Mannu from ‘Mann Mayal’ was an absolute idiot. While the play at most began faltering the moment Mannu and Salahuddin parted ways, you’d think a character like Mannu would redeem herself, given the leeway other protagonists were given in development, introspection and metamorphose. Her stubbornness and vindictiveness got the best of her, and ultimately while she tried to invoke empathy, all I saw was a spoilt little brat who lacked a significant number of brain cells.
So let’s break it down
Mannu couldn’t marry Salahuddin because he was a) poor and b) didn’t consider himself worthy of her because he had no means of resources. So while he suggested she wait, their families didn’t think it would work. Mannu blamed Salahuddin for her subsequent arranged marriage to raging alcoholic Mikaeel. I’m all for hurting the one who hurt you – I am. Call it a lacking of willpower, being human in its most primitive form, or even abiding by this beautiful lesson “If you hurt someone you don’t get to decide you didn’t” courtesy of Louis C.K.
But to go so far as drown in a loveless marriage with an abusive narcissist of a husband who might have 666 tattooed on his head, just to hurt Salahuddin is a bit silly. Mannu at first glance was someone I related to; she was foolish, in love and sewed her heart very shoddily on her sleeve. Her enamor for Salahuddin was constant, or so I thought. To cause someone who might just do anything to protect you so much pain isn’t love. This isn’t love.
While Salahuddin kept a wary eye on her, Mannu subjected her children to trauma by allowing Mikaeel to set their lives ablaze
He was emotionally unavailable the moment their marriage was consummated, and what followed was an abyss of physical and mental torture. Mannu refused to leave, and just when you think she’s had enough, he cuts off all ties and kicks her out because, well Mikaeel Saab wants to turn his house into a casino.
Mannu didn’t bother understanding the complex wiring narcissists are built from
‘No Contact’ was not pursued, and as a result, we saw Mannu’s mind and spirit deteriorate. She persistently collided with Mikaeel, with barely any elbow room for time to heal from it all. She interacted with him, begged him and triggered him perpetually. Mannu couldn’t fathom that a sociopath doesn’t think the way she does, and that’s her biggest trait of idiocy.
“He engineers a new false reality for you to live in where you are doubtful of your inner voice” – precisely what happened with Mannu. She had a choice to leave, and she didn’t – she wasn’t tied to him, but her stubbornness blinded her horizon and clouded her starless sky.