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Faiza Iftikhar- A Combo of Wit and Solemnity

Initially the dramas were novel based in Pakistani showbiz; it was many years later after the advent of Ptv that Haseena Moin penned down the first non-novel based script of Kiran Kahani. Novel based dramas never went out of business but they’ve never been in fashion like they are now from the past half-decade or so. Most of the female writers who are now ruling Pakistan television got fame from monthly Urdu digests and have slowly reached the electronic media. Faiza Iftikhar is also amongst these writers and a very sought after writer.

Faiza Iftikhar’s novels and dramas tend to identify and pinpoint the issues prevalent in our society. Be it the issue of remarriage of a widow, the dilemma and trauma of a rape victim or her take on the classic Akbari Asghari in contemporary setup etc, she has given different prospects and aspects of these issues. Roag, Akbari Asghari, Bilquees Kaur, Zindagi Dhoop Tum Ghana Saya, Aunn Zara, Ik Naye Cinderella are amongst her best plays which not only prove her a versatile writer but a writer who is able to understand and highlight the harsh realities of life. It is always the take of the writer on the subject matter that makes a difference; she has presented forth serious issues in gravely grim tone in Roag and Zindagi Dhoop Tum Ghana Saya and simultaneously debatable issues with comic overtones in Aunn Zara, Bilquees Kaur and Akbari Asghari. Her recent plays Khoya Khoya Chand and Meri Zindagi Hai Tu have been complete disappointments as compared to her earlier projects. Both clichéd plots have nothing new to offer.

Another notable aspect of her dramas is the strong depiction of women; the house full of women in AZ all of them had a distinct personality, complex, multifold personality of Bilquees Kaur, transformation of Haleema in Yahan Pyar Nahi Hai from a hesitant housewife to a woman who had the abilities and courage to face every challenge in life, straightforward Akbari (Akbari Asghari) and Mithu (Manchalay) give us a vibrant array of strong women. Her near-to-life portrayals of female characters are relatable, a source for catharsis for many women.

Similarly she has written some outstanding novels which luckily haven’t been dramatized yet, I might not remember the names of novels but she has produced certain unforgettable characters and most of the times drama makers fail to capture the essence of the characters. The only problem with FI’s dramas are her abrupt endings and digressions, somewhere towards the ending she starts giving more space to side characters or needlessly stretch the drama. Her sitcom Manchalay was thoroughly engaging and entertaining but as it got stretched it lost its charm. Despite her flaws she has all ingredients of a captivating and engaging writer.

Faiza Cheema

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