Sinf-e-Aahan highlights two important societal prejudices faced by girls. Both perspectives were inserted craftily by writer Umera Ahmed as part of a broader narrative, yet both hit home to make viewers think about how we condition our daughters, and ourselves as a society.
Kubra Khan played Mahjabeen Mustan, a young girl who is not only brought up in a home where the parents aren’t exactly your ideal love couple, but also, the mother – a domineering woman – holds fast to the premise that her daughter (Mahjabeen) is incapable of achieving challenging goals in life.
“You can’t do it” She tells Mahjabeen point blank, about joining the army. The denial is so steadfast, so steeped in prejudice, so forthcoming, that one couldn’t help but feel for Mahjabeen.
“Yes I can” replies Mahjabeen, in complete and utter defiance.
Let’s sit back and contemplate the scenario – these words might sound dramatic or off-putting onscreen, but many young girls must have heard them in their daily lives – we have, in fact, become conditioned to hearing them, so much so, that many do not even bat an eyelid when they hear them.
The drama hits a crucial note that resonates with many young girls, bang in the first episode
To complete the message, we have Shaista played by Yumna Zaidi. Unbeknownst to Mahjabeen, Shaista is battling an equal resistance – this time, in a more traditional setting and not with a mother in law, but a grandmother. Cleverly done there Umera Ahmed, as you seek to hold up the mirror to us – prejudice comes in all forms – modern and orthodox homes, spanning across two generations or more, and knows no caste, religion, or ethnic background – it is just that, prejudice – about what a woman can, or cannot set out to achieve and what she is capable of becoming.
Interesting to note that while Shaista and Mahjabeen are being held back by the people who are closest to them, their family – Shaista’s “kam aqal” brother has an equal pressure on his shoulders – to succeed because he is a man – and Shaista must help him become one?
Sinf e Aahan promises to give us food for thought right from the beginning and it’s not coming slow!