Parizaad tackles gender discrimination & sex change all in one episode and we’re loving it! Killing 2 birds with one stone – that’s what Parizaad’s latest episode did, and very craftily!
Is Parizaad pushing the envelope? Yes! Are we liking it? Yes! You see, many dramas have touched upon the issue of transgenders, lost identities, misogyny and harassment. But Parizaad has not just touched upon it, it is staring us in the face with the realities we choose to live side by side with, yet shun aside every day.
Let’s address them one by one, just like Parizaad did.
Women In Male Dominated Careers
We aren’t just talking about women getting an opportunity to work here. We’re talking about women who are attempting to succeed through sheer merit, hard work and honesty in spheres that are HUGELY male dominated.
Ever heard of the lady boss?
What image conjures itself up before you? Be honest. From the Prada wearing Miranda Priestly (played on point by Meryl Streep) – unforgiving, stern and not kind to a fault, to non examples in our local industry (because I can’t for the life of me, recall a strong female lead heading an empire), I can, many male leads though. Coming back to the lady boss image, well, bossy female threatening to take over the world? That about sounds right, doesn’t it? And do you know who put it up there?
Have you ever wondered why or where these images appear magically? Are we born with them? Is our mind generating algorithms based on what we see, hear and expect? Uh huh, I trust the latter might have something to do with it.
And this brings us to Inspector Badar Munir’s role in Parizaad. Treated like an incompetent, reprimanded for overstepping her authority, gazed at with considerable non seriousness by males (Feroz) who prefer to deal with females in authoritative positions and finally, relegated as a visually pleasing alternative by Behroze, one to be toyed with, as he says:
Mujhe Bada Accha Laga Ke Wo Typical Karakht Chehron Keh Bajae,
Mujhe Bade Acche Chehray Dekhne Ko Mile
A Very Good Cosmetic Change
The conversation sums up the entirety of the debate on women in male dominated professions
They are an aesthetically pleasing alternative, not to be taken seriously, and of course, their credibility as determined professionals who aim to succeed in their career will either be shot down due to:
a) men who will not take them seriously, but more as an object of amusement or
b) men who will not let them succeed because, they are perceived as the lesser sex.
Both attitudes were portrayed aptly in the narrative and both attitudes are testament to the fact that women will eventually take on the lady boss role, inevitably, because, anything less will undermine their credibility in all professional circles. Inspector Badar Munir will follow the same path, she cannot afford to slip, even for a second. It will not just be her neck on the line, but also as a woman, who of course, couldn’t be expected to do any better.
The following dialogues from Badar Munir echo a harsh truth – that we judge, based on gender. Not just in the police force, but in medical, IT, governance, politics, engineering, and many professions that are male dominated up until now, (and there are countless examples I won’t go into at present), and where women, brave women dare to enter, need a shift in perspective.
Afsar sirf afsar hota hai, mard ya aurat nahin…
Learn this line, in fact, add it in the national curriculum and commit it to memory. That is what Parizaad is hoping you will move towards one day, one baby step at a time.
Men & Women Caught In A Gender Conflict
Jinsi Tabdeeli toh ek aam science hai aajkal
But then Guru retorts to this half baked solution
Jo tabdeeli ke amal se guzarte hain,
woh bhi kahaan mukammal ho paate hain
A man made solution still keeps the soul in discomfort, utters Guru. The solution, he says, lies with God. If He wants, all can be resolved.
That’s a tough one Mr. Hashim Nadeem. Now that you’ve started a conversation, you won’t let it rest there we hope. What is the solution to this conflict between the body and soul that so many people spend their entire lives trying to resolve it – and unsuccessfully? We turn a blind eye to them, we shun them, subsequently pity them, try to accept them, but do we, can we, really celebrate them? How can we help ease their pain?
Can individuals like Bubbly and Guru live in a society freely, and not be relegated to a safe house? Can they be ‘themselves’?
Is it really God or us who need to find a solution? Why do these people, why does anyone need shelter from us?
Every successive episode is giving us food for thought. Parizaad is not disappointing at any level. Performances have been riveting – from Ahmed Ali Akbar as Parizaad to Nadia Afgan as Inspector Badar Munir, Nauman Ijaz as Behroze and now, Asad Mumtaz Malik as Guru.
Last but not the least, stellar direction from Shahzad Kashmiri. Keep it going folks, we’re watching, and searching for answers too!