Let me begin by saying that its now official – I absolutely, positively love Tanhaiyan Naye Silisilay! I was on the fence when watching the first episode, the second confirmed that the sequel was a fitting a tribute to the iconic original, and now the third episode has sealed the deal for me. Yup! this one is a winner in and of itself, whether you’ve watched the original or not, Tanhaiyan Naye Silisilay is a class act all the way. Marina Khan & Co. take a bow!
This latest episode began where the last one had ended, with Sania listening to Zara’s last message to her estranged sister. While listening to the message, I don’t know who was more moved and touched, Sania or me. I loved the exquisite sensitivity with which Zara acknowledged their past differences and handed over the responsibility of her daughters to her younger sister. It all seemed so clear and simple when I was listening to Zara’s words, but it was only after that emotional moment had passed that I realized that we had been very skillfully led up the garden path by the writers - itna kuch kaha aur kuch kaha bhi nahin?! We’re still left wondering about what went wrong between Zara and her family? Why had they cut off ties with each other for ten long years? Why no attempts at communication? Why? Why? Thoroughly enjoying the way we are being kept engaged here – excellent stuff this!
I love the smoothness with which the somber moments give way to the lighter ones. The mellow conversation Sania has with Serena and Zenia, followed by Zenia’s terse exchange with her father were not only beautiful moments, but also made for an excellent transition from the darker to lighter parts of the narrative. The scenes where Serena visits the the Youth Center with Sania were so much fun and signaled the arrival of the signature Haseena Moin humor that we’d all been waiting for ever since the announcement that a sequel was in the works. The repartee between Salma Hasan, Junaid Awan and Syra was a lot of fun. I was laughing at the way Serena introduced herself to Mona and Arif and then calmly proceeded to pick out bangles for herself. Similarly the interaction between Serena and Sania was very heartwarming. The chemistry between Marina Khan and Syra Yousuf is so natural that it seems almost effortless.
On the issue of humor, how can I not mention the newest jori in town – Bibi and Chandni. Uff, they are hilarious! Their exchange, as they watched Zenia making a complete hash of her packing, was rib tickling funny. I am particularly enjoying how simple everyday sentences are being skillfully used as comic lines here. Bibi asking Chandni if Zenia was suffering from an angraizi qisam ka daura, and Chandni’s questioning Bibi if Zenia was going to sleep in the ghonsla she was making in her suitcase, were absolutely brilliant lines. Similarly, Bibi telling Zenia that instead of serving her breakfast, kal se daaney daal diya karoongi, tum chug ke na ur jaya karna! And then later, Bibi chiding Serena for being dressed like a qurbani ki gaaye!! Seriously funny stuff this!
Underlying all the fun and games are some very serious issues that remain unresolved. Sania holds a grudge against Zain, Zenia has a tense relationship with her father, and the broken Farhan we see today is a far cry from the strident confident man, we had met years ago. It remains to be seen how all these issues are gradually resolved in the ten remaining episodes, Already, we are beginning to see Zenia slowly opening herself up to the unconditional love and acceptance that Sania, Bibi, and Aani are offering her. The scene where Zenia starts taking her first baby steps in building a relationship with her khala was beautiful.
The final scene, the entry of Shamsuddin Iltutmish aka sheen seen ka pahara aka kishmish aka Qabacha’s son aka Shahroz Sabzwari has to be the funniest scene of the episode; it was literally ROFL funny. Topping off a fantastic episode was what has to be best moment - a grinning Sania turning around to meet her very own Qabacha – Miss Sania aaap??!! What a superb ending!
Yes, clearly I enjoyed this latest installment – the writing, acting, directing all gelled together really well. The superb placement of the lovely OST, beautifully sung by Zoe Viccaji, adds so much to the overall ambiance. Among the actors, Alishba is good as the introverted Zenia, whereas Syra shines as the chirpy extrovert, Serena. I am loving the chemistry between the two sisters. Marina Khan was particularly fantastic in the scene where she was listening to Zara aka Mahirah Khan. Durdana Butt and Kaif Ghaznavi are hilarious together and I love Kaif’s lisp, just a little touch, but it adds so much to her characterization. Badar Khalil, Asif Raza Mir and Qazi Wajid all made their presence felt. The quick glimpse of Shahroz and Behroze Sabzwari has me eagerly waiting for more. Can hardly wait for further adventures of Qabacha & Son – looking forward to the next episode!