The final episode of HINITHUNVELAASHEY KALAA was aired last night. It was rescheduled from Monday night to an 11th November slot as a special airing to mark the Republic Day. Its sheer coincidence that a series which started during last regime bid farewell on the day a new president had just sworn in. Only this series didn’t step down because it grew unpopular or anything as such. Democratically speaking, HINITHUNVELAASHEY KALAA was loved by majority of the people and had a nation wide following. It’s just that this series had a 52 episodes stint. And when its time was up, the serial bowed down gracefully. Too bad there wasn’t a new series elected to take its place in entertaining the people of this nation.

Episode 52 resolved many key issues, but not after breaking few hearts. ASLAM realized that INA for whom he had developed an infatuation, in the end wasn’t to be the woman of his dreams. INA realized that despite the narrow chance ZAMEEL, her lawyer had in winning SHIZAN; he stood up for her and fought all the way even though he lost the case. Guess there’s nothing more romantic than a man who stands by a woman at a time when the world around her was falling apart. She thought it was the best thing anyone ever did for her or would do. In her own words to ZAMEEL, it was not winning that mattered, it was the fight that meant everything for her. However, I had a constructive comment from my wife that I was not able to develop the relationship of INA and ZAMEEL too convincingly for them to fall in love at the end. She had a point there but no matter how hard I have tried to explain her that due to over length FATTHAAH had to cut an important scene of INA and ZAMEEL, she just wouldn’t agree. I am still searching for a way to convince her…

SHIZAN’S grandfather, WAHEED finally realizes that he cannot buy or give a mother’s love for SHIZAN. After the court hearing ends in his favor, he gives back SHIZAN to INA. And INA decides to stay with WAHEED and ZUBEIDA. They welcome her to their family thus completing their family circle.

FAZU disheartened over thinking that ASLAM was going to marry INA as soon as INA gets SHIZAN, believes that dreams were not meant to come true, not at all for her. So she decides to leave for KELAI. But her mother, DHALEYKA is forced to disclose FAZU a helpful information on her unending search for her father, ZUBAIR.

FAZU visits ZUBAIR’S house only to learn that he was someone she had met twice before, not knowing each other’s blood relation. She first met him in a clothing shop. That day, on his request she chose a shirt for him. She also learns that he is living a happy life and has two daughters from whom the eldest is the jealous type who would not give an inch of her father’s love to someone else.

FAZU, on her way to the airport sees ZUBAIR and decides to meet him. But she hesitantly chooses not be a part of his family. FAZU only leaves after shaking the hand of his father that he never knew was his daughter or would ever know unless FATTHAAH decides to make a sequel.

And oh, yes! FAZU gets her man in the end. Actually it was ASLAM who comes to her. And his realization to the fact that FAZU has loved him since childhood comes from an unlikely source. It was none other than MURAD who reveals him the truth. And it was also MURAD who assigns ZAMEEL to SHIZAN’S case. All in all, the final episode was all about realization, sacrifice, redemption and forgiving.

People have praised HINITHUNVELAASHEY KALAA. They were thoroughly enjoyed. Writing all 52 episodes of this series which gained nation wide popularity has been a wonderful experience for me, an experience worth treasuring forever, if not for a very long, long time. Looking back, it all began some 2 years ago… FADE OUT.

FADE IN. February 21, 2006 was a Tuesday. Late morning of that day, I met director ABDUL FATTHAAH at West Park to discuss a new 52 episode serial that he was going to produce and direct for TVM. We sat at a table close to the seaside. I remember the waves kept crashing constantly against the tetra pods since it was a tad windy that day. I had with me my worn out, dog eared monitor book with a flowery cover to take notes. As usual, I had a fresh papaya juice with a sprinkle of lime juice. He had a milk coffee of which brand I am not sure. Was it ALFREDO?

FATHHAAH already had a title and a vague concept of the serial at his disposal. It was to be called HINITHUNVELAASHEY KALAA and the concept was about the ups and downs of two childhood friends (girls) in an island.

FATTHAAH wanted to set the first 32 episodes in his island of birth, HA. KELAI. When we sat down, he had three principal actors in mind to cast. They were AFEE who was then new to showbiz, HAJJA who was already doing well in showbiz and renowned actor and FATTAAH’s favorite, MANIK who was an old hand in showbiz.

My first contention was that having to focus on three principal actors for 32 episodes would limit my creativity in storytelling. I needed supporting roles as much as I can. So we listed down all the available actors at that time would fit the shooting schedule. Only a handful of actors came up including FAUZIYYA, JIMMY, SAEED and NEENA. However, veteran actor KOYYA HASSAN and dancing sensation SIYADHA would make way for at least 2 to 3 episodes if it was being shot in an island. So we decided to cast the latter two for the last 3 episodes of the 32 episodes.

Following few days, I structured the storyline and developed the characters based on the available actors. FATTHAAH provided as much information as he possibly could about KELAI starting from the topography of the island to what people usually do, especially women. And KELAI being an agricultural island came in handy for my storyline and for some of the characters.

The latter information gave me the idea of developing INA, the character HAJJA played as a hard working farmer. She started farming at a very early age. When her mother passed away, she spent most of the day helping her father in the field. As she spent most of the day outside, she wore a cap. Working in the field was hard labor and she acquired mannish qualities as she grew up. Thus the character of INA was developed as a tomboy.

FAZU, the character AFEE plays was developed as a teacher. She started to like teaching since childhood while giving tuition for INA. Since INA was an extrovert, FAZU was made an opposite, an automatic introvert.

NEENA provided comic relief for the serial with her over the top one-liners.

JIMMY carried the anti-drug theme. He was made a drug addict whose life he sees passing by every minute even after he’s on a noble cause to rehabilitate himself.

Violence against women which was an ever growing concern in our society was a key issue we wanted to add thus making SAEED carry the torch of a wife beater.

HA. Atoll had a rich Maldivian history. National hero MOHAMED THAKURUFAANU came from UTHEEMU and we had this idea of making use of the historical places in these islands as well. Thus, a retelling of MOHAMED THAKURUFAANU’S love story was incorporated in one of the episodes.

It took me a week or so to finish the entire structure of the 32 episodes. I began writing a day or two later. Just after I finished writing up to the 10th episode, FATTHAAH, his cast and crew sailed off to KELAI to begin shooting.

Following days, without taking a single break, I kept writing day and night feverishly. Sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night and at other times; I woke up early in the morning and stay glued at my laptop till all afternoon. I was completing an episode per day. I was unable to stop writing. My mind was flowing with so many ideas. And at the end of the day, my skull would feel scorching hot. Yet, I never felt tired. I was looking forward for the next day to begin writing the next episode.

It took me 32 consecutive days to complete all 32 episodes which covered the storyline in KELAI. Only then I took a breather. I sent the remaining episodes to FATTHAAH through actors who were leaving to KELAI to start their shooting. FATTHAAH kept updating me on the shooting which was going smoothly and with gusto. The actors were having a field day with their scenes especially NEENA whose role as RAZIYYA was witty and her dialogues hilarious.

FATTHAAH had spent about 3 months in KELAI. When editing began the material of each episode ran over to the next episode. Even though I originally wrote 32 episodes, when edited ran over to 40 episodes. However, this came as a blessing in disguise since I was left with 12 episodes remaining to write, which was to be set in MALE’. Surprisingly, FATTHAAH also felt relieved.

However, tragedy struck with episode 32, I think, when HASSAN MANIK who was to appear in episode 33 the following week was embroiled in a bounce check episode of his own and was house arrested. TVM had a strict rule at halting any material of any actors who have any issues with the law. So HINITHUNVELAASHEY KALAA was stopped indefinitely.

Then the whole series was restarted end of last year. When it reached episode 32, I was still not writing the remaining 12 episodes. However, I sat down with FATTHAAH for the final episodes during mid July. We had to change the original concept we first developed. Back then, we thought of FAZU returning to Male’, get married to SAMAD, father-in-law of ASLAM in her quest to win SHIZAN for INA and win ASLAM for herself. But when we re-sat to discuss that storyline, it sounded too preposterous and unoriginal. So we changed the whole setup to as it was later shown.

As usual, I finished writing while FATTHAAH was still shooting episode 45, I think. Now that it’s all over, writing, shooting and airing, this is where I return from memory lane and end this blog before whoever is reading this starts snoring off. If anyone is, this is where you wake up and I say to you, HINTHUNVELAASHEY KALAA instead.


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