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Teeli’s ‘Just Married’ – building bridges between India and Pakistan

By Mahnoor Feroz | January 2021

Teeli Just Married

Online streaming services such as Netflix are rising in popularity as their original content is critically acclaimed all over the world. Pakistan is also embracing the online experience by introducing web series, bringing a new taste of entertaining content. Pakistani drama serials these days are mostly focused on the negative aspects of married life, portraying mother in laws as negative or the protagonist using evil schemes in the thirst for money. The role of women is being gloomily characterized in every other serial as reason for broken marriages and or deception of their families.

Teeli – the digital latest entertainment latest web series titled ‘Just Married’ explores what it is like to be just married in Pakistan. The six episode series on YouTube focuses on a young couple who are at the beginning stage of their married life, having just moved in to an apartment in Karachi. The show is a breath of fresh air from the usual topics that are currently on air. It shows the urban lifestyle of the young couple Aiza and Zain, adjusting to their new and profound life in Karachi. It portrays the struggles of everyday life that viewers can easily relate to.

Teeli is entertaining South Asia’s youth through its unique comedy sketches and miniseries. The digital entertainment brand is breaking barriers of communication between two nations, India and Pakistan who might have different political views but share similar culture, mindset, family values and most importantly language. Original content in Pakistan is of course broadcast in Urdu which has similarity with Hindi. Any Hindi speaking person can identify with Urdu and vice versa. Despite political tensions between Pakistan and India, entertainment platforms such as the web series ‘Just Married’, are bringing audiences from both nations to a single digital platform ‘YouTube’. Indian TV soap operas and films have always been popular among Pakistani viewers.

Over the years, Pakistani productions are gaining popularity in neighboring countries. Zindagi Gulzar Hai, HUM TV’s popular play was broadcast on India’s Zee network and gained immense popularity in the Indian public. Leading stars Fawad Khan and Sanam Saeed became overnight sensations because of their sizzling on-screen chemistry and performances. The show became a subject of praise and adoration in social media among fans and celebrities. Indian TV soap operas are famous for their never-ending storylines that stretch over years and years, jumping from generations to generations, characters coming from the dead or changing faces with plastic surgery after a horrid accident. All this happens in a single show. Pakistani content is bringing a crisp taste to Indians who expect the story to conclude in just a few months.

Another aspect shared by both countries is the traditional and progressive mindset of audiences. ‘Just Married’ is offering a perfect example of balance between personal and professional life of a young couple living in a society full of either praises or “haye oohs” from nosey aunties. Both Indian and Pakistani young viewers are able to relate to such ethos of society. Moreover, the series is breaking stereotypes instead of ‘man of the house’ and ‘woman of the kitchen’. Aiza the female protagonist is a financial supporter of the household while Zain, the male lead, is more of a laidback husband who gets possessive about his mother taking away his Yoda doll (a fictional character in the Star Wars universe).

Comments on the show’s weekly episodes on Teeli’s YouTube channel are mostly full of compliments about its light topics, humor and quality direction. Viewers from India are expressing their admiration for the show. Himanshu Vasdani comments: “I am from India, I watched ' summer love' web series , and I really liked it, and I was eagerly waiting for same refreshing stuff from Teeli , And now I think my wait is over, good one love u guys.”

Another viewer Sneha Das expresses, “I have watched 1st time something from "Teeli" and I'm in love with it. Gonna watch all the stuffs now I'm your new subscriber though. Love from India ❤”
MD FAIZI remarks: “Love the contents of this series😍😍😍😍 Love from India😍😍”

Remarks such as these are a proof that Pakistani content such as Teeli’s ‘Just Married’ are imprinting a positive impact on viewers across the border as well.

The beauty of entertainment is that it doesn’t have barriers. It is more about bringing people from different regions together to a single podium, digitally and in the comfort of their homes.