List of Dastaan characters

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This is a list of characters from Dastaan, a television drama written by Samira Fazal and based on the novel Bano by Razia Butt.

Main characters[edit]

Bano[edit]

Main article: Bano

Sanam Baloch portrays Bano (Urdu: بانو), daughter of Saliha and Naseeb, sister of Saleem and Faheem, fianceé of Hassan and main protagonist of the story. Bano is shown at the beginning of the drama as a typical 1940's girl— innocent, obedient of her parents, and extremely shy when it comes to men. She had been educated up until the tenth grade. In the beginning episodes, Bano was extremely hesitant towards any sort of interaction with Hassan, refusing to talk to him and always keeping a scarf around her head at the sight of him. But due to his loving nature, she slowly began to warm to him as the two fell in love. She was close friends with Suraiya, Hassan's aunt, since childhood, and the two stayed carefree and joking even after they became sister-in-laws. Bano was perhaps the character most impacted by the violence caused during the partition. Her condition after the traumatic events and her arrival in Pakistan has often been described as "worse than death."

Hassan[edit]

Main article: Hassan (character)

Fawad Khan portrays Hassan (Urdu: حسن), son of Rasheeda and maternal grandson of Miraj Sahab. Hassan studied at the Islamia College as an engineer because his mother had wished that he follow the same career path as his father. His father, who had never been mentioned by name, died when Hassan was just a child, and Rasheeda had been raising him alone ever since. Hassan's family and the Naseeb family had been close friends for decades, and considered each other more as relatives than neighbors. Hassan was portrayed as a slightly less traditional boy then was common in the 1940s, which was shown when he brought Bano with him while arranging a meeting between Saleem and Suraiya. Hassan was the nephew of Suraiya, but, with the two being only a few years apart in age, treated her more as a big sister than an aunt. He was madly in love with Bano, so much so that he refused to look at even the shadow of a woman after her assumed death, in the fear that he would be cheating on her memory. Hassan soon begins to like Rabia, and is engaged to her with the relaxation that he does not, and never will, love her as much as Bano, and that she is just the anchor that will keep him grounded to his life now that he no longer has anyone to live for.

Rabia[edit]

Mehreen Raheel portrays Rabia (Urdu: رابیا) daughter of Sultana, and a headstrong girl nearly a decade younger than Bano and Hassan. Rabia is in a different generation than the two protagonists, and she is shown as less traditional and more modern than the pair. She is a typical 1950's girl, headstrong and easily convinced. At the beginning of the show, she is shown as visiting Ludhiana during Suraiya's wedding, a plain 14 year old girl. Her mother Sultana is set on having her engaged with Hassan, and eventually causes Rabia herself to fall in love with him. Hassan is unaware of this, however, until nearly 6 years later when Rabia and her mother visit him in Lahore. The two are engaged soon after, but Hassan breaks their engagement after the return of Bano. Later, after Bano herself tells him to marry Rabia, Hassan resigns to wed Bano and the two are married.

Suraiya[edit]

She is called "Bhabi," or "sister-in-law" by Bano, and "Khala," or "aunt," by Hassan. Suraiya is married to Saleem, Bano's brother, right at the beginning of the show. It is shown right from the start that the two are very happy with their marriage, and love each other a lot. However, due to Hassan's political views, Saleem often fought with Suraiya. At one point he even forbid her to visit Hassan or her sister Rashida. Their marriage rode a roller coaster throughout the show, but always survived intact at the end. Suraiya and Bano were best friends since childhood, and their friendship carried on even after Suraiya was wed to Bano's brother Saleem. Suraiya was killed in the massacre that took the lives of most of her family. She jumped off the roof, the safe haven where the women were staying, when she saw Saleem fall to he floor after being stabbed in the back. She landed next to his body and the two died together.

Saleem[edit]

Saleem was Bano's eldest brother, and she mostly referred to him as "Buray Bhaiyya," or "Big Brother." They had a very loving relationship around the beginning of the novel, but things began to get rocky as Bano grew closer to Hassan. Saleem's political views were radically opposite to Hassan's, and in that time period, political views were everything. When Bano too joined the Muslim League, Saleem was outraged, and their relationship was left badly damaged. After Hassan and Bano's engagement, Saleem decided to put his rivalries aside for Bano's sake, and the two reconciled. He was married to Suraiya at the very beginning of the drama, and the two died together during the massacre that took the lives of most of their families.

Basant Singh[edit]

Basant Singh, called Basanta by his mother, was a Sikh man who was very active during the time of the partition. He was one of the many racists at that time who mass murdered Muslims for fun. When Bano boards a train to Lahore, Pakistan after the massacre and death of her mother, it is attacked by a group of racist Sikhs. One of these Sikhs is Basant Singh. Bano screams obscenities at him and curses him, saying that his "Guru" (Sikh god) will never forgive him for taking the lives of so many innocents. Basanta, impressed by her spunk, kidnaps her and takes her to his home to convert her to Sikhism and marry her. She refuses and attempts to run away many times, resulting in him beating her and forcefully marrying her. Bano is forced to live in his home for 5 years, being beaten and raped nearly everyday. After five years, when Bano has still not shown any sign of giving in and converting like Basanta wants her to, he decides to kill her. When he sees his and Bano's son walking dangerously close to the edge of the roof, he rushes to stop him and ends up falling himself, dying instantly.

Other characters[edit]

Rashida[edit]

Rashida was Hassan's mother, and her family had lived in the same neighborhood as Bano's for centuries. Bano called Rashida either Rashida "Baji," a term used to show respect for older sisters, or otherwise Rashida "Khala," or "aunt." Rashida and Bano's relationship was very loving at the beginning of the novel, and Rashida was very happy to have Bano become her daughter-in-law. After the massacre and the five-year period where Rashida and Hassan presumed Bano to be dead, their relationship hits very dangerous waters. Rashida is, against her better judgement, repulsed by the fact that her son wishes to marry a woman who has been raped countless times, lived in the home of a Sikh man for five years, and has a son that Hassan would be required to take care of. She momentarily forgets that Bano suffered all these traumas in the name of Pakistan. Rashida's cold behavior towards Bano is one of the factors that causes Bano to flee Hassan's home after he brings her there.