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Mein Maa Nahin Banna Chahti pushes the primetime envelope

When I first heard the title of Rafay Rashdi’s new drama “Mein Maa Nahin Banna Chahti” I admit I was shocked. Not because the idea of a woman opting out of motherhood was unheard of but seeing a character make the decision on prime time was hard to imagine in the current television landscape.

Would this drama really dare to push a progressive agenda by portraying a female lead who makes an active choice to not be a mother and pursue other goals? So far the the story implies a plot that is complex and has lots of twists – but the young heroine Imaan is not one that we can imagine making waves. To the contrary, she is a sweet girl who enjoys domestic bliss and acts as peace-maker between her adopted brother Faaris and grouchy old Daadi.

Over the past two episodes the writer Mustafa Hashmi establishes Imaan played in a believable performance by newcomer Rubab Hashim as a young woman who dreams of a happy home with her husband – and yet the title of the drama tells us this is not to be.

Producer of the serial Rafay Rashdi told Edition that naming the drama was not an easy decision:

“We knew that we were giving away a major plot point and yet it was a motivation so integral to our character that we decided there could be no other title.” 

The point, according to Rashdi is not merely that she chooses not to become a mother but how she comes to that decision and the arduous emotional journey that leads her to that personal choice.

In a country where some determine the worth of a woman by the number of sons she has it is easy to predict that the character will be bearing difficult consequences for choosing to remain childless. Whatever Imaan’s reasons may be, we are looking forward to watching the drama as it raises the question of what a woman’s inherent worth is besides as a wife and mother.

The drama has started out strong like Rashdi’s last hit O Rangreza. We see strong characters – this time portrayed by a relatively new caste – and the story moves along at a fast pace. Let’s see what happens next!

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