RUSWAI-BEST DRAMA-A TALE OF BRAVERY AND RIGHT BEHAVIOR
Gradually the audience annoyance with typical tragic wailing women, Saaas bahoo and nandain sazaishain crap tv series, is reaching to production houses, and channels are coming with better stories. One such Pakistani drama that is making its mark with a realistic yet message-ful concept is RUSWAI.
What is amazing about RUSWAI is not just the depiction of psychological trauma an assault and rape survivor goes through, because many previous dramas like Udaari has done it , but what is appreciable is that Ruswai has portrayed the agony of a person who is violated and yet demanded and asked to remain silent. A victim that is made to feel as the pain was inflicted because of her fault.
And what this drama, RUSWAI, has done uniquely different from regular Pakistani TV serials is that it is very vividly reflecting the need on the part of victim to avenge the wrong done to her to move on, to make some kind of amends with life.
Moreover, Sameera is not depicted to be a weak woman who easily conforms to what society is telling her to do. She is very aware of the fact that she is not to be blamed or violated again by her parents or by her in laws on the name of a ‘raped woman’ (she knows she is not the one who has done wrong but she is the one who is wronged).
Hearing all this it might sound that she is portrayed as an unrealistic girl to exist in a Pakistani society!
But the Drama has done it all very realistically and cleverly!
Despite clearly knowing in her heart that she wants to avenge her pain and that she is on the right to ask for justice Sameera scums to the pressure of her family and her in laws to not register a case against the defaulters. But on the very first day of her marriage Sameera realizes that she is married as a business deal, which is to keep her sister-in-law happy who is married to Sameera’s brother (a watta satta marriage)
Another plausible depiction of RUSWAI is that Sameera is not a weak, sympathy gainer, epitome of tragic female character. She is not shown to be crying in her pillows, hiding the agony she is being put by her husband and her mother in law, constantly told that she should be thankful that she is married to her husband and therefore she should always remain bend-ed and submissive, she rather very wisely confides in her brother and her parents that she is limited to work as doctor.
Moreover, like typical Pakistani dramas she is not plotting against her sister-in-law (her brother’s wife) to take revenge from her husband. She is shown to be constantly making her utmost effort to make the marriage work but also keeping her basic terms of living un-compromised, mainly her right to keep working as a doctor, which is giving her life some meaning.
The drama, very smoothly, is depicting the constant mental torture Sameera has to bear at the hands of everyone around her to keep them pleased though she is the one who needs to be pleased.
Finally THE MOST commendable thing about RUSWAI!
The attitude of Hamza, Sameera’s brother. Hamza is not a glorified version of typical male character in our TV serials, full of unneeded ego, who is dying to bury this matter or victim blaming his sister. He is the one who is standing by his sister, who is shown to be sensible enough to understand the agony of a violated person.
Though emotionally like a typical brother Hamza does try to take advantage of watta satta marriage (which is in some ways obvious for a brother), using it as tit for tar strategy but RUSWAI should be applauded for not victim blaming which apparently right now is going in a direction where Sameera will develop into a thick skinned person who would fight her fight.
I know a lot of people will say that it only can happen in dramas! But that is not true every society has many silent or unknown heroes, who don’t get wide recognition but here and there they do resist the status co. In Pakistan the biggest of such example is of Barrister Khadija who was attacked and brutally injured with a knife and cut 23 times. She resisted and despite being from a middle-class family kept fighting against very powerful people and finally got justice.
Cases like Barrister Khadija’s and Drama’s like RUSWAI keep the societies sane and give hope to the less privileged and victims that if you stay persistent not necessarily you will lose everything like they portrayed in drama serial CHEEKH. CHEEKH, very typically, to get ratings exaggerated a girl’s fight with a murderer, rather than making her a hero made her an example that if you fight you will lose if not all then almost all. RUSWAI, however, is tackling such a tragic and agonizing matter very systematically and very wisely so far.
We need dramas like RUSWAI that do portray the realistic version of our society but a hopeful one as well, the one where a woman warrior succeeds and not a success at the cost of everything like in CHEEKH. we need to tell women if they stand their ground, they can tumble down mighty castles of torture and violence.
Most of all we as viewers are done with Saas Bahoo sazishain and need some societal matters to be portrayed and highlighted and finally it is happening.
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