We are all familiar with the stereotypical Pakistani lead couple, a toxic and underwhelming boy who is ‘edgy’ and ‘dark’ because of his traumatizing past, and the hoor-pari good girl who has never walked outside apnay ghar ki chaar dewariyan, and has apparently never interacted with a man in her life. They meet, stalk, harass, fall in love, shaadi, divorce, phir pyar and then happy ending.
But quiet rarely, Pakistani dramas take a step to break these stereotypes and introduce us to a couple where either both or one person is a middle-aged woman. It’s a rare stand against stereotypical depictions of women disappearing after they turn forty.
But it’s important now that women are reminded that their beauty and desirability doesn’t finish the moment they turn thirty. Life doesn’t end.
Thankfully, Pakistani dramas have slowly been catching up on breaking this stigma by giving us a few very poignant and well-written dramas that had cast a middle-aged woman in a romantic relationship as the central lead of their drama.
Dobara was embraced with open arms by Pakistani audiences when it debuted. Hadiqa Kiana starred as Mehru Nisa, a woman in her forties with two grown children who was learning to re-live her life on her own terms after being forcibly married when she was sixteen years old and deprived of doing everything she had ever loved. Mehru Nisa’s relationship with Maahir, a man who was in his twenties, is the most heart warming aspect of this drama because of the way he helps her gain confidence in doing whatever she wanted to do, and also defends her from her family members who consistently bully her.
This upcoming drama features Zara Noor Abbas and Haroon Kadwani as lovers with a wide age gap between them. According to the trailer, the premise revolves around backlash from society who cannot accept an older woman marrying a younger man.
Shahista Lodhi’s on-air drama revolved around an old man’s marriage. After his wife passes away, he decides to marry Nargis. But his re-marriage at this age doesn’t bode well with his children, who refuse to treat Nargis with kindness.
Speaking on the importance of approaching this topic, Lodhi who starred as Nargis in the drama, said that she wanted to do this project because of how it reminds that the elderly that life doesn’t end when they grow old:
“It showed that at a certain age when we think our elderly mother and father are only around to take care of our children, but instead you’ll witness the love story between these two main characters in the drama. I thought this was such a great example being set. The other thing is in our society at a certain age our parents are left lonely while we get busy building our own lives. We seem to think that our parents can’t find a new partner after their own spouse and they don’t have a life of their own.”
Teri Raah Mein Rul Gayi:
Samiya Mumtaz essays the role of a middle aged woman whose husband passed away a year after their marriage, leaving her in grief. Her brother-in-law stands up to society by providing for her every single need, and declares that he has fallen in love with her.