While Pakistani dramas are a brilliant way to convey messages through entertainment, once in a while, it’s a short 12-minute film that manages to create a solid impact. “Aik Toh Tum Aurtain” is a short film on the SeePrime YouTube channel. This film brings Madiha Imam and Usman Mukhtar together, two talented actors and a fresh pairing that has many excited. The story has been directed by Nadeem Baig.
Flashback to March 2020: The pandemic scared civilians into their homes, caused governments to enforce lockdowns. There were limited social interactions, and many struggled with working from home while kids were educated virtually. These were tough times, but the ones who (generally) struggled the most were women. Women found themselves waiting on their husbands around the clock, as they were now working from home, the kitchen table their office. They were forced to become teachers to fill in the gaps created through online learning, learning and explaining concepts they had not studied in decades. Many did this while working from home themselves, juggling to balance it all. These were tough times and while we managed to make it through that chaotic first year of the pandemic, many are still struggling with the impact of those months.
“Aik Toh Tum Aurtain” is a tribute to the women in households who balanced it all without complaint and stepped up to ensure the well-being of their families. Madiha Imam plays a young wife who serves as wife, mother and even provider during tough times. She is a shoulder to cry on for her husband and knows how to carry her share of the load while watching her husband struggle emotionally with their circumstances. Madiha Imam has done a great job, portraying a woman trying to conceal her coming and goings as to not ruffle her husband’s ego – which just goes to show how much women have to shoulder at home. She enacts this role naturally. Usman Mukhtar stands out as a frustrated husband, one who lashes out at his wife for every expense, almost berating her for his own shortcomings. This is a character we can sympathize with due to his circumstances, but also find ourselves angry with due to the way he treats his wife. Usman Mukhtar is great in the emotional moments in particular and he deserves more strong lead roles in dramas.
Pakistani (and South Asian) society generally puts down women and undermines their contribution within the household if they are not a traditional provider. However, there is no doubt that women are the crux of our society, managing it all without complaint. It’s wonderful to see that idea touched upon in this short story. This 12 minute film is worth your time!