Mann Mayal is teaching our society some horrendously wrong things!

Published: February 12, 2016
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It’s high time that our filmmakers re-evaluate themselves. They need to realise that they have a huge platform at their disposal. They play a pivotal role in shaping the society. PHOTO: MANN MAYAL- FACEBOOK OFFICIAL PAGE

Mannu: “Amma, amma. Please mujhay jaaney dain. Main unkay baghair marr jaun gee. Main nahin reh paaun gee. Please mujhay jaaney dain.” 

(Mother, mother. Please let me go. I will die without him. I won’t be able to live. Please, let me go)

Dad: “ Jaaney do issaay.”

(Let her go)

Mom: “Yeh kya keh rahay hain aap?”

(What are you saying?)

Dad: “Jaaney do issaay!”

(Let her go!)

Mannu runs towards her father who signals her to stop.

“‘Jao. Khari kyun ho? Raasta khula hai. Tumhain ab koi nahin rokay gaa.” (Go. Why are you standing? Your path is clear. Nobody will stop you.)

Mannu: “Aisa na karain, abba. Aap tou mujhe bohat chaahtay hain na. Abba, aap mujhe bohat chaahtay hain na?

(Don’t do this, father. You do love me a lot. Father, you do love me a lot, don’t you?)

Dad: “Haan lekin tum mujh se zyaada ussey chaahti ho. Main dekhna chaahta hoon k who tumhain qubool kertay hain ya nahin!

(Yes, but you love him more than you love me. I want to see if they will accept you or not.)

“Tipu, darwaza khol do aur isko janay do

(Tipu, open the door and let her go.)

And… CUT!

Our damsel in distress is faced with a major life crisis. She has to make a choice. The choice between her father’s honour and the oh-so-handsome tuition teacher she has fallen for. After a dramatic exchange of dialogues and hugs customary in our drama serials, Mannu (Maya Ali) our very naïve heroine makes the worst decision possible in that situation and runs after Salahuddin (Hamza Ali Abbasi), the prince charming of our story.

Photo: Mann Mayal – Official Facebook Page

Tipu obediently escorts his sister to our protagonist’s house. Another series of supposedly heart-breaking dialogues ensues, which involves a lot of knocking and not opening of doors and rejection. You get the gist?

This was the cliff-hanger of the latest episode of drama serial Mann Mayal and is all the rage among young, impressionable women nowadays.

This show was highly anticipated given the excellent cast and a very melodious sound track crooned by Quratulain Baloch.

Just three episodes in, I have to say that I, for one, am heavily disappointed. The director and producer chose to tell a story of a weak woman who falls in love with her neighbour/friend’s brother for no apparent reason. She then employs every cheap trick in the book to attract him and convinces him to ask her parents for her hand in marriage.

Photo: Mann Mayal – Official Facebook Page

Our hero is so gullible, that he agrees to do just that, no questions asked. To top it all off, he falls in love with her too, instantaneously, of which he showed no signs earlier.

Photo: Mann Mayal – Official Facebook Page

Love marriages are thought of as a taboo in Pakistan. It is a privilege of only the filthy rich to be in love and get married without any uproar caused by the immediate family, relatives or society. I always asked myself this question, why do our middle class parents shun love marriages? What is so wrong with two people knowing each other and happily deciding to spend their lives together?

Now I have the answer. Our elders are not to be blamed, but we are.

Photo: Mann Mayal – Official Facebook Page

We encourage the makers of television shows to make such vile drama serials by watching them. We tell our elders that this is what being in love is like. We tell them that we’ll happily run after guys who act aloof and pay us no attention because women always fall for jerks, don’t they?

We lure guys into our houses on the pretext of them teaching us, and then we trap them in the vicious cycle of love. We are showing our parents that there is no honourable, adult way to go about this. We’re making things difficult for ourselves.

Photo: Mann Mayal – Official Facebook Page

The rating of Mann Mayal has gone through the roof; young women are ardently watching the show and what’s sad is that they are even impressed and inspired by it! We are showing these girls that it’s okay to lust after our smoulderingly handsome teachers. It’s okay to hit upon any tough-looking guy who happens to cross our paths. Having said that, let me be very clear, love is an amazing thing to fall in, if done right. There is absolutely nothing wrong with falling in love, and that ending in marriage. But there is everything wrong with practically begging some guy to marry you, losing your self-esteem in the process, and not realising your self-worth and orchestrating a pitiable future for yourself.

Photo: Mann Mayal – Official Facebook Page

We need more shows like Daam, Zindagi Gulzar Hai and Durr-e-Shehwar, portraying women as self-sufficient and harbingers of change. Powerful women, women who could be role models to the younger generation. Our television shows were known to be very content-rich and were used as a medium to educate society. Everyone, not only in Pakistani but across the border too, watched our television shows because they were that good. Our television had content. It had strong story lines. The directors and storytellers never failed to get the message across and recognised their social responsibility while providing family entertainment.

Photo: Mann Mayal – Official Facebook Page

It breaks my heart to see the condition our entertainment media is in nowadays; it has become extremely commercialised and rating-oriented.

This is how it works: Get a good cast, record a really good title track, throw in a pinch of dramatics and voila! You have the perfect recipe for a hit show.

It’s high time our filmmakers re-evaluate themselves. They need to realise that they have a huge platform at their disposal. They play a pivotal role in shaping society. Whether we like it or not, our people do watch this content and take these shows very seriously. We need to bring back shows like Alpha Bravo Charlie, which showed strong women playing iconic roles which were commendable and praise worthy. We need more Shahnazs and less Mannus in our society. If we do not correct ourselves and speak up, then we are just damning ourselves to a very bleak future, a future where the woman has no role except child-bearing and being at the beck and call of her man 24/7.

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Kanza Riaz

Kanza Riaz

The author is an undergrad-student pursuing a degree in graphic design. She has an unhealthy obsession with the written word and all things design. She aims to make jobs out of all her hobbies. She tweets at @RiazKanza

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

  • Sami

    there is a thing known as remote control. Just change the channel if you do not like this drama. Nobody is forcing you to watch it. You have a choice. If drama is unproductive in your eyes then stop watching. You cannot force some private drama network to act according to your desires. It is not some state sponsored drama. Every story needs to be explored and there is nothing wrong in it.Recommend

  • MRN

    very much agree. men and women can still fall in love – but in a respectable way. what these dramas do is confirm the myths and stereotypes thoughts that exist in our society.Recommend

  • amzz

    i dnt think entirely the boy is her friends brother and the girl says that she loved him bfre he became her teacher. The girls father told her to leave because he knew she would come back and he wanted her to get a taste of the medicine her way so she doesnt blame her parents. This is too lame ur review u r jumping to conclusionsRecommend

  • Mavis

    This more or less seems like a desperate attempt to get a blog published. The drama is yet to unfold so hold your horses. Recommend

  • Anam Batool Shabbar

    well i guess its a good entertaining drama better than many in the list like Sangat, tumharay Siwa etc where rape scenes becoming so common, this drama is a love story and we are liking it, Girls are the most emotional creature and Maya (Manno) is portraying it brilliantly. Its by far better than Divorces, second marriages type of typical stories..Recommend

  • Mahin Zafar

    I was waiting for such article to be written.
    I’m in hundred percent agreement with its each word.
    Recommend

  • Huda zainab

    We say there is nothing wrong in falling in love with a guy but we are still not ready to accept the fact that girls can be expressive too. If the girl expresses her love to the guy we label her as a desperate worthless being. That’s not how things should be viewed. It’s alright if a girl falls in love madly and expresses it every way she can. She isn’t going mad after a guy who pays absolutely no attention to what she has to say doesn’t abuses her so the point of having no self respect doesn’t arise here. We don’t have to compare love stories. One should be given the dignity to choose their life partner whether it’s their teacher or boss or anyone. If two people are ready to own each other if they are truly committed then who are we to judge their character.
    Recommend

  • imrana khan

    100 % agree with you. This play has so unreal plot , unimpressive dialogues and weak characterization, that it has disappointed even the viewers like myself. I concider myself a very loyal or patriotic fan of Pakistani dramas. But thats all due to the content, which is the main feature of a drama for me.
    My generation grew up watching, Ashfaq Ahmed, Amjad Islam Amjad, Haseena Moin, Bano Qudsiya, Anwar Sajjad……. they were not just writers , they were philosophers, psychologists, teachers and scholars. Bano Apa could write a deep impactful story while making chapatis in her kitchen.
    This war of trp is going to ruin , not only Pakistani drama industry but our society in general will have to suffer. Kanza you are write , we as viewers , are also responsible for all this crap producers are churning out. The best we can do is to raise our voice by writing such articles. Recommend

  • Pakistani

    Great article, very much needed. Totally agree.Recommend

  • Soumyadip Bose

    I think the author is judging the show too early. Let the show evolve. Let the fruit ripe before we decide if its sweet or sour!Recommend

  • shabbir

    It is too early to make a judgment about a character in a drama which is yet to be fully developed just on the basis of watching three episodes unless, the author of this blog has the special privilege to have already seen the 24 episodes of this play. Drama or movie reflects what is going in the society; it is not the other way round.Recommend

  • Syeda Uzmaa

    I have to agree with the author because it is true. Our actors and the story line is so out of control everybody’s falling in love in the first random glance and everybody’s running after each other and on top of that , most of the dramas recently are encouraging men to have more than one wife for no reason and they are showing easy ways out for divorce!!! … honestly I thought a woman could never divorce a man and I thought I did not need to know but through all these dramas, now i know what cheap tactics could be done to ruin your life, sadly these dramas are one big reason after pakistani movies our youth is out of control. Recommend

  • Abid Hussain

    i agree with u that is not the way to kill her self esteem,respect and pride of her family but U can’t say that it doesn’t happen in our society. i found it a very positive way that her father knows that his friend(sallahudin’s father) will not open the door just because he cares about the respect of her parents. its a story and stories are be like this.Recommend

  • Palwasha

    I agree with some points here. Of course showing more stronger women and all. Yes, we can see a glimpse of something, but I think it is far too early to predict anything about the serial in 3 episodes. I won’t try to defend the writer or director of the serial at all. I think showing this naive girl (and her decisions) with a little mature guy is a way of showing the outcome of such decisions that Mannu takes. Plus her father was confident enough that the other party out there ( Salahuddin and family) won’t support her coming over like this and so he allowed her to go. He wanted to teach her the lesson. Leaving home and going like this won’t take her anywhere. The writer wanted to discourage Mannu, to let her down and all others out there screaming ‘Come on girl! Here you go!’ and ‘The best dad in the world’ stuff.
    Mannu is the naive one and so we are given a little mature Salahuddin. He, not supporting Mannu from the very start, not giving her any positive responses, until now, is something positive. So I think some credit should be given to the writer. Recommend

  • Salman Masih

    It is awesome Kanza. Keep it writing.Recommend

  • Palwasha Khanum

    I agree with some points here. Of course in ‘Daam’, ‘Zindagi gulzar hai’ and ‘Alpha Bravo Charlie’, we have seen more stronger women and all. I also agree that we can see a glimpse of something, but I think it is far too early to predict anything about the serial in 3 episodes. I won’t try to defend the writer or director of the serial at all. Still, I think showing this naive girl (and her decisions) with a little mature guy is a way of showing the outcome of such decisions that Mannu takes. Plus her father was confident enough that the other party out there ( Salahuddin and family) won’t support her coming over like this and so he allowed her to go. He wanted to teach her the lesson. Leaving home and going like this won’t take her anywhere. The writer wanted to discourage Mannu, to let her down and all others out there screaming ‘Come on girl! Here you go!’ and ‘The best dad in the world’ stuff.
    Mannu is the naive one and so we are given a little mature Salahuddin. He, not supporting Mannu from the very start, not giving her any positive responses, until now, is something positive. So I think some credit should be given to the writer. Giving a few more weeks to the serial might bring out some more positives hopefully.Recommend

  • ceerah

    Thank God it wasn’t just me. Someone spoke sense. Great job Kanza.Recommend

  • ovais

    in three episodes you decided its fate . what if the damsel turns in to a progressive women after not getting a chance to marry the love of her life . and becomes a Phd Scholar . its a drama treat it like oneRecommend

  • Guest

    “We tell them that we’ll happily run after guys who act aloof and pay us no attention because women always fall for jerks, don’t they?”

    Not always, but often enough to encourage jerk-ism.

    “We lure guys into our houses on the pretext of them teaching us, and then we trap them in the vicious cycle of love. We are showing our parents that there is no honourable, adult way to go about this.”

    I’d consider dating more honorable, where the intent is clear for all concerned, as compared to luring. For others honor may lead to killing, which is not part of the script yet.

    These dramas reflect our society. Such stories do take place. Hence the mass appeal of these dramas based on viewers being able to relate to them.Recommend

  • Schumaila Khan

    It looks like you didn’t find any interesting topic to write and publish an article about hence chose to go with Mann Mayal. You have depicted love in your article as something like a scientific invention.. People do not necessarily plan before falling in love with each other. Salahuddin being shareef, intelligent, hardworking and good looking does not qualify as someone with whom a girl could fall in love? There are instances of love at first sight among people in real life and you are talking about two neighbors who have grown up together. Just because a girl is more expressive you name it “using cheap tricks to attract a guy”. What is the decent way of attracting a guy in your view? What is so cheap about it? A boy can beg a girl to marry him but a girl can not request a boy to be expressive? Its people like the author who forbids girls from confidently admitting that they are in love, rather wants them to feel ashamed or make it a game of egosRecommend

  • Asad

    Come on there are a lot of other things on our rating oriented media! I would appreciate if you write a generic article and then see if it gets published ;). Ratings only ratings..Recommend

  • SM

    I don’t think Mannu is a weak woman. To me, she comes across as a strong and vocal woman who knows what she wants. She has the guts to speak her mind and I think we do need this kind of role models. You may not like the story but there is nothing wrong with the character. Recommend

  • Ahmed Ata Khan

    The author seems quite biased. Things are changing in our society. All sorts of stories are happening, and even if you don’t agree with them, they will still happen. I think the drama is excellent, keeping you glued to the TV. That is what entertainment is for. We learn from everything, especially from the Bollywood movies. There is no limit to things we don’t agree. So ……. grow up.Recommend

  • Fizzy

    Well written kanza! Bravo!👍👍Recommend

  • hina

    Who is admiring her childish attitude ! Why no one is commenting on Salahuddins strong character. I think this drama has a msg so far which is way beyond mannos childish attitude. What this post writer was expecting that manno should have been beaten up by her Abba or should have been locked in her room ? He let her go because he and audience knew that Salahuddin will never open the door. By the way aaj k zamaane me aurton se ziada mardon ko islaah ki zarurat hai, and Salahuddin is a great example for them. His character is so strong, cuz it isnt only woman who needs to have a strong character but man too. further Alpha Bravo Charlie is a classic, and nothing can be compared by it. Agar comparison karna hai to aajkal k dramon se hi kiya jae.Recommend

  • Zahra Syed Ezzi

    absolutely right, i agree with u, ths drama is just depicting glamour, sound n light effects . i think there is no strength in scrpit of first three episodes:(Recommend

  • Ahmed Ali

    i totally agree with the article, and want to add that hamza is one of the most hypocritical persons in the industry right now, so dont worry u wont expect much good from his showsRecommend

  • Sana

    I think the author has been a little too judgemental a little too early. I thought the play is going well. It is showing how a girl desperately in love is behaving. Hopefully it will show its consequences as well. At the same time, it has also shown the the two fathers and also the young man to be quite sensible. One should wait to see what the writer has planned for the characters rather than making premature conclusions.Recommend

  • शिव मालिक

    Such a bizarre and ridiculous article

    Recommend

  • Ali

    I dont think you understand how Pakistani society works. In Pakistan culture, domestic violence, oppression of women, and the hegemonic masculinity of men are too strong. Such dramas only reinforce these ridiculous values.Recommend

  • Ali

    Pakistani dramas should also get rid of the subordination of women, and domestic violence. We know in this culture that hegemonic masculinity and oppression of women are too strong. Such dramas only reinforce these ridiculous values.Recommend

  • Maham Ahmad

    Just dont watch the Drama then! SO overly exaggerated and being too judgemental. Foolish people these days…Recommend

  • Taliha Yasin

    Good article. However, you may be reading into this too much. Yes the main female character is playing a naive stubborn and immature girl, but that’s exactly what her role is meant to be! I strongly feel the vast majority of young girls in Pakistan who watch this will understand that. For the ones whom you’re afraid will follow her lead, well there’s no shortage of bollywood movies out there! That being said, yes more scenes showing build up of their relationship upto the romance would’ve been nice.Recommend

  • Warda chaudhry

    I am surprised by the title of the article…when there is so much wrong going in all over our society, how much horrendous a drama will contribute….Recommend

  • Sadia

    Mannu is a desparate girl-yes but their are consequences for her behaviour. This is the lesson we should take from this drama.
    If any character that shows weakness in this drama. I’d say it’s Mannu’s mother “Haye mere bachee”—wake up forget your own jewani and open your eyes your girl is now jewan.Recommend

  • Fauzia

    Agreed with the author. I was helplessly lost watching this drama. Mannu’s child woman behavior was being portrayed too sympathetic. Whatever the ‘moral justification’ writer has to offer, seducing a teacher is completely unacceptable. Recommend

  • SHAILA

    I agree……….the television dramas of our past were much better.These stories were written in the past too but with a graceful touch.If you remember Dhoop kinarey,Ankahee…….more or less same love stories but they did not lower the status of the women of our Pakistani society.Our society is based on middle class where parents still holds the major decisions of our life.Such Dramas may take the youth to the extremes in love too which is definitely not required and its destroying the moral character of the youth.Recommend

  • AshrafChopan

    To author.. Madam, I agree with some of this but not entirely. I agree Mann Mayal is typical, stereotype inspiring, brooding, melancholic and too much TRP oriented and the story just keeps on getting messy but so does our society. Dramas don’t change society, not much really but what is happening is society inspires art. Something is fundamentally wrong or not well understood with our society.Recommend

  • Adeel

    There is a big lesson in this show, not to allow your daughters to have tuition from young tutors, or you will face these consequences.. Islam doesn’t allow non meheram to be alone with a women, and many parents are heedless of this, and practice this in their house leave the girl with a guy alone in one room with a young lad…and who is the 3rd one their yes..Devil..what do you expect, what are parents doing to protect their daughters ? a big lesson for Guys not to fall in for such girls who just throw themselves to a good decent guy.Recommend

  • sarfraz subhani

    Criticisms are needed to be appericiated but needs them a reality check who criticise its not a just typical story its quite good representer of the typical people in moderen society .at the end I am totally agree with the auther.
    Recommend

  • HS

    This drama is a tale of 2 jahil women (mannu and Jeena). Both psychoRecommend

  • Jiya

    just watched the first two episodes and never tuned into it again…. If it was not for Udaari I was about to give up on Pakistani shows. Man maya is like so freaking over-ratedRecommend