It is rare that you come across Pakistani dramas that deviate from the routine tropes. Every now and then, when you see dramas like Neeli Zinda Hai or Dilnawaz, they seem refreshing even though they are supposed to be scary. But the fact that you don’t see such supernatural, sci-fi, or crime thriller dramas much is because the drama creators assume they will not be received as well as the saas-bahu, and the extra-marital affair tropes.
Hence, our dramas continue saturating the drama archives with stories that legitimize extramarital affairs through a shakki (non-trusting) wife, a busy husband (who is not nice to his wife but is sweet to the other woman), and a girl who does not have the guts to fight for herself (she is also the protagonist of the story, go figure!).
Allegation of Extra Marital Affair & The Pious Men
All a character needs to do is talk sweetly to another character, et voila! The evil first wife aka the villain will blame them for having an extramarital affair. After such an allegation, the “righteous” man will slap his wife (which is totally not him establishing his power on his wife), and the audience takes it as, ‘sahi kia, is ko thappar hi parna chahye tha‘ (Perfect, she needed a slap).
Righteous man legitimizing the social status of the ‘poor’ woman
After that, the righteous man will also make yet another sacrifice to save a bechaari woman from allegations and marry her. The love, the care, the understanding, the companionship, the man could not give to his first wife, he will do all that for his second wife readily. Plus, when you are loving, caring, and respectful to the other person, they automatically reciprocate. It further creates the divide between the good and the bad woman.
Now, who is good and who is bad?
The narrative showed talks of extramarital affairs in a way that the two people, the man, and the second wife, got the viewers’ sympathy.
Pakistani dramas make extramarital affairs legitimate
Emphasis on extramarital affairs in narratives is such that it has begun reflecting in our real lives. Because the extramarital concept has been so normalized, the arrival of the second wife into the home is legitimized by making the first wife evil, people are openly marrying the second time after having extramarital affairs.
Look at the conversations that happen in your social circle and you will see the mention of extramarital affairs.
“Oh, she remarried? She must be having an extramarital affair.”
Or let’s look at something everyone can relate to; the showbiz industry. Be it Aamir Liaquat or Shahroz Sabzwari, because the situation ended with nikah, they expected the public to understand. Unfortunately, the public actually did because that’s what they have been consuming for quite some time through our Pakistani dramas.
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