Has ARY’s ‘Khuda Mera Bhi Hai’ Missed Its Mark? [Review]

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Ayesha Khan –Mahgul/Mahi

Syed Jibran –Zain

Mehmood Aslam –Hassan/H

Saba Pervez –Mahi’s mom

Imran Ashraf –Zaahir

Marium Saleem Nawaz -Sanam

The difference between analyzing a sitcom and a drama series is that in a sitcom, lack of characters’ development can conveniently be ignored by the audience. On contrary, a drama series would only be greeted with praise if the characters of the series not only connect to the audience but as the story moves on they grow too. The analysis of a drama series, subsequently, can be premised on characters’ development. Any series which fails to match the yardstick will meet the sad fate of getting forgotten. Khuda Mera Bhi Hai emerged on the TV screens with a promise to deliver the best. The creative team picked up a sensitive topic – transgender people and society.

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The drama starts with Mahi helping her best friend, Sanam, to condemn the domestic violence she was subjected to. Later in the episode, Mahi is shown as a strong, independent woman who’d take no nonsense from anyone. She is a journalist and works in H’s company. Apparently, she is editor of the company’s magazine. The entire episode was an introduction of the cast and a little about how brave and ‘different’ Mahi is. H loved Mahi and the energy she’s brought to the company, but while introducing her to his son, Zain, he ignored Mahi’s intellect and wisdom and introduced her as ‘the most charming girl’. -_-. Not that I have anything against Ayesha Khan’s beauty, but her whole character is based on the fact that the essentials of her charisma are her views and perceptions.

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Moving on, after a typical ‘Will they or won’t they’ tension, Mahi and Zain tied the knot. The couple is shown to be liberal with Zain breaking the stereotypes of a woman preparing breakfast/lunch for her husband. He is the one who brought breakfast to her room and showed unparalleled care towards Mahi during her pregnancy. All of this was stretched over four episodes –talk about dragging! Meanwhile, Zain’s younger brother, Zaahir, started showing interest in Sanam –much to the annoyance of Zain and Zaahir’s mother. This Zaahir-Sanam story is clichéd and stands on the ‘love at first sight’ premises. This shows that no matter how progressive a storyline is supposed to be, the subplots will always revolve around tried-and-tested run-of-the-mill stories. It must be mentioned that in the four episodes –a little close to half of the episodes shown –not once did the characters –especially Mahi –show any inkling towards transgender people.

As an audience, I would have felt more connected to the situation had the characters’ views were shown in more detail. The only mention about the community had in the show when in the first episode Zain talked to his dad regarding Mahi and casually said, ‘We were going to have dinner at a transgender person’s place’. The tone was rather mocking and it might have been the first of the many later hints that Zain is not as liberal as he is supposed to be. Naturally, when Mahi delivered a transgender baby, Noor, the entire family literally freaked out.

Mahi separated from Zain because the two had a difference of opinions. Zain wanted to get rid of his child and even declared him dead. On the other hand, Mahi’s conscience was not letting her to declare her living child as dead. She decided to live with her baby and provide him with the best upbringing on her own. The couple agreed on the fact that they still love each other, but they cannot live together because of a few obvious reasons.

From that point on, the show turned into a one-man show with Mahi at the helms of the affair. The show had the potential to show the ‘day-to-day’ hurdles/barriers which Mahi ought to deal, but unfortunately this aspect was conveniently ignored. The creative team never introduced Zain ‘to try’ accept his child. He was never shown to visit Mahi or tend to her at the office. The whole point of ‘the love still exists between the two’ was terribly missed.

By the end of the 9th episode, Noor is around 6-7 years old and Mahi is searching for a good school for him which is rather inclusive. A bird-view of the last nine episodes shows how match the writer has missed the marks. So much could have been done to make the drama much more interesting. The story is just another story and not an effort to shake the beliefs and ideas of society. A lot more is yet to be seen. Let us see how the things will unfold.

Contributed By Aimen Siddiqui

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