A year ago, on this date, one of the most celebrated dramatists of Pakistan, Haseena Moin, passed away due to a heart attack, much to the sadness of millions of fans both in Pakistan and India.
The first Pakistani playwright to exclusively write for India way before days of internet and an easy cross-border access through social media, Haseena Moin might be known majorly owing to her three consecutive hits ‘Ankahi’, ‘Tanhaiyaan’ and ‘Dhoop Kinare’, but the ‘quiet rebel’, as Sahira Kazmi would call her, began writing in the early 1970s and initiated the trend of original scripts in Pakistan, before which novel-based dramas were in vogue. Moin brought the change with ‘Zer Zabar Pesh’, ‘Uncle Urfi’, ‘Kiran Kahani’ and ‘Shehzori’, all being semi-comedies after which Mohsin Ali suggested her to try her hand at serious writing. Haseena Moin then wrote ‘Parchaiyaan’, which is remembered to date for being one of the best Urdu language dramas for its incorporation of unparalleled expression and vocabulary. Not only this, but released in the early 1980s, ‘Parchaiyaan’ was also Pakistan’s first coloured drama serial.
Quite a productive decade for Haseena Moin, the 80s produced some of the writer’s best works such as ‘Ankahi’, ‘Tanhaiyaan’ and ‘Dhoop Kinare’, the popularity of which continued to yield results for Haseena Moin throughout the 1990s. For Haseena, the 1990s started with her penning the Indian film ‘Henna’ and ended with two Indian dramas, ‘Tanha’ and ‘Kash m Kash’, both of which were written exclusively for Indian production houses by her. In the meanwhile, for Pakistani viewers, 90s was also marked by Moin shifting her focus towards issue-based serials such as ‘Kohar’ on neglected children, ‘Parosi’ on post-divorce life and miscarriages, ‘Kasak’ on single-parenting, ‘Aahat’ on family planning, ‘Ansoo’ and ‘Des Pardes’ on the lives of Pakistanis settled in the UK and ‘Jaane Anjaane’ on cousin engagements in early ages.
The next two decades which followed were not as prolific as the preceding three decades, but if gathered together, a good number of projects emerge as having been written by Haseena Moin, such as ‘Mere Dard Ko Jo Zuban Mile’ and ‘Shayad Keh Bahaar Aaye’, which were based on women rights, ‘Meri Behn Maya’, which revolved around sisterhood, ‘Anjaane Nagar’, a historical drama, ‘Mohabbat Ho Gayi Tum Se’, a purely romantic drama serial, and ‘Kaisa Yeh Junoon’, a high-budgeted production on terrorism and religious fundamentalism.
Sources tell that Haseena Moin’s vigour never abated, and she was still working on a project when she left for her heavenly abode. Moin never got married, and devoted her entire life to the Pakistani drama industry, penning scripts which would make people laugh yet also subtly acquaint them with the realities of life, meanwhile teaching Pakistani women not to surrender before the baseless demands of patriarchal setups.