Saba Qamar tackles gender-based expectations in Jins

By Aliya Zuberi

KARACHI: Over the years, if there is one thing that has been established. it is that where you see Saba Qamar on screen, there will be a spectacular performance. And often a times, where the Kamli actor is concerned, her performances start very important conversations that need to be had. Jins does just that. Without an elaborate set, shot at the auditorium of the National College of Arts (NCA), with just two performers and dialogues written in poetic form, the five minute video sheds light on both genders and their struggles. Here is why you should watch Saba Qamar and her latest performance.

Written and co-performed by Muhammad Bilal Awan,ย the poetic dialogues focus on one simple question : what if? What if I wasn’t a man? What if I wasn’t a woman? That question then plays in on the overwhelming expectations that both genders have to bear by the virtue of their gender. The video begins with Awan addressing Qamar and saying, “If I wasn’t a man, I wouldn’t be a source of pain for you. I wouldn’t be so cold.” To which Qamar responds, “Had I not been a woman, I wouldn’t be labelled an object of desire for you. I would have soared, had I not been a woman.” What makes Jins so interesting is the fact that as the conversation goes on, it isn’t just about the superficial problems that the genders face but tackles more deep rooted issues. From adultery, to consent, to the burden of being a breadwinner and to having to hide true emotions, every aspect of being a man and woman are thoroughly discussed between the two.

While the main focus of Jins is the dialogue, one cannot help but notice the small details that add to the effect of what is being said. Muhammad Bilal Awan sits sprawled out in a chair, in a black tuxedo, oozing indifference. Saba Qamar, on the other hand, is dressed in a stunning white saari, adorned in silver embellishments. The saari is symbolic of grace and femininity that a woman is expected to have, while the silver cuffs on her hand represent how shackled she is to societal expectations.

Jins is a wonderful piece of poetry which sheds light on the, “tragic emotional landscape between two opposing spectrums.” From the beauty of the Urdu language to the delivery of the dialogues by two wonderful performers, this is not something you want to miss!

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