THE WEEK THAT WAS
Khudparast | ARY, Saturdays 9.00pm
After delivering a blockbuster such as Meri Gurriya, writer Radain Shah is on a roll as her story explores polarities in a society with double-standards. Trouble knows no bounds when a lively, emancipated, jeans-clad Uswa (Ramsha Khan) — who has male friends and comes home at all hours because her family gives her the trust and space — succumbs to immense family pressure and marries Hannan (Shehzad Sheikh), born and bred in a conservative family set-up. To top it all he has massive anger issues.
Uswa’s abaya-wearing repressive mum-in-law (Asma Abbas) calls the shots in Uswa’s new home. The proposal may have been from an obscenely rich family who showered her with gold and hence the promise of a wonderful life ahead, especially in the eyes of her mum (Sajida Syed), but it doesn’t take long for Uswa to realise that her concerns about marrying someone she doesn’t know were valid and that she has gotten herself into a stifling mess.
What To Watch Out For
Maryam Pereira | TVOne, Wednesdays 8.00pm
Finally, we have a play depicting minority issues and culture. The story is about a peaceful Christian community living in the St Joseph’s Christian Colony since before Partition. Maryam Pereira (Sadia Khan) is a confident Christian girl who teaches at a college and is the breadwinner of her family. She takes a stand for her community against the land mafia, led by the heavily Pushto-accented Sadiq Khan (Ayub Khosa) and Hakim Khan (Rasheed Naz), a feudal who wants to acquire the colony and build an office tower there.
Sadiq Khan’s son Ali Khan (Ahsan Khan) arrives from abroad with progressive ideas and joins Maryam’s college as a professor. Sufyan (Emmad Irfani), the brother of Maryam’s best friend, loves and wants to marry her but prioritising the crises that her community is going through, Maryam refuses to marry him. Sadiq Khan has his roving eye on Maryam and starts harassing her by making undesirable phone calls. Maryam shares her community issues with Ali and he promises to help her. Simi Raheel who plays Maryam’s mum is the only character in the play who speaks with a warped ainga jayenga colloquial dialect while the rest of the community speak perfect Urdu!
Published in Dawn, ICON, November 4th, 2018