It’s not been that long really since we talked about the monotonous of our Pakistani prime time dramas. It all started probably in the beginning of 2012; our producers and directors started making formula dramas. Writers started working on the same concepts one after the others hence we got bombarded with the plays portraying loyal and dutiful wives and plays based on sisters’ rivalry. Plays like Na Kaho Tum Mere Nahi, Kaash Aisa Ho and Madiha Maliha are few of those formula plays.
Scenario hasn’t drastically changed yet and still not many griping plays are on air now but there is that one play that has caught the attention of serious TV audience. Kankar – finally a play that has taken the plunge to break the traditional stereotype of obedient and dutiful wife in our dramas. Kiran, played by Sanam Baloch is a strong young girl who rejects the ultimate authority of her husband; she refused to be treated like his property and stands for her basic rights including respect.
Kankar has been written by none other than our brilliant Umera Ahmed, the same author who wrote Qaid-e-Tanhai and like her earlier play Qaid-e-Tanhai, this play also deals with the problems of a married girl. Sikandar, played by Fahad Mustafa is a rich handsome guy who has all those qualities that the mothers of grownup girls wish to see in their son-in-laws in our society. He loves Kiran passionately, provides her with every possible happiness that money could bring but forgets about the main element of a successful marriage that is respect. For Sikandar it is very usual to hit his wife, scold her and rebuke her since he had grown up in an environment where his father used to treat his mother the same way. It is somewhat new for him that his wife demands respect in their relationship.
Kankar basically isn’t just an entertainment show rather it is a very true but painful depiction of our society. Unfortunately we all have thousands of Sikandars around us who keep hiding their uncivilized side beneath their polished personalities. The dilemma of our society as it is presented in this very drama is; when Kiran decides to get separated from her husband no one including her own mother supports her. For all of her relatives and society, taking divorce just because her husband beats her is a very petty issue. Here, the credit should be given to the writer of the drama for portraying at last a strong Pakistani woman as Kiran who fights with the so-called norms of society and finally gets rid of a relationship that was nothing but a constant threat for her individuality and self-respect.
Story isn’t ended here yet, after her divorce there is still a lot going on in Kiran’s life. At one side she has to bear the taunting comments of her family members and at the other side she has to maintain her dignity and prove her decision right. The story of the drama has still a lot more to unfold but what we have seen till now is worth all appreciation. The dialogues between Sikandar and Kiran are beyond perfect. I particularly love the scenes of Kiran and her mother during the time of her divorce. The way she puts all her efforts to stop her daughter from getting divorced and later on consoles her after Sikandar gets married to Arzoo was very touchy.
Kankar isn’t a play that you’ll just watch and forget. It is a play that will disturb your peace of mind and will compel you to think – think about our society and its so-called self-made laws. The dialogues of Sikandar’s mother had been haunting me for quite a few days; a lady who thinks it’s legit and acceptable for her son to abuse his wife just because he buys her expensive jewellery and nice clothes. Laila Zubairi was perfect in this character.
A huge portion of praise goes to Aabis Raza for his extraordinary direction. The entire cast has done their part flawlessly. After Dastaan, this is the play where Sanam Baloch proved herself as an amazing artist once again. Not to forget Hassan Niazi, who is getting better and better with each play he does. The editing and continuity of the drams is good too. A play that started with a slow pace and somewhat boring track has finally emerged as the most astonishing play on air right now.
If you haven’t watched Kankar yet, give it a go! This is the break we all needed from the stereotypical characters and traditional plays. Kankar is a remembrance for all of us that not all women warmly welcome domestic violence and abuse; there are courageous ladies like Kiran who says NO with complete firmness.