Ghisi Piti Mohabbat is an entertaining Pakistani drama that teaches us a lesson or two on the impermanence of marriage, and on women being self-sufficient.
I am in awe of this Pakistani drama. This is a masterpiece. At 25 episodes, it is crisp, entertaining and hard-hitting. The casting, the acting, the dialogues, the humour, the myriad of emotions, the truth bombs – it is all par excellence!
So what is it all about?
Ghisi Piti Mohabbat tells the story of Samia. Samia is the eldest of three daughters of a middle class family. She lives with her parents and siblings, and her widowed Bua (father’s sister). Samia works as a chef. What makes her life unusual is her three failed marriages and an almost fourth marriage.
But what happened? Why did each of the marriages break?
Every time a person talks about someone getting divorced, there is always an innocent soul who asks, “But what happened?”
For me this is the cue – Never married person spotted!
Every marriage has it’s unique set of problems. Every marriage has an equal chance of failing.
The show ends with Samia deciding against getting married for the fourth time. But if it had continued, I am sure they could have showed 10 marriages. And every time our heart would break to watch Samila deal with a new kind of non-sense. As an audience, we want to see her “happily married” and yet we cannot blame her for walking out each time.
“Love” changes. People change
There is a part in the show when one of the character says that it is difficult to predict one’s own likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. How can one possibly predict someone else’? Or worse, based on the limited interaction ( few months or even few years) assume that the person would remain the same forever?
People show a side of themselves before marriage. It is just a trailer. The reality only sinks in after marriage. Inexperienced people believe that ‘knowing someone well before marriage’ and ‘not rushing’ is the trick.
Legends know that there is no way to truly “know” someone!
Marriages work because women stay
Whether it is infidelity, or something which seems trivial (but is not) like body odour, there is always an older woman in the story who has been there, seen it all and still made it work. While women from this generation like Samia and her sister Asmara decide to not take it.
The track of Asmara and her husband, Shoaib needs a special mention. Asmara’s parents find a good man for her who unfortunately is suffering with body odour! When Asmara expresses her concerns, she is dismissed because the elders feel this is not even a reason! Everything else in the marriage is good, even her mother-in-law is nice, but this one factor becomes a deal breaker. The only reason her marriage survives is because her mother-in-law is sensible and she advises her son to find a solution to save his marriage and visit a doctor.
In most Indian / South Asian cases, the mother-in-law would instead poison her son against his ‘arrogant’ wife and would nurture his ego and anger to the point of no return.
The part where Asmara shares her concerns before her marriage and gets dismissed by her mother and bua was painful to watch because this is what Indian parents and Sima aunties do. They consider any views on physicality as shallow and add that it doesn’t matter because the guy is really nice.
As if 99% of humans walking the Earth are angels!
Nobody is nice after marriage. And you are left with exactly what you thought would bother you before you got married.
The truth about “nice guys” who marry divorced women
Every time Samia gets divorced, there is a “nice” guy who is “willing” to marry her.
But how on Earth does she manage to meet so many nice guys?
The truth is they are not really nice guys. What makes them “nice” in our society is just the fact that they are willing to marry a woman even though she is divorced one or twice or thrice!
What a nice, broad minded guy! Must be really in love with her, right? Isn’t she lucky?
Well… nobody marries anyone out of charity. If a man likes a woman, it is because she meets the criteria of what he finds attractive. He is not doing her a favour.
The best example was Busharat, Samia’s third husband who seemed to be crazy about her before marriage. But after marriage, he taunts her all the time saying that someone who got married thrice can get married four times also.
I feel like such men are so hollow that they need to destroy someone, then only they feel competent about themselves.
Ross – The Divorce Force
A person who gets married thrice is usually a joke. Remember Ross from Friends?
Look at this person! They got married not once but thrice! They got divorced so many times! It must be their hobby! I am so sorted compared to this person! I have only one spouse! Thank God I made better choices! Yay!
Samia faces her share of taunts. I have seen interviews of actress, Shweta Tiwari where she says people keep telling her hope she is not getting married again!
But what part of it funny, though?
In the world of Tinder and Bumble where people have hookups and one nights stands, where people have live-in-relationships for years, married people have affairs, really who is the joke on?
That somebody was naïve enough to still believe in holy matrimony despite failing the first time?
What should they have done instead? Waited to see how it works for months or years and get some kind of a guarantee before getting married again? Or should they have sworn to never go down that path again?
But why not? Everybody has the right to take a shot at happiness, right?
If you buy a product you thought you would like, but you don’t, you should be able to return it right? asks Samia.
Shouldn’t marriage be reversible too? It is not a death sentence!!
Or are people just jealous that they are stuck with the same old spouse whereas others are not only brave enough to walk out not one but twice and even find brand new spouses!!
Everyday people with no values, common sense and resources are bringing children into this world! We are not questioning them! Why not offer the same normalcy to marriage and divorce?
The only person you needed to marry
Do you know how the show ends? Samia focuses on becoming a successful entrepreneur and earns money for herself. Her mother and bua also realize that there need not be only one kind of life for women. The one that revolves around the husband and the kitchen.
Money matters. Your success matters. Who you are matters.
The show also makes a point about how daughters should earn and support their parents in the old age. The way parents of sons think their son’s money is their money, and the daughter-in-law’s money is their son’s money too!
Investing in yourself, your ambitions, upskilling yourselves, making money and achieving success is far more fulfilling and important. Men come and go. Marriage is just an experience, as Samia says at the end, and after having so many experiences, she realizes something:
The only person she needed to marry was herself! It was her all along who she needed to commit herself to, and fiercely support and protect.
Don’t let a man define your worth
There is a scene in the show, when a neighbor tells Samia’s mother that Samia is very pretty and she should choose carefully for her marriage. Samia’s mother has an unexplainable look of pain in her eyes. Her pretty, bold, independent daughter who looks so young has already been married thrice.
But here is the thing. She still remains all of those things.
It reminds me of a dialogue from the movie, Modern Love Mumbai.
The fragrance of Raat ki rani is so intense that it makes snakes come out of their hiding. So, to lessen her fragrance, people plant another plant next to her, the Din ka Raja.
But no matter what you plant next to a Raat ki rani, it would still remain a Raat ki rani. Nothing would and nothing should destroy her fragnance.
So, all my Raat ki Ranis out there, don’t let the Din ka Rajas destroy your fragrance. Don’t put up with bad relationships just because it is not your first. You have every right to make mistakes.
But more importantly, you have every right to correct them.