Most Pakistani dramas are rightfully criticized for following the trope of the ‘roti dhoti aurat’ and the ‘saas bahu jhagre’ where every woman just hates the world and is only out to score a guy. But sometimes, a drama comes along in the year that makes you really think, it beautifully handles and explores relationships between people and also employs a strong and powerful message that starts a much needed conversation.
The one such drama that was quite significant in 2017 was “Khuda Mera Bhi Hai” which was based on the story of intersex individuals. Written by Asma Nabeel and directed by Shahid Shafaat “Khuda Mera Bhi Hai” told the story of “Mahgul” (Ayesha Khan) who marries Zain (Syed Jibran) and gives birth to an intersex child “Noor” (Furqan Qureshi). Produced by Sana Shahnawaz of Next Level Entertainment and airing on ARY Digital, Khuda Mera Bhi Hai spoke about the various taboos faced by intersex children in our society.
Zain is unable to accept this child and his mother (Irsa Ghazal) are also unwelcoming to Mahgul and Noor. Mahgul moves back in with her mother (Saba Hamid) and brings up Noor on her own along with her best friend Sanam (Mariam Saleem Nawaz) and her husband Zaahir (Imran Ashraf). Zaahir is also Zain’s brother and is, in contrast, very supportive of Mahgul and Noor.
The strongest part of the drama has to be the writing of Mahgul’s character who takes very sure and confident steps in her life and isn’t seen weeping or whining constantly. There is also no sense of vengeful hatred that Mahgul is shown to have which says that Mahgul is a compassionate and caring individual who was exactly the kind of person that should have been there to bring up Noor. There are many brutal aspects of society that are explained in painful detail in the play, ranging from the many obstacles ‘independent’ women face in Pakistan, whether it is choosing someone they love to marry or adopting someone (Mahgul’s character adopts a street child and pays for her education and other expenses). Mahgul and Sanam’s friendship is also a refreshing dynamic where the two women support each other and love each other and take care of each other instead of sulking with hyper-dramatic music playing in the background.
Dramas like Khuda Mera Bhi Hai are important in the sense that they not only have a strong main message but also a positive sub-set story that shows the secondary characters engaging in positive discourse even if they are talking about taboos. Mahgul’s mother in law is a typical and problematic mother in law but the way that her thought process is attacked by the other people in the play is a good lesson for everyone.
Furqan Qureshi, on whose shoulders the second half of the play rested squarely, did a wonderful job and created a really great authenticity to his role. The voice broke, the gait was changed. Also it was really great to see how brave Furqan was to take on this role which not a lot of actors could have been brave enough to take.
If you haven’t watched the play yet, we strongly recommend you catch up on all the episodes. It was definitely one of the best dramas of 2016-2017 and the fact that it chose a theme that no one has the guts to talk about despite many such cases occurring in our society shows just how brave our artists are. But the fact that the audiences who saw it also received it quite positively is a testament to how much our audiences are also maturing.
Watch the first episode here.
Watch the full reviews here
Listen to the full reviews on Patari.Pk
Also read: Sana Shahnawaz talks about being a woman and doing dramas with substance.
Imran Ashraf talks about his career on a podcast.