Pakistani dramas have always been extolled for their distinct topics and purposive stories. However, in present times, various drama serials project meaningless content without any sturdy storyline. One such example is ‘Azmaish’. The final episode of this show aired last night.
This play is written by Sameena Aijaz, directed by Fajr Raza and produced by Fahad Mustafa and Ali Kazmi. The cast of the show includes Shahood Alvi, Fahad Sheikh, Kinza Hashmi, Yashma Gill, Laila Wasti, Minsa Malik, Furqan Qureshi, Gul-e-Rena, Rashid Farooqui and others.
‘Azmaish’ follows the life of a naive, angelic and gold-hearted girl Nimra, played by Kinza Hashmi, and her two vicious stepsisters Shiza and Samreen, played by Yashma Gill and Minsa Malik respectively.
There is nothing much in the story to narrate. The drama is primarily based on devilish traps set by Shiza for Nimra and her miserable mother Almas, played by Laila Wasti. Basit, played by Fahad Sheikh, belongs to a lower-middle-class family. He is an employee in Shiza’s father’s company. Her father’s role is played by Shahood Alvi.
When Basit accidentally meets Nimra, he falls for her at first sight. However, circumstances compel him to marry Shiza. The rude Shiza hates Basit who ultimately divorces her. Rohan, played by Furqan Qureshi, is Samreen’s first cousin and her husband. Gul-e-Rana is Shiza’s paternal aunt. The later part of the story takes an abrupt turn, Basit marries Nimra and Shiza turns against their relationship.
The last episode of the show has nothing exciting to offer. Basit and Nimra live happily ever after, while, Shiza becomes a complete psychopath and commits suicide. Here, it is pertinent to note that the middle half of the story showcases the constant attempts of Shiza to get rid of Basit and Nimra. Nonetheless, when she finally gets rid of them, she becomes a psycho to an extent that first, she tries to kill Basit and ultimately kills her own self. The writer never revealed the psychoneurotic shade of Shiza’s character. She has been shown as a rude, extremely clever and selfish girl but not psycho at all. The last episode introduces a completely new personality of Shiza, which makes her character arch odd. She actually hates both the characters during the entire drama, but in the last episode, she kills herself by saying that if she cannot kill the one Basit loves i.e. Nimra, she can kill the one Basit hates i.e. her own self. The writer has miserably failed in justifying Shiza’s death.
Static And Meaningless Storyline
This drama meets an end after about 60 episodes, each 40 minutes long, without any story at all. The play is merely composed of different traps set by Shiza for Nimra and her mother. The story bears a static graph.
The male protagonist of the show falls in love with Nimra, later marries Shiza, ultimately divorces her. Immediately after the divorce, he wants to marry Nimra like in the initial episodes and ultimately marries her.
Other characters in the drama have no story of their own. They are either at Shiza’s side or Nimra’s side. Even the hero of the drama has no individuality of his own. He is merely an object of the contest between the two female leads.
The story follows a typical track of an unbelievably good girl and an equally unbelievably bad girl. The screenplay is not inclusive of any character building. The writer has repeated the same events in different episodes. For example, Shiza exploits Nimra by making an alliance with Nimra’s father. She has done it twice in the story in the same manner and Nimra has believed her both times even after realizing Shiza’s ugly truth. The last episode repeats the same track. What the writer wanted to communicate through this repeated story is beyond the viewers’ comprehension.
Some dramas, although do not entail a convincing story, yet engage the audience by the dint of gripping scenarios and interesting screenplay. Dejectedly, ‘Azmaish’ bears none. Even the scenarios shown in all the episodes are illogical and entirely non-convincing. For example, the marriage of Shiza and Basit. Shiza has a fiance in the initial episodes. When her fiance refuses to marry her, only a few days before their marriage on account of her rudeness, Shiza’s father pleads with Basit to marry his daughter for the sake of his respect. Shiza’s father is a billionaire. The audience is unable to fathom how his respect can be secured in case her daughter marries his own poor employee?
Here, it is absolutely cardinal to highlight the issue of girl’s marriage in Pakistani dramas. Why do our dramas always showcase that a girl’s life will be ruined without marriage? Firstly, Shiza’s father got a heart attack only because he contemplated that his daughter will remain unmarried. In later episodes, the writer has written an exact scenario for Nimra. Although Nimra is highly educated and has a decent job, according to the writer, she can only settle down respectfully with her husband. This is the 21st century, the writers have to be more thoughtful and sensitive towards topics like women empowerment and their socio-economic role in society. Marriage should not be the ultimate goal of a female protagonist in every drama.
‘Azmaish’ drama has plenty of redundant characters. The writer has failed in drawing a strong nexus between the characters and the main story. For example, Basit’s brother and sister-in-law’s character is absolutely unnecessary and has no role in the entire story. Likewise, a considerable number of episodes include Shiza’s fiance and his family in major roles. These characters suddenly vanished and have no role in later episodes.
Even Rohan’s character has no individuality. His entire character is only present in the story to bear Samreen’s tantrums. An actor like Furqan Qureshi has not given any acting margin. Samreen’s character itself is nothing but merely Shiza’s puppet. It appears that the story has only two main female leads and other characters are merely there to fill screen time.
‘Azmaish’ did not impress the audience at all. Even in the 21st century, the majority of our plays are solely based on women’s rivalry. Woman against woman is the favourite topic of our writers. It is high time that our creators must focus on the actual story and utilize their capabilities in presenting meaningful and purposive content.