“Dil E Momin” stars Faysal Qureshi and Madiha Imam in lead roles, two highly respected actors with a number of strong shows behind them. However, when our best talents take on roles like theirs in “Dil E Momin,” it becomes a cause for alarm. To put it simply, what is the message drama viewers would take away from this show? Written by Jahanzeb Qamar and directed by Shehrazade Sheikh, this drama also stars Momal Sheikh, Saba Faisal, Gohar Rasheed, Shabbir Jan and other respected artist within the industry.
Up until now, we’ve seen how Maya (Madiha Imam) falsely accused Momin (Faysal Qureshi) of harassment in a desperate attempt to stop his wedding. In the process, Momin was beaten vicously by a crowd, fired from his job, his wedding to the love of his life was called off, his father died believing he was a harasser and Momin was kicked out of his house for some time, leaving his family heartbroken. Ultimately, after her own guilt began to eat away at her, Maya came clean publicly and cleared Momin’s name….which causes her own mother’s death. This is where the story gets…..weird, to put it gently.
In the latest episode, we see both Momin’s mother, Zehra (Saba Faisal), and sister, Fari (Nida Khan), convincing Momin to “forgive” Maya. Maya’s house help feels horrible seeing Maya all alone after her mother’s death, not only mourning the loss of her mother, but also the loss of ever gaining Momin’s love. This is a young girl who had a troubled relationship with her father and grew up with a world of internal problems – including an obsessive nature. She latched on to Momin, despite seeing his complete disinterest and stalked him in every way possible despite his clear communication that he was simply not interested. This is a young girl who desperately needs a psychiatrist and needs a lot of self-reflection and introspection, along with building her bond again with her own father. What she does not need is to fall into prayer in the hopes of gaining the love of the object of her “affections” (read: harassment).
The problem here is that this drama is not showing harassment as harassment. It does not matter whether it’s a man or a woman – no means no. Momin has said no at every turn, so why is a potential Momin-Maya angle even a possibility? Well, it’s because suddenly Zehra and Fari are encouraging it. Fari is romanticizing Maya’s behavior, calling it “mohabbat” (love), even visiting the woman who caused her father’s heart-attack with her lies and encouraging her to pursue her “love” for Momin, continuing to pray to God for him. At the end of the day, it does not matter if Maya “cleared Momin’s name.” This was not a favor she granted him. His name was maligned because of her. Momin does not owe her anything and honestly, Momin and his family should be kicking Maya as far away from their lives as humanly possible. Instead, we can all sense what’s coming from a mile away.
Is the “reward” for harassment suddenly earning a man’s love? Isn’t this a problematic statement? Doesn’t this go back to the early 90s Bollywood concept of “hassi to phansi” and the notion that one can harass another into falling in love? These are dangerous ideas to continue promoting in 2022. Sure, an individual can repent for their behavior, but that’s not what Maya is doing. She is still fixated on Momin and is only praying to God for forgiveness and clearing Momin’s name because she “loves” him. Her one-track mind has never moved away from that obsession. If the show somehow surprises us and acknowledges the father issues Maya has with Momin reuniting the two somehow before exiting Maya’s life entirely and reuniting with Aashi (Momal Sheikh), this would make the show meaningful. However…..will that happen? It’s unlikely – and if that’s the case, “Dil E Momin” is nothing less than a disappointment.