My dream for Pakistan
I want this video to reach out to people who are sick of everyday happenings and dream of a better Pakistan.
A couple of months ago I witnessed an elderly man, approximately 70 years old, being violently shoved off the side of the road by a policeman who was clearing the way for a 10-car protocol of a federal minister.
Incidents like these are not rare and it seems as though we have grown accustomed to them. But that doesn't mean we don't think they are wrong.
You often hear people arguing about 'which hidden arm' is behind specific problems in our country; whether it's the politicians, RAW, or the army - it's an endless debate. But in truth, the average Pakistani just wants to feed his hungry children, survive and live a decent life.
Back in 2006, I made a video about Pakistan. It was an amateur production but it left me wanting to remake it from a better perspective. Recently, a group of Pakistani students studying in England approached me to make a short film that was relevant to March 23 for an event that they were organising.
The country's descent into darkness and hopelessness were my drive to make this video; I wanted to try and incite a yearning amongst people not to lose hope. The idea was to make a video that reached out to people who are sick and tired of the constant struggle and help them dream of a better tomorrow.
I explained this concept to my uber-talented friend Ali Mudar and he penned the script. Another friend, Hammad Hanfi, was kind enough to be boom operator for the first two days of shooting; on the third day, my cook, Qadeer, took responsibility for this coveted job.
The video has many different people in it. I tried to portray a cross-section of society. A few people were complete strangers, including a dhaaba owner and a couple of people who visit the dhaaba on a daily basis. Others in the video are people I have worked with in short films and plays before. One lady runs a preschool; another is a classical dancer and political activist.
I tried to keep it as diverse as possible, so it really sucks when people comment saying I've just put a bunch of rich kids in front of the camera!
I want this video going viral in the hope that every Pakistani can be inspired to do anything to make the dream of a happy, prosperous Pakistan a reality.
Follow Usman on Twitter @baraboda11.