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A Missed Opportunity: How “Mayi Ri” Insulted Girls' Education

'Mayi Ri' was initially marketed as a provocative series attempting to highlight the darker facets of our society, particularly the established problem of child marriage. The narrative was handled in a way that sent a different message than the one intended, which was to portray child marriage as a terrible issue. The main character, 15-year-old Annie, is depicted as having a career-focused mentality but is forcibly married off to her cousin.

The themes of this serial are girl education, child marriage issues, and the "right" age to get married, but the narratives they tell do not follow the expectations of these stereotypes, and they do not stop there. When Annie becomes pregnant, they make them appear startled as if they had never heard of sex, and as though the pregnancy occurred miraculously. A small fraction of the population, however, praised even this, asserting that Islam encourages early marriage and that the girl's pretence of not having had sex represents the "haya" that women must possess.

In the signature Karan Johar style, the viewer is kept interested by the constant adorable teasing, and eventually, the characters become drawn to one another. I mean come on, everyone enjoys a good enemy to lovers' romance, but this has to be the epitome of problematic and cringe.

The massive viewership and popularity of Mayi Ri demonstrate why issues like girls' financial stability and education are regarded as nothing less than exotic in Pakistani society. Romanticizing a 15-year-old pregnant girl being happily married is just corrupt. I mean, how brain-dead do you have to be to glorify child marriage?

The writers do not realise that they just abandoned the entire thesis of their drama for the sake of views and thus, they have simply insulted a sensitive subject. The drama seemed to downplay the significance of girls' education as a pathway to empowerment. Instead of highlighting the importance of academic achievements and knowledge, it placed emphasis on trivial pursuits, sending the message that education is not a priority for girls.

Therefore, do you believe that the writers and directors should be commended for anything in this serial? Because in my opinion, this television series may have had more detrimental impacts than what was initially promised to the audience.

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