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Smokers’ Corner: Of meat and matter

Published Jan 13, 2013 12:25am


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Illustration by Abro

Last week a good friend and columnist took to task a local TV soap called Zindagi Gulzar Hai.

Even though I completely agree with her in her condemnation of the kind of sexist and misogynist plots, dialogues and characters most TV plays in this country are plagued by, I believe Zindagi Gulzar Hai was not entirely the correct example to give.

Before I get into some detail about why I think Zindagi… was the wrong example, I must admit the overall theme of the column was justified.

Flick across local entertainment channels between 8 and 9 pm and you are bound to witness prolonged images of women sobbing and pleading their helplessness in front of stern looking men.

No, the idea is not to critique self-loathing women who can’t stand up to misogyny or narrow-minded males.

The idea is to attract a cheap emotional response from the viewers who are then taken on a rollercoaster ride across the series anticipating a closure where the self-loathing woman finally lets go of even an inkling in her to question her position vis-à-vis that of the male’s, and completely submits to what is explained as a natural occurrence: Male superiority.

The most recent example in this context actually became a huge hit: Humsafar.

Offered as an engrossing serial, Humsafar actually turned out to be an unintentional parody of the Pakistani TV soap.

Though scripted by a woman, it seemed the woman was thinking more like a man.

The two leading characters of the hit serial had perhaps the most pathetic dispositions this side of glitzy, empty television.

Consider this: A handsome young rich guy is forced to marry a not very well-off simpleton cousin of his, when the plan was for him to tie the knot with another cousin of his who is as well-off and modern as he.

The simpleton girl is the icon of the kind of saadgi (modesty) that the censor boards under the former reactionary dictator, Ziaul Haq, loved to see in ‘good women’ roles: Always in a dupatta, with the least bit of make-up, entirely fatalistic, self-pitying, a good (read submissive) wife, and a woman who considers (or indirectly advocates) a glaring lack of intelligence as an admirable virtue.

Forget about the fact that in real life such a woman is more than likely to be diagnosed as suffering from a curious strain of psychosis; even in fiction such a character became passé after Nek Parveen (Pious Parveen) made emotional self-flagellation and humiliation seem romantic on the Pakistani cinema screens decades ago.

Then there was the hero of Humsafar. Rich, dumb and most probably suffering from the Asperger Syndrome, because throughout the series he just couldn’t see his conniving mom’s rather obvious maneuvers to degrade his wife; things even a four-year-old would have managed to notice.

In other words, this man’s ego and consequent cruelty towards her simpleton wife is the outcome of the doings of a rich conniving woman — his mom!

The hero and the heroine are haunted by the hero’s cousin, Sara, a compulsive-obsessive stalker, hell-bent on chasing down the hero, break his marriage and marry him.

So, since she is kind of weird and a bit sick in the head, she just had to be the opposite of the heroine.

Thus, she is individualistic, wears western clothes, does yoga, and her everyday lingo is punctuated with a lot of English words and expressions. And, of course, (and maybe even therefore), she is also suicidal.

Such hackneyed personifications of the good woman, bad woman, and an innocent man turned bad by a bad woman only to come around by the emotional sacrifices of the good woman are a regular occurrence in Pakistani teleplays.

Furthermore, religion too has crept in. The good woman is a pious woman and intellectually uncomplicated because her spirituality is untainted by material desires even if she is okay about being continuously kicked in the backside by a mass of meat she calls her husband.

This is the imagined (even wishful) dramatisation by ‘traditionalist’ middle-class women who seem to be writing most of these soaps, understanding them as providing emotional and spiritual closures and healing to women stung by that dreadful bug called individuality.

But this has not happened in Zindagi … In this play a flirtatious rich guy’s moral hypocrisy is at once confronted by his girlfriend whenever he admonishes her for wearing revealing clothes in public.

Yes, his dialogues are cringingly reactionary, but they do not fly without being shot down by his girlfriend.

Unlike in Humsafar where the individualistic woman was shown to be a bit of a cuckoo, in Zindagi … such a woman is not judged by the writer.

However, the most interesting and unprecedented character in the play that is an intellectual and social foil to the rich guy, is the not-so-well-off fellow student of his at college.

Her role is unprecedented (in the annals of local TV) because she reacts to the moral hypocrisy of her disaffected father, the pomposity of the rich guy, and to her own struggling lower-middle-class status by questioning the whole concept of fatalism that is so rampant in our society.

She does this by questioning God every time anyone evokes his name during the most testing moments of the financial crises that her family is a victim of. To her ‘God is only interested in the affairs of the rich.’

Though outspoken, bitter, intelligent and individualistic, she is not portrayed as being mentally sick or misguided.

It is this that has made Zindagi… a kind of an anti-thesis of the misogynistic nonsense that goes on in most of the country’s teleplays.

Of course, what the closure would be for such a woman in this play is anybody’s guess.

I just hope she doesn’t become a wreck; or, (like the heroine in that farcical serial, Sheharzad), she does not experience an episode of psychological meltdown that was amazingly (and to me, hilariously), portrayed by the play to be a moment of spiritual awakening!

As long as Zindagi..  brings forth a nonjudgmental discourse between competing ideas of morality, faith and class, it will retain its edge. And let’s hope it stays this way.


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Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and He is also the author of two books on the social history of Pakistan, End of the Past and The Pakistan Anti-Hero.

He tweets @NadeemfParacha

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (84) Closed

Cyrus Howell Jan 13, 2013 07:52pm
In many ways, Indian Cinema is Mumaith Khan. She was a wonderful young girl from Hyderabad corrupted by those who run Bollywood, just as O.J. Simpson, the American football great, who murdered his wife was corrupted by Hollywood and drugs. The stars can't beat the system. Soaps and films are a commercial product. Mumaith Khan has to be what the producers want her to be - their image - because they write the paychecks. They also play to an audience of which they know the demographics. It is a no holds barred capitalist business.
book_ Jan 13, 2013 05:48am
NFP is a bra burning feminist now,huh...
Syed Haider Jan 13, 2013 10:13am
Stay out of Pakistan ? You must be one of the monopolistic Umarites ! LOL
Indian Jan 13, 2013 07:56am
I wanted to make the comment on MJ Akbar's article by mistake I comment here,sorry for the inconvenience.The comment is right but place in wrong article.
Sh Jan 13, 2013 08:10pm
I have read the novel. According to the novel the girl will go on to become a CSP officer. Will marry Zaroon yet she will iron his clothes, cook him food, help kids with their homework and would be thankful to Almighty for whatever she has achieved. The good thing about this novel however is that a lady can achieve a lot even if she doesn't have any male support. Something which is really missing in our TV plays
Cyrus Howell Jan 13, 2013 08:08pm
American film noir was imitated in the late 1950s by other countries such as Mexico and France. In the 1960s it was the music scene, in the 70s soap operas and n the 80s TV talk shows, in the 90s TV news, in 2000 the reality shows. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If it sells, if it makes money America will find it first. The soap opera for home bound women is their primary vice. It is an unstoppable force, a law of Nature. Men who want to put a stop to soap operas are spitting into the wind.
peddarowdy Jan 13, 2013 09:59am
What are Ahmadi Muslims? Fatimites? Or, Umarite?
Imtiaz Jan 13, 2013 07:47am
To remain a slave is optional.
Ozz Jan 13, 2013 09:36am
Why do you have to look at everything through the prism of sectarianism? I wonder why Dawn even allows some of your comments to be posted. The last thing we need in this country is someone adding more fuel to this fire which is already destroying us.
zahid Jan 13, 2013 07:45am
Pakistanis don't like Indian dramas.We have far better dramas than India. Check your facts.
Dr. Naveed Yousuf Jan 13, 2013 07:53am
Asperger's Syndrome.
peddarowdy Jan 13, 2013 10:01am
Someone on some other day claimed Pakistanis don't like Indian Movies as well.. I asked him who the hell are filling up all the theatres in Pakistan! It must be a giant conspiracy!! I will take the conspiracy line here too. Some idiots are watching indian Dramas and upping their TRPs. I think they are RAW agents, born in Pakistan, grew up here, but are tasked by RAW to up the TRP of Indian TV shows.
Cyrus Howell Jan 13, 2013 07:42pm
The dire situation Pakistan is in right now has nothing to do with "soap operas". They have to do with dreams and escapism. Women can be queen for a day. They can dream of lives and emotions beyond their own. The soaps are female territory. Women have an emotional life most men do not understand. In other words, women's expectations are rarely satisfied. To paraphrase Shakespeare, If Soaps are the food of love, play on.
Cyrus Howell Jan 13, 2013 07:31pm
Who needs soap operas when you have the Bhutto family?
MdAkram Jan 13, 2013 09:01am
I would strongly suggest NFP to give some suggestions for the scriptwriter,director and producer of Zindagi TV soap,which as the writer points out is anit-misogynistic,something special in Pakistani TV soaps.
ahmad Jan 13, 2013 08:07pm
nfp is discussing overall tendency of projecting fatalism in the garb of should always be a journey to promote right ideals instead of reinforcing statusquo-howmuch weird it my be
Noureen Ahmed Jan 13, 2013 08:48am
Fantastically, done. Always amazed by NFP's insights into the workings of society and the media.
Indian Jan 13, 2013 07:02am
As said by the writer conservatives are in every religion but they are stronger,bigger and powerful in Islam.
Sumit Jan 13, 2013 07:06pm
abbastoronto has the same few lines that he repeats, whatever the context is. For example, the sentence about the Hindu's rasoi blah blah; Muslim actresses being more beautiful etc etc. He has even claimed how Islam is the ``natural religion of the this trading era''. This trash is not removed by Dawn's monitor, but comments that point these out are not published.
Sumit Jan 13, 2013 07:12pm
As I said in the above - in case my comment is not removed by Dawn's editor - Abbas repeats the same few lines/thoughts. Now it is Republicans, Democrats. This man has read one book in his lifetime.
Aisha Shaikh Jan 13, 2013 08:22am
sad to see so many ganging aginst up a guy who talks sense.
observer Jan 13, 2013 02:35pm
Hahaha. I have not understood a word of this column from NFP whom I basically like. I am not into Pakistani TV at all. But just a matter of habit, I am making this comment. I have nothing to say.
Haris Jan 13, 2013 08:28am
bravo! you started sectarion war btwn shias sunni ahmedi qadiani at this forum too. kindly stay out of Pakistan coz we have alot like you here making all hate each other and messing the whole system.
Haris Jan 13, 2013 08:31am
we seiously dont....
Rohail Jan 13, 2013 07:25am
May we know exactly where does the writer say that?
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 02:31pm
btw Haris, in case you did not know. The mother of my 17 year old is a Turkish Sunni, and the wife of my younger brother is a Pakistani Sunni. So much for your us starting a sectarian war. We the Fatimites are for a love-in, only if you guys opened your eyes.
bolkalia Jan 13, 2013 06:49pm
You don't really need to turn on the tube to see the extent of misogyny and the female exploitation. You just need to look around your own house. It all starts in the home. Then this issue will not go away even fade away by taking on the media as a reflection of the society. What needs to be done is women empowerment through education and economic opportunities. Something, along the lines of Microfinance initiatives like the Grameen bank and Dr. Yusuf.
chakraborty Jan 13, 2013 06:41pm
Indian Parallel Cinema is most realistic Directors like Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Tapan Sinha are big Examples and have their mark on Global level
peddarowdy Jan 13, 2013 10:02am
Oh, sorry, you have mentioned Qadianis.. My apologies..
Rahul Jan 13, 2013 10:06am
Imagine 2 step brothers, they have one mother but different fathers, both are very nostalgic about their father's glorious past. One step brother makes lots of rich friends and one brother stays with his mother and is ready to accomodate his other step brother but fights break out. The one with rich friends belive in all earnesty that staying with the mother will some how mean that he will loose his father's memory and be always under his older brother. So he leaves the house, takes what he get's as his parting share but thinks he has been wronged and decides that he has to get his equal share. Rather than working on what he has got he is trying to get his right share. As years pass his rich friends now employ him to do their work. Where as the brother who has stayed with his mother has gained some strength to an extent that now the so called friends are getting friendlier with this mother loving brother. Life is harsh in the house father loving brother, his children are all fighting for the right share. With no legacy of loyalty left in them they all have become opportunits..... Guess who am i talking about ? Is there hope, yaa may be the brother who left the house can atleast say sorry to his mother, may be mother might forgive him, he does not have to come and stay in the old house, he can stay in his new house, but atleast his children will learn what is the meaning of loyalty !!
Rahul Jan 13, 2013 10:09am
Please editor dont edit the message to change the meaning of my soap opera, this is the story of Dabhang, its not about u know what i mean !!
Shubs Jan 13, 2013 06:03pm
abbastoronto: you're a regular Zaid Hamid, aren't you?...:-) Your social commentary is always comical, and does provide an interesting glimpse into the inner workings of the minds of Pakistan's so-called educated elite. In spite of the outward show of sophistication, your Pakistani education has never really allowed you to ever look beyond your one-track obsession with anti-Indian and anti-Hindu gobbeldygook.
Cyrus Howell Jan 13, 2013 09:39pm
"...the domestic, subsevient to her husband are generally heroines and woman wearing western clothes, holding individual ambitions are villians." In that regard soap operas are like "Professional" wrestling. The crowds are cheering for the good guys while booing the bad guys. Justice is not a fait accompli in the real world. The evil doers are pursued by the approach of relative justice in the soaps.
zalim_khan Jan 13, 2013 11:20am
"Brilliant" So well put together NFP! maybe, just maybe in another several hundred years, women may get a little teeny weeny bit more equality ehh? but in the meantime let the suffering continue. Have they heard of the "Suffragette movement?" or is this looking too far into the future? Present movement is the "Mad Mullah Movement" Where religion is "distorted, twisted to suit the necessary evils of the day"
Cyrus Howell Jan 13, 2013 09:29pm
"A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still." Samuel Butler
Cyrus Howell Jan 13, 2013 09:26pm
"Arab history, with the exception of the period of the rightly-guided Caliphs, was dominated by politics. When the Fatimids took over Egypt and North Africa, these areas became Shiite, and when Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyubi [i.e. Saladin] put an end to the Fatimids, he drove out everything that had any relation to Shiism. The same happened when the Safavids converted Iran to Shiism, which then led the Ottomans to act the same way in imposing Sunnism. Thus Arab history, or Islamic history, in the wider sense, is the outcome of political ups and downs
kaine Jan 13, 2013 11:09am
Dear Abbas Toronto, Your assertions are based on mere assumptions and conjectures about the 'other side' and I wouldn't to say that you and other bigots like you have your heads stuck so far up your derriere that you fail to even observe that nothing about any of Muslim factions is monolithic and cannot be assumed true for every individual in these sects. The 'umarites' as you have tagged them are diverse with women working as professionals and leading in their respective domains. Likewise I can recount several instances of 'fatimids'/shias or whatever you folks fancy calling yourselves who live in downtrodden patriarchal communes, adamant and unable to change their behaviors. The fight should be against a particular mindset, rather than condoning and promoting perceived differences within the sects. There is no 'us' and there is no 'them', your blood doesn't bleed any different than others.. Infact i'm even against the idea of classifying people on the basis of their religions. Ethics, morality have nothing to do with religion.. one can be an atheist and still be ethical. Infact atheists i would say are even more responsible human beings since they don't have a religio social mythology to fall back on. Please set your facts straight before pointing fingers at anyone.
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 11:02am
Haris AOA Religions are socio-economic systems. This is political struggle, rather than sectarian war. War with words is better than war wtih rocks. Grow up. The truth shall set you free.
Cyrus Howell Jan 13, 2013 09:17pm
"Never look back. Something might be gaining on you." Satchel Paige
PS Jan 13, 2013 02:21pm
For a moment I thought NFP is writing about Indian TV!! But I guess this nonsense is all pervasive...
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 11:47am
It was poetic license, and a lot more funnier. Many thanks NFP for the twist.
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 11:49am
Oh I see. "Koi pathar say na maare mere divane ko". Well timed defense.
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 11:42am
Haris: AOA This debate is about women
ROHIT PANDEY Jan 13, 2013 09:16pm
They are pickled in anti Hinduism, anti-any other religion other than Islam....rumination,introspection,reflection balance and proportion are qualities which are hard to come by in Pakistan or so I think? NFP and a handful of others stand out against these bleak backdrop.
Tahir Alam Jan 13, 2013 05:00pm
The current Pakistani drama is far better than Indian drama industry. It has wide range of plots. I think you are not watching Pakistani dramas for last 3 or 4 years.
rationalist Jan 13, 2013 05:22pm
How beautifully written, and shallow at the same time. I would pardon the writer for thinking that Indian cinema is just Hindi cinema. I would agree to his comments on escapism as a motif for movies seem by the masses - speaks of the masses more than the movie makers. But to use that broad brush to explain religions is a feat from this cultural anthropologist. Let's move on from the baggage of past. Let every woman be recognized as the individual she is, and not from the prisms of vassal relationships
kaine Jan 13, 2013 08:03am
There is a serious dearth of topics in Pakistani teleplays which mostly try to mimic their Indian Counterparts. For once I would love to watch serials in which there are career oriented men and women and not just about what goes on between them. I'm bound to question every time I watch a TV soap, whether these fictional characters even have jobs. Besides, the kind of affluent settings most of these soaps have are not a mirror reflection of the actual reality. Why can't there be a sci fi series like star trek or farscape in which painstaking attention to details have been given or even every day life scenarios which deviate from 'aik larka aik larki' and 'saas bahu' motifs!
Cyrus Howell Jan 13, 2013 09:02pm
Najam Jan 13, 2013 08:47pm
NFP :) I like cheap drama and entertainment. I am not going to waste my time watching TV and expect exuding wisdom. I don't know if you noticed but the plot of this drama is follows classic work of Kalidas "Shakuntala". Did you not enjoy reading Shakuntala? Genre of this literature meaning drama has to do with tragedy. I see Mr. Marx and Molana Maudoodi in you expecting literature to serve a ideology (idiotology).
Tahir Alam Jan 13, 2013 04:55pm
I know people from both the sides and I think you are absolutely wrong. This sectarianism must be stopped.
Capt C M Khan Jan 13, 2013 12:25pm
Second time you are making sense my dear Mr Toronto.
Cyrus Howell Jan 13, 2013 08:34pm
The Chinese communists took over in China at approximately the same time as Pakistan was founded as a nation. Politically the two countries have no parallel. In China men and women were put to work, to do the work of draft animals in building a New China as feeding draft animals was too expensive. China had 500 million people many of who could be used as collective labor from the office to the farm. In order to accomplish this all the children were put into the barracks/nurseries where they were fed and schooled and slept together, seeing their parents only on Sunday. This fostered total equality of the sexes in that generation of Han Chinese. This equality is unquestioned in China today. Many Chinese women have proved they are the equal of men, just as the Black man in America has proved he is the equal of White men. No revolutionary or democratic change can be expected in the Muslim world. The words of the Prophet are carved in stone.
Tahir Alam Jan 13, 2013 04:47pm
As a matter of fact, Pakistanis do like Indian movies as they are far better than Pakistani films but when it comes to TV plays, Pakistanis like to watch Pakistani dramas as they are far better than Indian dramas.
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 12:02pm
The reality is that escapist, fantasy, women gyrating, tear jerking Bollywood is popular in some sections of Pakistan. But in social dramas showing real people with real issues suggesting real solutions for real situations, Pakistan has no parallel - not india, not Turkey, not Iran, not Egypt, and not even our USA.
Arshad sherazi Jan 13, 2013 04:18pm
Whatever I happened to watch makes me ponder about the dire situation Pakistan is in right now. What kind of society these characters live in where all are thriving and if they suffer that only because of the family politics.Writers of these drama serial are very adroit at avoiding big chunk of reality, even in Zia's time writers were not that coward.Whatever I see on the small screen is not art, main purpose of the producers of this medium should be to reform through art all aspects of society.
Tahir Alam Jan 13, 2013 04:21pm
I agree with NFP that the TV play "Zindagi Gulzar hai" is not misogynic. But I do not agree with him on his "general comments" about all the TV plays that they are misogynic. I think after the glorious PTV era, we now have a really good era of good TV plays. We must note that the target audience of the TV plays are mostly women, therefore, their plots are more related to family matters. That's why most of the plays are a big success. I do remember a play called "Daam" that showed strong female characters. Sometime later, one of my friends, who is a chartered accountant told me that he started watching TV plays again after seeing this play. I told him the same thing about my self. NFP has criticized "Humfasar" that was the biggest success since good old days of PTV dramas. My boss, who lives in US, when he visited Pakistan, kept discussing about Humsafar in an informal meeting, He was watching it over the Internet. I think, the drama serial the writer referred to with the name "Sheharzad" is actually "Shahr-e-Zaat". I am shocked to see how superficially some people analyze a piece of art. Or it happens because some people do not realize or understand what positive role the religion can have in one's life. This same experience was shown in another mega hit called "main Abdul Qadir hoon" that was experienced by the hero of the play. I am satisfied by the current state of Pakistani TV industry, though it has many areas where improvement is required but I think, the industry will become better over time.
AHA Jan 13, 2013 12:47pm
NFP, you always talk sense. Keep writing.
Cyrus Howell Jan 13, 2013 08:16pm
In the China of the late 90s the official Communist soap operas were intermingled with the propaganda of the state operatus to subliminally enforce Confucian and Communist values. Instead of complaining about them the mullahs, clerics and imams should be acting in and producing their own moralistic soap operas. Only they are not that smart.
RB Jan 13, 2013 08:16pm
Though I hate to say anything against the wonderful contributions of Muslim actresses to Hindi cinema,but you are wrong that Muslim actresses "were in demand".Cinema in those early days was considered a decadent art and girls from good families did not become actresses.So Hindu actresses were few.And most Muslim actresses of those times came from courtesan backgrounds eg Nargis,Saira Banu
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 01:28pm
Kaine: AOA Fortunately for Islam and Pakistan, you are right that the stark divisions that I have stated are beginning to blurred. In phrasing the senseless sectarian strife in purely socio-economic and political terms I have tried to make it a rational debate rather than us vs them emotional bloody war. But can you deny the historical facts that it was Fatima Zehra who stood up for women
Sri1 Jan 13, 2013 07:01pm
Oh God, I thought you were writing abt India and Pak. Rich friends were America and China. Nostalgic about ancient greatness etc
observer Jan 14, 2013 03:15am
Ok. I will keep quiet here. I am not speaking. Am I?
abbastoronto Jan 14, 2013 01:14am
"But to use that broad brush to explain religions is a feat from this cultural anthropologist" Where. Where. Where?
abbastoronto Jan 14, 2013 01:39am
Indian ji: Namaste In fact given the subject is subservient women, your comment is apt, but wrong. In Islam, the conservatives are few and desperate. This is so because religions are tied to economic era. Few examples: Pastoral economy
abbastoronto Jan 14, 2013 01:24am
In today's world, indeed. FDR's wife Eleanor Roosevelt in 1935 said: " .. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent .."
abbastoronto Jan 14, 2013 12:43am
Capt Sahib. AOA Your kind words are much appreciated. Wassalam
ROHIT PANDEY Jan 13, 2013 10:48am
Yes...autism with communication skills spared!
piousheart Jan 13, 2013 11:53pm
"A Hindu
Urbanitte Jan 14, 2013 12:12am
Sometimes it is just better to keep quite!!
Tania S. Ali Jan 13, 2013 06:35am
You are being myopic, Murad. Our society is faced with a multitude of issues. The status of women in it is one of them. It is important to critique how mainstream media is portraying women in Pakistan. Also, critiques such as this one by NFP gives a very good idea of how those women who refuse to fall into the stereotypical ideas of good women have to face all kinds problems. NFP is a cultural critic. Critiquing the political culture is just one of his sides. As any NFP reader knows, he just as easily branches out into writing satire as well as commentaries on the social impact of media, eecially film, tv and media.
Murtaza Jan 13, 2013 02:47am
Yawn........Instead of watching TV, I suggest you go out hill climbing or do social work in hospitals or waqar e amal around the city cleaning litter from the streets.
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 01:56pm
The Media is free in Pakistan, so is open debate. We are not afraid of the truth. The difference between Pakistan (also US, France, and other Republics) and India (also Canada, UK, and other Democracies) is that the former have freedom, the latter have peace. Live free or die.
G.A. Jan 13, 2013 01:53pm
".. and her everyday lingo is punctuated with a lot of English words.." - same goes for what is suppose to be Urdu news.
Hamza Jan 13, 2013 03:20am
Most of the Pakistani dramas of late have been simply emulating the Indian soaps where the domestic, subsevient to her husband are generally heroines and woman wearing western clothes, holding individual ambitions are villians.
Murad Jan 13, 2013 06:19am
I dont know, but is this the issue we need to be writing about and talking about??? especially at this juncture of our countrys miserable condition, NFP i am a big fan, but not impressed by your selection of topic for writing this time...anyhow best of luck
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 03:54am
Weak sobbing women, begging stern looking males,
raw is war Jan 13, 2013 04:27am
then why do Pakistanis like Indian serials?
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 10:46pm
charaborty: Greetings Satyajit Ray is more popular in Toronto than in New Delhi. Name me 1 Box Office hit of his that Indians flocked to watch. As say in Urdu - Jungle mein more nacha, kis ney dekha?
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 10:50pm
Sumit ji: Greetings You are so generous. 1 book too many. The stuff I write is not found in books my dear. It is over 45 years of research. Best wishes
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 10:42pm
Shubs: Greetings from Dearborn MI Many thanks for your kind words. I am very grateful to Pakistan for having given me my by basic education, and my first university degree. But for the last 45 years Toronto/USA/Europe/Asia has been my home. Universities here in Canada, USA, and Africa have found my Pakistan education good enough to let me loose on their students. Anti-Hindu and Anti-Indian? I know Islam and Hinduism sufficiently well to claim that ancient Hinduism is the religion closest to Mohammedan Islam because both believe in unity of Creation as their central axis. But alas with race based caste you have polluted your religion just as Muslims have their. Gandhi ji tried hard to purify Hinduism, but need I repeat know what you did to him. And there is no reason for me to hate India or China because we Muslims believe the entire universe to be our homeland, not just Pakistan. It is you who could not live with us and that led to the Partition. Best wishes
Phyllis Cora May Jan 13, 2013 10:33pm
Are you on welfare or something! Where do you get the time to write such lengthy response, talking about Shias then don't forget Hira Mandi? Sorry I stoop down to your level, my people are better than your people syndrome
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 10:34pm
rationalist: Greetings In my brief piece I have made no less than 20 factual claims. Rather than beat around the bush, I request you to refute 1 of them. Many thanks in advance. Best wishes
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 02:17pm
If Bollywood is a metaphor for India at large, then Dramas are for Pakistan. In both, the representation of women therein has evolved over time. Whereas Hollywood is obsessed about representing reality, Bollywood makes no apology for pushing fantasy. Is reality that boring or painful? A Hindi ditti says
abbastoronto Jan 13, 2013 10:19pm
Tahir Sahib: AOA You may "know" people from both side. But both sides are in "our family", so I have no axe to grind. The way to stop sectarianism is to join them as we have.