Are you awaiting tonight’s episode with an eye roll or two aimed at Dr. Haris, or pent up anger at Hassan’s resurfacing misogyny?
Well, this is how it went for me! Sabaat’s last episode had my inner feminist quivering with rage and profound annoyance.
As a result, I’ve had to resort to writing to express my unparalleled emotions.
To think of a Pakistani drama with an actual lovey dovey couple…nope, let’s just stop there.
It’s disappointing but true – our entertainment industry will NEVER showcase a healthy relationship premised on equality, respect and tolerance.
However, what you will see every time you even mistakenly switch a channel on television, is a swift thappar or perhaps a masale-daar but rather discriminatory dialogue. A tune’s going to be playing in the background, one quite similar to Pink Panther’s “To Do Do Do”. And there you have it: blatant harassment camouflaged in a mask of drama and mystery.
If I am being honest, Sabaat’s loosely assembled and (very)average script has had me sick to my back teeth. We were all disappointed with Dr Haris’s so called ‘grand’ entrance. The drama didn’t seem to progress much, and I was almost going to quit watching it … almost. But then I began to take pleasure in, and happily soak in the warmth of the Hassan-Enaya saga. The relationship that was blossoming into such a sweet bond that I (along with many other young girls), dared to dream that Pakistani dramas CAN portray a happy, healthy, progressive relationship between a man and a woman.
And then there came a point, my friends, where the course of Sabaat completely shifted – it just took this 180 degree steep turn. I suddenly sprung up from my recliner, my mouth wide open:
Our beloved bechara Hassan clutched Enaya’s shoulders with his bare, masculine hands.
And I lost it.
My only hope for this drama – gone so easily with the wind. Hassan and Enaya’s relationship was the saving grace, the story that rose from the ashes, the sublime example of how a man can redeem his downward spiraling reputation in this ‘Me Too’ era and halt it … yes, with no other than a Hassan as a shining example. THE Hassan who stood up to patriarchy, class divisions and unhealthy gender roles to build a home with Enaya. THE Hassan whom we had all hoped we might one day find, in the man of our dreams; the one who brewed tea for his wife, respected his susraal waale and shunned his sister and father when they did otherwise!
I refuse to understand how it’s a macho trait to physically abuse a woman. But when a man admits to his mistakes and is patient, society deems him weak.
Furthermore, as Hassan held Enaya with a tenacious grip, a question came to my mind that has had me quite puzzled since:
Is anxiety and peer-pressure really an excuse to let out your inner demons on a woman?
Sabar ka phal meetha hota hai. But in the case of Pakistani dramas, it’s the impatience and toxic masculinity that leads to a seemingly fancy ‘happy ending’.
Let me add something here – this was not the only scene in the last episode of Sabaat that completely frustrated the last living brain cell in my body.
Yasir Qureshi returns with his dominating and imposing behavior. He appears to have a new target set in every episode: Whose day should I completely ruin this time?
However, in Episode 22, Yasir goes an extra mile by destroying much more than just his co-worker’s day. As apparent in previous episodes, Yasir and Sana’s relationship develops as quite a friendly and scandalous one rather than something professional. Moreover, Sana is being blackmailed and threatened by her brother after he is made aware of her actions. Yasir, on the other hand, is better than ever, as he thrives at his office. This entire concept irritated me: Why is it just the woman’s name and reputation that is completely soiled?
In one sequence, you’ll have a melancholic girl tearing up over her past and in another, you have a man chuckling like MoJo JoJo.
What made this scene worse, though, was Yasir’s response to Sana’s plea to marry her:
Mard hamesha bacha rehta hai. Tum jesi aurtain bari umer kai bachon ka khelona hoti hain. Aur bacha aik khelone say kitni dair khel sakta hai?
At a time when we are working towards demolishing gender-based stereotypes, you have a dialogue like this. While I understand that Kashif Anwar‘s motive behind this dialogue was to showcase the harsh realities of being a woman in Pakistan, I feel like it was a bit too much to digest.
At this point, EVERY character in this drama is following the patriarchal system that our so called ‘buzurgh‘ (as per Yasir) have laid down for us. In my opinion, at least Enaya should have been displayed as the woman who rebels against these social constructs. After all, she is our Sabaat. (P.S Sabaat means to be firm, independent and stable.)
So all in all, I’m hoping that Yasir and Hassan both face the bad karma they deserve. Otherwise, any purpose behind Sabaat is lost. Let’s slam patriarchy with some strong women: Enaya where are you? Hoping future episodes bring back a strong Enaya to our TV screens – we’re rooting for you!
Disclaimer: This article reflects the thoughts and opinions of the writer and not necessarily those of FUCHSIA Magazine.
Watch Our Fun Interview Will Ameer Gilani AKA Hassan Here: