Netflix's new show, Ajeeb Daastaans, explores hidden layers in human relationships

Anthologies seem to be the order of the day, at least when it comes to recent Indian content on Netflix! After the success of Lust Stories and Ghost Stories, the streaming platform is ready with yet another anthology of four short films titled Ajeeb Daastaans, all set to premiere on April 16! The producers are Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta, Somen Mishra, Dharmatic Entertainment. The anthology promises to explore the hidden layers in human relationships and conflict of emotions tied down to testing times on account of social norms.

Writer and director Shashank Khaitan said, “Majnu explores the dynamics of three characters, their interpersonal relationships and how they keep evolving with each scene.”

The first short film in the anthology, Majnu, is written and directed by Shashank Khaitan. The cast includes Fatima Sana Shaikh, Jaideep Ahlawat and Armaan Ralhan. The second Khilauna has been directed by Raj Mehta and written by Sumit Saxena. The cast includes Nushrratt Bharuccha, Abhishek Banerjee, child artiste Inayat Verma.

Director Raj Mehta said, “Khilauna was made with the intention of bringing an unexpected storytelling experience to the audience. The story and the title itself, might have different interpretations for each viewer and that is what makes it exciting!”

“The role I play here is a complete 360 degree turn from all the other characters I have played till date. Sometimes we don’t know how to behave like a common person, we don’t notice their mannerisms or how they react to certain situations. This role made me do all that and a lot more. So, I have worked doubly hard for this role,” said Nushrratt Bharuccha.

The third film Geeli Pucchi has been directed by Neeraj Ghaywan and co-written by Neeraj Ghaywan and Sumit Saxena. The cast includes Konkona Sensharma and Aditi Rao Hydari. Finally, Ankahi has been directed by debutant Kayoze Irani and co-written by Uzma Khan and Sumit Saxena. The cast includes Shefali Shah, Manav Kaul and Tota Roy Chowdhury. “Geeli Pucchi explores the intersectional realities of two women from disparate worlds. They are both longing for an emotional connection which they end up finding in one another. It was truly inspiring to see Konkana and Aditi bring these characters and their relationship to life.”

Also making his debut as a director is Kayoze Irani with Ankahi. “What attracted me to the film was the fact that communication doesn’t need to be verbal and a lot can be said without words. Manav and Shefali were a treat to direct and they lift the entire storyline,” said Irani.

When quizzed about working with a debutant director, Shefali Shah said, “Initially I was unsure about my performance. I kept telling Kayoze that everything about your first film is great except the fact that you have cast me! I am petrified that a day will come when the director will say Action and I won’t be able to utter a single word, that is in fact my worst nightmare. But, he kept reassuring me and I hope I have been able to live up to his expectations.”

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