8 in the evening, my mom was in a rush when I got back home. I asked her “what’s the hurry?” She said it was her favorite play on ARY. I am usually not intrigued by her favorite plays, but this time I decided to sit next to her and watch this play called ‘Daagh’.
The story wasn’t something novel or ground-breaking rather it was a typical play. It depicted a young girl and her struggle after giving birth to a fourth girl. Her husband married another woman for a male child and couldn’t maintain the desired level of justice between his two wives.
But what provoked me to write this article were the intricate details and emotions portrayed in that play. It showed how, after deciding to live separately, that lady was teased, censured & criticized for doing things which were highly unnoticeable in another situation. How the realities & miseries of the monetary world unveiled themselves upon her. How she realized that it was a choice between her self-respect and the luxuries of her children.
When you’re with your husband and confined within the boundaries of your house, no one notices when you go out and when you don’t. No one cares whether your cousins visit you or your uncles. No one is bothered whether that was a stubborn child screaming or a woman beaten by her husband. But once, you’re either divorced or separated from your husband, all these small details become the story of your life.
On one hand you’re forced to go outside and earn which is already a trauma for a woman, who is used to living inside her comfort zones. On the other hand, it’s the people who don’t let you live. They always try to find the culpability within the woman herself. No matter how much modern we are, in our society the liability of a broken marriage rests with the woman, either because of her character or her bad luck.
I don’t know how many of you reading this can actually relate to the feelings of this lady and her children. But I have observed this in reality and I assure you, it’s not a good feeling. You see success stories of single moms abroad, but in Pakistan it’s very rare. Mostly these women are not educated & acclimatized to the professional world. And when they don’t have enough money to fulfill desires or even feed their children properly, they’re forced to reach a ‘humiliating compromise’ with their husband’s injustice.
I have seen the suffering and embarrassment; when a woman has to give up a lot of basic necessities because of her monetary constraints, how little kids wonder why their mom won’t buy them the chocolate chip cookies they loved before and what it’s like to sell everything you can for your child’s medicine!
But the question is ‘Whether this message actually makes an impact on the audience?’ I wonder what the target audience might be thinking? Who is the target audience? Is it those men who first marry a girl at a very young and tender age and then abandon her? Or those women who let others discard them out of their lives?
Let’s see what if the target audience is those women who are so gullible and immature that they fall into hasty marriages with no plans for future? These young girls; they probably sympathize with these women but never envision themselves in those characters. Why is that? Simply because at this age and with this naivety, how can you expect them to apply something as grim as this play on themselves?
Next target audience could be men themselves. For them, these plays can be an eye opener. They can probably understand or even experience the pain of a woman which would’ve been impossible otherwise.
` But the target audience which I foresee to be the most apposite for such plays is women with newborn babies. They are responsible for the brought up and the perceptual development of these nascent minds. It’s simple; either they’ll teach their kids to value other’s feelings and respect their existence or to mortify them. Either these women will discriminate between girls and boys or they’ll practically demonstrate equality. It’s upon these women to actually modify the existing mindsets through their brought up & the values they inculcate in their kids. These plays can be used to propagate awareness regarding education, early marriages and working women. I might be overestimating these plays, but many a times we forget that these plays depict the reality of many families out there.
To make sure it’s not yours or your child’s family, you need to learn, adapt and educate!