GT reviews the drama serial Marasim
Wata Satta is a concept whereby a brother and sister are married to another brother and sister. The authority one girl maintains in one household, the other can leverage in her own. It sounds nice to the ears â€” the families stay within one another and the bayzabaan bahu fears less as the saasâ€™s own daughter could be subject to the same treatment. But where does the heart lie in all these mathematics? Does love really matter? These are the questions that A-Plus’s drama serial Marasim explores.
â€œMarasim touches the finer chords of human relations and its subtle dimensions,â€ says Owais Khan, the director. The serial features Ahsan Khan as Daud and his sister Deeba played by Sadiya Faisal. Daud and Deeba have both been “promised,” at birth, to their first cousins. We learn that the mother of their cousins, Sheher Bano (played by Naila Jaffery) along with her mother, unabashedly made life hell for the bahu, Geeti Ara â€” Daud and Deeba’s mother â€” played by the formidable Saba Hameed.
The lovers are forced to break the lifelong ties they had
held so dear
When Deebaâ€™s engagement is summarily dismissed by her fiancÃ©, Geeti Ara cannot find it in her to let her arch nemesis nund win once again by having her own daughter happily married while her own sits at home mourning over her lost love. It is the lovers then who are subsequently hit and forced to break the lifelong ties they had held so dear. The title song rings true here: Silsillay tor gaya woh sabhi aatay jaatay.
Even Urwa Hocane, who comes into the serial a little later and plays the very majboor Nayab, has had her share of heartbreak. Her lost love was not only forced out of her life because she was forced to marry Daud, but he also happens to die from a broken heart! Marasim‘s message seems to ring loud and clear: the more relations you make within a family, the more complicated things get. The result is endless heartache.
Saba Hameed, the thespian, was simply mesmerising
In Owais Khan’s able hands, the repetitive and mindnumbing saga of saas and bahu is explored with subtlety. Geeti Ara’s pent-up aggression and resentment toward her saas is passed onto her own bahu. Saba Hameed’s acting is superb here, as she modulates her tone from cajoling to threatening as the situation demands. The viewer slowly picks up the change in Geeti Araâ€™s attitude, from humble to scheming to manipulative and, finally, power hungry. Her change is truly manifest when she, who herself was from a poorer family than the one she married into, says that girls from poorer families should be given money, love and status with serious checks and balances or else they begin to disrespect authority. To which Ahsan Khan delivers the cutting statement that his mother has taken to repeating the sayings and actions of his unreasonable dadi.
â€œI read the script carefully before I say yes to any project. It had been quite a while since I had seen a truly great script. So when I read Marasim, I was impressed by the story line and the dialogues. I instantly said yes. Our director Owais Khan has worked very hard to create an emotionally resonant but not over-the-top drama.â€
Marasim‘s message, bleak but firmly tethered to Pakistan’s reality, is that most people in our society are bound by a higher societal power that they cannot disobey without in some way destroying their lives. Everyone is majboor, from Nayabâ€™s sister Almas (played by Hajira Khan) who can either uproot herself from her family and end up entirely helpless, to Momina (played by Sonya Hussain) who can either digest her mother’s embarrassment in front of Geeti Ara, or break all ties with her mother on account of her own desires.
It is in the bittersweet exploration of how to see relationships through that Marasim will break your heart. At the same time it will leave you with the elated feeling that if such strong feelings of love will not kill you, they will only make you stronger.
â€œThe play is written wonderfully by Zanjabeel Asim Shah. The characters are not boxed into stereotypes, but are multi-dimensional with different shades. It’s gratifying to play characters who are neither positive nor negative. But the star of the show has to be Saba [Hameed] Apa, whose character was very interesting. She was the backbone of this serial. While on set, she helped us to bring out the depth in our characters. I hope everyone enjoys watching the serial as much as I enjoyed acting in it!â€
â€” Urwa Hocane
Owais Khan, the director, talks to us about Marasim, the cast and crew:
Marasim was an experience with its own joys and agonies. The thing that hooked me on to this project was the script. I thought it was simply brilliant, written by Zanjabeel Asim Shah who I think is the best television writer to emerge in the last five years.
With the support of Sadia Jabbar, the production house Six Sigma, its team headed by Humayun Saeed and Nadeem Baig, and my incredible DOP Qasim Ali, Marasim is enjoying extremely favourable reviews. Qasim turned out to be a blessing not just for the talent of his work with lights and visuals but also in terms of his positive energy that swept through the whole project. When I look back,Â it is hard for me to imagine Marasim without Qasim Ali Mureed.
I was fortunate with the set of actors that I got to work with. As it seldom happens, all the major actors were people I was working with for the first time, despite being a veteran of fifteen years. Ahsan khan was a revelation. He is an actor to learn from as far as supremacy in acting is concerned. Other than this, he remained a great support in my high and low moments during the project. This, too, is important.
Saba Hameed, the thespian, was simply mesmerizing. To watch her play this character, and to direct her, was a treat.
Sonya Hussain, in the spectrum of her emotional ability, is the finest actor of the new generation. She actually stunned me at times with her depth of feeling. Urwa was a surprise to me in her own self: she proved that she is not just a pretty face but a confident performer as well. With her beauty and brains she added to the charm of the serial.
As director, I tried to stay true to the content and to bring the emotion of the whole serial in its entirety. How well I have been able to do, viewers will decide!