“Distraught” is exactly how I felt while watching Meri Guriya that ended today with Dabeer’s execution. Produced by Big Bang Entertainment, Meri Guriya’s narrative and script were brilliant and thought provoking giving insight into many stereotypes and hypocrisies within our society. The direction was on point and editing was top notch. The writer has to be applauded for raising several social issues regarding women throughout this show with utmost sensitivity!
I have always wondered if there a reason behind these horrendous acts? Because I refuse to believe that a normal person would go out and commit such atrocious crimes. Dabeer’s character was well written and as the story unfolded, we saw the layers of his character being peeled off. He has a personality disorder that makes him incapable of forming any kind of emotional bonds with anyone, not even his parents or siblings. He has a lack of awareness of other people’s feelings and was manipulative. All the traits of a personality disorder.
Dabeer had shown these sings throughout his life by exhibiting significant social deficits with long verbal silences, awkward body language and minimal verbal exchange. The fact that these “red flags” were not picked up by family/ school shows the lack of awareness of mental illnesses. He seeks sexual relations with children in response to social anxiety and poor self-confidence. Dabeer’s personality disorder cannot be cured, but had it been diagnosed earlier perhaps Abida would have been alive. But does serial killing come along with it? Perhaps serial killing is another mental illness?
Although the serial killer/ pedophile was revealed in the initial episodes it was the process of fighting for justice and women empowerment that made this play worth watching. Sexual abuse is prevalent all over the world, in the most developed countries and awareness is the key to prevent such atrocities. When it comes to sexual abuse and pedophilia, our society is all about punishment and not prevention. Nobody wants to think about pedophilia, but when it happens around us, we just want to punish the perpetrator and make an example of them.
Criminal profiling is another important topic that should have been addressed. There is a significant lack of professionals specializing in criminal profiling it seems like in Pakistan. The planning of the crime, the degree of control used by the offender, and the appearance of the crime scene all aid in profiling the perpetrator. The lack of efficiency of the legal system was highlighted very well though.
Dabeer’s execution in public accentuated as rightful justice was something that I totally do not agree with. Yes, Dabeer should be punished, but the way it went about almost created a mob like mentality without thought or reasoning. Besides the DNA, the court really did not have any other evidence against Dabeer and DNA matching could be fake or incorrect (has happened several times in the most developed countries!). Samreen denied the whole kidnapping event and the fact that Dabeer actually admitted to her in court, weakened the case more.
Dabeer’s mother’s denial throughout the whole time was understandable. How does one cope with the horrendous truth that your own son is a serial killer and serial rapist? I cannot even imagine what a parent must go through! Dadi’s change of heart right after the trial was rather sudden. How did that happen? The ex-police officer’s (Rab Nawaz) 360 turnabout was also not explained too well. He always had a daughter, so how come he never thought about this before?
Every single actor did their best. Sania Saeed, Sajid Hassan, Sonya Hussyn and Mohsin Abbas Haider were exceptional! They have literally gotten into the skin of their characters transforming it on screen so beautifully! Sania Saeed is a natural and it’s always a pleasure seeing her on screen. Mohsin Abbas Haider is definitely the star of the show. With subtle expressions and body language he has portrayed Dabeer with such conviction that I cannot imagine any other actor portraying this difficult character. Dabeer is, without a doubt, his best!
I understand this drama serial may not be everyone’s cup of tea due to the subject addressed, but we need to tackle these issues in the media to create awareness and to discuss how to fight it as a society. Child abuse, domestic violence, and discrimination against women, were all integrated very well in the script. Many questions remained unanswered and many more highly debatable disputes emerged in our minds, and quite possibly that was the main intent of the story.