By Shivani Bhasin
Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha is all set to portray a snarky, sass-spouting journalist in the film adaptation of Saba Imtiaz’s book ‘Karachi, You’re Killing Me!’ The novel revolves around twenty-something journalist Ayesha Khan, who covers bombings and fashion shows in Karachi with equal dexterity. Part of the reason why Ayesha comes across as such a refreshing character is due to her candid outlook. She pokes fun at entitled male editors and the elitist Pakistani society around her while exploring what it means to be a female journalist in a city racked by explosions, terrorism and apathy. The novel drops several truth bombs, most notably on female solidarity and horrible bosses.
In our review of the book, we noted that Ayesha “neatly skirts the idea of what a ‘good Pakistani girl’ ought to be like and pokes a finger in the eye of those inclined to judge”. She swigs illegally procured alcohol, smokes and is unapologetic about her need to have sex. She’s not afraid to smash the binaries of ‘brainy woman’ and ‘beautiful woman’. In the book, she “rocks a chiffon sari at an assignment before a date (and shoves a sock in her hairdo to give it volume. You heard right)”.
The characters that are constantly there for Ayesha include her best friend, Zara and an editor named Andrea. These women are also journalists and they help Ayesha out when she’s on the brink of a crisis. Ayesha also stands up to her exploitative editor Kamran, a member of the rich Pakistani elite, who is practically gifted a newspaper to run by his father. She works insane deadlines and deals with unreasonable demands only to quit later to write articles on her own terms. The atmosphere of the novel is relatable to most female journalists with lines like “Thank God there’s another woman smoking” alone inspiring vigorous head nods.
The film adaptation of the book is set in Mumbai and is called ‘Noor’ with Sinha portraying the eponymous Noor Roy Choudhary. The film will be directed by Sunhil Sippy and is set to complete shooting by August.Comedian Kanan Gill is rumoured to play the role of Noor’s romantic interest. Sinha has described the role as one that “every girl will relate to”, adding that, “It’s a beautiful story that follows Noor as she navigates relationships, career, aspirations, life choices, infatuations and body image issues”.
Author Saba Imtiaz seems very tickled by the first glimpse of Sinha as Noor.
— Saba Imtiaz (@SabaImtiaz) June 1, 2016