Small Screen Romeos
By Hira Sangi
We blatantly call our society a male dominated one. Men are seen steering the wheels at the workplace and at home, telling their wives and daughters how to behave and silently feeling superior to the female colleagues work. Our dramas however, paint a completely different picture where men take the backseat and only play the role of a supporter while the women dominate center stage.
Men in dramas are shown as mere puppets or rather people with one dimensional personality. They are portrayed as black or white, the embodiment of pure evil or the perfect depiction of a hen pecked husband. In our dramas, these dominating men are played by in the hands of the fairer gender, not knowing what hit them until the script writer wishes to add a sudden twist to the story!
The hero portrayed in our dramas is either always angry or is a hopeless romantic. He is either just a flirt or someone who knows how to love only one woman unconditionally. He is either the perfect villain, completely devoid of any feeling, thinking of no one but himself or a prince charming whose only job is to keep Cinderella happy and away from her evil stepsisters.
Let’s take a look at some of the typical male protagonists in our dramas:
The Perfect ‘Puppet‘ – He is smart, good looking, most probably an only child and owner of a vast business empire. He is an eligible bachelor for whom mommy dearest is busy searching for a perfect bride. This hero finds it hard to fall in love but when he does, he loves blindly. In fact, he become so oblivious and unaware of everything going around him that he fails to see the politics brewing in his own home or office! So much for the smart and intelligent stereotype! Fawad Khan playing ‘Asher’ in the drama ‘Humsafar’ was exactly that – a perfect puppet who lives in his own little bubble and lacks common sense!
The Purposeless Romantic – The script writer made up this character probably thinking that there isn’t enough love in this world. This hero has no other purpose in life other than to keep his partner happy. He will bend over backwards but somehow the leading lady is never happy with him. He’ll fall in love again and again, not necessarily with the same woman and is the most confused little soul ever! Humayun Saeed also known as Sikandar in the drama ‘Neeyat’ was a purposeless romantic, never knowing what to do, carrying his heart up his sleeve all the time!
The Angry Young Man – This hero is angry all the time for no sane reason. He wants coffee at exactly the same time every day with a slice of perfectly grilled toast and lives in a spotless house. He doesn’t want anyone in his room, is always annoyed at the servants and wants straight As from his children. Junaid Khan and Tauqir Nasir play angry young men in the dramas ‘Yahan Pyaar Nahi Hai’ and ‘Thakan’ respectively. Poor Saba Qamar is handling both these nonsensical men at the same time in both dramas!
Satan In A Suit – Ah yes! The perfect embodiment of all evil; this leading man is rotten to the core and a maestro when it comes to keeping false appearances. He loves no one but himself and will walk comfortably over anyone standing in his way. He is spoilt, shrewd and filthy rich. If Satan were to appear dressed in a suit, he would look exactly like Humayun Saeed in the drama ‘Kaafir’.
Mr. One-Track-Mind – This hero can only do one thing at a time but whatever he does; he does it with full concentration. Faisal from the drama ‘Mora Piya’ was the perfect example of Mr. one track mind. First, he wanted to get married to his lady love, the day he got married, his priorities shifted and he went to an all-out revenge mode!
The Knight In Shining Armor – He is a knight in gold plated armor! Everything about him seems bright and shiny when in fact he is nothing more than a mirage. His holier than thou appearance comes tumbling down once the leading lady gets to know him up close and personal! Mikal Zulfikar playing the character of Salman Ansar in the drama ‘Shehr-e-Zaat’ and Qaisar Khan Nizamani in ‘Roshan Sitara’ are such knights in shining armors.
The Friend In Need – He has a comfortable shoulder for the leading lady to cry upon. He enquires when her phone is switched off, knows his lady friend like the back of his hand, arrives uninvited to her house for lunch and dinner and is also her mother’s favourite. This drama hero secretly loves his best friend but is too scared to confess for fear of spoiling the friendship! Mohib Mirza is the friend in need to ‘Falak’ in ‘Shehr-e-Zaat’. His lady love comes crying to him for help every other day, yet easily drifts away as soon as he works out her problems. However, there is one friend who progressed and is now getting married to his pal. Vickey from ‘Annie Ki Aye Gi Baraat’ is finally getting married to ‘Laila’ and is no more just her driver!
The Door Mat – Every love triangle always has a classic door mat, usually played by a lovelorn guy. This sidekick is almost always struggling with his career, does not have a foreign degree and is usually a distant relative. He sits waiting for his love, running every errand, every chore for her, only to find out that she has been wed off to a wealthier, more reliable man. The cousin who eagerly does every imaginable chore in the drama ‘Man Jali’ is the perfect example of a door mat.
The Foreign Returned Romeo – This Romeo visits Pakistan searching for the perfect bride to take back home. He is a man settled in a distant land with fine education and the knowledge that only a typical desi girl has the qualities required to become a perfect wife. He doesn’t have to search for long since the girl of his dreams is ready to fly away with him. The two fall in love at first sight and immediately set off to where he comes from. It is after they get married that he finds out that the two are not really compatible with each other and this is where the trouble begins. Fawad Khan in ‘Ashk’ and Ahsan Khan in ‘Bilqees Kaur’ play the stereotypical Foreign Returned Romeos!
Mr. Forgive And Forget – When this hero loves a woman, he never lets go no matter what his lady love does. He goes blind in love and melts as soon as he takes one glance at her. Faisal was the perfect embodiment of forgiveness when it came to Aiman in the drama ‘Maat’. He welcomed her with open arms after an odd twenty years even though she had cheated on him when they were married!
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