How Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar Destroyed His Own Masterpiece ‘Mere Pass Tum Ho’
Mere Pass Tum Ho is a story about a simple, hardworking and honest man who has a beautiful wife and a like child. His wife is of what we call a ‘materialistic nature’ and leaves her husband for a richer man only to find disappointment at the end of the tunnel. Without doubt Humayun Saeed, Adnan Siddiqui and Ayeza Khan mushroomed the success of the play by their magnificent performances until the man who wrote it actually appeared on TV himself to tell his audience what the play is really about.
I rarely watch Pakistani dramas. Don’t get me wrong: I do watch them but usually only the older ones authored by writers such as Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi and Amjad Islam Amjad, acted upon by actors like Abid Ali, Qavi Khan and other such legends. To be honest, I watch them again and again. In fact, many of my friends make fun of me and call me someone from the old times when I mention the magnificently orchestrated dialogues from those dramas. Then I have to remind them of the facilities of the modern world from where I enjoy this treasure – YouTube.
I believe that Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar, in what seems to be his quest for personal salvation, may just have ended up destroying his masterpiece Mere Pass Tum Ho. While his play, the story and his dialogues were being celebrated, he made too many appearances on TV and killed the intrigue – the part that the author keeps from his audience until it is time. He inadvertently exposed himself to scratchers of the brain and ended up exposing his own self. The critique which would have been earmarked for his work has now totally turned to him.
Deception or cheating, which is the sole theme of this play – Khalil-ur-Rehman’s managed to associate it with a woman. He has even explained the different degrees of cheating and endorsed the worst and the less worse ones. Consequently, in an attempt to over magnify himself he needlessly created polarization. This took the play further away from the play itself and the debate went onto feminism – a term of which many Pakistanis are still unaware as to what it really is.
Qamar fails to realise that it is neither a woman or a man who cheats, but it is the human mind.
Just to mention a few reactions in society and how Khalil-ur-Rehman provoked these, reportedly the famed Kinnaird College for Women called off an interactive session with Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar. No guest wants their invitation undone, but in this case he caused it himself. A cast member from his own drama took to Instagram to express her regrets for even taking part in the drama: “I absolutely do not endorse the concepts and viewpoints of Rehman. I watched his interview and got to know about his problematic views on many things WAY after the project was completed,” she has said.
Then feminism was very weirdly inserted into the same discussion as our traditional values and culture by Mr. Qamar in various interviews and talk shows. Half knowledge is very dangerous indeed. The last thing that he would have wanted to see are the memes on his play circulating over social media, especially since the end of the last episode of the drama.
In some of the dramas that I did watch over the years, I could not help but notice a similar theme. Some interconnected antagonists and victims are living in a world until this relationship reaches a climax. The antagonists are either forgiven, punished or the play gives a tragic end to the story – inflicting further pain on the victim. This is the reason why I usually do not watch the new Pakistani dramas. It was interesting to see that in this drama the roles had been reversed; whereas usually the victim is a beautiful girl, this time it was a man. I hope that does not become the only memorable thing about this play.
To the extent of a drama, the dialogues in Mere Pass Tum Ho were great until the author tried to bring them into real life.
What are the usual discussions that take place after we end up watching a play, a film or a sporting event? We applaud almost all the characters depending on our own likes and dislikes. The critics critique and then we all sleep on it. We were not able to do that with this play, as the author started celebrating too early. Mere Pass Tum Ho was supposed to be a play of the calibre of Waris authored by Amjad Islam Amjad, especially due to brilliant dialogues orchestrated and eruditely acted upon by Humayun Saeed playing the lead role.
Its own author took the icing away from the cake.
This drama will be one of those commercial successes for Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar which deliver the least ethereal fulfilment to the creator of art. The only real winner of this play, in my very humble view, is Adnan Siddiqui – who has startled the audience with awe-inspiring acting. This masterpiece role is likely to get him a lot more in the near future.
The author is a barrister practicing law in Peshawar and Islamabad. He graduated from Cardiff University. The author can be reached at [email protected]