Wed, 09 August 2023
The Kingdom’s cinema scene has expanded massively in recent years, and it is currently celebrating one of its biggest releases yet, the Hindi-language drama Bas Ik Vaari. Kristian Harrison spoke to the film’s writer and director, Preety Praveen, about her experiences as an expat, how it shaped the movie and her response to its overwhelming reaction.
Ms. Praveen hails from Patiala, Punjab and describes herself as a psychologist by profession and a writer by heart. She moved to Bahrain in 2009 alongside her husband and two children, and it is the life of an expat which inspired her to pen Bas Ik Vaari.
“I started writing from a tender age but never took it seriously until a decade ago,” she explains. “This led me to eventually writing and directing short movies and theatre plays. In fact, one of my best plays was ‘Aashiyana Mera,’ which was showcased at the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) event which was held in January 2018. I also cherish two of my short movies, ‘Hesitancy’ and ‘Lakeerien’, which were based on social awareness in Bahrain. In 2019, I published my first book, ‘Cross Connection,’ based on my own story,” explains Ms. Praveen.
Bas Ik Vaari, fully conceived and conceptualised in Bahrain, is a story revolving around a father and a daughter and their love and hate relationship. It explores how they get trapped in delusional misunderstandings and whether they are able to resolve them.
“Most of my stories are women-oriented and so is Bas Ik Vaari,” Ms Praveen says. “I had written this story a couple of years back but I had to wait until the pandemic was over to be lucky enough to find the perfect team to work on this project.”
“While writing this story, I thought of the helplessness of a girl to keep herself connected with her family after marriage. Being a lady, I’ve also experienced some hiccups in my life and have tried to incorporate those feelings,” she says.
“The success of the movie lies in the compliments we received from our audience. It was a dream come true to get the opportunity to screen Bas Ik Vaari at Mukta Cinema and everyone who came left the screening with a message in their heart, memories of their loved ones and tears of nostalgia and love,” she adds.
Audiences loved the simplicity and natural approach of the characters and the five back-to-back shows were sold out, so much so that there are plans to screen the film again in cinemas in September after which, should all go well, it will be available to stream.
Regardless of the next step, seeing the film come to fruition after years of writing, filming and post-production, made it all worth it for Ms. Praveen.
“I never had thought in my wildest dreams that it would turn out to be such a big, beautiful and successful project,” she says happily.
“Until the last day, my team was rushing to finish the final details. I literally had sleepless nights before the release. On the day of the premiere, I sat in the cinema with my whole crew, holding hands with our hearts pounding. I can still visualise that moment, when the movie finished and we all got up and turned back to see the audience. All were clapping, had tears and for the next half an hour, we all were flooded with compliments and hugs,” she says.
“I want to thank each and every person who has made Bas Ik Vaari successful. The best reward I received was that everyone wanted to know about my next project. So, stay tuned!” she concludes.