Director Wajahat Rauf has returned to television after a long time with drama serial Raqs e Bismil that premiered on Friday night and set the dramatic tone from the first scene. It is a Hashim Nadeem script and like most of his dramas, there is an underlining message that deals with matters of heart and love, coupled with the love of God.
The episode introduced us to the patriarch of Kashana-e-Pira, Peer Qudrat ullah Shah sahib (Mehmood Aslam) who head a Syed household and his sons, Moosa and Essa played by Imran Ashraf and Momin Saqib respectively. The two got to know that their cousin Sakina (Anoushay Abbasi) is secretly getting married to a guy, Kamran, who is not a Syed. Their dogmatic beliefs do not allow anyone to marry out of the Syed gharana so they gate crashed her nikkah, beat the guy and his friends and forcibly took their cousin back home.
What followed is the harsh reality of our society where to date many families do not consult their children about their marriages. We witnessed how the women in Kashana-e-Pira have no say in matters of life and death and they are mere showpieces who must be guarded as they are the sole keeper of the family’s pride and honor. Men like Peer sahib and Moosa play demigods with supreme authority to control life; they are the judge, jury and executioner themselves.
Interestingly, while they have shown Moosa as a heartless, barbaric and hot headed guy, he surrendered when his chachi pleaded for her daughter’s life. Similarly, Essa seemed a staunch supporter of his father’s beliefs but yet he showed a soft corner for Sakina. Despite the fact that his father has arranged his marriage with Sakina, he recognized that Sakina is not only older and more well-educated, but also is in love with another man. This aspect of the drama hints at a human angle of the story where the two brothers might have turned out differently with a different upbringing.
The first episode of Raqs e Bismil was engrossing without resorting to any theatrical attempts to create drama. We saw that significant moment when Sakina prior to her nikkah, cursed Moosa that “God willing, he will fall in love with someone who he won’t be able to get in life,” and then we witnessed how Moosa clearly expressed to his mother that he wants to marry a pious girl who must not have shown her face to any na-mehram or even the mirror.
The drama is fast-paced and viewers will be able to connect instantly with all the characters. Even Sarah Khan’s entrance was shot beautifully and Moosa has immediately fallen prey to the curse; he is attracted to this burqa-clad girl but will she turn out to be anything like his ideal woman? We highly doubt.
It is refreshing to see a different story on television where women played by Nida Mumtaz and Javeria Abbasi are supportive of each other, irrespective of the fact that the former is the wife of a patriarch and the latter is a widow. Even a character like Sakina, who is bold, confident and not afraid to speak her mind, exists in such a suffocating environment. There is no unnecessary bitterness, drama, and ill-will to get more ratings and we hope this continues in the episodes to come.
Watch the first episode of Raqs e Bismil here: