The unavoidable, opulent Pakistani wedding

March 31, 2024

Desi wedding scenes have become a lazy alternative to actual content in primetime productions

The unavoidable,  opulent Pakistani wedding


Pakistani wedding has made its way to the small screen as well. Not that it was not there earlier, but nowadays, in order to prolong plays, especially those shown before prime time, wedding scenes have become all the rage.

TV plays are my mother’s staple diet and in the evenings, after 6 pm, she is comfortably ensconced in front of the television until sometimes, midnight. I sometimes sit with her during the evenings and cannot help but notice the plethora of plays which have detailed wedding scenes beginning with the dholki and progressing to menhdi, mayun, baraat and valima. These scenes present an excellent opportunity to display designer wear, jewellery, lavish sets, elaborate floral displays and dances. As the TRPs hit the roof, it is obvious that those viewing television before prime time enjoy these frivolities.

The longer these scenes grace the screens the better. In fact, that seems to be the new mantra for our producors who, it appears in an effort to mimic Indian soaps, believe in stretching the plays before playtime endlessly.

Pakistani weddings go on for weeks and are the highlight of the social calendar in our society. It is a huge industry and a large number of stakeholders are associated with it. TV producers, therefore, have conceived this brilliant idea to encash the popularity of weddings and wedding scenes by incorporating them into their productions.

Apart from the usual manipulative mothers-in-law and conspiring sisters-in-law, wedding scenes have become a regular addition to small-screen productions. As weddings are usually an extremely colourful affair, it is an excellent way to direct all the attention towards costumes and visuals, thereby shifting the focus from the main (usually non-existent) plot. It gives all the actors and actresses an opportunity to deck up in their Sunday best and shake a leg. The boys grab this chance to eye up all the pretty girls dancing their hearts out. The justification presented for such opulent scenes is that they lighten the mood of the play and add an element of glitz and glamour which the masses lap up eagerly. To the delight of the producers, the TRPs skyrocket.

I have no objection to the occasional wedding scene but when it becomes a permanent fixture of every other TV production, it is evident that our writers are running out of ideas, originality and creativity. It also becomes obvious that the plot is of little or no relevance and is secondary. Another benefit is that acting skills are not needed. Attractive, well-dressed girls in these wedding scenes serve as eye candy for the audience.

The dancing is mediocre at best but then, mediocrity is what the producers are aiming at. Sub-standard TV productions are being churned out with amazing regularity to fill the slots before prime time. As long as there is an audience for them, they will keep being shown. Run-of-the-mill productions act as fillers and TV channels are always on the lookout for content and with the demand for round-the-clock material, quality will be and is inevitably being compromised.

No originality, creativity or effort is required to churn out these sub-standard productions. The writers can pen these scripts with their eyes closed by now, the dialogues have been used umpteen times before. Very limited acting chops are required and the actors and actresses can sleep-walk through their roles. If everyone can make millions in the process, then why create earth-shattering productions? If the viewers are happy with the same regurgitated scripts, then what is the point of taking the time and making the effort to make quality productions? Makes little financial sense.

However, change is the only constant. The writers will do well not to keep insulting the viewers’ intelligence and try and infuse more creativity and originality in the scripts. We should encourage intelligent writers and directors to come forward and allow them to exhibit their potential. We should attempt to change the industry dynamics. To an extent, it is already being done as a new channel on the block is raising the bar for other TV channels and emerging as a game changer.

Please free yourselves from the shackles of mediocrity and prioritise quality over quantity, if you are planning to have a long innings in television or any other profession, for that matter.

The writer is an educationist and can be reached at gaiteeara@hotmail.comShe blogs at

The unavoidable, opulent Pakistani wedding