The Pakistani drama 'Barzakh', premiering on Zee5 on July 19, presents a unique storyline: an elderly hermit invites his two sons to his third wedding—to a woman they believe to be deceased. The six-episode series features Sanam Saeed, Fawad Khan, M Fawad Khan, and Salman Shahid in pivotal roles. The term 'Barzakh' signifies limbo, the interim state where souls await their ultimate fate (heaven or hell). In the show, Salman Shahid portrays Jaffar Khanzada, a secluded resort owner, who summons his sons Sheheryar (Fawad Khan) and Saifullah (M Fawad Khan) for his nuptials. Meanwhile, Sanam Saeed plays Scheherzade, Khanzada's aide, guiding the audience through this narrative.

Ahead of its release, City Times interviewed Sanam Saeed, who recently starred in 'Umr o Ayyar' and the box-office success 'Ali Kazmi' this year. "It's a privilege to have multiple projects this year," Sanam reflects, "though they weren't planned to release so closely. I was thrilled to be part of 'Umr o Ayyaar', a sci-fi action film that breathes life into beloved stories. I hope it spawns many sequels! Regarding 'Barzakh', OTT platforms have become a haven for actors like me. The themes explored are more relatable, challenging, and fulfilling. I've admired Asim's work, and reuniting with Fawad is a delight due to his exceptional acting skills and our shared energy."

Sanam also discusses the types of stories she wishes mainstream channels would showcase. "'Barzakh' features a 70-year-old man, which I found crucial to highlight. I'd also like to see stories about older women, disabilities, love in later life, and minority groups on mainstream channels. OTT platforms address these topics, but mainstream channels could also tell these stories and educate a broader audience. TV viewers often lack exposure from other sources like travel, books, or cinema. There's potent storytelling potential on television."

Originally scheduled for an earlier release, the pandemic delayed 'Barzakh'. Sanam believes the story's relevance remains unchanged. "I wouldn't alter anything about my character or the approach," she asserts. "The theme of the circle of life is timeless."

Sanam's character in 'Barzakh' is distinctive, developed from scratch. "We initially planned to draw from existing characters, but decided against it," she explains. "Why rely on familiar tropes when we can create something original? Asim had a vision, and we crafted her together in rehearsals. We refined her through interactions with the cast, adjusting her demeanor and reactions. The rehearsal space was magical, finding the right tone and angles. She's a complex character, relatable yet distinct."

Sanam describes the challenges of portraying a character with limited emotional expression. "It was tough not to show wonder, anger, or surprise, fearing it might look stiff. Asim was supportive, praising my performance, but I remain anxious. Thankfully, the cast and crew were encouraging, and I drew strength from them."

Sanam envisions an ideal audience response to 'Barzakh'. "I hope viewers of all ages watch and reflect on lost loves, the importance of children, and sibling bonds. I want a generational connection and intrigue. 'Barzakh' evokes a magical sense, blending VFX with shamanic and fairytale elements, focusing on spiritual realism about souls and life after death. I hope it prompts viewers to question relationships and empathize with each character, seeing pieces of themselves in everyone."