Pakistani dramas’ latest obsession: Gold diggers

By Aliya Zuberi

KARACHI: If nothing else, Pakistani dramas have been consistent. In what way, you may wonder? Well, they have been consistent in showing women in the worst way possible. Most women in our dramas are either plotting against each other or getting slapped. And more recently, they have been shown to run after men and their money at whatever cost. What makes the whole storyline so annoying, other than the obvious, is that gold diggers in Pakistani dramas will be created from the same equation. And so now, beyond our overused storylines, we also have to bear watching the same antagonist over and over again.

The naïve soul

To be fair, there are two kinds of gold diggers in Pakistani dramas and two typical side characters. We’ll start off with the lesser used of the two kinds of gold diggers and that is the innocent one. Ironic, but somehow it works. Just take Duriya (Rabab Hashim) from Tinkay Ka Sahara.

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A post shared by Rabab Hashim (@abbiehashim)

You see, Duriya is not malicious. Some might say she’s naive and ambitious to a fault. She lives in a secure, middle class family and while they aren’t extravagant in their lifestyle, they definitely are not deprived. But yet, she wants more and unlike most people who work to get to that point in their lives (like her father) her plan is to marry rich. And to do so, she’ll ignore all the red flags (which if combined, could clothe a village) and force her parents to do so too (probably because they want her to shut up about how she wants all the money in the world). Quite obviously, gold diggers like Duriya get abusive men as husbands and the gold digger suddenly becomes the victim.

The fixated gold diggers

These gold diggers shown in Pakistani dramas are malicious and down right psychopathic. They are also very terribly written and the casting reeks of privilege. 

On one hand you have the likes of Anam (Sarah Khan) in Wabal. Born into a middle class family, Anum’s only dream is to be rich. I mean surely, girls from the middle class of society must have some sorts of dreams and ambitions in life other than hooking in a rich man, right? Apparently not because like Anam, they take the manifestation a notch up by pretending to belong to the upper class in front of her friends. From faking her whole lifestyle to demeaning her father over every penny and even stealing money from her own family, Anum’s character is shallow at best. Which is ironic because you’d expect that in order to pull off a double life, you’d have to be super smart.

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A post shared by Mrs.Falak (@sarahkhanofficial)

On the other hand, you have more unbelievable gold diggers like Kiran (Anmol Baloch) in Siyaani. Kiran is crass and unrefined in the way she speaks, her tongue runs a mile an hour and her thinly veiled expressions give everything away, including her over-the-top plans. Unsurprisingly, she quite literally refers to herself as a dayan (evil witch). Yet somehow, rich, smart, successful men fall for women like Kiran and ignore major red flags like blackmailing the family into giving her 2 crore rupees as haq meher with the threat of not showing up to the wedding. If you ask us, both of them deserve each other.

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A post shared by Anmol Baloch (@anmol_baloxh)

The enablers

Behind every gold digger in a Pakistani drama is a side character who enables their fixation on money. In dramas like Siyani and Woh Pagal Si, the enablers are the mothers who encourage their daughters to go after rich men because all they want for their daughters is a ‘defence ka rishta’ and because they want to freeload off all the riches from their daughters.

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Behind every gold digger is another side character who is so incredibly innocent that she probably would not hurt a fly, yet somehow ends up in trouble because of our gold digger. When it comes to proclaiming her innocence, no one will believe the saint like victim and will side with the gold digger or take her advice, which is obviously not in anyone’s best interests.

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A post shared by Geo TV – Har Pal Geo (@harpalgeotv)

When will our dramas stop belittling women and trying to make audiences believe that women are conniving creatures who only want luxuries in life? Why does every ambitious woman have to be a gold digger and why does one woman have to bring other women doing just to rise to the top? For reasons like these, Pakistani dramas continue to disappoint with their storylines and characterizations. 

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