Taking Mahira Khan to fame that carved a path leading to Bollywood, was none other than her docile character, Khirad. A person who did not fight for herself; a person who thinks that sabar or patience means letting atrocities happen to you; these were the projects Mahira would do. Unlike Minal Khan, the star has evolved since then.
Derogatory roles for women in Pakistani projects
Our dramas, or rather, our drama writers have come to believe that sabar is letting time take its course without calling people out on their barbaric acts. Unfortunately, stars like Mahira Khan and Minal Khan were on that very bandwagon. While Minal Khan might still be there and Kinza Hashmi doing that exact role in the ongoing drama Azmaish, Mahira has realized the power the stories have.
Mahira Khan and her evolving projects
Allama Iqbal’s dua
After her roles in Humsafar, Bin Roye, and Raees where a woman is only a prop in the story of a man, Mahira was not very visible. When she did appear, it was at the height of COVID lockdown in a DVC. The DVC used Allama Iqbal’s poem, Lab pe aati hai dua. The song gives its own touch to the lyrics changing the narrative of how a woman does not need to be the possession of a man but his companion.
In the most recent instalment, Mahira acted in Prince Charming. Although, this project was, yet again one where the man does not understand the needs of his wife and bosses her around, the idea was amazing. It showed that numerous women in Pakistan suffered from post-marital depression and the man is not as present as they want him to be. The narrative gave the audience goosebumps and that is the content we should aspire for.
In yet another upcoming instalment, we have Mahir playing Nigar, the first female three star lieutenant general. The project shows the woman’s struggle in achieving her dreams, and how she overcame struggle becoming an inspiration for numerous other girls.
These may just be small projects but Mahira Khan has an ongoing TV drama as well. While only 4 episodes of the project have come out, the drama looks hopeful because not only does the cast involves Mahira but also Usman Mukhtar, and Kubra Khan; both of whom are known for standing for empowering content. The character seems mysterious which is the best part because it gives substance to them, unlike the staying quiet, ‘letting-the-world-play-with-you’ characters. Hopefully, with time, more stars will join the queue and begin producing content that shows the Pakistani women that they and their individuality matter.
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