As I’m sure everyone knows, Baaghi depicts the story of Qandeel Baloch (Fouzia Azeem), a young fun-loving girl who had the world resting on her shoulders. She left her home and family to make a living and escape the village life she didn’t agree with. And If I’m honest, I believe we all have a little bit of Qandeel within us – a rebel with a cause.
Throughout the last 12 weeks, the show has brilliantly portrayed the hardships faced by Fouzia Batool, who later becomes Kanwal Baloch. And it’s definitely been an emotional roller-coaster, to say the least. Saba Qamar has done a great job at infusing herself within the character to really tell us Qandeel’s story.
Although there are many who didn’t agree with Qandeel; her views or her actions, she has been an inspiration for others. Here are five things I believe you can take away from Fouzia Batool in Baaghi.
1) The struggle is real
Whatever your background, life definitely doesn’t come easy for any of us. Baaghi represents this in more ways than one – whether it’s being in an abusive relationship or finding ways to make a livelihood, everyone goes through some sort of difficulties.
The show has done an excellent job at describing the complications many people face, coming from an under-privileged background and trying to earn one’s keep.
It shows how a girl with dreams but no skills, no education and no familial support comes across countless hurdles to do something that we all sometimes take for granted – earn a respectable living.
Fouzia perfectly demonstrates the time and effort it takes, to get to where one wants to be.
2) Women too, can break stereotypes
Fouzia lived a poor, conservative village life and things weren’t a piece of cake for her but it was quite apparent that she didn’t agree with that lifestyle. So she challenged the patriarchy due to which, she was disliked by many.
At first, before wanting to marry Abid, Fouzia is seen to be against arranged-marriage on the whole. At one point, she is seen arguing with her father – comparing herself to farm animals to make a point about how they can’t just marry her off to whomever they like.
Regardless of what others thought, the headstrong village girl tried to do as she pleased. She was seen dancing her heart out at a wedding, questioning guys who catcalled and even went against her dominant brother for various reasons.
The show truly sheds light on the issue of how females within our society are treated – be it in their homes or the outside world.
Prior to their marriage, Abid vows to allow Fouzia to work in showbiz but he is shown to change his colours after tying the knot. He puts all his efforts into trying to control her and even goes on to physically abusing Fouzia.
This is a true depiction of the men within such societies who misuse their power – a daunting fact countless women can vouch for.
Once Fouzia left her home, it really seemed like wherever she went, she was exploited by people like Gauhar, the ad agent and the lady hostel-owner who continually try and use her for their own means.
Be it presenting her to strangers as an escort without her knowledge or taking advantage of her naïve nature, Fouzia was undoubtedly a victim from the very start.
3) It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog
Fouzia’s character in Baaghi shows us how to possess the patience to get through the hardships that one may very likely face. After being knocked down numerous times, she gets back up and fights even harder.
Having to adjust a life with her mother-in-law and dealing with her husband’s affair are just some instances of Fouzia’s strength. She showcases great courage whilst making the decision to leave her abusive husband and, more importantly, her son for a better life.
Although she goes back for her child, she comes to know that Abid has given their son away to his childless sister, and he has gone onto marry Ruby – previously his mistress. Unsurprisingly, Fouzia breaks down but rises back up with time, as expected.
Fouzia is also seen to stand up for her sister when kicked out of her house and encouraging her brother to study by tutoring him. She really does prove to be the support that her family needed, even if they couldn’t appreciate it.
And even after being exploited time and again, she didn’t give up. She worked as a bus hostess and then enrolled herself in a reality TV show in a bid to get somewhere in life.
4) Fake it till you make it
The show quickly transitioned from Fouzia’s village life to Kanwal’s life in the city. Fouzia has an extreme make-over from stylist Gogi, who later becomes her confidante. He transforms her whole look and even teaches her some basic English sentences.
As well as picking up a little English, Fouzia even goes the extra mile by changing her Urdu accent to sound foreign. This really sheds light on how, in our society, you cannot be respected if you’re not fluent in the English language. So, people like Fouzia, think they have to fake it until they can make a name for themselves.
It just goes to show how judgmental and cut-throat the society really is, due to which many have to adapt and try their hardest to amalgamate within their surroundings.
5) Follow your dreams, no matter what
The main idea that revolved around Qandeel’s life was to follow your dreams and not settle for less, and Baaghi impeccably portrays this notion through Fouzia.
Her persona really teaches us that no matter what, chase after your dreams and live for yourself – regardless of rough roads, familial impediments, dearth of a specialised skillset and those who may lay thorns on your ambitious path.
There will always be barriers, always people in your way but you have to push past them, overcome those hurdles and feed the passion within you.