It keeps your brows furrowed, is relatable, and not so regular!
If nothing else, watch it for Sajal Ali, Ahad Raza Mir, and Adnan Siddique’s performances. When Ali enacted the panic attack, I became breathless with her. When she had her moment of realisation and said, “Mein normal nahi hoon Bua jee”, I felt helpless with her. When she walked off saying, “Hellooo mein engineer hoon mujhse photocopier walay kaam karayengay. No no no”, I smiled and thought, “You go girl!”
When we first saw the teasers for Yeh Dil Mera, we unanimously agreed that they could’ve been more tasteful.
The teasers did two things:
1. Alienate an entire section of the audience which could’ve truly resonated with the conflicts presented in the show.
2. Created enough intrigue among regular Pakistani drama viewers – those who don’t hate Farhat Ishtiaq or MD Productions – to make them anticipate the show.
Audience B is loving the show, despite its shortcomings such as choppy editing and lengthy scenes (which honestly I don’t have an issue with), and it’s about time Audience A gave it a chance too.
Now, audience A is extremely uptight, and doesn’t even happen to be our primary target audience, because these are young adults who are addicted to streaming platforms; They don’t have time to watch trashy typical Pakistani dramas.
But Yeh Dil Mera is neither trashy nor typical. At least up till now.
The writer, Farhat Ishtiaq, has tried her hand at something fresh and we should encourage that. Here is a male lead whose moral compass is clearly skewed. He’s not Asher, who was glorified, despite being a douche. Or the perfect Wali, who manhandled his wife, because he had, had enough of her annoying behaviour. Or Asfandyar…well, he was actually perfect, except when he went all “bolo pencil, meri shaadi cancel” in the last episode.
He is Amaan, who will learn his lesson for messing with a young girl’s brain.
Here’s to hoping that Amaan’s backstory will be SO heart wrenching that we’ll understand his need for revenge; like how the entire nation applauded Danish beating the hell out of Shahwaar in Meray Paas Tum Ho because the audience had experienced the mental torture Danish had gone through at the hands of the latter. MPTH had the advantage of building that platform where Danish’s dialogues like “Do takkay ki aurat” sound like music to ears to its loyal viewers.
Unfortunately, thrillers do not have the liberty to be presented in a chronological order. As of now, Amaan’s actions definitely make us squirm in our seats, but toward the end, we might be rooting for him. But first, he needs to stop manipulating Aina.
Yeh Dil Mera is an urban story with supposedly urban issues – will the masses go crazy for it?
While we all know that mental illness is not restricted to the elite who can afford therapies, unfortunately, that’s how it is perceived. That perception needs to change. And maybe shows like Yeh Di Mera can do that.
As of now, the female lead is anything but relatable for our “so called masses”.
She isn’t worried about getting married or having enough dowry; she has a fudging fountain in her living room!
She’s worried about her friends and her love interest (Amaan) finding out about her psychological issues. She wears clothes that are usually dedicated for the stereotypical “modern bitchy antagonist” – think Sara from Humsafar.
If the audience doesn’t accept Aina as wholeheartedly as they accepted Zubia or Khirad or Kashaf, then who is to blame? – The very writer and production house which has made Yeh Dil Mera. And all the other production houses that are busy reflecting society – in their own twisted “modest” way – but not shaping it.
MD Productions and Farhat Ishtiaq gave us Khirad and Zubiya – the good girls who were spiritual and wore dupattas at all times. They even gave us Faara – the good girl who was berated for wearing western clothes by the saint-like hero, Wali, again strengthening the fact that your virtue lies in a piece of cloth – the dupatta. These were strong females, don’t get me wrong, but they did strengthen the age old stereotype of the so-called good eastern woman.
So now, if your SEC B and C goes “haw haye” on Aina, or simply fails to relate with her, then don’t get upset. Maybe the makers need to work harder to break the stereotypes that they themselves have built and glorified.
Yeh Dil Mera is the first step in that direction, and that’s the most important reason why you should give it a try.
Another reason is their semi-organic approach toward marketing.
Initially, the makers did try to cash on the popular pair of Mir and Ali, and them coming together in another Ishtiaq play after Yakeen Ka Safar. The channel even started labeling it “Another Blockbuster”. Excuse me? But slowly sanity prevailed and now all they do is share promos for upcoming episodes, which is great.
I am a true believer in the power of the content. If it is good, the audience will do the marketing for you. (That’s what’s happening here). There is no need to dedicate a WhatsApp group – with all the cast – and force them to put up posts and stories and tweets.
I saw some of the fans getting upset that Adnan Siddique wasn’t promoting YDM as much as he’s promoting MPTH. In fact, he hasn’t said a word about YDM after the teasers. Again, let him do what his heart desires. Don’t let bad vibes come in between, because that will surely make your show go downhill. Aaangan is a prime example of a how a fairly good show can fail to create magic, because people involved in the project (probably) weren’t exactly sincere with each other.
Also, makers can learn from MPTH’s cast and crew, they face a lot of criticism due to the internalised misogyny reeking from the dialogues; but they aren’t attacking, or feeling insecure, from other popular shows, and that’s probably why they’re winning views and maybe even hearts.
Coming back to Yeh Dil Mera….
I say “give it a try” and not “you must watch” because in 2019 we don’t force our opinion on others. We love to share what’s keeping us glued to the screen, but if doesn’t glue you, you do you!
Other than the stellar performance from Sajal as Aina, there is Mir as Amaan, who turns his fond smile into a smirk so fast, it scares me – a person sitting on the other side of the screen. His pain during the piano sequences almost, almost makes you wonder if he’s only a vulnerable boy attacking the world to protect himself.
Siddique, oscillating swiftly between the ruthless businessmen and a doting father again boggles your mind. Even Mohammed Ahmed in his short stint as the psychologist did a great job of breaking the taboo surrounding mental illness.
A Psycho Thriller In The Making?
What is the real face of these characters, who keep us on the edge of our seats every Wednesday? We’ll discover that slowly as they unravel it layer by layer in each passing episode. My only wish is that the plot isn’t exactly how it seems. I’m willing to be shocked out of my proverbial virtuous dupatta, and I want you – yes you, who rolls their eyes at the very mention of YDM or Pakistani dramas – to join me on this journey. If it ever perpetuates any wrongful idea, we’ll ditch it together.
After doing her Masters in Advertising and Media Management, Rozina Bhutto found herself on the web desk of The Express Tribune. SO NOT what she had planned. According to the seniors, she was lucky to be part of the “exciting times” of the 2013 general elections, but she soon found out, that reporting about Imran Khan’s probable death wasn’t her idea of “exciting”. To make her life less exciting, but equally interesting, she joined an entertainment website as a Subeditor and left it as the Features Editor.
Her next stop was Women’s Own, where she served as the Managing Editor, before finally landing at Limu Studio. It was here that she found her true calling as she dabbled in various arenas of digital content creation. But the writer in her felt ignored, so here she is! Oh, and she also has a diploma in Interior Design and loves anything and everything to do with fashion.