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19 Jan

Is Sammi the new Udaari?

A horde of excited journalists, flashing camera lights and an elaborate (and quite out of context) Nomi Ansari dress. No, this wasn’t a showcase to fashion week, but exactly what we saw at the press meet for Mawra Hocane’s upcoming return to the small screen, Sammi.



Created under the banner of MD productions, in association with the Centre for Communication Programs Pakistan, the drama lifts the veil over vani, amongst other draconian traditions seen in the country, with a story that narrates the tribulations faced by the eponymous heroine of the show, who ends up paying for an unforeseen crime done by a family member.

 

 

Sultana Siddiqui quickly set the tone for the event and the drama by saying “ghalati mard karein, aur bughtein auratein,” which of course was enough to know that the discourse for this event (as well as the drama) was going to be about the harsh realities faced by women in the peripheries of the country’s rural areas.

Talking about Sammi, Noor Ul Huda Shah, whose drama Marvi became a bastion for the portrayal of women who broke the bounds of society, said, “It’s an inspiration from my initial works such as Jungle and Marvi. I wanted to highlight the plight of women who face such trials.”

Apart from Shah stepping in as the writer, the drama has been directed by Saifee Hasan and stars Mawra Hocane with Adnan Siddiqui, Seemi Raheel, Saman Ansari, Rehan Sheikh, Irfan Khoosat, Nadia Afghan, Bilal Khan, and Ahad Raza Mir in essential roles. However, the absence of almost everyone apart from Hocane, made us wonder how important their characters were if they didn’t even bother to show up.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS5rKt2EblU

Despite being a relatively low-key affair, the meet and greet ended with a strong hope that Sammi would actually bring a change into a) the lives of women who suffer under archaic traditions of society and, b) the done-to-death misrepresented portrayals of women on television, which make us just switch our television sets off.

 

 

 

Shahjehan Saleem

The author is Contributing 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.