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What I Learnt Through Watching Pakistani Dramas Over Time...

Updated: Jul 31, 2022

A chunk of what I learnt through watching Pakistani dramas over time...


Couple: Has sons

Society: MASHAALLAH MASHALLAH MASHAALLAH (insert eye heart emojis)


Couple: has daughters

Society: InshaAllah Allah beta bhi dega/ Allah qismat achi karay (translates to= may they get married in good households)


Girl: Has an opinion

Society: achi larkiyan bolti nahi, tum se shaadi kon karay ga?


Boy: Is rich and marries a secretary from office

Society: Larki challaak hai issi nai phasaya hoga


Girl: Earns 1 lakh rupees

Society: Either - Yass slay queen

Or - shaadi ke baad ghar bethayyiye

Boy: Earns 1 lakh rupees

Rishta aunty: Aap ke betay ki salary boht kam hai acha rishta nai aae ga


Girl: Is dark skinned

Society: fair and lovely zindabad, warna rishta kaisay aae ga?


Girl: Goes to a well reputed university

Society: Larkiyon ko parhaanay likhanay mai kya rakha hai


Mother-in-law: Exists

Society: The greatest evil, villainy to the core


Boy: Likes a girl

Society: Iss ki shaadi ki umar hai get him married to the girl he likes


Girl: Likes a boy

Society: Kharaab larki


Girl: Shows the slightest signs of resisting oppressive traditions

Khandaan: Log kya kahain ge


Husband: Is abusive

Wife: Bechari through and through, takes no action


Ghunda boy: Likes a girl

Girl: Meray maa baap nahi maanain ge

Ghunda boy: Kidnaps her


Wife: Stays out one night

Husband: Her honour has been taken, cannot trust her anymore


Husband: Is abusive

Wife: Either- dies

Or - prays 24/7

Husband: Changes into a good man overnight


Wife: Has produced daughters only

Husband: Remarries just to have sons


Husband: Has a female colleague/childhood friend

Wife: Is that a home-breaker I smell?


Pakistani drama: Exists

The theme of marriage: Any conversation is incomplete without me *evil laughter*



Disclaimer: The above rant/dialogues/observation list is not exhaustive

Disclaimer part 2: This is not to say that all dramas are like this, neither that there aren't amazing Pakistani dramas.







76 views14 comments

14 comentários


Rafay Abdul Razzaq
Rafay Abdul Razzaq
07 de ago. de 2022

Hahaha Ayesha this is one of the most fun blogs I've ever read!

Thank you for saying exactly what you were thinking and what we all are thinking while watching them. I think the most valuable lesson I've been able to extract from your blog is that yes there is discrimination but (like how you summed it up in the end), at the root of every discrimination is the lens of marriage. There are only a handful of Pakistani dramas actually that I recall don't revolve around the realm of marriage.


I think on the flip side, if you've had the chance to visit a theater recently, most of our theatrical plays focus on a much more diverse range of…

Curtir
Respondendo a

Thank you so much Rafay I'm glad you liked it jsjskjjsk xD

You're right that our cinema has more diversity in terms of themes and narratives and that's amazing, but that is because they are not fully accessible to wider public (not everyone goes to the theatres). But the reason why dramas are successful only when they show marriage is because that is our society's favourite topic! If you have had the chance to overhear desi gossip, all that aunties (and uncles too maybe) talk about is "so and so ka rishta nai ho raha", "so and so ka rishta ho gya", and "so and so ki divorce ho gaee haw haye." JUST TODAY my mother returned from a daavat…

Curtir

I like how you summed up the entire Pakistani drama industry into dialogues, great job from your side!


I agree with the themes that you highlighted. And, I wanted to tell you that these are so repetitive that I have started getting annoyed while watching Pakistani dramas. They have become m the starplus of Pakistan.. only a few drams like sinfe ahan and Baaghi break those stereotypes and show something positive. Otherwise, all negativity is filled in these drams, and I swear I am not kidding that sometimes I am so annoyed that I want to shoot the director and story writers for such scenes. I agree with what I believe you are saying: that various types of individuals are…


Curtir
Respondendo a

Thank you so much Areej! And I completely agree with you that a handful of "good" dramas are not enough to change the perception of people on our most prominent social and gender issues, And unsurprisingly, the audience reception and demand is such that unconventional dramas pe controversy ho jati, ban ho jatay, ya flop ho jaatay. Goes to show the pattern of media consumption by our society.

Curtir

A perfect example of media reflecting how strongly society wants to cling on to its constructs and how stereotyping is prevalent throughout. Media espicially these dramas are often a very realisitic reflection of what goes on behind the curtain. Society claims to be civil and to establish order where behind the curtain of social construcst this is actually whats happening. Very well written Ayesha

Curtir
Respondendo a

Thank you Uzair! And yes, I think it's about time that our dramas start changing the stale old gendered narratives. We can literally count the good "unconventional" dramas on our fingertips, that is how less in number they are. I hope we get there some day, would love to see a drama that doesn't villainize a woman asking for divorce for example.

Curtir

Hi Ayesha!

This is such a good and rather humorous take on the often consistent problematic themes across a multitude of Pakistani dramas. It was an insightful read and such a unique way to write a blog! I like how it encapsulates all the major themes that we see across Pakistani Dramas on television.

I agree with all the themes you highlighted. There's one theme that I'd like to add that I've observed across many dramas. There is this constant trivialization of the drama heroines' accomplishments. Some dramas feature career women, some feature intelligent women who topped their college exams, some feature older, middle-aged women who have had successful careers for years. However, their accomplishments are severely downplayed, and these…


Curtir
Respondendo a

Aimen thank you for your kind words and a valuable insight!! I agree with all the other stereotypes that you have added in the list, and to answer your question, I think it is to stop women from believing that they can work and have a healthy married life. I do not want to be a complete pessimist, but given the power media has in literally constructing our perceptions of gendered roles and regulating our behaviour by exposing us to them same messages so that we internalize them, showing the working women in a negative light will cause our society to believe that women cannot have a healthy work life balance, wo ghar aur ghardaari mai hee achi lagti hain,…


Curtir

Sabeeh - 24020369
Sabeeh - 24020369
01 de ago. de 2022

I really like the way you've written this blog Ayesha! Instead of writing a detailed analysis on the dramas, you've just written some basic dialogues around themes that are prevalent in Pakistani dramas and just the dialogues themselves, despite being brief, really convey what you wanted to say in the blog. Very well done!


And I agree with the themes you have highlighted. Even in the dramas that I have liked in the past like Tanhayyian and it's sequel Tanhayyian Naye Silsilay, while a lot of the stereotypical themes are not there and the dramas show a very close family bonding with great dialogues. The overall storyline still ends up showing a very bold female character who had a goal…


Curtir
Respondendo a

Thank you so very much for your kind words Sabeeh! I am glad you liked it :) And yes, you are right to point out that the seemingly "different" dramas are not so free from stereotypes. In fact, they might be portraying stereotypes that are not so commonly shown or forming new ones instead. The example you have given aptly shows that, and I was also thinking how some stereotypes cannot be omitted completely because they are a reflection of society. Many dramas have tried to show "ghar-damaads" as not an affliction or taboo but a normal family setting, but they were received poorly by the public, which shows that no matter how much we try, some stereotypes are ingrained…

Curtir
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