When one thinks of Pakistani dramas, we all know what comes to our minds: weddings, divorce, the cheap version of 50 Shades of Grey, more weddings etc.
But to distract ourselves from the current mundane pile of breakups, crying and abuse, we can’t forget that kabhi kabar you can find a gem, a refined drama that accurately reflects the stories we want Pakistani drama creators to tell.
It’s not often that dramas with original, well crafted stories are brought into the spotlight as they get targeted with endless criticism from right wing critics and are even sent notices for displaying ‘vulgar’ content and soon are forgotten as the next show steps into the spotlight.
We have found some dramas that were helmed by prominent women like Bee Gul and Angelina Malick, which shone light on taboos.
1 Kitnay Girhain Baki Hain (2011-2017)
Produced by Angelina Malick and written by Bee Gul, this series was an anthology of short stories that reflected the struggles of women in our society, and explored topics like homosexuality, infidelity, rape etc
2 Cheekh (2019)
When Mannat (played by Saba Qamar) finds out that her closest friend Nayab was raped by her brother-in-law and then murdered for trying to reveal the truth, she strives hard to find justice for her friend in court and in the process, has to face hurdles from her in-laws.
3 Dil Na Umeed Tou Nahi (2021)
Penned by Amna Mufti and produced by Kashf Foundation, the show received several notices from PEMRA for ‘vulgarity’, so that’s even more reason to give it a watch. It delves into the lives of child sex workers, who are kidnapped from their homes and forced to work in prostitution in order to make a living.
4 Dastaan (2010)
Adapted from the novel ‘Bano’ by Rabia Butt, the show explores the trauma caused by Independence, and how it upturned the life of one woman, Bano. Bano and her family lived in India, where her brother supports the cause of the Indian National Congress, and is against the cause of setting up Pakistan. However, when the separation of the two countries was announced in 1947, Bano’s life was completely overturned overnight.
5 Neeli Zinda Hai (2021)
Aman and Sumbul are a married couple who have had stillbirth, and are now trying to restart their lives in a new home. When they shift with their daughter to a new house, the couple keeps hearing noises at night which convinces them that the house is haunted.
6 Manto (2017)
Directed by and starring Sarmad Khoosat, the series was previously released as a film in 2015, and then as a television drama in 2017. The drama revolves around the popular Urdu writer Saadat Hassan Manto, and the last seven years of his life when he had to face charges of obscenity for his short stories like ‘Thanda Gosht’, ‘Peshawar say Lahore’ and ‘Toba Tek Singh’.
7 Talkhiyaan (2012)
Written by Bee Gul, the drama is an adaptation of Arundhati Roy’s acclaimed novel ‘The God of Small Things.’ It revolves around the life of Bibi, who leaves her abusive husband and moves back to her parents home with her two children, Zoya and Jugnu, where her parents criticize her for taking such a stand, but refuse to treat her divorced brother the same way.
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