Love is a tricky concept to tackle sometimes, especially when it comes to storytelling. How to translate all those emotions into your character and their universe, on top of it all you also need to make it all believable. Sadly, for all of us who consume Pakistani dramas and entertainment, this hasn’t been done all too well.
Love is either overcomplicated or oversimplified, and that too to an extent that it’s just not realistic.
Let’s take the example of the hit drama ‘Dil Lagi‘. Mohid sees Anmol for the first time when she’s fighting off the galli ke gunday from her house. And bam, just like that, he’s in love with her. His feelings for her reach the limit that he asks his mother to ask for her hand in marriage.
In this time, the man hadn’t had a proper conversation with Anmol. Actually, forget that Anmol hadn’t even given him a smile or even the slightest inclination that she found him tolerable. So what would possess Mohid to ask Anmol to marry her? It’s the way we perceive love.
‘Dil Lagi‘, at least in the beginning, just shows a very one-sided definition of love.
Mohid loves Anmol, therefore their love is real and is something worth pursuing. This is all irrespective of the fact that Anmol does not like Mohid at all. Her feelings are simply NOT important to Mohid. This sends out a pretty simple message to people watching; fall in love with a girl, pursue her despite her feelings for you because eventually, she’ll fall for you too.
Even in ‘Zindagi Gulzar Hai‘ does not really care for Kashaf and her feelings about him. He takes any chance to speak to her even though she is overtly uncomfortable with the situation. Baat rishtay tak jaati hai, and even then it takes Zaroon to save her from a cup of tea for her to be alright with him. The attitude throughout the show is that she’ll warm up to him as the marriage ages.
Another, more recent, example is the new drama ‘Koi Chand Rakh‘, where there is a constant confusion between infatuation and love.
You can be infatuated with someone but that does not mean you are in L.O.V.E with them. Even in ‘Koi Chand Rakh’, the characters that are meant to be in love have hardly spoken to each other for more than 5 minutes, and that too has been a majority flirting back and forth. I’m sorry, but constant flirtation does not equal ‘muhabbat’ in the way that we know it.
There is an issue with how we perceive muhabbat.
This definition of love is problematic in so many ways. It restricts love to visual features and flirting rather than actually getting to know someone. A lot of people use shows and movies to dictate how they see the world they live in and well, it’s worrying to think that people use the ‘drama’ version of love. I understand that for dramatic effect, such a quick paced love story is sometimes needed but if we consistently use such a misconstrued version, then that IS a problem. The depiction in our pop culture is a very archaic version of it, which in itself is still a misunderstood version.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments 🙂
Cover image via: Hum Network Limited