MPTH only confirmed what we as a society are programmed to believe: that a “bad woman” - a woman gone rogue - is never worthy of forgiveness or redemption.

Meray Paas Tum Ho's disappointing finale reinforced that women aren't worthy of redemption

The MPTH team gave up what, to me, felt like an incredible opportunity to dive into the complexities of being a woman.
Updated 28 Jan, 2020

Since Meray Paas Tum Ho aired last fall, there hasn’t been a dull moment.

First, there was the now infamous hotel room scene. Then, show writer Khalil ur Rehman started hitting the talk show circuit to spew his nonsensical, woman-bashing bigotry. A few weeks, ARY Network announced that the final two episodes would air in cinemas nationwide.

And, just last week, there was a legal attempt to stop the show’s final episodes from airing because, according to the female petitioner, the show was just too disrespectful towards women. (The Lahore Civil Court judge was quick to dismiss the petition).

Part of the reason for the massive amount of interest in the show stemmed from the fact that it was the first time us viewers had a chance to debate the dilemma of what it could be like to forgive a cheating wife.

For years and years, our dramas and films have had us believing that men are hardwired to cheat while the betrayed wife is programmed to forgive.

But, with the cult of MPTH came the rare opportunity to step away from our longstanding fixation with male infidelity and male commitment issues and, instead, think about what could compel a wife to step out of the boundaries of marriage and what it would mean for her family were she to come back asking for forgiveness and redemption.

This is why the final few episodes of MPTH were a huge opportunity.

Because the MPTH team had, throughout, so deftly and openly tackled so many taboo things (like living together without a nikaah), I was gearing up for a bold, innovative ending to what I felt had been a bold, innovative show.

But, unfortunately, on Saturday night, the ending we got was not the ending we deserved. Right when they most needed to, the show creators just stopped taking risks cold turkey.

After months of building a plotline that challenged and defeated our preconceived notions of who cheats and why they cheat, the final two episodes of MPTH decided to play it safe by sticking to our society’s safety zone: the type of safety zone in which a woman is either good or bad, is either worthy of forgiveness or is damned to eternal punishment.

Week after week we watched Mehwish repent. She begged God and everyone around her for forgiveness. Meanwhile, we watched as Danish struggled in the impasse between starting a new life with a new partner versus confronting his still-present feelings for his estranged wife. Surely then, after so many weeks of tension-building, we deserved more than a final episode with a 30-minute monologue by Danish followed by his very untimely and forced death?

In the wake of the finale, many unresolved questions linger in my mind.

By not showing us what became of Mehwish and Danish in the aftermath of her affair, MPTH only confirmed what we as a society are programmed to believe: that a “bad woman” - a woman gone rogue - is never worthy of forgiveness or redemption.

Did Danish forgive Mehwish and, at the end, consider taking her back? Or did he plan to marry his son’s teacher and start a new life? Did he go to Mehwish’s apartment intending to take her back but, ultimately, was unable to because he had a heart attack he knew he couldn’t survive? Or did he go to Mehwish’s apartment simply because he was guilt tripped into doing so?

Along with the frustrating amount of unresolved question is the issue of how the MPTH team gave up what, to me, felt like an incredible opportunity to dive into the complexities of being a woman.

Mehwish was a flawed and selfish wife and mother, yes. But she was real as they come because we women, like all humans, do not come prepackaged in boxes labeled good or bad. Nor are we only capable of two default settings: worthy of redemption or damned to eternal damnation. Indeed, when it comes to the inner lives of women, there is so much grey area. And, after months of so much build up, I wish MPTH had dared to continue exploring this grey area.

If Mehwish has repented for her actions before God and her estranged husband and has truly changed for the better, shouldn’t Danish forgive her and take her back? After all, isn’t this is the storyline we’ve been subjected to for decades and decades - albeit with the husband doing the cheating and the wife doing the forgiving?

And, the best way to do that would have been to answer the question of whether Mehwish was or was not worthy of forgiveness and a second chance.

But, instead, the show chose to overlook Mehwish completely and instead kill off Danish. In this way, the show chose to completely avoid having to answer the really tricky, really difficult and really messy question of whether cheating women, like cheating men, deserve forgiveness.

Instead, by not showing us what became of Mehwish and Danish in the aftermath of her affair, MPTH only confirmed what we as a society are programmed to believe: that a “bad woman” - a woman gone rogue - is never worthy of forgiveness or redemption.

Since MPTH first started airing, I’ve had the same conversation over and over again with both men and women: if Mehwish has repented for her actions before God and her estranged husband and has truly changed for the better, shouldn’t Danish forgive her and take her back?

After all, isn’t this is the storyline we’ve been subjected to for decades and decades - albeit with the husband doing the cheating and the wife doing the forgiving?

For so long our drama serials have bored us with the stereotypically wayward, cheating husband who eventually manages to escape the evil clutches of the Other Woman and returns, with absolute forgiveness, to his peaceable, ever-loving wife.

MPTH was the first time a show seemed willing to flip the script by willing to explore the nuanced complexities of female infidelity as well as the thorny subject of forgiveness and redemption of an apologetic and remorseful wife and mother.

Week after week, as Danish made no concrete decisions about remarrying and Mehwish made attempt after attempt at seeking his forgiveness, we, the audience, felt like it was the right time to ask that maybe just maybe, a cheating woman, like a cheating man, be given a second shot, a chance at forgiveness.

But, even though it’s 2020, it seems like it’s still too soon to forgive women for their transgressions.

Danish (in)conveniently dying and leaving so many loose ends untied and questions unresolved only reinforces this. Because when it comes to being a woman in our society, there are just two ways for us to be. We are either the perfect wife and mother or we are the devil’s spawn destined for a hellish life on earth and forever after.


Khaled Jan 28, 2020 02:09pm
Aptly analysed, fully agree with your view point.
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Imran Jan 28, 2020 02:12pm
Very disappointed ending
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Nadir S. Jan 28, 2020 02:34pm
A fair ending would have been him forgiving his wife and making her welcome in the life of their child. Not sure if he would take her back as a wife. Perhaps he could have married the teacher and made it official. That would have shown maturity and a good positive ending.
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Omar Jan 28, 2020 02:35pm
So true and one of the reason why I stopped watching Pakistani drama (including this one) was because of the fact that we always focus on sad ending.
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DIJA Jan 28, 2020 02:58pm
The story was very clear from the start - Shahwar had never promised to marry Mehwish; yet she acted in a way that forced Danish to divorce her! For her to return back to Danish was out of question from Islamic as well as any other point of view ; for her to have travelled out of the city with Shahwer was itself a strong reason to divorce her instantly yet a tolerance was shown despite a grave mistake! She NEVER realised her mistake ; only when Shahwers wife came into the scene and Mehwish got deprived of her luxuries and had no place left to go- that is when importance of Danish got back into her mind...never before that had she thought about going back to him or her child...women like her has indeed no place...had she left the luxuries earlier and sacrificed her life for the husband and kid; things could've been different despite her mistake and a chance of forgiveness could be in place but reconciliation again was indeed an issue!
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aniruddha B Sowale Jan 28, 2020 03:00pm
Every one deserves a good life..mehwish also...people are bound to fall down..all cant be perfect...marne wale se bachane wala bada hota hai..
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Kamran Abdul Jabbar Jan 28, 2020 03:01pm
We need to change notion of 2 taka to 2 rupee. As we already know taka has more value then rupee. Why making a joke of respectable nation Bangladesh currency.
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Idrees Raja Jan 28, 2020 03:26pm
Nice article! Sad, but true!
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jai Jan 28, 2020 03:28pm
I was disappointed too. The drama shows an Aged man, father of a 10 year old son is fine to marry a young teacher, but the wife, even if repenting for her wrongs truly, is not worthy to be accepted for anything at all.
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Saifuddin Takhtawala Jan 28, 2020 06:24pm
The author of the serial is known misogamist. Pick is past serials like 'Pyare Afzal', 'Zara Yad Karo' , 'Sadqay Tumhare' and one will find the same issue time and time again. Even some of dialogues and underline message is the same.
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Zafi Gill Jan 28, 2020 06:27pm
Why is the choice either or? Why Mehvish couldn't just accept that her mistake had consequences.. Sought forgiveness and focused on building a life for herself? If there were religious complications, they could have shown that Danish and Mehvish form a friendlier relationship for their son and both move on. In real life people live with heartbreak everyday.
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M. Saeed Jan 28, 2020 06:34pm
Last double episode was a big disappointment. The writer failed to find an end that would be plausible and acceptable to general public. It should have a message for life, not a punishment in death of the righteous person.
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Queen Jan 28, 2020 06:34pm
Most misogynist drama ever to be produced in Pakistan.
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Iftikhar Khan Jan 28, 2020 07:17pm
I am very surprised at why this plot gripped the country. It is not the question of should he forgive her or not, whatever little I watched it was clear that the character of Danish never sought revenge...but once they were divorced then the redemption was not in coming back together rather it was in moving on with the life. There are so many ways forgiveness can be given Overall this serial gained popularity due to production and acting quality rather than writing.
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IMRAN CHAUDHRY Jan 28, 2020 07:18pm
You are conveniently ignoring the fact that mahwesh did not come back on her own, she was getting her Nikah done, the day she was kicked out by the 1st-wife. So was she really sorry she did it or was she sorry her plan fell apart and wanted back her old life because her new life fell apart. This is a important factor in determining the sincerity of her apology and redemption
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Alijimmyarbab Jan 28, 2020 11:41pm
What a disappointing ending.
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sameer Jan 29, 2020 02:33am
Common guys, open your minds its a fantasy drama!!! The writer can write any fantasy, that's what you all stand for right?
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Sane One Jan 29, 2020 03:16am
Anyonewho does like that, man or woman, can not be trusted even if they come back. You can say it but You cannot forgive as this is not in your control. You can just move on.
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Daskalos Jan 29, 2020 04:49am
A very sensitive and acute critical analysis . Thanks.
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Max Jan 29, 2020 06:08am
Danish died because of Khalil ur Rehman's rigidity of thought, narcissism and ego. In fact Khalil's character didn't celebrate life and happiness post divorce. Although he said many time but couldn't forget and move on. He couldn't count his blessings in what he got and had post divorce. He couldn't move on and always had fearful personality coupled with thoughts and dreams from his father. He didn't seem to have a purpose in life. Mehwish left the kid only for 8 months but he left him for rest of his life. Left loved ones stranded crying for what he didn't have. Didn't have a bigger heart to forgive!
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fika77 Jan 29, 2020 06:52am
How could Danish take Mehwish back? They were divorced and since she didn't marry Shahwar afterwards, so no chance of Halala as well. Only option for Danish was to forgive her which he should have.
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Sukhera Jan 29, 2020 09:24am
This drama is conceived by a sick person who does everything against what we stand for in the society. A married mother cheating on a husband who loves her extremely and tries to make her happy. A married businessman aloping with someone else wife resulting in a divorce. She started living with him without Nikah. This drama has made me sick to my stomach. The actors, producer, the script writer should be tried in court for spreading vulgarity and destroying our younger generation.
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jAWAD m. kHAN Jan 29, 2020 09:31am
Well, we don't even have an idea about reconciliation after divorce. You just can't simply reconcile after divorce.
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Fawad Jan 29, 2020 10:03am
Maria, you are missing the point a bit. Danish is a deeply emotional and idealistic simpleton. He forgave Mehwish and was trying to forget her. This was the only way he could protect his fragile romantic soul from harsh realities. Mehwish didn’t really care about him. She only returned to him because her plans of getting married to Shehwar fell through. And Danish knew that. He didn’t want to become her door mat yet again.
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Faseeh ullah Irshad Jan 29, 2020 10:34am
Mehwish never came back because she felt sorry for her mistake. She came back becasue her plan to get rich instantly failed miserably and she had no option but to come back! period
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Fareha Shah Jan 29, 2020 11:33am
A very disappointing ending..director or writer both didn't create satisfactory end. It seems they don't what they doing last episode has so many flaws nd mistakes. Ayeza Khan has no dialogues she had nothing to say when Danish came to meet her nd didn't explain herself at all..poor acting of Ayeza Khan.
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Alpha Golf Jan 30, 2020 02:43pm
Especially when takka is doing far better than rupee :)
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Sheeraz Jan 31, 2020 04:36pm
It about the medium that one has access to. You're imposing your own viewpoint just like Khalil is imposing his. You're sure about your own righteousness, just like Khalil is about his. You've got your own biases, like khalil has his own. Difference being you two's respective REACH and ACCESS to the required medium. Plzzz STOP taking advantage of your respectivee positions. BOTH OF YOUU!!!!!
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