Written by Amna Mufti, and directed by Sarmad Khoosat, this mini series is a narration of seven different stories of women from various walk of lives and their struggles.
Episode 1: Yasmeen – A Protective Mother
First story focuses on Yasmeen, her unemployeed-gambler-drinking husband who eventually bets his wife. She is broke after the incident, but still says nothing. When he talks about his plans for future make his daughter earn a living for them the same way, she makes a bold decision. To run away with her daughter, for a safer, if not better, life.
Episode 2: Gul Meena – Her Baby is Her Life
Second story focused on Gul Meena. She and her in-laws’ family are running away from terrorists. Her husband dies soon after theirson is born. Her mother in law accuses her of seducing her brother-in-law and marries her away to an old man with kids. Fed up with double standards of how woman accepts his new husband’s kids but the husband does not accept step children. She runs away, to search her in-laws and unite with her son, Rustom Khan.
Episode 3: Farzana – Fate of Love Marriage
Third story is about Farzana, a well-educated girl. She had pressurized her parents for love marriage, and is now dealing with her abusing husband. She endures all sorts of taunts and torture. Finally, it comes down to accusing her of bad character. Beaten blue and black, she also runs away from him.
Amazing acting by the husband Sajad.
Episode 4: Rafia – HIV and the Social Stigmna
Fourth story is about Rafia, who’s drug addict husband, and then she, contracts HIV. There is certain stigma attached to this acronym. Rafia’s story shows us the same. She’s travelling for her treatment.
Episode 5: Shabana – A Thief’s Wife
Fifth story shows Nimra Buccha as Shabana. Her husband is a thief and with two kids to take care of. She starts working as a domestic help, only to be taunted and reminded of her husband’s deeds. Pregnant with third, she loses the baby while working as a labour in farms. She leaves her house for work in Karachi.
Episode 6: Shumaila – Victim Of Acid Attack
Sixth story is of Shumaila, a very beautiful woman . She is married to an average looking, older, and therefore insecure husband. Nothing she says or does, convinces him of her loyalty and love towards him and his family. Victim of acid attack, she’s travelling for the rehabilitation and treatment.
Episode 7: Tehmina – Dealing With Suicide Of A Loved One
Lastly, seventh story is of Tehmina. She is traumatized by the life, and later by the suicide of her mother. She’s cynic about everything. Struggles with emotions. Finally sees a psychiatrist, recovers from depression, and decides to write a book about her experiences. She is travelling for the same – to meet new people, and to see new worlds.
Although painful, these stories are beautifully narrated. I have my pick of best moments from all seven episodes:
One, when the milk vendor hands over the money to chhotu, asking to have it washed and ironed. And then washed his hand, to cleanse himself, that he touched impure money.
Second, that look on Tehmina’s face when she realizes her troubles were so little compared to what others seem to suffer. This one is my favorite, because, we ALL, generally feel the same. Again, one of her lines “Khushi un logon ke liye hai jo kuchh sochte nahi hain“, is quite true.
And that line from farzana “The problem with us educated girls is that we want to find solutions for everything“.
I’ve always admired Sanam (who hasn’t) and a terrific performance was guaranteed. But it was the character Yasmeen that blew me away. The cast is perfect, each one doing their bits just right. A great performance by each one of them.
This is the first time I’ve seen a Sarmad Khoosat direction. I’ve always wanted to watch “Manto”. I knew he likes grave, bold, and dark subjects. Brilliantly done, sir!
These stories are not new. We’ve read it in fiction and in real and have watched it on TV, too. But how those stories are brought together in narration to send a positive inspiring constructive message is commendable.
Mujhe apney jeenay Ka haq chahiye