Friday, December 24, 2010
Normally, I'm not the kind of person who watches Pakistani dramas or - *shudders* - watches Indian dramas. They are too much of a "drama" to watch and filled with way too many cliches, sappy scenes, exaggerated emotional outbursts and unnecessary melodrama to bear. If you've ever seen a glimpse of an Indian drama and "lived to tell the tale", you would know what I mean! I cannot stand watching five minutes of such dramas without gagging and pulling faces at the ickiness of them. Artificial emotions, plastic expressions with stories that hardly make sense... often always revolving around an eternal battle between the cruel mother-in-law ('saas', as they are called in the subcontinent) and the helpless, innocent daughter-in-law ( aka 'bahu' in the subcontinent) or vice versa. But it is mostly the saas terrorizing the bahu. Very rarely is it the opposite way around, for how can the bahu ever raise her voice in front of the saas despite all the evil things she does to her!
You have to watch such weird dramas to really understand what they are like. (Wait, what am I saying?! I must be crazy to suggest these dramas to anyone!) However, I feel I should not group Pakistani dramas in the same category as Indian dramas. Yes, it is not wrong to say that even some of our dramas are pathetic and horrible copies of Indian dramas, but I must give sure credit to some of the old Pakistani dramas (and a few of the new ones) which were just brilliant and definitely worth a watch - in fact, a dozen watches! . 'Tanhayeea', 'Angan taray' and 'Alpha, Bravo, Charlie' were some of the most popular and loved dramas of the past , and rightly so. They always left you with a feeling of fulfillment, a close affiliation to the characters involved - which were very believable and close to life - and filled you with that inner sunshine-y goodness that current dramas completely fail to convey.
However - this year- I was really happy to see the old Pakistani drama touch/feeling return in a couple of dramas. 'Dastaan', 'Meri zaat zarra benishan' and 'Daam' were some of the outstanding dramas of this year that could earn a rank as high as some of the old dramas. I followed them every week, anxiously waiting for the next episode to be aired as soon as one ended. The wait and the nail-biting tension was agonizing and "argging!" (a new word I just invented to convey my agitation) especially since one episode usually always ended on suspense-filled cliff hanger. In fact, the entire city seemed to have become addicted to these dramas and it became a local phenomenon. I remember how at the end of one of my midterm exam students were more anxious to learn about how Daam's last episode would end that day, instead of worrying over how their exam went! My entire extended family were also deeply into the drama. It was the most talked about drama after it ended and for a few days people all around could be heard discussing the ending and whether it was right or not. It was realistic but unpredictable. Dastaan had a similar ending but was equally great as Daam.
I particularly liked Dastaan because it aptly highlighted the suffering of the Muslims of the sub-continent at the time of partition- something movies and other dramas have grossly misrepresented and not done justice to. Dastaan was a tragic and depressing drama but one that taught a lot of important lessons. Worth a watch but a box of tissues must always be at your side!
All in all it was a good year for dramas. But, now, I have decided to fore go drama watching all together... just too much anxiety and suspense for me to handle - except, maybe, when an exceptionally great drama hits the screen, I might think of giving it a watch. That too, mainly, to have something to enjoy with my mother together on weekends. For now, however, I'm better off watching comedy programs, movies and real-life events rather than worrying about what will have happen to Shakuntali at the end of that drama! Will she live happily ever after or not? Who cares, is what I say!
We need to focus on current issues and the need of the hour. Dramas do teach us how to deal with difficult situations, to sympathize with the down-trodden and do make us sensitive to the suffering of the suppressed and the tortured but they cannot help us shape the world if we lose ourselves in them. Just something to think about. Cheerio!
Posted by Cookie at 7:12 PM