Dastaan: History on TV

Dellving into the pandemonium of partition Dastaan is a story that reminded us of our origins.

Taneeya Hasan September 24, 2011
Dastaan, a Hum TV production, is probably the most gripping modern day ode to the beauty and simplicity of  pre-partition life. Written by Razia Butt, Dastaan depicts the love story of Hasan (Fawad Khan) and Bano (Sanam Baloch) – a romance which is shred to pieces by the gruesome and gory separation of 1947.

The drama starts off as a tender series of events between the couple, but later morphs into a saga full of blood, greed and lust. This turn of events hurls Bano, the quintessential Pakistani girl,  into the arms of madness, because she is devastated by the loss of the peaceful love she once shared with Hasan.


Dastaan showcases famous actors such as Samina Peerzada, Saba Qamar, and  Bilal Khan. It primarily highlights the pathos of society and the instability that broke ties  between kin during the harsh times of partition. It depicts how India was suffering from internal turmoil; it was being ripped apart in to two pieces, and the people were bleeding with it.

Although, to the viewer, Razia Butt’s stance in Dastaan might come across as nationalistic, leaning towards Pakistan and Muslims in general. However, the writer still did a commendable job at striking a balance of both good and evil in all three religious groups,  Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism. One example is when a Hindu man tried to insult and rape Bano, simply for being a Muslim woman, another Hindu came to her rescue

Baloch and Khan did a remarkable job at transporting us to an era where the girl would lower her eyelids on meeting her beau in the veranda unexpectedly, and where a boy would give up the world to be with his lover.

All in all, the romance as well as the tragedy is a breath of fresh air in modern times where all TV dramas can focus on now is how every modern Pakistani girl is a scheming fair maiden with grey eyes, whose sole objective is to turn her mother-in-law in to an eggplant, or how every bloke around the corner finds himself a doting girl who is susceptible to his oily flattering and false promises of shadi wadi.

Kudos to Hum TV and Razia Butt for having the nerve to deviate from the norm by delving into the pandemonium of partition. They came up with a story that reminded us of our origins. Hence, Dastaan was a TV series definitely worth watching.
Taneeya Hasan The author is a sub-editor for the Life and Style pages at Express Tribune
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Moniza Haq | 12 years ago | Reply Dastaan was a beautiful play. I like the review u wrote, I wish you had given credit to the director, Haissam Hussain as well. In a Hum-tv interview he said they spent 2months shoothing the serial, & many many months in pre-prodution & planning. In an era where tv-plays r made within10-14 days thats commendable on behalf of cast & crew to spend so much time on only 1 play. The director has also received quite a few awards for his work in Dastaan. The screen-play adaptation was by Samira Fazal, who did a v.good job in translating Razia Butt wonderful novel for us. I wish u had given credit to where its due. But I urge everyone to watch Dastaan, it sure is a masterpeice.
Javeria Mahmood | 12 years ago | Reply hmmmm Would love to watch in youtube now
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