BizAsia 2019 Reflections: Five out-of-the-box Pakistani dramas


2019 saw some great content coming out of Pakistan. The story lines were fresh, they tried to raise awareness and they talked about the different issues taking place in Pakistan and around the world.

The list of dramas is very long but only a few can be mentioned so in no particular order, will take a look at some Pakistani dramas that were out of the box in terms of creativity.

‘Ranjha Ranjha Kardi’ (Hum TV)
If anyone didn’t know of the actor Imran Ashraf before this drama then they would now. After his performance in this drama he is highly in demand all thanks to his habit of experimenting.

His character Bhola is known to have learning difficulties but with some of the things that come out of his mouth it doesn’t seem so. The apple of his mothers eye he is spoilt rotten and has grown up to be a playful person. Bhola meets a girl named Noorie (Iqra Aziz) who he slowly starts to fall for. Noorie belongs to a poor family who pick rubbish to make a living. She dreams of a better life which differs from the one she has to live on a daily basis. Noorie wants to study and often goes to the city to work. There she falls deeply in love with a man named Sahir who after learning her reality starts to grow distant towards her while Bhola’s love for Noorie deepens as he wants to marry her.

This drama showed viewers those people in our society who are often forgotten about. We know such people exist yet we just walk past them thinking it isn’t our problem. However this drama compels one to think about them, that they are just as human as we are and they have feelings too. Faiza Iftikhar did an exceptional job writing this story as did Kashif Nisar directing this masterpiece.

‘Ishq ZeheNaseeb’ (Hum TV)
From the moment the teasers were unveiled the viewers were intrigued to see what this drama was about. In one teaser Zahid Ahmed’s character could be seen applying lipstick but when the mirror is shown a woman (Yumna Zaidi) could be seen applying the lipstick. Sameer (Ahmed) is a wealthy business man who seems to have everything but if one was to look closer they would see he has a secret that only his step mother knows about. When Gauhar (Soniya Hussain) enters his life this secret begins to unravel in ways that will both shock and scare her.

This drama is still showing and as the episodes progress the viewers are learning more about Sameer and the reasons for all the things he has done in the past. The story heavily focuses on Dissociative identity disorder also known as split personality which Sameer has. So far the audience is in praise of both Ahmed and Zaidi for the way they have performed in this drama. It is indeed challenging portraying such characters so credit should also be given to Hashim Nadeem who wrote this story and to the director Farooq Rind for giving the viewers a glimpse of what this disorder entails.

‘Cheekh’ (ARY Digital)
Saba Qamar Zaman started the year off with a bang while presenting the teasers of ‘Cheekh’. This drama focused on the issue of power and right vs wrong. The main character Mannat (Zaman) is put in a dilemma when her best friend Nayab (Ushna Shah) dies from falling off the roof of their building during a wedding event. While some propose it was suicide Mannat begins to think otherwise when she hears what Nayab’s last words were. In Nayab’s statement to the police Mannat learns that her friend had taken Wajih’s (Bilal Abbas Khan’s) name who is Mannat’s brother in law.

Mannat begins her fight to bring justice to her friend but it isn’t as easy she thinks what with her family all against her. Normally in films or television shows the audience is made to wait till the end to find out who the criminal is but in this drama the writers tried something different. It is not even half way through the drama that the villain is revealed and the audacity of them to challenge the heroine to do what she can to bring them down.

Bilal Abbas Khan’s character Wajih may have received a lot of hate but the actor received a lot of love from his fans as they couldn’t believe this was the same person on screen. It would be wrong if Emmad Irfani wasn’t mentioned as his character Shayan won the hearts of all. His character cared for his wife Mannat and stuck by her side even if it meant going against his brothers.

‘Surkh Chandni’ (ARY Digital)
Sohai Ali Abro played the role of Aida a young woman whose life changes in such a way she could never have imagined. On the day of her wedding she is brutally attacked by having acid thrown in her face, in that one moment her fairytale dream turns into a horrific nightmare. What was Aida’s crime, the fact that she rejected Jawad (Asad Siddiqui) and spoke up when he misbehaved with her.

The drama was difficult at times to watch because of how realistic it was but at the same time an eye opener for many. It depicted how acid attack survivors are treated after such incidents take place and how their lives are affected. Abro received a lot of appreciation for her performance because to play such a role isn’t easy at all. To show the pain, the frustration of a person who has been through so much it takes a lot to do that.

Also another person who deserves a lot of praise is Siddiqui. Indeed he played a negative role and his character Jawad was hated by the audience with great passion but that shows he played his role extremely well. Acid attacks take place a lot but it is something that doesn’t get talked about. This drama was about raising awareness on acid attacks and it did it very well.

‘Mere Paas Tum Ho’ (ARY Digital)
A drama that has had its fair share of controversies because of its story and the hard hitting dialogues. Danish (Humayun Saeed) lives with his beautiful wife Mehwish (Ayezah Khan) and their darling son Roomi. Danish is a hard working man who is happy with the amount that he earns and the life that he lives. His wife on the other hand wishes for more especially when she sees her friend living a great lifestyle. Danish does everything he can to provide for his family but somehow it isn’t enough for Mehwish. On a shopping trip Mehwish is introduced to the wealthy businessman Shehwar (Adnan Siddiqui) who is married but lives separated from his wife. Shehwar has a flirtatious nature and after seeing Mehwish is besotted by her. As the story progresses Mehwish begins to like the attention from the rich Shehwar who constantly showers her with praises and is able to fulfil all her needs. Mehwish begins to get swayed by Shehwar’s words who puts the idea into her head that she should leave Danish who can’t give her what she desires.

This story shocked many as it was the wife who was having an affair while the husband was being faithful. Each episode is earning a lot of attention so what will be the ending of this drama is something to watch but so far the viewers are impressed.

So these were the five Pakistani dramas talked about. However there are a few more dramas we had to quickly mention such as the army cadet drama ‘Ehd E Wafa’. A drama first of its kind especially for Pakistan. The cast features the likes of Ahad Raza Mir, Osman Khalid Butt and Zara Noor Abbas. The story revolves around the journey of four young men, their die hard friendship and how their lives change when they leave college.

The period drama ‘Aangan’ was one of the most awaited dramas to come out. One of the reasons was the highly talented star cast and the fact that the story is set during the partition period. This drama consisted of Ahsan Khan, Sajal Ali, Ahad Raza Mir, Mawra Hocane and Soniya Hussain.

Another drama is ‘Ye Dil Mera’ starring Sajal Ali, Ahad Raza Mir and Adnan Siddiqui. This drama has recently started and already it is getting a lot of recognition for the fact it is tackling mental health.

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