#PyareAfzal versus Nawaz Sharif’s speech: And the winner is…

Published: August 13, 2014
SHARES
Email

The tragic conclusion of Pyare Afzal has wooed millions of hearts and has played its part in the revival of Pakistani drama. PHOTO: PYARE AFZAL FACEBOOK PAGE

Last night, while Pakistani men were anxiously waiting for the premier’s speech, to be aired at 8pm, the women had a completely different, and might I add ‘dramatic’, agenda to grab hold of the TV remote. Coincidentally, the prime minister’s speech took place at the same time when the series finale of Pyare Afzal – which could safely be dubbed as one of the most widely watched television serials of all time – was to be aired.

On one hand, this diffused the political tension for the fans; on the other, it became a reason for family discords over the TV remote and polarised interests. The air was rife with anticipation and the channel had started a stopwatch countdown for the finale as fans and followers were placing bets on how it would end. Amid all this frenzy, women were seen praying and intending sadqas for a possible happy ending.

Unfortunately for them, the writer, Khalilur Rehman Qamar, was clever enough to know that tragic heroes are always mythologised. Some cinemas even arranged special screening for the finale, which I remember happened only once before, for the Turkish drama serial Ishq-e-Mamnoo that had become exceptionally popular back in 2012. For the local drama industry, the screening of Pyare Afzal was a first.

The final episode erupted unprecedented social media response. The emotional outpour was a mix; fans were mourning the death of their hero and venerating the love saga whereas sarcastic and humorous posts were finding comic relief in the tragic ending. Resilience is the best part of being Pakistani, as we always end up finding happiness in the most unlikely of places and that’s how we refuse to bow down before the shadows of fear and chaos.

There ensued a frenzy of tweets, heartbroken Facebook statuses, sad Instagram posts and other updates on different media platforms.

A Facebook friend in their status mourned,

Afzal ko kyun mara?

(Why was Afzal killed?)

“Afzal died!” lamented another.

This was followed by a string of comments where some friends condoled and consoled while others remain bewildered as to who Afzal was. Many were seen naively asking if he belonged to any of the political parties or if he was from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or Pakistan Awami Tehreek side.

The most hilarious meme, for me, was a confused Nawaz Sharif, clad in his sherwani, asking,

“Imran Khan say baad may baat ho gi, pehlay batao ye Afzal kaun hai?

(I will talk to Imran later; first tell me, who is this Afzal?)

Photo: Le Pakistani Facebook Page

Twitter witnessed the #PyareAfzal mania as well, with diverse tweets, ranging from regretting the end and celebrating the show to good riddance messages and sarcasm, of course. My favourite tweet was:

Other tweets included:

Pyare Afzal could be enlisted among the few dramas which managed to stay unaffected by the curse of tried and tested, safe marketable formulas and succeeded in carving its own niche. Like Humsafar and Zindagi Gulzar Hay, the show had a simple yet relatable storyline. The characterisation was detailed, hence, succeeded in creating the desired impact.

Hamza Ali Abbasi gained a miraculous new screen life. The evolution of Afzal from a lovelorn poet to a Robin Hood gangster was translated effectively by Abbasi. The script was engaging, dialogues were witty and audience instantly fell in love with the Urdu that they only previously heard in the 80s PTV dramas. Many Facebook pages were created to share and admire Pyare Afzal quotes.

Photo: Pyare Afzal Facebook Page

The costumes proved to be trendsetters as well. Many women were seen donning short shirts and loose shalwars this Eid. Costumes were not only in accordance with the story and characters but it also lent a distinctive air to the show. Dialogue and costumes were done in a signature Khalilur Rehman style.

Strong and independent female characters made it stand apart from the run of the mill shows. Although it pitted one sister against the other for love interest, it was free from the bechari syndrome. The women were making their own choices and facing the consequences. We might hate Farah for being headstrong and an egotist but we can’t help loving her for her free spirit.

The conflict of unrequited love and bliss of love denied by sheer fate has given some classic stories to the silver screen, like DevdasMughal-e-Azam and the likes. The tragic conclusion of Pyare Afzal has wooed millions of hearts and has played its part in the revival of Pakistani drama.

Fatima Majeed

Fatima Majeed

An avid reader, freelance writer and home-maker.

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

  • Basit

    No doubt this is one of the best Drama in Pak Drama indusrtyRecommend

  • Well Wisher

    Lat night, both best dramas were on aired.. haha
    Seriously! I felt like Nawaz Sharif was crying for dead Afzal.Recommend

  • Iftikhar Ali

    Thanks for clarifying Afzal thing, I was also wondering who’s that AfzalRecommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/zubairj M. Zubair Javed

    Faitma Majeed: Very well Written Article.. I liked it and the part i liked most was ” Resilience is the best part of being Pakistani, as we always end up finding happiness in the most unlikely of places and that’s how we refuse to bow down before the shadows of fear and chaos.” It’s Uncanny and true.

    As far as your question goes… I live in UAE so i watch neither but my choice would be Pyare Afzal over PM.Recommend

  • Usman Arshad

    Did NS say like it? LOL.Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/zubairj M. Zubair Javed

    Hahahahaha, Very Well Said :-pRecommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/zubairj M. Zubair Javed

    Hahahahaha, Very Well Said :-pRecommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/zubairj M. Zubair Javed

    Fatima Majeed: I want to Thank you for writing this Article and the reason is that i get to know that Pyare Afzal is now finished and now i can watch it on youtube with out loosing the continuity of the Plot, Me being a UAE resident can’t follow shows on weekly basis but now i will watch this Serial from episode 1.Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/zubairj M. Zubair Javed

    Fatima Majeed: I want to Thank you for writing this Article and the reason is that i get to know that Pyare Afzal is now finished and now i can watch it on youtube with out loosing the continuity of the Plot, Me being a UAE resident can’t follow shows on weekly basis but now i will watch this Serial from episode 1.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    “Humnay to buss kaliyan maangee, kaanton ka haar millaaa” <3Recommend

  • Saba

    I Think Pyaray Afzal is better than Humsafar and zindagi gulzar hai,atleast there was no bechari syndrome in This Drama like other dramas.Will Miss This Drama :(Recommend

  • Asim

    i’ll include this in all time greats……blockbuster….it will always be remembered in our hearts…..Recommend

  • usman

    The best dramma after zindagi gulzar hai and humsaferRecommend

  • MM

    True passions on Pyare Afzal really run deep.Recommend

  • Hermain

    A brilliantly written review! I love you for praising Hamza and the serial itself. Hamza seriously owned the role. He will always be remembered for his role of Afzal, imma sure :P

    I don’t usually differentiate but Humsafar and ZGH are nowhere close to Pyaray Afzal. PA is much much better when it comes plot, dialogues and direction! Pyaray Afzal is ONLY one of it’s kind!Recommend

  • shehzad

    #Pyareafzal won far away against PMRecommend

  • Faizan

    Will miss pyara afzal so mucHRecommend

  • Fatima tuz Zahra

    There is no doubt that pyare afzal left an ever memorable mark on our mind…. According to the theme,story,content and dialogues…. It is the best drama of PAKISTAN…. Nawaz Sharif chose wrong time 4 the speech… :)
    Apart ,although extremely sad but….its ending was most possible one…. Hats off to the team n characters!!! This was my most favorite serial…. Nice article….. Recommend

  • Abbas

    After Alpha Bravo Charlie the best drama I have seen.Recommend

  • Areeba Mohsen

    agreed!Recommend

  • Shakil Akhtar

    I knew it, when he brought Yasmeen back to Karachi, I expected some thing to happen any time. They brought him back and the ending was superb. Very well acted by all the actors and actresses. The dialogs were yes very witty. Hathi per baithna shadi par (khwahish thi uski) was hilarious.Recommend

  • Mahtab1234

    No doubt great drama ever… specially outstanding acting of Molvi Uncle…….Recommend

  • Mahtab1234

    awesome acting of molvi uncleRecommend

  • princekhan

    nic songRecommend

  • princekhan
  • Hasan Umar

    Some cinemas even arranged special screening for the finale, which I remember happened only once before, for the Turkish drama serial Ishq-e-Mamnoo that had become exceptionally popular back in 2012. For the local drama industry, the screening of Pyare Afzal was a first.

    Correction:
    Before Piyare Afzal, telefilm Behadd was screened in Atrium Cinema and last episode of Zindagi Gulzar Hai was also screened in Bahria Auditorium.Recommend

  • Laila

    In love with its title song. <3 The drama was nice. ^_^ But Killing Afzal made me cry. :'( And its success was unexpected by me, at first i thought '' bekaar hayy '' tho, I only watched the last scene. :pRecommend

  • tungi

    wait what? never heard of this drama..we men hav far more important things to doRecommend

  • Hameedullah

    “Amid all this frenzy, women were seen praying and intending sadqas for a possible happy ending.” Thats hilarious.Recommend

  • Rabia irfan

    The dialogues were simply amazing…its true that one rarely gets to hear such well written dialogues any more…the direction and acting ensured the proper delivery….and i must say this was the best drama ever….so different from the typical saas bahu machinations thats in every drama now a days….thank u khalil ur rehman qamar for a beautiful story :) and tean pyare afzal :)Recommend

  • fizza khan

    m so0 sad i luv pyary afzal <3 <3 <3 :'( :'(Recommend

  • http://ntsresults2015.blogspot.com/ haya khan

    Pyare Afzal is nice family drama and i love Turkish dubbed drama like SheharzaadRecommend