Badlon Par Basera was a Pakistani drama serial aired in the early 2000s on PTV. It was written by Noorul Huda Shah, one of the best female writers of Pakistan with a lot of popular plays to her name such as Marvi, Zara si Aurat, Jungle, Hawa ki Beti, Be-Baak, Ishq Gumshuda, Sammi, Ajaib Khaana and Hazaron Khawahishein, and was directed by Qaiser Farooq, the man behind Anwar Maqsood’s classic political satire, Angan Terha.
Noorul Huda Shah is known for having written drama serials revolving around the issues of women in Pakistan. While Jungle was based on the abominable act of wedding girls to the Holy Quran, Marvi focused on a Sindhi girl who manages to attain education from the city despite a lot of hurdles. Zara si Aurat was about a woman who sacrifices her respect by taking the blame of a murder committed by her husband on herself and presenting herself for the punishment, but gains nothing in return. Hawa ki Beti revolved around the sacrifices which women belonging to poor families have to give, such as selling themselves and their daughters to men.
Likewise, Badlon Par Basera was also based on female rights. The issue it brought to the front was one which is very common but is seldom addressed when it comes to domestic violence faced by women. Domestic violence, no doubt, has been addressed by a lot of writers in a number of works, but the atrocities faced by eastern women in the western countries after getting married to men living abroad has not been discussed often. Badlon Par Basera revolved around this issue.
Maria Wasti, the protagonist, gets married to Mazhar Ali, a middle-aged man living in America. The nikah takes place on phone and Wasti is sent to America alone after a few days. On reaching, she realises that the picture shown to her of her husband was from his young age, and in reality, he is a mature looking, bald man. Not only this, but Mazhar Ali also turns out to be a psychopath who brutally beats Wasti, accuses of her illegitimate relations with another guy (played by Nabeel), and often locks her in the house when leaving for office. After bearing the atrocities for quite a long time, Wasti finally is separated from Mazhar and is married to Nabeel, who initially a Christian, embraces Islam and is wed to Maria Wasti.
The still given shows Laila Wasti and Bushra Ansari alongwith Maria Wasti. Laila Wasti played the role of a woman who gives shelter to Wasti when one day, she is kicked out of the house by her husband and has nowhere to go. Bushra Ansari played Laila Wasti’s mother, a Bengali woman who comes to meet her daughter and gets to know about her daughter’s disrupted life after a failed relationship. Besides these actors, Badlon Par Basera had some of the best performers from the Pakistani drama industry in its cast such as Asif Raza Mir, Khayam Sarhadi, Shafeeh Mohammad, Uzma Gillani and Qavi Khan.
What makes Badlon Par Basera an important drama serial is its harsh and realistic portrayal of an act that is very common. A lot of women from Pakistan or from the sub-continent are married to men living abroad and when they finally reach there, they get to face a lot of hardships. Due to the prevalent pathetic belief in our society that girls, after getting married have to live with their husbands regardless of the kind of treatment they face, most of these women are abandoned by their families and are left on their own. Badlon Par Basera was a story of such a woman in the times when Pakistanis did not proudly boast of their awareness regarding the issues of women.
With an amazing cast, a realistic and interesting storyline and flawless direction, Badlon Par Basera remains Noorul Huda Shah’s masterpiece to this day, and becomes a must watch for gaining awareness of another sort of violence that eastern women have to face.