Jannat Se Aagay First Episode Dropped Last Night And We Have To Say, The Episode Was Better Than The Promos – For Once!
Jannat Se Aagay has delivered a promising first episode. The story is penned by no other than the articulate Umera Ahmed and the seasoned Drama director Haseeb Hassan. The two have given us a gem of a play in Alif, but this time round, the narrative is more contemporary, more in sync with the times.
Umera Ahmed has not just scratched the surface of a topic we have seen often enough; the vilification of, and ruthless side of social media influencers – but she also holds up the mirror in the form of Tabassum, people who are just like us and who give power to that influencer. But the story is not just about us and them, it’s about human behaviour and how our emotions are swayed to do good through sensationalizing someone’s misfortune.
We Are Responsible For Creating Stars (Idols too), We, The Fans, All The Tabassum’s Put Together
Was it Tabassum’s fandom of Jannat that we felt represented us, deep down, or was it Jannat’s cold-hearted take on human emotions, – everything’s fair for views and clicks, that felt so relatable, right? These two characters had us applauding as the narrative swung around, from Tabassum to Jannat, echoing two sides of the same coin. We make stars, we, the people, all the Tabassum’s put together. We give them that space, that respect, that attention, love and obsession(?) to make it big. Or do the stars in fact, make themselves with sheer hard work, grit, ruthless, and a competitive streak that knows zero limits?
If there would be no fandom, there would be no stars, right? Tabassum, Jannat, Jannat, Tabassum, it’s kinda like the chicken and egg situation, bear with us please.
Are influencers and show hosts justified in exploiting human emotions so that we the people, pay more heed to them?
After all, who would really feel passionately about the plight of the refugees if it weren’t for that photographer who shot a lone Syrian child washed out on a sandy beach, who would understand the misery of the Pakistani families whose loved ones, young people, lives unlived, died in the Greek boat disaster if we didn’t see the wretched faces (and tears) of those they left behind.
Does Sensationalism Serve A Greater Good?
In essence, how will a story go viral and mobilize people who are in a decision making capacity to do something, anything, to use their power and influence to drive change – unless they know that we react faster when tears are spilt? After all, Jannat got her donation for the women who needed it, and she wouldn’t have received it had her show not been watched by the masses, had the views not struck viral numbers, had people not shed a tear – how will humanity care if it doesn’t see humanity suffer?
The world of social media has received fair beating for being artificial, contrived, flaunting fake emotions and staging fake situations to evoke real emotions. But is the staging justified for a greater good? Jannat Se Aagay is already making us think.
Jannat Ali Khan aka The Local Oprah Winfrey
Kubra Khan aka morning show host Jannat in Jannat Se Aagay gave us a peek into her world, behind the scenes. Her reasons for making it big have nothing to do with humanity yet human beings are all she’s dealing with. Powerless human beings get her the views and she milks it. But human beings are also the ones watching before their TV screens who give her that power – the power to go viral, gain followers for personal gains, but also (not to forget) make a difference in the lives of the powerless.
So is it all that bad really?
After all, Jannat’s show is throwing light on social issues that no one would really care about had it not been for Jannat Se Aagay? Jannat is interestingly positioned as that talk show host who seems to have little consideration for the feelings of her miserable guests. She is the local Oprah Winfrey or call her what you will who instigates tears in order to “up” the emotional (read, sensational) quotient of the show.
But what is interesting is, that as we watch her “other, off screen persona” with cameras off, we recoil in shock as she swiftly switches to her real self, and we, in turn, go through a journey of emotions: From feeling anger at her insensitivity and exploitative behaviour as she scolds the wretched family for not howling, the audience for not shedding a tear, to watching Tabassum and her family feel the plight of their misery, only because Jannat made us feel it, because Jannat made them cry, letting go of whatever dignity they had before a mass audience.
Are morning show hosts really so heartless then? Just asking the questions, calm down folks, don’t have the answers, yet, till Umera Ahmed and Jannat deliver them!
Everything’s Fair For Viral Views & Clicks!
Kubra Khan dives right into Jannat’s character and as we watch the heartless Jannat berate the family of the girl who was raped and who lost a son & brother, we gravitate towards feeling rage for her callous behaviour to a slight “hmmm, but she got the funding for the women”, onwards to, “well, at least now, more people know about the injustice done to this young girl and her family and maybe just maybe, law enforcement agencies will feel the pressure to bring those culprits to task?”
There Are No Easy Answers, Yeah! But Loads Of Questions!
In this world of social media clutter, inhuman atrocities, painful and tragic news from daylight rape cases to abuse, war, cluster bombs and missing persons, how do we make the public care for a cause? How do we make them so obsessed with climate change, the state of the homeless with floods in Pakistan, child labour and many more painful man-made tragedies unless and until we do not fangirl the Jannats among us?
And what if she is also getting some viral views and likes on the side? Is it all justified for the greater good?
Should we turn a blind eye to sensationalism? In fact, should we encourage it? Because how many of us will roll up our window when a beggar taps our car at the traffic signal, but shed multiple tears when Jannat look-alikes bring on the same beggars off the road, on Jannat Se Aagay, and make them cry on live TV and then, announce a fund to help them build a home.
How many of us who rolled up that car window will open up our purse strings and rush to contribute to that beggars fund?
A Drama That Promises To Echo The Times We Live In!
Jannat Se Aagay is being aired on Har Pal Geo by 7th Sky Entertainment, produced by Abdullah Kadwani and Asad Qureshi. Audience expectations are soaring and with Ramsha Khan, Gohar Rasheed, Talha Chahour and Kubra Khan in the driving seat, dare we expect any less?
The ensemble cast includes: Sheheryar Zaidi as Abid, Hina Bayat as Shabana, Faiza Gillani as Sirya, Saboor Aly as Zara, Daniya Anwer as Tasneem, Sara Ashraf as Andleeb, Aina Asif -as Aasia, Hoorain Khan as Aima, Ayesha Jahanzaib as Aalia, Aiman Zaman as Chanda and Hamza Tariq as Jibran.