Why do Mann Mayal's characters love to make themselves miserable?

Why do Mann Mayal's characters love to make themselves miserable?

What doesn't make sense is that each character can see a clear path out of distress but they refuse to take it
19 Apr, 2016

At its heart Mann Mayal is a simple story that shows us that the obstacles we face in life may exist only in our own hearts and minds.

Mannu (Maya Ali) is the naive daughter of a well-to-do family living in Hyderabad. When Mannu’s father hires her friend's older brother Salahuddin (Hamza Ali Abbasi) as her tutor, the latent attraction between them eventually blossoms into love. While Manu is brave and risks everything to be with Salahuddin, he doesn’t have the strength or confidence to ask for her hand because of his family’s inferior social and financial status.

The story so far

Mannu marries Mikail (Gohar Rasheed) but that is only the beginning of the young girl’s problems. Her new husband is beyond reform: he drinks, takes drugs and is addicted to gambling and partying. Even worse, he dislikes Mannu and makes clear he only married her to manipulate his parents.

Meanwhile, Salahuddin joins his friend Ifti’s (Vasay Chaudhry) business in Karachi but he is not made welcome by Ifti’s mean-spirited wife Kuki (Arjumand Rahim). Disgusted by Ifti and Kuki’s neglect and ill treatment of Ifti’s father, Salahuddin resolves to take care of the old man himself. After spending time with Ifti’s father (Talat Hussain), Salahuddin grows in self-confidence and realizes what a mistake he made rejecting Mannu and takes a chance to offer her a reconciliation.

Although Mannu is thinking of separating from the indifferent Mikail, she is still so angry with Salahuddin that she throws his offer back at him and returns to her husband.

As we inch towards the serial's close, Salahuddin inherits a lot of money from Ifti’s father and the story moves on three years. Meanwhile Mannu and Mikail have one son with another child on the way, as Mikail wants to make sure he inherits his father’s wealth.


Gohar Rasheed takes to Mikail's negative character in Mann Mayal
Gohar Rasheed takes to Mikail's negative character in Mann Mayal

This is one of the most popular shows on television, riding high on Hamza Ali Abbasi’s huge fan following. Doomed love affairs are always popular fodder and Hum TV has this genre refined to a marketing miracle.

Two exceptionally good-looking people suffering the slings and arrows of cruel fortune always makes for good ratings, it seems.

Gohar Rasheed has also been able to make his mark in this negative role. There is little nuance to Mikail and Gohar has for the most part played this entirely selfish character with a straight, hard-faced attitude that gives the serial a lot of its traction.

Talat Hussain is excellent as the dying father trying to hold on to a few shreds of dignity at the difficult last stage of life. Other plus points: production values are excellent, which one can expect from Hum TV

The other highlights have been Talat Hussain’s excellent portrayal of the dying father trying to hold on to a few shreds of dignity at the difficult last stage of life.

Mann Mayal is beautifully made with all the bright lights and colors at Hum TV’s command. Production values continue to be a plus point with this serial which combined with judicious use of the haunting title track makes this a visual treat.


The arrival of Aisha Khan's character Jeena will hopefully shake things up in Mann Mayal
The arrival of Aisha Khan's character Jeena will hopefully shake things up in Mann Mayal

It would be much easier to empathize with Mannu and Salahuddin’s difficulties if they actually seemed attracted to each other. While Maya Ali has kept her end of the bargain, Hamza Ali Abbasi seems disconnected for the most part.

There is no doubt that Hamza is a good actor after his stints in Pyarey Afzal and films Waar and Jawani Phir Nahi Aani, but his expressions in Mann Mayal do not convey the pain of loss and separation that a broken heart might suffer. His subdued reactions to what should be painful situations cloud any understanding of his character’s motivations.

However, if he cannot play the wounded lover, he has certainly played the surrogate son to Ifti’s father really well. The onscreen chemistry between Abbasi and Talat Hussain was excellent. If only the same could be said of Vasay Chaudhry’s performance as Ifti. Vasey Chaudhry doesn’t seem to have taken his role seriously at all but Arjumand Rahim managed to make strong impression as Kuki.

Mann Mayal suffers from obvious plot holes. Why does Mannu stick with Mikaal even when her family would support her if she chose to leave? It’s hard to feel sorry for protagonists who have a clear path out of a difficult situation but choose to plunge into it anyway.

The slips and slides of logic in the main story don’t help the empathy quotient either. For example, why does the rude servant Jamal suddenly become a good guy after his patient dies? Why does Mannu never talk to her mother about her problems? And why does Mannu return to a man who has serious character flaws when her family is clearly willing to support her?

It’s hard to feel sorry for protagonists who have a clear path out of a difficult situation but choose to plunge into it anyway.

One of the biggest weaknesses is the complete lack of personality that Mannu’s character suffers from.

While Maya Ali has managed to make Mannu believable and even likable, it is very hard to find anything about her that isn’t generic.

Her main interests in life seem to be the men around her; she has no hobbies, no dislikes or likes; even her one friendship with Rabia is ultimately colored by her link to Salahuddin.

Next week’s promo shows the entry of a new character, Jeena, played by the talented Aisha Khan. This may as well be just the twist to bring some depth to a serial that is riding a wave of massive popularity but lacks the intensity it promised in the first episode.


1000 Characters
stargazer Apr 19, 2016 12:52pm
Because otherwise there would be no story to tell.
Naqad Apr 19, 2016 01:20pm
There is a lack of clarity & continuity in terms of script and direction in later episodes; in most recent episode the serial went 0-60 in no time . The character configuration is also far from reality and defies logic; it appears that the writer and director want to stretch the serial for commercial gains. In terms of photography, the serial team missed to take advantage of the great historical legacy of Hyderabad!
Abdulla Hussain Apr 19, 2016 02:39pm
The only good thing in this serial is the big name hero & heroine. In my opinion they don't make compatible pair at all, a more matured heroine would have been a better choice. As for the story it is not even an average one. The direction is also weak. Overall this serial can be rated 6/10
Old Ravian Apr 19, 2016 02:54pm
Pakistani dramas are becoming extremely absurd.
Afsana Apr 19, 2016 03:04pm
I don't like this drama anymore...hate mannu, very unrealistic...
Afsana Apr 19, 2016 03:08pm
In the beginning the trailer was so interesting but later as the drama became on-air.. the scripts were usless as they are just stretching the drama, our expectations were so huge for this drama but I'm
Usher Apr 19, 2016 04:41pm
This is how 99% dramas survive in Pakistan television industry. Our makeshift writers miserably fails to depict the subtle human feelings and characteristics. They can't narrate the real life drama. Many situations even challenge the IQ level of a teenager. On the other hand the writers in Hollywood have amazing talent. Leave apart action and history, on social issues, how tactfully with strong perceptive write stories which we would never realize without watching them.
TROUBLED Apr 19, 2016 04:45pm
I feel sympathy with mannu and understand why she chose not to leave her husband even though her family would have supported her. Divorce is difficult. Plus she had a grudge against salahuddin for turning her down. Though she misses him she is afraid if she leaves her husband she wouldnt get salahuddin back. Plus an ego problem. And sometimes Pakistani women have a penchant of staying in difficult situations. Because its a habit. They are familar with it. Divorce means unfamiliarity and an uncertain future. Plus at least mannu's in laws support her. So she is willing to put up with a difficult situation.
Adnan Apr 19, 2016 05:02pm
Syed Waqar Ali Apr 19, 2016 05:19pm
The way Mannu is translating the script into acting is unreasonable, why she is pulling on with her husband and not sharing the attitude of her husband with her mother. Why she is arrogant with her best friend. The drama is otherwise interesting with a hope that the events would take a natural course of action.
Aamer Apr 19, 2016 05:23pm
That’s because Hamza ali Abasi is miserable
Karachistan Apr 19, 2016 05:56pm
Pakistani dramas have really gone down the drain, no suspense, no weight in dialogue, gone are the days of powerful dialogues of Ashfaq Ahmed, Bano Qudsia and many others. There were days when a 13 episode drama would empty the road, even President of Pakistan used to take time out watch the drama at 8pm, now hardly anyone remembers 100 + episode drama. Actor and actresses are emerging like soap bubbles, and bursting in same speed.
Asma Ali Apr 19, 2016 06:04pm
The most irritating character in this serial is Mikael's mother's, she is plain faced all the time and has nothing to say but illogically support her badmash son.
Vinod Narang Apr 19, 2016 06:35pm
@Old Ravian you must have not seen some of the best one. I love these dramas and I am not even Pakistani
Syed Apr 19, 2016 07:01pm
Expecting Aisha Khan to shakes things up? . She has always needed support herself. Name one serial or movie where she was the lone star. I don’t expect much to change.
fayza Apr 19, 2016 07:44pm
You just nailed it. I totally agree with what you have to say about the drama.
Arisha G Apr 19, 2016 08:26pm
"This may as well be just the twist to bring some depth to a serial that is riding a wave of massive popularity but lacks the intensity it promised in the first episode." Completely agree. I am banking on that as well as Ayehsa Khan herself said in a BTS segment that it will change the story line. You'll either love or hate her character. So I have missed a lot of the episodes yet do not feel the need to catch up; the story line is not that gripping.
zahed Apr 19, 2016 08:32pm
This is the second best drama I have experienced after Shehre Zaat. There are social ills of society which were portrayed exceptionally well. "Talat Hussain's character". We need to accept there is a lot to be done for seniors who suffer not only medically but socially in our society. We need to develop programs for seniors so they can nurture their retired life in a positive way.
Rev. Eldrick Lal Apr 19, 2016 10:16pm
So confused to know that there is no mention of versatile actor Mehmood Aslam. What a great stage actor?
Abbasi Apr 19, 2016 11:03pm
I think Hamza is not performing good in the Drama. He try to do acting but ends in doing over acting.
habib shigri Apr 19, 2016 11:25pm
please its a drama and consider it as a drama not a real story. damn and dull expressions in it. its okay
huma Apr 20, 2016 05:02am
I have tried and tried to get into this drama but cant. there is no excitement for a new epsiode. nothing to look forward to. probably the best character was the dying father. dont see any chemistry between manu and hamza. its a frustrating drama not enjoyable drama.
Usama USA Apr 20, 2016 08:14am
I think you all are missing a point. Mannu is just showing that she is having an emotionless life wout Salahuddin bcz she wants to prove protagonist wrong about his decision of rejecting her and the notion that money will buy her happiness. Though a bit could've been improved in story lining e-g the fast forwarding, which is a weak link. I will rate this 9/10
TanBhartiyaMay Apr 20, 2016 09:52am
I just LOVEEEEEEE Maya Ali :-)
sali, USA Apr 20, 2016 10:28am
Pathetic to say the least. All stories revolve around shaadi and class difference. She is miserable with her husband, he sleeps in a different room, parties all night and yet they manage to have two kids in 20 minutes while everyone is wearing the same clothes. Ohh...was that 3 years apart..may be i missed it.!
Karim Mombani Apr 20, 2016 01:45pm
Rather than stretching this serial, I think it was about time to wrap this up with the death of Talat. As Mannu was on the verge of having a divorce and Hamza had receive a good enough dough to live happily ever after. The writer and the director just had to ensure a happily ever after for the both and conclude this serial. Believe me it would have been better that way.
ALI Apr 22, 2016 03:20pm
Why are these dramas always of the rich people, what don't poor people have problems also why don't they make dramas of them
Rekhtagar Apr 23, 2016 07:32am
The drama serial is turning into black hole of script and direction. The last episode was time travel though a time warp; all characters look the same after an elapse of years! What kind of age-defying medicines they are on! The mannu lady is turning into a bimodal personality, and the Salahuddin character is looking very animated refusing to learn from the dose of wisdom infused by Talat Hussain’ s character! It appears that true rising stars in all episodes are Salauddin’s sister and the Servant’s characters! Their performances are impeccable!