A year ago, I heard a lot about the quality of Pakistani dramas and how our country is producing better plays better than India.
So, I decided to watch some of them and some out of the lot were actually good (and way better than India) but yes, there are problems.
These dramas, instead of educating household women and families who watch them, are forcing the same stereotypes that our society wants to get rid of.
Here are the top seven “lessons of life” one can learn from the mini screen Shakespeares (The writers, producers and directors) of our age.
1. All girls in all house holds are beautiful
Now, just think about it for a while and tell me when was the last time you witnessed even an average looking female actor in a Pakistani drama?
Same is the case with me and the conclusion therefore is that we are the most beautiful looking nation in the world and the rest of the world is just using some ‘obnoxious’ brand of cosmetics to look good.
2. All houses are perfectly decorated
There is not a single house in the whole country these dramas portray which is not perfectly decorated.
I even heard a widow in a double storey, lavishly decorated house saying “Beta, tmhare abbu k guzar janay k bad mene ye sb bnaya ha”
(Son, I made all this after your father passed away).
How do poor people afford all that?
3. All women are waiting for some prince charming- feminists should die
My advice for all the people who hate feminists is that they should make all these obnoxious preachers of ‘women power’ watch Pakistani dramas.
Why? the feminists will either attempt a suicide or will be killed by the overdose of insult.
As all the females, even the most professional and intelligent female characters are either looking for a prince charming or are advised to look for a perfect partner by ‘oh-so-affectionate’ aunties.
Forget work, profession, studies, intelligence, let us marry.
If not, get jealous and steal your friend’s husband.
4. Some people just do not have enough family members/ parents
Now, this one is tricky and you should must watch some of the family plays our entertainment channels are running.
Some of the characters come without ‘enough’ parents to live with them except for a few scene, some are unresponsive and some even do not have such a family member.
A guy in a famous play marries a girl and divorces her but none of his parents have anything to do with the divorce or even the marriage (when it happened) except for gracing his marriage with their presence.
In another play, the parents vanish as soon as the girl is married, only to find that the guy she chose for herself has a first wife too.
The drama goes one… No Parents emerge to complain about the deceit.
5. Nothing can hurt the perfect make up
Now in one of the most popular dramas, you witness a guy in whose daughter is ill, wife is not home but even in the most tense situations. Mr. Oh-so-worried is perfectly suited and has a skillfuly shaved chin.
All women in all situations are dressed in perfect saree/ lawn suits no matter the actor playing their father is dead.
The only exceptions are ‘Maasi’ (maid) and the quintessential Rishtay Karan Wali Mai (Match finding lady).
6. Being rich means being filthy rich
Forget the poor people in the drama, their sole purpose is to marry off their daughters to rich men despite having fully decorated lavish houses as mentioned above.
But When it comes to the rich people, they are all filthy rich.
A naughty daughter-in-law demands a hefty sum of 25 hundred thousand rupees from her mother-in-law and is given without even a wrinkle appearing on anyone’s forehaead.
Daughter-in-law :”Ammi mujhe 25 lakh rupay chahiye”
(Mom, I want 25 lac rupees)
Mother-in-law: “Beta, Kyun chahye itne paisay? acha le jao”
(Why do you want such a big amount of money? ok, take it)
God grant such mother-in-laws to all women, even men.
7. All bourgeois/socially active women are ‘devils’.
Oh these creatures just ‘stink’ according to Pakistani drama. All these socially active and professional women who even meet men after marrying their ‘Knight in Shining Armour’ are devils in disguise.
They just do not care about ‘values’, run affairs with all handsome men they work with or meet and their children starve for their attention.
According to a Pakistani drama writer and viewer all such women shall be sent to hell and only the all obedient, pious woman shall survive.
Socially active and professional women are not simply ‘trustworthy’. We only need ‘Naik Parveens’.
I hope some players in the industry will realize that the power they exercise over the mind of the viewers can be used for good.
The writer Muhammad Anees is an ARY News staffer and tweets at @anees_avis