Danish Aslam Talks About the Importance of Queer Love Stories

How can anyone forget the sensation of feeling butterflies in their stomach on seeing their crush? The endless nights of stalking them on social media, trying to find out all you can about them, the awkward smiles on seeing them, and the ultimate question – they love me, they love me not: Everyone, at some point, has navigated through all these levels of falling in love.

In one of the episodes of Netflix’s anthology series Feels Like Ishq, titled She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not, we see this journey unfold through two women Muskan and Tarasha (played by Sanjeeta Bhattacharya and Saba Azad, respectively) who fall in love in a surprising but adorable scenario.

Singer Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, who will make her debut as an actor with the series, feels the quirks that her on-screen character goes through while falling in love, resonates well with her. “I feel like a lot of my character is me. I am an ambivert and speak to people in a certain tone, depending on how they are. So in the series, I am free with my friends, but Tarasha is a new person, and I am intimidated by her but at the same time, I am into her. I don’t know how to confess that I’m kind of give her cues. And these are things that I have done. So both of our skins are the same.”

Penned by Sulagna Chatterjee, the story attempts to normalise queer experiences, and that is what attracted director Danish Aslam to it. “What attracted me to it was the fact that it was a normalisation of two queer people falling in love. I feel that over the last decade or so that we’ve been telling queer stories, most of them tend to focus on the fact that you are gay, or the fact that how difficult it is and how coming out and the problems that it leaves. And all of that is true, we’re not denying that. But what I feel has been missing is a story that just kind of celebrates it. The relevant part here is two people happened to fall in love with each other and we see that journey,” said Aslam.

Talking about how the digital platform helped them convey their story, Aslam added, “Films so far in India, especially where queer characters are shown, they are either dancing to ‘Maa Da Ladla” where they are over the top and caricatured or alternatively, there are very real but depressing stories. That’s the only kind of way that we know. With OTT platforms, what happened is a lot of stories that would not be financially feasible gets a ground, where it is not about big actors or your Friday box office. You get to tell a good story and people appreciate that. You find your audience.”

Netflix’s anthology series directed by the likes of Ruchir Arun, Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, Anand Tiwari, Danish Aslam, Jaydeep Sarkar, Sachin Kundalkar and Devrath Sagar, and starring an ensemble cast of Radhika Madan, Rohit Saraf, Neeraj Madhav, Tanya Maniktala and others will see six stories woven around the theme of love and how this one word can hold different meanings for different people.

Asked about what ‘Ishq’ really feels like to them, Saba answered, “I feel it is the ability to navigate the mundane with someone and still not be bored with life. That to me is love, where you can actually just be with someone and go through the motions of life. And lockdown has been a telling thing for so many people, so definitely for me it is companionship.”

Feels Like Ishq will stream on Netflix from July 23.

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Sagar Influence

My name is Sagar Biswas and I am a parttime Blogger and a Youtuber and I have completed my 2nd PUC and Now I am pursuing my Degree and I manage more than 2+ Blog and 1 Youtube channel I stay in Karnataka State Bengaluru City.

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