Despite the political tensions between India & Pakistan, there are certain sects of people who admire the Pakistani entertainment industry. Their dramas are widely streamed on YouTube and heavily discussed among friends & family who share the same love & admiration for the dramas.
Indian television had some real gems of shows like Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Khichdi, Office Office, Hum Paanch, etc. When Ekta Kapoor entered the scene, she changed the dynamics of television and the way we approached television. She is attributed to introducing rebirths, plastic surgery and running the show for several years. Even today this concept is followed as if it is the mantra to make the serial a hit. When the serial starts, it has a promising start but there seems to be no end to it.
So, what is it that attracts Indians and people all over the world to Pakistani dramas?
Zee Zindagi was a channel that introduced Indian audiences to Pakistani dramas. It was launched on 23rd June, 2014 and broadcasted Aun Zara as its premier show. Aun Zara starred Osman Khalid Butt & Maya Ali in the lead roles and depicted their hilarious journey as a husband & wife. The witty humour and dialogues proved to be a successful ingredient and was loved by one & all in India. It was then followed by the sensational shows Humsafar and Zindagi Gulzar Hai. These two shows introduced Indian audiences to Fawad Khan who instantly became a heartthrob, making the Bollywood stars run for their money. Here again, the simplicity of both the shows made the dramas an instant hit among the masses.
One thing that stands out about Pakistani dramas is that they have limited episodes. Usually, the drama ends in 25 to 30 episodes. They have a script which shows the transition of each character in a meaningful way making the story have a mesmerizing beginning, an intriguing middle part, and a beautiful end. They reflect on societal issues in a very subtle way, avoiding going over the top. The clothes that the characters wear are simple and are those that we normally wear at home. In Indian serials majority of the women wear sarees with heavy jewelry coupled with lots of make-up (with which they sleep as well). Pakistani dramas have dedicated original soundtrack (OST) which carries the essence of the drama. Background music is very subtle or is not there at all. Compared to the Indian serials, although they have an OST, it is not well promoted and is not given that much importance. We are subjected to Bollywood songs which capture almost the entire episode.
If we talk about wedding sequences, serials in India have long, elaborate wedding sequences which are shown almost for a month or so and probably there is some twist awaiting the lead pair. Dramas in Pakistan have very short wedding sequences which wrap up in just one or two episodes.
Dialogues form an important part of dramas in Pakistan. Not only do they reflect on the real-life issues but also make the audience sit-up & think. There are no vulgar words uttered nor any cheap comic scenes. The humour is on point. Take the case of Suno Chanda or Chupke Chupke. Both were Eid special dramas and were aired during the holy month of Ramadan. These two dramas had perfect comic timing with each character having something hilarious to say.
A still from Suno Chanda
Pakistani dramas reflect on the society, issues which we can relate to and ponder upon. Simple in nature, themes of life & unrequited love, they teach us a lot. And what can one say of that polished Urdu language! All these factors do make Pakistani dramas a must watch and is probably the reason why one goes back to watching them n-number of times.