Sabaat is gradually becoming one of my favourite shows to watch these days. Not just because it’s shot in the lovely Islamabad and gives me all the wintery feels in this hot, scorching summer (everyone’s wearing shawls, jackets, socks and looks extremely cosy) but also because of its characterizations. One of my favourite plotlines and characters are the female protagonists’ parents. Anaya, played by Mawra Hocane, is one of the lead female protagonists in the show. She is a young woman who is the only daughter of her loving parents (played by Seemi Raheel and Muhammad Ahmad).
Not that Anaya’s family is wealthy, but they’re not as wealthy as Hasan’s family (newcomer Ameer Gilani plays Hasan) who is drunk on wealth and power. Hasan and Anaya have fallen in love in their university, despite starting on the wrong foot. When Hasan’s arrogant father goes to ask for Anaya’s hand to her family home (after Hasan’s insistence), Anaya’s parents are humiliated because Hasan’s father uses terrible words and statements for Anaya. Hasan rebels and later Hasan’s mother (Laila Zuberi), who is one of the saner people in the family, goes to ask for Anaya’s hand again.
Anaya and Hasan speak during their university hours, and Hasan begs Anaya to reconsider her decision of not marrying Hasan (she had been very hurt by her parents and herself being insulted by Hasan’s father). Anaya agrees. Aww.
The best part about Hasan and Anaya’s relationship is that it’s real and it’s built on equal terms rather than one being the ‘evil/strong dude’ and the other being the ‘hapless chick’. I also love the fact that Hasan is written and being portrayed like a real human being. There are no traces of toxic masculinity in his behaviour despite him coming from a place of immense privilege (gender, wealth, you name it, and he’s got it). Ameer Gilani is quite lovable as Hasan, and it’s excellent that his performance comes off as vulnerable and endearing instead of cheesy and cliched.
Mawra Hocane as Anaya is excellent, to put it succinctly. She’s dressed down and looks the part which adds to the believability of the entire situation. It would have been challenging to accept Anaya’s plights and worthy goals if Anaya was dressed continuously in designer wear and fake eyelashes.
But my absolute favourite part of Sabaat is the relationship between Anaya and her parents. There is no judgment. No hate. Understanding, compassion & a regard for what ev1 is feeling. If only we had more parents like Anaya’s around the world. We’d have better functioning humans.
It’s important to also remember that there are contrasts in this entire show. Good parents, bad parents, good fathers, bad fathers, good daughters, bad daughters, good sons, bad sons. Humans are complex. People can be good/bad/gray.