Enough Of The Sisters’ Rivalry Formula!

I was really hoping that Silvatein would be the last drama in the long line of plays that focused on rivalry between sisters but unfortunately that was not so. I was really looking forward to the play Halki Si Khalish, primarily because for once it seemed like Mehreen Raheal wasn’t playing the kind of roles she usually does and Javaid Sheikh is a personal favorite and also because I desperately needed something entertaining to watch on a weekday. Although, after watching Nanhi, I was quite apprehensive about watching another one of Javaid Sheikh’s plays but I thought might as well give it a go. So, I made sure I watched the first episode when it went on air and was astonished to find out that this indeed was yet another play about sibling rivalry. This was shocking for me because I thought that the writers and producers should have figured out by now that people are not interested in watching more plays with the same theme.


Why do I call the Sisters’ rivalry track a formula? Well because right from the Maat days, the plays inspired by Maat have been following the same kind of formula. It is not just the sibling rivalry that is common among these plays but much more. I have to add here that even though the characters were very black and white in Maat but I was totally hooked on it. I found myself rooting for Aimen and hating Saman. The performances were very good, the story was new, it had not been done to death at that particular time and the treatment given to it was A grade. But that was then.


Coming back to the formula, the formula is that the older sister is always holier-than-thou and the younger one is just plain evil! Now how monotonous is that! At least the writers can add some “novelty” (not really) to the storyline by giving the holier-than-thou status to the younger sibling, not that it would matter but still talk about following the exact same “guidelines” so to speak but still it will be better than following the rules that were laid down by Maat. Bari Aapa drifted a little from the guideline by assigning the evil role to the older sibling and twisting the story a bit and it worked! Nevertheless, there were many dramas after Maat in which this “formula” was applied like Yahan Pyaar Nahi Hai, Aks, Silvatein and now Halki Si Khalish. Yahan Pyaar Nahi Hai was a story of cousins but cousins who had grown up in the same house like sisters. In Maat Aimen was the elder sister who very virtuous and Saman was the younger sister who was very materialistic and self-centered. In YPNH Haleema and Shumaila played the same roles respectively. In Aks Zohra played the older good sister and Zooni played the evil younger sister. In Silvatein Zeb is the honest, upright sister and Natasha is the younger one who is always plotting and planning. Now joining the league of these evil vs. good sisters are Raania and Rabia, Raania is the younger one who is very self-centered and Rabia is the good daughter who is very polite and submissive.


The second essential ingredient that is part of the “formula” is that the older sister always ends up getting married to someone who has some kind of a past affiliation with her younger sister or the younger sister develops an “interest” in her brother-in-Law. The crux of the matter is that the husbands have to be involved in this sibling rivalry in some way or the other. In Maat Aimen gets married to Faisal who actually likes her sister Saman. In Yahan Pyaar Nahi Hai the younger cousin-sister Shumaila ends up getting married to her Brother-in-Law Saim just because she is too jealous of her older cousin Haleema.  In Aks Zooni likes Shanawaz but Zahra ends up getting married to him and for that reason Zooni tries to ruin her sister’s marriage! In Silvatein Natasha gets married to Bilal who actually thought he was getting married to Zeb and I think we all know how the two sisters got tied up in the same house later on.  The first two episodes of Halki Si Khalish revealed that this play was no different. Rabia is actually getting married to the man Raania was having an affair with! Surprise surprise!


Another thing that is common between all these dramas is that the whole story revolves around the two sisters involved. There is hardly any side track; the writers are very focused on the sibling rivalry for some reason! I do not argue with the fact that there must be many such sisters like these in our society and everywhere else too but there are many more that get on just fine and have a more normal bond! I remember Zeenia and Serena’s relationship in Tanhaiyaan Nayee Silsilay was a breath of fresh air. They had their disagreement and they were not perfect but they were such a good break from the good vs. bad sister scenario we see on our screens on routine basis now.

halki si khalish

Honestly speaking the sisters’ rivalry formula has been done to death and the writers should seriously think about making a play in which the sisters or even the women in general do not want to destroy each other. Aunn Zara is a step towards the right direction; the saas and bahu get along so well and even though the women in the house may have differences every now and then but they have a bond that one can actually relate to. Isn’t that how it is in real life? Women of the household – sisters or not – sometimes argue and disagree but love each other all the same or at least are not out to destroy each other! Most often even if the sisters don’t get along with each other, they usually keep a distance instead of dedicating their lives to taking revenge. Are you tired of the same sisters’ story being repeated on your screens over and over again?

 sisters rivalry

Fatima Awan

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  • hamnah

    I completely agree with your article 🙂 fed up of all the sibling rivalry. nowadays I'm watching the beginning episodes of ZGH & I've fallen in love with the chemistry of those three sisters, there are good and bad times but the warmhearted moments these three share, are so beautiful. I don't know why this trend can't be followed. Honestly I had good hopes from Silvatein but it turned out to be a HUGE disappointment.

    • FatimaAwan

      Hamnah yes ZGH was a very good example of the normal bond that sisters usually share and also Kiran's relationship with her sisters in Kankar is also far more relatable, the nok jhok and the love, all of it is very real. I had very high hopes from Silvatein too and I was very sure that it will have much more to offer but the story has gone completely haywire now.

  • tanveer

    Fatima also Meri behan Maya was a breath of fresh air as it showed sister love not any rivalry…

    • FatimaAwan

      Yes Tanveer, you are absolutely right, how could I forget Zarmeena and Maya:)

      • Renu

        Hi Fatima, how you doing? I too agree with you and others about having this overdose of sisters ' rivalry. it does give one depression to see people, specially the sister plotting to harm others. Don't mind, but I had started to feel if this rivalry between the sisters was a common issue out there and that is why it being focussed so much upon. Human emotions are the same everywhere with no religion , language etc barriers and this sibling rivalry is common here as anywhere else so I was wondering why this particular issued is being talked about so much here.
        Eagery waiting for 'bin roye ansoo' . When is it expected? Any more good plays worth watching? I do watch kankar. Aur kuch? Thanks.

        • FatimaAwan

          Hi Renu, I am doing very well, thanks. How have you been? Are you watching Dil-e-Muzter? It is a very happening play, quite entertaining and Aunn Zara is a romantic comedy which you must watch:) So, now you should know that sibling rivalry isn't as common in this part of the world, our dramas just take it to a whole new level! Thank you so much for reading the article and for commenting:)

          • Renu

            Hey that was a very prompt reply. Thanks. From what lilltle I have known of you from here, I think you are one of the sweetest persons I have known – I mean it. Am watching dil e Muztar and liking it. Will watch Aunn Zara. I love reading the comments here coz one comes to know about the views and feelings of the ppl over there. Am totally addicted to the plays and this is the last I do at night and at times, watch the repeats. But I do get tensed watching the play where there is any plotting etc and that is one of the reasons I don't watch the serials being shown here. Keep in touch

          • FatimaAwan

            Thank you so much Renu, you are too kind. I really enjoy interacting with everyone here too, it makes the drama experience more wholesome:) I really miss the ZGH days, I made so many new friends on that thread. You must watch Aunn Zara , no plotting or planning just a lot of fun. You can watch all three episodes on dramasonline.

  • Hammu

    Phew! Someone really needed to work on this topic And it couldn't be more better.What's more displeasing is the fact that the bad sister has played that role like 300 times.Not for Mavra, she has done that role 600 times.If you are going for the same story, then why not change the cast? Like In Ik Pagal si larki, how fresh it looks when Areej plays the negative one and Urwa plays the positive one! I have never liked a soap this much before.Maat was a classic.No drama with the same story can reach it's height.
    And not to forget the upsetting Mere Dard Ko Jo Zuban Milay was also a drama that showed the bonding between sisters.Mata e jaan, which went in the complete opposite direction when the world saw such a beautiful relation between a Saas and a Bahu! Rehaai as well.

    • FatimaAwan

      Hammu you are absolutely right, there are definitely plays on air that show women's ties with each other in a good light, I think we need more such plays:) Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it is always good to hear from you.

  • ms.sherlock

    you forgot madiha maliha.. Followed the same theme.

    I dont know about Halki si Khalish. But on hum tv's website, it says that " The story of ‘Halki si Khalish’ revolves around Waheed’s two daughters; Rabia and Rania. Rania’s love, Behzad, sends a marriage proposal for her but owing to a misunderstanding the proposal is accepted for Rabia. Instead Behzad can’t muster the courage to tell the truth to his mother and Rania is unable to bear this situation. By the time she bears all to mother, it is too late. To make matters worse, the family gets caught in the grip of another havoc. ".. So the sister rivalry is based on mistake.. Maybe they thought that by doing this, viewers might welcome it..

    • FatimaAwan

      Yes I totally forgot MM, I remember Aks and MM were on air at the same time and Zhalay was playing the holier than thou sister in both the plays, it was utterly confusing! ms. Sherlock I know only two episodes of Halki Si Khalish have gone on air till now but the formula is right there, Mehreen plays the good sister and Mawra yet gain plays the more blunt, selfish sister. Raania's boyfriend does not have the courage to take a stand and now he is in the process of marrying her older sister. Mawra (Raania) tells her mother that she likes him etc and also tries to stop the wedding – so there you have it! Here is to hoping that the story will not be about good vs bad sister but it sure looks like that is where things are headed.
      Thank you so much for sharing your point of view, I really appreciate it.

      • ms.sherlock

        nO PROB!! i'm not following it anyway so don't care where the story goes :).. But ya, if the sister rivalry goes on well maybe, it would be a suffocating life..

        PS. mirat ul Uroos was also following the same line remember?? Ayeza the selfish, bigri hui! and Aima the innocent and good one.. I mean okay, no sisters are alike but good/bad qualities are in both of them..

        • FatimaAwan

          I didn't mention MUU because although Aima was angelic but there were times she used to complaint with her mother – well she did it quite a lot and also because her mission in life wasn't ruining her sisters life – I am sure you get what I mean;) she wasn't envious of her sister either infact Ayza felt like her parents neglected her and gave preference to Aima. And the focus was on so much more like the problems of the middle class households.

          • ms.sherlock

            I definitely agree with you. But thought of just mentioning it so that those who might have a doubt regarding MU, well can be satisfied by your “professional answer” 

          • FatimaAwan

            Lol, trust me I am no professional;) I am an avid drama viewer just like everyone else here who loves to discuss drama related things:) I am glad we are on the same page as far as MUU is concerned. I also thought it was going to be another sibling rivalry story when it started but it wasn’t.

  • Nausheen

    You are forgetting Mere Harjai!! Same old sister rivalry!! huh

    • FatimaAwan

      Absolutely right Nausheen, I am sure there are many more:) Thank you for adding to the list.

  • Aisha

    What writers really need to come up with are stories that require a big cast like Meri Zaat zaare e benishaan but in addition, the big cast should interact with each other. Most dramas today only show a small cast where the story revolves around one guy and two girls or two guys and one guy. When the cast is limited and it shows a different story track for each character, the story gets boring. If the cast has good actors and actresses who in the drama interact with each other, then the story can come out be new and interesting.

    • humaahmar

      yes u r right i think esa possible nahi kya 2 real sist apas main esa krsktin hain yahan pyar nahi hai main to cousins thin chalo 1 had tak theek hai l dont belive all these dramas koi sagi bhn dusri bhn ka ghar nahi barbad krskti

  • Fatima

    You are so right! I am sick and tired of these same stories playing over and over again, just with different actors. And that isnt the case with Mawra, btw. Maybe she is (blissfully) unaware of it but to me, she seems to be pursuing this evil younger/older sister thing quite diligently.
    Somebody tell the writer/directors that we need much more engaging and better plots than these run-of-the-mill and uninspired stories!

    • Danish Khan


  • fahad

    good article.yes i am also fed up of same sister rivalries story.waise kadurat bhi lagne wala hai us ka pehla promo main ne dekha to laga ke different story hogi but us ke second promo mein dekha ke sanam saeed apni step sister momal sheikh ke fiance junaid khan ko momal se cheen legi to i said what another sister rivalry drama aur junaid khan to aisi stories mein kai baar kaam ker chuke hain.sirf fawad,sajal,fahad aur sanam baloch hi bache hain jinhon ne abhi tak sister rivalry wali stories mein kaam nahi kiya hai.

  • guest

    very right, and i believe its not actually the reality always but now they are making their viewers believe that sisters relationship is not pure. i always disagree bc in my experience i always see sisters loving and caring each other

  • saadi

    i strongly agree with u we r getting bore with same type ov stories and which i think in reality its most rare one!!!!!!!!

  • Anooshah

    so correct. I m fed of watching the dramas now same story same outcome and depression environment nothing new. the matter of time is that writers should spend more time on bring the new stuff. they need to high light some positive attitude rather keep themselves bugging on negative issues which mostly becomes the source of depression.