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18 Mar

Ruswai: 5 times Sameera’s mother made unreasonable demands


After watching 25 episodes, drama serial Ruswai has given us many lessons and some headache along with it. Now that we have established that the story has completely shifted from Sameera (Sana Javed) to a nerve-wracking aftermath of watta-satta (simultaneous marriage of a brother-sister pair from two households), there isn’t much room (or expectations) to discuss the story of a gang rape survivor. However, one character from the drama remains resolute in making unreasonable (read: incongruous) demands.

To viewers’ utter disappointment, the person in question is not Salma aunty (Salman’s mother) but Sameera’s own mother Zakiya (played by Seemi Raheel). Unfortunately, the woman has proved time and again that a parent can be wrong when it comes to making life-altering decisions about a child. Ironically, Zakiya is a character who accepts her mistakes in one episode and repeats them in the next!

Read: Why was infidelity and not domestic abuse the cause for Sameera to end her marriage?

Though we expect her to realize this pattern before all hell breaks loose yet again, here are 5 times Sameera’s mother has made unjust and unreasonable demands till now:

1. She proposed that Sameera’s marriage is the solution to all her problems

At the very beginning of the drama after Sameera was assaulted, Zakiya was the first one to propose the idea that Sameera should settle down and get married to Salman. Like any typical desi mom, she thought that this shaadi is the only solution. Therapy and PTSD were as alien terms to her as one can imagine.

2. She asked Sameera to forget about reporting the rape

She asked Sameera to forget about reporting her gang rape, let alone identify the rapists because she has a younger sister to take care of and also the honor of her family. What about her honor and respect?



3. She asked Sameera to compromise despite being beaten by Salman

She continuously propagated the idea that marriages are built on compromises and only women have to make adjustments. She asked Sameera to leave her job and be an obedient wife to Salman despite knowing the fact that he has abused her emotionally and physically.

Also read: Did Sameera really need to be gang-raped for the writer to make a point about vatta satta marriages?

4. She demanded that Hamza should cut off all ties with Wardah

The demands didn’t even end with Sameera. Now that she is divorced, Hamza is next in line. She ordered Hamza to severe ties with his pregnant wife as wives apparently have no rights over their husbands. Wardah might have been a reason why situations worsened at their home and led to Mahmood uncle’s death, however, there were many other factors involved (hint: Sameera and Zakiya’s own behavior and his guilt) but all of that has been swept under the carpet.

5. She used Wardah to take revenge

Lastly, in episode 25 we saw that Zakiya clearly stated that Hamza can bring his newborn baby home but she won’t let Wardah stay in her house. She is using Wardah to take revenge as she called this ‘insaaf’ (justice). She also forbade Sameera to even visit the hospital to see the child. She even made plans with her brother that Hamza will divorce Wardah and then she will marry him to their daughter.

All this is a means to an end; she wants Salma, Salman and the rest of their family to suffer which is justified. But this in no way means she should have the authority to destroy lives as and when it suits her. We also saw that she is again forcing Sameera to say yes to doctor Feroze’s proposal, however even his mother doesn’t know about Sameera’s rape. Let’s just hope by the end we get to see her make one fair decision for her children.


Syeda Zehra

The author is Assistant Editor at Something Haute. A journalist by profession, the writer has a penchant for films, fashion and music.