To suffer or Humsafar?

If life imitates art, then we’re all in big trouble. Do we really want Queen Aliens walking among us? Do we wish to live in a world where Carrie Bradshaw is actually paid to write? Does it make sense that the most desirable men in Pakistan are Faisal Qureshi and Humayun Saeed? Jeez…well never mind. If art imitates life, then we’re still in trouble, but at least someone’s benefiting from all this foolery. Like Abdullah Kadwani’s vintage hat collection. Or Matthew Broderick’s finances. Or Ellen Ripley. Who doesn’t want super alien strength and a chance to beat the crap outta some Winona Ryder type? Where do I sign up?

The second before Winona gets her klepto ass handed to her.

As the art-life collaboration would have it, we do live in a world where there is no marital bliss to be had through matrimony. Now, now, before all you Humsafar fans stand up for the honour of Fawad Khan’s new nose and tell me Pakistani dramas are like, way better than those OTT Indian soaps, think again. Would you not rather watch Gopi Bahu’s expressive eyebrows dance the struggle of piety and love in Saathiya than Humayun Saeed’s lush non-arches in…anything? Oh well. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. If what those candy floss Hindi soaps have been teaching us from the beginning of time is that a banarsi sari and polki set are acceptable nightwear items, then what the super-serious, morally educating Pakistani dramas are teaching us for all times to come is this: Trust no one.

Also, trust that your mother-in-law will weave a web of deceit and compromising situations around you, and that your husband will eventually give into this matriarchal force of nature and kick you out of his house. Apart from that, trust no one.

Nature’s perpetually pissed off monster in law.

Of course, the mode of crime and punishment may vary.

For instance, if the husband in question is a philandering landlord, he will consider death before dishonour, as witnessed in Mera Saeein, with the super scary Noman Ejaz, whose Malik Wajahat married, wooed, impregnated and terrorized everyone from the principal wife’s handmaiden to another’s best friend. This is why we didn’t feel sorry for you when you didn’t have money for your son’s medical needs in that Jawad Ahmed video, Malik Saab. Serves you right! So anyway, girls, stay away from men in starchy shalwar-kameez ensembles and their own handmaiden in a suit.

On the other, middle-class hand, your special guy is everything you ever wished for, and he treats you like the princess you are, so he may have been raised by a queen, just like all those statuses on Facebook say. Only, he’s clearly so in love with you he couldn’t see what a pile of hair extensions and duplicity you really are. This is why he did not spot that you were totally um, canoodling with your mutual cousin or an old neighbour or whatever till his mother pointed it out. So he does the only logical thing and doesn’t hear you out and spends time brooding on the streets of London as Jal or QB or Ustad Riaz singing gut-wrenchingly in the background. Damn you woman, he’s never had to walk this much in his entire life, including the times he had to keep running to the book depot to buy his mom the latest issue of Khawateen Digest, where this story was last seen.

Which is actually a thing, by the way.

So while the other half of this tragedy is out and about in a foreign land, you’ve confined yourself to a life where your head is always covered, and there are forever dark circles under your eyes. And you never smile, of course, but we reiterate, serves you right! Only, one stormy night or blazingly sunny afternoon everyone stands corrected (preferably around a deathbed) when they learn…the mother did it! Dun, dun, dun…

So here’s how it ends: After you have spent all your child-bearing years, or in Khirad from Humsafar’s case, four years raising one heck of a healthy toddler who looks like she could be eight, your husband is going to come back. Maybe his second wife died, or his cousin whom he married after you became too shrill for words or you died leaving some secret offspring behind. Whatever it is, hold on to that married status of yours and wait till the chump who didn’t care enough to listen in the first place comes back to put things right after 20 years. That should show him! Female emancipation FTW!

Just in case you’re wondering why I’ve only mentioned Humsafar here, the reason is stark: It’s the one drama everyone is watching because of the pretty leads. If you jog your memories just a little, you will find that the same story has been told before with Ayesha Khan or Sonya Rehman or Samia Mumtaz or Savera Nadeem as the betrayed wives. Humayun Saeed and Faisal Qureshi as husbands interchangeable.

Remember how your mom told you the changing direction of the wind would freeze that ugly face you were making? Well…

Is it any wonder then, that I would rather watch Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, where the adult male lead is referred to as Munna?

At least they’re calling a spade a spade.



Categories: Celebrities, Movies & TV


I like superhero trivia, Star Wars references, and saying at the end of a conversation about either: 'Yeah, I haven't seen that.' You can read all about it at


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2 Comments on “To suffer or Humsafar?”

  1. January 13, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    Sarwat, you cannot deny the compelling power of those scythe-like thingamajigs above Gopi Vaoo’s eyes.

  2. January 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Gopi VAOOOOO!, Faisal Qureshi and Aijaz Aslam should be lined up, thapak-thapak-thwacked with a flyswatter and then shot with a cannonball through the head.

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