What a beautifully mellow episode this one was! One minute I was in tears and in the next instant I was sitting there with a huge grin on my face – kuch dhoop chaoon ka sa aalam raha throughout. By the time this latest installment ended, all my lingering misgivings, about this whole sequel business acha ho ga ya nahi, original jaisa hoga ya nahin, were laid to rest once n for all. Yes, friends, for me Tanhaiyan Naye Silsilay is a winner – a lovely tribute to the original by Shahzad Khalil and Haseena Moin – excellent stuff from Marina Khan, Haseena Moin, Mohammed Ahmed Sahab, and the entire cast and crew!
The one thing that really stood out in this episode was how respectful the writers and director have been of the viewers’ emotional attachment to the original Tanhaiyan. Staying away from the tendency to try to recreate the original or to ignore the original and create a whole new ambiance, I loved how these first two episodes were in a way a tribute to the past, a much needed bridge between the original and the sequel. As Aani, Bibi and Sania grieved for Zara, we, the viewers, were also invited to pay our last respects to our beloved Zara. Just like Aani told Bibi and Sania to get past Zara’s loss and welcome the girls, we too were gently being asked to move on, respectfully acknowledge the past and open our hearts and minds to the joys of the present. Superbly done!
Though Zara’s death was acknowledged today, the fog surrounding the circumstances of her death remains as thick as ever. We saw some awkward attempts at conversation between Zain, Sania, Aani and Bibi, each one trying to grapple with Zara’s loss in their own way. The girls too seem to be still trying to come to terms with the strained relationship between Zara and her family. There is also the continuing mystery about the 360° turn in Farhan’s Uncle’s character – what happened there? A court case gone terribly wrong, or is it all somehow connected to Zara’s eventual estrangement from her family? Can hardly wait for answers!
Juxtaposed against all the heavy moments and sadness were unexpected moments of hilarity and warmth. The scene where Sarina and Zeniya are talking about ghosts and Bibi walks in with the emergency light was very well done. Similarly, when Chandni is peeling potatoes and her conversation with the girls about Bari Apa living with Bibi was hilarious. Bibi’s tears and smiles, at seeing the sisters interact with each, much like Zara and Sania once used to, were very heart warming. Another moment I loved was when the two sisters accidentally run into Farhan’s room and we see the iceberg showing some signs of melting – so sweetly done! I am thoroughly enjoying the chemistry between all the cast members; there is a palpable sense that all actors actually enjoyed playing their characters.
Throughout, any and all mentions of Zara made me teary -eyed, but the last scene was especially poignant. The awkwardness, disappointment, the sense of betrayal, most of all the hesitancy in the conversation between Zain and Sania, where there had once been no commas and full-stops was truly heart-wrenching. I don’t think I could have sat through the message that Zara had left for Sania, Zara’s one word was chilling enough, so for me it was a perfect place to end the episode.
After what seems like ages, it is fabulous to have Marina Khan back on our screens – I’m in love with her all over again! Asif Raza Mir reminded me that before there was Ashar there was Zain – and oh what a Zain he was! Looking forward to seeing how this new and mature Zain evolves here. Alishba and Syra were very cute – their characters are very well-etched out, so its easy to hints of Sarina and Zeniya’s personality traits peeking through even though they haven’t had much to do so far. Kaif Ghaznavi was fun to watch as the quirky Chandni – what a character she is! Qazi Wajid, Badar Khalil, and Durdana Butt are institutions within themselves and its fabulous to see them in great roles. Now looking forward to seeing how the rest of the new characters are woven into the narrative.
Watching this second episode, I was reminded of what used to be great about our dramas a couple of decades ago – they were mellow. There was no screaming, yelling, crying, abusive language or physical abuse, just a subtle hint of things gone wrong, in other words, they were not in your face loud. It is precisely this soft, understated quality about this sequel that in my view sets it apart from other current serials. I am especially enjoying the adab, tehzeeb, lihaz, and ikhlaq we are being shown here – a much needed reminder of values that were once a hallmark of our culture but are now increasingly rare.
Now that ghosts of the past have been acknowledged, seems like next week will usher in the proper beginning of the Naye Silsilay. From the precaps we see a smiling Sania and yes!! Qabacha is back! Looking forward to seeing what shenanigans he’s been up to all these years – bring it on!!
Written by SZ~