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8 Dec

Fauzia proves what it really means to be a ‘baaghi’

Fauzia

Women in Pakistan feel the stab of a double-edged sword every day; if they’re economically stable, they’re questioned, and if they are not, they are continuously forced to find ways to support their family if the patriarchy fails to do so. Such is also an example of Baaghi’s Fauzia Batool.

Despite being the earnest breadwinner for her family, we find her parents and siblings keeping their cold front intact for her which seldom thaws. However, this episode quite a few things seem to be changing.

Also read: Baaghi: Is blood really thicker than water?

While in the last episode we saw her father’s leg getting amputated, this time around we see a sad reunion of sorts where her family cautiously accepts her help; of course, not without questioning how she earned it. We see Fauzia lying her way out in front of her mom about what she does, while also revealing that she’s going to be moving the family to the city for her father’s better medical care.

On the other side, we find her sister-in-law Asma probing Rahim on how Fauzia arranged the money for her family, and if anyone even cared about the ‘izzat.’ Ironically, we also find the two asking Fauzia for money later in the episode, when they put up a façade of being friendly to her for their own gains.

 

Fauzia finds herself struggling between her family and the sacrifices she has to make for their livelihood.

 

With the number of stomachs to feed growing tenfold, Fauzia now has to think about even more ways to come up with some quick cash. In a moment of desperation, we find Fauzia turning back into her Kanwal Baloch persona and pursuing an exploitative music video. Much like the real Qandeel Baloch and her song, Kanwal too receives a large amount of following and for it. However, no one questions her more than Shaheryar, whose obsession with her slowly seems to be growing.

“Aap bhi baaqi logon ki tarah like karein,” Fauzia says when Shaheryar confronts her. “Mein tamashbeen nahi hoon,” he replies. In a sparky conversation, the two decide to meet and start from where they left.

Amongst a light-hearted moment, we see a soft spot in Fauzia’s heart for Shaheryar and it seems his plea for her to leave all of this might just work. However, knowing the harsh reality of how things turned out for Fauzia, one may see this love story left unfulfilled.

Although Fauzia’s life may be full of hurdles, she does teach one simple lesson; it is the same women who are questioned each day, that end up doing the most for their families. Hidden behind a smiling façade, women prove they can move mountains for their loved ones regardless of how badly they were treated by the same people in the past. If this is what makes Fauzia a baaghi, then there’s one in each of us.

Shahjehan Saleem

The author is Deputy Editor at Something Haute as well as a professor in the Media Sciences department at SZABIST, Karachi. Socio-cultural theories and geography fill up the rest of his time.