Pakistani dramas in India, yay!
Indian soap operas and dramas have been airing on Pakistani television for a long time now. Pakistani women especially, have been largely influenced by these drama serials and this can be seen in the way Hindi words have seeped into our language and Indian clothing has become part of our fashion.
Women not only want to buy Tulsi’s sari now, but to also, at times, address an unfortunate happening or a mishap as abshugan (Hindi for bad luck). The effects on our culture can be easily spotted.
However, a few days back, I came across news that was thoroughly refreshing to hear; Pakistani dramas are being aired on an Indian channel called Zee Zindagi. Curious as to what people had to say about our dramas, I was pleasantly surprised to note that people were very appreciative of our shows, story-lines and actors. The overwhelming response indicated that the audience was looking forward to watching how Pakistani dramas portrayed real-life situations with characters that have depth and substance.
A few responses on Twitter made me realise how much our dramas are being liked in India:
— Megha Marwah (@MeghaMarwah) June 29, 2014
— Suketu Bhodia (@bhodia) June 29, 2014
Some even went on to compare Indian dramas with their Pakistani counterparts, discussing how the former should learn from the latter.
— SRISHTI KAUL (@mysticsrishti) July 1, 2014
— snehal gandhi (@snehal_gandhi) June 30, 2014
— Yogesh Pawar (@powerofyogesh) June 28, 2014
This is something to be truly proud of. The Indian drama industry is renowned globally and their television artists are revered wherever they go. And if, after having such a huge soap opera industry, they have shown such kind of appreciation towards Pakistani dramas, it is a huge compliment to us and our media. Not only does this show that our dramas are meritorious but also evidences the amount of talent Pakistani possesses.
The first Pakistani drama to be aired on the channel was Bashar Momin. The storyline following the life of a gangster in Karachi is a fresh concept for Indian audiences. Although there are a plethora of Bollywood movies around the same theme, curiosity to know how Pakistan gangster storylines are different from Indian storylines would be interesting. Besides this, it provides Indian audiences a much-needed break from the typical mother and daughter-in-law feuds that have ruled their screens for over a decade now.
Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Aasmano Pe Likha, Aunn Zara and Kash Mein Teri Beti Na Hoti are a few others that are being aired on the Indian channel currently. The main reason most of these dramas are so well-received in India is because the storyline they follow is usually focused upon social issues.
Pakistanis welcomed this as step in the right direction for both the nations and believe it will do well in portraying Pakistani culture globally:
— Khizra (@KhizM) June 23, 2014
— Sharmeen Obaid (@sharmeenochinoy) July 3, 2014
— M.Usama Siddiqui (@MUsamaSiddiqui) July 2, 2014
— Ahmad Hameed (@Ahmadpakistani) June 26, 2014
Dastaan, ZGH, Humsafar, Durr-e-Shahwar, Matay-e-Jaan, Aun Zara, Shr-e-Zaat, Kahi an Kahi… Full packed entertainment ='D #ZeeZindagi
— Ambreen Waqar (@AdabWaqar) June 11, 2014
Pakistan’s image, for many countries, is largely coloured with terrorism, violence, deaths and destruction. Steps such as these, in which our true culture is portrayed in an amicable light, is something Pakistan needed to mend its broken image. This also encourages cordial ties between Pakistan and its neighbours; not only will this give both the countries a neutral platform to connect on, it will disperse many misleading notions of resentment that exist between the two neighbours.
For years now, Pakistanis and Indians have been curious about life on either side of the border, this is a step in the right direction to bridge that gap felt by citizens of India and Pakistan. All in all, I applaud this step taken by the channel; it may be small, but it is a very significant one, towards cordial, bilateral relations.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.