“Churails”: Deconstructing Consolidated Narratives

The type of content produced by the Pakistani media industry always revolves around typical cliché; saas-bahu tussle, two women fighting over same man, a woman doing household chores, and lamenting over her fate. “Churails” (witches), a web series created by Asim Abbasi, has been seen deconstructing the old, ludicrous narratives and paradigms set by our media industry. The series revolves around the major problems faced by marginalized groups including women and transgenders, and the way a group of women along with three men, tackle the issues caused by patriarchy.

“Churails” is a ten-episode Pakistani series, streamed on Indian web series ZEE5, casting four leading women characters; a lawyer, a wedding planner, an ex-convict, and a boxer, who have a back story to tell and start a secret detective agency Churails to help the jilted housewives. They become vigilantes and undertake the narrative of mard ko dard hoga to punish the abusive men and cheating husbands. The term churails depicts the male-connotation of the word, who see transgressive women as witches whose task is to destroy the male hegemony.

The show beautifully presents ‘feminism’ in the true sense of the word. It is not about female dominance but about believing in the equality of all genders across the board. Abbasi shows that there are also some gentlemen who support and backup women in their fight against transgressors.

The ten-episode series covers all the social ills faced by vulnerable groups in our society, including misogyny, toxic masculinity, skin color complex, forced marriages, and transphobia. The genre of female vigilantism is used as a cape to depict the insidious impact of patriarchy that leaves no one untouched. The issue of having fair skin color has also been highlighted that how being fair is another connotation for being beautiful, which leads to calamitous repercussions. The show serves as a mirror to reflect the harsh and bitter realities of our society.

The direction, the production, the storyline, everything about the series is full of awe and reverence. It will surely cast a spell on its viewers and leave them flabbergasted as to how perfectly it has been created. The women do not become churails by choice, but the prevailing scenario makes them do so. Let’s look forward to a digital revolution.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Dunya News’ editorial stance.

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