Some dramas are created with the intent to educate masses on a subject while also entertaining audiences, particularly when the drama in question airs on a daily basis. “Mayi Ri” tells the story of two teenagers, one fifteen and one seventeen, who wind up getting married by force due to outdated family tradition. The story aims to highlight the repercussions of marrying young, though the treatment of the show has been in question over the past few weeks. The past few episodes seemed to be picking up, showing the grim side of being a young parent and the burdens involved. Starring Aina Asif, Samar Abbas, Nauman Ejaz, Maria Wasti, Maya Khan, Saad Faridi, Sajida Syed, Amna Malik, Paras Masroor and others in prominent roles, the story has been written by Sana Fahad and directed by Meesam Naqvi.
Unfortunately, in episode 49, “Mayi Ri” falls victim to the greatest Pakistani drama cliché of all time – killing off the most likable, most logical character in the show without any rhyme or reason. While Sajjad calls Fehmi in anger, verbally thrashing her for even considering getting their young daughter, Aiman, married off, no one could have foreseen what the team had in store for audiences – which is a senseless, tragic, unnecessary death. Sajjad, in the entire family, has been the only voice of reason, the only adult with sense to see what’s right and what’s wrong. While he may have married into a family which marries their children off young, he’s a man who stood for morals, values, a sense of self-respect, living within one’s means and kindness…..and now, he’s dead.
It’s honestly unfortunate that ARY digital continues to heap misery on their viewers, death always playing a role in their dramas – and usually a senseless one. Just this week, we also saw Meher Ali in “Tere Ishq Ke Naam” pass away. Was it necessary? Again, he was the best character in the show, his death only leaving audiences frustrated. Coming back to “Mayi Ri,” the greatest problem with a show like this killing off a character like Sajjad is that along with the character, positivity is also done away with. At present, Aini (Aina Asif) has now been kicked out of school due to absences while Fehmi and Aiman have moved into the family home. Habib and Rahila, the evil duo, do not have empathy or sympathy for anyone, convincing Fehmi to move back to her rented home. Sameena (Maria Wasti) has lost her mind, taunting and nagging Aiman for not eating what has been made, as if she doesn’t cater to Faakhir’s (Samar Abbas) whims in the same way. Rahila is seen planting voodoo dolls in bedrooms, spilling oil on the floor to cause injury, stealing property papers, damaging cars…….this has gotten out of hand.
A show that is supposed to be about child marriage and the negative effects has turned into an insanely manipulative story. The Rahila character is nonsensical, so deeply negative and evil that she’s not even enjoyable to watch. She’s a character who cackles happily at the misery of others to their face. “Mayi Ri” has lost the plot, not because it hasn’t been doing a good job of highlighting Ainie and Faakhir’s struggles, but because it has now taken the focus off of them and put it staunchly on what we don’t want to watch – vamps and kitchen politics.