Mira Sethi was the best part in Silvatein

Channel: ARY Digital

First broadcast on: February 7, 2013

Cast: Aamina Sheikh as Zeb, Adeel Hussain as Rayyan, Mira Sethi as Natasha, Daniyal Raheel as Bilal or Chotu, Rabia Noreen as Ammi, Mohammed Ahmed as Abbu, Vasay Chaudhry as Meekal, Maheen Rizvi as Muneeze

Writer: Samira Fazal

Director: Shehrezad Sheikh


Sameera Fazal’s last offering Bari Aapa was about the tense relationship between two sisters Zubaida (Savera Nadeem) and Firdous (Arjumand Raheem). Both sisters are married and have grown children yet they never outgrow their sibling rivalry of childhood and it turns into full-blown adult rivalry leading to serious consequences for their families.

Silvatein, is Sameera Fazal’s latest drama serial touching upon the same theme about two sisters whose childhood sibling rivalry turns into adult rivalry except the only difference here is they both end up marrying two brothers and now as bhabhi devrani they both have to negotiate their identity and space in their new household with the younger one Natasha being the more insecure and paranoid for she is married to the less financially off brother Bilal. The older sister Zeb is married to Rayan, a divorcee with a son, who has a flourishing business in the US and as the older brother is regarded highly by his family. Inadvertently Zeb’s position is relatively stronger.

In Bari Aapa Firdous’s son is interested in marrying her older sister Zubaida’s daughter but Firdous will have none of it and this leads to confrontation between the two sisters. The narrative also delved into the roles of their husbands and their part in the rivalries which made the viewing of the drama gripping along with outstanding acting by Savera, Arjumand Raheem, Nouman Ejaz.

In Silvatein the conflict between the two sisters draw their husbands with each having to back their wives to maintain peace in their household.

Even though the theme was familiar, the treatment of the drama serial was fresh in terms of subtlety, complexity of characters and natural performances. More importantly, it steered clear from stereotypes, The couples had good chemistry especially Zeb and Rayan but that is also because Adeel and Aamina Sheikh have previously worked together in Daam as brother-sister duo and in Mora Piya as a couple. Mira Sethi, daughter of journalist and Aapas Ki Baat host Najam Sethi and Jugnu Mohsin, editor of Friday times and GT, as Natasha is a revelation. As a neurotic, insecure, reckless sister she completely owned her character and for a debut this was one hell of a confident performance.

Silavatein raised interesting questions. For instance should a person change completely after marriage. This torments Rayan who feels that his wife Zeb has changed way beyond recognition that he wants the old Zeb, the one he met before marriage who according to him was lively, loud and talkative. He feels that this new person is doing things for him that is not genuine and hence feels cheated. Zeb counteracts by saying that it is normal for people to change after marriage and one couldn’t help but agree with this myth or notion or whatever you may call it as one has been conditioned especially a woman has been conditioned to believe that after marriage she has to change.

Even Bilal changes into a quiet, unquestioning husband to Natasha in order to maintain harmony in their relationship. However, this does not bother Natasha as she wants Bilal to be an unquestioning spouse.

Another point raised in the serial was not having children in order to save or prolong a marriage. This again is brought up between Rayan and Zeb who have a complicated relationship. This 24-episode which dragged out a little bit in the end, and had some interesting characters disappear suddenly (Muneeze, the phuppo and Mikaal), was otherwise a better offering.


Maat’s inherent message is inaccurate – Money does buy you happiness

Aamina Sheikh, Rabia Noreen and Saba Qamar in Maat


Cast: Aamina Sheikh, Saba Qamar, Adnan Siddiqui, Shamim Hilali and Rabia Noreen

Writer: Umera Ahmed
Director: Amna Nawaz Khan

Broadcasting channel: Hum TV

Telecast times: Every Friday at 8 p.m.

First telecast: September 9, 2011

Umera Ahmed's latest serial Maat pits her usual good vs bad formula. 
This time it is through two sisters who represent two sides of the coin.
Aiman (Aamina Sheikh) is the goody two shoes sister who is content with 
whatever life has offered, which is the lower-middle class existence. 
She is the one who runs the kitchen by teaching in a school and giving tuitions. 
Needless to say Aiman is the clichéd model of sacrifice, chastity and obedience

The other side of the coin is represented by the sister Saman who is beautiful 
but is a discontented Lil' bitch. She wants to move out of her confined neighbourhood 
and dreams of the good life which can only happen with pots of money. 
Needless to say Saman is materialistic, selfish and a flirt. 

This premise-that money cannot buy happiness-is flawed and simplistic. 
For the writer does not acknowledge the fact that money does 
indeed buy happiness, more specifically material goods does give immense pleasure. 
Bo Derek the infamous american actress uttered these prescient words 
once upon a time: "Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't
know where to go shopping". You would be lying if you denied the fact 
that when you bought an expensive lawn suit or a pricey cellphone or a
gorgeous looking laptop that it didn't bring you happiness. 

In fact most of us daydream about buying that coveted item and when it 
is in our hands or possession, that feeling is indescribable 
and we go through a range of emotions and none of it is negative.

In fact according to the study, published in the Journal of Psychology and Marketing (U.S),
 "Retail therapy purchases were overwhelmingly beneficial, leading to 
mood boosts and no regrets or guilt." Researchers interviewed hundreds
of people at shopping centres and found out that 62 per cent had bought something to cheer themselves up while 28 per cent said they 
had indulged as a form of celebration. 

This reminds me of the pertinent movie Confessions of a Shopaholic, in which 
the central character Rebecca Bloomwood says, "A man will never love you or 
treat you as well as a store. If a man doesn't fit, you can't exchange him 
seven days later for a gorgeous cashmere sweater. And a store always smells good. 
A store can awaken a lust for things you never even knew you needed. 
And when your fingers first grasp those shiny, new bags... oh yes... oh yes."