Mata e Jaan Hai Tu: A new age drama

Published: March 13, 2012

Everybody wants to recreate a Tanhaniyan. I hope Mata e Jaan will allow us to relive those moments. PHOTO: MAHNOOR MALIK PHOTOGRAPHY

Humsafar fever is over. The drama may be remembered but the excitement has ended before you can sigh “Khirad”. But there is a new drama on the block! Hum TV’s Mata e Jaan Hai Tu is  based on a novel by Farhat Ishtiaq who also wrote Humsafar.

Honestly, when the promos for the show were first aired I couldn’t even understand the name Mata e Jan properly!

So, what got me hooked?

The cast.

Over time, directors have understood the importance of faces that brand the drama.

This drama stars: Sarwat Gillani, Adeel Husain, Sanam Saeed, Junaid Khan and Sajida Syed.

In the show Sarwat Gilani plays Hainya, a girl next door who experiences love for the first time when she meets Ibad played byAdeel Hussain (who has been called Pakistan’s John Abraham). Hussain has been criticized for overacting but one hopes that he will perform well under the watchful direction of Mehreen Jabbar.

According to one viewer Neeraja Unni Rangmunch,

“Sarwat has an expressive face and portrays a gamut of emotions effortlessly. She is an absolute delight to watch as she plays a custom fit role of Haniya”.

The audience can relate to Haniya. Characters like hers help win the hearts of viewers.

So far a lot hasn’t happened between Haniya and Ibad, but their chemistry is palpable.

Apart from the lead characters, Sanam Saeed, who plays the role of Haniya’s sister, needs to have a more vibrant character. She seems to be reading from a script.

Director Mehreen Jabbar has shot a beautiful drama but I am a little hesitant about her style. Can the casting and details match Bollywood standards (which we always claim to not compete with but still do!)?  I hope so.

While we reminisce about the good old days of Tanhaiyan and Dhoop Kinaarey, the sad fact is those days are gone. But the good news is that a new age is coming; an age where it’s not impossible but really difficult to get someone to sit in front of the TV for 45 minutes. An age where we skim through episodes on YouTube, and read blogs about the show before watching them.

Perhaps Mata e Jaan is a drama of this new age.

Due to an editing error, an earlier version of the post incorrectly implied that ‘a lot has happened between Hania and Ibad’. The error has now been rectified. 

Bilal Mughal

Bilal Mughal

Bilal works for a leading telecommunications group and has a degree in Systems Engineering.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Shahid

    Bakwas.Recommend

  • abdul moiz

    Please don’t let this drama be another propaganda vehicle for misogyny and patriarchy.Humsafar was awful in that it was a tool to further perpetuate patriarchy in our regressive society.it perpetuated the age old gender stereotypes and taught girls to think of themselves as inferior to men and to think their lives incomplete without men.Let’s just hope this drama does nothing of the sort.Recommend

  • Humsafar

    “Everybody wants to recreate a Tanhaniyan. I hope Mata e Jaan will allow us to relive those moments” … so truly written, we want to relive those moments! Humsafar had the touch to a great extent and I believe some of the scenes were ever recreated.Recommend

  • Arti

    Oh puleez.its a BAD caste.we needed an innocent looking actress to play the role of hunniya and we definitely didnt need a all-efforts-to-look-like-john-mayla to play the role of ibad.there are so many good looking ppl out there.thier acting is nothing out of ordinary.Recommend

  • aliza awais

    Well…This drama is watchable but am not that impressed..am waiting for Fawad khan and Sanam saeed’s drama ”Zindage Gulzaar hai” based on Umera Ahmed’s NOvel….Remember my words,This drama will creat History like HUMSAFARRecommend

  • Usman

    Yes Aliza, I’m sure you know what you are talking about. Since it was not the guys drooling over Khirad, it was the girls drooling over Ashar that made it a huge wah wah! ;)Recommend

  • muhammad shahzad

    @abdul moiz:

    Misogyny sells in pakistan.There’s a lot of self hate amongst the women in our society.They hate their gender,they are taught from an early age to be ashamed of their bodies.Hence,every pakistani girl sees the other girl as an enemy who is an obstacle in the race to get the big prize,that is, a man.This hatred of one’s own gender and the shame that is present in our girls for being female is the reason patriarchy is still so strong in our society.It’s the same reason that a lot of our girls admired and swooned over an insecure man who threw his wife out on a mere suspicion.Humsafar was a caveman’s dream.It is a sad reflection on our society that a lot of girls bought into that dream.Recommend

  • Rizvi

    What does Mata-e-Jaan mean?Recommend

  • Anaya

    Goodness, are you even following the show you are writing about? Nothing ‘a lot’ has happened between the lead characters, they have hardly met. Only sensible thing in this article was the caption and kindly fix the grammar mistakes before publishing. Recommend

  • http://natashasuleman.wordpress.com Natasha Suleman

    Yes please…what does Mata-e-jaan mean? :/Recommend

  • Sumbul Rizvi

    ‘Mata’ means ‘something very precious’. So ‘Mata e Jaan’ means ‘something very precious to the soul’.Recommend

  • Bilal

    @Anaya: I agree, that should be an editing mistake as I did mention that a lot is yet to happen. Thanks to people like you who literally live on net to correct people like me who have 102 things to do in a day! :)Recommend

  • HighAnxiety

    cheessssssy Recommend

  • Ista

    The question is what will change the drama from commerical, ultra fiction to reality?Recommend

  • rafazliban

    @abdul moiz: Dude, I do not think girls “learn” anything from TV. It’s just entertainment. Take it as entertainment. Majority of private high school girls watched FRIENDS. Does not means they went on on a dating spree. Do not indulge in some social political propaganda pertaining to domestic culture and how it affects minds of viewers. LOL, Just chill and enjoy moment as it is.Recommend

  • Akram Ishaque

    After reading this review I actually watched the drama over internet, may be I was too tired but it actually provded some relief to see something different.Recommend

  • Xara

    another typical story …..come on dont compare it with tanhayianRecommend

  • alicia

    I do not get the point of this blog. You didn’t tell us what the dram is about? why is it important or as good as classic PTV dramas?
    If its another bechari larki falling in love with a hot guy who is just a user or is getting manipulated by his mother type drama then puh-leze give me a break.Recommend

  • Ali

    I agree to a point mentioned here that you can easily relate sarwat to anyone close to you.Recommend

  • Ali

    also @alicia, read the 5th para the writer is giving insight to the crux as what the play is all about.Recommend

  • Hyder Nisar Rizvi

    Being a writer I can say that the novel hold its fort but the at the dramatization level there is still to be seen whether Jabbar is doing justice to the words. Bilal Sahib I will want to agree that Tanhayian was a classic but do we really want to recreate a drama in today’s age with women properly covered where glamous is the key to drive masses?Recommend

  • Icey

    I don’t agree with the writer that Mehreen Jabbar’s style is doubtful? Where’s the proof???Recommend

  • Sigwid

    Someone just posted this on our community page and first I thought this is a review about some ghazal…if directors have learnt to brand faces as per the this person then dont they understand that difficult names spoil the whole thing. Humsafar was one name and quite attractive. Who would understand something like Mata e Jaan Hai Tu or Hu whatever.Recommend

  • Sajjad Hussain

    Better than most…however male actor expressions missing. sarwat gillani is a nice actor and i hope this is “the break” for her in the career to go to the very top.Recommend

  • Reeaz

    my wife texted her thrity or so firends after reading this and refering it to me to watch this tonight…apart from the thing that these mediums play a vital role in doing viral, this drama better be good otherwise the blogger’s neck is on the line with thirty females at his back ;)…just kidding. being a colleague of Bill I can safely say that his sense of recomendations is not off at all.Recommend

  • http://syedaabidabokhari.wordpress.com The Only Normal Person Here.

    I don’t think Mata can be a hit at all. Let alone a hit like Humsafer. For a the reasons:

    Sarwat Gillani is not a fresh face. Shes been there for 6/7 years, and have done plenty of serials. So viewers won’t be eager to see you as much.

    The John Abraham looking guy, lacks star power. And rather look to meek to be a hero.

    Sanam Saeed looks like a Vj and speaks like one and lacks power of dialogue delivery. In short, cant act.

    The singer guy Junaid: Though good looking but somehow doesn’t have likeability factor.

    -

    Plus the outlook of the serial is too aristocratic. A middle class audience can’t relate too. Recommend

  • STS

    Horrible camera work. There are several scenes which are tilted. There are several close up shots where forehead and hair of actor/actress were cut out of scene. Camera is vibrating at times. Almost in every scene, background objects are blurred. It seems like a child is holding the camera.Recommend

  • FKhan

    I hope it beats Humsafar records. At the end of the day It would be a victory for HUM Network, whether coming from MeJ or Humsafar. Directors like Sarmad and Mehreen are certainly need of the say. Sarmad put all sweat into Humsafar and I hope the same level of work is expected out of Mehreen.Recommend

  • Mirror

    A good story. lets see how it develops. I have one reservation… a third generation american would not speak english in Pakistani accent. Such a glaring error. If our dramas r going to have a global market then such unprofessinalism has to go.Recommend

  • Hasan Ansari

    The arabic word ‘Mata’ means pleasure (root for Mu’taa marriage also). I believe the name of the drama is derived from a hadith of the Prophet (SAW) that says “Khairo Mata-ad-duniya, al-Maraat-us-saleeha” (the best of all pleasures in this word is a religious/righteous wife). Therefore the name of this show would mean “Thou art the pleasure of my life” and the hadith reference would add a layer of meaning that this ‘pleasure’ must be a woman/wife.Recommend

  • Sonia Tahir

    “Mata-e-jaan hai tu” is a delight to watch. The cast is definitely the best part, adeel hussain was amazing in Daam and he’s doing very well in mata-e-jaan, Sarwat Gillani is pretty and definitely suits the role well, sanam and junaid also look nice. The story is sweet and there is really good chemistry between Ibad and Haniya. It’s a good show and I hope it becomes great as it moves forward =)Recommend

  • http://differentbitesoflife.blogspot.com jj

    just hate it cz of lot of reasons no attraction, skinny and bad looking girl starring da drama.old pathetic story and pathetic discourse of dz drama ……and old dramas have new stories…….dure shawar is something different in tv OR Kafir if u want to see something awesome beyond the fairy tale stories……….thanks Recommend

  • neena

    oh come on.. MJ is not even close to Humsafar or Tanhaiyaan. Bad cast. Sarwat looks horrible (I dont know why. She looked good in Meri Zaat Zara Benishan.). Bad acting. Poor camera work. Bad script. Bad dialogue delivery.Recommend

  • sadaf

    Sorry , but I’m just not feeling this “romance” between, Abby and Haniya. As an Expat Pakistani, raised in England and now living in the states, their romance seems fake. Haniya’s character seems more like a Pakistani girl visiting the US not a third generation Desi. I know plenty of Pakistani Americans with very traditional values and they don’t let men wonder into their bedrooms, nor do their “traditional” Nannijan’s wish them good luck on a date. It is a really unauthentic relationship , and Ibaad is so annoyingly perfect it’s untrue.
    The only good thing is the relationship between Adam and Yamina. Yamina is a much more authentic character and the Adams of this world are sadly cross cultural.
    I hope it gets betterRecommend

  • Umayr

    Okay I’ve watched 9 episodes and somehow stumbled upon this blog while trying to find out what the title means…I think the drama is pretty good so far in every way…this drama surely surpasses previous records in production value…one thing people don’t realize is that its not easy shooting at public venues in foreign countries, there are procedures and permits and blah – Mehreen Jabbar successfully delivers a brilliant piece in terms of production. The script is pretty tight, though could have been slightly better. Living in Canada, I too will say that Hanniya’s character, dressing, dialogues as a 3rd generation desi are very unconvincing, however, Yamina is spot on! Sanam Saeed is very natural in her role, ‘loving her work. Ahsan Khan fails to impress as usual. The guy in the main lead is a refreshing change after the faces we see repeatedly. Keep up the good work! A new era of quality Pakistani serials has surely arrived! Recommend