Rehaii Episode 1 – Review

The first 5 minutes of Rehaai’s first episode very powerful. Rehaai started out with Samina Peerzada (Shamim) looking at some jewelry and  having a flashback to a 10-11 year old girl on a swing asking her mother if Bhabi was right and that she really is getting married. That is the first time my heart stopped in that episode and I think it was only minute 4.  That set the track in motion for the remaining episode.  Rehaai is about child marriages (or child molestation in my opinion). It’s the story of Shamim who was married off when she was 10-11 years old. She now has a grown son Vaseem (Noman Ejaz) and a daughter in law Shehnaz (Maria Wasti). Vaseem and Shehnaz have been married for over 5 years yet still don’t have kids and now Vaseem is adamant on marrying again for kids. Vaseem is not only rude, obnoxious, and illiterate; he verbally and physically abuses his wife for not giving him an heir. Medically, they both are apparently fine though. Shamim is shown to be a very loving and supporting mother in law (finally) who keeps telling her son to have patience in Allah’s wisdom.

In the mix are Chacha Inayat (Munawwar Saeed) and his 11-12 year old daughter Kulsum (Yashaal). Chacha Inayat in my opinion is the root of all of Vaseem’s jahalat and badtameezi. He coerces Vaseem into thinking that he needs to marry a much younger girl so she will ‘give him a child every year.’  He even uses himself as an example by telling Vaseem that when When Kulsoom was born he was 56 and Kulsoom’s (unfortunate) mother was only 13. (I’ll discuss my contempt and disgust for this a little later).  Chacha Inayat also coerces Vaseem into agreeing to marry his daughter Kulsoom, to which even Vaseem says no since she is just a child. Later however, he agrees and when he asks his chacha when they can get married, that’s when he drops the 35,000 rupees bomb. Apparently Kulsoom’s disgusting father owes someone thousands of rupees and tells Vaseem in no certain terms will he marry his daughter off without paying off his debt. Basically he is selling his daughter for what was initially 35,000 rupees but settled at 30,000 rupees.  Needless to say Shamim is infuriated at her son’s decision, but Vaseem is willing to step over his mother’s dead body to marry Kulsum. Disgusting Chacha sends Vaseem to see Kulsoom where he tells her about their upcoming marriage. When Kulsoom confronts her father he sugar coats it by saying that since she loves her Tai Amma and Shehnaz Apa so much, he’s marrying her off to ‘Vaseem Bhai’ so she can live with them forever. Poor child has no idea about the physical and emotional torture she is about to be put through and is just happy that she will be living with Tai Ammi.  First episode ends there.

As I said above, the first episode was really powerful, yet at the same time extremely disturbing. Acting wise, you can’t get better than Samina Peerzada. She needs no words to describe her acting and neither does Munawar Saeed.  Noman Ejaz is very effective as the jaahil and badtameez person. Maria Wasti was ok…her role in the first episode (in my opinion) was definitely needed but it wasn’t anything extraordinary. I really liked how for the first time the mother in law was shown in a positive and supporting role towards a bahu who hasn’t been able to conceive yet. At the same time though, Shamim seemed too refined for that role. Her mannerisms and dialogue delivery was not in sync with the environment the characters live in. In fact until I saw Chacha Inayat, I wondered how her son could end up like that.  But then when uses terms like “hud-har***m” in front of an 11-12 year old, and that too to describe that child’s father, you are back in that environment.  Mehreen Jabbar’s direction was brilliant…especially the swing and the doll scenes. 

Now, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room…child molestation/marriages.  I absolutely think this is an issue that strongly needs to be dealt with and taken care of.  I wanted to vomit when Chacha Inayat was selling his daughter to Vaseem…it was absolutely abhorring. However, I don’t think it should have been so in your face.  Even though this was only the first episode and really not too much was shown, even what was shown was absolutely not appropriate for prime time. There should be an adult censor system for such dramas.  More than that, I am actually scared for the child star Yashal’s real life. I can’t imagine or understand how and why her parents let her do this role. The society that we live in has shown repeatedly what can happen when you have such suggestive roles. I can’t imagine what this girl went through in school or public.  I think had ‘Team Rehaai’ wanted to really talk about such injustice, it could have been done in much more subdued way and should have.  At such points people really should ask themselves if they would let their own kids do such roles. If the answer is no, then that should be the answer for every child and they should find a different way to discuss this problem. I was not at all comfortable watching this. Especially the scene where Kulsoom is bringing Chai to “Vaseem Bhai” and is completely oblivious of the fact that she is now looked upon as a prospect…absolutely sickening! I honestly don’t know what HUM TV is trying to do with showing such ‘in your face’ scenes and unfortunately it has become a trend in all of Momaina Duraid’s home productions.  They are becoming too bold and too open while hiding behind the terms ‘Social injustice.’

Sheeba Khan.

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  • Uneza_j

    truly agree with you sheeba in whatever u have written in the end!!!
    hope this BOLD-NESS will not be exxagerate in the next episodes…..even i find embarassing atching such things.

  • madiha

    humans don't take issues seriously until they are made uncomfortable and are forced to think about them! The show is definitely in your face and not in the comfort zone of the public but if you don't want your kids to watch it, then tell them to do something else! simple

  • Zahra Mirza

    I absolutely agree with you, even though I haven't watched the drama itself but I felt the same sense of depression when I first saw it's trailer. That's exactly when I decided I won't be watching this drama at all because there are better things to watch. I know, it's better to talk about realities but it isn't a good idea always. I think by watching these sorts of dramas one does get disturbed & depressed & there's no good reason for doing it. Even thought it's a HUM TV production but I am not watching. 😐

  • Xenia Omer

    Very nice review . I totally agree with you on the adult censor /rating system for current Pakistani dramas. These dramas are shown in prime time in Pakistan and I fail to understand how families keep their children from absorbing such kind of stuff from the TV. As we watch dramas online we have control on what and when we want to see and that kind of control should be available to the Pakistani population as to what they want to see and when. The other day a new drama had started and I clicked it on thinking its a new drama and the first words were kaminiiii and the father hitting the mother with their kids watching, I had to immediately close the window as my kids were here and there but generally this is just being aired on local television in Pakistan.
    Also , you are so right about the child actors and what their parents are putting them into. But I can only guess that these parents are those who are just proud that their kids are coming on tv and fail to think of the repercussions such kind of role acting may have on their mental development.

  • Oraashi

    What I don't understand is that by bringing everything in your face what are they achieving. Is that going to change any laws in our country or is that going to change anybody's mindset. I don't think that people who are shown here even watch or care about television. I completely agree with the critic here that it's not something which needs to be dealt with insensitivity and I have been thinking for a long time that most of the programs these days need to have some viewer ratings. Little kids even five year olds are watching dramas like bulbuley which has lots of suggestive scenes and dialogues. And the parents think that it's just a funny show. I fail to understand that these producers are supposedly educated people but don't have a clue about some kind of censorship. Here I want to point out a drama hawwa ki beti which was aired in 90's and directed by Sahira Kazmi. That also touched on this issue but it was done so beautifully. There was another one which I don't remember the name right now with Huma nawab and Sania saeed and Ateeqa odho, Norman ejaz which also revolved around this issue but showed beautifully with very hopeful outcome. But these days they just show all the ugliness without any positive hope. Really disgusting.

    • umer

      the drama was Aahat written by Haseena MOin it dealt with family planning and child molestation and was soo nicely written and presented…very subtly

      • zeenea

        NO the drama Ahat was on the topic of getting Beta casting Sania saeed ,Salman Ahmed of Janon group and Samina Ahmed as mother in law of sania Saeed . The Drama Oraashi is talking about was NAJAT or Nijat
        and yes Im 100% agree with Oraashi

  • gemz

    simply they should not show such type of topiczz in dramazz they simply discuss these thingss in talk showzz but should not permanant any thing in dramaz ……becoz most of our society iz un educated……y the drama iz sayin this to be married with 13 year old girl vill giv birth to a child……….y they r showing attraction…..of a mature man towardzz a small girl in negative sense:??som scene in the promos were also ………depressive……….

  • Aashi

    I hav a total different mindset towards this issue….no doubt it is very much sensitive….we r living in 21st century….it's abt time this issue shud hav been brought forth….they r showing it because IT REALLY HAPPENS……Kisi Na Kisi ko to bachi ka role play Karna hi tha….had it been yashal or anyone…..aur agar prime time par nahi dikhayenge to zyada se zyada logon tak kaise pahunchega…..let us just stop brushing these issues under the carpet…..
    We shud educate our children towards child molestation and child harrasment…..a doctor friend of mine has already started telling her 4 yr old daughter that no one has a right to touch her on unappropriate place except her mother not even her father (except special circumstances) and even if any stranger does she is allowed to shout, scream as high as she can and even bite that person and run and tell everyone that …".that person is bad"….
    Let us not make a mountain out of a molehill…..instead try to make your servants, underprivileged ppl watch it….so that somewhere something makes a difference……

  • Sheeba

    Thank You everyone for your comments. Much appreciated 🙂