Na Kaho Tum Mere Nahin: Another drama serial for an unhappy wife

Published: March 22, 2013
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I hate the fact that drama serials just capitalise on women’s emotions and their tendency to watch serials that they can relate to. PHOTO: http://www.facebook.com/Na.Kaho.Tum.Mere.Nahi1

Na Kaho Tum Mere Nahin (NKTMN) – a drama serial on Hum TV that aired its last episode in the beginning of March – was a clichéd story of marital infidelity and domestic problems.

The plot was straight forward – a husband and a wife and their two children live a peaceful life in a blissful house until they come under buri nazar ( the evil eye).

The story revolves around the happy couple Mehreen (Saba Qamar) and Meerab’s (Ahsan Khan) lives. Meerab earns a humble living and Mehreen tries her best to make do with his meager salary to maintain a happy home.

(Meerab and Mehreen.)

Then enters Meerab and Mehreen’s college friend, Maya, who is married to a dual-national multimillionaire. During their college days, Maya was infatuated by Meerab, but Meerab ended up proposing to Mehreen.

Maya’s husband, Arsalan Shah, whose gori wife left him for someone else, thinks only Pakistani women are sincere and worthy of getting married to.

However, Maya proves his hypothesis wrong by divorcing him and usurping a great share of his property.

(Maya, the third wheel in Meerab and Mehreen’s life)

Maya persuades Mehreen to start working so she can earn a living and stop complaining about not living a luxurious life. Maya’s persuasion has an underlying intention – distancing Mehreen and Meerab.

Thus, the plot thickens and the typical innocent and unassuming heroine and the vicious villain emerge!

Eventually, Maya succeeds in doing so and Mehru and Meerab’s happy little home starts to fall apart.

(Mehreen, Meerab and Maya)

Apart from being clichéd, the storyline was extremely misogynistic.

Meerab blamed Mehreen, and construed that their marriage fell apart because of Mehreen’s work schedule that made her neglect her home!

Finally, when Meerab finds out that Maya had planned to estrange him from his wife, he refuses to marry her and goes back to Mehreen, who has to forgive him for his infidelity in order to save her distressed family.

Typical. The woman must always sacrifice.

(Meerab and his children.)

While it is understood that the target audience of such dramas are housewives, this alone doesn’t justify the stereotypical script.

And it’s not just NKTMN; every other drama has the same storyline – the wife destroys a happy family setup, as she chases her dreams.

I hate the fact that drama serials just capitalise on women’s emotions and their tendency to watch serials that they can relate to. This catharsis leads them to think all the more negatively about their lives.

Producers should realise that they’re fueling pessimism to women and slashing their confidence with the serials they produce.

I know so many women who cite examples from dramas, presuming the same would happen to them as well. My distant cousin’s wife, who came to stay at our house recently, cited NKTMN and said,

Dekho apne shohar ko ignore kerne se yehi hota hai. Ab chorrdya nah Meerab ne Mehreen ko?”

(This is what happens when you ignore your husband. Meerab left Mehreen, see?

This highlights the affects of such dramas on the psyche of women. Women are becoming more frightened, timid and easier to blame.

Very few dramas carry a positive message; one being Geo TV’s Mirat-ul-Uroos based on famed novelist  Nazir Ahmad Dehlvi‘s novel. It shows the resilience of a girl against dowry and depicts how destructive this practice can be for a marriage.

The Pakistani TV industry has grown substantially and such sub-standard dramas are no longer an expectation.

It’s time they improved their quality of dramas; we need creative scripts that carry a positive messages to uplift society and bring forth some sort of betterment and maturity in thinking.

Else, we are doomed to a future of the never-ending trend of unhappy wives.

PHOTOS: http://www.facebook.com/NaKahoTumMereNahiHumTv

Read more by Sidrah here or follow her on Twitter @seedwah 

Sidrah.Moiz.Khan

Sidrah Moiz Khan

The author is a sub-editor at The Express Tribune.

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

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

    I dont think we should criticize our dramas so soon, our industry just started developing, we should support it.Recommend

  • noor ul ain

    very true! i don’t know when these stereotypism gets over.these type of dramas made every single girl in my class eventually aim of life to get married….. , Even the more pity thing is that, our women are behind them.Recommend

  • Nobody

    These dramas are starting to disgust me. And women (and men) who fall into the pack of lies and misconceptions fed to them by said dramas disgust me even more. Storylines are becoming all too similar. While I can understand watching such dramas for entertainment or time pass, taking what’s portrayed as reality or fact seems ridiculous. The author’s distant cousin’s wife’s comment is a prime example of that. Recommend

  • GhostRider

    @Author: May I suggest that you watch spartacus for a change, certainly generic Pakistani dramas are a pain to watchRecommend

  • Azfar

    @GhostRider: lol us ke liye parental guidance chaye in ko hahhahaha :P Recommend

  • NuPak

    I agree with the author 100%. Dramas are there to get the most audience for the TV station or channel it runs on to sell airtime for adds. It’s as simple as that. Businesses can’t be given the job of public morality or improving the general mental or social health if tbey are not making money, their main purpose. Authors like above are one of the only few sources left to raise the voice or alarm for the masses in the name of “good writing”, again it’s their “business”. Public need cost free guidancefrom non profit institutions. Still, a good idea even in the name of business is better than abusing or manipulating public sentiments for profit. Afterall there were good drama writers in past who strive to guide the public while giving them enjoyment in watching shows while selling adds for soap or foods etc.Recommend

  • Skeptical

    These dramas not only leave an impact on women but men also. It is then assumed that if their wife will work she will not be a homemaker. Which is not correct in all ways!!! Recommend

  • http://mezaajedeen.blogspot.com Tribune Reader

    You forgot to mention the sub plot where Meerabs character has a blood sucking greedy opportunistic evil sister who along with her family mooches off her brother, and the same sister creates a rift in their marriage and her son kidnaps their kid. A lot of families have moochers like that and that a lot of kidnappings have a fam member involvee.Recommend

  • http://www.twitter.com/bohotsaara Sarah B. Haider

    Excellent Sid. This had to be pointed out!Recommend

  • Ahmad

    These dramas are so boring… on one side I watch Homeland and I think how beautifully they are manipulating Americans with such brilliant season plots that Muslims are infiltrating them on other hand we are still stuck in “saas bahu” problems.
    Why can’t we make dramas to change mindset of our people about extremism? Leave extremism, in case you are too afraid of Talibans, try something like Prison Break, can you?Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    @Ahmad:
    Well Said Bro…Recommend

  • Humanely Male!

    comon when u hv mehreen and maya at the same point in life, u tend to get confused ;) , i mean look at them aren’t both of them cute ;) , sorry author n all the other reading gals but mehreen n maya r too cute! Recommend

  • Bangash

    I liked this drama a lot.Recommend

  • Turbo

    trash.. thats why i dont watch them. old dramas hold the true meaning of a story line. 3.31.13. Winter is coming!!!Recommend

  • Kashif S. Malik

    I guess the drama producers have understood very well what their target market is and what sells. In general I agree with the author ’cause traditionally pakistani dramas have not just been about serving a particular segment but also to instill sociatel values and custom into the audience’s minds. Dramas like NKTMN make womenfolk feel insecure. We would like to see dramas that have strong female characters, may be like ‘Zindagi Gulzar Hai’.Recommend

  • Pro Bono Publico

    Hello &
    Asalamo-Alaekum
    Sidrah,

    Welcome back! – you were missed. :)
    Hoping you were very well. Been decades, we really were longing for your piece, though a good effort but very sincerely..comment..ranting on the dramas (…though glad you didnt mention anything on the Turkish dramas..) might not be a very good a ingredient for your avid readers.

    Keep up the good work & try to shorten the lead time. :)

    Fee- Amanillah.Recommend

  • sensible

    so you watch the whole drama ( though you seem to hate it) in order to write review.Recommend

  • Shane

    All these dramas / stories are extracted from local digests where writers ( mainly female) wrote stories to entertain middle class . Some are very good stories , one can learn and correct themselves , some are just filled with all spices to get readers Attention. Having said that media did a good job projecting those good writers on main platform and their message to be conveyed to masses , but now majority is just taking stories from every c class writers ( few are immature writers with no life experience , just passed matriculation exam ) , who write stories on those “d” class digests . We all know this society is going through a very difficult turn of balancing our culture in wake of religonization and 21st century demands , media needs to take responsibility of developing a fair, forbearing and tolerant culture! Instead of showing what’s happening around us ! We all know , need to move on!!!!Recommend

  • arcane

    You are free to change the channel. It’s not illegal yet.Recommend

  • Huma

    Excuse me @author! and ET!! Mirat-ul-Uroos is a very famous novel by the reknowned writer Deputy Nazir Ahmed and it has been modernized/adapted for this serial by Umera Ahmed. Apparently you guys are only watching the dramas and know nothing about the literature behind it! Kindly correct the error!
    From the facebook page of the drama “Miratul Uroos – Aaj Ki Kahani by Umera Ahmed Extended version of Deputy Nazir Ahmed’s Miratul Uroos” Recommend

  • Meem

    I’m surprised to see that nobody has corrected you as yet on the blatant mistake you made towards the end of the blog – ‘Mirat-ul-Uroos’ is a piece of classic Urdu literature, written by Deputy Nazir Ahmed and not Umera Ahmed, as you have stated.Recommend

  • bushra.parekh

    @Meem
    Thank you for pointing out the mistake. The error is regretted and has now been rectified.
    Thanks again
    Kind Regards,

    Bushra Parekh| Sub Editor | Blogs desk I The Express Tribune
    +922135803801 | @bushraparekh | blogs.tribune.com.pkRecommend

  • maliha

    Pakistani women have very low self esteem in general. Some of it is a result of social setups and a large part can be attributed to media. Dramas and films. Encourage women to be “super moms”, super housewives and super “victims”! We grow up aspiring to be spitting images of the women we see being admired by our friends and families for being the “perfect wives”. Implying of course that one has to be a “wife” to even think about being accepted as successful women in society.Recommend