Aakhri Station ~ Episodes 5-7~ Final Review

Aur phir chalte chalte train apne aakhri station tak pohonch hi gayi… aur is safar ke ikhtetam pe aa kar janam liya ek naye safar ne … a fresh start a new beginning for the group of six women who had met and bonded on account of sharing their stories on this life-changing trip.

The women who had gotten on the train from Lahore had been a rag-tag group of strangers. Each compelled to walk away from that which had been familiar to her. Yasmin, Gulmeena, Farzana, Rafia, all had tried their best to make things work but as their stories revealed there came a point when walking away seemed liked the only way out of the dastardly situations in which they found themselves.

As the train chugged along, Shabana and Shumaila joined in and listening to others share their troubled lives emboldened them to share their tales of sorrow as well. Shabana’s problems stemmed from being married to a man ruled by his ego – he was highly educated and therefore, he felt, deserved a job equal to his qualifications. That such a job was not available and that household bills needed to be paid and children needed to be fed did not quite make it through the me-myself-and-I echo chamber in his head.

If Shabana and her children – born and unborn- suffered on account of her husband being an egomaniac, an aptly named Shumaila suffered on account of being married off to an insecure man. Parents seek nothing less than a chand ka tukra when looking for a bahu but not once do they stop to think of their less than moon-faced son. To see Shumaila’s beautiful face disfigured so horifically was absolutely heart wrenching.

Getting a disparate group of people to open up and share their most painful memories with a bunch of strangers is a herculean task, but Tehmina’s seemingly genuine interest and most importantly her non-judgmental attitude gets these women to open up and gradually a circle of sharing and caring is formed.

That Tehmina is able to look past the obvious socio-economic disparity, the differences in ethnicity and language and culture speaks to her open-mindedness and her willingness to engage with that which may not be visible at first glance. And this may not have seemed as a huge deal when she first walked in to the train station, but as the various stories gradually unfolded so did her past unravel. Tehmina may appear calm, collected and controlled now, but she too had to had to travel down a difficult path to get this far.

Where the other ladies had to physically walk away from toxic situations, Tehmina’s fight was internal and her journey emotional rather than physical. But there were certain resonances as well. Like her fellow passengers, Tehmina too had to fight against social stigma. For others it may have been a societal stigma – walking away from marriages, leaving children behind, HIV, etc – for Tehmina it was an internalized stigma. Depression is not considered a “proper” disease, and depression sufferers often seen as “not strong.”

Seven weeks, seven women, seven stories. Each story differing in details but similar in ways that mattered most. And this is where the producers, Kashf Foundation and Khoosat Films, deserve a huge round of applause for selecting stories that were thematically connected but symptomatically very different. Kudos to Amna Mufti for  a script where the various stories were skillfully woven in so as to create a tapestry of sorts, one that paid a well-deserved tribute to the resilience and courage of those who dared take a first step towards breaking the cycle of violence.

Pulling together the complex stories, doing justice to the nuances and layers of meaning in each story, treating them sensitively while not letting go of the artistic component is a feat not many directors could have accomplished with as much finesse but Sarmad Khoosat made it all look so effortless, almost organic. Right from the absolutely stunning first episode to the much mellower last one, each was connected through the stories hidden behind those ominous closed doors. Each door different in tone and texture but used for exactly the same purpose. And this difference in tonality and texture was reflected in how each story looked and felt as well.

We were spared the melodrama but what we did not see was so much more scary – our imaginations worked overtime and the exhausted, world weary faces of the survivors told us the rest of their stories. These stories came alive because the characters came alive. Superbly casted for most part, Aakhri Station will be remembered for the great blend of seasoned and fresh faces. Sanam Saeed was excellent as Tehmina. Her outing as a patient of depression was among the best I have seen in recent times. Mikaal Zulfiqar was great as her very patient and supportive husband.

Nimra Bucha was simply stunning as the absolutely exhausted Shabana, but then even in the midst of all her misery this woman’s ability to find joy in the simplest of things – getting drenched in the rains – was amazing and made for a beautiful moment. Eman Suleman, Malika Zafar, Anam Gohar, Farah Tufail, Zoay, Fadil all were great in their parts. Irfan Khoosat was brilliant as always.

Aakhri Station had started off with a bang but sadly it ended on a whimper. The thoughtless ending has left a very bitter taste and seems very out of place in an otherwise very well-done drama. That Tehmina had undertaken the journey with the express intention of meeting women to dig out their life stories in order to find fodder for her book is absolutely mind boggling.

The idea of Tehmina’s book germinated as a part of her own therapy, how and when did this project grow to the extent that she felt competent and comfortable enough to tell other people’s stories? Later, in not disclosing her true intentions at the outset and interviewing these women without their consent,  Tehmina was unethical to the nth degree and violated all kinds of laws regarding using humans as test subjects, confidentiality concerns, etc. Also, once she’s done with her interviews it is no more about the women themselves. She keeps moving from one group to another, to a third. Much like war journalists for whom the thrill lies in reporting the war, not the reasons for the war itself.

In giving Tehmina the last word it was almost as if the other six women’s efforts, to help each other make better lives for themselves and their families, were not somehow not worthy enough. What was more important, in its stead was this woman’s quest to dig out stories to tell. To what end? That was never made clear.

Overlooked in this privileging of Tehmina’s voice, and allowing her control over the telling of these stories, was that in doing so she was making mockery of the basic tenet of this series – returning women control over their lives. Shouldn’t it have been the women’s prerogative to choose when and how to tell their stories? Would Tehmina had liked it if her voice had been co-opted by someone else? Wasn’t it precisely this issue – her writing being published without her consent – that was the reason for Tehmina’s mother’s fights with her husband and why Tehmina fought with her husband? Why then was she doing the same to other women?

My peeves with the ending aside, in the final analysis Kashf Foundation and Khoodat Films worked well together to bring us the thought provoking Aakhri Station. This was a very well-made series with aesthetically sound beautifully narrated stories. The overall plot needed a lot more thought and research but the individual stories read well. My one advice/critique would be to not try and pack so many issues in each story. Gulmeena’s story for instance was a difficult one to keep contained. That said, I hope to see more mini-series along similar lines.

So that was my take. What about you all? What did you all think of this final stop of Aakhri Station? Looking forward to reading your thoughts!

Written by SZ~

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31 replies

  1. I agree with what you’ve said about the abrupt ending of the series. And that Tehmima is in control of the stories of these otherwise strong and independent characters, which shouldn’t have been the case.

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    • Haina! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way! I’m disappointed 😦 I feel so manipulated by her as an audience member, I dont even know how I wouldve felt if this happened to me in real life.

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  2. Really! are we nit picking on the assumption that Tehima wrote the stories of the other women??? Her book could have been on her own journey, for all we know. Also if we were to go with the assumption, these stories are based on real happenings anyways and I don’t know if in reality consent was taken from these women who’s stories were told, but looking at the bigger picture, wasn’t it commendable that these stories were brought forth???

    Frankly what I found amiss was that Tehima had already missed out so much of her children’s childhood and along with her exploring other women’s stories, they could have shown her bonding with her kids and husband, as other than herself, her kids and husband too bore the brunt of her depression.

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    • @Radiant: Hey! How’ve you been?

      Yes, you are right that part, about her child being conveniently left out of the picture was extremely disturbing, as was the absence of her husband. And just like I mentioned about the book and the writing and stories, this issue – of a child missing out a mother’s love – was again a destructive pattern being repeated for no rhyme or reason.

      My issue with the book is because then she is in the train under false pretenses… her whole interest in these women becomes self serving. We know she wrote about these women because she tells her husband I will write not just about my own struggle but about other women’s struggles too (she repeats that in the last scene too) … thats why she was in a third class compartment, when she could’ve easily sat in a first class airconditioned compartment. And we know consent was not taken because Yasmeen had no clue what the book was about, she asked her why were you there in the train with us and Tehmina shows her the book and says one day we shall all sit together and read it.

      Re: the stories being brought forth being commendable, yes if this were a loosey goosey commercial venture i wouldnt have cared two hoots but this project had experts on board and these are very serious ethical breaches ….Whether the women whose stories we are watching were asked for consent is not something I know of, nor is BTS my concern as a viewer. I am concerned with what we are showing on TV, in the guise of serious drama, with a stated intention of educating the public.

      In any case, as a character Tehmina was not written very well, IMHO.

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      • Hi! SZ 🙂

        I have actually not been keeping too well for quite sometime and being a mother of growing up children, it’s frustrating when you can’t give in your all and guess that’s what bothered me about the last episode, this very aspect being overlooked in Tehima’s case. LOL

        As for the assumption that Tehima did write about these women, it’s not like she deliberately went out to deceive them or her intentions were bad. It’s said na that writers or for that matter artists are observers of life and I guess that’s why she donned on ordinary saree and traveled in ordinary compartment to blend in. So even if her book did comprise of stories of these women, I don’t see it as, to quote you,
        “allowing her (Tehima) control over the telling of these stories, was that in doing so she was making mockery of the basic tenet of this series – returning women control over their lives.”

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        • @Radiant: Aww! Huge big hug for you! Hope you feel better soon! I have been fighting all kinds of health issues too and so totally hear you about not being able to give life one’s all. It is actually ironic that we are spending a lot of time discussing the end of Tehmina’s story ( I know, my fault since I didnt write the past two weeks) but I actually found the depiction of her depression so moving and effective and was so touched by it that I had to go out for a walk after that. I know other stories were equally moving and impactful in their own ways but depression is a hard one to portray because there is really nothing wrong on the outside. Sanam and Sarmad together were a force to be reckoned with in this particular story.

          Would love to know what you all thought of Tehmina and Shabana’s story?

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  3. Hi SZ!

    Its been a long time since I wrote a comment here. Have had some memorable times with you all, notably our journey through Numm! Don’t get time to watch Serials much these days but try my best to stay in touch via DRNR.

    After a long time, watched Akhri Station. I liked it. IMHO, life is a vast canvas, many strokes, many shades, difficult to do justice portraying one life in 7 episodes, imagine trying to fit in 7 lives in as many episodes! So it is to be expected that not all aspects of their lives or all people in their lives get sufficient importance in the overall story-telling here. Perhaps more episodes, more time could have fleshed out their characters and their lives better. Sometimes such hurried storytelling leaves one dissatisfied and wanting more!

    Writers, painters, actors, observe people, events, life, all around them every day, in their own restless quest and then describe what they see, what they feel in words or colours or portrayals. This is how they get their ideas, material for creating their own version of what they learnt in their own journey through life. They are not stealing anything from anyone, I think, so question of ethics and breaches did not worry me. Journalism, war reportage are different from Tehmina’s genre of writing, wouldn’t you say?!

    In the limited screen-time given to enacting each story, all actors performed adequately I feel. So I liked Akhri Station but felt more time should have been taken to tell this tale.

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    • @RR: Hey! Arrey bhai wah! It almost feels like a reunion – you and @Radiant back after so long! Koi party sharty type cheez honi chahiye! Yes! Those Numm days! We seriously need a drama like that again, if for nothing else then to just get the old gang together, we had some truly fab times then!

      Oh, dont get me wrong, I loved Aakhri Station too. Was/am a huge fan and actually didn’t mind the sketches rather than the painstakingly detailed characters, because after the recent spate of 30+ episode serials I am done with watching every breath a character takes. This review is more a reflection of my shock really at the totally unexpected U Turn.

      I hear you and @Radiant both re: artistic license, creativity, freedom of expression, observing life to gain inspiration, all that is totally legit and more power to tehmina for doing that. My problem arises more from a professional/intellectual viewpoint. Even if she was drawing on their experiences to write fiction, she was still using their stories as research material and for this she should have asked permission, and made her position in that group as an interviewer more transparent. There are very clear established guidelines for such procedures and I am not saying that we needed to have been shown the process etc, but at least some reference to that would have been very welcome.Otherwise it is straightforward exploitation. I would call it inspiration from real life if she had randomly overheard conversations, come upon a scene of DV or saw someone being evicted or some such, instead of actively pursuing stories by riding in trains and initiating conversations by asking questions.

      Had this been any other run of the mill drama I wouldnt have cared, but because this is a Kashf Production I was shocked. Let’s say, if for instance, this was not the Tehmina we know and like but another Tehmina, an “outsider” who solicited these stories under similar circumstances and wrote up a book, which we did not like, would we have been quite as forgiving then?

      Yes, journalism and war reportage are different, agreed, but she was dressed just like that – a woman on a mission – to never stop writing women’s stories. And notice she cut a lonely figure on those tracks .. she was literally on a one woman mission …. not to mommy shame her or anything but yeah as @Radiant rightly pointed out, what about her own child?

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      • Hi! Agree with you, Tehmina comes across as lost n lonely throughout. There is nothing to show she is emotionally connected to anyone or anything even to her own child! As you have mentioned in one of your comments, her character is not very well written.

        I also miss our Numm journey. Wish something like that comes along soon.

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  4. kwhat i loved about the ending was that every woman found peace at the end of it. i am sick and tired of those repetitive drama who show woman the same place emotionally as there were before.and often the go back to there abusers.once trust is broken,]reserve judgement on that. no one knows whether tehmina told the whole stories of these women or took inspiration from them. but i have to agree that they at lest should’ve showed her asking permission form the women she wrote about. but in the end i am glad that they showed all women going away from abuse. i feel the most on the topic right now because today i made a play in drama class about how mothers and fathers abuse there children.but in pakistan they are considered angelic but they are humans like everyone else life but the teacher that this does’t happen in our society and that we should respect my parents. ufffff sometimes i wish like tehmina i could just get on a train and journey where ever i want. i would love that

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  5. what i loved about the ending was that every woman found peace at the end of it. i am sick and tired of those repetitive drama who show woman the same place emotionally as there were before.and often the go back to there abusers.once trust is broken,i reserve judgement on the book. no one knows whether tehmina told the whole stories of these women or took inspiration from them. but i have to agree that they at lest should’ve showed her asking permission form the women she wrote about. but in the end i am glad that they showed all women going away from abuse. i feel the most on the topic right now because today i made a play in drama class about how mothers and fathers abuse there children.but in pakistan they are considered angelic but they are humans like everyone else life but the teacher that this does’t happen in our society and that we should respect my parents. ufffff sometimes i wish like tehmina i could just get on a train and journey where ever i want. i would love that

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    • @mariamirfan2007: Absolutely, agree with you. I too loved the positive and empowering note on which the series ended. I appreciated how the bonds of friendship formed on the train were carried beyond the bogey and into the real life and used to help each other grow – this truly inspiring to see and exactly what we need more of on TV these days.

      I feel for you and hear your frustrations – teachers need to be open-minded and trained in more than book knowledge these days, particularly when it comes to working with young, intelligent and inquiring minds like yours that want to engage with real world issues and connect the dots. Hopefully you’ll get a better teacher next year, IA!

      P.S. I am caught up with Piyari Bitto and should hopefully write it up soon. Sorry for the delay!

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  6. Hi sz, hope you are doing good. Akhri station shuru hoa aur khatam bi hogia isn’t it great we have lot to talk about for just 7episodes and on other hand we have plays that have 25 episodes aur smaj nai ata new ha ya repeat chal raja. I really enjoyed akhri station short,precise, to the point. Less misery is shown but left a deep impact. Regarding tehmina breach of privacy I somehow agree with you but I am glad that they shows tehmina out and about following her dream. In my opinion bachon and husband ka sath end dikhata tu woi humsafar/ZGH type feel ati ka of women is happy and content she’ll be running around her kids in the lawn. I hope ither people follow the trend and start making 15-16 episode drama again.
    P.s looking forward to read your take on pyari bitto

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    • @Maria: Thankyou for being a fellow passenger on this journey – was great to hear from all who read and commented. As you rightly say AS wa short and sweet but gave us a lot of food for thought.
      PB review is up – looking forward to your thoughts ..,
      I have more to write re: your comment but will write later tonight

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  7. I’m finally all caught up on this show. Thanks for the timely reminder and the excellent summary, SZ! Props to you, as always.

    This train journey has been interesting, to say the least. I was surprised by the sudden change of pace after four episodes of sharply focusing on just one woman’s story, we now had Shabana and Shumaila’s stories presented sort of side-by-side with Tehmina’s story overlaid on top. At first, it didn’t quite work for me, but I warmed to it as we progressed to the end.

    Sanam Saeed was terrific in this role. Her body language and facial expressions–in depicting the desperate isolation and loneliness that are sometimes a part of clinical depression–were perfect. I also thought the writer showed great sensitivity in showing how those who suffer from mental illness internalize the struggle to the point where they begin to blame themselves, even though mental illness is a health condition to be treated and managed much like any other chronic illness.

    As with the other episodes, the last episode has some wonderful visual flourishes. I especially liked that shot of the women walking away from the station with their colorful chudiyan, a sign of the bond they formed but also of the hope each found from taking their lives into their own hands and forging a new path.

    That brings me to–unfortunately–to the thing that really did not work for me at all. As I watched the last scenes, I could not help but be appalled that Tehmina never asked for permission to use these stories. She’s not writing a novel based on a random snatch of conversation she heard on a train! Her book–of her own admission–is meant to bring these stories to the world. I suppose we’re meant to celebrate her journey and her effort, but words like “consent forms” and “IRB approval” kept going through my head and I came away deeply concerned that Tehmina had just violated a series of ethical norms we take for granted these days.

    The fact that the a character we like and identify with is the one doing the unethical thing actually makes it worse. Tehmina essentially interviews these women under false pretenses, mines their stories for her own book, and then does it again and again to different groups of women, and to what end? To write a book that’s really about her own struggles and her journey. In a drama so centered around women exercising enormous courage to reclaim their own agency, Tehmina effectively robs all these women of agency, of individuality, by ignoring the women themselves and being interested only in their stories. She doesn’t actively help any of the women, she even admits she doesn’t keep in touch with any of them. They’re not even really people for her, just stories.

    If she’d been from the same socio-economic background as, say, Yasmin, for example, I might have been willing to cut her some slack. But she’s an educated woman from an enormously privileged background who–unintentionally and inadvertently–has exploited countless less fortunate women for her own ends. This left a really bad taste for me, and sort of ruined the overall empowerment message of the show for me.

    My criticism is probably a bit harsh, but first impressions are what they are for a reason.

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  8. Hello again SZ,

    Did not hear from you since many days- hope you are good.

    This was a decent drama with crisp stories, though lacked some connection in the middle- but was good overall, except the ending.

    As you and others have already written about the ending- don’t wanna repeat it. I thought Tehmina wanna write about her diary (that she used to write, when she was in depression) and not the stories she has seen on the train but turn out to be a different thing.

    Also, all positive endings with all the women in the drama was a bit too good to be true! Not a single story was unsuccessful in their journey? Is it really true in Pakistan?

    A good and brave step for the production team, otherwise to show such delicate topics with such finer and truer details.

    Also, please keep writing your takes and will keep commenting on my thoughts here.

    Best regards
    Saadia

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    • Sadia: hey! Yes, this was a good one albeit it’s loose ending.. I agree abt the simplistic endings to the very complicated real world problems but I guess they wanted to send out a message of positivity and hope, and I’m okay with it because for ppl in desperate situations dramas like this go a long way in holding out hope that change can happen. But at the same time, I hear your concern and do wonder if the too pat endings do make it all look too simple and easy. On my last review @doctor and I were discussing this question as to whether walking out of the house is a solution indeed to all the problems. the answer obviously is no, and for these women, they had solutions in mind when they had stepped out but perhaps a bit more emphasis on that at then end would have helped.. But then again playing the devil’s advocate these are only dramas not documentaries or teaching videos .. so I guess simplistic story telling works in such scenarios.. in any case this was a great series when it came to raising awareness and starting imp, much needed conversations

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  9. Great review SZ.. and quite interesting too.. .. for me i didnt look like Tehmina was unethical in sharing their stories without their consent as i took it in a way she might have wrote generally as in what she learnt from them.. May be it came out that way as unethical and taking stories as mere stories. What i found weird was the carelessness in Tehminas words.. the way she said mujhe tou unke naam bhi yaad nhn .something like that…. that moment for me was v.disappointing..

    In terms of last 3 episodes.. most horrific was of Shumailas.. it made me scared like literally.. while the other two were made inpactful because of actors playing thosr roles.. both Nimra Bucha and Sanam Saeed were phenomenal.. loved how NB fall down so naturally while cutting crops and SS how she reacts on her birthday being celebrated or how she unwillingly was getting ready and then her lying down.. these small touches were done brilliantly by both..

    Over all so love watching this series.. it’s not that hard to show some positivity at the end makes viewers happy and encouraged.. Tuesdays will be boring again:/

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    • @Rehmat: Yes, this is probably what they wanted to pass it all off as, but how can other women’s experiences become Tehmina’s experiences? That too based on only on hearing one side of the story? May be she does so in other cases, but here we only saw her listening, not really immersing herself in the experience of the other women’s stories …. khair, hopefully they will be more particular the next time around is all we can hope for ..

      Yes, Nimra was phenomenal as Shabana and Sanam really nailed it as a depression sufferer. And so true abt Shumaila … we hear and read about these acid throwing stories so much in the media but to actually see such a lovely girl transformed so starkly was quite a shocker and also shocking was how easily such a deadly liquid is so easily available … Idk if you remember or not, but in SeZ remember when Falak’s husband (forgot the loser’s name) gets married to Tabinda Falak goes to buy acid to throw it on Tabinda’s face because she is so sure that Tabinda must be stunning and her first instinct is to destroy her looks … and she had heard abt this from the maid who had talked abt someone else she knew getting acid thrown on her face by her husband … my point basically being that it is shocking how commonplace such a heinous act is and how there is really no protection for a woman against this b/c it can happen to her anytime … And along the same lines, notice how her mom-in-law kept quiet every time her son abused his wife … its these small enabling gestures that allow men to get bolder and bolder till they think they can pretty much get away with anything … and their wives are their milkiyats/their cheez …

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      • So true regarding Acid available so easily.. I too thought same.. Salman was Falak’s husband in SeZ and yes so damn right about getting acid so casually..

        Yes that mil was so weird i wonder how Khulaa and surgery compensated to what his son did.. tab she used to make her silent and now everything got ruined .. crying buckets and feeling sorry.. N that police case against his son..

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  10. @All: Maria’s comment made me think of representation of working women in dramas .. given that a large number of women now work (across social strata) I wonder why we dont see working women normalized in TV. By normalized I mean like you and me, juggling family and work together. Why is it that we get only extremes. Women going out into the wilderness all alone, as if on a mission (Tehmina in Aakhri Station) where family and children are left completely by the wayside. Another favorite stereotype is working women who go out to work and therefore are automatically negligent (Zaroon’s mom in ZGH). On the far end of the spectrum is Saint Rafia – a single mother of three grown daughters who does it all with an omni-present smile on her face (by the end of the serial I was convinced she was on something very strong with that 24/7 beatific smile). And then we have Kashaf type working women who god alone knows what kind of work they do because they can take off to another city at a whim and stay there for months on end and also clean bathrooms and cook food and fix closets and what not …. And then of course there are a ton of those women who are supposedly hifi career women but dont actually do nothing with their jobs as far the drama is concerned – all we get is the ghar bachey shohar …

    So where are the drama heroines with our issues and problems? Women work for all kinds of reasons – sometimes it because they want to, and other times they have to… but no matter the whys and hows of the situation the struggle is still real …Also, this is not to exclude women working within the home.. they work just as much .. but our tv dramas dont address their issues too … it is as if women in dramas are for that matter its not just older women, even younger girls … teenagers dont find representation in dramas.. nothing in recent years that shows us high school and college issues, and by this I dont mind the stupid love triangles set in colleges ..

    Would love to read what you all think of this gap in representation?

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    • I agree…there are so many real life issues which would be relatable to masses…regarding school and college issues,think how diff it would be.It has made me remember Sayee of Khalida Riyasat and Tapish of Rubina Ashraf from past..I don’t find stories of this sort now.
      Tabassum in zan mureed is something which is relatable but I’ve reservations with what they want to show.
      Regarding Akhri Station..i’ve same feelings abt the end.
      Sanam Saeed as a character did not appeal me from the beginning as I feel she has been added to the series due to her fame..All other ladies are not well known but they were much better than her.
      I found her inquisitive from start ,even I said to someone that she seems to b a curious aunty who wants to listen to everyone ‘s dukhi story .Her expressions had Sanam Saeed written on it and not Tehmina.Tehmina as a patient of depression also did not go very well with me,probably I’ve seen many patients of Major Depressive Illness from middle class and she belonging to an elite class did not go for me.
      Nimra Bucha story was good and so was her acting.
      Shumaila’s story also had certain weak points.Such kind of men with low mentality exist but the writer should not intermingle genuine causes ,concerns and possessiveness about wife and being doubtful about wife’s character together.
      For istance,dewar sitting in lap? No sane man with little religious knowledge will allow this rasam to happen,and even if they were justifying it ,y they zoomed out camera where dewar actually sitting on table was pretended to be shown as sitting in lap?
      Then..when she was taking milk from milkman..many husbands don’t want their wives to be out without proper cover.
      Frank dewars…I ve seen two dewars literally standing snd sitting along side of newly wed tyar shuda bhabi like bodyguards..yani i could not bear this..This has to be taught by mother to kids what distance u should maintain with bhabi n dewars.
      I know many women who find pride in transforming themselves according to their husband’s genuine wishes.Here on god bithai mom reacted weird on son’s genuine concern,wife did not understand what her husband wants when standing out taking milk.
      I agree the way husband was conveying his message was rude but concerns were not wrong.
      In actual world..I believe such men make issues out of non issues..for instance..they would have shown Shumaila taking proper dopatta but while working it gets fallen down n husband scolds or slaps her for that..or for milk,she would have asked her dewar to take but he refuses and she goes out to get it with dopatta and then her husband unjustifyingly blames her for coming out though she would hav genuine reason that man in the house refused!
      Dewar should have been shown respectful yet caring for bhabi like in Dur e shehwar but yet bhai saab would hav been shaki..
      I agree even if the scenario in real life is exactly what has been shown..this heinous crime,even no crime is justifiable..
      The point is by showing this they portray some rights as wrongs and vice versa..
      Again, I don’t know I have been able to convey or not!

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      • @Doctor: Hello hello, lovely to hear from you .. as usual kaafi saarey observations and insights – enjoyed reading them 🙂

        First off, you have absolutely conveyed your thoughts very nicely, so no concerns on that front. In response I would say that none of us are authorities on religious matters so lets leave that aside, and talk solely about the universal social implications of Shumaila’s story. Different families have different rasams and cultural traditions, which is actually the best part of living in multicultural societies. It is these traditions that add so much fun and color to out functions like mehndi shaadi etc. Now of course, what works for one family or one biradari or one culture may not necessarily seems appropriate to others who are not from that same group which is totally fine and understandable, it is these differences that make each of us unique, and should be respected, irregardless of whether we would do this or not in our lives.Also what might seem as wrong to one person may be perfectly ok for the other, so that is entirely contextual.

        That said, over time so much has changed and with exposure to so many ideas from different sources sometimes family members too may not agree on rasams that are enjoyed and approved by the whole family – this goad bithai rasam, for instance. In this case, rather than pointing to religion etc, I would say that as the oldest in the family and someone very familiar with her son’s temperament, the mother should have sat down with her two boys and discussed the various rasams and asked if they were comfortable with them. This may sound weird but it is actually not that different than discussing what clothes everybody will wear or what menu to keep for what occasions … its just about keeping pace with changing times and being practical. This way the marriage would have gotten off to a smoother smart. Also, she could have sat down alone with her bahu one day and explained to her a little bit about her new husband’s temperament and the expectations that they had of her, so for instance not going out for milk. Maybe in the girl’s family it was perfectly ok, here it was not. How would she know?

        Giving a young newcomer in the family such helpful insights may seem like a small thing but actually goes a very very long way. At the same time she should have also sat down her younger son and explained to him how delicate a relationship he shares with his bhabhi where she is like his sister but not actually. And finally a sit down with the son where she explained to him the difference between a wife and a possession … .this is to me is the real crux of the matter … where I would say the takeaway is universal because these are stories about human relationships. And I think the mother realized her guilt in the matter, that by being silent she had actually as good as thrown acid on the girl herself hence her immediate rush to support her daughter in law etc. Great job by her, but a bit too late. None the less, I think this story does put this thought into all our minds that next time around when planning weddings of our loved ones we will also take time to discuss and go through the rasams and riwajs and see if they still work for everyone involved, and also remind the elders in the family that bringing in a new person in the family means taking on the responsibility of initiating her to the ways of your family, because each and every family, no matter how closely related they may be have different ways of doing things.

        Re: Tehmina: Shabina had brought up a lot of great stuff in her comment and so in addition to responding to other things, I also responded to the Tehmina issue there. Also, I do not think it is fair to say that just because she comes from the elite class Tehmina cannot be depressed. Been there done that and I can tell you it ain’t so … its painful and horrible and doesn’t distinguish between classes when picking its targets ..

        Btw, I was waiting to hear from you on PB.. aap ne dekhna chor diya tha kya?

        Liked by 1 person

        • In my opinion religion is a code of conduct of life just like in our work place,we are termed as good workers if we follow the code of conduct of that institution. So i think we should not be feared of the world religion.Religion has great impact on social norms even.In case of Shumaila, if we assume that was a cultural norm of that family to have certain rasam but in next generation a son did not feel comfortable with it either due to his religious inclination or due to mere overpossessive attitude towards wife (like this psycho man),here comes your very valid point that parent’s have a role in discussing and addressing these issues and like u said ‘keeping pace and changing with time’ ,parent’s should pay heed to what son says if it fits better in social model. I would like to rephrase my previous statement if mentioning religion sounds over strictness.In a sophisticated set up, no one can do this sort of rasam or this sort of act without her consent.This is indeed a breech of privacy and self of someone.Just imagine a woman sitting in airport lounge and a security man comes and sits in gaud that this is how we greet our passengers!
          I mean son here had a valid reasoning but his behaviour to record his unwillingness to certain other issues (other issues could be simply resolved by communication brcause as u said girl wud be accustomed to somethind different)was unacceptable and ur second and third paragraph mentioning parent’s role would have probably been able to stop what happened at the end..
          Dekha phir,I feared right coz I could not convey well what I thought abt Tehmina’s story. I did not mean that people from priviledged backgrounds cannot be depressed.Ofcourse they can be..it can both b biological and environmental.In Tehmina’s case ,she might have both factors.biogically from her mother and environmental coz of her mom’ suicide.What I meant to say that it has not bern portrayed well like u mentioned in response @Shabina that they could not show well due to fast pace that is does not necessarily need a trigger .like Tehmina’s mom depression…Why she felt too lonely despite having a child that she committed suicide though many women say their only hope to live are their kids? It clearly means depression can come out of no where but they did not elaborate it and much more..
          Tehmina sadly was Sanam Saeed for me.Unkown actor and actress making this pair would have worked more for me in this issue based narrative.
          They looked a typical upper class we see in our daily dramas..so that’s what I meant
          Depression is a topic we can talk a lot about i think.but let’s leave it for sometime later!

          Regarding Pyari Bittu….teray review ko janay kitnay haftay hain tarsay,na he koi raves aye na hi koi rants bersay!
          No dear,hergiz nhi chora dikhna.
          next 2 days too busy….so let me take out time to comment on PB thread!

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    • We’ve talked about this a bit before, but I think it’s because dramas are still focused–not entirely, but in the main–on romantic plots and on familial relationships. The eye of the writer/director are turned so sharply on the household that other aspects of a person’s life–their career, relationships they have with coworkers, friends, etc., become secondary to the point of irrelevance.

      In the rare cases where a woman is shown as caring about her career, it’s either presented as a net negative (as with Ghazala on ZGH) or something she has to do in order to make ends meet (as with the sainted Rafia on ZGH, or more recently, Shakira on PB, I guess). There’s generally no room for a woman who works because she wants to, or because she has a calling. The one exception seems to be if the woman is a doctor like Zubia in YKS, but even there, her career is presented as something of a sidebar to the main plot of getting her together with Asfi (who–in sharp contrast–is allowed the opportunity to use his career to make the sort of choices on which the plot hinges).

      So unless these drama stories are willing to venture past the household and household relationships, I’m afraid women like us–those who successfully juggle career with being wives and mothers and the 100 million other roles we have to be in our lives–are going to be like unicorns. Sigh.

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      • @RK: That is exactly the the question I am trying to raise here – why are the dramas not willing to venture beyond the ghar and bacchay paradigm… it is almost as if they are afraid that by showing positive portrayals pf working women they will somehow end up upsetting some universal law of nature or inciting a widespread movement where women will just walk out of their homes and leave their poor husbands to fend for themselves and horror of horrors even have to warm up food for themselves!!!

        As much as TV dramas claim to be by the women and for the women they are actually exactly the opposite. Be it a male writer or a female one, a male producer or a female one, a female led channel or otherwise at the end of the day they are all reinforcing patriarchy and ensuring that the age old desi family model remains firmly in place. Call me a conspiracy theorist but I see no will at all on the part of the decision makers to make even the smallest of changes. Sure, women are getting paid better, they have more opportunities within the drama industry but that is all behind the scenes … on screen we see none of this reflected .. even the women who have been empowered by this change are happily churning out the same old and you really have to wonder … :/

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  11. an amazing series came to an end……all the 6 stories were beautifully portrayed except for tehmeeena’s, if they would have shown her family not understanding her mental situation that would have been an interesting thing to watch but on the other hand they did understand her & tried their best to keep her happy but she was the one acting like a retard. Also the end seemed to be rushed, i really doubt shabana’s husband won’t behave the same way incase their business doesn’t works, how come gulmeena’s inlaws had a change of heart all of a sudden, but i loved shumaila’s & farzana’s end they deserved it

    Liked by 1 person

    • @Shabina: I agree. Much as I applaud the 7 ep model, the end was rushed, definitely. My thinking is that they took on too much, and within each story there were too many other tangential issues and it was almost impossible to resolve those in this kind of a model. The way these stories were, just Shabana’s story alone merited three/four eps alone, given the number of problems they raised in that. And also you are so right. Financial solvency was not the long-term solution to Shabana’s problems, a band-aid perhaps but not a permanent cure. Farzana’s ending worked most for me, because of all the people she was the one most equipped to deal with the change. Shumaila’s story followed along the lines of Massarat Misbah’s SmileAgain Foundation’s (do check them out – they do fab work https://www.facebook.com/DepilexSmileAgain/ ).

      Re: Tehmina, I think its easy to term her a “retard” but its really hard to understand depression till one’s gone through it themselves. No amount of understanding from family, friends, support, money, comfort can alleviate the darkness and depth of despair that lies within. I can say this because I am somebody who suffers from severe depression, and Tehmina could’ve been me. I have been there done that. The only thing I would stress, which the show did not highlight and played fast and easy with, was that not all depression happens on account of a traumatic trigger and not all depressions are as easily cured by popping pills. That just does not happen. Its a long, slow process to recovery and every day presents a new challenge. That side, Tehmina’s story has started an open discussion about a taboo topic and by placing her in the elite class we also see that depression is a universal problem, and even those with access to resources still suffer and hence the overwhelming need to spread awareness and educate those around us.

      Thank you for your insights and comments throughout this safar – looking forward to more humsafaring 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. @Following up on Shumaila’s story and th work of Depilex Smile Again Foundation do check out the fab work being done by this foundation led by Massarat Misbah.

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