Digital Editor Halima Ahad educates us on her favourite Pakistani TV dramas, praising the talented actors and beautiful soundtracks which make the shows special
Pakistani dramas, by definition, are televised serials usually produced in Pakistan. The majority of these drama serials are usually produced in Urdu but recently there has been a rise in producing them in many different branches of the Pakistani language, including Pashto and Punjabi. They can usually range from 20-30 episodes and are televised on a weekly basis on many famous Pakistani TV channels including Geo TV, ARY Digital and HUM TV.
Although the large amount of episodes for each drama may look daunting at first, once you discover the many elements that make a Pakistani drama, you will instantly fall in love. One of my favourite aspects of each drama is their unique OST (which stands for Original Soundtrack). When famous Pakistani singers, such as Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, showcase their amazing vocal talents through OSTs, you will instantly fall in love with the drama. One of my favourite OSTs has to be Khuda Aur Mohabbat (meaning God and Love) as the vocals, instrumentals and significance behind the lyrics are absolutely beautiful.
Another element which makes a Pakistani drama really special are the characters which make them, as well as the actors and actresses behind them. The ranging talents of each Pakistani actor and actress are really special to watch. One drama which I’m really enjoying (and which is currently being televised) is Ishq Murshid (meaning ‘Love Guide’) in which an upper class boy, who is the son of a famous politician, falls in love with a working class girl and woos her through his alternative personality whilst trying to keep up his political persona.
The actor who plays the main male protagonist, Bilal Abbas Khan, really showcases his talent of playing the dual personalities really well as he alternates between the two effortlessly. The main female protagonist, Durefishan Saleem, is absolutely amazing and charming, and is not the typical female Pakistani protagonist. Shibra (Durefishan Saleem) is confident and determined, which is really exciting to see as a young Pakistani girl, as she flips the stereotype of Pakistani girls on its head.
Plot is also a significant part of Pakistani dramas, as writers and producers have to keep their audiences hooked on a weekly basis. I would argue that the plots of these Pakistani dramas don’t really do as much justice as their OSTs and characters. The plots can be really stimulating for audiences, when promoting these dramas as they are coming out on television, however the excitement tends to fizzle out as the drama progresses. I can remember some really iconic names, such as Mujhe Pyaar Hua Tha (meaning ‘I Fell In Love’) and Tere Bin (meaning ‘Without You’) however the beginning of these dramas have only really stuck with me.
However, some recent dramas I have come across this past year have really stuck with me as they have had undoubtedly huge meanings behind them. One example of this is one of my favourite dramas Yunhi (meaning ‘Just’). Yunhi charts the journey of Kaneez (Maya Ali) as she goes back to Pakistan with her father. Although she has been brought up in the Western society of America, Dawood (Bilal Ashraf) teaches her about living in Pakistan and the beauty she can find in this. This drama really stuck with me as it showed me that people can teach you many valuable lessons in life and you can change for the better thanks to their love and support.
Although some Pakistani dramas can be serious, there are a select few which are lighthearted and can really make you laugh. One example of this is one of my all-time favourites, Suno Chanda (meaning ‘Listen Moonlight’), which is set in the auspicious Islamic month of Ramadan. Suno Chanda charts the relationship between cousins Jiya (Iqra Aziz) and Arsalan (Farhan Saeed) as they navigate their lives during Ramadan in their family household. The lighthearted gimmicks and jokes are really special and HUM TV always airs the show each Ramadan every year, making it something I always look forward to before breaking my fast with my family.
Overall, Pakistani dramas have been a huge part of my life. It truly is about finding those dramas which speak volumes to you in ways you never thought were possible. I cannot wait for what is to come for Pakistani dramas this year but I know they will be exceptionally special.
Read more from Redbrick TV: