‘Cheekh’ has been gaining popularity with every passing episode. The storyline and the acting are what keep people hooked to the show. Recently, the addition of Shayan into the drama as a major character in the show has turned things around and puts a lot into perspective about how the show has been written.
The three brothers in the show are extremely different and depict different types of masculinity.
Masculinity and the way it’s shown in our TV dramas has been quite problematic. Men are meant to be tough, angry and unable to show compassion and empathy- they are often shown as ‘angry’ and controlling. ‘Cheekh’ also has these tellings of masculinity however, it does mix in a more liberal understanding of this concept, and each brother represents a different meaning.
Wajih is your typical ‘angry young man’.
Among the brothers, he is the youngest and he’s one of those characters that just won’t listen or do anything that they don’t agree with. He likes to have his way, and he likes to now have people stand in his way. This is why Mannat is such a problem for him. She questions him, she probes him and she’s unmoving in her aim of having justice for Nayab. Mannat’s ferocity met with Wajih’s arrogance leads to the main plots of this show. This toxic masculinity cannot begin to comprehend why his brother Shayan won’t remove Mannat from the family.
Wajih shows no remorse for his crime. He has convinced himself that he will not go to jail for Nayab’s murder. This belief of his makes him go mad and think of ways to trap Mannat and eliminate her threat altogether.
Yawar is the prime example of a patriarch or a fatherly figure.
Yawar is the eldest child and has taken the responsibility of keeping the family together, and apparently also the responsibility of keeping the family honor. He blindly follows his brother Wajih because it is in the best interests of the family and by extension chooses to support him throughout all his plans to sabotage Mannat and her case. Yawar is quick to dismiss Mannat as a ‘bad woman’ and someone not worthy of their family and their honor.
In recent episodes, we have also seen the truth behind Shehwar’s apparent infertility. Yawar’s obsession with making Shehwar take the fall for their issues is another example of him trying to keep up his facade of being the man of the house. He, along with a lot of men in Pakistan, feels a lot of shame with the fact that he is incapable of having his own child. Rather than deal with the shame, he passes it on to his wife and uses it to impose his power over her further.
The one brother who seems to be alright so far is Shayan.
Shayan’s masculinity seems to be the most secure of all his brothers. He sees beyond family and honor and sees logic and justice. Shayan standing with his wife rather than his brothers is a massive move. Men are always expected to support their family and especially their brothers at all times- this flip represents his trust and his belief in Mannat. Very few times have we seen such a supportive man in Pakistani Dramas.
Shayan’s inclusion as a main character in this show is still fairly new, however, he has won hearts and caused quite a bit of a ruckus in the storylines.
It is incredibly rare to see such varied male characters in one Pakistani drama, however, this is what brings in charm to ‘Cheekh’. The brothers represent the old and the new, and the clash of these two thought processes will lead to an interesting climax for the show. As the show goes on, Wajih will most definitely continue to be who he is and so will Shayan. My prediction is that at some point, Yawar will falter and reevaluate where he stands- he might flip and stand against Wajih or he might just stay firm in his beliefs.
Cover Photo Courtesy: Big Bang Entertainment