An open letter to Maya Khan

Published: January 22, 2012

It started with this video.

Dear Maya Khan,

My name is Mehreen. I like browsing through morning talk shows when I’m waiting for breakfast made by my mom who, like your colleague said in a particular clip, is like my friend and I confide in her often. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I do. She’s never demanded an oath of eternal confidence in her. We’re humans, and we love our private space. You might be thinking, “Why is she telling me this?” I thought I should let you know about the knitty gritty of my personal life since you do enjoy delving into deeper details. Wise people always do.

Maya? I love parks. Parks are amazing. Did you know that the top ten parks in the world are located in London, Vancouver, San Francisco, Tokyo, Lisbon (don’t worry – not ‘lesbian’), Chicago and Bangkok? If you show up in Lahore in the same park that I go to, it might become the most famous park in the whole world for what happens right after we encounter each other. Parks have lots of nice, lush grass and benches. I love benches. Parks also have trees and swings and sidewalks for people to walk on, and sometimes chase people after. Parks are amazing. My dad used to take me to my favorite park when I was little, you know? Sometimes couples passed by us and my dad would bring his Sony high definition video camera out and run after them, inquiring of their marital or non-marital status based on his idea of morality. Kidding. My dad just yawned and pushed the swing higher for me.

Hey, Maya? Sorry, I know I’m rambling. Just bear with me. Come on, we’re girls, we should confide in each other. I really like someone. Most young people do. It’s natural, don’t worry. Nothing extraordinary, absurd or heinous about it. We hang out often. Since we’re on a nice, equal wavelength, we enjoy spending time in places that are simple, easy to go (unless someone decides to chase us with a cell phone camera to document our stray presence) and open-spaced because I love sitting in the sun on a winter afternoon. Do you know where we go?

A local park.

That’s right.

Young people fall in love all the time. Sometimes they don’t – it’s just infatuation. Sometimes they do and they’re confused as hell and they still go out to understand the significance of the other. In the process, they pick a location like normal people do where they can sit down and spend time together. I’m sure you liked someone when you were in college. No big deal. See, girls fall in love pretty much every single day of the week and so do boys. Sometimes they make the right decision, sometimes they make mistakes. It’s called being human. But trust me, they don’t need a team of middle aged women hounding them down public places to enlighten them about their decisions. And trust me, their mothers will handle whatever happens. No one asked you or anyone else to take the responsibility of scrutinizing them. See, what worries me a lot is when public figures like you with considerable influence on viewers morph into moral police. In a country like Pakistan where public vigilantism has exceeded levels of brutality, the last thing the youth needs is a team of moral watchdogs sniffing around for “impure” behavior.

If indeed your concern is sincere (which I still have qualms with – since the privacy of a person’s choice is most cogent; they’ll ask for help when they ask you) then invest in sex education or how a female can avoid getting hurt in various situations. Better yet, do a segment on respect for privacy. Now that’s a talk show I would make my entire neighborhood subscribe to. I understand that you might be fretting about the welfare of young women in this society. I do too along with thousands of other well-to-do folks. But there’s a difference between you and me: I don’t publicize their actions on a local TV channel, I don’t chastise them for going out on a date and I don’t expect people to slut-shame the girl or the boy into hiding. I let them be unless and until they ask for help or if there is eminent danger.

Hold on.

I’m Muslim too.

However the ethos of my faith urges that unless I am perfect in my moral conduct, I have no right whatsoever to point my finger at anyone for anything. Whatever is done is left between the individual and their conscience. Hell, no one ever told me to demand for someone’s nikah-nama when they’re sitting together. It doesn’t concern me or you or anyone else. Sometimes I am ashamed to be from the same faith when I see people like you dictating immaculate morality for others. Furthermore I am mortified as a Pakistani when I see wardens of rectitude making dangerous spectacles of common citizens simply to boost hits on their show or to become shining role models for people of equally disappointing, mediocre thinking.

If that young couple gets hurt – which happens inevitably as a result of your irresponsible moral policing – you will be held accountable for reinforcing the sick obsession our society has with prying and needling into privacy. I thought media ethics would’ve taught you and several others the art of letting people be. It’s not too hard, really. All you have to do is mind your own business and find other mature, commendable ways of increasing popularity for your show. Say, have you seen that reporter who raided on someone’s residence for possessing alcohol? Don’t you think it would’ve yielded a decent conversation if you, let’s say, entered Cosa Nostra or Espresso or CTC or Cinnabon, where privileged folks like you go to, and accosted an unmarried couple for sitting together in their unmarriedness? Isn’t it pathetically convenient to interrogate a harmless couple in a park? Can someone please explain why haven’t these righteous correspondents ever barged into a conspiring terrorist’s household to expose their plans? Or maybe into a conservative political figure’s cozy room when they call over hookers (I don’t even care about that, honestly) or when they approve of policies that render our lives a lot more miserable than it already is? That takes guts.

You’re smart enough to understand by now that I am legitimately aggravated and so are others. Invasive moral policing is not just hypocritical, it is harmful. A petition against your program has been initiated on Change.org and I’m signing this while making yet another sinful plan of sitting in a park with the guy I like. Is this a one-way ticket to hell and destruction? I’m sure it is. No skin off my nose.

Assuming your action was religiously motivated, I was wondering how you would react if a raging maulvi decided to hound you on his morning talk show for not covering your hair. And assuming your action wasn’t religiously motivated but only carried out as a display of social concern, I wonder how you would feel if someone verbally quartered you for making the decisions you have by telling you, you were foolish and misdirected for doing so.

Now if you don’t mind, I have plans to make. I’m spending unmarried time with the guy I like in a few days. We’re so unmarried, it’s amazing. Sometimes in our high unmarriedfulness, I hold his arm and we walk through the park past closet Maya Khans and Zaid Hamids who genuinely detest us for our open display of joy, comfort and affection. I can’t wait to have you show up and ask us for our nikah document. This is what I’ll give you as proof:

It’s legit.

 

Stay out of my park.

Sincerely Sitting Unmarried On a Bench in a Park With a Guy,

Mehreen.

This post was originally published here.

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Do you feel Maya Khan was justified in asking couples to show their nikahnama in a public park?

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mehreen.kasana

Mehreen Kasana

An American Pakistani student, blogger and doodler in Lahore. She enjoys writing satire on culture and politics. Mehreen tweets @mehreenkasana.

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

  • zeeshan

    This is awful. If some people are doing something which is not good, the media has no right to bring them on air without their consent. I think Maya Khan should not have gone this far. If she was so concerned or wanted to sell her work, she could have gone to the parks, n talk to these people in person without any camera. She could have discussed her findings later in the show without any video clips. This is not the way to bring awareness :(Recommend

  • JR

    This is open violation against the public privacy and human rights. Why don’t they focus more on the open prostitution being carried out on streets? We shouldn’t make our society so narrow minded! Whats the big deal if i want to go out to have a private chat with my friend or my girlfriend peacefully in a park?? These kind of shows must be banned.Recommend

  • Wajahat Iqbal

    100% agree!!Recommend

  • arshad khan

    Miss Maya has no right to interfere in the personal matters of ppl. First of all if all the people are doing immoral acts so casting a TV show or revealing your beauty in public is also morally bad. Just suppose if Maya were in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime she would be punished for not wearing veil, thus if someone is her/himself not perfect so how they can change the society. Dating is part and parcel of our society from decades and it can not be eliminated in the way.Recommend

  • Nasamajh

    Only if they were genuinely concerned about improvement in the society..all that matters to them is the rating of their show..Recommend

  • Saad Khan

    That’s why i hate these Morning Shows, good for nothing.
    BTW the girl in second video @4:00 OWND Maya
    Hum kon hotay hain kisi ki private life main bolnay walay. Recommend

  • SHAKIE

    Pakistani MEdia = AWAARA MEDIA……huhRecommend

  • rehman ali

    well said mahreen
    this is not the way to stop a a think(even if u think its wrong)Recommend

  • Aaliyah

    Firstly, I’d really like an answer from Maya Khan that according to what rules and regulations are you condemning the act of these park going couples? Obviously the Islamic law, that its our religion that states so hence such situations are looked down upon. If thats the reason then why is this dumb driven cattle not covered in a burqa themselves? You’re violating the basic Islamic law of Purdah. Maya Khan you really need to practice before you preach. Secondly if any of theses couples is a target of honour killings are you going to take responsibility? Who died and left you in charge to straighten up the morals of these couples? Moreover how many of you (interviewers) can claim to have led an extremely pious life and are “paak daman”?Recommend

  • Farhan Gilgiti

    If one of the exposed youth is killed/hurt – seemingly inevitable, by his/her relatives, the murder case should be filed against Maya and her channel, for conspiring against them and increasing their social vulnerability.Recommend

  • Natasha Q

    What a disgrace. Forget corruption, poverty, illiteracy, gas shortage and a million other ills plaguing our country, turns out couples dating in parks tops them all on the list of this “moral police”. Utterly disgusting show. Chasing people with camera’s, what ever happened to everyone’s fundamental right “Freedom”?? How is rubbish like this even allowed to be aired! Recommend

  • saira khan

    @ Mehreen !!!

    I don’t know what’s your problem ? But let me tell you, that you don’t have the right to ask people their personal activities,

    regards,

    sairaRecommend

  • Adnan

    Mehreen FTW !!Recommend

  • Man who walks in the Park

    who gave these the right too invade our parks? lets see her to pull that stunt without those security guards… lets see her do that at some cafe in Zamzama… and will it be too much to ask her to do such a thing in F.B. Area near 90? Lets sue these idiots on defamation charges and for violating privacy… and lets sue TV too and make sure that no channel ever gives a green light for such a show again… hit them where it hurtsRecommend

  • RKB

    This is desperate and downright pathetic. Maya and her goons are enjoying hounding people in the park, this is too bawdy, crass and low marketRecommend

  • babe

    This was prolly the cheapest program i have seen in my entire life, where they chase after couples who date and auntes teaching the etiquette for dating… @jab nikah and rushsti ho taab date pay jao…” if in islam u are not allowed to date before marriage, my dear aunte maya, then u are not allowed to go out in front of the camera with curled hair and without dopta on ur head.. shame on u maya and her cheap lady auntes team.Recommend

  • Mash

    OMG! I just saw the video and what Maya is doing with her gang is simply ridiculous.
    The way they are chasing people is totally unacceptable! Dating or not, engaged or not, married or not. What is their problem? This kind of an attitude is the worst thing ever that can happen to a society.
    We have tons and tons of social problems here. It is not even possible for a girl to walk a street without being stared at here, even in the so-called most modern cities and all they find is this? Further reduces tolerance in society. Very very sad.Recommend

  • Zaid Hamid

    Now what did I do?Recommend

  • Kashif

    I agree that Maya Khan should be tried in court. What her and her ‘news team’ were doing is illegal and should be punished by the courts. Shame on her she is a disgrace to the nation.Recommend

  • Muhammad Talal

    The girl in green co-hosting with Maya is Urooj Moiz. I know her personally. I’m just amazed by the innocence with which she’s intruding into the privacy of these girls. After watching this hypocrisy – I’m just thinking to myself – What A Henious and Hypocrite World !!Recommend

  • Usama

    Awesome piece!! love the satire! maya khan is a disgrace! no one has the right to invade anyone’s privacy!! good work mehreen!Recommend

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

    Though, it is clearly for the ratings. Shows the mindset of our society. We are quick to judge and decide for others, how should they be living. While forget the skeletons , hiding in our closets. Recommend

  • http://www.fahadfarooqui88.blogspot.com Farooqui Fahad

    Greetings, first of all.. marvellously written, I really “really” enjoyed reading from start till end.
    I have not watched a single video of Maya chasing “love struck” couples around public parks (read: waste of my precious time), but from the tweets and Facebook status updates I have the picture quiet crystal as to what and how she may have done it.
    I will sign this petition instantly.. ‘Journalism’ or ‘enlightenment’, what ever the motive Maya had behind the show stings her back.Recommend

  • Muhammad

    Yes its wrong morally to show and talk about other peoples affairs! I concede. But what the majority is doing here is trying to justify a NON-ACCEPTABLE ACT with ANOTHER NON-ACCEPTABLE ACT. THIS IS NOT another nation, for God’s sake! This is Pakistan! Your home land! Where you live!
    I am honest here. You are either a part of our culture or you are a part of some other culture. Our cultures has norms and values and they are different than others. Doing unethical stuff in public like Kissing and GOd knows what is WRONG. YOU CAN TRY AS HARD AS YOU CAN TO CRITICIZE. One fact, a wrong is a wrong and rules are rules AND YOU DONTMKE THE RULES. Politicians are wrong, they dont make them. Your conscience doesn’t make the rules. God does. Quran and Hadith do.
    Maya Khan is wrong and Mehreen is wrong. I dont blame any of you. It’s not your fault. I am not trying to justify Maya Khan or Mehreen! Both are right and wrong in their own accord. At least have the decency to admit that there is something terribly wrong with the nation. 96 to 4 votes majority against Maya Khan just shows how much the society is corrupt!
    Freedom of Expression as you call it. Then why is their a problem when you want to come and talk on the TV channel and discuss about what you are doing. I am not justifying this. Criticise me all you want. I have no right to talk about other people and neither do any of you! You have no right to even discuss about this issue with the line of reasoning that you have developed.
    Be positive Maya Khan and Mehreen and you people! BOTH OF YOU ARE WRONG and 94 to 4 votes are wrong and so are other people performing un-ethical stuff in the public even that would be me! WHAT I AM SAYING is AT LEAST say NO to wrong and condemn wrong. I dont know about Mayas intentions whether its for fame or for Enlightenment or for condemning wrong and I dont want to know. What I am saying is dont do bad stuff in public where other people who want to remain better reside. The government should take actions to ban this stuff in other places as well, by whatever you are implying. Do whatever you want in your home but remember God is watching. He knows your deepest secrets and intentions!Recommend

  • sarah

    hey i wana say one thing…..2 all…. okie we shd not interfere in others personl lives thts bad n damage other characters bt rong iz rong n v shd not support it..v r basically support da gulx who go on dates v r actually gv em support n it ix rong!however ur family is open minded however u r mod bt to go out wd bfz hav chats wd em is not ethical in any way…im not sayin im so religious or i dun talk 2 guys bt i admit it is rong n u guys r actually make our minds in rong directions k do wotever u want 2 do jux listn to ur hearts…remember it cn go more thn a meet up….n one day our society will say proudly it x not rong tooo:P m also 21 n knw very well how 2 enjoy life y v make plans n sumhow arrange to meet our lovers bt v dun hav da tym for listening the probs ov our mothers v dun hav tym to sit wd our fam n discuss fam matters v hav tym to chat wd sumone on ph for severl hours bt dun hav tym to perform namaz :P n u guys admit or not ur indirectly supportin da teenage by goin against maya (m not her fan)!
    plxxxxx wake up!one day it cud b ur daughter who hav fun in any park!stop thx freak Recommend

  • anam

    mehreen way to go!! reporters and so called anchors such as maya and others out there, they seem to forget that they also passed through this age and i’m quiet sure they had their share of secret admirers. People such as her should really be sued and tried in front of an open court so an example should be set that they are not immune.
    what i would like to actually see if she try to target high profile people. then we’ll actually see how she walks away!Recommend

  • as ad

    well i think maya khan did a terrible thing but keeping it aside i think that the lady mehreen or whatever her name is……she is crossing the limits too….its not a liberal approach its westernization… adopting there culture and suppressing ours….. common guys she isnt being liberal …liberty is something that islam told us……well if someone dont completely follow islam it doesnt mean that he has no right to say the right thing but not by exposing like what maya khan did..Recommend

  • just saying

    Mehreen, thumbs up to u. I wonder when our TV hosts will have the balls to show the plight of girls standing on Bus stops as they try to reach their school/ college/ workplace using public transport. Things that an ordinary woman in Pakistan faces EVERYDAY. The crass remarks, the ogling, the whistling, the touching. It’s pathetic how low our anchors can stoop just for ratings instead of touching on some actual issues that a majority of women face in the country. Recommend

  • Zara Mazhar

    Quaid’s Pakistan was not made for muslims alone, it was made for all religions. So that we could practise our religions FREELY. You are nobody to tell me how good a muslim I am, it is between me and my God.

    It is not even about religion here. It is about what SOCIETY thinks. ‘Haye, tumney uski bachi ko dekha hei? Kitna awara hei!’ Stop being so narrow minded.Recommend

  • Zara Mazhar

    Like a friend said ‘It is easy to sell cheapness.’ Recommend

  • aa

    pls change knitty gritty to nitty gritty, thanksRecommend

  • http://www.vidjin.com/alee/ alee

    Extremely Childish Act. This could probably get someone Killed, considering the patience level in our society and may damage someone’s whole life.

    Ppl make mistakes and do wrong things, but you are no one to document and make videos which could haunt throughout their lives.
    Recommend

  • Umer Rasheed

    What troubles me the most is why this policing was carried out in a public park. There are a gazillion dating spots in Karachi. But only the poor public from a modest background is victimized. Is dating only legal if you can afford to take your girlfriend out to fancy restaurant or a mall? Such a shameRecommend

  • MS-Mariya Suhail
  • Dante

    Exceptionally rude woman! Exceptionally rude!

    Such journalism rights should be taken away immediately.Recommend

  • Omer

    A job very well done and the nature of the show was just pathetic. I am glad there are still people who detest such stuff. IA we will get rid of this ghairat brigade and other moral police soon enough. never went on a date to a park till now but now i surely have to go there more often and wait that maya shows up!!Recommend

  • saad

    As an American, this is exactly how I imagined Pakistan.Recommend

  • Amber

    Whats even more silly is that on the Nikahnama, there is a question for the bride only– is she is a virgin or not. I mean really, does it matter? I dont remember seeing one for my husband. The hypocrisy amused me. And what is the point of declaring a bride a virgin? I didn’t see an option of where you can say, “Why infact, no, I am not.” I doubt that 100% of non-widowed brides are virgins. It just doesn’t equate. So, for example, if your not a virgin, does that mean the Nikahnama is not valid if you lie? Its not like they give all females an option.

    I cant wait until the format of the Nikahnama changes to become more practical. Leave the damn private question out. Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com Shumaila

    Great piece Mehreen. This whole Maya Khan affair has been indescribably disappointing and infuriating.Recommend

  • Atif

    People who think and feel this is wrong… and this is the limit may register their complains with PEMRA… http://www.pemra.gov.pk/pemra/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=15&Itemid=20

    Such shows should stop!Recommend

  • http://shama-predicamentofmylife.blogspot.com/ Shama Ahsan

    Nice Write up Mehreen.

    love xRecommend

  • Maaz Asad

    I completely agree with the article written here.. And I didnt even know a woman existed by the name of Maya Khan before reading this article here,, Recommend

  • FAZ

    @Ahsan Mansoor:
    Excellent Mr. Ahsan. Rightly quoted hadith as well
    But there is a problem! U see Islam is a very systematic sort of a religion, designed by Allah SWT to “control” the devil inside u! Yes ur nafs

    Have you wondered why at the age of 7, a child can be literally “forced” to leave his cozy bed before dawn, perform wazoo that can be painful too and leave for masjid along with his father/elder?

    Its practices like these that after those 7 more years enable u to have control over yourself! We on the other hand, keep finding logics as why accommodating to pray 5 times a day, fasting in extreme hot conditions, forced payment from our hard earned money which by the way must be acquired by practices that are quite difficult to adapt! and the list goes on till the “extreme” of you having a choice to loose the most precious thing u have….ur life!

    And please dont judge me as an “extremeist” coz i do find difficult to leave my cozy bed often. But i know precisely coz of this that i should put my self in a position where i make any “mistake”.

    I hope u got my point Recommend

  • Shehzad

    Maya was talking about islam and stuff like that.the sect the ideology she belongs to has stated and ordered women to go to public places in parda(veil:sir pe at least dupatta aur chest pe b dupatta).but due to a special reason MAYA was exempted from this because she is a famous anchor or tv host or something like that. Recommend

  • Ali Wazir

    Why is this a big deal. Shows do all kinda stunts to get rating (Like that Living on the edge guy). Its a public park they are allowed to film. A Mali baba or Chowkidar or a Cop on the beat are allowed to hound couples why not Maya Khan lol…..
    It comes with the territory.These ppl should save money and take their girls some place decent. Recommend

  • Adnan

    The right thing, if not communicated in a right way….gets wrong……this is what Maya has done….I don’t want to doubt her intentions but she certainly crossed the limits in doing which she believed was right…..I feel sorry for you Maya…..

    I felt sorry for you earlier also when I saw you crying on the similar morning tv show with a fake molvi who was caught by police only after few days of your program….

    I feel sorry for you….Recommend

  • Danish Zeeshan

    Great Mehreen, Maya Khan should be banned!!!Recommend

  • Suhail

    I havent seen the maya khan epi you r talkin about..but i did hear wht went on..though her approach to the situation is absolutely wrong n purely based on getting ratings….
    BUT IT DOESNT MAKE DATING RIGHT YOU PATHETIC MODERN PPL !! shame on you for calling urselves muslims n demanding privacy for dating!! GOD!!!

    n b4 u go on lashing out on me for being too taliban or whateva.. study Islam, which even I havent to the extent that a muslim shud..but whatever I have studied..I know for a fact that dating is nnot allowed!!!

    but u wont take my word for it..since 99% of ppl in pak also consider music to be completely ok too..Recommend

  • Mona Towfik

    Too Long. Didn’t Read.Recommend

  • Salman

    Amazing restraint showed by the hounded people in the video….I would have bashed Maya and her crew’s heads in….This is full time harassment…Not really a fan of MQM but totally support Haider Abass Rizvi calling Maya and asking what the hell is wrong with you?Recommend

  • Sina

    Thank you Mehreen for your exceptional piece. You have so aptly voiced how many of us have felt after watching this video. It saddens me to see how sometimes the pakistani media can resort to such shows to raise their ratings. Maya khan and her behaviour as a host as absolutely dissapointing. I hope that more of us follow up to questioning such RIDICULOUS shows and I would be more than glad to take some action against this.

    Once again Mehreen, Kudos! Recommend

  • jerseybb

    I don’t necessarily believe in dating in parks, I would personally never sit with a girl in a public park, however I would defend their right to sit their till my death, Maya Khan should be tried in a local court for meddling in the privacy of an adult independent citizenRecommend

  • Parvez

    @saad: After watching the ‘Jerry Springer Show ‘ if I commented ‘ As a Pakistani this is exactly how I imagined the U.S. of America ‘. Would I be right ??? Of-course not.Recommend

  • Noman

    Write to all the advertisers of this channel that we are stopping viewing this channel because of this disgusting show.Recommend

  • Javed

    This is the reason I will never go back to that country. I like it here in america where I have freedom. Truly Pathetic!Recommend

  • zargham

    Maya Khan is now leading the women wing of Shabab-e-Milli?
    We have so many speeches about women rights by these so called moderate tv presenters and yet what they are doing now is simply casting a doubt in the minds of parents whose daughters go to a college. Some of the parents might even decide to stop their education and some may restrict the movements of their daughters and that would indeed be a success for Maya Khan and it would certainly make up for the tv ratings.Recommend

  • A. Rehman

    Thank you for putting it like it is. Everyone who picks up a microphone thinks they’re a ‘journalist’ and that somehow means telling people what to do. Pakistan’s journalism has been given too much freedom at too embryonic a stage where they don’t even realize the difference between responsible reporting and sensationalism.

    Excellent article. We need more people like you!Recommend

  • http://alwaysez.wordpress.com/ Emaad the Realistic

    Disclaimer: Those with pervert minds don’t read this. The phrase “do it” refers to “dating and having a relationship” in this article and NOTHING ELSE.
    Recently Maya Khan, a morning show host on Samaa TV, has sparked anger and hatred among teenagers by going in to public parks and exposing couples dating. Almost everyone agrees that these were private matters which shouldn’t have been brought on television in front of the whole country. While I agree that invading someone’s privacy is wrong, I also think that dating or lip-locking in a public park isn’t exactly “private”.
    First I would like to discuss why Maya Khan’s actions were wrong. The show “Subah Saweray Maya Ke Sath” has a controversial history from fake ‘peers’ to false claimers of ‘miracles’. And this latest issue has not helped the popularity of the show. Our media has NEVER helped in solving our social problems, and I think they shouldn’t, their job is to raise the issue and tell the public about it, they shouldn’t try to solve the issues themselves. But sadly they again and again try to do it, not for the love of the country, but for money and popularity. Similar “raids” in shopping centers and public areas have been done before by minor channels, but none of them ever solved the problem. What they do is show your name and face and just humiliate you in front of the whole country. In these cases, two families are humiliated, families which belong to a society which is highly sensitive when it comes to dignity. These issues are also private matters and NO ONE outside the two families should be concerned, especially the media, it is much better to leave the issue for them to solve. This show uses “mending the gap between parents and children” as a pathetic excuse for their actions. Frankly speaking, I don’t see how showing the parents a footage of their son/daughter dating and encouraging them to be strict about it mends the gap. Actually it increases the gap, instead of parents trying to understand the child and talking him/her out of it, they enforce punishments which inevitably lead to hatred. So we conclude on a mutual agreement that what Maya Khan did and what similar shows do DOESN’T HELP, HUMILIATES two families, is considered INVASION of PRIVACY and EXPANDS the GAP between the PARENTS and CHILDREN.
    Now I come to the second side of the story. Honestly, I am against dating. Keeping aside the fact that our religion forbids us from such things, it is also immoral and un-acceptable in our society where marriages are arranged by the parents. Also it is my observation that such relationships almost NEVER work, let’s face it, the odds of you marrying your boy/girl-friend from high school, college or university are very, very low. The bottom line is that when you fall in so-called “love” with someone, you fall in love with their looks, not their personality, which ultimately ends up in a great difference of principles and actions, i. e. you fight and break-up. Calling this kind of “love” human nature is non-sense, human nature is only limited to temptations, the rest is your own choice whether you control them or just go for it. “Jawani ke mazay” is also a lame excuse, the more you grow up, the more mature you should be, I’m not saying that you should live a boring and serious life, I’m saying don’t take the “maza” beyond forbidden limits. So even after realizing that dating and having a relationship is forbidden in the religion, socially un-acceptable, highly un-likely to evolve into a happy marriage life, and just plain stupid, if you still go ahead and do it, at least don’t do it in public parks, malls or restaurants in front of the whole society where, even if a TV show doesn’t catch you and humiliate you, someone WILL. Like I said earlier, it’s not a private affair when you do it in public parks and the aforementioned places. And don’t try to attack a person who advises you against it by saying “pehlay apna girehbaan jhanko”, you don’t know the deeds of that person and at least he is doing something good when, clearly, you’re NOT.
    So the conclusion of what I’m trying to say is that both parties were wrong in their actions and both need to stop it. And YES, dating and having a relationship IS considered WRONG, at least in this society.Recommend

  • maverick titan

    lolzzzz @ lisbon (not lesbian)….amazingly writtenRecommend

  • mansoor ahmed

    The writer is a GENIUS. But other such morning shows (the off springs of STAR PLUS) should also be taken into consideration.Recommend

  • Jami

    The most sickening program ever. Maya crossing the limits for rating. I wonder how she finds peace with herself after such loathsome programmes.Recommend

  • Mehak aftab

    ahhhh…. another way to get cheap publicity, these morning shows are unbelievable :DRecommend

  • Sheba

    THANK YOU for writing this.Recommend

  • kehkashan zaidi

    Excellent write up Mehreen!!… Intrusion in someone’s privacy is not less than any crime, its utterly an uncouth & disgusting behavior of her and we all are well aware how much Miss Maya have a naive intentions for the targeted couple, its just to get herself & show in a limelight… What a malicious ploy… Flop thinking… we seriously condemn her…
    Go get a life losers!!
    iRecommend

  • Jibran

    Although i dont agree with her methods of checking the legitimacy of people’s relationship with each other, i believe you are displaying signs of being too liberal.
    Sure you need some Islamic education, or at least knowledge of relations between Mahram’s and Non-Mahrams. Fear Allah Sister. Recommend

  • Sid

    @Noman Ansari:
    is it a 5 letter word or a 7 letter word ?Recommend

  • Marium

    Thankyou Mehreen!!!Recommend

  • Hareem Khan

    If they just saw how downright stupid they looked, running after people for the sole purpose of catching and bashing them, perhaps they wouldn’t continue with this.cheap publicity.Recommend

  • Naveed Rajput

    Salute For Mehreen :)Recommend

  • Sana Javed

    who has given the authority to maya to raid in public parks like this? this is sheer invasion of privacy, seriously a poor person may hang out in park with his girl friend and he will be questioned what about all those elite class dating in cafes? every individual has a right of privacy they can choose to be whom ever they like at what ever place they desire, she or nobody else have the right to judge them. i was just shock the way they were chasing that couple :/Recommend

  • bangash

    This is invasion of privacy. Why is Maya Khan talking to non-mahram men and women ?Recommend

  • NazihaM

    What a Graceful Punishment in your words, only if people like MK has left with any SHAME !Recommend

  • http://- kickass
  • Majid Khan

    Hi Maya,

    It is better to look into your own circle rather than to spoil the middle and lower middle class. You have been into many parties and sits with many male friends ..does that mean you are doing wrong…come on…let the parents decide what thier kids should do and what should not…and pls try not be over smart…u r doing yellow journalism .Recommend

  • Usman

    Maya Khan you dont have the right to humiliate people or talk something about them,
    i am damn sure that most of the women specially the young one’s who were with you at the moment when you all went to different parks would have been dating or doing other things which are totally forbidden in Islam……
    And if you people are so much interested in creating awareness of Islam so why dont you wear Bhurqa or Hijab,,,,,,
    the Kind of clothes that you women were wearing were also immoral,like sleeveless shirts and not wearing Dupata’s ………….Recommend

  • x

    wow, i had never seen this before. who is this maya woman, disgusting.
    i dont agree with the dating concept but it is ABSOLUTELY no ones business what they do, except their parents maybe.
    this disgusting moral policing promotes such intolerance. how can you invade someones privacy and humiliate them on national tv!
    and i disagree mehreen, if religious or social reasons had been her goals , she would have gone without the camera (which also i disagree with, but its better than shoving a camera in peoples faces and being so dangerously invasive on tv)
    the woman should be banned and license of the channel suspended for such outrageous behaviour.
    shameful, disgraceful. Recommend

  • s shah

    I found the show disgusting. Hounding and harassing people who had not committed a crime. Maya Khan showed a criminal disregard for their safety. Did she not think about the consequences for these couples if they are recognized. She should be severely reprimanded by the station and should be sued for invasion of privacy.Recommend

  • fatima

    hats off to mehreen and shame on maya.this seems ridiculus.huuhhRecommend

  • Sid

    i think the most relative article with reference to “The Great Maheen” is
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PinkChaddiCampaignRecommend

  • Hira Z

    Candid piece Mehreen!Recommend

  • aisha

    I am quite conservative and religious, but this is disgusting by any standard!
    Quran says that if you keep the veil over other peoples sins, then Allah will protect your sins and not reveal them to all.
    Is this Maya Khan some saint that she has the right to judge and humiliate these people?
    To do so on public television, that is what is immoral, not the conduct of these people, sitting in a park, not closeted in a five star hotel room like the elite who maya khan would never dare expose. Recommend

  • Sarah

    what a lame show! and what a lame host! such people are given power without them being worthy of it!!! the show and channel should be banned!!!!! Recommend

  • http://www.efmsk.blogspot.com Faisal

    what is this some sort of Salvation army?Recommend

  • Sinan J Bhatti

    i cant wait to go on a date to this park and have maya khan harass me.
    Mehreen, thanks for this.Recommend

  • http://gmail usama waseem khan

    what i really feel is that media has now become so advanced that it is now interfering in the personal life of people by showing their in-sides onto the television.
    if you have power to converge people’s thinking on one point you should offer your platform for some noble work like asking for donation for orphans etc
    you should not use this tool of yours to make laughing stock of other people as they also got their feelings Iam not saying this because iam from the youth but iam saying this as being a human as far as this lady Maya khan is concerned, i must say that she is a popular figure among the people these days she should work for the sake of humanity using her fame as a tool
    and should not do these things as this could be subjected to retaliate someones activity.Recommend

  • Rabiyah

    Very well written. I don’t understand why people don’t mind their own business. Especially, these MEDIA people. Programs like these should be banned, and who ever was involved in it should be questioned. Will MAYA KHAN answer what she does, after her show? Will she answer anyone? She should be asked questions like these and about her respect. She is a women, and should understand the word ‘respect’. Recommend

  • Omar

    Maya Khan should try this in Lahore. She will get a very positive response. Many people will “enlighten” her on the exact location of the nika-nama.

    Personally, I think, these women haven’t been laid in a long time and their frustration is coming to the surface.

    Once again, I beseech Maya Khan to please show up in Lahore with her show. She will be shown a great time!Recommend

  • Nosherwan Shahid Shaikh

    Foolish – waste of resources!

    Wrong class being tapped it. Recommend

  • amin

    As a 17 year old living in the heart of Karachi I have seen too many girls being used by my fellow mates and friends and thats how things are .girls in some cases are too trusting in some cases and go on to do some they regret for the rest of their lives , but no one has the right to stop at the some and too criticize them :( the world instant flowers and grass Recommend

  • Adnan

    this was plain darn retarded, there should be a law suit against this channel for invading public privacy.what one does is their own business and they are not answerable to these numbnits. all these women here dont have a life and just envy everybody else. musharaf was smart enogh to put a stop to the police when they questioned couples, what the police used to do with poor scared couples was inhuman, they used to take advantage of the female and send the guy to get money or jewelry or anything valuable. this crazy woamn is doing the same thing, she should be put behind bars. what didnt she do that when she was younger, she probably still does it behind closed doors. how are they any different but thats beyond the point they just dont have the right to do what they were doing. its called invasion of privacy and its illegal no matter what the case is.Recommend

  • Raza

    The Mantality of Maha and Mollahs are the same they dont allow you a personal space… Absolutly you are right Mahreen people should mind there own business. should never expose people on TV this is unjust and unethical.Recommend

  • Hassan

    Great job Mehreen. This is not first time media is capturing dating couples i h’ve seen such type of video before and all of it is just disgusting,Recommend

  • Muslim

    This is ridiculous… this is illegal and in a way not acceptable in Islam too.. there are many Ahadith in Islam which doent allow a person to invade someones privacy.. its very sad that the girls wearing covering their hair are makin fun of the couples by high-fiving others and judging others.. WHO gives them authority to invade someone’s privacy.. everyone in this world is accountable to Allah nottttttttttt the media or MAYA KHAN for that matter.. this is a Hadith below..

    Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.

    http://muslimways.com/imam-an-nawawi-s-forty-hadiths/hadith-34-forbidding-the-evil-is-from-eemaan.html/
    this is the link which explains this hadith..

    Maya khan should seriously look into the matters which she SHOULD LOOK INTO as a HUMAN helping needy and poor people rather than spying on couples.. as if she was never a girl and never had any feelings for anyone…Recommend

  • Mehr Kutraj

    Could not have written it any better. Well-said Mehreen! Recommend

  • Zulfiqar

    Briliant Mehreen you r absolutely right :)Recommend

  • Asad Zaidi

    Dear Mehreen,

    Hope you are doing well.

    Firstly, one of the best pieces I have read in a while – inside Pakistan – otherwise I read articles on BBC, Time, Reader’s digest, FHM, GQ and so forth. Your wit is commendable. Especially on a topic like this.

    I got to know of the whole saga through facebook since I don’t watch local entertainment channels. I meant news channels. I know how they work. Unfortunately, I have worked with one myself. So I know how they (TV) would do anything to increase their ratings and generate even more revenue. Pure commercialism at its best. No wonder a new news channel keeps popping up more than I pop ecstasy!

    Secondly, and more importantly: Maya Khan. I think I have seen this woman on TV doing some entertainment shows or something. Obviously I didn’t really notice – she’s not hot. So now she decides to become a talk show host. Incredible. Shows the legitimacy of our media. On top of that she decides to be a moral cop! She needs to do her homework correctly before doing a show on live TV. Pakistan is a free independent country. Every Pakistani has the right to do whatever he/she likes to do as long as it is legal constitutionally. This couple did everything legal. Even a police constable would agree. Having said that, everything Maya Khan did is illegal in Pakistan. She should be arrested for this.

    P.S: The boy in one of the videos rightly said that it is his personal matter and Maya had no right to ask about nikahnama etc. So boy 10 – Maya Khan 0.

    Parks are the property of the state NOT Maya Khan and her Samaa TV channel! So next time I am in my park with my date and I see her – I will say ** you Maya Khan and your moral crap! Lets see if Samaa airs that ;)Recommend

  • asma

    I think Maya Khan has lost herself to the ghost of ratings!! It would be brilliant if someone would take her and Samaa tv to court for breach o privacy. Maybe she ought to join the extremists who would give up anything to do the same!! On second thoughts she has definitely earned respect and successfully increased her ratings among the Mullahs. Good slap by the author to Maya Khan.Recommend

  • Rizwan

    Dear Mehreen, I don’t have courage to watch this video and i don’t like Maya in any case. But what a piece you have written, so intelligent and yet so vanamous. Maya won’t be able to sleep for months if she reads ( understood ) this letter.A critic should be like you. Wish you luck and success. I bet tomorrow Maya khan show would be full of her tearful defensive tacts. Recommend

  • Ammar

    i would like to get a camera crew and follow Maya Khan and every naa mehrum man she meets in her daily life pull out a camera on her face and ask her who this man is and what are you doing…Recommend

  • ghaallib kemal

    realllly i agree with you mehreeen and hate what MAYA KHAN DID IN PUBLIC!!!! SUCH CHANNELS AND SHOWS SHOULD BE COMPLTELY BANNNED!!!!Recommend