Mujh se pehli si mohabbat mere mehboob na maang…
What a lovely song, isn’t it?
So, the viewers were waiting for the latest episode of HKKST on October 24. It didn’t air. My mom kept asking me, for two hours straight, but there was no episode to show. I finally asked her to watch the next episode of Gohar-e-Nayab. I’m drafting the review of that drama, so stay tuned.
Why didn’t the episode 13 air? Is it because of PEMRA’s ban?
Oh, are you hearing about the PEMRA’s ban for the first time? I also didn’t know. A virtual friend of mine told me… and then I asked Professor Google to tell me everything about it. I’m sure most of you will go and google, but here’s the gist.
On Friday, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA for short) directed all satellite TV channels in the country to refrain from airing scenes that show “hugs, caress scenes, extramarital relations, vulgar, bold dressing. Such scenes and dramas disregard Islamic teaching and culture of Pakistani society.
First off, I had heard of PEMRA during celeb interviews, and for some reason in my head it spelt PAMRA. I assumed it to be like a censorboard in India. They also do many stupid things, as one might be aware.
Anywho… so, my friend Liza came to my blog to rant about the hypocrisy. You know… You need friends to talk about such things. She feels quiet strongly about the ban. And that’s allowed.
Something has happened-some people feel very strongly about the ban, some are neutral, some people are positive for this ban. Different people, different opinions, that’s how life is.
Netizens are miffed with the hypocrisy. Their biggest question is, and I’m paraphrasing here: How is violence halal on screen, but display of affection between a married couple is not?
What’s my take about the ban?
My first thought was-I don’t really care.
Perhaps the person enforcing the ban thinks that even Halal mohabbat is haram. I think I know why.
Generally, the actors impersonating those characters are na-mehrams so that’s the islamic aspect of it-two people who are not married are touching and hugging each other, not done. I can see where they’re coming from.
Now, do I feel angry?
I think the whole ban thing is blown out of proportion. As a viewer, it doesn’t affect me at all. I don’t watch dramas for hand-holding and caresses, nor does the absence of it make me bitter.
I like close-door romance more, and I enjoy the no-touch chemistry as well.
- Jannat Ke Pattay is my fav, and I often reference that scene where Jihan is sitting on a couch and waking up Haya. He isn’t even near her, and they are married. That scene is so romantic, that I can’t even describe it well.
- And then there was Talia and Fateh in old Malaka in Haalim who are sitting on the opposite sides of a pillar and confessing their love for each other. You want someone like Fateh in your life after you read that scene.
- And the timeless drama Zindagi Gulzar Hai… We do see some scenes where Zaroon and Kashf are holding hands. But there is plenty of romance when they are away. For example, the night after their engagement when they talk on phone. Or the day after reception when Kashf goes back to live at her mom’s.
Kashf asks Zaroon: should I come back?
Zaroon replies: Should I come to pick you up?
What I’m trying to get at is – I wouldn’t mind if they don’t show the caress and hugs and hand-holding. The scenes should make us feel the chemistry between the couple. Sweet romances do just as well as steamy once. There is a reason for that.
There is a separate genre for newbie writers who write “halal romance”. I’m also trying to get on that bandwagon. It means that you are showing romance between people who are in a legit relationship, nothing haram, nothing obscene. These stories have a fanbase, too. My latest book Fara & Moyeez is a halal cousin marriage romance, for instance.
Now, the violence
I have already covered the romance angle. But I do agree with the netizens on their stand on showing violence.
We shouldn’t show any violence, whether we show PDA or not. Violence is normalized as it is. We don’t need to see more.
And, by that, I also mean the reverse violence. Just because we want to stop violence against women doesn’t mean that violence against men is justified. Nobody hits nobody. Let’s just agree on that.
The possible aftermath
Now, what’s the aftermath? This week, we did not get our share of drama in the form of the 13th episode of Hum Kahan Kay Sachhay Thay. Now, the teasers and the OST show that there are some scenes that might be objectionable. You know, Aswad wiping off Mehreen’s tears and stuff like that. Ishq-e-Laa also shows Azlan and Shanaya hugging. Laapata’s last episode showed a teasing second-hand kiss between Falak and Shams. By the way, I think that scene has irked PEMRA.
I think that current and upcoming dramas will undergo a lot of edits. That would simply ruin our viewing experience. I don’t think people will like it. As far as I’m concerned, I have already read the novel that this drama is based on, and I was watching the drama for it’s visual treatment, and just so I could review and update my readers. I even braved to see Mahira Khan for this drama.
I will continue to watch the drama, I guess. And we shouldn’t denounce the Pakistani dramas. They are still entertaining. That’s a request to you, Liza 🙂
And as far as the ban is concerned, something similar was enforced in 2017 as well. I had not started reviewing Pakistani content then, but I remember vaguely.
Hum Kahan Kay Sachhay Thay is based on Umera Ahmed‘s novel of the same title. If you’re interested in the novel’s plot. Read this post for more details. Have you read the novel ? Or my review? What do you think of the story? I will meet you in another review.
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PS: The episode didn’t air because of the India-Pakistan match. What a match it was, but apparently PEMRA ban has nothing to do with it. Thank goodness… Thanks for the update, Liz.