Shiza, Fiza and the Twitter Party that followed

By Maliha Rehman

The TV drama industry in Pakistan may be on the rise. A number of groundbreaking dramas and interesting, unique narratives have recently won both critical and commercial acclaim. But these few good dramas are outnumbered by a slew of many others, that continue to bank on sensationalism and domestic politics.

The more sensational and shocking the storyline, the more it’s watched. India’s Star Plus dramas are testament to this. And, eager to achieve similar heights (or lows?) of popularity, I suppose local drama writers must often spend sleepless nights coming up with stories that deliver on innuendo and angst, packaged in the guise of a family drama. A case in point is a clip that’s gone viral of a drama episode that aired earlier last year on A Plus Entertainment, in a series called Haqeeqat. Haqeeqat was an anthology series with standalone episodes and this particular storyline was called ‘Judwaa’, narrating the story of two twin sisters who got switched around on their wedding night.

The story, narrated by the drama’s lead actress Kiran Tabeir to the BBC, revolves around two sisters Shiza and Fiza who got married to two brothers simultaneously. The boys’ parents had insisted that their sons not see their future wives and the girls hadn’t seen their husbands either. Unfortunately for them, a family member – the phuppo, of course – decided to create mischief. The phuppo’s daughter switched the dulhans in both rooms in the hope that the weddings would break off and she would then be able to marry one of her cousins who she was in love with. All this lead to the now famous scene, where Shiza reveals to her groom that she is, in fact, Fiza.

Amazing. The writer, Saima Latif, must have really racked her brains coming up with that one.

The Twitter commentary on the clip started off with incredulity but quickly proceeded on to memes and quips. Of course, this was classic meme fodder.

The Spiderman reference fit right in…

So did this one …

With the PSL taking place, the cricket jokes were bound to come through…

Boys going to the market to get vegetables for their moms will understand this one…

Actual wedding photos of twins filtered out…

The Bollywood jokes were inevitable…

For people who are curious about how the story progresses, a Mufti sahab came to the rescue, pronouncing that the girls can get divorced and then marry the boys they were meant to be with.

Meanwhile, Kiran Tabeir – who you can also call Shiza or Fiza – wants audiences to move on to more serious topics and discuss issues that matter rather than Haqeeqat’s ludicrous twin switch-around.

The audience is sure to do that, eventually. Once they’ve truly wrapped their heads around the Fiza – Shiza debacle, laughed at the memes and gotten dismayed by the caliber of storytelling in Pakistani dramas.

You can’t put out shocking content, tell a story about sisters getting their spouses switched and not expect Twitter to get shaken up, after all. Very funny – also, disgusting and even, sad. Pakistan’s TV drama industry, after all, has long been representing the country to audiences spread out across the world. Content like this – and a YouTube search will unearth many other similar stories – just brings us down,

Cover image courtesy A Plus Entertainment

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Shiza, Fiza and the Twitter Party that followed