However, after watching the first few episodes of MPTH, the question arises: how long will we keep watching inappropriate content in the name of “It’s happening around us”?
The teasers of MPTH gave a clear indication of what the drama was going to be about and I am sure that the storyline, the anticipation, the masala, the concept of ‘forbidden’ content, must have attracted a lot of people to catch the first few episodes enthusiastically. I was just intrigued to find out what the story was really about and what will make Ayeza leave Humayun for Adnan Siddiqui?
However, I was definitely not ready for what was about to come. The 4th, 5th and 6th episodes of Meray Paas Tum Ho completely blew me away, and I don’t mean in a good way!
Humayun and Ayeza are married with a son and struggling with financial issues. Humayun works in a government office and refuses to take a bribe. Adnan Siddiqui meets them at a wedding and falls for Ayeza.
Fast forward to the 4th episode. Humayun and Ayeza visit Adnan’s house, where Adnan makes it very clear to Ayeza how interested he is in her. Not only that, he even arranges for his servant to spill some soup on Humayun so he has to go and change his shirt, and Adnan gets to spend time alone with Ayeza. When they are about to leave, he gives presents to the entire family including a very expensive necklace to Ayeza. Taking this drama to another level of bizarre, Adnan asks Humayun to fasten it on Ayeza while he watches!
Humayun (like a robot), obeys him and we get to see this ridiculously R-rated content with Adnan relishing the entire scene. In the next episode, Adnan randomly appears on Ayeza’s doorstep while Humayun is away at work, just so that he can see Ayeza. Then there are phone conversations happening without Humayun’s knowledge, where Adnan offers Ayeza to work in his office.
Ayeza starts work at Adnan’s office. The very first day at work, she wears (surprise, surprise), the same expensive necklace gifted to her by Adnan.
I mean who, and really who in their right mind would do that?
An Unrealistic Office Romance In The Mix?!
Adnan: Tumharay aanay sey pehlay main yehee soch reha tha, kay tum kaam kiya kero gi … phir socha, sub kaam ker rehay hain na, unhain kernay do. Tum zara change lay ker aao…
Ayesha: Change kya ?
Adnan: Tum mut kero na kaam. bus meray saath saath reho.
Jab main chahoon, meray saamnay aa jao.
Mujhe yaad dilaao main nay khana nahin khaya, coffee nahin pee. Tum cigarette na peenay dena, doctor nay munaa kiya hai
Do We Need to Rate Pakistani Drama Content Too?
We are exposed to western shows and dramas where they screen all types of content but with a relevant viewership rating. There are different levels of nudity, intimacy and adult content shown to engage the audience or allow them guilty pleasures.
Then there are Indian soaps, where the scene is accompanied by sporadic breathing(?), slipping dupattas, a mistaken touch here, a look there, and the hero & heroine get intimate with each other just by virtue of close proximity … so there is physical contact at some point or the other, or implication thereof…
In MPTH, you have to give full credit to the team, to the director, writer and actors that, without showing visibly close contact with each other, without dropping any saris or dupattas, without showing any skin, not even once by mistake, they’ve managed to make the program x-rated. It stands out as completely ludicrous.
I am really amazed that by employing the apt dialogues and twists in the storyline, they have managed to create content which is both scandalous and totally inappropriate for family viewing.
The entire scene of the husband fastening a necklace onto his wife in front of another man who can’t seem to take his eyes off her was totally mind-boggling. It was not only shocking but totally uncalled for! What was the need to do that? To top it all, there is an old servant who is standing right behind Adnan, eyeing the entire scene intently, which made it even more cringe-worthy.
When Ayeza joins work, Adnan offers her a room with a desk and tells her she doesn’t need to work … Is she a prostitute or a random woman he has hired to amuse himself? And, to add to the ludicrousness of the situation, she seems to be completely OKAY with this arrangement. Then she proceeds to go one step further by stopping him from smoking a cigarette … saying that it’s not good for him…
And the list goes on…
And then there are a few scenes and dialogues that made us go WHAAAT!
Adnan: Mujhe dar lag reha hai
Ayeza: Dar kiyon lag reha hai…
Adnan: Aadat ho jaaye gi mujhe, iss terha cigarette sey muna kerna cigarette moon sey nikalna
Tumhain dekhnay ki (WHATTTT?)
Tumharay paas rehnay ki (Really…???)
Meray Paas Tum Ho Isn’t Family-Friendly
If we are going to produce dramas like Meray Paas Tum Ho then they must be suitably rated, so people know exactly what they’re in for before they sit down to view it.
Up until now, Pakistani dramas are considered largely as ‘Family Friendly’ content. Just because actors are not getting ‘physical’ and there is no outward show of nudity doesn’t mean they’re appropriate for all ages. The concept, the dialogues, the story, and the script need to be scrutinized on all counts.
The Need for Reputable Actors to Take On Questionable Content?
I am still wondering why senior, reputable and seasoned actors have chosen to promote such a questionable script.
It is understandable if a newcomer or a struggling actor/ producer decided to air this content or to add masala to gain overnight popularity. But when industry-leads choose to act in such dramas, then you question – where are we headed as an industry?
Why are we encouraging our viewers into watching inferior content just because they are held captive in their living rooms at prime time with an assortment of drama options, and one of them might be Meray Paas Tum Ho? Why would we want an unknowing youth to click on this drama or a parent, for that matter, not knowing that it’s not meant for family viewing?
Drama Mirroring Real Life?
I know many would argue that ‘This is what’s happening around us, in our society,’ AND, they will show a poor ending to Ayeza’s character, to show that justice is handed out eventually for our misdeeds in this world.
Accepted, that justice will prevail eventually, we must understand that those who are caught within the grasp of lust and greed are blind. They will (in the majority), carry on with their designs, believing that nothing can, and will go wrong.
Instead of merely mirroring society, we must choose wisely. Which part of society do we want to mirror?
The one that might give more courage for people to take the wrong path? If anyone watching this drama is going through a similar situation or thinking about it, he or she will be duly encouraged. This drama is a breeding ground for ideas to promote lust and greed. When poverty strikes a person, they are so desperate that they won’t think about what’s right or wrong.
We Deserve Better!
Why do we as viewers, have to suffer watching a storyline that is so crass and depraved? Our society is rampant with social issues that deserve the spotlight more than extramarital affairs! We also view drama as a form of entertainment and social reprieve from a hard day’s work. Do we not deserve something better?
Rabia stays involved in various social causes. Believing in creating equal opportunities for underprivileged kids, she helps The Citizens’ Foundation, Pakistan, to create awareness of the need for providing quality education to children. At the same time, she is also involved with Singapore-based VWO, 4PM’s Ramadan on Wheels project by supporting it through the FUCHSIA platform. At FUCHSIA, Rabia oversees the Marketing and Public Relations work. She is also part of the Editing Team in conceptualising articles and monthly issues.