From Dobara to Sang-E-Mah, these dramas are addressing issues that have never been spoken about.
Every year, the Pakistani drama industry comes up with storylines that take the riskier path and talk about issues that need to be addressed for utmost attention. Topics that are conveniently brushed under the carpet owing to social taboos or cultural constraints are discussed in these drama serials. For example, last year’s drama serial Saraab discussed mental health issues like Schizophrenia and Dil Na Umeed To Nahi discussed human trafficking and child labor, and many others less treaded upon conversations.
The year 2022 started with dramas that have delved deep into important topics and they have garnered applause and appreciation from audiences alike.
Mostly in brown households, it is expected from widowers to remain jaded, in mourning, and unable to move on in their lives for a long period of time after their partner dies. To discuss it is itself a taboo talk which is why writer Sarwat nazir has penned drama serial Dobara to discuss this topic. Dobara, with its power-packed ensemble cast and unique storyline, has made us glued to our television screens since episode one. For the unversed, Dobara is a story of a woman Mehru (Hadiqa Kiani), who holds the reigns of her life after her first husband’s Hidayatullah’s (Noman Ijaz) death whose much older than her in age. We see how she unties her hair bun and basks in the glory of newly found freedom because she has been robbed of her youth and individuality very early on in her life. Later, instead of mourning the loss of her husband, she decides to move on and marry much younger Mahir (Bilal Abbas).
Mahir who comes from a broken family was abandoned by his parents is, basically a moun phatt, carefree, and a jobless boy. This is why in a scene from episode 5, Mahir shares how he has two families but not even one home. The recent episode shows how Mahir and Mehru marry each other but their own family has difficulty dealing with it. Mehru children Affan(Usama Khan) and Minal (Maheen Siddiqi) do not accept Mahir wholeheartedly and turned against them because obviously Log kia Bolain Gai. Dobara is talking all about defying norms and finding happiness even if society is expecting otherwise. Directed by Yasir Nawaz and written by Sarwat Nazir, Dobara is a riveting watch and should be on the must-watch list.
The ongoing drama serial Sang-E-Mah basically talks about a century-old evil practice called Ghag. With the powerful ensemble cast, Sang-E-Mah is basically one of the trilogies of the drama serial Sang-E Mar-Mar directed by Saifee Hasan. Gahg roughly translates to awaz lagana. The custom of Ghag is a social evil, in which a man lays claim to a woman to marry her by force. This is done in many ways. Sometimes the ‘wanting to be’ groom fires several gunshots outside the woman’s house claiming her for marriage. The drama starts with Zargona(Sania Saeed) portrayed to be a strong independent woman hunting and her daughter Gulmeenah(Hania Aamir) who is in love with her maternal cousin Hikmat(Zaviyar Ijaz) but because of sour relations between Zargona and her sister(Samiya Mumtaz), the marriage can’t happen. Hilmand(brilliantly played by Atif Aslam) is shown as mischievous, Deviant, unapologetically himself, into Sufism and somewhat refuses to come back home for whatever reasons. In loggerheads with his father Haji Marjan Khan (Noman Ijaz), Hilmand refuses to be bogged down and meets the other halfway. Ghag is thrown in the story when one of Hilmand’s men shot a fire outside a girl’s door and chickens out when Jirga (a tribal council) headed by Haji Marjaan Khan is called for. After much thought, the decision is finally made and is an interesting one at that. On the other hand, Gulmeenah begs Hikmat to pull any strings he wants to in order to marry her but not practice Ghag.
The ensemble cast includes, Sania Saeed, Noman Ijaz, Samiya Mumtaz, Atif Aslam, Hania Aamir, Zaviyar Ijaz and is a must-watch by all means.
When two powerhouses of talents Yumna Zaidi and Sajal Aly are cast together, we knew something brilliant is coming up on our TV screens. And yes, we are talking about the drama serial Ishq-E-Laa. The drama talks about how ruling elites in our society get away with something as big as murder and brush it under the carpet with the help of corrupt institutions. Ishq-E-La portrays Shanaya (Sajal Aly) as a brave journalist side-stepping corrupt politicians to get to the truth meanwhile Azlaan (Azaan Sami Khan) plays her love interest. Azka (Yumnna Zaidi), on the other hand, will play the role of a meek girl who dreams big of becoming a doctor.
Their paths cross when Azka’s brother Sultan is run over by a ruling elite’s son and runs away from the murder scene. Shanaya, upon knowing decides to get the murderer jailed and in between doing so, gets killed mercilessly. Amidst all of Azlaan’s efforts to bring justice to Shanaya, Azlaan finds Azka’s documents and decides to pay for her medical studies which is a miracle considering Azka decided to quit studies and marry loafer Abid. Now the upcoming episodes will decide if Shanaya’s murderer is brought to justice and what will future holds for Azka. Written by Qaisar Hayat and directed by Amin Iqbal, Ishq-E-Laa is definitely a must-watch drama and should be appreciated as such.
Jo Bicharh Gaye
The Dacca fall or Lost war of 1971, a hush-hush political affair that has been swept under the carpet for so long but when it finally saw the day of the light, all thanks to writer Ali Moeen and director Haisam Hussain, it was totally worth it. Jo Bicharh Gaye is about telling our side of the history and how west Pakistanis got mercilessly murdered while supporting the cause of Pakistan. Hence, the drama is a courageous effort to bring to light the atrocities made by the Mukti Bahini which have been silenced for way too long. A special shout out to the brilliant cast that includes stalwarts like Maya Ali, Wahaj Ali, Talha Chahour, Aurangzeb Mirza, Nadia Jamil, Adnan Jaffer, Sajid Shah, Rana Majeed, Umar Dar, Ahmed Abbas, Usman Zia, Shirin Zahid, Umar Cheema, Fahad Hashmi, Zaheer Taj, and Fazal Hussain. Jo Bicharh Gaye is a must-watch if you want to know the real history behind Dhaka Fall.