Over the past few years, the media has emerged as an extremely powerful force in Pakistan. With the evolution of freedom of media and the revival of cinema, I personally feel Pakistan has upped their game in this particular industry.
People worldwide may beg to differ, especially after having watched Homeland and Zero Dark Thirty. Due to the broadcasting of such shows and movies, one naturally thinks Pakistan is a backward feudal and extremist country, harbouring terrorists and a place where women are not respected by their male counterparts.
Living abroad, it hurts me to see how the international media portrays my country. Yes, Pakistan does have its fair share of problems, but my country still boasts of great things such as family values, age-old traditions and scenic beauty.
The famous drama, Diyar-e-Dil, a Hum TV production, portrays Pakistan from a realistic point of view. The story highlights the honour and obedience one practises towards their parents as well as the importance of family and the age-old eastern culture of close knit families. The drama is set in Khaplu Palace, Gilgit. Nestled between the mountains and meadows, the backdrop is picturesque and shows that Pakistan has so much unexplored beauty.
Farhat Ishtiaq’s powerful story shows us the real jageedar (landlord) of Pakistan. One of the main characters in the show, Agha Jaan, his role is played wonderfully by Abid Ali. He is a hard working landlord, who has worked his way up the ladder of success. I feel that Agha Jaan is a truly inspirational character because he respects the women of his family, treats his workers with respect and has great family values.
The cast of the drama is strong and the acting definitely makes the serial worth a watch. With names such as Maya Ali (Faarah Wali Khan), Osman Khalid Butt (Wali Suhaib Khan), Hareem Farooq (Arjumand Suhaib Khan), Sanam Saeed (Ruhina Behroze Khan), Mikaal Zulfiqar (Behroze Bakhtiyar Khan), Ali Rehman Khan (Suhaib Bakthiyar Khan) and Ahmad Zeb (Moeez Tajamul), one can expect nothing less than brilliant acting. Farhat Ishtiaq has managed to give each of her characters the luxury of telling their own story in their own way.
Apart from traditional values, Diyar-e-Dil is also a story about male bonding. It highlights the male bonding between Agha jaan and his sons, Behroze and Shoaib. Through this aspect of the drama, she also unfolds the phenomenon of bachpan ki mangni (early engagements). The older son, Behroze, refuses to marry the girl his father has picked for him, whereas the younger son honours his father’s wishes by marrying the girl his father chooses for him.
The drama focuses on the extent of authority displayed by parents and brings forth defiance prevalent in the youth of today. Sometimes children hold on to this stubbornness, and when they finally let go off it, it is too late.
What I like most about Diyar-e-Dil is that it sends out a strong message about how bonds between parents and children should not, and cannot be, broken due to ego issues. This revered bond is not only shared between parents and children, but also between grandparents and grandchildren, a value missing in the Western culture.
Men such as the old and frail Agha Jaan, and the very compassionate and just Wali, are the pride of Pakistani society. They not only ride horses and enjoy their wealth but also give equal respect to their subordinates and the women in their lives. Their female family members are their izzat (respect) who they protect; they encourage them to have their own thoughts, to live their own life and do not, in any way, treat them as their property.
The drama shows how women are not treated like dirt in our society. Yes, they do don a dupatta on their heads in this drama, but it’s not the stereotypical portrayal of a woman. The females are seen acquiring education as well and becoming independent.
While the story dies down towards the last few episodes, Wali and Faraah, Agha Jaan’s grand children, emerge as extremely strong people. Wali, as the caretaker of his tribe, has been taught to respect his elders even if they show anger towards him. Faraah, the female lead, portrays admirable traits such as perseverance and the courage to apologise.
It is easy to get angry and to show anger towards others but it is difficult to mend the shattered pieces of a broken relationship. To ask for forgiveness from others may be hard, but it also is a source of comfort once it is done. This is what Wali sets out to do – put an end to the age-old dispute between his parents and grandparents. The drama hits close to reality and proves that truth always prevails.
I want to thank the team of Diyar-e-Dil for bringing to life the story of a typical Pakistani tribal family and for highlighting their real traditions. This is a refreshing change, especially after reading about bombs, bullets and people dying in the northern areas. Diyar-e-Dil is a must watch for every Pakistani.