Andaleeb Wajid's 'Asmara’s Summer' leaps from page to screen in 'Dil Dosti Dilemma'

Bengaluru-based author Andaleeb Wajid on finally seeing her characters in Asmara’s Summer come to life on OTT with her book-to-TV adaptation Dil Dosti Dilemma, releasing next week
Andaleeb Wajid's 'Asmara’s Summer' leaps from page to screen in 'Dil Dosti Dilemma'

BENGALURU: If there is one thing that can warm the soul, take you on a trip down memory lane or help you connect with yourselves, it’s a good coming-of-age story, where every scene is painted with the hues of transition and self-discovery. One such is Bengaluru-based author Andaleeb Wajid’s book’s TV adaptation Dil Dosti Dilemma – releasing on April 25 – which promises one such journey full of raw emotions and tender moments while weaving a story of growth, love, and resilience.

Based on the Young Adult fiction novel Asmara’s Summer (published by Penguin Random House), the show will revolve around Asmara whose world turns upside down when she has to go live with her grandparents in a not-so-well-to-do neighbourhood. “She doesn’t like to be associated with that neighbourhood but she has no choice. Her life and views change drastically in that one month that she’s there as she begins to see the people around her beyond their outer appearances,” says Wajid.

Deciding to lie to her friends and being completely outside her comfort zone, the show sets the perfect premise for a heartfelt story of a girl learning to connect to her roots. But for Wajid, the journey till here was not an easy one. “From the time I received rejections for my first novel Kite Strings to the time my novel More than Just Biryani was accepted by a publisher within a few hours of me sending the submission, my life as a writer has seen several ups and downs which have come together to make me who I am today,” she recalls.

Stills from Dil Dosti Dilemma
Stills from Dil Dosti Dilemma

The news of Asmara’s Summer being picked for a TV adaptation was a moment of both elation and anticipation. “I knew it would take a lot of time. I’ve had to wait patiently for quite some time now until the show was announced in March. It’s been thrilling and I’m still trying to process it,” says Wajid. Having not been involved in the adaptation process apart from a few initial consultations, she is eagerly waiting to see the additional elements to the story. “A few elements have been added which were not in the book but it’s understandable since they want to make it as dramatic and interesting as possible and I’m waiting to see it play out myself,” she shares.

Looking back, Wajid sees her evolution from a doubtful writer to a confident storyteller. Much like JK Rowling’s story of getting her first manuscript rejected from 12 publications, Wajid recounts a similar experience. “When I first started writing, I used to wonder who would even want to read my stories. I’m glad I didn’t give up when my first novel was rejected around 13 times between 2006 and 2009. I was on the verge of it though and self-publishing wasn’t such a big option as it is now. I am glad I persisted,” she says.

One of the most surreal experiences for any author, Wajid notes, is seeing their characters come to life. “I was on set briefly during the shoot for a few hours and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The people I created out of thin air were walking around, being referred to by their screen names. It gave me goosebumps. Like I imagined all of this into existence,” says Wajid. Apart from well-known TV actor Anushka Sen playing Asmara, the show will also feature Kush Jotwani, Tanvi Azmi, and Shishir Sharma.

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