There was a thought behind Ehd-e-Wafa, a purpose which I think has been achieved: Wahaj Ali
Ehd-e-Wafa: the name alone has the power of evoking evergreen memories and timeless entertainment that left a progressive mark on the younger generation and the drama industry in general.
In a matter of months and 25 episodes, the meaningful story of four solemn friends became a part of our lives. The shenanigans of Saad, Shariq, Shahzain, and Shehryar made this drama a blockbuster success, making families unite on Sundays in front of the television to witness their rollercoaster ride of a life.
With Saad and Shahzian leading the squad, the journalist Shariq remained a supporting character in the indelible plot. But in no time, he towered to steal the spotlight and made his way to the top with his passion for his career.
The credit goes to the breakout hero Wahaj Ali who impeccably essayed the boyish, daring character and made us fall in love with his confidence.
No doubt, the actor has been on our screens for the past five years in various popular serials. But he made Ehd e Wafa an avant-garde project that rose him to exponential stardom!
We sat down with the dandy performer for a light-hearted chat and quizzed him about his journey as Shariq in Ehd e Wafa. He is soon to be seen across Yumna Zaidi and has even locked a movie!
Being in a star cast with big names like Ahad, Ahmed, and Osman, did it get competitive for you working with them in the drama? How has the journey been so far?
To be honest, the name is not important. However, prowess is important- how skill one is in their craft. And I believe Ahad, Osman, and Ahmed are super-talented people. They are gifted.
When you are working with people who know the craft, then the experience of performing alongside them is always amazing. It was not at all tough but I had a great time and I don’t think I will ever forget it.
Shariq’s quest to be an honest journalist often lands himself in hot water. What takeaways do you want the audience to learn from your character?
The first thing that appears in my mind after hearing this question is- “Darna Nahi Hai” (Laughs). You just have to stay focus no matter what and no matter how many hurdles come in your way.
The amount of sincerity and loyalty towards your work is important. You just have to think positively and feel optimistic. And with God’s will, one is easily able achieve his or her goal.
Time and again in Ehd e Wafa we have seen SSG clashing with each other. How do you think friends in real life should deal with such dilemmas?
True friends cannot carry grudges. No fight or argument can destroy their camaraderie. It is all part of life. Life is difficult and conflicts happen. They do impact for a certain time in love but whenever true friends meet, even after a certain time, they can feel the thriving affection and purity towards one another.
That’s what we portrayed in the Ehd e Wafa that real friends always remain well-wishers.
Do you think Ehd e Wafa has been a game-changer for your career?
Yes, I was very anxious about how my performance will be received by the audience. But thanks to God, they loved it and I can say that it was a game-changer. Success is not how much fan-following one gains. Success is how many people can connect to your character after your performance.
I don’t believe in fan-following. I consider the importance of how believable is your work. And whenever I go out and meet people, they shower me with immense love and appreciation. They give me so much of respect and discuss my character with me. Some even want to consider journalism now and that makes me happy. I feel good about it!
Let’s talk about Hajra Yamin. How was it working with her in the drama?
I had a great time working with her. She is a wonderful, fabulous and effortless actress. She has a very natural approach to acting. We didn’t have to work so hard but people loved our pairing and the feedback we received was commendable.
In what way you believe your role in Ehd e Wafa can bring a positive change for the Pakistani audience?
Honestly, I feel everybody possesses a different lens on how they perceive things, what is their approach towards life and how they function.
This project was different because it was not a run-of-the-mill story. There was a thought behind Ehd e Wafa, a purpose which I think has been achieved. If we talk about women, its story highlighted four strong women. However, in other projects, we see the female character in distress and her life goal is only to get married.
The good thing about the project was that Ehd e Wafa was about friendship, sacrifice, passion for work and love towards your family. It covered a lot of aspects and I hope that it creates a difference. And the feedback of the viewers depicts that hopefully, we will see a change happening.
You also played a cameo role in Superstar of Nadeem Baig’s younger character. How was the experience playing the role?
I had to play Nadeem Sahab’s younger role and for that, I saw a lot of his movies for reference. I realized how big of an artist he is. Sometimes you are not able to feel the magnanimity of a persona. But when you witness their work, then you realize that you are nowhere. And there is a huge journey yet to travel.
My homework ended up giving me a big realization. Also, I broke the ice with a big director like Etishamuddin. In the future, if I get a chance to work with him, I will do it with my eyes closed!
Can you tell us about your Kashf Foundation’s new with Yumna Zaidi?
It has an ensemble cast like Nauman Ijaz, Yasra Rizvi, Omair Rana, Navid Shahzad and of course Yumna.
Talking about Yumna, I will say she is an effortlessly beautiful and gifted actress. When you are working with people I have named, you don’t have to do much. They give such a natural action, that you only react in response. This is the beauty of your performance. The project is directed by Kashif Nisar, so you can imagine the seriousness of the project.
I don’t want to shed light on the topic we are working on but I am sure people will love it.
What is coming up next for Wahaj? Will we be seeing you on the silver screen soon?
I and Hajra are working on one project and it is a beautiful story written by Asma Nabeel. It is on breast cancer. It highlights hope, awareness and the way she has embedded her experience in the story, I feel the audience will love it.
It is a believable tale. It is very realistic. It doesn’t make you dream but highlights a truth that will make people care for themselves and feel that life is indeed glorious.