Why is everyone fawning over Meray paas Tum Ho?
It’s like that roadside chaat you know is bad for your gut, but you enjoy it any way
One Saturday night I happened to walk straight into my sister and her bestie huddled over a laptop watching … Meray Paas Tum Ho! Oh lord, the shock almost made me walk right back out but I gathered my courage and called her. The tone was more accusatory than I would’ve liked, but then their guilt-ridden faces satisfied my inner judgemental Pakistani self.
“Ha, I had caught them watching a subpar Pakistani show. I had every reason to act all holier-than-thou and look down upon the miserable creatures who weren’t smart enough to differentiate between quality content and crappy content,” I thought to myself with a smug smile.
The bestie spoke up first, “It’s quite catchy you know”; all the while trying to not meet my eye, because my accusatory glare was going pretty strong and stable.
These two young girls are young enough to not crush over either Humayun Saeed or Adnan Siddiqui. Matlab, they can, but I’d rather they employ their energies elsewhere. So that reason for waching MPTH is out of the question. Hopefully. And they happened to have just come back from their 24-hour hospital call AND had to report back in like 12 hours. Despite being in a situation where sleep should have been their top priority, here they were wasting their precious time watching Meray Paas Tum Ho.
Because Meray Paas Tum Ho is THAT drama which has resonated with millions of Pakistanis. Its YouTube views spike up to millions in a matter of a few hours. It trends on Twitter – for real, for the past few episodes instead of relying on paid marketing gimmicks – every Saturday night. People remember the dialogues, and that’s always a win. We won’t make any claims about ruling the local ratings because they’re as dodgy as Dobby’s plans in Harry Potter.
But we can claim, that Meray Paas Tum Ho is THE show of the quarter.
I haven’t watched a single episode of MPTH – due to personal reasons please don’t label me a hater although I did behave like one initially when I went on a judging spree and judged the hell out of my two sisters who follow the show – and here I am writing an article on it, because I know exactly when Mehwish had a change of heart, when the makers used a pink nightie to bring about a major plot twist, when Shehwar made it clear that he won’t marry Mehwish, and when Danish decided he had to become Khalilur Rehman Qamar’s version of a man.
I know of all the major plot developments because people are talking about it. In short, MPTH has done something very, very right and we’re here to find its recipe for success.
Nadeem Baig – naam tou suna hoga?
I’m almost sure he introduces himself with that same pompous air of Rahul in Dil Tou Pagal Hai, because dude, he has every right to do that. If there’s one director who hasn’t given a single box office flop, it is Nadeem Baig. At least, I don’t know of a single drama or film of his which hasn’t done well.
He makes KRQ’s misogynistic ramblings look like a coveted piece of art.
MPTH has predictable story but unpredictable execution
Who would have thought one day the entire nation will unify to solve the mystery behind the pink nightie!
The storyline is as predictable as our cricket team (the current one) and kind of has a similar dampening effect. An ambitious girl leaves her husband and son for a richer guy and ends up regretting it because rich guy is a douche and poor husband is now rich. It’s as simple as that.
But the screenplay, the direction, and the performances – by each and every actor even the sideys – keep you hooked. You root for Danish and Rumi, and hurl abuses at Shehwar and Mehwish – that’s how invested you are.
MPTH is made with a good intent (except for the writer’s) and passionate hearts
Humayun Saeed, in one of his interviews, said, “I discussed this script with a lot of directors and actors and they didn’t seem to share my excitement for the story. I used to wonder how they cannot realise the potential of this amazing story.”
Since he sounded so passionate, I did not have the heart to creep up to him (metaphorically) and whisper, “But the story is crap sir”.
Now, looking at the success of the show, I can say that Saeed and his director, Nadeem Baig, had envisioned the script differently, and it shows.
When Humsafar became a success, the cast and crew repeatedly said one thing: “Humsafar probably did so well because our intentions were pure. There were no squabbles on set. No politics. No insecure vibes bouncing off. We loved shooting our parts and that’s probably why the audience enjoyed watching it.”
With MPTH, we can see that the actors and the crew is on the same page. They’re not trying to hog each other’s space. They’re patting each other’s backs and truly revelling in the glorious reactions they’re getting to even controversial dialogues like “Do takkay ki aurat!”
MPTH has amazing cinematic experience
MPTH makes you feel like you’re watching a mega production, which it very much is. The much talked about scene where they showed the contrast between Mehwish & Shehwar and Danish & Rumi’s life was indeed enthralling. Not a single word was uttered. The body language and the way it was presented on screen said it all.
Makers have not revealed everything since the beginning
That’s not a bad thing. The viewers still don’t know who Shehwar’s wife is. That mystery remains. Hira Mani made a sudden appearance too as Rumi’s teacher and Matin saab’s daughter. Danish’s friend, who happens to be a shark at the stock exchange, has also showed up to support Danish.
MPTH isn’t a thriller and doesn’t have that level of intrigue, but makers have ensured that the predictable storyline has enough subplots to keep the audience engaged.
The million interviews and fake scares
The production house and channel are (over)killing it with their marketing campaigns since the very beginning. Personally, I don’t agree in pushing anything down the viewers’ throats. If they vibe with a show, they’ll do the promotion for you.
But in the case of MPTH, push marketing has seemingly worked. When Humayun Saeed put up the alleged planned video where he pretended to be surprised that a certain episode won’t be uploaded on YouTube, a lot of avid watchers must’ve made sure they’re glued to their television sets come eight pm.
Then there is the regular influx of interviews of the leading cast and their social media posts, which ensure that the audience tunes in for the next episode.
I see tweets like, “In this world of Meray Paas Tum Ho be like Alif”. Hello, why don’t you, in this world of know-it-alls and judge-it-alls, be a little more accepting? If people love MPTH more than Alif then let them. And this is coming from a person who watches Alif regularly. There is a reason why everyone has a different set of preference and taste. That’s how the world works. Imagine, everyone falling in love with your husband/wife and insisting that this is the woman/man they wish to marry!
Thank God for people having their own set of likes and dislikes.
Enjoy your entertainment and if you’re feeling extremely passionate about it, then just pray that it clicks with others too. That’s the most you can do. Dramas like Humsafar, Yakeen Ka Safar, Diyar-e-Dil, and Daam became a sensation organically, not because fans went from door to door to judge other people’s choice of shows and yell: “Poor you with no sense of good content, go watch XYZ, to know how it’s done *beep*”
MPTH has a lot of internalised misogyny and dialogues like “Talaaq denay waali aurat buri hoti hai” are a proof, but then what do we expect from a writer like KRQ. He made his views quite clear in his recent interview. The man thinks raping is the parameter to gauge one’s “manliness”. Moving on, let’s just hope the audience takes the entertainment on its face value and doesn’t get inspired by the vile misogynistic undertone sprinkled across the script of Meray Paas Tum Ho.