Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishaan

A story of clash involving two generations revolving around two opposite schools of thought – a modern and progressive ones and the other being orthodox. Three brothers have very different perspective on life which affects how they raise their children. The eldest of them doesn’t believe in educating of girls hence his daughters remain uneducated although he sends his son abroad for education meanwhile the youngest brother moves to Dubai his daughters get the best of the education. Fate brings the daughters of the liberal brother back to Pakistan from Dubai but the whole family cannot digest the living of such modern, educated and bright minded girls living with them. The son of the eldest brother visits Pakistan from the US and likes the eldest daughter of the youngest brother and decides to marry her which infuriates the whole family. The girl likes him too and despite the opposition, they get married. The mother of the boy develops a grudge for her daughter-in-law which grows a lot especially when the boy leaves for the US leaving his bride among the hating family. The mother-in-law of the girl, desperate to kick the girl out of the family seeks the perfect moment and successfully secures it too. The mother in law falsely accuses her daughter in law of having sexual relations with another boy in the family. Adding to the injury, she also swears on the Holy Quran. All this fiasco makes the boy to divorce his new wife. This event affects the whole family. In the later part regrets and repents fill the family. But the damage is powerful enough. He later comes back to Pakistan and finds out the truth. But his years in the US bless him with a new family. His son also comes to Pakistan. Years later he finds that his wife who was falsely accused of infidelity had died and has a daughter from another man whom she marries later on. He gets his son married to that girl and spends his life grieving about the mistakes he committed in life.

The novel has some serious flaws. As the book is primarily targeting the Urdu reading audience of the sub-continent, especially in Muslim majority Pakistan, the novel and later the drama is depicting and satisfying the men-are-always-bad-and-so-is-the-mother-in-law emotions of the society. The novel and the drama also rely on religious elements which gives it more momentum to be successful in a biased society. The thrill in the tale especially where conspiracy exists and where mystery gets unfolded is nice. The expressions and dialogue in beautiful. But the story as a whole is one more evil step in the already degrading society. But like any other Umera Ahmed’s story, mixing religion, puppy-love, attractions with spirituality is a perfect ingredient to sell books. Drama by a profit seeking channel also keep social causes the second or even further down in priority list. The ingredient sells good but is extremely corrosive overall. Even porn is better because it has no hypocrisy.