The Urdu long-teleplay Tīsrā Kinārā [The Third Bank] is an Urdu masterpiece. Adapted and written for the screen by Rahat Kazmi and directed by Shahzad Khalil, the play aired on STN in the spring of 1980. It is based on Ayn Rand’s magnum opus novel The Fountainhead (1943). This literary gem was also adapted in Hollywood as a feature film in 1959 by King Vidor.

One of the leading concerns underlying adapting foreign literary works lies in how they are appropriated and naturalised in the receiving ethos; such that the sensitivities of the original narrative are not compromised, and rather delivered effectively into the new cultural sensibility.

In the Pakistani rendering, Kazmi––the most popular icon of the television and film industry back in the day––pulled off this feat rather well. While crafting the script according to the sensibilities of modern Urdu literary and theatrical mileu, as well as to those of local television, Kazmi, Khalil, and their team were able to put across the moral and philosophical sensitivities of Rand’s account. As illustrated by the clip above, the masterful effort driving this English to Urdu rendition is glaringly evident when juxtapose the original text with scenes from the teleplay.

Tīsrā Kinārā
Released: April 1980
Director: Shahzad Khalil
Writer: Rahat Kazmi
Production: Pakistan Television Corporation, Shahzad Khalil
Featuring: Rahat Kazmi, Saira Kazmi, Shafi Mohammad, Badar Khalil, Usman Peerzada, Munir Nadir, and Sajjad Ahmed.

View the entire play: Tīsrā Kinārā