While My Parents Were Dying, I Was Living on Her TV Serial

It was during 1995 when Ravi Rai — the man who revolutionized Indian television — launched Sailaab on Zee TV. This television serial took away the hearts of millions of youth; including me. I was just 15 then, fresh in college and the zephyr — sorry, but I just got to know about this word and can’t resist using it — touched me too.


The almost first love and this television serial was the rage of my life back then. That television serial had been my all-time favorite until I saw this television serial named Jackson Heights; in 2015. By this time, I was 35 and had made a false conclusion that there can’t be any other better story-teller than Ravi; especially on television and there can’t be any other serial better than Sailaab.

But I was proved wrong, and I’m glad I was.

The person or the television serial that proved me wrong needs no introduction. In fact, I may be the last one talking about it.

I am such a fool.

The director of the television serial Jackson Heights needs no introduction from a drugged mushroom-like me. One can find 10^100+1 articles on her; on the internet. Her glory and appreciation are all over the internet. She or her work doesn’t need any introduction. Then, why I’m writing this blog post?

Good question.

The answer is simple. I’m writing this blog post because you’ll not find my perspective on those articles. This is my blog and you’ll find my reflection about her because Mehreen Jabbar has left a deep impact in my life.


And believe me, this blog post isn’t about glorifying her work or something like that. That the whole world is talking but this blog post is something personal and goes beyond glorification.

I’ve seen some of her films and other television serials — and strongly suggest you do so. She has magic in her that others don’t; in my opinion. She chooses the right characters for the right story and puts in the tight moments that take your breath away.

You might also miss a heartbeat or two while watching some of her television serials. I promise.

It was 2015. Both my parents were in the hospital and both were taking their last breaths; while waiting for death to arrive. Like a good soon, I was around 24 X 7 but like a regular human — helpless. There was nothing much that could have been done so my task was just to hang around. This is the time that I’d to pass a lot of time and my friend Sonal suggested to watch Jackson Heights on the internet.


Immediately, I watched the first episode she sent me and I was hooked up after watching it. The story and the characters were so real and so relevant. Each character was designed so beautifully with his or her private traps. I have become a lifetime fan of the taxi-driver played by Noman Ijaz.

I used to watch a few episodes every day along with my wife. It was the only thing that gave us solace I this hour of examination and turmoil.

This television serial — along with my dying parents — had become my life. It became an integral part of my life. So much that, the end time of both the parallels were almost the same. Both, the television serial and my parents came to an end together.

Such is life.

This is the power of a beautiful creation; it becomes your life. You can’t tell that it is in you or you are in it.

But whatever happened, had to happen. It’s all for the best.

Not that all the credit can be given to the director alone, because it’s a huge team effort but the director, as a thread, hold all the pearls together. Also, not that Sailaab isn’t my favorite anymore but Jackson Heights has also taken that top place.

There’s no point comparing because both of them are different and the same in many ways. But, Mehreen has certainly made a special place in my heart.


Some people are born once in an aoen; only once. Mehreen is one of them. I feel the same for other people from different fields. Although, we all are unique but blessed are the ones who you feel to meet once before you die.

These are the people who are legends!

My mother had this feeling for Bollywood star of the millennium and I made her dream come true before she could leave her body.

I wish I can meet her once and take her autograph in my autograph book. Sorry, I’m one of those ancient types but I’ve autographs of many whom I have admired; a lot of them.

Another aspect of Mehreen is that her work has bought two countries together. We’d been watching Pakistani dramas before but her television serials bought a revolution in common households. Suddenly, everyone’s talking about Pakistani television nowadays. Maybe there’s not much love for cross-border relations but there are names of television serials on everyone’s tongue, and some of them are directed by her.

Isn’t this magic?

I think it’s pure magic that something beautiful is being created that wasn’t possible by the governments — of both countries — in more than seven decades.

The canvas of love and indifference is changing.

I believe that the renaissance of peace is around the corner; especially with creators, thinkers, and artist like Mehreen — I see a lot of hope, compassion, and loving-kindness.


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