Umera Ahmed has the most beautiful way with words, that we’ve come across in a really long time. She has not only been highlighting the vices in our society, but she’s also been a voice for women empowerment through her dramas. We take a closer look at why she is one of the best writers there are, in the Pakistani entertainment industry.
1. “Digest Writer”
The story of, Farida, a young girl from a middle-class family who wants nothing more than to make a name for herself in the written world. She faces hardships in that she’s forced to be married to her cousin, but it turns out that it’s her writing that can help keep the family’s financial situation afloat. Umera took a risk with a drama like this which shows the man as a buzdil aadmi and one that eventually looks to his wife to provide for the family.
The story of two sisters that revolve around the elder one, Saman, being overly confident in herself and believing that she can give maat to anyone. The younger of the two, the more compassionate one, Aiman, is selfless and is willing to go to any lengths to make those around her happy. With family tussles and issues between the two sisters, and Saman constantly trying to control those around her, coupled with her lust for money that eventually caused her life to become an utter mess.
3. “Zindagi Gulzar Hai”
Another masterpiece from Umera where the women emerge as the strongest characters. Whether it was Kashaf’s mother standing up to her father’s emotional abuse and bullying. Whether it was Kashaf’s sisters putting their feet down when it came to the men in the family trying to oppress them. Or when Kashaf faced every obstacle that came her way, head on, the drama was beautiful in how it showed women that they can be empowered even if they’re sitting at home.
4. “Meri Zaat Zarra e Benishaan”
With a “Humsafar”esque premise, this show also follows the journey of a woman who was wrongly accused of being involved in intimacy with another man. The story, once again, is woman-centric. A young woman who had set out on a journey to find the truth about what happened to her mother. The journey is nothing short of heart-wrenching that takes you on an emotional roller coaster.
5. “Shehr e Zaat”
This dark tale of how a woman lost and found herself. How she nearly destroyed herself in the process of obtaining love. And then set out on a quest to find God within her. “Shehr e Zaat” is basically an ode to Umera’s writing prowess and how beautifully she relays a story to her audience. There haven’t been many dramas that highlight a woman’s journey of self-discovery. Not only was this drama exceptionally beautiful, it was also extremely enlightening.
“Behadd” was a tale of a young girl who had already lost her father, and was too scared that she’d lose her mother at the hands of the one she loves. Young Sajal Aly goes about and accusing Fawad Khan’s character for sexually harassing her when he’d done no such thing. The transition of her character into maturity and eventually apologizing for her actions is done so well. While we see a single mother trying to raise a teenage daughter on her own, we also see that teenager daughter trying to become more mature and owning up to her mistakes.
7. “Durr e Shehwar”
The incredibly moving story about how a young woman, Durr-e-Shehwar, has to make her place in the house and heart of a man that she’s wed to and one who is exceedingly cold towards her. Cut to present day, Durr-e-Shehwar’s daughter is told the heart breaking story of her mother’s because she is facing trouble with her husband of eight years. The parallel in the story is hard to miss and the way the story progresses is a piece of art. The way they show how women had the courage to hold their heads up high even in the face of obstacles. How a woman used her story to make her daughter feel better about her life.
8. “Mohabbat Subh Ka Sitara”
The story of how a wealthy man, Nabeel, falls in love with a girl, Romaisa, from an under privileged family. While Nabeel’s family treats Romaisa horribly, Romaisa’s family keeps demanding gifts and money from her. After Nabeel’s demise, and Romaisa inheriting a lot of wealth and the house, Nabeel’s parents decide to wed his brother, Zeeshan, to Romaisa so the wealth stays within the family. The story progresses from there on. How Romaisa holds her own after all the hardships that she has to endure at the hands of both her family and her in-laws, is inspiring.
One of the first Pakistani dramas to have ever touched upon domestic abuse, “Kankar” was a heartbreaking tale of how a man uses a woman as a disposable that he can own up and get rid of at his own whim and fancy. “Kankar” taught women how to stand up for themselves. How to not give in to abuse, even if their husbands who are the perpetrators. How to fight for your rights and for your mental well being, even if that means having to go against every norm that the society has laid out for women.
Another show that focuses on class differences and how people think that those who don’t have the same money as they do are also lesser human beings. How a girl is treated poorly just because she isn’t as well off as her friend. How a girl tries to pay off her own best friend to break things off with her brother. How relationships are fickle and come secondary only to personal grudges. While this drama shows how a woman is a woman’s biggest enemy, it also highlights this issue that is persistent in our society.
Said to be inspired by the life of the social media sensation Qandeel Baloch, the show revolves around how a young girl from a village strives to become famous, moves to the city and becomes one of the most infamous social media celebrities. The drama shows the apparent life of Qandeel in a whole new light. That maybe she wasn’t the monster we made her out to be. That maybe we jump to conclusions about women too quickly.
Umera has such a command over the written word and she has given so much to our drama industry and we can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us, in the future. If you are inspired by Umera Ahmed and want to become a writer for the screen just like her, you can take part in Digital Kahani – a competition to find the best script writers in Pakistan.