Dil Ruba Episode 10: Is Hania Amir’s Show Progressive or Misogynistic?
Hania Amir’s “Dil Ruba” follows a Tik Toker’s flirtations; however, the show’s plot leaves one wondering whether the show would take this twist if the genders were reversed?
I have a lot of thoughts on “Dil Ruba” this week. For those who have not been following, “Dil Ruba” was advertised as a light-hearted show about a Tik Toker who is very popular with her male audience and gets caught up in the adulation. With Hania Amir essaying this role and her admirers taking the form of Mohib Mirza, Nabeel Zuberi, Asad Siddiqui, Shehroze Sabzwari and Syed Jibran, this show promised to be a refreshing change. But is the show promising what it claimed to offer? Absolutely not. In fact, “Dil Ruba” is the same message in a new package - women are never allowed the same level of forgiveness or leeway that men receive.
Aside from the fact that Tik Tok made an appearance in episode 1 and then was never mentioned or used again nor was Sanam’s (Hania Amir) popularity ever discussed on there after that first episode, Sanam also only crossed paths with Junaid (Shehroze Sabzwari) because if it. The rest of the men have been the same usual suspects - obsessive stalker, phupo ke betay, etc.
As a viewer, I fell into the trap of believing this would be a different show that dispelled male dominance on-screen and would show a reverse situation with the female lead being allowed that freedom. Unfortunately, the show has fallen into a trap – if a man strays, he’s a man. If a woman simply flirts, she’s of poor moral character and should be shunned.
In episode 10, Sanam watches as Razi (Nabeel Zuberi) breathes his last. After getting into a car accident, Razi is on his deathbed and chooses to tell Sabeeh (Mohib Mirza), as his final words, to never trust Sanam. This is a loaded statement and one simply wonders WHY? Yes, Sanam has a closet of secrets and yes, she was dishonest about them, but is this really cause to brand her for life? He makes this statement without any follow up – these are the words he chooses for the world to slap onto her. Of course, this is not an argument for Sanam’s purity or innocence.
She can be accused of being a “user,” certainly and that’s exactly what she was doing. She could be called “scrappy,” a girl who desired more than what she was receiving at home and resorted to backhanded tactics to get what she wanted. She played a dirty game, sure, but essentially her “affairs” were relegated to mostly phone flirtations that never crossed any immoral lines – and in her own mind, she saw them as harmless flirtations.
Many men are shown on-screen having full-fledged affairs before (and often after) marriage and yet go on to lead happy married lives with children. Why not a woman? Wasn’t Sanam essentially a good wife and a good daughter in law?
Of course, as the episode progresses and Sanam is shown in mourning, talk immediately moves to Sanam’s marriage. The woman has just lost her husband and talk of her marriage to Sabeeh begins only months later. Irum continues to wait for her marriage, but instead of focusing on her, the family fixates on Sanam and Sabeeh. Sabeeh, of course, remembers Razi’s last words and sees Sanam as untrustworthy, so he rejects his idea immediately and Sanam is taken back to her own home.
If there was a positive in this episode, it’s that Junaid (Shehroze Sabzwari) has managed to get himself on track, focused on his education and is now set to travel to Germany for his further studies.
But just as the audience begins to breathe a sigh of relief that this one character has managed to catch his bearings, Sanam’s bizarre friend decides to call him and inform him of Razi’s death. WHY? What business did Junaid have in knowing this? What business did Sanam’s friend have making that phone call, knowing the situation? What’s disappointing here is that it seems Sanam’s current situation may hinder Junaid’s progress once again, which is another negative for the show.
The greatest issue with “Dil Ruba” is this strange sort of double standard. All these men have fixated on Sanam and her flirtation has been taken so seriously that a character like Ayaz (Asad Siddiqui) has set out to destroy her life. If the exact same scenario had been turned around and Sanam had been a man, that man would have been seen as harmless and silly for flirting. For example, in “Muqaddar,” we see Haaris (Ali Ansari) flirting continuously with Maham (Shameen Khan) and giving her hope while being engaged to Raima (Madiha Imam). However, this behavior isn’t even found troublesome by his own fiancée. Yet here in “Dil Ruba,” the same behavior is seen as a death sentence for the female lead. Unfortunately at present, “Dil Ruba” has become a show that’s fairly unpalatable.