KARACHI: It’s been a whirlwind of emotions over the last few months for Pakistani drama fans. Geo TV managed to create a monopoly of viewership with Tere Bin starring heartthrob
Wahaj Ali and the ever so versatile
Yumna Zaidi. From laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the plot, to being invested in the couple’s relationship, to a character arc we were very happy to see, fans would sit and wait for every new episode of Tere Bin to air. That is until this week. After episode 46 aired, fans were distraught and disgusted at the turn of events. But more than letting fans down, Tere Bin managed to let their main character
Over the course of 46 episodes, we witnessed a character arc for Murtasim. In the initial episodes, he remained true to his backstory. An aggressive, dominant feudal lord who had no patience for outspoken, confident women like
Meerub. From slapping her, to dragging her out of her own birthday party, he showed all the red flags we were used to seeing in male drama leads. However, things took a pleasant turn and his character arc began to develop. While he still had his flaws (like the insane loyalty test and him unnecessarily putting up with Haya), he showed a much softer side to him. First and foremost, was the fact that he respected his wife’s condition that they will not consummate the marriage unless she says so. Not once did he use the contract against her and not once did he make his wife feel uncomfortable with his presence. So much so, he would sleep on the couch to his own discomfort and went as far as to defend Meerub’s stipulations when Haya told Ma Begum and the rest of the family about the contract.
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He also showed a great deal of patience and devotion towards his wife despite the fact that she would do every single he told her not to do. From the day of their valima when she danced away to the horror of onlookers to when she interrupted his jirga, not to forget when he encouraged her to continue her studies (after she accused him of having an affair) and even forgiving her for meeting up with her stalker Rohail. Time after time, in every new episode of Tere Bin, we would all wonder when Meerub would mend her ways and realize what a good man she has in her life.
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While Meerub and Murtasim’s separation was expected, we all thought the reunion would be nothing short of romantic. What we did not expect was the terrible twist that took place in the latest episode.
Why would Meerub meet up with her psycho stalker who is still asking her very personal questions about her married life? And why is she letting Murtasim make assumptions rather than correct them? But then again, we can’t really expect much from Meerub. And that is when the drama really let us down. After watching Murtasim put up with Meerub’s constant temper tantrums and accusations for well over 30 episodes, we would have expected him try to let her cool down at least and talk to her. After honoring the contract and going against Ma Begum about the very contract, we did not expect him to be triggered by the mention of it. And most of all, we expected him to realize, while Meerub most definitely crossed a line with him, he would understand it was a culmination of factors that made her react.
Murtasim can have Bakhtu and armed guards go and beat Rohail up at his own house just for seeing him with Meerub (with a friend) but Meerub cannot react to seeing Haya wrapped up against Murtasim, alone in her bedroom with Murtasim seemingly happy? A huge misunderstanding, but one that would cause any wife to react angrily. Was Meerub out of line for slapping and spitting at her husband? Absolutely. But the implication that Murtasim, the man half of Pakistan was in love with, would
rape his wife, undid months of character development and ruined the drama for many.
The way episode 46 ended and the promo for the next episode of Tere Bin is harrowing. With Meerub clearly distressed and Murtasim’s clothes rumpled, it is obvious something sinister went down between the two. And while Murtasim is obviously remorseful for his actions, the fact of the matter is, there is no coming back from scenes depicting marital rape. Because from here on out, no matter what he may do for his wife, his final act of dominance which was to leave a mark on his wife’s body, has been completed and the mark will not be erased. It will be a constant reminder, that in Pakistani dramas, men can never be good husbands. They can try and we might be convinced for a while, but at the end of the day, if women step out of line, they will use a woman’s body to whip her back to form.
As fans desperately seek answers, many don’t even know if they want to watch the new episode of Tere Bin airing next Wednesday. We can only hope that the scenes from the promo are cleverly manipulated to make us assume the worst, even though it seems unlikely.