I confess the title sounds a bit self-centered but I guarantee I am no stuck-on-myself, know-it-all fool! I just thought it would be fun to share with you all a list of those plays that rank high on my scale. Maybe the readers can oblige me by giving these plays a go. I am certain these plays have great Public Ratings too but the order may vary. I am a critical person but with a big heart and mind. I truly believe that a play should be given some time to grow on you before it is rated as good, bad or great. Therefore, it took a lot of honest thinking to make this list and no offence to ‘Kafir” fans, since it did not make it to my list. Here it goes.
1. Durr-e-shehwar (Hum Tv):
Awe-inspiring, top-notch, class act…these three words aptly describe the awesome play that Durr-e-shehwar is. It is a play that I hold very close to my heart and I treasure every single episode. Durr-e-shehwar to me is perfection personified. It has been written by Umera Ahmed, Haissam Hussain is the director and it is the first joint production of Momina Duraid and Six Sigma. The cast with Samina Peerzada, Qavi Khan, Noman Ijaz, Nadia jamil and Sanam Baloch, to name a few, is sheer brilliance The storyline is very unique , the acting is matchless and the direction is first-rate. It is to fall in love with over and over again! Those of you who have not given this play an honest shot, I request that you do.
Durr-e-shehwar is an old woman who has struggled hard through most years of her married life. Being married to a man to whom his family came first it was not an easy job for her to fit in to her new home. But Durr-e-Shehwar managed to stay in her marriage quite gracefully, compromising and persevering. All her efforts won her a husband in her old age who cannot do without her and cares for her a lot….too little too late???
On the other hand there is Shandana (Durr-e-Shehwar’s daughter) who has been married for eight years with her cousin Haider. Her marriage has been a rocky one, Shandana feels her husband does not value her and has decided to take a stand and make her husband realize he is wrong. Haider, on the contrary feels Shandana is a total failure as a wife and a mother. He has no intentions of kneeling before Shandana and seeking forgiveness. Their egocentric approach towards their relationship affects their daughter even more than it affects them. The writer very aptly through these couples has highlighted how egos kill relationships and how a relationship can be rescued by compromise.
In short Durr-e-shehwar is a commendable play and I highly recommend it…just what the doctor ordered. I am quite certain it will stay on top of my list!
2. Tishnagi (Express Entertainment):
Never heard of it?? Well you are missing out on some good entertainment. Sometimes, some very outstanding plays do not get the public attention that they deserve because they are being aired on a channel that is not as widely viewed as the top few channels. Tishnagi definitely has to be one of those plays.
Tishnagi is being aired on Express Entertainment. It has been written by Faiza Iftikhar, directed by Babar Javed, and produced by A&B productions. The cast consists of Faisal Qureshi, Sarwat Gillani, Aijaz Aslam and Mahnoor Baloch playing the lead roles.
The story revolves around Minahil (Sarwat Gillani) whose father passed away when she was only two and through the years she got very attached to her mother, since she was the only family she had. Her mother after being diagnosed with cancer marries her dead husband’s best friend because he wants to help her financially and has a soft corner for her. Minahil unaware of her mother’s condition, blames her for putting her in a difficult position and detests her step father.
Minahil is involved with Nabeel (Faisal Qureshi), a middle class self-made man with no family. She ends up running away from home and marrying Nabeel after her mother passes away. From there onwards there are a lot of interesting twists in the story. It has not even been a year since they have been married when Nabeel gets paralyzed and all the responsibilities are on Minahil‘s shoulders. She is a decent girl with her priorities set right, so she does her utmost to prove herself to her disabled husband. Not being able to find a job Minahil is forced to work as a governess for two children in a rich household. That is where this couple comes in contact with the other couple in the story, which is Faraz (Aijaz aslam) and Andleeb (Mahnoor Baloch). While Faraz is a die-hard romantic who is completely in love with his wife, Andleeb is quite the opposite. She is a business woman to whom her work comes first. She is arrogant and self-centered to the extreme and cannot even relate to the kind of love Faraz feels for her. Faraz starts looking up to Minahil because she is such a devoted wife. Andleeb starts creating misunderstandings between Minahil and her husband.
The storyline is very interesting; the direction is epic and the diversification in characters is great. I even love the soundtrack, although the background music may sometimes be excessive.
3. Mata-e-Jaan Hai Tu (Hum Tv):
I am certain there are many people out there who may have watched one or two episodes of this play and decided to never watch it again, most likely because of the cast. I have to admit I watched Mata-e-Jaan out of sheer curiosity; it was one of those plays that did not instantly click with me, the primary reason being the leading cast. But a few episodes later I am totally into Haniya and Ebaad and am no longer thinking if x, y or z could have fitted into the leading roles better.
The play has been written by Zakir Ahmed but the main story has been taken from the novel ‘Mata-e-Jaan Hai Tu’ written by Farhat Ishtiaq, Mehreen Jabbar has directed the play and the producer is non other than Momina Duraid! The leading cast consists of Sarwat Gillani, Adeel Hussein, Javaid Sheikh and Hina Khawaja Bayat.
Mata-e-Jaan Hai Tu has a social romantic theme. Most part of the play revolves around Haniya and Ebaad who are both madly in love but facing problems getting married because of Ebaad’s bossy father, who wants his son to marry his niece. I believe it is a true reflection of how some parents in our society, because of their need to control and stubbornness destroy their relationship with their children. Ebaad is the perfect son but his father’s wrong attitude forces him to become rebellious and resistant.
Overall the play is very happening, I love its pace and enjoy watching the story shift from one setting to the other. For those of you, who gave up on it, do give it one more try.
4. Bilqees Kaur (Hum Tv):
Although the play has just one episode to its credit but I am truly impressed, especially by the characters and the dialogues in particular. Bilqees Kaur has been written by Faiza Iftikhar, directed by Adnan Ahmed and yet again it is a Momina Duraid Production. The cast with Bushra Ansari, Mohammad Khalid Ahmed, Ehsan Khan, Saira Yusuf and Sadia Imam (to name a few) is something to look forward to.
Bilqees is a Sikh who converted to Islam after marrying a Muslim, but is still confused about her true identity….a very interesting character indeed. The first episode introduced the audience to most of the main characters in the play…Bilqees and her family. All of them are unique in their own way, which makes the play a true delight to watch.
Bilqees is one of those women who think the world revolves around them and the people in her life would be doomed if it was not for her mighty presence. Bilqees owns and runs a desi restaurant along with her husband Iqbal, who plays second fiddle to her. She has two sons living with her and a daughter who is married to her cousin in Pakistan. One of her sons drives a cab and the other one is studying in a university and working at the same time. He feels alienated in his own house and is a total misfit. He cannot wait for the day when he will be finally out of the hell-hole, he believes his house is.
I loved the part where Bilqees is all-praise for her kids, boasting infront of her brother, what gems her kids are and at the same time we are being shown what her children are actually all about…very well done for sure. My second favorite was the conversation she had with her son-in-law where she is telling him off…that was too good.
I am sure bilqees kaur has some outstanding entertainment to offer and we have alot to look forward to.The only hitch is that Ehsan Khan may be wearing a little more make-up than is necessary, if we mellow that down all is good!! I can’t wait to see the next episode.
5. Hamsafar re-run (Hum Tv):
Yes you heard it right, I have watched it once, sometimes twice, yes really there were times I watched an episode in repeat again but I want to watch it again… you know one can’t get enough of Hamsafar! Hamsafar was/is not just a play it is a legacy that lives on. I must have listened to the title song some hundered times. I could have chosen a few other plays to go on number five but how can I commit such a criminal act when Hamsafar is technically still on air and I am enjoying it just as much!
Hamsafar hit Pakistan like a storm; it took over virtually every household and people from all age groups. It was not just Pakistanis here but even Pakistanis living abroad who were in awe of the play. There were reviews of the play in international papers and people on facebook and twitter were talking about it all the time. I have never put up something related to a drama as my status on facebook but I remember doing it the day Hamsafar’s last episode was aired. The day Hamsafar’s last episode was to be aired, the streets were deserted….that is a great achievement and one that needs to be appreciated again and again.
Hamsafar needs no introduction for sure just a lot of applause. Honestly speaking if I sit down to think why Hamsafar was what it was I can find no definite reason except that the casting was beyond perfect, the setting was fabulous and the script was very gripping….but in my opinion that may just be true for some other plays that are currently on air but will they manage to become what Hamsafar was??? I doubt it!
That pretty much sums up my list. In the end I would like to say that I am extremely proud of how much our entertainment industry has grown especially in terms of our plays. Kudos to all those who bring us such top-notch entertainment….we are truly thankful.
Author: Fatima Awan