Zindagi Gulzar Hai ~ Episode 1 Review

ZGHZindagi Gulzar Hai – THE serial that everybody and their uncle and the said uncle’s pets were looking forward to since right after Humsafar ended. We had expected this to air sometime early summer, but then summer came and went, as did Ramadan and the two Eids, and then Muharram… sigh!!! So yes, there was intezaar and lots and lots of it …

The first look of Zindagi Gulzar Hai – the three promos were barely enough to quell an enthusiasm that had by now built up to a near frenzy. Ashk was supposed to tide us over till Zindagi Gulzar Hai started, but oh well, we all know how dil ke armaan ashkon mein beh gaye, so lets just leave that be… Back to Zindagi Gulzar Hai, every promo was watched at least a hundred times over.

Once Shehr-e Zaat ended, HUM TV’s publicity department went into overdrive – the two OSTs were released one after the other, additional promos, clips, interviews with the cast – yes, the whole shebang – we got the full blast. And this is where HUM TV, in my opinion, got it all wrong. Channel people, we cannot have feast or famine kind of publicity… HUM TV went nutso in the past couple of weeks. Guys, bombarding your viewers with promos every 30 secs does not help, neither does re-repeating the launch show … in fact its the other way around. For the first time EVER I walked away whenever I heard the by now very annoying theme music or the first two notes of the once enjoyable OSTs – zindagi was definitely not gulzar in these past weeks. I never thought I would write this, but I was very put off … the hype was a major turnoff … No matter how much Fawad Khan & Co. tried to convince me otherwise, I was not counting down ghantas to the first episode….

Khair, after much ado the first episode finally aired today…. was it all worth the hype and the wait? Here’s what I thought …

The first episode opened with Kashaf and Zaroon’s soliloquies. The difference in the lead protagonists’ social status was made very clear with Kashaf hand writing her diary in her very humble bedroom, whereas Zaroon was sitting in the lap of luxury while writing his on a Mac. From thereon the scenes alternated between Zaroon and Kashaf, underscoring the differences in their lifestyles and personalities. He’s rich and she’s not; he’s outgoing, pampered, confident, somewhat bored with his life and in search of a challenge, whereas she’s angry, bitter and cynical, ready to give up on life before it has even begun. In terms of families, the difference between them could not be more stark.

Kashaf is a product of a broken home, her mostly absentee father’s remarried and lives with his second wife and their three kids. Kashaf’s mother on the other hand is a very hands-on mother. She’s fully involved in her three daughters’ lives and works hard as a teacher, struggling to make both ends meet. Hence conversations in their household tend to revolve around the harsh realities of life; issues like paying for paani, bijli, the ever increasing mehengai, and problems pertaining to ghar ki maramat, etc, are a part of daily discussions around the dinner table. Zaroon’s household, in stark contrast is very different. Though his parents are together, the two could not be further apart in terms of their views on pretty much everything. They are just poles apart. This difference is in turn reflected in their children’s take on life as well. Sara, the spoilt daughter takes after her mother in every respect and Zaroon presents a perfect case study of a child caught between two opposites, trying to always look for an ideal family set up. He is a product of his surroundings but is looking for something that is as yet elusive… he knows something is missing but doesn’t know what – as yet. The episode ends with Kashaf in the bus, on her way to writing the next chapter in her life.

In terms of a first episode, this was a good beginning  We were introduced to all the characters in quick succession, but without any sense of rushing through. I’m glad the director took her time in establishing the personalities of her characters. We saw Kashaf’s embittered rants juxtaposed against Zaroon’s laid back charming personality. He’s lazily confident of his place in the world and she’s so insecure and unsure. Similarly, the two sets of parents and siblings were contrasted very well.

While I enjoyed the introduction to all the different personalities, I must say that I was disappointed to yet again see the very flat characterization of the rich/upper classes. Time and again we see the rich portrayed in this strange uni-dimensional manner. I so wish our media could approach the issue of class differences in a more nuanced manner. Why the need to reiterate the same stereotype in every drama: rich people, particularly women, are soulless, materialistic, self-serving egoists, whereas the lower middle classes are the repository of all that is held as noble and praiseworthy. I hope that Hina Bayat, Ayesha Omar and Mehreen Raheal’s characters end up being a lot more nuanced than we saw in the first episode.

In terms of actors and acting – Fawad Khan! Yes, lets all just be honest and say that we were waiting for this drama primarily because of him and he definitely did not disappoint as far as acting goes, but I was very hard-pressed to believe that Fawad’s Zaroon was a 22 year old carefree baccha. The conversation between Sir Abrar and Zaroon’s dad, about Zaroon’s awargardi and how he would get sudhro-ed once he started the university, was a bit too much to digest. Similarly Mehreen, and Ayesha Omar too were totally unconvincing as girls in their early twenties. Nothing to do with their acting, but just hard to swallow visually. All of their youthful camaraderie seemed too calculated too be natural and I just could not buy into the college kids routine. Give or take an episode or two, I hope I can forget my misgivings and go with the flow, but at this point, sorry, I’m still recovering from the Ashk induced trauma and the Rohail/Madiha pair is a bit too fresh in my mind.

In sharp contrast, Sanam Saeed rocked as Kashaf. I loved her in Mera Naseeb, then Mata-e Jaan and now this one. I’m so glad that Sanam is selective about what she does and then gives it her all. She is playing the angry and frustrated Kashaf to the hilt. Her scenes with her sisters were very good. I enjoyed seeing Mansha Pasha again. Her character’s pleasant nature a  perfect foil to Sanam’s easily irritable Kashaf. Hina Bayat was lovely as always, but I have a feeling that this role will require more than a special effort on her part to make it even the slightest bit convincing for me. Ayesha Omar was likeable as Sara, and I liked her connection with her older brother, Zaroon. Similarly enjoyed the quick scene between Sara and Farhan, but the dialogues there were way too mature for people who are only in their early twenties. Mehreen was cute and I liked her as Asmara, but again the Ashk-effect…

Above and beyond all, this was Samina Peerzada’s episode. She is just beyond fabulous. This hard working single mother is so different from the wise Durre- Shehwaar, and  the naseehat spouting naani of Shehr-e Zaat. This performance was a master class in acting. I love the way she can change her body language, her physical demeanor, her tone, her look, everything … there was no hint of my beloved naani here, though they said somewhat similar things, but the manner was so different  The scene at the very end, beginning with when she’s wrapping up the sandwich in paper, to when she walks off with her broken chappal in her hand – just excellent!

Of course all this would not be possible without the writer, Umera Ahmed, and the director Sultana Siddiqui. Umera’s story is interesting and the changes and additions add more texture to the original story, but I wish that the dialogues, which are otherwise lovely, could have been tempered to fit the ages of the characters. Since this story is not being told retrospectively, some of the lines seem really weighty. Sultana Siddiqui’s experience was very much on display here, particularly in her narration of Kashaf’s part of the story, and the final sequence was the pick of the episode for me. I also enjoyed the way the diary part was integrated within the body of the story without making it stick out, as it did in the novel. Shehzad Kashmiri’s work once again stood out, and the editing was very smooth, in short all the hallmarks of an MD Productions product were on full display here.

My one request to MD Productions: Please do not give away so much in promos  – there was a lingering sense of déjà vu throughout this episode. That element of anticipation, which is so very important, particularly in the case of an adaptation, was completely missing. Right from the opening scene, we had already seen so many of the snippets. Please, would greatly appreciate it, if somebody could pay attention to this issue.

All said n done, kya zindagi gulzar hai? My answer, yes! I have issues here n there but overall I am hooked and onboard – agla jumma kab aayega?

Written by SZ~

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130 replies

  1. TBH I am watching this for Sanam Saeed and Samina Peerzada. And both of them were magnificent today!

    You are right in pointing the ages of the characters. Its really hard to believe Fawad Khan, Ayesha Omer and Mehreen Raheal to be in their 20s and its not their acting or even if we rule out their looks, its because they are now well established and have acted in roles which are older and mature.

    It was a good episode. I am waiting for the next to see how things unfold.

    And as usual, your review is well written and raises all the valid points. :)

    • @Aeman: Hey! Thanks! glad you enjoyed the review :) yes, I too loved Samina and sanam – wasnt sure if I would want to see Samina yet again, but she is quite brilliant! Looking forward to more conversations :)
      Oh, btw, love your twitter handle – too good!! :D

  2. So it finally started! I think I read the novel 10 mths back when they were shooting it in Karachi- ab tak toh woh bhi bhoolta jaraha tha..
    Can’t say that I was bowled over by the first ep. but the ep did achieve it’s purpose of acquainting us with all the main characters.
    Sanam did very well in her role although I found it rather tiresome (understandably it’s all part of the script – just saying..). Thank God for the more positive sister!
    Fawad was his usual brilliant self – making each scene come alive. I enjoyed the car scene with FK and sis. And yes- I am willing to let go of the age issue- am confident that we will forget about it once things get interesting!
    Samina Peerzada’s last ‘chappal’ scene was super too- such a simple one but so well done.
    Mehreen Raheel was same old same old- I wish she’d do something totally different.
    I’d been looking forward to Zaroon and Kashf’s meeting but I suppose sabr ka phal meetha!

    SZ, thanks for the review yaar- can’t thank you enough for inviting us all over :)

    • Afia: So glad to see you’re on the same page as me – glad that it started, but not going rah rah as yet – I ‘m glad I’m not the only one :) Agreed about the tiresome bit, that’s what I meant when I said the lines were too weighty… and yes, that car scene was fun :) actually scenes were all good, I just wish they’d played around with the ages a bit and done some adjustments there, then I would’ve totally been sold by the first episode, but all said n done — yes! Zindagi is giulzar indeed :)

  3. Spot on review!! Agree with you about Samina Peerzada – she is amazing! although I did see a jhalak of Naani here and there. But when she was wrapping that sandwich it totally reminded me of my mother and how she literally hands us food when we are rushing out the door – such an ammi thing to do :) LOVED IT!!
    Again I enjoyed how NORMAL everyone was – kinda like TNS – there are no weirdo characters who stare at the camera and make weird faces like some of the a&b characters do. Oh yeah Waseem Abbas was annoying. Hope we don’t see him much. He was playing his typical self.
    We have so many 30 year olds that we have watched play college students (Mohib and Amina and Fahad and Faisal Q.) that I don’t mind it that much since their characters will grow in age.
    I really enjoyed Sanam here. I was afraid that her Eng-du accent will shine through here but looks like SS has taught her well ;-) Same cannot be said about Mansha Pasha. I was a bit disappointed by her acting and her accent.
    Aab jummay ka intezaar shru! I hope they start the college part next week and don’t drag it!

    • @Annie, oh I completely forgot about how anoying Waseem Abbas was – it seems like he’s spoutign the same lines as he does in Maya and Mi Raqsam .. the actual dialogue might be different, but he sounds exactly the same – please spare us!!
      Yes, Sanam was fab, and I actually like Mansha here, didn;t notice her accent as much, probably because I was enjoying the welcome break her lines offered from Sanam’s at times too philosophical dialogues :) Can Friday come any quicker?!

  4. SZ and everyone else! yay ZGH is here and I am not getting engaged phewwww ! Agree with you about the Mehreen Raheel and Fawad Khan Ashk effect ughhhhh I am sick of this forced “girl-boy” friendship, it looks fake on screen to be quite honest or maybe I have watched FK and MR enough times together to leave me with any impact whatsoever. BUT I love FK in this more boyish role. I think it suits him well, well it suits him more well then Rohails role. Kind of reminds me of our aloof muju. I am finally glad to see how much maturity has been instilled into a story that just seemed colloquial on paper. Zaroon and Kashaf might have been just some 2D characters and story was quiet rushed, without much depth. The concept of the story itself was fascinating however, Its great to show boys vs girls story, from their perspectives how life unfolds and how each gender reflects their own thoughts on life.

    On screen, Zaroon and Kashaf become people around us, they become us and that is the beauty of ZGH. The editing of the drama was slick, the lighting was great and the direction was up to par and it seemed quite obvious that Sultana Apa had put her soul in the drama. For me, it exceeded my expectations beyond what I set for the first episode so I was pleasantly surprised.
    and for the stereotype evil upper class…*sigh*

    *time to go back to work*

    I am glad zindagi finally gulzar ho hi gai hai !!!

    • you are so right – some of FK’s scenes reminded me of Mujju as well :) I enjoyed that care free attitude.

      • Thank God ke that freaking Rohail wali grumpy shakal to gai. I swear I think he had the same facial expression all throughout Ashk! Khair shukar hai that misery is over and here we have a more happy go lucky Zaroon, who in ways reminds us of the Fawad’s we love: Ashar and Muju!! :D

    • Maria so in agreement with you ke bas bhai bas ab hamari himmat ka mazeed imtihan mat lo and stop casting these two together as the star crossed pair. Honestly, Mehreen deserves better!!

    • Totally agree with you on fawad in more boyish role.. :)
      actually i was so into dialogues that i actually ignored who are delivering those…so now after reading everyone comments, i am thinking i should better observe more :D

  5. What a brilliant start SZ! loved the review because you had penned down everything honestly. FORSOOTH! ZINDAGI GULZAR HAI!!

    The episode turned out to be a great introductory one, we were introduced to the characters in the best way and we were not just bombarded with shots from each household featuring different characters on (mostly) breakfast tables. Today, it seemed like we,as viewers, were given some time to seep into the story. Good job, ZGH team!

    Fawad Khan was fabulous.( do we even have to say that?! ) Asmara and Sarah didn’t surprise me, it seemed like Sarah is the same irritated Khubsoorat from Bulbullay and Asmara is the same girl running around in Turkey.
    Sanam Saeed gave us a gift on ‘her’ birthday. She was perfect as the anguished Kashaf and I really like her a lot here….
    Samina Peerzada was again WONDERFUL as Kashaf’s mother, what a stellar performance. I too loved the sandwich and joota scenes. Breathtaking!

    I agree with you on the age thing, not that they are very old to play these ages but it is that (for Fk) we have seen him as a mature husband in most of his projects so it was a change…hope we’ll get comfortable with that soon:)

    Six more days to go.IA !

  6. Maria’s comment reminded me of the fact that this had the “looks” of a humtv production- if you know what I mean :) Not aware of the technical stuff but it had the clean, crystal clear, true colour feel.
    And a plea to humtv: Please don’t reveal all the good scenes and dialogues of the coming episode- kills the mystery. In fact, I’d be hapy without a preview at all! You had us at hello anyway :)

  7. I liked that car scene too. Actually, the bro-sis relationship was nice, and shown well, how they’re making fun of each other but u can still tell they’re close. And reminds me of me and my brother :) After TNS showing a cute sisters relationship, it’s nice to see another variation on the siblings relationship.

    You’re right, FK definitely doesn’t look like early 20s but besides that he was really good. And I don’t think there’s any other actor who’d be able to do the role as well as him anyway? I was hoping that maybe when they’re shown in uni later, in that setting it’ll be easier to believe… but if not, the age thing doesnt bother me… it’s FK after all :)

    Loved samina (took me a while to write that, predicting thing kept wanting to write stamina) peerzada and sanam saeed and their mother daughter relationship. I liked when kashaf’s sis says kashaf leaves the meat for her mum and the mum leaves it for her :)

    Waiting for next Friday and also looking forward to tomorrow now :)
    We get an overdose on the weekend but there doesn’t seem to be any good dramas during the week…

    • A: So glad you decided to leave your inhibitions behind once and for all and join the gang :) True that, I agree with you completely on Fawad and that we’ll grow to accept him in an episode or two … also I think its a weird kinda shock to see him as the carefree kid when we just saw him as the nincompoop Rohail, who couldn’t choose between Madiha and Zebu, bit loser options if you ask me!
      LOL@ stamina! but yes what a classy actress Samina is – love her here! :)

    • @AM: car scene se mujhe yaad aya, unki ama ji is so liberal, yet does not let her daughter drive around?? gimme a break! i was getting sick of her saying she needs a ride! You’ve got 2 working legs? well then use em. :)

  8. Thanks for the review SZ , you always give me food for thought. I was in a bit of a Fawad induced haze for a little while but Kashaf snapped me out of it :)Sanam Saeed was good and looked really nice ,much better than that dreadful launch show look UUUgh. She could be the most annoying heroine ever but at this point I really like her character. Fawad looks really good, yes @Maria he does remind me of Muju but a lot more refined. I don’t think he comes across as a spoiled brat …..yet, he seems pretty respectful of his father and “uncle” and takes care of his annoying sister.I loved that typical male line about women ruining his plans all the time. Kashaf’s dialogues do sound too old for a a girl in her early twenties . There is a weariness about them that is unreal on such a young woman,but Sanam managed to carry them off well. I really liked it as a first episode but that scene with Sheheryaar ,Fawad and Mehreen Raheel where they are supposed to be “cool college kids” riffing off of each other was so contrived. Please someone , send the marines help poor Mehreen Raheel out of this rut. she is a talented , beautiful woman why does she do this?

    • Sadaf, hey! LOL@ sending the marines to rescue Mehreen! so true! enough already! Shes so prety and quite talented, dont know why she ends up always beig the bridesmaid and never the bride .. I hope she starts getting some good roles soon!

    • Always a treat reading your reviews/comments Sadaf.
      Lol at your “Fawad induced haze”- yaar, I was in one of those when the bell rang and we got guests (who were totally oblivious of the importance of that hour :)

  9. Whoa! finally it started. i don’t know for how long i have been waiting for this drama to start. i think first episode went really well though it was not what i was expecting but it was also not a disappointment. It was good the way all the characters were portrayed so we could really understand them for who they are and why they are this way especially for all those out there who have not read the novel. and yeah i would agree here with others that relationship of MR and FK is getting really old now. The age factor didn’t really bother me much and come on i am sure not a real 20 year old guy or a girl could do justice with these characters and i think after watching couple of episodes we’d warm up to them. all in all today’s episode was a success, and i loved the scene where fawwad was teasing ayesha in the car, they were bantering like real siblings. Samina peerzada was phenomenal as always. sanam rocked the character of kashaf and i hope it remains the same in upcoming episodes. cant wait for next Friday….
    and Mr or Miss SZ whoever you are, this is the first time i have read your review and it was really up to the mark so thank you and keep it up….

    • Hey Farah! Welcome! Glad to hear from you – thanks for reading and enjoying my review – much appreciated! Agree with you on all counts, and I guess we all need an episode or so to get onto the Zaroon bandwagon fully .. but yeah overall a great start! I hope you’ll continue joining us in our weekly conversations as we discuss and debate every aspect of this serial :)

    • @Farah: Agreed, no 20 year old would do justice so Zaroon ko 25 bana detay! :) In any case I’d rather watch FK play the 20 year old rather then, Faisal Qureshi, Fahad Mustafa, or some such! so not complaining there! :)

      • yep! totally agree with you here ash. its better to watch FK playing 20/22 yr old rather then others. I think all this craziness for ZGH is mainly because of him, story is no doubt really good but still if it was someone else playing character of zaroon, we wouldn’t have given this drama another thought or may be we would. you never know! magar phir bhi FK is a core ingredient of this drama.

  10. Thank you SZ ..great review!!we actually passed the test of not talking about it for two weeeks…yay!!So I was also not counting the ghantay…I went to the mall instead with my baby haha…couldn’t deal with this crazy hype everytime I logged on to fb…uff didn’t they learn the lesson from last time but they were still at it all week. When I did watch it aramsey really enjoyed it a lot actually. Loved the back and forth scenes comparing and contrasting both leads, the scenes were short and crisp and well directed. Yes loved kashaf, she was brilliant. @ Sadaf I think she has justifications for how she is, the oldest child is always the one who has seen everything and with her she has seen her father remarry and not care about them and her mother struggling, so she has turned out bitter and not very optimistic.
    I think Fk was great too, loved the attitude! I’m sorry hb was another mehrunnisa, no change there and mehreen was another madiha, its like there’s parts of other dramas being submerged here, they really do need to change it up for their next blockbuster…its like dejavu. Ashky for sure SZ!!
    Agree with all of you samina was awesome, she is just fab in any character…really loved her wrapping the toast in paper…such a Mom thing!!
    Well looking forward to next week, looks like it will o.ly get better from here!

    • @SK: LOL!! indeed yay for us!!! was hard but stayed firm ;) but those promos were really annoying every time I turned on the HUM tv stream … hopefully they’ll learn!!
      Agree with all and said so too Hina was just too same and stereotyped at least with Mehrunnissa there was hope of redemption, but doesnt seem like it here :( Yes, FK was great just hearing him talk about grades and As was a bit too OTT!! :) Yes, seems like its all good from here on – fingers crossed !!

  11. This was just an ok epi for me. I know this is the 1st epi so it might get better, Atleast I’m hoping it will. It had the entire cast of MeJ & Humsafar & all the other Hum tv regulars. The alternating scenes between Kashaf & Zaroon reminded me of the 1st epi of DeS , which alternated with DeSs & Shandana household.

    • @Afsheen: uh oh – i am now skeptical about watching it. Seeing similar faces around on the tv screen all the time can get annoying.

      Hoping to like it.. =\

    • @Afsheen: Thanks for readign and commenting! Here’s to hoping that zindagi does indeed get gulzar from next week on! I agree with you about the sameness in terms of actors, acting, story telling etc… I think most of these problems arise from addressing similar sorts of subjects (ghar, biwi, shohar, bacche, shaadi, etc) and then the same group of A-list actors to pick from. I really think Hum should lead the way and try to break new grounds and tackle different subjects and find new ways of telling these new stories…
      Hope to hear from you regularly now, would love to continue reading your thoughts on ZGH and see if it manages to win you over or not :)

  12. Although i was not that excited to watch the first episode as i was 2 weeks before but when it started i enjoyed it a lot especially Fawad and Sanam scenes. Fawad is looking so cute and refreshing as Zaroon after the nightmare Ashk :P Have no issues regarding age. As everyone said it will b settle down in a week or so. Here about Fawad khan it is more the effect of previous mature characters that he played Humsafar and Ashk. In Dastaan he was playing engineering student and was believable. In our dramas our heroes play college/uni students even in their 40z tu why not Fk ;)
    I was laughing on Zaroon- Sarah scenes as my brother always reacted like that whenever he has to drop me somewhere.

    Madiha is so fresh in our minds that asmara didn’t grow on me at all and i think it’ll take a long time. Samina perzada is fabulous as always. The last scene was too good.

    The difference between boys and girls thoughts about each other and life perspective shown through our leads is quite interesting. Waiting for next episode and beginning of uni sequence :)

    SZ your review is fantastic as always. You have done a wonderful analysis of characters. But SZ how much excited we were for this this na and here what i missed the most is SZ’s dil se kia hva review. I know all this ZGH intezar annoyed us to hell and kill all the excitemet pr as it begins tu bs ab sb gulzar hi hona chahie na :D

    • LOL @ hoorean: you caught my grumpines!! ;) I just needed to get all the annoyance out of my system once and for all! Now that all is worked out, IA, from next week all should be gulzar… waisey this was also mere irritated dil ki awaz ;)

      • Hehehe loved your irritated dil ki awaz and now from next week hopefully we’ll have a gulzar gulzar review :D I was also very irritated but now after first episode it is all gone.

  13. Thank you Zindagi Gulzar Hai, for finally starting! :) and thanks SZ for a very spot on review! Agree with everything.

    It was a good first episode but not the best. To be honest, most of Zaroon and the elite scenes were quite annoying. I mean har dramay mai asay stories kyun hotin hain about the rich people. Do they have not have any other musrifiyat in their lives??

    Zaroon should have played at least a 25-26 year old. 22 is just way too young for him or well he could have changed his look a bit. Oh well hopefully it becomes more believable in the forthcoming episodes. Nonetheless, he still is as HOT as ever!! :*

    But seriously what kind of mother is Ghazala [played by Hina Bayat] I swear I ve never seen a mother speak about her kids in this way. I mean fine har koi liberal hota hai but she’s on another level of liberal.
    Hina Bayat as great as she is , really reminds me of Mehru [Shehrzaat] , the very careless, all about her social events type of mother all over again. Oh wait there was a slight difference; her hair instead of hanging in the back are now moved to the side.. yippie!
    But I guess the credit [or not] would go to the writer who writes these characters, sab “same to same.”

    What I loved about this episode were all of Sanam Saeed, Rushna and Samina Peerzada scenes! New faces [well except SP but she's SO good and different in all her characters ke its amazing!], and amazing on screen chemistry!!
    Their scenes were like a Take 5 candy bar; Sweet, and salty both at the same time! Bechari Kashaf ko itni complaints hai ke had nahi, loved Sidra’s [Rushna] line about “Allah ko engage kya wah hai” Seriously dude, we are all waiting in line, phone band karo!
    Harsh, but most of her dialogues were very true, and I guess so were most her rants, i mean she’s been through lots of hardships and after going through so much a person usually just ends up giving up. But she has such a strong, hardworking, selfless mother who sets a great example for her. The mother-daughter love and care for each other was something I have not witnessed much on tv so it was truly heartwarming to watch. Hopefully Kashaf becomes less bitter, but the promos don’t look too promising when it comes to that.

    As for the rest of the cast, well they were okay, new faces and all but Mehreen Raheal for the love of God, venture out and try some new things. Aren’t you bored of playing the same role over and over again, cause we sure are bored of seeing it!

    So all in all for me this was, well a little under par but still passable! Too soon to judge so i will be looking forward to the next 23 Fridays’ with lots of excitement! :)
    at least Fridays to Gulzar honge na!

  14. Okay nice article SZ ….. Really nice writing …….. :D
    About Zindagi Gulzar Hai’s first episode it was dame awesome ……… amazing superb every one did awesome even they gave more than 100% of them … It’s an amazing start …. :D
    Fawad Khan and is gang 3333 Okay lemme say some thing about the age we all know that they are not in 20’s but it’s a show and and they ‘re actors they have to play what they get … If Fawad Khan can do Asher’s character then why not Zaroon……GUYS Plzzzz stopppp talking about this thing ……………… plz they ‘re really doing good so it’s better to concertatre on it…. :D
    Sanam as Kashaf Superb <333333333 Love the way she talks <3333 amazing lady<3 Samina comment-able actress 3

    Zindagi Gulzar Hai <3333333

  15. I agree with everyone. The long wait did spoil the fun. I think they could have easily missed mentioning FK’s age. If they would have done that it would have caused less ripples. Hina Bayat reminded me of Mehrunnissa too. She MUST change the sort of roles she does. Samina though a fantastic actress also is doing the same kind of roles. I was thinking it would have been interesting if Samina would have done Hina’s role and been the socialite mom, and HB should have done the role of the suffering mother of Kashaf. Atleast they would have tried their hands at something totally different. It would have been interesting to see HB in a white chaddar, without the stylish make up and hair styles. Same problem with Ayesha Umer and MR. Same roles and same get up.
    I actually like Mansha Pasha as Sidra. She has done complete justice to her role. She has completely changed her style. Rushna was sooo different ( amusing how she is still remembered as Rushna) and so is Nisha in ‘ Madiha Maliha’. Sans make up with simple clothes the three sisters look so true to thier characters. Sidra’s sweet disposition is very nicely portrayed by Mansha and I really liked her in this very different role.
    Sanam Saeed rocks. Her frustrations, anger, bitterness and insecurities are very evident and she has done complete justice to her role.
    Sultana siddiqui deserves a big pat on her back. I thinks she is an excellent director and she has not lost her touch at all.
    Yes Agreed. Zindagi Gulzar hay.

    • @Yfaiz: HI!, Totally agree about the role swap, now that would be something different and i would actually love to see HB playing the middle class struggling mother as compared to the same old Miss rich social events mom.

  16. Hi SK

    Loved ur reviews of shehr-e-zaat. You write very compassionately.

    I am a fan from India and my first pak show of recent times ( not discounting the evergreen favs-Dhoop kinare and Tanhaiyan) was Humsafar. Thereafter, thru FB, got to know abt Mahira K’s SEZ, a play that I enjoyed for its underlying premise and coz it was a different kind of show that Mahira did after HS. Again thru FB, got to know about ZGH which i am watching for Fawad K.

    Here are my two bits after watching Epi 1:

    1. The girl playing Kashaf is gonna eat Fawad K in this show.She has a very strong screen presence and completely owned Epi 1. I also think the director is a tad more empathetic/compassionate to her female lead and it shows in the manner in which she has been sketched and projected on screen. I found Fawad K to be a bit repetitive. His mannerisms, body language reminds me of Ashar and he also doesnt come across as a college going guy. Maybe its the look and feel of the show which is very similar to Humsafar, or it could just be the fact that most actors in this show are common to HS and SEZ, but as of now I am looking forward to getting to know Kashaf much more than Zaroon who came off a bit dull.

    2. Enjoyed the way K and Z’s different outlooks to life were brought out. However, i didnt understand Z and his friends equation. So is that girl ( dunno name) his GF or a friend?

    3. The lady playing Kashaf’s mom is an awesome actress. She was great in SEZ and wonderful in this episode.

    The show looks promising and even though i do not know the story, the first episode has set a nice tone. Looking forward to next Friday.

    ciao

    • @Indepgal: Welcome! Nice to see people here from different corners of the world! :) I think you will have a good time enjoying all the crazy drama discussions here.
      Loved reading your detailed comment. You make some very good points. Lets see what the future episodes bring us.

      To answer your question, Asmara [the girl's name you couldn't remember] is just his friend but i am sure she wants to be more..lol
      I doubt Kashaf will eat up poor Fawad K, because if you have seen the OST, they have a lot of great scenes together, so looking fwd to those :)

      Dont forget to try out the new Coke Kahani and Tanhaiyan Naye Sinsilay. I think they will not disappoint! : )

    • The lady playing Sanam’s Mother is one of the best actresses of Pakistani dramas Samina Peerzada.. As to Sanam Outshining Fawad, well i may be biased but not in this Universe :) .How ever I think she was excellent in this episode

    • Hey Indepgal :) Welcome! Great to have you onboard and would love to hear more from you as our eyes and ears from across the border :) Loved reading your comment and you are absolutely right about this being a woman-centered story. The writer , Umera Ahmed, the same one who wrote SeZ, is known for her women-centered social stories, and this is the going trend in our tv serials as well. I do enjoy these dramas, but do wish that there is now a gradual return to the trend of showing both protagonists on equal terms. I agree with you that Sanam/Kashaf did take the honors in the first ep., but I think it will end up being an equal sum game, with both matching each other step for step. Lets see … in the meanwhile, I hope to see you as a regular here and continue sharing your views :) And yes, as @Ash mentioned, do check out Coke Kahani and Tanhaiyan Naye Silsilay.. would love to know your thoughts on those :)

  17. With the start of new series, where some pleasant changes are to be seen, some beautiful unchanged things are there to make this serial more interesting.. yes its your reviews SZ… :) Great opening review and i am so looking forward to next 23 or so excellent reviews..Bring it on!!

    As soon as i pressed the ‘play’, i had that huge smile on my face..starting scene was no doubt a classic one… showing contrast between two in everything from diary to laptop, from voice modulation to expressions, everything was great. Dinning table scene of both the families was really entertaining to see, i actually enjoyed and wanted to have the meal the families were having :D

    Zaroon and Sara make such great siblings, after Junaid-Maleeha of Daam, i am so liking these both.. conversation in car was too good.. Fawad Khan.. as they say naam he kafi hai. an effortless actor and Ayesha Omar was actually like able.. well at least in first episode, I found her good in terms of acting.. Only thing that was bit problematic for me was that fluent English Fawad was using.. its not that I couldn’t understand but man you talk so fast :D which of course he can’t help it!

    The scene between Sir Abrar, Junaid and Zaroon was fun to watch.. Behroz and Fawad have some chemistry i must say.. in contrast to scene between Zaroon,Asmara and Osama was big no for me.. i guess Mehreen’s acting will slowly turn on me :)

    Coming to my favorite Sanam Saeed.. and yes she nailed it again. loved her portrayal of Kashaf, just what i imagined reading her. Sameena Peerzada.. was amazingly great.. matlab everytime i was watching her, it was like yar she is actually what we call The Actor.. Waseem Abbas was good too.

    Scene between Kashaf and Sidra were beautiful, Mansha Pasha brings some pleasant energy and smiles too :) I liked how in almost every scene of Kashaf’s family, Tea was must.. hehe chai ko dekh dekh kar, i too immediately went to make chai for me. though i don’t like chai :D Ending scene was emotional.. waqai which daughter will have strength to see her mommy like this..:(

    Ab toh Friday’s ka intezar he rahe ga :D and Zindagi is definitely Gulzar (Alhamdulillah)..

  18. what is it with all this Elite class/Middle class controversy? I have noticed this in a lot of Pakistani dramas but lately Umera Ahmed is the most obvious offender, Not all rich girls are uncaring,spoiled witches ruining peoples lives and not all so called middle class girls are so seedhi sadhi. Even in Kahi Unkahi which is( a good drama) this stereotype is being reinforced. In real life I have actually seen the reverse.People from a less well to do background can be very cheap and vulgar in their behaviour and those from wealthy backgrounds strive to maintain good manners and morals. One of the reasons I like Yahan Pyar Nahin Hai was that the modern lady docter was the one expected to be the villain but in fact it turned out to the middle class cousin of the heroine who was the “villain”.
    So in ZGH all the wealthy women Asmara, Sara and zaroon’s mother are uncaring , spoiled witches but Kashaf et al vahe no vices…

    • completely agree with you Sadaf! I think UA does it all the time in her stories. I guess it makes for an easy narrative?? it is much harder to write grey characters a la Jal Pari

      • @Annie and Sadaf: agreed and said as much above in my review as well … @Sadaf, YPNH was a different kettle of fish … I had mentioned the issues there in my reviews of YPNH…. and we discussed all that on that thread on DP … there was a huge problem there about pushing a dichotomy between the educated i.e the modern woman vs the uneducated one i.e the gharelu aurat. In the case of the two cousins. The gharelu aurat did win in the end if you remember .. these are huge issues that are being continuously reinforced in our dramas and yes Umera is equally, if not more so implicated.
        @Annie, its not just about narratives and dramas, unfortunately these are the values that are so slowly becoming a part of the society at large and writers are nothing if not products of their environments. If you read the comments, reflecting the mindset of the aam junta, you will see similar comments about modernity, elite classes etc …

        • Yes you are right Sz I see it in the comments sections all the time but I think our writers need to move forward from these old tropes .Some of them have .

        • very true ladies. A lot of the comments are so surprising and jaw dropping because they reinforce the same mindset – rich = trashy ; poor/middle class = pious.

  19. Hi everyone! SZ sent me this review of hers for ZGH and I thought I must appreciate her well-written reviews and everyone’s feedback! Hope you all keep watching the show and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed being a part of it.

    Love and prayers,

    Sidra (Mansha Pasha)

    • Hey Mansha!! Thanks for visiting and commenting :) Do keep following and reading .. we all remember you very fondly as Rushna and the nameless bhabhi from Humsafar :) Looking forward to seeing how Sidra does in ZGH :)

    • Mansha you were absolutely FAB in SeZ!! You will have to come to the blog some time and tell us exactly what a Line Producer does :-) Would love to read all about it!! Unfortunately on the morning shows we don’t get to hear the backend/technical aspects of drama making. Most of us love hearing those insights. Thanks1

      • Mansha: So good to see you here! Loved you in Shehrezaat and really looking forward to your very positive character in ZGH!
        Hopefully you see in a lead role soon! :)

        With @Annie would love to find out more about what line producer does

      • I am a big fan of yours, Mansha. I love the way you change your look and your personality with the role. You were lovely in SeZ as Rushna,casual and classy. In Madiha Maliha (I don’t like the story or the script) but I think you again look well dressed and smart as per your role and you have acted so well that actually many times you look frighteningly evil in some scenes :) But a perfect ‘Nisha’… and now I love you as ‘Sidra’. You look soooo different from your other roles but you are perfect in the role of the positive smiling sis. You are a very good addition to our actresses and I wish you every success.
        Please keep this up and don’t make the same mistakes that some of the actresses have done, doing the same roles. Are you coming as a lead in any upcoming drama??

  20. Thank you SZ for an honest, unbiased review as always! And thank you All for your very honest comments! I couldn’t agree more with you about the shades of Mehrunissa you are seeing in Ghazala – to be honest with you, that was my biggest concern (and my reason for refusing the part initially) but as it was Sultana apa’s directorial comeback, this one was for her :) Having said that, Ghazala is not really as significant a character as Mehrunissa was in SeZ so you won’t have to bear with her much :) This story is really about Kashf and. Zaroon and if there is any other strong, significant character it is Kashf’s mother played brilliantly by Samina Peerzada. I too would have loved to do that role but watching Samina apa in it is sheer pleasure for me too. But here are a few points for all of you to ponder : It is interesting for me to see everyone reacting to the “ages” of actors playing college students but what about 30 something actors playing children to 40 somethings? Actors get accused of playing similar characters in different plays but shouldn’t producers and directors be questioned about this typecasting? Again, actors bear the brunt of portraying cliches (class difference / stereotypes) but shouldn’t writers be responsible for that? Annie mentioned Jalpari in this regard and I agree that rarely do we get such strong scripts with such interesting characters. Fortunately I’ve had that chance with Jalpari, Mata e Jaan, Tum Ho Keh Chup, Dareecha and now, giving you a heads up – watch out for “Talkhiyaan” and “Hisaar e Mohabbat” :) For Mehrean and Ayesha, I hope they get that opportunity too – but for now just enjoy ZGH for Kashf and Zaroon! Happy viewing :)

    • Hi Hina,

      Its great to hear from you. Each character you do is still quite wonderful but I am going to be quiet honest, I really feel sorry for you, Javaid uncle and Mehreen Raheel and even to some extent Sanam Saeed because you guys are being typecast in almost all HumTV dramas. I am sure you guys are sick of this typecasting as we the viewers are. And I don’t think we can blame the actors on stereotyping of characters and the story itself. I think a little bit of this responsibility also hold for the art and costume department as well and you are right, the producers and directors need to open their eyes as well. But Hina long are days gone when we use to have amazing writers that had seen much more in life. Now the problem is that every other drama (say 99%) of them are being written by digest writers whose main audience are middle lower class women and what better way to depict or entertain women than old age stereotypes, the evil upper class, the massoom bhooli bhali larki etc. then lets multiply all these digest writers with number of TV channels and prime time drama spots and tada, you have a perfect recipe for recyclable crap. Yes Umera is a great writer, infect she has great concepts and dialogues but on screen and during the visualization of her stories, it always seems like our society is at class war with each other. Life isn’t as extreme as our writers are making too many black and white characters that are hard to swallow and relate to any point. I am loving you in ANC by the way: D

      • ANC se yaad aaya- I wish SZ you were watching/reviewing that! Mazaydaar! And yes, Hina is super in that. Last night my girls were wondering why she’s getting the work done by the two sisters and looking so stern :) great fun! Love the way Haissam/Faiza adapt old stories to fit anew.

        • I know!!! I would have loved to read SZ’s comments on Meesha and gang. They are another hilarious bunch.

    • @Hina: Hi! Lovely as always to hear from you and get your detailed feedback :) Thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts, and agree with you 100% about about looking beyond the actors to the directors/directors/writers etc … its is all a chain and yes, we all do tend to target the actors in our comments b/c they are the people we see on our TV screens – thank you for explaining it from a actor’s perspective! Please keep visiting and offering more of your insights… I know I am learning a lot from you about the behind the scenes workings of the TV industry and I look forward to hearing more from you as ZGH progresses… and now also looking forward to Talkhiyan and Hissar-e Mohabbat – thanks for the heads-up!! :)

    • Good to hear from you Hina (once again after SeZ)! I agree with you that it must be tough playing mom to 30 somethings or 40 somethings. I am sure you really had to get into a different frame of mind to play mum to Humayun Saeed who is probably a few years younger than you :-D
      Like Afia said loving you in Cinderella!

  21. Remember when Sir Abrar and Zaroon were talking? Zaroon was about to do MBA. MBA at 22! Seriously?
    Why could they not stick to what they were studying in the novel?

    Why do all the characters (in dramas) have to have an MBA?

      • I don’t remember. But it was not MBA as they went into government jobs and all. I am talking about MBA not MA

        before you go for your MBA you must have an undergraduate degree and work experience of some years. So being 22 and doing MBA is hilarious to me. People are usually in their final year of BBA at this time.

        • that’s interesting Hina. Most of my cousins who went for MBA were 22 and they had some work experience during their undergrad years but they got into an MBA program once they finished their Bachelors.

  22. Not necessarily, bachelors is for four years which is now a compulsion even for MA now in many universities so if you join your bachelors at 18 by 22 you can easily be in MBA .Work experience is not a necessity in most of the universities only Lums and i guess IBA have this compulsion.In GCU,Karachi University, Punjab university ,Fast,Nust you can straight away get accepted at MBA program.

  23. I think same Ash. I believe they were getting their masters in Political science. There is something called CSS officers in Pakistan and both Z and K wanted to go that route. In fact Z wanted to go into foreign services because uss job mein according to him aish hi aish. (the resident Pakistanis would be familiar with how someone becomes a CSS officer besides doing sifarish)

    • @Annie: As far as I know CSS is a exam and a very tough one. There are many stages, written exam and interview etc etc and you have to clear all but most of the students cant even pass their written exam, let alone the interview and all the other things, but yeah those who do, get a damn good job and by damn good i mean really really really damn good, and we all know what kind of posts kashaf and zaroon had in novel. Those were pretty awesome jobs:-) OK i have bored you enough so i am gonna shut up now and hide before you decide to find and hurt me for this:-p

        • @SZ: oh don’t you worry! I’ll definitely keep them coming and i already wrote my views about first episode but still if u wanna hear me rant again or to be more specific read my rant again then I’m all for it. i really liked the episode but it was very different from what i had in my mind after reading the novel, anyhow, i think changes are needed to be made to make the situation more real or more believing since novel and drama are entirely different things, and the way scenes were alternated to point out the differences between both the upper and lower class was very convincing but all these serious things didn’t make it dry in fact sibling banter of sara and zaroon put good humor in it. so for me it was a good start and now when i think about it i guess it was a much needed episode before the start of their college life or start of actual story to really grasp the idea of their social backgrounds.

          • @Farah: hehe thanks for re-commenting! My bad… slipped my mind that we had already discussed the ep before — oops! ab promise never to make you re-type again :) Yes, agree ke it was a good introduction before the story begins on Fri …

            @Annie: LOL! So true about digests showing a CSS officers as good husband materials … but it is also true that it is one of those careers which can change your life almost overnight .. at least that’s how it used to be … @Farah, do you know if its still the same or has corruption taken over that field as well?

            • @SZ: lol! i didn’t mind re commenting but yeah if this happened again than you and i would need to have a serious talk (hahaha… kidding) as for your question i guess Hina answered it pretty well. Don’t know if there is anything left which has yet to be corrupted. But life does change overnight if you get such prestigious job. i remember few weeks back i attended a seminar on CSS and a very well reputed person of our government was there as a speaker who painted a pretty nice picture of how to get in, so, there might still be a chance. You never know……

      • @Farah – thanks much for explaining what CSS is – so it is an exam you have to pass got it! I just remember from so many numerous khwateen digest stories that if you wanted to show husband material the writers talked about the guy being a CSS officer lol

        and thanks for pointing out that they were doing MA in IR. Wonder why they changed it to MBA unless they are going to show in the drama that the two don’t go on to become CSS officers. Hmm..let’s see dramay mein kya hai :)

        • @Annie: may be they changed it to MBA because its more common these days but whatever the reason is keep watching with your fingers crossed and all mysteries will unfold.

          • Well they should do common se hat ke – would love to see people in other fields and careers like in SEZ for the first time we saw art students, it was nice and different! :)

          • I am curious now to see what career they pick for Kashaf as being a CSS officer was a pretty big part of the novel. :-) Looking forward to it!

  24. yes i am soo agree with all your review, can’t digest, aysha omar and her mungater at all…can’t take javed sheikh on the screen any more, and yes last scene make me suffocate when mother and daugher was walking on the street…so real

    • @akhtar Khan: Welcome! good to hear from you. Arrey, itne bhi buray nahin hain sab ! I like Javed Shakh a lot! I just wish there was a break in between their TV appearances :)

  25. Thanks everyone for understanding the ‘actors’ perspective :) but since the whole debate on CSS is on this actor who almost went into the civil service many years ago can offer you some insight – a very prestigious service that provides officers to all govt depts like police, district management, foreign service, customs etc is entered through a series of exams and interviews and then a years training at the civil service academy. But unfortunately like most other govt related areas this too has become heavily politicised and nepotism and corruption have damaged this institution as well. I remember my idealism was given a serious reality check by uncles and relatives in the service who warned me of the perils of being a woman and an honest officer in the service now! In hindsight perhaps it was a good thing I opted out otherwise drama would never have become my calling :) On that note those of you who are watching and enjoy Cinderella – it was great fun for me as an actor – who doesn’t love fairytales and that too set in a period piece of 1930’s – 40’s? ;)

    • thank you Hina! you are a complete sweetheart for coming back and commenting on our random thoughts on CSS officers. I am guessing the office held a lot of prestige during the 70s and early 80s before corruption started running rampant. We are glad you didn’t turn into a Kashaf otherwise we would have missed your wonderful hosting and acting.
      We all get to learn so much from all the people who visit SZ’s blog :)

    • Hina, thanks for being so fabulous and joining in our conversations :) Thoroughly enjoying reading your insights. Please continue visiting and sharing, as you see we clearly have a lot of questions, not just about dramas but about life and times in Pakistan as well!
      And yes, echoing @Annie, glad that we got you rather than the Pakistan Civil Service – trust me, we appreciate you more!

  26. @Farah: LOL! Nope not gonna happen again! ;) So are you planning on joining Ms. Kashaf and Mr. Zaroon and trying out for the CSS?

  27. @All: I have a question: where do they mention that these “kids” are going for an MBA? I went through the episode again and couldn’t find any mention :/

  28. CSS is just an exam and all you need is to be in certain age limitation and a bachelors degree….even falak (SEZ) can write it.

    The scenes in the novel were more about economics and International Relations so they are might be/could be in MBA classes but since the novel was written in late nineties to its highly unlikely UA had em in MBA classes and put em in some masters class. I think IBA was at the top at that time. (not sure though).

    As for the drama, I like it as i loved the novel…since its not some nasty sister-to-sister sabotaging and scheming. it projects all the uncalled little calamities and our frequent usual condemnations where we resist all the blessings and whine about what other posses and we don’t.

    its provides a wonderful juxtaposing experience to its viewers to not only thank Allah SWT what they have, but also how small little problems turn into a giant tyrant that takes away all our humanity and leaves us bitter, ungrateful and pitiful.

    • @Zaib: Hi! Good to hear from you. Thank you for adding to our conversation about CSS officers :) So true about ZGH offering a change from the usual routine that we see in a majority of our dramas. I enjoyed reading the way you’ve explained the underlying concept of the story. Do continue reading and commenting – looking forward to reading more of your insights as we go along. :)

      • Pleasure is all mine. :)
        and I am looking forward to read more of your reviews.

        ps. I always wanted to make a movie of this novel or may be a graphic movie, cuz I find it really cute. :D

    • good explanation of the premise Zaib. I think it will be more fleshed out in the drama (or I hope) as I found the ‘novel’ itself to be quite dull and boring.

      • It was my first intro to Khawateen digest. My cousin introduced me to Khawateen digest through this novel, so ZGH holds a very special place in my life. (now i barely get any chance to read urdu pieces….sighhh)

        I personally don’t know when ZGH was published, but I read it around 1999 when i was in my early teens or may be even before that. (lol…my dad didnt like the idea of me holding khawateen digest). I remember when i was Meri Zaat Zera Bayneshan my elder brother was telling to the other sibling Khawateen digest’s usual plots and it was really hard for me to digest since i didnt find anything what he suggested.

        In order to like ZGH or anyother khwateen digest story you have to put yourself in those women shoes for whom these stories are meant for (and that percentage is quite large). Even though i started reading em pretty early but looking back I conjecture that women if you are/were living in karachi (because of if unstable political conditions) or in suburbia, you have less access and resources to activities that helps you maintain healthy lifestyle. At that time when there was no cell phones (only land-lines), and only having excess to 2 channels (PTV and PTV-2 which only teaches how to put thread in a needle) or 3 if you are in KHI, and having no extra-curricular activities, these khwateen digests were and still are the best and cheap way to escape reality.

        Even if dont consider these underlying causes, a story where women makes her exterior so strong that people around you start looking up to you, is just WoW!

        • Hey Zaib interesting point to put ourselves in there shoes ,well i started reading digest because of Umera Ahmed because my mom was insistent that i should read her stories ,i was really impressed as i never expected a digest writer to write like that. I read some others writers especially after that that my mother really liked Huma Kaukab Bokahari , Farhat Ishtiaq, Iniza Saeed rest were all hits and misses. Fiaza has a nice way of telling stories too i read some of hers’s but some are good some ok but many writers imagination are quiet a stretch,the stories are very hyper emotional,lame humor and the feudal lord stories. Many stories begin with a shadi scene cheerful heroine mehndi ki rasm ,or wedding night disaster,hero koi bomb pohr day,and zalim saas gaoon ki hassena.There is so much repetition in the stories that apart for a few writers it is very difficult to read others and this is the very reason i gave up.Now i only read if Umera Farhat or Ineza decides to write . In between @ SZ i finished Frahat’s Bin roye anso lately ,lets see if we have a play on that too . Same saga of sisters on evil one good ,on the bright side we also have one evil brother one good brother ;) but yes Farahat style keeps you very involved you hardly ever get bored.

          • arghh i did mix up “jo bachay hain sang sameet lo’ with ‘bin roye anso’ .Next i will be mixing up the name of the main characters :/

          • @Zaib I can totally relate to the “teen memory” and holding a special place in your heart for ZGH. For me, I still remember the first novel I read was by Aneeza Syed and I read that story countless times because it was a good story with just a hint of romance. But it’s very true that for women whose daily chores include taking care of husband, in-laws and bachay with no vacations or outside activities, it is a great means of escape. I remember I was so horrified to find out that my SILs didn’t get to pick and see their wedding outfits or get a honeymoon type break from the in-laws lol

            @Javeria – good to see you mention Aneeza Syed. She was an awesome writer. I don’t think she writes anymore, does she? I mainly read her stories because they weren’t typical. Last time I read Khwateen was when Peer-e-Kamil was being published. I skipped through bin roye aanso and it was quite boring.

            • @ Annie yes Aniza does takes long brakes from writing but currently she is writing ‘kooh-e-giran the hum’ Khawateen. It’s a different story like her usual writing style mostly dealing with the theme of Sufism.

            • @Javeria – Oh wow I did not know she was writing again!! I had waited for her to write for the longest time and finally gave up on it. I’ll have to check it out now – thanks so much :)

    • LOL! Farah, all a conspiracy against you! Naah, you type in the smiley faces and they appear after you post the comment :) .

  29. @Javeria: LOL! I do that all the time .. mixing names etc. They seriously need to have shorter and easier to remember names :) I haven’t read Jo Bache Hain Sang … I was waiting for it to finish and now that it has might sit down one of these days and read it … and yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if this too will go the drama route…

    @Zaib: yes, indeed these digest stories are aimed at a very different audience, hence when changes are made to the novel for dramatizing purposes, the readers protest, as we saw in the case of SeZ and even in MeJ. But that said, I do wish that we were done with making dramas from novels. These writers are talented enough to write original scripts that are written for a broader more cosmopolitan audience, rather than making changes to preexisting story line and then having the wars of the kind we saw with SeZ…
    Btw, you can now read all these digests online if you were so minded :) I used to read them in Khi too, and then read them online as well, but now I find the same formulaic plots, as @Javeria pointed out, very tedious … :/

    Would love to hear what others think about the whole adapting novels to dramas business and the issue of digest writers churning out the same stories again n again …

  30. @ javeria…agree with everything except for Farhat Istiaq bit. she is good, and so her plots but her novels are damn boring. In fact I believe she is the only writer where her novel’s dramatization is way better than the actual novel :D. Mata-e-jaan was extremely boring novel.

    i personally believe she sinks into her own thoughts and forgets the element of commercial writing that it is about engaging its reader, unlike paintings or drawing where your work do the actual talking.

    • haha might be true but really but when i am going through many Jabeen sisters,and haweli novels and Umera copy cats ,or char friends ki story i do not have really much better to compare her with ,so she does stand out there. If you read the rest sometime u r like WHAT? I just do that sometimes to have good laughs with my mom the ferrozi dupptaa and attshi suits combo sends me to stitches.

    • LOL @ Zaib I so agree with you about the dramatization of Farhat’s novels being much better than the written piece. MeJ was completely boring when I tried to read it and couldn’t even get through the first few pages. Same with Bin Roye Aansoo. I read Humsafar after the drama started and skipped around that one too :D