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11 Nov

Baaghi Episode 16: the making of a social media sensation

She ran away and followed her dreams to the big city. She faced hurdles that she never thought existed, but she trouped through them. The men in her path wanted to use her, abuse her for being an easy catch but she resisted. Those with the power to open for her a window of opportunity opted not to; her village background came in the way and ultimately, no matter how hard she tried, she could never be considered polished enough to make it big. And so she flipped.

Episode 16 of drama serial Baaghi showed Fauzia Batool, now the pseudo-mod Kanwal Baloch, running out of options to earn a decent day’s living and finding an outlet for her frustration on Facebook.

Gohar, her first employer offers her to work in a C-grade ad but she refuses. He tells her she will never make it bigger than this. Salman, the game show host who threw her out of the reality show, puts up a BTS video of her cat fighting on the set. He does it for the ratings but it inspires her to make a page of her own and respond. Lo, here we are given a glimpse of how Qandeel, nay Kanwal, gets her first dose of power on social media. It also brings her a first fan, which she is ecstatic about until she sees the selfie he posts on his page, completely objectifying her.

But while she weeps herself to bed every night, she plays along when facing the world. The episode takes us through the evolution of the woman who became a social media sensation due to her devil-may-care ways. There is no preaching, no lessons of right and wrong simply a reflection of one woman’s life. And while most of the world saw Baloch one-dimensionally as a sensation, the drama also highlights her human side.

She longs for her child; pining when her sister in law doesn’t even let her speak to him. She hurts when she reads mean messages and comments on her Facebook feed. But she’s also strong enough to turn it to her advantage. Her number of followers goes up with each post and so does her control over the situation.

We’re left, at the end of the episode, with a glimpse at a turning point in her life. Not only is she gradually becoming financially stable, also sending money home, but she is about to meet another life-altering man in her life. In comes Osman Khalid Butt, leaving us wondering whether this will be the first man to stand by her side in support.

The Haute Team

This article is written by one of our competent team members, who probably didn't have enough to say to own up to it.