Pakistani TV and Film director Shoaib Mansoor brought us a video that shook the Pakistani side of the internet this “International Women’s Day”.
The video is titled “Dua-e-Reem” which translates to “A brides prayer”.
In the opening scene, we’re told how the classic “Lab pe ati hai dua ban ke tammanna meri” by Allama Iqbal had been taken by local wedding singers and changed from a child’s prayer for their country to a brides prayer while she goes into her new home.
As the women sing to the bride (Starring: Mahira Khan), it all starts off well but the scene quickly changes.
The prayer says “May my faith be to completely submit to my husband”
We see the bride shake her head in disappointment.
“Never complain about the looks or character of my husband“
*disappointment of the bride intensifies*
“If he threatens me, I should feel blessed it’s not a slap. If it’s a slap I should be thankful it’s not a shoe“
Here the bride is seen getting angrier with each sentence, now joined by her Mother and others in the room, while many of the elders are still smiling and agreeing with the lyrics.
“Cursing my fate is what I should do, As rebelling is not what good women do“
“At every swear word, teach me how to smile“
Here Mahira Khan perfectly embodies any bride of 2020, and yells out BUS!! (ENOUGH!!)
“What atrocious prayers are these?”
All these prayers, in one way or another, represent what women hear in the desi world when they’re about to get married. From telling them to be “submissive” to her husband to observing “sabr” if he hits you or throws anything at you. If he swears at you, let it go and most importantly, never “rebel” because you won’t be a “good woman” if you do.
Since we all know a “good woman” is a quiet and submissive woman.
The bride gets up here, saying “It’s my prayer, I’ll do it myself”
She changes up each line that was previously sung to something a bride would actually want from her life
“To love my husband should be my conviction – not worship, slavery or total submission”
This highlights how it’s more important to be in love with your husband, to have a loving relationship rather than being his submissive slave.
“I shouldn’t have to complain about him to my family, I should know how to deal with him my self”
Reinforcing the idea of having a positive relationship within your marriage. If something upsets you, you should be able to deal with it peacefully amongst yourselves without any outside forces.
“Aadmi toh tu ne unhe banaya hai Ya Rabb, mujh ko sikhla unhe insaan banana Ya Rabb”
This lyric speaks to the common “Mijazi Khuda” line that usually goes too far. Men (read: husbands) are human just like their wives are. The only Khuda here is the actual Khuda, men shouldn’t be told they can do whatever they want to the women in their households – and women shouldn’t be brought up to just “shut up and take it”
“Exemplary companionship and happiness bliss, that love that doesn’t fear lows, let alone a question of a slap or a blow”
The thing we should be wishing, praying and teaching the to-be-married couples is that love should conquer all. There should be no space for physical or emotional abuse in a relationship and its NOT something you should have to be prepared for when you’re stepping into a marriage.
This video was 8 minutes long. Within those 8 minutes they brought up AND shut down many of the things that our society is still somehow going along with, even though we should’ve left all of this back in the 1800s. This has been a true masterpiece by Shoaib Mansoor.
Watch the full song here: