Stories about Humsafar

Hypocrisy thy name is Humsafar, Umme Kulsoom, Durr-e-shahwar

With the surging number of private television channels and the freedom given to the media, the Pakistani entertainment industry has progressed tremendously in providing entertainment to its viewers through dramas, talk shows and even trendy morning shows. However, after watching numerous Pakistani dramas for a final paper for my Gender Studies course at Mount Holyoke College, I was sickened by the cynical stereotypes about religion and gender roles being enforced in sugar-coated ways through most of these dramas to a society that’s still  seeped in conservative dogmas. Most of these dramas objectify women as weak and helpless. Not only are women continuously illustrated ...

Read Full Post

10 ways to put on a good TV show

Switching on the television these days is anything but uplifting. For one, you get transported back to an endless cycle of births, shaadis (marriages) and deaths.  Is this all that our audience is interested in? Are we really that laid-back about the content being aired? Do we actually take our masses to be that silly? These are the same masses that watched “Ankahi” and “Tanhaiyan” and enabled these shows to get the critical acclaim they deserved. Why are we then so afraid to experiment with new themes and plots? Times are changing and people are evolving rapidly. But what about our dramas? Most are still stuck ...

Read Full Post

Durr-e-Shahwar: Television blames working women

Last Saturday night, I sat down with my mother-in-law to watch a new television drama serial named “Durr-e-Shahwar” which has come after  the much talked and blogged about “Humsafar”. She was quite eager to watch this new serial, and I decided to keep her company. However, a few minutes into the show I started feeling anger at the writer and producer. Here’s why: “Durr-e-Shahwar” portrayed a working woman who was so focused on her career that she ignored everybody around her – her family, her husband and her in-laws. While the show is well-produced and ...

Read Full Post

Mata e Jaan Hai Tu: A new age drama

Humsafar fever is over. The drama may be remembered but the excitement has ended before you can sigh “Khirad”. But there is a new drama on the block! Hum TV’s Mata e Jaan Hai Tu is  based on a novel by Farhat Ishtiaq who also wrote Humsafar. Honestly, when the promos for the show were first aired I couldn’t even understand the name Mata e Jan properly! So, what got me hooked? The cast. Over time, directors have understood the importance of faces that brand the drama. This drama stars: Sarwat Gillani, Adeel Husain, Sanam Saeed, Junaid Khan and Sajida Syed. In the show Sarwat Gilani plays Hainya, a girl ...

Read Full Post

Seven reasons girls can’t answer the phone

If you are in a relationship, you’ll probably agree that phones and women just don’t go together. Sure, they have their iPhones, Blackberrys or Nokia E7s. They are even connected to Facebook and Twitter on the go, but when it comes to picking up the phone when you need to talk to them, they are incognito, untraceable and off the radar. Mostly, they won’t call back or even text to let you know that they are okay – unless, of course, they have to talk to you. Having been married for over five years, I have probably heard every reason possible for not ...

Read Full Post

Suffering through Humsafar

It’s Saturday night and this room full of 18 year olds could be doing anything, anything at all. But instead we are squashed up on the sofas savouring our Magnums, because we are hungry and have no social lives. We discover, however, that neither does anyone else because the boy in the corner checking Facebook suddenly cries out: “The Humsafar finale just ended!?” Each head whips around to look at the grandfather clock on the wall. It is 9:05pm. One girl lobs her half-eaten Magnum at him. “You idiot! Why didn’t you tell me when it was 8 ’o clock! How could I ...

Read Full Post

Confessions of a Humsafar fan girl

The most popular show in the history of Pakistan television (with a TRP rating of 7.6) came to an end on Saturday, and the whole country went crazy. It was only when the electricity at my house suddenly went at 8:05 that I realised that I was a a Humsafar fan girl.  I called KESC begging them to restore the electricity. Why? Because I had to watch the last episode of Humsafar. My pleas however fell on deaf ears and I had to convince my family to go to our uncle’s house so that we could find out if Ashar ...

Read Full Post

The terrible appeal of Humsafar

The appeal of Humsafar is obvious. You could cut through the weird chemistry between Khirad and Ashar, the hero authors of romance novels would be envious of. Eye candy, nakedly sexual, he stares arduously at his love interest with desire that would give the Grammarian and the Aisha Bawany schoolgirl goose bumps. He is clean cut. He smiles infrequently and when he does, it seems as if it were a gift. Physical contact is at a minimum. Sex is implied, and there is a chastity reminiscent of Zia-era dramas that drives people insane with tension. Khirad on the other hand, played by the cherubic ...

Read Full Post

Humsafar: A comic review

If you’re a human being  and you know a Pakistani woman, then you’ve probably heard about Humsafar.   I could write pages on how this show is planting the seed of fasaad (trouble) in perfectly normal and happy households and how it’s basically just a guide on how to break up pretty normal marriages. The fact that most women like it says a lot. I’ll end the casual sexism now and just give you the review. Enjoy it! A couple of things to remember: this review is supposed to be funny. If you do not ...

Read Full Post

Not another Humsafar episode

You know you need a parody on Humsafar when everyone and their mother’s great grandkhala is talking about it. So here it is! The video begins with a tongue-in-cheek comparison of sorts between the Twilight saga and Humsafar. It then moves on to a sketch piece featuring Karachi-based model and actress Rubya Chaudhry, and local theatre actors Mustafa Ali Khan, Sundus Jamil (also a model and local television actress) Haris Shahbaz and myself. The sketch is a comedic ‘recap’ of the initial 11-12 episodes of the drama serial, highlighting the key moments in a not-so-dramatic interpretation. The video also features a ...

Read Full Post