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The evolution of Pakistani drama industry

Hira Zainab

A number of artists ruled over the Pakistani cinema for many years. If we go back in 1990s the content of Dramas that was broadcasted on TV screens was way more appreciable and comprehensive than it is now. And what could be the reason for it? I believe we are running out of sensible Scriptwriters and Directors who are unaware what would be the appropriate or societal-reflecting story or at least an awareness bringing campaign. Nevertheless, we are not exactly empty handed because you still would see just a few good content dramas. Back in 90s on the scale of 1-10 I would rate 9, now seeing the declination I would rate Pakistani Dramas around 4/10. Let me take you back in 1990s where the Pakistani dramas were highly demanded and then you too will agree to my points.
Dhoop Kinaray was an extremely popular and most viewed drama of that time. The gorgeous Marina Khan and Rahat Kazmi eventually became favorite on-screen couple of the audience right after a few episodes were on aired. It was written and directed by the two most talented personalities Haseena Moin and Sahira Kazmi. With good content, it had comedy, romance and drama in it which tremendously entertained everyone. 
Another audience-favorite Tanhaiyaan which was aired in 1985 got really popular because of its content. In this for the very first time they showed two young hardworking sisters taking up the working-lady roles and running their own business and making a living by their own right after the death of their Parents when they were left in debt. This was again written by the genius Haseena Moin when Marina Khan was in the cast yet again alongwith Behroze Sabzwari and Yasmeen Ismail. What a beautiful combination!! Since people could not get over it so Tanhaiyaan - Naye Silsilay was back in 2012.
While I talk about the old dramas it would be very unjust if I neglect my favorite most Alpha Bravo Charlie!! Yes we all loved Shehnaz Sher (I secretly still admire her). Can we a little obsess over Pak Army here? Wellllll...why not. When we talk about Captain M.Kasim Khan (Gulsher Khan - the cutie), Captain Abdullah Mehmood (Kashif Kirmani) and Faraz Inam (Faraz Ahmed), how can we forget the sacrifice Gulsher made and all the melodramas happened in between. 
Mera Kaam Batao Main Kya Karun Main Kisko Khaun!! Now comes the one that entertained my childhood and gave me fantasies of Jinn being so nice and handsome. YEP...you got me. Ladies and Gentlemen, Ainak Wala Jinn of course!! I hated Bil Batori because she had a scary laugh and everytime she used to come on screen I used to hide under our TV lounge sofa (I could fit in there back then ...i was just a kid). Zakoota and Hamoon Jadugar were still bearable. 
These are just a very few that I have named specifically. There are many more incredible dramas like Parchaiyaan, Alif Noon, Khuda Ki Basti, Ankahi, Aangan Terha, Kaanch, Taleem-e-Baalighaan and many many more. 
These dramas were informative in a true sense of entertainment and limited episodes. However, I feel like it gets really boring if anything has been dragged more to most from 14 to 100 episodes. That is not entertaining because the writer loses content and focus, the story looks fake and you lose your audience. Dramas are a basic source of entertainment for Housewives especially and needs realistic content. A few dramas were a pain to watch and lost its audience somewhere in between. Ye Zindagi Hai was so dragged that I doubt if anyone watched it. Honestly, I believe dramas these days are repeatedly playing the unrealistic content that is actually manipulating half of the population. For example in xyz drama the girl runs away with her boyfriend and lives happily ever after then comes back after years and everyone is rich because YOLO. Similarly, rich husband and poor wife results in taunting sasuraal and zalim saas. And, A likes B but B likes C since the parents do not agree so B marries A but never liked A so runs away with C after getting married to A. Like I am extremely sorry but that does not make any sense to me. We need to inject sensible content in the minds of people because half of the people start imitating their favorite characters so we should either create story that helps is spreading awareness in the minds of people or make something entertaining. 
My Parents were hooked to Bulbulay which has a lot of comedy in it. Moreover, I personally liked Takay ki Ayegi Baraat and Dolly Ki Ayegi Baraat series and Saima Chaudry was very hilarious! 
Now coming to the sensible content dramas. I have a list for that too!! (Aaj puri tayari k saath aai hun)
A list of good dramas including Mosam, Dil-e-Muztar, Durr e Shehwaar, Mata-e-Jaan, Pyaare Afzal, Chup Raho, Firaaq, Daam, Maat, Man Mayal, Doraha, Bashar Momin, Khaan, Mera Saayen and a few in the following.
So, I am going to start when the heartthrob and eye-candy of Pakistan Fawad Afzal Khan started making his mark. Daastan was dramatized by Samira Fazal based on the novel Bano by Razia Butt. It tells the story of Indian Subcontinent during the time of Partition and the struggles Muslim League went through, the incidents and happenings took place in between that time period. A very beautiful serial! 
One of the basic reason why dramas with good content are ignored is because nobody highlights them more often. An exclusive serial reflecting the negative side of media and journalism directed by Shahid Shafaat having Ayesha Khan and Humayon Saeed in the cast. Ayesha Khan played the role of a journalist who was an illicit daughter of a politician. Humayon Saeed's acting skills should be given a great round of applause, he played a negative role of the owner of a TV channel who portrays to be a good person but in real he is a KAAFIR!
Let me shed some light on the beautiful serial with a beautiful cast! Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan became yet another favorite on-screen couples and had a very good chemistry. Humsafar was directed by Momina Duraid and Sarmad Khusat based on a novel written by Farhat Ishtiaq. It sounds like a typical saas bahu saga but it shows the reality of class differences and trails of a married couple life. After this drama Farhat Ishtiaq's work got more recognition and the on-screen couple became favorite not only in Pakistan but in India, Turkey and USA!!
While we talk about entertainment not to forget the dramas that created awareness about certain taboos that our society hold such as rape, child abuse and rights of transgender people. Udaari and Khuda Mera Bhi Hai created a HUGE impact in the minds of people which I believe is a victory itself! We should have more dramas like these. The cast was incredible and Ahsan Khan recently received LUX Style Award for his performance in Udaari. I believe lessons and messages should be delivered through entertainment and dramas now that most of the public follow. 
Last but not the least, I just want to give a shout out to one more drama that impacted my life and the way I see things now. Sheher-e-Zaat - journey to find God and thyself. I absolutely LOVED the concept and story and why not? After all it is based on the novel by very intelligent Farhat Ishtiaq directed by the genius duo Sarmad Khusat and Momina Duraid. Mahira Khan played the role of a girl who explores herself and God. Its a beautiful novel and drama and glad that it was broadcasted. 
So Ladies and Gentlemen, you may agree or disagree to my opinion in certain ways but whatsoever this is what I think and your opinion is highly respected and appreciated. The evolution of Pakistani Dramas has been bumpy in the midst but that does not mean we do not have stories or bad writers. There are many, they just need a little recognition and encouragement by the public.