How else has the focus been on sisters in the year 2012? There seemed to be a trend in our dramas showing households with many daughters. Where there are lots of daughters, there are all sorts of issues between the sisters. There are usually a few studious sisters, a few evil ones, a few who get to married to abusive husbands, a few who are employed by horrible men etc.
Zonii from drama serial Aks.
During this holiday break, I started watching the drama serial Aks on ARY due to sheer boredom. I had an idea about the storyline and thought it would be somewhat interesting. After watching 16 episodes in 2 days, I was holding my head in disbelief and disgust. I texted my sister and said “I want to shoot Zonii! Argh!” because I really, truly wanted to. Zonii (a very convincing Aiza Khan), Zohra (Zhalay Sarhadi), and Sania (half sister of Zonii and Zohra) are sisters who belong to a middle class family that is struggling to make ends meet. Without getting into their complicated family, the main premise is that Zonii is jealous of Zohra and hates her half sister Sania. Zonii is book smart and pretty but also very greedy, jealous and self-centered. She makes extensive plans to acquire wealth, ruin her sister’s marriage, set herself up with a rich guy while at the same time being the most badtameez daughter of 2012. What baffles me is how her family lets her get away with her crazy schemes while they all sit there helpless.
I realized that Aks wasn’t the only drama in 2012 that showed sister rivalries. So I sat down and brainstormed a list of dramas that aired in 2012 that had laraka sisters:
Hum Tv: Madiha Maliha, Bari Apa, Yahan Pyar Nahin Hai, Maat, Zard Mausum
ARY Digital: Aks, Aitraaf, Meri Behan Meri Devarani
I don’t watch Geo that much so I am not that familiar with their dramas. It seems that maybe Hum Tv has been leading the way in promoting this storyline.
So where did it all start? Maat, which ended in February 2012, showcased the Aimen/Saman rivalry where Saman went through great lengths to ruin her innocent and shareef sister Aimen’s ghar. Since Maat was somewhat a hit with the viewers, more dramas came about with similar kahaniyan.
I have no objections if one or two dramas are based on this topic because these kinds of rivalries do exist in real life. However, when dramas with such stories become a fad and are being watched by the masses, then I worry. If the same story is showed over and over again, it doesn’t take long before these ideas get instilled into the minds of people and they come to accept/rationalize jealousy. I wouldn’t be surprised if sisters start getting jealous over trivial things. Your sister got a nicer suit than you for Eid? NAHINNNN! YOU SHOULD PLOT TO RUIN HER LIFE NOW! Mwahahaha.
I noticed a trend in these kharab behan, achi behan kind of dramas. There seems to be a simple formula to make a cookie-cutter drama about sisters:
A) The Story
- Insert gareeb parents
- Insert minimum of three daughters
- Make sure at least one of the sisters is evil (this is key!)
- Insert misunderstandings
- Insert fewer guys than there are sisters
- Insert a love triangle
B) The Casting
Role of Sisters: Aiza Khan, Mawra Hocane, Urwa Hocane, Jana Malik, Sajal Ali, Saba Qamar, Zhalay Sarhadi
Role of Potential Bachelors: Sami Khan, Ahsan Khan, Hasan Ahmed, Danish Taimur, Fahad Mustafa, Mohib Mirza
Role of Mother: Saba Faisal, Saba Hameed, Naila Jafri, Qaiser Naqvi, Laila Zuberi
Role of Father: Waseem Abbas, Firdous Jamal, Shehreyar Zaidi, Shaood Alvi
Please note: The actors and actresses listed above all do exceptional work and by mentioning their names I am by no means demeaning their work.
C) Hire a director and a writer (I will not give examples).
And voila! You will have a semi-good drama ready with a decent following. If the actors/directors make an appearance on a morning show, then they can gain more viewers.
I wish that in 2013 we see more dramas where the relationship of sisters is shown in a positive light and they are not shown to be khatarnaak. Let’s hope we see more of the Serena/Zenia and Haniya/Yamina kind of nurturing and caring sisters in the new year, inshallah!