In Memorium: Humsafar n Kuch Pyar ka Pagalpan

Anniversaries are usually somber moments, commemorated with heavy hearts, missing the dearly departed who were once a huge part of our lives. Not all anniversaries, however, are serious affairs. There are many, where we look back on the year past with a lot of fondness and affection. Though we miss those no longer with us, we treasure the lovely memories they’ve left behind.

This post is a celebration, a commemoration, a tribute to Humsafar and Kuch Pyar ka Pagalpan, two very different serials, with very different moods and stories. Humsafar was a huge commercial success, whereas Kuch Pyar ka Pagalpan has now turned into a cult classic. So why write about these two together?

Simple answer: Today marks the one year anniversary of when these two beloved serials first aired on that fateful weekend in September. Little did we know then of the impact they would have on our lives. They ran parallel throughout, and while they were on air, for those two hours per week, we forgot about the political problems plaguing Pakistan, lack of bijli, paani, gas, all else seemed trivial when compared to the bigger problem of whether, despite Aunty Farida’s nefarious plans, Khirad and Ashar would manage to live happily ever after or not, and whether Mujtaba would eventually find happiness. Clichéd as it may sound, these serials were loved, and continue to be loved, because they hold out hope. Hope, that no matter how bad things seem today there is always the promise of a better and brighter tomorrow.

Thank you Momina Duraid, Farhat Ishtiaq, Sarmad Khoosat, Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, and Naveen Waqar for giving us such a beautiful version of a modern-day fairytale romance in the form of Humsafar. Yes it was clichéd and reinforced problematic socio-economic stereotypes, but classy production and an excellent OST, combined with the purity of emotion that is a hallmark of Farhat’s writing, Sarmad’s superb direction and understanding of human psychology, and the excellent acting compelled us to switch off our brains and just go with the flow. Fawad’s drooliciousness, and the heat he generated with the appropriately coy Mahira, proved to be the proverbial cherry on the cake. Once Ashar and Khirad’s romance took off there was no looking back. Jaded TV audiences were back in droves!

For the crazy madcap adventures of Mujtaba and the crazy gang of Shimraiz, Daneez, and Kiran, a huge thank you to Humayun Saeed, Samira Fazal, Haissam Hussain, Fawad Khan, Aisha Khan, Mikaal Zulfiqar, and Sanam Baloch, for giving us those moments of humor and laughter in Kuch Pyar ka Pagalpan. Severely plagued as it was with production issues, the strong script and superb acting ultimately carried the serial over the victory line. Samira’s seemingly simple, but issue based script showed us how a skilled writer can address so many social problems in a very lighthearted manner, without becoming preachy and resorting to long monologues.

The first episode, for me, has to be one of the best introductions in recent times. I had issues throughout with miscasting, OTT acting, and don’t even start me on the leading ladies’ wardrobes,  but still the lines were so funny and spontaneous that one couldn’t help but burst out laughing. In this day and age where producers are bent on dishing out one story after other dealing with the mazloom aurat/shohar-biwi/extral marital affair/do behenain plot lines, Six Sigma need to be applauded for giving us something completely different.

That I am writing this post raises an important question: Despite a whole slew of dramas being churned out on a daily basis by all the 500 entertainment channels, why is  it that so many of us still remember every dialogue of Humsafar, or reminisce fondly about Kiran and Shimraiz, or keep requesting sequels to Humsafar and Kuch Pyar ka Pagalpan.

The simple answer is that the thinking audience, the  audience that actually wants to seriously engage with dramas as pieces of text, viewers who appreciate subtle clean humor, those who want to watch an aesthetically shot romance are beyond tired of the ghissi-pitti formulaic stories being churned out ad nauseam in this quest for ratings.

Yes, while showing a woman crying incessantly, or giving up her rights under the guise of qurbani for the family, or being abused by an evil mother-in-law, or extra-marital affairs, can and do bring short-term success in the form of winning the ratings game, but I can bet you that just a month or so down the road nobody, not even the masses who put these dramas at the top, remembers the whys and wherefores of many of these so-called top rated serials.

This is not to say that we do not see quality stuff. We do. Shehr-e Zaat, the recently concluded Bilqees Kaur, Durre Shehwaar, and a few others, all are class acts. But these comprise perhaps less than ten percent of the serials that have aired since Humsafar and KPKP. I maybe off with my calculations, but you get my point.

So, while producers trip over each other to bring us one more version of the Maat formula or yet another mazloom aurat story, till we get something else worthwhile to commemorate, I, and like-minded viewers, will go back to wiping away our Ashks, replay our now-worn-out DVDs and continue sighing over Ashar and Khirad and laughing at the whacko antics of Muju & Co.

Dedicated with love to all Humsafar and KPKP aficionados

Written by SZ~

P.S. Couldn’t resist sharing this visual evidence of the ongoing Humsafar fever – Thank you Afia and Heela! 

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51 replies

  1. Thank you s0 much 4 this beautiful article on the Awesome memories … ohhh those two shows were the best show ever we had 3 Fawad Khan’Mahira Khan’Saman Baloch and all of them are well deserving people from the TV Indursty >3 I really Love them and Want them on TV <33

    Thank you so much one again 4 this tremendous Stuff <33

    • Noshaba, hai na!! Really enjoyed these two while they were on! glad you enjoyed the post – ab aat jaati rahiye ga – always fun to have new friends join in conversations about what we all love – dramas! 🙂

  2. Wow this was unexpected…thanks SZ even though we get reminded of Humsafar every week in SEZ:p still a lovely anniversary Present!!Hai hai… So many memories…what an awesome time that was….especially waiting for Humsafar all week , literally counting the days and the hours to see the events unfold. Every Ashar and Khirad scene was like magic flowing out of the screen. IThere have been some pretty excellent dramas, but nothing that made me feel like how am I going to wait a whole week for the next episode. kpkp was just hilarious, the story was wacky and went round in circles but enjoyed the acting and it was something different, although the sound was bad it kept us hooked. Hope more dramas are made Luke these, so we continue watching and enjoying.

    • Honestly hard to let go – but the real credit/blame for this post goes to @Afia and hoorean, for the reminder of this date and requesting that we do something to celebrate it in style 🙂
      Weren’t the two scenes above just so cute 🙂 I was having a real difficult time choosing 😉

  3. Oh thanku SZ for this lovely post. What a weekend the duo of these 2 created last year. After the hectic routine of the whole week humsafar and KPKP made the weekend so special. Missed those fri/sun- sat.

    Enjoying the elegant romance of asher-khirad, loving their moments, crying for khirad going crazy over asher and the bechani we felt that how they end up together, going angry over fareeda aunty and that chipko, irritating khizar, and feeling even sorry for sarah in the end. The craziness the madness humsafar generated.

    Kuch pyar ka pagal pan also made us crazy .. we loved it, enjoy it and it also made us to bang our head against the wall :P. Oh is it turkey or America ?To whom our mujju marry danize or kiran?, kiran’s dysfunctinal family, chacha ki factory, chacha ka ghar chacha ki beti ( mujju’s dreamland 😉 ) kiran and danize unique styling, tacky dressing, what next kiran and shamraiz have to break mujju-danize relationship? Shamraiz- kiran love, etc etc. 😀 There are so many memorise. Despite of all flaws kpkp always remained very special.

    And last but not least reviews to humsafar and kpkp … a must needed dose 🙂

    • Hoorean: glad you enjoyed it – after all yeh tumhari aur @Afia ki farmaish par likha hai 🙂
      And thank you so much for the very lovely note you wrote on the SeZ post. I am so touched that I dont have words *hugs*. I hope you are feeling better and things are better for you. So so glad you’re here and looking forward to resuming our weekly conversations 🙂

      • Thanku thanku so much SZ for both fulfilling the farmish and 4 concern. So glad to have u back in action and for the lovely review <3.

  4. My heart just melted (again) watching that Humsafar clip you posted! What a ride Humsafar was. Thanks for the post!

    P.S. I only watched a couple of episodes of KPKP and wasn’t a fan of it unfortunately.

  5. oh this post has made me nostalgic! Thanks for this lovely treat!
    Its funny, just today I was texting my cousin about Humsafar. How every saturday we’d have text exchanges about each episode and what would we do once it came to an end. Unfortunately the drama ended and so did our drama related saturday texts!
    If there is one drama i can watch over and over again, not becoming tired of it, it has to be Humsafar! but wow i cannot believe its been an entire year since Humsafar had once took over our lives.

    Thankfully i have the dvd and can go back and watch it anytime! But honestly watching it every saturday morning, then reading the reviews and discussions by the evenings had its own charm. And then spending all week waiting for Saturday to come, to watch the next installment. Never felt so excited about a drama before, but I can say that I am starting to feel almost as attached with Shehrezaat.

    As for KPKP although i did not enjoy some parts of it but as SZ said the first episode had won me over so i could not stop watching. It was a pretty entertaining drama even with its ten million faults it had a huge fan following and that can only mean one thing, it sure was a super hit drama! and on top of that Fawad khan was in it so of course one would be watching! =)

    The more recent dramas are just not the same anymore, these mazloom stories are pulling people away from pakistani media so it would be good to see dramas like Humsafar, KPKP and i think it safe to say, we can add Shehrezaat in this category as well, make a comeback , different stories, stellar casts and a perfect package! =)

    Looking forward to some more great reads on this blog, SZ! =)

  6. tum bhi na SZ baar baar Humsafar ki yaad taaza kar daitee ho. Mein bholna chahtee hoon mein bhoolna chahtee hoon mein bhool jaana chahtee hoon – LOL (this type of dialogue is usually uttered by either the mazloom aurat aur mard in our dramas these days ;))
    I completely agree with your last paragraph on writing and addressing the thinking type of audience or displaying romance aesthetically.
    To that list I would like to add Jal Pari and to an extent Sanjha before it derailed.
    I caught a bit of Aik nazar meri taraf recently and my goodness it was beyond intolerable with its constant rona dhona by Alishba. How in the world do people sit through this stuff without forwarding is BEYOND me! 10 minutes of that stuff was pure torture on my nerves!

    Congratulations to Humsafar and KPKP on their first year anniversary. I wonder if Khirad has by now forgiven Asher and had another baby as @Ash so wanted. And if Mujju ever got his trip to Switzerland with Daneez. Wonder if Shamraiz and Kiran got married and she got to wear her jewelry and outfit to her actual wedding rather than the streets of Istanbul 🙂
    Thank you for writing this post and having the memories come flooding back when my Saturday morning breakfast was accompanied by the delicious dessert that was Humsafar 🙂

    • LOL! Annie, I swear I had no intentions of doing this post -mujhe mat daanto :/ @ Afia and @ hoorean are responsible for this one – so the credit/blame goes to them for inspiring this post 😉
      PS.. you might notice the latest version of this post is slightly longer – I had to run to a dinner/meeting so was rushing at the time, but wanted to post this in time for the “anniversary” 😉

      • Excuses na do aab 😉 haha
        thanks for pointing me to the updated post 🙂
        Have we told you yet how glad we are to have you back?

  7. Humsafar was a milestone for our industry,i still remember the first time students started discussing Pakistani plays with pride.Thanks for reminding me of Fawad’s post Ashk misery days and all the reasons i found him so adorable.Don’t worry SZ zindigi gulzar hai will not disappoint. anyhow i am so on SEZ bandwagon now but still loved humsafar as something unique.

  8. SZ! I miss KPKP so much I cannot tell you. Seriously, I actually watch reruns of it while doing my treadmill so you can imagine my craziness. Oh how I wish Samira ji reads your post, and decides to write a sequel (minus Daneez, please!)

  9. Aww thank you so much for the post. I got up here, hoping to find something and you did not disappoint- almost like a b’day present 🙂 Ironically mine happens to be tomorrow.
    Humsafar- haaiiii Humsafar tumhare baare mein kya kahoon? Keh tum bohat yaad aate ho? Par tumhein bhooley hi kahan the keh tujhe yaad karen?
    Strange it may sound but I think Humsafar will always be a part of me. I have spent the last year watching it, whenever life allows and am not likely to give up on it any time soon. I’m in love with the Ashar-Khirad romance. I think Fawad gave us the perfect Ashar and I can’t imagine anyone else but Mahira as Khirad. A huge ‘thank you’ to all who worked at it- what a gem!
    Aur gem toh KPKP bhi tha- but an unpolished one as one of you pointed out 🙂 It’s amazing that for a serial with so many issues, to be still loved so much. Wow! Can’t imagine what it would have become had they sorted out those issues…Yes the first episode was perfect, from the first Kiran who tried to commit suicide over Mujtaba to the next Kiran in the US (Turkey wala), from Denise to Shamrez- it was a great journey! Some scenes were so good, I want them on repeat!
    Aur suicide se yaad aaya- Fawad! Common to both shows and has the ‘suicide’ effect on women 😉 – hey..it was too good to pass!
    Thanks again!

    • Afia: hey! so glad you enjoyed this one – an early birthday present for you 🙂

      Here’s wishing you a very very happy birthday!!! Hope you have a fabulous day today and a lovely rest of the year 🙂

  10. Thank you , thank you thank you SZ. I knew there was a reason I like you. Mere dil ki awaz. :)))) Now we need a sequel to KPKP . Kiran and Shamraiz ki Shadi and Danees goes to Pakistan and get’s the reverse treatment from My Muju’s family. Sameera ji can you hear us..?

  11. Thank you so much SZ! I am one of the craziest Humsafar Fans around. Having watched the play (all 23 episodes) 10 times and trailing the casts’ updates leave me needing for more….
    Just a few days back, I was thinking of 24th September and the anniversary of our most beloved Humsafar. I remebered you and thought you might write something but I had seriously not expected such a pleasant surprise. As I read your beautiful piece of writing, all the beautiful Asher-Khirad scenes swirled round my head. I am bombarded with many fond memories of Humsafar and how I cried for 5 continuous hours after its finale.

    Humsafar is a Benchmark on its own as it has achieved stupendous heights of success, but we all as viewers would appreciate some different plays like Humsafar. Pakistan’s response to Humsafar showed that we are very much done with the mainstreamed plots and boring acts. I totally agree with you on this point that the directors and producers should try handling subjects aesthically and lightly. ( not to forget MDKJZM which is an over-dose of Gham)
    Humsafar is a masterpiece while Kuch Pyar Ka Pagal Bhi tha is a cute classic that sits pretty in its own little place in our hearts. Keeping Daneez’s mother’s weird dialogues aside, I thoroughly enjoyed all the scenes with Mujtaba. Some of the scenes are unforgettable. Mujtaba -Kiran scenes were the best, as we got to enjoy wit on both sides.
    I do not know If am the only one going gaga over Shemraiz-Mujtaba scenes, but their sidesplitting jokes left us helpless with laughter.
    Hayee Fawad Khan is common to both and we can never forget the Classy Asher and the unbelievably cute Mujtaba<3 I love him to death…..<3 the Promos for ZGH will air in 2 or 3 days! *dances*

    A huge shout-out to the teams of these two drama serials for giving us two commendable pieces of art to celebrate:)

    @ SZ thank you, thank you, thank you , thanks a lot for bringing back the hottest topic to discuss!
    I am screaming with joy:D

    • LOL Heela! I think you are in great company here, most of us are all serious hardcore Humsfar fans — so we totally feel your pain 😉 KPKP was another favorite – indeed those were good days 🙂 And yes Shimraiz/Muju, in my opinion, had a hundred times better chemistry than Mujtaba/Daneez 🙂

      RE: ZGH, I too have been hearing so much about these promos, but so far nothing 😦 I am planning on doing a post on those promos so keep an eye out 🙂

  12. Thx for the much needed reminder of 2 beloved serials. KPKP & Humsafar.
    How I wish there was a sequel to these two!!!!
    The sofisticated Asher & Khirad, whereas the crazy, whacko, misfits Muju, Denise, Shamreez & Kiran.

  13. I am so glad you wrote an article on this! I wasn’t a die-hard fan of Humsafar I agree but KPKPPBT has got to be one of the best dramas I have seen.It was light and funny. There wasn’t much tension/ mazloomiat and all that like you mentioned. This is one serial I had so much trouble waiting for every week and I got so mad when ARY digital skipped 2 episodes without giving any notice! I went crazy for this one! I know I have read reviews criticizing it and all 😉 But I do know that everyone enjoyed it. I so hope that the same cast (i.e. Fawad Khan, Sanam Baloch, Mikaal Zulfiqar and Ayesha Khan) do a sequel or another serial by Samira ji which makes us all forget our worries and enjoy a light serial like KPKPPBT was enjoyed 🙂

  14. Thanks guys for enjoying the post 🙂 Clearly, Ashar – Khirad, Mujtaba – Kiran and Mujtaba – Shmiraiz are still being missed.

    @Mona S: Hi! Welcome to the blog 🙂 Great to hear from another like-minded viewer – looking forward to seeing you sharing your thoughts here regularly 🙂

    @Sadaf: love your plot line! How fabulous would it be to see a takra b/w Muju’s no-nonsense mom and his fantasy world main rehne wali biwi Daneez.

    @Samira Fazal: Hamari arzi sun lain, please be kind enough to write up a sequel !! 😀

  15. @SZ: Humsafar/ KPPP ki barsi thi na? 😀

    Yaar but its really true you know. The way we used to wait for the weekends, Fri/Sat/Sun especially for these two plays is something you don’t really do with the ones that are on these days. They both had that drop everything aside quality in them that makes you wanna forget about everything else while you’re watching. And you actually feel sad that the episode’s over!

    Asher/Khirad were not just characters.. they were poetry personified on the tv screens. They had that power to mesmerize you completely and leave you awestruck hours after the episode ended. That was what good television is supposed to be.

    KPPP: As flawed as this show was I still loved it 😉 Whether it was Kiran running around on the streets of US( Turkey) 😛 like a well-adorned Christmas Tree! or the scene where Mujtaba decides to do his ”Hero-waali” entry which still leaves you in splits. Whether it was the constant batter between Kiran-Shimraiz or the total bonga-ness of Daneez’s character.

    If there are two shows that are as different from chalk to cheese its these two! One that has perfection written all over it and the other is full of crazy imperfections..

  16. All I can say is my addiction and love for humsafar can be explained by this: My brother joked that “tumhari rukhsati par quran ki jaga humsafar ki dvd rakhni parhay gi agar tumhara yeh humsafar ka bhoot na utra “
    I don’t care if people were critical about it or feminists bashed it. I loved how it kept me so connected in that year with all my friends who dispersed to different parts of the world. Every Saturday or Sunday we would make sure we would all skype together, all 10 of us, discuss it to death and wait until next week to discuss it again. The discussions, the absolute love for ashar and the beautiful emotions that humsafar brought, surely it’s a master piece.

    p.s. did anyone hear Bin Roye Ansoo is being made into a drama. I don’t know why but I have a feeling that its going to be Mahira, Fawad, Sanam Baloch and Meekal casted together! Even though we have great dramas but well humsafar was humsafar.

  17. I ve sent this link to Humayun Saeed. And thank you so much for appreciating our little effort to give you something different and not run of the mill stuff. Keep watching and keep giving your valuable comments they mean a lot.

  18. @Samira Fazal: Welcome! Thank you for visiting, commenting and sharing 🙂 Honestly, all peeves aside KPKP was one heck of a journey and you were so fabulous throughout, putting up with all our silliness, and your good-natured comments and patient clarifications all added so much to the whole experience that was KPKP!

    @Humayun Saeed, if you’re reading this, would love to have you come here and make the announcement that we’re going to see a sequel to KPKP – how can you not do it, just hear the awaam ki awaaz 🙂

    @Afia: ROFL!! too funny and too cute! I saw this picture as it went viral yesterday and thought it was perhaps from last year and somebody had dug it out on this occasion – kiya maloom tha ke yeh to tumhare birthday cake ki tasveer thi!!! wah!! So now tell us honestly what did you do with the Ashar figure? Did you share this pic with any of the Humsafar cast?
    I added the pic of the cake to the post itself – hope you dont mind! It needed to be shared!

    @Maria: hahaha – kiya baat hai bhai – yahan to hum sab ek competition men hain ke Humsafar ka sab se bara fan kaun 😉 Maybe Momina should think about this as a potential idea for a gameshow!!

    @howzzat: Oh your post brought back so many memories – of Kiran runnning through “US” streets and sleeping on park benches and somehow everybody always packing suitcases and Daneez calmly going off to sleep in an amusement park and Muju knowing exactly where to find her — kya din they woh bhi 😉 And yes!! loved the hero entry – that’s the video I actually wanted to post but coudnt find an appropriate clip. In any case finding any clip from the serial where one could hear clearly without the blaring OST and loud background noise was a challenge in and of itself 🙂 Despite all this, still love KPKP 🙂

    • if u ever hav to make a sequel to kpkp…plz never ever frgt aisha khan….she should b the leading lady ths time….plzzzzzzzzz samira n humayun saeed

  19. Hahah Yes I am indeed in a wonderful company:D thanks a lot SZ !
    oh yes, ZGH will start from 19th October. The countdown has begun…….
    I am eagerly looking forward to your posts 😀
    inshALLAH the ZGH thread will be real FUN! *fingers crossed*

    @Afia Qazi, your cake is amazing. I had a Humsafar cake for my birthday in April too, Funky bake prepared it for me 😀 We can never get enough of Humsafar…..<3

  20. @SZ V happy you shared the cake pic. It got the maximum number of likes/shares ever on “Mint to be’s” page. Quite overwhelming! I’d written to Momina Duraid on the 24th and sent the link to this blog. Was super excited when she replied :). Sent her the cake link later too. Also sent both links to Fawad and Sarmad. Kya patah dekh hi lain…
    My kids slit Sarah’s wrist first of all :\ , then they had all the limbs but ashar’s face is still intact, lying on top of the last couple of pieces.

    @Heela, Share a pic of your cake too 🙂 crazy us! But the credit of my cake’s idea goes to my sis and Tania who made it.

    • Omg Your cake has seriously gone viral…I’m seeing it everywhere on FB…last place Sarmad Khoosat official do I think they did see it lol good job. Your SIS will be getting a lot of orders!!!

    • Afia: Share Momina’s response! Would love to know what she wrote!
      LOL@ cutting off Sarah’s wrists first – disturbing on some level, but really funny I must say! Becharey Ashar ko to mat khana!! And yeah, just saw your cake pic on pretty much every media related page – wah Aafia- truly a memorable birthday for you! 🙂

    • My husband was browsing FB a few days ago and he showed me the cake a few days ago and I started laughing and then saw the name Afia and thought how ironic, I know an Afia on the dramas forum too LOL! Did not realize it was YOUR cake!!! That is a LOT Of hard work!! Too funny that your kids cut off Sara’s wrist!! 😀

      @Heela – wow good job w/ your Humsafar b’day cake! I feel a competition coming on now from other fans 😉

      • Annie, thanks, must’ve missed your post before! It’s a small world na, specially with fb! It was definitely a unique b’day….

  21. awww you made me nostalgic 😀 such amazing 23 weeks were those.. agreed with all what you said about Humsafar.. and i totally regret for not watching KPKP, i saw this clip you posted and maan this is hilarious 😀

    Wow cake:) Birthday Wishes for you Afia.. you are such a true fan. i wonder how did they made edible fawad,mahira and naveen 😀 hehe..
    loved this post!

  22. @ SK, SZ, yes truly memorable – smiling ear to ear! SZ, this is what Momina wrote “Thank you so much Afia. Its all of you who really matter and our real reward lies in your satisfaction” – short but v sweet!
    @Rehmat thank you! the faces were good colour photocopies of some pics 🙂

  23. Here you go with the link 😀

    @Afia Qazi Happy Belated Birthday! I see your beautiful cake everywhere on facebok now 😀 Congratuations! I really like your sister’s idea, Lovely 🙂

  24. Oh thank you so much 😀 I will hand to Amber (The woman behind Funky Bake) here, she has a lot of finese to her work. Actually, we Islamabadis are lucky to have bakeries like Mint-to-be and funky bake around:)
    You are welcome 🙂

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