Why Meerub is an extremely toxic female protagonist

KARACHI: Over the course of time, we have come to terms with the fact that Pakistani dramas cannot offer anything new in terms of the plots. The same love triangles, the same family politics and the same toxic men at the center of it all. But then audiences were graced with a drama so insanely frustrating that you are compelled to watch how far it can go. And at the center of all that is wrong with the drama is the toxic main lead of Tere Bin who is none other than Meerub. Yes, you read that right. The female protagonist is the toxic one in the relationship!

The drama started off as usual. An aggressive male lead, a forced marriage and unrequited love. For most of his part, Murtasim did show some toxic traits but we were begrudgingly willing to forgive him because he had some redeeming qualities as well. Despite Meerub being everything he stood against, over time, Murtasim came to accept and cherish his wife’s individuality. Time and again, he’s taken his wife’s side despite her constant defiance and despite her being a constant source of embarrassment. Ove the course of almost 40 episodes, Murtasim has shown character growth in the drama. We wish the same could be said about Meerub and her journey in Tere Bin.

Meerub is the definition of all that is wrong with the portrayal of women. She acts first and doesn’t even bother to think about what she’s doing and at what cost. In recent episodes, Meerub has become progressively worse.

Murtasim and Meerub’s marriage didn’t begin on a positive note and it created sympathy for our protagonist. But over time, Murtasim won us over and even convinced the most skeptical of us of his love for his wife. Rather than valuing the support she receives from her husband, Meerub has toyed with Murtasim and his emotions to get what she wants. For most of the part, she’ll reject his proclamations of love and will act oblivious to his feelings. But then, the minute she wants something from him, she’ll use her sex appeal by becoming all sweet and demure to get what she wants. Then, she’ll go back to discarding her husband like a used tissue. Her lack of respect for her marriage became evident when she told her obsessed stalker friends about the most intimate detail of her marriage, that it hasn’t been consummated! 

For someone who claims to be a champion of women’s rights, Meerub is completely oblivious to the walking talking red flag that “Anas” is. His constant hesitation to bring his family over for a proposal should have been enough to raise alarm but Meerub chose to ignore the hesitation completely. She even chose to ignore the fact that “Anas” was pushing Maryam to run off with him in the middle of the night. Instead, she made that episode a matter of her ego and reduced Maryam to an object to be bartered off. Not just once with “Anas” but the second time with Haya. In trying to prove that she can convince her husband of the impossible, she’s willing to make Maryam the prize to be won.

While everyone is in awe of Meerub and Murtasim’s chemistry in Tere Bin, it is also the prime example of what a toxic partner can look like. It seems like Meerub’s love language is constant blackmail. Whether it’s in the bedroom, where she constantly blackmails her husband into listening to her by giving him the silent treatment or whether it’s in front of guests, where she’s constantly threatening to create a scene, Meerub is nothing short of a spoilt brat who throws tantrums when she doesn’t get her way.

It’s bad enough when you have Haya as a main character in a story but at least she’s entertaining and we look forward to what she has up her sleeve. Meerub, on the other hand, you just want to knock some sense into her. Her character had so much potential but over and over again, she just keeps proving how toxic she can be!

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