Makafat — a step in the right direction

The best thing about the show is that most of the social evils it highlights are usually ignored or not spoken about

Makafat, airing on Geo, narrates real life stories and talks about divine retribution. Most of the topics discussed on the series are realistic and provide food for thought. We need more thought-provoking TV programming, to tell engaging stories and deliver powerful messages, in a short run-time. Because in this era of instant gratification, there are so many viewing options and the competition is cut-throat, the material produced has to be top-notch and should engage the audience.

It is human nature that we only appreciate what we have once it’s gone. The concept of heaven and hell is discussed at length in Islam, but our actions and deeds determine the direction of our life in this world too. This concept of divine retribution is the central idea that ties together all the plotlines of Makafat.

The series deals with various social ills, such as corruption and bribery as well as domestic, micro-level issues like being married to an exhibitionist, someone who is extremely short tempered or excessively tight-fisted. Anything that becomes an obsession and starts determining the direction of one’s life becomes an issue. The best thing about this series is that the characters are few and the episodes are short; the story is established quickly and the episode generally ends on a happy note, with the protagonist realising the error of their ways and repenting before the episode closes.

The premise is simple – as we sow, so shall we reap. It is a good way to educate the audience that divine retribution exists and sometimes due to our deeds and actions, our life can become a living hell. Our religion also teaches us to practice everything in moderation and strike a balance. When that balance is disturbed, all hell breaks loose.

One episode that I really liked was one where the husband was excessively suspicious of his wife and made life miserable for her. He physically and mentally abused her and was always quick to undermine her reputation, even though there was no evidence to support his allegations. He realised the trauma he put his life partner through when his own daughter was married to someone who was even worse. The pain and agony his daughter suffered became unbearable for him and his life became a living hell. Similarly, a number of social, ethical and societal concerns are highlighted through this series which not only entertain but also forces us to reflect upon and contemplate the evils bedeviling the society on various levels.

Another interesting episode starred Mansha Pasha as a lady obsessed with maintaining her reputation of never wearing the same outfit twice and always being the belle of the ball. Her circle of friends is terribly envious and is always looking for ways to trip her up and make her feel insecure. She is counselled by her husband and mother-in-law repeatedly, but all their pleas fall on deaf ears. However, eventually, she learns her lesson and regrets her past actions. She realises that the world is very cruel and some people are only waiting for an opportunity for her to fall flat on her face.

Another interesting episode was about a couple who pretend to be doctors and open a clinic. The callousness and ruthlessness with which they play with people’s lives is an accurate reflection of how medicine has become notorious for being a money-making profession. Quacks, pharmacies and laboratories are in collusion with one another. The patients, in this episode, are forced to borrow money to meet the escalating medical expenses, only to find out in the end that they were being fooled by the so-called doctors, pharmacists and laboratory assistants. In the end, the couple’s house catches fire and both their children die. All their wealth then proves useless.

The production duo behind this series is doing its best to highlight the issues plaguing the society. The best thing about the show is that most of the social evils it highlights are usually ignored or not spoken about.

Another good thing about this series is that apart from highlighting social issues, every episode has a different story and deals with a different issue, not letting the viewer get bored or allowing monotony to set in.

Kitni Girhain Baqi Hain, produced by Hum TV, similarly had short stories by a number of emerging writers that kept the viewer engrossed. The best part was that there was always a twist at the end. Most of the stories were expertly and intelligently crafted, produced and directed.

Writing engaging and gripping short stories requires more talent and creativity than penning long serials. The message has to be conveyed in a shorter span of time with fewer characters and it has to leave an impact for the viewer to keep watching. Also, more writers get the opportunity to come up with different, layered and out-of-the box stories that aim to entertain and educate. Keep watching this series and prepare to be amused, entertained, educated and shocked in equal measure.

The writer is an educationist and can be reached at gaiteeara

Makafat — a step in the right direction