When Lamhe from 1991 met Humayun Saeed in 2016.
Okay, that wasn’t fair. It’s not as though Lamhe was the first story ever with that sort of twist. Barbara Cartland, like many before her, literally thrived on that plotline for several of her novels to become bestsellers in the 50s: A forced marriage. A lovely lass falling for a hunk thrice her age at the tender age of five. Or something.
I might’ve warmed up to that idea if Humayun Saeed hadn’t looked so terribly like General Zod from Superman II. (Google him. I’m not kidding!) And if there never was an episode 15.
I binge watched Bin Roye and, in spite of being the gargoyle that I am who just doesn’t get the saccharine romance, I got Saba’s pining for Irtiza’s love. The heart wants what the heart wants. You don’t choose who you fall in love with, even when you’re a gargoyle.
I could appreciate that after she lost him to her sister, it didn’t matter whom she spent her life with and that her sham marriage actually worked very well to her advantage. I also understood that she wasn’t deciding what was in her best interest because she didn’t care anymore but, of course, her family cared so they had to intervene.
So what went wrong?
Our writers’ (read: society’s) obsession with romanticizing abuse is what went wrong.
We seem to have this absolute lust for packaging aggression as love in the most appealing of ways. Where do I even begin to explain this? Just because it isn’t physical, doesn’t mean it isn’t abuse.
It is abuse when a girl refuses or rejects something but you don’t hear her because you believe her opinion is irrelevant not because she is incapacitated to opine or decide but because you are in a position of authority to undermine her. (Saba didn’t want to marry the first time but had to. Then, she didn’t want a divorce but had to. Then, she very clearly rejected Irtiza but…)
It is abuse when you force a girl into marriage for whatever reason. (Hello Saba, meet Irtiza - the guy you specifically did not want to marry.)
It is abuse when you force her to accept that marriage.(Saba should be nice to Irtiza otherwise it will dishonor her father.)
It is abuse when you force a girl to reciprocate or display emotions she cannot appreciate or doesn’t feel.(Saba, be nice to Irtiza’s son too! It’s not his fault you were forced to marry his dad.)
It is abuse when you force a girl to maintain her decorum after forcing your decisions upon her. (Saba, you must speak politely with Irtiza even though he’s invaded your life/privacy/room/more to come…)
It is abuse when you expect a girl to accept all this abuse as your love for her because you know best. (Irtiza aka Mr. Magnanimous! What more could Saba want?)
We are addicted and terminally afflicted by the ‘daddy beats me because he loves me’ syndrome. And that just isn’t about fathers either. Feel free to insert any relationship therein whose intensity of love you’re trying to impose because this is how we judge, establish and ensure the sincerity of any relationship in our culture.
If I love you, I will be angry with you. I will want to possess you. I will want to control you because you are mine. The angrier I am, the more controlling I am, the deeper is my love perceived to be for you. We symbolize love as strength and, unfortunately, we synonymize strength with control. Control becomes stronger when it is angry. Anger translates into passion. And passion is the key ingredient needed to warm the cockles of the heart.
Hence, the recipe for romance. Who cares if you damn well burn it!
In a good romance, rage becomes an essential ingredient. The lover must be furious with the beloved to show the depth of his love. The more boundless the fury, the more powerful the love. And yes, the beloved is expected to understand that love and accept that rage as love and must answer it with kindness. *Duh* And she does.
After all, being gentle and kind and polite and compassionate are all such useless traits and wreak of weakness. Love requires strength and that means being a total moron to the one you love just to prove how much you love them. Somehow, we find nothing to love about a man who is generous and not a control freak in whatever little capacity and chance he may find. We can’t love a man who treats the woman he loves as his equal in brains and not as his favorite pet because oh she’s so cute. We have no use for a man who never uses force as a means to achieve anything in his romantic relationship. And we certainly can't love a man who woos his lady and waits for her to approve of him.
I’ve seriously lost count of the number of plays that romanticize abuse as love. It’s sickening!
Bin Roye proved no different.
After all the ordeal that Saba goes through, she becomes the recipient of further ridicule from her loved ones, especially her love interest. Her decision to keep horrid secrets of her almost non-existent marriage might’ve been silly but that couldn’t possibly make her worthy of an exaggerated aggressive behavior that Irtiza subjects her to. All the while as I watched the latest episodes, I kept thinking, where’s his compassion for her situation? He’s angry because he is hurt that she’s hurt. He is angry because she didn’t confide in him. Is he insane? He’s making it all about him without taking a minute to think that she is the victim here. And maybe she needs to be spoken to with kindness, given a little TLC. Maybe Irtiza could just stop being an egomaniac!
But of course, if Irtiza doesn’t hiss menacingly at her with bloodshot eyes, how would we ever know how deeply that macho hunk is into her. *Coo/swoon/die*
I’d rather barf if you don’t mind.