“As life continues on its path, our footsteps speed up,” said Haseena Moin as she thanked everyone who had turned up at the Karachi Arts Council to pay homage to her, and her services to television writing over the years. “And my pen has sped up.”
The evening dedicated to the playwright and novelist, a fact that many forget to recall about Moin, was aptly titled Aitraf-e-Kamal, and many of the friends, colleagues and admirers the writer has accumulated over the years turned up in love and support.
As happens whenever veterans of any profession gather together, observations and opinions on the direction television drama has taken over time were voiced.
Iqbal Ansari, an old hand at production, pointed out that the kind of stories most dramas revolve around right now glamourize the break-down of the family as an institution and he felt that bringing back the values to television was an important responsibility. “The Indian media understands this well,” said Ansari, referring to the countless soaps on Indian channels that in their own way preach family values.
This is why Haseena Moin had been approached to pen Meri Behen Maya, currently on-air on Geo TV, starring Javed Shaikh, Bindiya, Ainy Jaffri, Neelam Munir and Danish Taimoor. Meri Behen Maya is the story of Maya and Meena, two sisters who face lots of twists and turns once their stepmother, played by Bindiya enters their lives.
The story, set-up and treatment of Meri Behen Maya may seem a little fairytale-like, as some critics of Haseena Moin's new work have pointed out, but it is an entertaining play nonetheless. Last week's episode ended on a tense note with Maya locked out of her father's palatial home, in a raging storm, and it can safely be said regular viewers of the play cannot wait to see what mischief Bindiya's character will get up to next.
That, it has to be said, is Haseena Moin's gift. She can weave a story that will captivate you, sometimes against your will. Yes, of course we remember classics like Tanhaiyan and Ankahi and Dhoop Kinarey, but to cherish a legend while the legend is still alive, and appreciate them for their talent as is, is almost owed.