Raqeeb Se: Is a Woman Telling Men (and women) How To Write Our Heroines – With Honesty?
As I took in 2 back-to-back episodes of Raqeeb Se, my heart smiled in silent applause at Bee Gul’s pen that guided her to write a story about women, for women, with women, about women, (and one or two men) in which women were not backbiting, backstabbing, exhibiting jealousy, envy, or any negative emotion that we see played out all too many times onscreen.
Woman, could this be real?
I pinched myself.
The positive & endearing relationship between Hajra & Sakina – could this have been possible without their pure intentions? Each wanting to comfort the other one & trusting Maqsood Sahib with all their hearts!
Why? I asked myself.
Why am I not getting the sickeningly sweet vibes here? Why do I feel that Hajra is not overdoing it, that Sakina can’t be that pristine and conscience-ridden – she is a woman who has her man on a platter, after all?
Why can’t Insha not bare her pearly whites and growl back at Ameera for telling on her, for interfering in their lives, for grabbing her father’s attention & affection so readily (the attention Insha craved forever)? Now she had her chance, but no, Insha, (the woman) turns around to save the poor girl’s life in the process.
You know what, I turn around to look at myself in the mirror now.
I am so used to the toxicity of the female heroine in a Pakistani drama that I cannot handle so many women supporting each other without a trace of negativity!
And, the funny thing is, each one of them speaks the unfiltered truth. Each one is not ‘pretending’ to be good, but rather, on a course to do her best!
From Hajra who loves her husband dearly, (and for whom we cried as Maqsood Sahib finally hugged her), we still understood her desire to not cheat Sakina out of love. Because, Sakina (the woman) was also a pure soul, just like Hajra, who surrendered her youth in defense of the man she loved.
From Insha who feels cheated out of a father’s love & devotion – we understood her rage at Ameera, yet sympathized with them both – With Ameera, for never having a father figure who loved her enough (and hence, turning to Maqsood Sahib in unguided innocence) and Insha, for simply craving a closer connection with her father.
These women also choose to do something most Pakistani heroines might not do
They choose to examine and better themselves as humans.
When Sakina broke down, lamenting her undervalued existence (blaming herself for not deeming her self worth), we saw a part of ourselves in her. When Hajra hugged Sakina and felt her pain, we saw how a woman can be there for another, keeping her own wants and feelings aside – haven’t we all met such women at some point in our lives .. and been them too at others?
And this is why I don’t get that unreal sweetness from any of Raqeeb Se‘s characters. They are as human as you and I. They just choose to be more human than villain, and that, dear folks, in all honesty, is a side that might not go down too well with channel ratings? Another topic to discuss for another day…
Perhaps a woman writing a woman’s character is just about what this world needs right now?
But then, surprise, surprise …
This woman has written a man’s character too – Maqsood Sahib, you were penned by a woman and you are gold.
What say you folks? Is it the age of the woman writer? So far, Raqeeb Se is giving me reasons to believe! If you think otherwise, Men – then whip out your writing tools and prove me wrong!