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Negativity Much – In Our Dramas?

Right now when we all know that the Pakistani drama industry is in all it’s glory, our industry is not only being appreciated in Pakistan but worldwide as well. I feel the content that our respected writers are exposing us to, is fictitious. I have seen so many weak story-lines coming into execution just because they were dealing with some sort of taboos of our society. I hate to say but even the rules of Islam are being ridiculed just because some writer somewhere thought that there wasn’t anything else left to write a story about so why not play with our very fragile concepts of Islam too?

Without taking any names of the dramas I’ll speak about so many negativity that the writers & then the whole production team has shown to us over the last few years. Divorce has now become a major part of our story line. If one or the other couple in any of our drama is NOT divorced then according to the writer, the drama won’t be a hit. It’s ohkay, divorce has gotten a lot more common but that is just because the society is moving away from the teachings of Islam & that doesn’t mean that they have to use these close to real-life incidents to actually bring it on our screens for their own revenue.

The term ‘Halala’ was taught to us by our parents as something which depicted a severe punishment set by Allah in response to the divorce. While surfing through some channels I actually started watching this so called comedy serial on one of our well-reputed channels & there the guy who jokingly told the girl that why don’t you get married to this guy & divorce him & ‘phir tum Halala kar lena’. I think these are the fine lines which should never be joked about consciously or unconsciously, because the media is our mind-controlling machine & it is set to program the viewers minds. We learn mostly what we see on the TV & this fact can not be doubted. Anyways, listening to this term actually made me cringe because I don’t think it gives a right to any of the content or dialogue writer to just blurt out anything in the name of a comedy?

Came across one of the drama serials about an year ago where a wife’s husband gets into a serious situation with wife’s sister & then the ‘satti savitri’ sister gets divorced just because her husband couldn’t hold his horses, after getting married to the younger sister he realizes that his ex-wife was better & then he comes back telling her that if she agrees for Halala, he’ll be fine with it. I mean what sort of a message was being conveyed through such a drama? That it’s the guy who was at fault & just because NOW he wants his wife back, he wants her to go through such a huge thing.

Ohkie, now all the sisters in the world according to our media are evil. This is the new trend set off after Maat. I didn’t dislike the story or the concept of Maat because yes for the whole audience it was something new to see. But ever since it seems like the writers limited their thinking prowess & got stuck in the Maat era, literally trashing every single relation that two sisters can experience in their life. Be it a sister’s husband, or sister’s fiance, nothing was spared & rather maligned just for the sake of entertainment. What we came to see in Maat was even based on reality that the husband or the wife does tend to grow out of each other in years & this is what the character of Saba Qamar did just because she had other standards in life, therefore choosing a more well-settled husband for herself. But after this serial so many other dramas came to surface with similar story line but with actually a lot more sickness that one couldn’t even think of.

I know so many of our writers are well respected for one writing of theirs or the other, but in this matter I do appreciate Umera Ahmed because she does highlight all the negatives of our societies but every time she has a lesson to be conveyed through them, to which most of us in fact all of us can relate to, but her caliber is different. The wavelength of her stories is far beyond than many of the writers out there, who later try to make stories by picking up a few bits & bobs from her original stories. I saw so many dramas which were always similar to Umera Ahmed’s writings but the level was completely different or in simple terms a bit more commercial with some ‘tarka’.

A whole new campaign I would say prevalent on our screen these days is the marriage of a girl & then her ordeals. Her saas, her nand, her irresponsible husband & what not. The one who stands up for herself becomes the negative character & the one who works like a ‘massi’ & doesn’t demand anything in return becomes the best example of a ‘bahu’. Every girl knows that marriage comes with a lot of happiness but with certain baggage attached so why only focus on the bad side of the picture in stead of maintaining a balance?

Another interesting in fact disgusting thing that I noticed was that every younger one of the sister’s duo is a gold-digger. Each & every drama told the story of a younger sister being the evil & the materialistic one, to such a point that she is ready to take her sister’s place. These days this drama is on-air in which some Nikkah got wrong (a whole new level of ignorance shown) but just because the youngest sister has seen where her eldest is going to be married, she now is having thoughts of staying in the Nikkah with her jeeja. Another, in fact so many of the dramas have been been on-air showing that the younger sisters are the evil ones & the elders are better than the saints which actually is completely false. In real lives, I have seen so many of the younger sisters actually a bit more mature than the elder ones.

For once I want to see ONE such drama in which the sisters bonding is shown nicely. I think Khoya Khoya Chand is the currently on-air drama which shows that the two sisters have a good relationship (though I didn’t see but could figure out from some of the glimpses). & a few months ago Tanhaiyan Naye Silsilay showed some refreshing bonding of two sisters, though I was not a fan but because it walked on the lines set by the original Tanhaiyaan, it showed some nice bonding between the sisters & apart from these I just can not recall any other drama? Extra-marital affair is another spicy aspect of one’s married life that our drama writers are resorting too. Every other guy in the drama these days is shown having an extra marital affair & when exposed he gives such insane arguments that we just can’t help nodding our heads in disbelief. The current on-air & much hyped drama has taken such a sick turn which I would definitely wouldn’t want to see where a girl is framing her own father with some evil schemes & taking a help of her own friend. I think this was the last thing which I ever even thought of seeing on Pakistani Television??? The same girl goes around proposing her step-brother, I think we have now taken liberalism to a whole new level!

I feel there are so many aspects of our life which can be represented through our dramas & in such a time of distress I don’t think anyone would want to switch on the TV to actually get hold of a bit more of a negativity around. A few dramas do touch some norms but in such a way that tackling them doesn’t become difficult & we actually want to see what happens more but I feel all the time focusing on the similar story lines again & again makes it a lot more tiresome & nothing to be amazed about.

I do see dramas of other ethnicity in which they also speak about their social standards & even the love stories but I feel they are more decent in approach towards their social norms than we are. We always tend to cross just so many lines even when we see a love story, sadly! It is interesting that even those countries are known for their negativeness but the way they portray their lifestyle is commendable. Speaking of India & about their lifestyle – which I know on a personal level too, strategically what we see on their TV screen is completely opposite. All those glamorous ladies with extravagant lavish homes, even to the point where it looks unreal (in fact it is unreal obviously) but this is what we call as image management. They show things which only represents a certain class of India but in Pakistan where the lifestyle & standards are so much better than so many countries, sadly our drama writers are trying to spoil everything – be it our image, our relations, our culture & so much more.

Every-time I have a discussion with any of the people around me & even whenever I read the comments, it is quite satisfying to know that people think on all these lines & never hold back in labeling them as cheapness. I, then fail to understand that which percentage of Pakistanis are these who approve of all this on coming on to our TV screens??? I hope that we see some reality based dramas in a whole different light & the aspect which makes our norms & life look more real without any such ‘mirch masala’ or any such tag lines which may scream that Pakistan is a depressed country with depressed people.

Keep Supporting,
Zahra Mirza.