“Abhi waqt nahin guzra beta, namaaz parh, Allah ko yaad kar, Allah kehta hai jab insaan Allah ko yaad karta hai, tau Allah bhi insaan ko yaad karta hai”
There’s something awfully unpalatable about being in love. When I’m in love (correction, when I ‘think’ I’m in love), it’s this feeling of foggy chaos, delusion and complete paranoia. It’s intoxicating and liberating at the same time too (note how ambiguous love is). Or so that’s my understanding of this ailment that consumes body and soul. There’s nothing remotely exciting about love, and despite being a hopeless romantic who believes her knight in shining armor is currently riding his way to Lahore – in this particular rudimentary world, love is almost always unrequited or tangled in far too many cobwebs.
When I began ‘Shehr-e-Zaat’ I was hoping for a few tips on love to come my way
Being someone who unfortunately fabricates her notion of love entirely (and precariously) based on cardinal points construed from Pakistani dramas (it’s a step-by-step guide to what love is – a doctrine even), I saw this as another opportunity to dig.
Unfortunately, Umera Ahmad’s penned story about a girl’s infatuation with the real-life version of her sculpture left me incredibly on edge, for reasons twofold
One, I felt myself unsettlingly alike Falak (Mahira’s character and protagonist) in her blindness for someone. And two, bewildered at the lily-livered trait she held for coming to terms with the brutal truth that the man (Salman) she loves is a bit of a psychopath (and the definition of a prick). Falak was foolish, an idiot at most and someone who compounded the idea of ‘art’ as an excuse to act densely in the utmost vacuous manner.
The premise of the story made it seem like Falak was the victim when really she was drowning in the consequences of her own witless decisions
Salman was derisive and misogynistic – it was pretty clear from the start; there was no facade about him, and he didn’t attempt to hide his haughtiness. Looks couldn’t even take the man that far, what with honestly the most trashy personality that could put anything on a pulse off.
Up until Falak really went bonkers and married Salman (let’s not talk about that right now), I found myself snapping up remnants of my own experiences as I sifted through Falak’s personality
That blinding obsession for someone, that aching and tenacious quest to be with him, the clenching of fists when you want them to you – it’s all real. And that’s my own experience of being in love, and I haven’t spent days, months and years crafting out a sculpture of my dream boy. So obviously, I can’t possibly imagine Falak’s infatuation with Salman.
My problem really lies with the fact that fans of the drama might romanticise Falak’s destructive nature, and end up unconsciously emulating it
You need to look at the plot from a critical eye, deciphering the story and realizing how toxic Falak’s way of thinking really was. While we’ve probably all been in that situation where your friends are prompting you to run the opposite direction and all you do is…well not run….there is a breaking point. With Falak, there didn’t feel like there was even a horizon of one for her.
The dearth of limits in Falak’s life was apparent when she lost all sense of morality and married Salman
‘Shehr-e-Zaat’ loosely translated as ‘The City Of Self’ was constructed on the concept of reflection, and while we saw all protagonists unconsciously feed off each other’s actions, Falak still remained immune at most and bestowed a sense of divinity on Salman. Another point I, unfortunately, related to; when you love someone, you sweep away their flaws and envisage someone Sephardic.
It’s only when Salman marries another woman Tabinda and brings her home that we see a warped karma bite Falak. The venom instantly seeps in, and we witness a similar infatuation in Salman’s eyes. Tabinda is nothing special (annoying and rude at most), but to Salman she is godlike.
This is what happens when you don’t set up boundaries for yourself
Falak is a prime example of losing all sense of sensibility, and leeway for anyone to feel sorry for her. She rebuked all pounding alarms and trapped herself in a loveless marriage. It takes strength, patience and a certain moment of clarity to forswear; with Falak however, her moment of clarities was ignored endlessly.
Just ask yourself a question – how far would you go? How long would you dolefully chase past blaring red lights to attain what you desire? Falak reached the end of a cliff and jumped right off it.