Pakistani Dramas

Dastaan Episode 2


Pakistan ka matlab kya, lā ilāhaʾillā-llāh.

Does religion make a nation? Does it make a qaum? Does it make a secure and stable entity? Most importantly, does it make us united?

Inasmuch as Bano and Hassan’s love story begins to blossom, the crux of the narrative in Dastaan is on nation building and what really makes a nation, what defines it. Last week, I brought up historian Ayesha Jalal’s work, so, this week I’ll start with one of her (many!) lectures. Speaking at the Hudson Institute, Dr. Jalal brings up two very significant points: first, of course, is on the struggle to make Pakistan, but more significantly, her second point is on an emerging popular culture that makes Pakistan more than just a failed state, a constant and recurring criticism in recent history.



Sadqay Tumhare Episode 12


Re khat-khat haan khat-khat baaje dastak woh na ab tak aaya,

Re tab se haan kab se, haan dekhe raahein, ki ab tu khol baahein aaja,

Umad-ghumad ghumein, re machle re mora mann, goonje re baalam ke bol.

Nagada saang dhol baaje, dhol baaje…

Dhaayn, dhaayn, dhum, dhum, dhaayn!

In true cinematic tradition and given that this is holiday season, let’s go out with a bang, khawateen-o-hazrat! As this is the last review for the year, I give you what our Shaano only wishes she could do. Yes, burst out into song and dance – Gujarati style at that – in the middle of that dholki as her new beau-to-be watches from the ramparts. Why ramparts? Well, it’s war after all! Make no mistake some loves are never meant to be.


Sadqay Tumahare Episode 11


Bulleh Shah ooh kon utaam tera yaar,
Ooss dey hath Quraan hai, ossay gul zanaar.

Before I go further let us all take a moment to enjoy Shanno and Khalil! Given the latest trend for mashups which would you prefer: Shalil or Khanno, either way this, Khatwateen-o-Hazrat, is the beginning of the end. As I impatiently devoured this latest episode a sinking feeling began to set in, a feeling that’s not going to go away anytime soon, which is why I give you Shanno’s dua and Khalil’s safar all to the melody of Sohail Haider’s Nimi Nimi Aag Te, one last time. For making us fall in love with you as much as you love each other, Shanno and Khalil, this one’s for the both of you.


Dastaan Episode 1


Aj akhan Waris Shah nu kitun kabran vichchon bol,
Te aj kitab-e-ishq da koi agla varka phol.

Ek roi si dhee Punjab di, tu likh likh maare vain,
Aaj lakhan dheean rondian tainu Waris Shah nu kahen.

Waaaay… dardmandaan day dardiaa, uth takk apnaa Punjab,
Aaj bele lashan vichhian te lahu di bhari Chenab.

Kise ne panjan paanian vichch ditti zahar rala,
Te unhan paanian dharat nun ditta pani la.

Iss zarkhez zameen de lun lun futtia zaher,
Gith gith charhiaan lalian, fut fut charhia kaher.

Aaj akhan Waris Shah nu kitun kabran vichchon bol,
Te aj kitab-e-ishq da koi agla varka phol.

Takhsim-e-Hind. Hindustan ka Batwara. The Partition of India. 


Sadqay Tumhare Episode 10


Bas yahi dua kar ki meray naam say kisi aur ka naam na juday.

Tasali nahi kasam daita hoon.

Aapka haak banta hai ki unki mohabbat say nafrat karo.  

Jab itni zyada mohabbat ho jaye to mohabbat karnay walay maar jata hain ya to unki fooran shaadi hoo jaati hai.

Khay say Khalil, Ray say Rukhsana, aur Meem say Mohabbat.



Sadqay Tumhare Episode 9


My man’s crazy and his mind’s a knife.  But I like him – fact, I love him – I can’t get enough of him, he knows only I can save him tonight!

I’ve been waiting on your love, baby, for too long now, too long now!

Sadqay Tumhare is like a Lana Del Rey song with its retro sensibilities, it’s dastaan-e-ishq wali mohabbat, it’s filmi aadaein, and pretty people thrown in for good measure! Yet, like Lana’s pronounced vintage, nostalgic, and sad sensibilities, “it’s gonna backfire, baby, gonna backfire!”


Retro Rerun!


Hey, hey filmi travelers!

Keeping in mind my obsession with everything retro, I’m starting a segment on those retro highs(!) and lows, of course some choices will be more retro than others. All the way back to the black and white and rather gay 1920s to the acid trip highs of the 1990s, I’ll be picking hidden gems for your viewing and reading pleasure!