Pakistani Serials are a slap on the face of Indian Serials

Humayun-Saeed-and-Mehwish-Hayat in Dillagi






By Sumi Krishnan

For God’s Sake! Indian Serials!!  horrible!!! intolerable, distasteful and completely lacking with  zero social value and an utter waste of time. From music to their screaming long monologues, unending storylines and dialogue deliveries, overdressed bejewelled women, against a background of artificial settings, poorly written and predictable plots, horrible camera angles that keep switching between each actor’s face at all the important turn in stories until the next advertisement, Pleeease!! Give me a break!!   Everything screams ”˜Crass’.

sadqay tumhare

Winning in every which way, starting with its storyline, cinematography, dialogues, acting and the progression of the story through a mere 25 to 30 episodes, Pakistani Serials beat any Indian serial from every angle.  Ekta Kapoor are you listening? Fantastic writers like Faiza Iftikhar, Vasey Chaudhury and Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar  who keep the stories spinning, do not require an ARY or a HUM TV to continue to drag a serial to over 800 episodes meaninglessly.

Most Pakistani serials revolve around women and women’s issues, which would make you think that the heroine’s role is more important than that of the male actors. If so, you are in for a surprise. Yes, there is the criticism to be levied that the serials usually do involve love triangles a plenty, the ”˜Evil Phoophi’ or the cruel mother-in-law, yet there are those better ones that revolve around stories truly worthy of being told.


Directors like Humayun Saeed, Babar Javed, and others do not hesitate to deal with difficult topics in all their shades of grey, these are psychological thrillers made possible only because Pakistani Television have an awesome group of writers whose magnificent dialogues are spell binding and you are hooked.

To mention a few of these serials, ”˜Dastaan’, starring Sanam Baloch and Fawad Khan, Ahsan Khan and Saba Qamar is a story that deals with love across borders, playwright Samira Fazal brought the novel ”˜Bano’ by Razia Butt to life. The intensity of the storyline is captured well by its crisp editing and direction which deals with the rioting, rape and pilfering that occurs during the India Pakistan partition, yet it is not as dark as it seems.

Hamza ali abbasi

Fayzal QureshiStories based around regional Pakistan are indeed a peep into the variance in culture, costume and the language of Urdu. The more guttural rural Urdu mixed with Punjabi or the sophisticated Urdu mixed with Persian. I find the dialect fascinating possessing an ability to express shades of feelings in ways which can only be defined in Urdu and Urdu alone.

Serials which reflect the rural cultural ethos, brave enough to deal with sadly backward socio political issues are ”˜Sadqay Tumhare’ starring Mahira Khan which won the award for the best serial in 2015; Familial feudal fights between Lords in rural Pakistan juxtaposed against returning foreign educated Pakistanis who strive to make a difference in ”˜Tum Ho Ke Chup’, starring Humayun Saeed and Ayesha Khan, both powerful actors;   not so rural yet carrying a similar scenario   more modern form of rebellion against male oppression ”˜Bhai’ starring Noman Ijaz.

Ushna Shah

Ayeza KhanWhile Indian Serial ”˜Ishk ka Naam Safed’ deals with the treatment of widows with the usual Indian touch of hullabulla. Watch ”˜Ek Nazar Meri Taraf’, romance pours and spills off the screen between Babar Ali, one of Pak TV’s hidden gems and Alishba Yousuf.  This serial deals with widowhood, adultery and social double standards and is based around a family of three sons and a widowed mother.

For Psychological thrillers, you cannot go past the gripping Bashar Momin starring Faisal Qureshi, one of the most versatile actors in Pak TV today. His powerful performance of a man driven by abuse in his childhood to become an abuser himself, whilst extreme in certain respects, drives a punch. ”˜Kafir’ starring Humayun Saeed and Ayesha Khan is another psychological thriller with Humayun acting in a negative role as a rich spoilt man driven to possess until the heroine exposes him.

Some fantastic storylines and acting, serials set in UK, Dubai and USA which deal with Pakistani migrant settlement and western issues are ”˜Jackson Heights’ starring abused wife and mother Marina Khan who works as a the beautician and Noman Ejaz  a Pakistani Taxi Driver in USA whose struggle to stay true to their identity and conscience is well directed;  ”˜Bilqees Kaur’ starring one of my favourites, Bushra Ansari in a standout performance as a cigarette wielding stingy strong Muslim woman and owner of a Pakistani restaurant settled in England for 30 years whose unwelcome and unaccepted daughter-in-law helps her see the light of the day;

”˜Main Abdul Qadar Hoon’ is a unique story written by Sarwat Nazir, starring Fahad Mustafa and Faisal Qureshi, two friends who meet in New York. The story is the journey of a young man’s search for his own identity both in Pakistan and in USA;

”˜Kuch Pyar Ka Pagalpan’ is a romantic comedy starring Fawad Khan Ayesha Khan, Sanam Baloch, on the theme that everything foreign or American is not glitter and glamour.

Despite story lines, the invaluable camera’s romance with the protagonist and the writer’s spell binding dialogues leave me feeling warm and glowing so typical of yesteryear ”˜Mills and Boon’ books in ”˜Zindagi Gulzar Hai’ starring Sanam Saeed and Fawad Khan story of hate that turns into love; unacceptable marriages that go right like Zid; ”˜Humsafar’ a story of a divorced couple who come together for their cancer affected child; a real tear jerker.

pyare afzal

”˜Pyare Afzal’ starring Humza Ali Abbasi and Aiza Khan reminded one of the romance of Guru Datt’s film ”˜Pyaasa’ with the serial using as its title song ’Jaane wo kaise log the jinko pyar se pyar mila’.

Serial ”˜Pakeeza’’s dominating, rude, violent husband, ”˜Udaari’ on sexual abuse of a minor, ”˜Chup Raho’ heroine’s torturous brother-in-law when finally in ”˜Dillagi’ the heroine tries to challenge her man, amazing story lines, plots these Pakistani writers keep coming up with dramas that not only bring to light the social problems to fore, they capture it with class and hook you yet save time since they come in ad-free slots on youtube! I, for one, is a true and a devoted fan, of a culture that gives me a peep into Pakistani Muslim issues, to someone who hails from south of India and now lives in Sydney.

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