Yeh Dil Mera is supposed to be a romantic thriller – then why such deceptive teasers? We did some digging.
A man (feel free to imagine a woman too) is sitting in a dark, dingy room nestled away on the topmost floor of MD Productions. He has multiple screens placed in front of him hosting scenic beauties from Shogran and human beauties in the form of Sajal Aly and Ahad Raza Mir. No, he isn’t an over-obsessed Sahad (yes people actually refer to them as one entity) fan. This man right here is an unassuming Editor who has been given the job to produce two garma garam teasers for MD Productions’ hottest new offering, Yeh Dil Mera.
Please Note: The setting above is a figment of my imagination, but you never know if that’s what really happened. Do you?
Little does he know he’s about to create history!
Coming back to the dude hunched in front of the screens. Our Editor here seems distracted. But by what? Squeezed in between the gigantic screens of his two iMacs is a tiny screen featuring clips from the notorious Hollywood movie “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Well, well. Anyway, he completes the two promos that his boss assigned him to make and also the movie his tharak assigned him to watch, and leaves.
What he doesn’t realise, is, that he has just created a masterpiece – a masterpiece that people from every nook and corner of social media will dissect for the next coming days! Some will even show it during their HR lectures to explain inappropriate workplace behavior.
The promos of “desi version of Fifty Shades of Grey” – as people are dubbing it – made its way to people’s phone screens on Saturday night. People at MD Productions waited with bated breath to watch people fall head over heels in love with the oh-so-romantic promos featuring the hottest couple of the industry!
But oh no!
In an unfortunate turn of events, people actually heard what was being said in the 30-second clip instead of simply admiring the beauty of a semi-simpering heroine and a semi-glowering hero.
Speaking of the luckless promos, one of them showed the couple honeymooning up north. Well, that’s also an assumption. Maybe, they just went for a bae-cation as baes and not really for a vacation as a married couple. Who knows? Anything can happen in the world of Yeh Dil Mera!
At least that’s what the writer, Farhat Ishtiaq, and director, Ahson Talish, hinted toward when I spoke to them. But we’ll get to that later. First, let’s discuss the more interesting of the two promos.
So here’s a rundown of what went down in the teaser which has every single soul’s knickers in a twist!
The gorgeous bouncy girl exclaims she has received an interview call. She bounces right into the fancy office of a suspiciously young boss. Now this boss, before meeting the candidate, had broodingly pronounced, “I’ll take her interview myself.” And we see a glimpse of the gorgeous girl’s CV where the marital status is mentioned in bold letters. (God only knows why). Now, the girl is trapped in there with the brooding boss and the conversation – I can’t call it an interview sorry – begins:
Him: Tell me about yourself?
Him: [cuts her off] khaanay mein kya pasand hai aap ko?
Her: [apprehensively] Jee?
Him: [showing complete disregard for the girl’s unease] Aap ko pata hai mujhe khaanay mein kya pasand hai?
Her: [breathily] Rice
Him: [Huskily] Konsi rice?
Please, let’s take a breather here. Who the hell talks about rice like that? Maybe I should pay more attention to my rice from now on and one day I’ll also feel breathless while discussing it with … certainly not my potential employer.
For those who’ve seen Farhat Ishtiaq’s shows, know that this conversation features one of her most favorite pick-up lines. Asher asked Khirad, “Khaanay mein kya pasand hai?”, when he was developing the hots for her and Dr. Asfandyar asked Zubia…you guessed it right “khaanay mein kya pasand hai?” when he was falling for her, proving that food is the ultimate binder. Anyway, moving on.
The meaningless conversation – for those who don’t follow Pakistan dramas – continues.
Him: Tou aap (Please note the change here. Weren’t they discussing HIS preference? P.s. I feel like a detective) ko biryani pasand hai. Good.
Her: [stops existing]
Him: Tou ab tuk ke interview mein, MEIN aap ko kaisa laga?
That was her cue to say, “Aaap humein bilkul pasand nahi aaye”, but sigh she totally missed the opportunity.
Her: [finally receives the memo and looks slightly worried]
End of the perturbing encounter.
After this workplace conversation – which reminded people of Fifty Shades of Grey – we see the giddy heroine bouncing around happily in her mansion with her laptop in tow. Girl, where’s your phone? While the supposed hero is sitting on his bed (at least he’s not all bouncy) with a laptop in front of him and a smirk plastered on his face.
And that was the cue for women of all shapes and sizes to swoon to the floor or at least go looking for their smelling salts. But we so woke, we stepped right out of the 18th century and into the 21st.
Accusations were thrown, Turtle necks deemed shady, opinions formed, and Yeh Dil Mera canceled – along with its cast and crew!
The only teeny tiny issue in the entire scheme of events is, that it was canceled by people who don’t even watch Pakistani dramas. They’re so above us all, that they only Netflix and chill.
Now, I have nothing against Netflix or the people who called the aforementioned office scene regressive. Because if you look at this particular scene on its own, without the context, it does seem to “romanticise workplace harassment”.
Do you know what could have saved the entire team and project from the unnecessary drama? A change of music during the said office encounter. More sinister background music – instead of a peppy score which suggested she’ll run off with this douche on a horse right about now – could’ve hinted toward something being amiss and people would’ve simply been intrigued instead of being enraged.
There are a few questions though:
Should we really be pressed about a 10-second scene allegedly glorifying workplace harassment?
Absolutely, why not? If we won’t question the makers, then they’ll continue to traumatize us with dialogues like, “Mein chai laati hoon aap kapray change karlein”. So yes, we have every right to be upset if they continue with their regressive ways.
Should we cancel the entire show before it has even aired and judge the actors who are enacting the characters?
Not at all! Even if you look at the teaser carefully, you’ll know that they’ve played around with the dialogues. They’re certainly not in the correct order. Even the scenes are deceptive. How’d you know she’s communicating with the shady boss via her laptop? How do you know she didn’t give it back to him after he asked her, “Mein aap ko kaisa laga?” How do you know it’s even a work related interview? She certainly isn’t dressed for one!
“That scene [which everyone is discussing] is certainly not how people have perceived it. It is something totally different and it certainly doesn’t romanticize any sort of harassment,” says Farhat Ishtiaq when asked to confirm if Yeh Dil Mera really does indeed feature a not-so-welcome romance.
Don’t be fooled by Aina’s ‘deer in her headlights’ look. She’s a Farhat Ishtiaq heroine and if you’ve followed her work you’d know that her heroines aren’t meek entities with no identity of their own. They are self-respecting individuals.