Express Entertainment’s drama series Razia is absolutely captivating. With a top of the game storyline, acting and overall production. It is being termed a true master piece, audiences are raving about how they have till now, not seen a drama made this cleverly in Pakistan. The drama has been sending out powerful performances, leaving many in tears. Some are even suggesting the drama be studied and analyzed in Pakistani schools.
The story hits home for many women around us. Razia speaks the heart of women and young girls who might not be fully aware of their rights. Every episode is packed with pure entertainment and is acing its rather true-to-life depiction of how we blatantly dismiss the dreams of a young girl and break her spirits in society. The recent episode highlighted the occurrence of domestic abuse, forceful marriages for girls and how they end up paying the price for the (often irresponsible) actions of men in their family.
Razia Reminds Girls To Ask Ourselves, Are We Animals, Slaves Or Humans With Free Will?
In the recent episode, Razia pleaded her mother to be in her corner. It was heart wrenching but Zehra says, as she has been conditioned to, thanks to society: “Larkiyan apnay baap aur bhai kay samnay zaban nae chalatay, Hum bhi issi tarha barhay huye hain” We are expected to not have a voice, not question any wrong, follow as we are told and God forbid, if we ever decide something for ourselves! Do we realize how deeply this mantra has been embedded in us through society and how we have become complacent and compliant with the demise of our rights and silencing of our voice? Families are supposed to be a safe haven for all the Razias we know amidst us, but more often than not, this is where they meet their deepest heartache and hurt.
Razia reminds her mother and us alike to question our existence as we should…”aisay pata kon hota hai amma? Janwar phir ghulam, jaisa maalik nay kaha kerdia.”
Razia Forced To Burn Down Her Dreams With Her Own Bare Hands
The society, her family and ultimately, her circumstances pushed her into murdering her dreams. Razia has burnt down her dreams with her own bare hands, just as as she burnt her books, achievements, accomplishments, desires and maybe even, her essence. She gives in because she is tired of battling adversity to prove that she too, is a human being; all girls are human beings and deserve to have the same chances and rights in life as their (society’s crowned gender) male counterparts.
Do all girls, like Razia, have to reach emotional breakdowns, give up their dreams to be able to live peacefully and to merely exist in society? The scene had such a profound impact, causing one to pause and grapple with Razia’s fate. Her emotional breakdown was unsettling yet impactful. It was particularly interesting to see how she self-soothed, a technique to comfort herself as no drama so far has depicted this aspect so aptly.
Just as she’s come to terms with the death of her dreams and desires, Razia assures herself she will she be able to survive and get by living on auto – less human and more robotic. Though she was sadly mistaken, the society and her family were yet to demand more – more sacrifice, hurt and a bigger price for her daring to dream.
Women Make Women’s Lives Challenging
Once again to humiliate, annihilate her existence and self-esteem, there would be a new agony for Razia. The creators portrayed the rishta scene in an engaging manner, making it cynical with a seemingly comic tone, yet also enlightening us on how other women till date, continue to comment on a girl’s physical features, her being over educated (fearing an educated girl really is a thing), efficiency at house chores, wanting to know if she has a full set of teeth, her height, her weight, her eyes…was anything left out in the unrelenting inspection? Oh yes, whitening injections. How can we not mention our obsession with complexion?
After finding a thousand faults in Razia, tearing her self-respect to pieces they very mightily reject her. Isn’t it sad how a woman makes a mockery out of another woman to compromise the cause entirely?
Razia Has To Pay For The Actions Of Her Shameless Brother
Ali, Razia’s brother apart from being a harasser is now off philandering, discovered in a hotel room with a girl. Hmm, nice to see what the ‘baazou‘ and bright future of Salim Saab is up to. Ali tarnished his father’s reputation or as we say “mou tou kala kerdia Ali nay” but who will pay the price? Not him. It will be Razia again, after all, boys are immune to consequences and shame. The biradari’s solution? Get Ikhlaq’s son married to Razia – the only way out for Salim and family to pay for this misdemeanor – A prime example of karay bhai and bharay behen and mind you, there was no hint of embarrassment or regret on either Ali or Salim’s face – Ghairat hou tou aisi!
Once again, Razia sacrifices her life and dreams for her family. But will she gain anything from it? The grave injustice done to her will be reduced to “merely being her Fate.” But we ask, is this really her fate or Ali’s bad deeds and consequences of his actions for which she is being made to pay the price?
Razia’s Symbolic & Empowering Choice
Razia bids farewell to her house and as in our religion and custom where one (male guardians) sees off the bride while holding a Quran over her head, so does Ali. But Razia does something we didn’t expect and woah, what a powerful scene. Razia takes the Quran from her brother and holds it above her head herself, as she exits her house all alone. This was her way of telling her family she didn’t need the façade of her unscrupulous brother carrying out the sacred custom and she was better of doing it herself.
It also sent out a strong message – that girls can take hold of their own fate and tend to themselves as well, instead of always looking towards a male guardian.
Razia Highlights Domestic Abuse & That It Is Very Real & A Crime
Despite all of this and what she has gone through, she has still not given up on her life – an ode to her resilient soul. As her now husband sits down next to her with a smile and launches into a string of praises and promises, for a moment we hoped this might be Razia’s chance at a new life, maybe happiness? But we were mistaken as the scene took a dark, very dark turn.
The drama shed light on the grim, wide-spread crime of domestic violence. He attempted to strangle her and Razia’s entire world crumbled all over again. Her newlywed husband vowed to harm her every day and make sure she pays the price for her brother’s wrong doings. We can only fear what is going to come next for Razia…
An Emerging Debate
There’s a debate of sorts emerging from this episode. Should Razia have possibly taken a stand for herself or was that too much to expect from her?
While some audiences are of the view that Razia could have perhaps managed to save herself and that she should not have given up on her dreams, achievements and education. She could have found an opportunity that might help her survive on her own, breaking free from the clutches of her family and society, and that she hopelessly gave in to her ignorant, toxic family not believing in herself, but there’s also the point of view that all this superhero stuff is more easier said than done! When her entire universe seems to be against her, nothing works out, she became numb. She had already fought enough and this move would be expecting too much from her. It would, in turn, create more problems for herself and not reflect a true-to-life narrative.
Well, what do you think Razia should have done? Was there a way she could have saved herself? Or did she really not have many options left?
The TV serial is both written and directed by the acclaimed Mohsin Ali. It is produced by Hina Aman and Kamran Afridi and stars Mahira Khan, Momal Sheikh, Mohib Mirza, Parveen Akbar, Kausar Siddiqui, Shaheera Jalil Albasit, Kaleem Ghori, Arman Sami, Kashif Hussain, M.Saqib Rajput, Shahzad Mallick, Akbar Islam, Daniya Kanwal, Samina Nazeer, Abeer Na, Fajr Sheikh, Esha Usman.