Qissa Meherbano Ka is quietly pulling in viewers. If you’re not one of them, here’s why you should be!
The story is articulating not just consent & marital rape in a narrative that is driving conversations, it is also delivering finely balanced grey characters with acute sensitivity. Here is why we recommend you watch Qissa Meherbano Ka if you haven’t already.
1. Marital rape divides conversations
The story sparked a debate on the rights of a husband. Can a woman be subjected to force & coercion by her husband? Does she have to submit to his will without any will of her own?
2. Mehran is not your typical Pakistani hero
In Zaviyar aka Mehran, we see a man who is unconventionally respectful of a woman’s wishes. He has, of course, learnt this one over time. We saw Mehran earlier, pushing Mehru to tie the knot with him against her will, but later, he evolved.
Mehran now wonders if he will be fair to his fiancée Maria by marrying her despite being in love with Mehru. He attempts to pacify his mom & tries hard to be fair to his fiancée even though his heart is elsewhere. Normally, heroes like Mehran are bitter, self-pitying & revengeful… but our Mehran of Qissa Meherbano Ka is doing nothing of the sort. He genuinely wants to make it work. The fact that it might not, however, is another story to follow. But a shout out here for positive male character roles!
3. Murad, the insidious villain with an even more insidious plan
Ahsan Khan redesigns the villain in Murad by showing us a negative character who achieves his goals with sinister planning, sweet-talking and an evil kind of charm.
Much as we despise him, Murad is very, very relatable as he switches chameleon-like, from threatening to persuasive tones between his two wives, and in fact, the entire QMK cast, ranging from his mom to Mehran. Ahsan Khan is hitting this one out of the park & we’re loving watching him!
4. A wife’s right to her property
It is an unspoken, yet widely accepted truth that husband and inlaws often lay claim to a wife’s or daughter in law’s property. In fact, her value in the eyes of her in-laws is often elevated because of the value of what she brings with her – yeah, jahez has many faces.
The matter of property is treated in appreciative detail, with references to how it’s not easy to usurp a woman’s right to her property, yet, easy enough if you’re prepared to go the underhand route and bribe your lawyer into drawing up false documents.QMK is touching upon all these points with admirable accuracy and must be appreciated for creating awareness on a less talked about matter in our society.
5. A heroine who is down but not beaten
It is heartening to see that Meherbano aka Mawra Hocane (doing a splendid job btw) though suffering the scars of mental, physical & emotional trauma, is making an effort to rise.
Which is perhaps what people wanted from Mehreen of HKKST? Especially since both of them are shown as intensely strong-minded… and hmmm is the fact that they both carry M for misery in their names even relevant? Just a passing thought that had no relevance really to the rest of the convo…
Anyway, I feel it is unfair to compare the two as they are telling 2 vastly different stories. Hmmm. They both grew up parentless (though Meherbano experienced a bit more love). Could be argued that Mehreen did too with her khala. They both had abusive husbands. (Again, the nature of abuse is different) They both had no place to go if they walked out. (Meherbano is a tad more challenged here with a baby on the way, though she does have Noor on her side)
Anyway, pardon the digression, what I did want to say was, that despite Meherbano’s experiences, she was mentally strong enough not to sign the property papers, which should hopefully send out a very powerful message to onlookers & those who might have suffered a sadly similar fate.
And Mehreen DID sign that affidavit, which was perhaps, more damning than Mehru’s papers. But then, Mehreen’s mental & emotional state was visibly compromised as she mentions she was ‘in love’ with Aswad? Enough said, back to the QMK narrative!
QMK On The Road To Redemption!
To wrap it up, Qissa Meherbano Ka is a story that grows on you. The first few episodes set the stage for what comes later. Do not be discouraged by a storyline that might disappoint you at the onset. The drama seems to be redeeming itself with hard-hitting performances & messages that must be applauded and contemplated.
Change comes, one drama at a time, and this one, despite battling audience retention with some mind-blowing competition in the week, is doing a fab job! A shout out to director Iqbal Hussain and writer Fakhra Jabeen for giving us thought-provoking content that is instrumental in starting conversations. Go watch!