A selection of listeners’ comments from the week ending February 18th 2017
Grasping negative and positive characters in Da Pulay Poray Drama:
One of the paradoxes of Da Pulay Poray Drama is that listeners seem to like negative characters, but liking those characters does not mean that they emulate them. It seems to be part of the ‘everyone loves a villain’ syndrome. One listener of Da Pulay Poray – Sangin Shah Hayran from Batikot in Nangarhar – casts light on this paradox. He rang in to say that Da Pulay Poray Drama communicates very positive messages. ‘All our family – young and old – listen to it, in fact it has become one of their important daily tasks.’ Regarding characters of Da Pulay Poray, he added that they liked the bad tempered Malik Ghani. ‘There is a lesson in the actions that he takes: we avoid those actions.’
One wise man said: Learn wisdom from fools. This seems to be the case with Malik Ghani. One listener from Kabul Qari Hizar-ud-Din liked all storylines in Da Pulay Poray Drama dealing with development. Then why did he like Malik Ghani, the biggest stumbling block in the path of development? ‘Because one can learn a lot from his role’.
This impression was backed up by the opinion of Khalid, also from Nangarhar, who said that he liked Sardar Aka, since he was a man of peace, but he did not like Ajab Gul and Matlab Shah, since they were always doing bad and mischievous things – ‘the work of the devil’ or shaytanat as it is known in Pashto.
In fact, when one thinks about it, a lot of listeners, when they say that they do not like a character because of this reason or that, are in fact saying that they like that character, but they do not like this or that characteristic. For instance, Mohammad Saeed rang in from Kapisa and told us that he had been listening to Da Pulay Poray Drama ever since Kandao Village was attacked. He liked all the characters, but he did not like Matlab Shah, because he was always egging people on, pitting one person against another.
Da Pulay Poray Drama in accordance with real life:
Baryalai rang in from Charasyab district on the outskirts of Kabul. Like a lot of listeners, he would like to see the time of the drama increased. ‘This drama is completely connected to our real life,’ he said. ‘It is as if the drama is referring to our own home and village.’ Being a kochi – nomad – himself, it was very encouraging for us to hear that he liked the role of Mero Kochai.
Polio storylines resonating with the public:
When Mohammad Saeed, quoted above, was asked which storyline in Da Pulay Poray Drama he liked best, he said he liked all the storylines, and he had learned a lot from Da Pulay Poray Drama, but he singled out the polio vaccination related storylines for special mention. Some may find this strange – since polio vaccination does not sound like such a thrilling topic. That is why we make a special effort to ensure that polio storylines become thrilling – even comic. Mohammad Saeed and his family started listening to Da Pulay Poray Drama when there was an attack on Kandao Village, and everyone was displaced. During this displacement, we wanted to show how important it was for vaccination teams to reach displaced populations, so we showed a vaccination team tracking down the displaced Kandao villagers, and making sure their children got vaccinated. Ajab Gul is really paranoid about vaccinators: he thinks they are out to get him since he failed to vaccinate his own daughter Nazo, as a result of which she contracted polio. So he kept on running away from the vaccinators, but they kept on tracking him down.
Another listener, Salman from Ghani Khel district in Nangarhar, singled out a couple of storylines for special mention: the peace movement in Kandao Village and polio vaccination. He praised Taza Gul for being a religious scholar who counters the negative rumours about polio vaccination.
The family hierachy:
Khadim-Ullah Wasif rang in from Ghani Khel district in Nangarhar. He said that he really enjoyed the arguments that used to go on between Mewa Gul and Bakhtawara, before, that is, Bakhtawara died, and between the Kochi couple Mero and Sabro. In the drama, he felt we should show the responsibility a wife has to her husband. He was wondering about Gulmeena. She is often mentioned in the drama, but has not actually appeared. He would like her to make an appearance. He would like to see the marriage of Yasir take place. Listeners will remember that Yasir left Kandao Village, broken-hearted, since his father was not allowing him to marry his sweetheart – the daughter of his maternal uncle – a girl by the name of Spogmai. Khadim-Ullah would also like to see the spring, where ladies collect water, reappear in Da Pulay Poray Drama. The reason? He used to love hearing Zarmina sing couplets – tappas – there.