' that you had to undergo for your character?
Hmm, the 'tehzeeb', the 'tameez', the correct pronunciation of Urdu words and phrases in the dialogues. The correct gestures also the famous Lucknowi andaaz. Honestly, I am in love with the 'shaandaar' ethnic costumes that my character Zaara and all the rest of the cast has to wear.
As producer Dheeraj Kumar-Sir often says, 'in our show, even the classy costumes have their own swag and attitude'. Like today, I am clad in the ornate dulhan’s costume including the large 'nathh' ( nose-ring).

Which is that one 'reality TV show' that you would love to be part of?
Not many people are aware that I am a hardcore ‘foodie’, style-savvy, quite naughty, fun-loving and adventurous in real-life. Although I am so scared of heights and snakes, I wish to get over these phobias. It would be thrilling if I am taken on as one of the daring contestants on the ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ show. At home in Bhopal, I have four dogs as my fond pets and I terribly miss them in Mumbai.

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