Shehr-e Zaat – Episode 19 – Finale Review

In his classic Manteq-at Tair, translated into English as the Conference of the Birds, the 12th c Persian poet Farid ud-din Attar details the journey of a group of birds who gather together and set out in their quest to seek their fabled, almost mythical king. According to the allegorical framework, the birds fly a little way, and then formally adopt the hoopoe bird as their leader, who tells them that their king – the simurgh – does indeed exist but that he lives far away and the journey to him is hazardous. The bulk of the poem then deals with the journey of the birds that takes them through the seven valleys of Quest, Love (ishq), Understanding, Independence and Detachment (fana), Unity (vasl), Wonderment (haira), and finally Poverty and Nothingness (baqa).

In the valley of the Quest one undergoes a hundred difficulties and trials. After one has been tested and become free, one learns in the valley of Love that ishq has nothing to do with reason, aql. The valley of Understanding teaches that knowledge is temporary, but understanding endures. Overcoming faults and weaknesses brings the wayfarer closer to the goal. At the stage of fana, the seeker has no desire to possess nor any wish to discover. Here, the traveler must be roused from apathy to renounce inner and outer attachments so that he can become self-sufficient. In the valley of Unity, the hoopoe announces that although the seeker may see many beings, in reality there is only one, which is complete in its unity.

As long as there is separation, good and evil will arise; but when the seeker loses himself in the divine essence, he will be transcended by love. When vasl is achieved, one forgets all and is lost in haira. Baqa is almost impossible to describe. In the immensity of the divine ocean, the pattern of the present world and the future world dissolves. It is only after the individual self realizes that it does not really exist, that the drop loses itself in the ocean and finds eternal peace.

Of the thousands of birds that started out, only thirty reach their destination. When the light of lights is manifested and they are at peace, these birds realize that the Simurgh they were seeking is no other than them (also a brilliant play on words, si-murgh means thirty birds in Persian). The Beloved was always within; He only needed the lover to find him. Attar concludes with the admonition that so long as we do not realize our nothingness and do not renounce self-pride, vanity, and self-love, we will never complete the journey from wujood to zaat – shehr-e zaat will remain forever elusive.

The Falak we met today is one of those blessed ones who have found that elusive zaat. Like the si-murgh in Attar’s allegory, she too has successfully traversed this very difficult path and has now recognized that the Beloved she sought was always around her, she was the one blind to all His manifestations. Now she sees His munificence reflected in the verdant trees, the melodious chirping of the birds, the animal quietly lapping away at his milk, and the taste of food – all seem to be lisaan-ul haal, sharing in her joy of discovery of the jaa ba ja yaar.

Just as Falak is beginning to enjoy this new tranquil phase of her life, Salman seems to be stepping into a parallel universe where now he is the one standing in front of the mirror. He finds himself asking pretty much the same questions that Falak has asked of him so many eons ago: Why? How? Why is this happening to me? What did I do wrong? The answers, which had been hard to find then, remain equally elusive now.

Another person also standing in front of the mirror is Mehrunnisa. Unlike Salman, who is only now stepping on the path, her daughter’s suffering has shaken Mehrunnisa to the very core of her being. In the past few weeks we’ve seen her grow as well. The process of khud ehtesaabi is very difficult and painful, because it involves facing up to all the bitter truths that we try to hide in the darkest deepest recesses of our minds. As she so very eloquently puts it, it may not be easy to forgive, but it is even harder to acknowledge mistakes and to own up to the error of our ways. Here, we see a very different Falak offering consolation and holding out hope for her mother as she says: Allah se ruju karne main kaisa pachtawa, us ke paas tau guzrey huey kal ke maafi bhi hai aur aaney wale kal ka inaam bhi. Hardships such as those faced by Mehrunnisa are not punishments, rather difficulties of the path, as illustrated by Falak’s story and explained by the poet Attar.

Whether Falak should have returned to Salman or not, is a question I’m still debating. I had originally hoped that once she signed the divorce papers, Falak would never look back. But the way it transpired here, I guess it made sense within the context of the story. That said, I really appreciated how Falak was able to share all her misgivings with naani, who in turn heard her out very patiently and then offered her advice. What I have really appreciated here is the way the adults interact with the younger generation, or rather the writer and director converse with their viewers. There is a genuine sense of a dialogue, never an attempt at imposing views or forcing prescriptive opinions.

The Falak who returned to her house today was a far cry from the Falak who had first come here as a giddy young bride; this was also a different woman from the broken shattered Falak who left the house in an ambulance after suffering a nervous breakdown; and this is also a whole other person when compared to the relatively stronger but still shaken Falak who left the house after her encounter with the lovebirds Salman and Tabinda. This is a Falak who has been to hell and back, and is now entering the house on her terms. This Falak is not a coy girl with stars in her eyes; this is a woman who knows where she’s come from and where she’s headed. Her shattering of Salman’s statue is a significant metaphor for her breaking off all ties to her past, when she, as a besotted young girl, had equated a mere mortal with divinity. Falak’ journey was now complete – she had found her shehr-e zaat.

The last scene, a happy Falak opening the windows of her already well-lit house to let more sunlight in, was a stunning visual harkening back to a scene in the earlier episodes when a very troubled naani had to push aside the heavy curtains and open windows to light up her very dark bedroom in Mehrunnisa’s house. Yes, God does indeed work in mysterious ways and as naani said, if all this hadn’t happened Falak would probably have been leading a life similar to that of her mother’s social lifestyle– constantly running on the hamster’s wheel and getting nowhere.

Watching Falak with her daughter was so very heartwarming. She was warm and attentive, but lovingly firm, as she asked her daughter about her namaaz. Yes, the mistakes of the past are not going to be repeated here. None of the lessons learned during the arduous journey have been squandered. What I loved was that we were left with visuals of Falak making clay figures with her daughter. Yes, indeed, it is the nazar that matters – be  it the silly fantasy of an immature girl imbuing a piece of stone with many meanings, or one look from a heartless beloved which can shatter the lover’s heart, or that one benevolent glance from God, that one nazar can and does alter lives forever.

Today’s episode brought an end to one of the most thought-provoking serials in recent times. Embedded with layers of meaning and so many literal and visual connotations, this one challenged us out of our stupor and compelled us to pause, think, reflect and re-visit – concepts that we rarely if ever associate with what is dished out as entertainment these days. Umera Ahmed deserves a huge round of applause for having the heart to make so many changes in her original novella. The fleshing out of existing characters and the addition of new ones added so much texture to an already compelling story.

Looking for Allah or searching for that elusive notion of zaat is a concept hard enough to pen down, but to present it visually and to convey all the nuances of the text and the subtext is a doubly challenging task. This was not an easy story to tell, and to present it in a way that not only preserved its essence but actually enhanced it is a feat few could have managed so successfully. I was a Sarmad Khoosat fan before, but after this am happy to call myself a certified groupie.

Right from the opening sequence, the magnificent shots of the decaying Makli necropolis, each scene has been noteworthy. Just off the top of my head, Falak on her jhoola, Falak on her naani’s lap saying dil ajeeb shai hai naani, Falak, Mehrunnisa and naani’s group hug, both beach scenes, Falak’s breakdown in the bathroom, the mard darwaza hai scene, Falak’s junoon about israaf, her confrontation with Tabinda and Salman, all were special sequences. Along with Sarmad, kudos to Khizar Idrees  for his brilliant camerawork. Shehr-e Zaat would not have looked half as beautiful as it did without his efforts. Excellent, excellent job by Sarmad and his team.

In terms of acting, Shehr-e Zaat represents Mahira Khan’s coming of age as an actress. I thought she was a pretty face in Bol, a lost cause in Neeyat and average in Humsafar, and so really wasn’t expecting fireworks here. But, boy oh boy has she made me eat my words! She has been absolutely stellar as Falak. Absolutely loved her here!

Hina Bayat and Samina Peerzada were outstanding- don’t have the words anymore to praise them. Mikaal Zulfiqar was really hot and cool as the loser husband – I’m not sure how he managed that feat, but he did succeed in making Salman a memorable character. Nadia Afgan was the surprise package here – what an absolute delight she is! Missed her terribly in the final episode and wished we could’ve known more about the fights between Tabinda and Salman, but oh well! I do hope though that we get to see more of this powerhouse actress. Mansha Pasha, Mohib Mirza, Seemi Pasha, Munawar Saeed, and Shazia Afgan, all brought that something extra to the table. Not to be forgotten here, another key player, Abida Parveen’s amazing rendition of Hazrat Shah Niaz’s kalaam, added a whole other mystical dimension to the overall ambiance.

The creative and technical aspects remained top notch all along. I just wish we could start moving away from the tendency to overlay each and every scene with music. Perhaps we need to revisit the old adage: khamoshi ki bhi aik zubaan hoti hai, or silence is worth a thousand words. That said, 7th Sky Entertainment and MD Productions deserve acknowledgment for backing this lovely project.

Shehr-e Zaat has wrapped up leaving behind much for us to chew on and reflect. How far along we are in our journey and how much more to go is entirely dependent on us, the mirror has been held up – are we willing to step out of the rat race and pause long enough to see the truth reflecting back at us?

Written by SZ~

Shehr-e Zaat ~ OST


269 replies

  1. Well well i am quiet speechless after such a beautiful heartening review where to start from. What an epic journey has Sherezat been.I guess in present times this is one play i am going to love the most. Just loved the direction of the play,over all effect it had on me.Kudos Sarmad Khosat you have just made a phenomenal play.
    i guess the last three lines summed up the whole play
    Allah insan ko sab kch dikha kar kehta hai k ab bta tera meray siwa kaun hai? in nanni voice,so in the end in the Zaat of Allah we turn to and take refuge in as he is the merciful.
    Cheezain bay haya nahi hoti un se jo mansoob kia jata hai wo ba-haya ya bay-haya hota hai. Haya b nazar mai hai aur bay-hayai bhi again in nanni’s voice here i am just going to quote SZ’s explanation It is not as if objects or even people come with embedded meanings, it is our gaze that bestows meaning on them, vulgar or otherwise. Similarly, when Tabinda voiced her reasons for trashing the sculpture, Falak pointed out that a sculpture on its own is nothing more than a lifeless stone. It is we who in effect breathe life into these inanimate objects by assigning them a whole range of meanings and memories. How can we then call art a bad thing or label artists as obscene? Isn’t it more our attitudes that need to be scrutinized here?
    And finally Falak’s voice saying dil ajeeb shay hai naani ajeeb cheezain krne ko kehta hai. Firstly she was passionate for worldly desires ,Salman but finally she looks up towards skies towards Allah and there is peace and happiness on her face as if she has found the ultimate truth ,happiness and what a beautiful final shot of her face,amazing camera work throughout.
    I was more than happy that she was shown painting and making toys with her daughter so again not any statement towards arts or any particular discipline the message was not to develop an unhealthy obsession with your own creation and start equating them with Perfection.
    Falak going back…hmmm i guess in the long terms as we have seen it really worked out ,and again they have shown it that it was not Salman that was now her incentive but a motive for forgiveness and forgiveness is something that we all can appreciate ,but i was glad she was clear sighted that it was not Salman’s blind love but simply his majbori and it will only make her a bigger person and of course he was a tragedy that has given her vision.Amazing acting by Mikal ,Hina,Samena Pirzada and last but not the least Mahira ,she has certainly made me a fan.Brilliant performance.Again thanks to Umera Ahmed,Sarmad and the whole team of SEZ for this master peace and of course you SZ you have produced some gems along the way.

    • Loved those last three lines! certainly the hallmark of the drama! Dil to hai hi ajeeb shai , ajeeb cheeson ki khawahish karne wala”

      And also the last scene was a great way to end the drama. Like you said, i am so glad they showed that painting and her daughter playing with clay to give us viewers the message that there is nothing wrong with any of this because ‘Cheezain bay haya nahi hoti un se jo mansoob kia jata hai wo ba-haya ya bay-haya hota hai. ” Excellent dialogue!

      I really hope people pick up the right message!

      • Are you aware this dialogue was not written by UA, it was added in without her knowledge. Just read it on her wall, she has filed a complaint against the production team. Interesting maybe she didn’t agree with it herself, I also think you cant apply this dialogue to everything, it works in some cases, like maybe if you make drawings in art class or kids make pictures…well that’s ok, as its not behaya. I don’t think though if you sculpt a naked statue, you can say its not behaya…there has to be limits.

        • I so agree with you SK.. even i read that too… and i was thinking the same that what if i see some naked painting of women.. if my nazar is bahaya.. then how could say.. oh this is good… no way.. things which are wrong are wrong..

          • I am really not liking the direction of this ,Umera Sarmad feud has to be over. They have given us a wonderful play now why all these tensions. Both are great in there own fields,i am not sure they should make things so public. Leaves an overall bad impression. Firstly they called it was dragged created a negative vibe about the play,why would some one sabotage there own play? So as long as we thought the dialogue is by was by Umera we were supposed to love it now we are supposed to hate it is the on the first thought and hate Sarmad ? And it’s Umera’s own dialogue of Lahisil not that she has not written it at all so i do not get if it was right there why is it so wrong here? I am so disappointed .

            • I agree that they should not have made this public and sorted out it behind closed doors. They even had some problem about the dragging which doesn’t look very professional. The play is over, so you guys are right there is no point. However, I do not fully agree with that dialogue whether Umera wrote it or not.

            • agreed ladies – the UA official team shouldn’t have put it up on their page AFTER the drama is finished. They should have raised the issue when it was brought up first a few episodes ago. That too privately with Sarmad. Ba-hayayi issi mein hoti 😉

            • Agree with all here, this matter should have been resolved behind closed doors –
              As for not agreeing with particular dialogues etc, I think we all had opinions on so many of the issues addressed in SeZ, and we all did not agree on so many issues, but overall SeZ was so successful in opening up a discussion on issues that we rarely take the time to talk and think about – we reflected on and re-evaluated our attitudes – this to me is the real success of SeZ. Rather than dwelling on controversies, I think its best to focus on the very important lessons that SeZ taught us; take the time to stand in front of the mirror every so often and take a hard look at the truth reflecting in there… Do we like the image looking back at us?

          • Well not so sure myself now ,some people are saying so.Let me check i will have to re-read la hasil maybe some can confirm? A friend wrote on my Face book actually but i will re check. But again it should have all ended on a positive note.

        • Totally agree with you Javeria. What’s the point of bringing this up now? The play’s been a hit, everyone loves it. If U has an issue with S, then they should discuss it privately.

    • Javeria: thank you so much for your very deatiled and thougtful comment – enjoyed reading it! Thank you also for your very kind words – much appreciated!
      Yes! Hearing those lines again – dil ajeeb shai hai naani – gave me goosebumps all over. What a brilliant placement of these lines, imparting a whole other meaning to them – just brilliant stuff from Umera, Sarmad and Mahira!
      Agree also on the importance of showing Falak working on arts and crafts with her daughter – very important message, very subtly reinforced. The voiceovers added so much to the overall feel of the final scene – loved it! Will certainly miss SeZ!!

  2. SZ, only you can capture the essence of the unique concept of this drama in a review that is even more unique. Your si-murgh anolgy is a classic.
    Regarding Umera Ahmed, all I can say is–she continues to amaze and impress me.
    Very nicely done indeed!

  3. As Salam Alaikum.
    Have yet to watch the last episode, but just wanted to share that my husband and I watched all the episodes eagerly. The acting, direction etc. were excellent. The thought provoking theme and the philosophical message was what stood out most.The way it was conveyed in an entertaining way without ever being preachy displays the level of expertise and genius of all involved, in dealing with such a complex subject matter, requiring higher and deeper level of cognition (metacognition). I am proud that we have such talent in Pakistan which stands out in the world, be it the author, producer, actor and all the others who had a hand in giving Shehre zaat to us. Shehre zaat comes second only to Meri zaat Zarra Be Nishan, which was a masterpiece in my opinion.
    The choice of the title song was an excellent pairing and genius. I have always liked Abida Parveen but never realized her true worth until Shehre Zaat opened my eyes to the deeper meanings of life she also renders from the heart in her songs. I really am able to fully appreciate her incredible talent and her songs now. She I believe is another treasure of Pakistan besides the author, Umera Ahmed.
    Also it was a pleasure to read the comments above especially the first one signed SZ, because it was very informative. Unfortunately, not having been exposed to Urdu and Farsi literature due to being brought up abroad, it was fascinating reading about Manteq-at Tair and the parallels drawn by the commentator. I am determined to find and explore Farid ud dins work now.
    As for feedback on shere zaat, some of the things that detracted from Shehre zaat and could be improved upon in my opinion were: 1) sometimes the music was a little loud during the delivery of dialogue and it was a strain especially to people like us who are not very well versed in Urdu, clarity of the dialogues is a must because the Pakistani dramas are popular and watched all over the world 2) some of the dialogues regarding God, when the main character Falak is shown ridiculing what her nani says (in her ignorant stage), should have been handled with care and with grace. When dealing with such a sensitive and important matter it is always good to put in extra time and thought to tweak the dialogues so they do not go beyond the bounds of decency or border on being offensive.
    On the whole an excellent drama; very thought provoking and entertaining!
    Lubna K from MN

    • @ LK! – wow i so agree with you on everything you said especially the loud background deafening music! I mean for the love of God first they use kitaabi hard to understand urdu and uper se they blas music thakay hum sab weak in urdu wolon ko bilkul samaj na aaye.. annoying for sure!
      As for the dialogues I guess they were written that way , thats why they said them like that only to show how everything in the future changed so drastically.

      But Excellent drama indeed! and loved Abida Parween’s rendition that went so well with the entire drama! 🙂

    • @Lubna K: Wasalaam, welcome! Lovely to hear from you, enjoyed your detailed comment! I agree with you completely about the loud background music – on so many occasions, I found myself straining to hear the dialogues. As I mentioned above they need to stop trying to put music in every scene – no need!
      SeZ was indeed a gem and Abida”s music added so much more to the overall ambiance. I have incorporated translations and connotations of the various kalaams used throughout, in my earlier reviews. If you haven’t already, please do read them – would love to hear your take on them!
      Conference of the birds is a personal favorite – everytime I go back to it I find new things in it – a book worth every penny and truly a treasure – do check it out – would love to know your thoughts on it!
      Please do come back and share your thoughts on the final episode after you’re done watching – I’ll look out for your comment 🙂

    • You write so good Lubna K.. i totally agree with you on Manteq-at Tair.. this also have fascinated me.. really thinking to go and look for that 🙂

  4. So the SeZ journey comes to a satisfying end for me and with that your beautiful reviews for it. Thank you for them all. I was blown over by the start of your first review for it-the makli scenes and your description of it. From there on, I was hooked so thanks!
    Loved- Loved this show so just want to thank all the people that brought us it specially Umera, Sarmad and Mahira! It gave us a mirror to reflect upon our own selves and I hope we continue doing that even after Sez is not there to remind us each weel. Will miss it.

    • Would you be so kind to point out some of the stuff that was changed from the novel in the drama? i mean only if you’ve read the novel! 😀

      • Sorry Ash, haven’t read this but check out the thread on fatima’s review on dramasonline, a lot of people have made comments about what was and was not in the book.

        • I would but dramasonline and the comments there, their mentality and way of thinking and looking at things really piss me off for some reason. =\

          Maybe someone whose read the Novel can share with us! 🙂

          • so with you on the comments on DOL even .They are more concerned about Falak ka duppata kyon patla tha ,kis moqay pay duppat kyon nahi liya rather than the message of the play or what is being shown. Argghh she is not moving in bazars guys apnay ghar main hay ,anyways i read the novell way back so c an’t tell you mech in detail it was more of a short story.Salman has a very short character juat a plain cheating huasband so you will never have any sympathies for him. Falak is the most beautiful girl in the possible imagination,she is always concerned about her looks there was no Hamza. The main theme that i remember that she made a statue and started kind of in love with her creation. She was very arrogant very rude very proud find every similar word you can find in dictionary.Her mother’s character was quiet similar social butterfly.Falak finds Salman falls in love and when she ignores her well she is flared up so it was more for her egotistical reasons to get him.After marriage there was no miscarriage in the story.He cheats and she turns is first into depression , nervous breakdown and with nani help she turn towards religion. And same dialogues mard darwaza and then how she come in contact with the kid who loses his life and turns towards helping others .There was a refrence to the poem abu bin adem in the story too,and yes tabinda was the ugliest women possible.I don’t remember her having any dialogues in the story.And it was Falak’s azmaish mostly which in play you will see it’s very different more of qismet and acceptance not punishment. She takes a more stern route in the story as she does not have any feelings for Salman at all once she goes back i remember once he comes to ask for her forgiveness she is clad in a white big shawl all covered ,he is shocked to see her.AS she sees him she sees nothing but an ordinary mortal but as she is least bothered by worldly desires now she decides to go back as it does not matter anymore where she lives.She might be into some charity work before going back.That is all i can recall.Well the novel was interesting too but Umera has made some brilliant changes to the script making it much more relatable for any one.Really sorry if i have missed or misinterpreted some detail.It was four/five years ago and i was trying to find the book right now but could not.

            • Excuse the typos and mistakes,typing from a cell ,and yes the did not change any dialogues for when she meets the fakir and later the lady,i remember that part

            • @Jav! Thanks a lot for this! looks like you do remember most of it! 🙂
              Khair i guess most of the novel was dramatized but the changes theyve made in it made it a complete story! and didnt miss out much for not being able to read the novel! 🙂

  5. Wow wow wow thank you for such A Fab review! I was completely spellbound during the story of the simurgh. Will pen down more thoughts later

  6. I loved this novel and this drama very much , each and every episode made me reflect on my life …. Perhaps not for people who are fans of FUN and MASTI … But for me personally I enjoyed it more then HUMSAFAR , not comparing as both are very different but just as both were directed by Sarmad so I can say it in that aspect .
    I really enjoy reading your reviews , it’s an absolute pleasure to read your views and you are very articulate and give your attention to every angle of the episode .
    I hope to read your views on another upcoming amazing novel ” zindagi Gulzaar hai ” ….

    • oh yes although sad that SEZ has come to an end, so very excited about ZGH and after drama discussions that will IA take place!! 🙂

    • Sheema: Welcome! How lovely to hear from a silent reader – thank you for taking the time to comment – much appreciated! I agree with you re: the Humsafar comparison – I enjoyed them both equally, but SeZ was special in a very different way!
      I hope you will now continue commenting and I look forward to having you join us in our weekly conversation on ZGH, IA!

  7. SZ: Wow, only you could have come up with such a review, mashallah. The analogy of “The Conference of the Birds” and its explanation were beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us, it is something I intend to look up in detail in the future.

    Everything about this drama was just near perfect. Humsafar and Shehr e Zaat have to be my two favourite dramas. I saw Mahira for the first time in Humsafar and I thought she was the perfect Khirad. But as Falak, she was superb. This was a role that required her to truly understand her character and she came out with flying colours. She is in a class of her own in my opinion. Hina B, Semeena Peerzada, Mikaal, Mohib M and everyone else left their mark in their individual ways. A huge thank you to everyone, Sarmad Khoosat, Umera Ahmed, Khizer Idrees, Momina D and Seven Sky and the whole entire team for giving us this gem.

    I too, questioned Falak’s decision to go back to Salman. I was ecstatic when she signed the divorce papers and thought good riddance. However, I must confess I was
    quite wrong when it came to the end. I had thought she would achieve this inner peace but with someone else (of course we as the viewer would just be given a hint of that.) But the scene between Nani and Falak explained it all so well. I love this serial and all the special scenes you mentioned but this particular dialogue between Falak and Nani has to be my favourite. Here is Falak saying she does not have any feelings for Salman no matter how much he apologizes now. And Nani’s explanation was just so beautiful. At the end of the day, if Salman hadn’t done this to her, she would not have found this inner peace and changed for the better. And so Falak realized the wisdom in Nani’s words and remembered her past. If she had not been forgiven where would she be now? Something to think about. And Nani says another thing, “This is Salman’s first mistake (yeah what a mistake) and he is ashamed of himself.” God has rewarded her with something so special that her heart just has been expanded as a result. Falak is truly blessed.

    Thanks again SZ for all the wonderful reviews every week. You seriously need to start writing your own book now…..

    • Zka: Thanks! your very kinds words are much appreciated as always! Yes, definitely you must check out the book – I find Dick Davis’ translation the best one around, but others are equally good. Would love to know what you think of it once youre done reading – do share your thoughts!
      Did you agree with naani’s take on Salman’s “pehli ghalati” ??? I found that a bit hard to swallow – he committed adultery, dumped his first wife married again and was about to have a child?? I was so cheering on Falak as she challenged naani on all that! Way to go Falak!

      • SZ: Like you said in the following comment to SK, one needs to take this kind of advice in a case by case scenario. I never was a fan of Salman Ansar in the first place. I am not saying what Nani is saying is totally right or even acceptable but somehow in Falak’s case it makes some sense. He really was not a womaniser before he encountered Tabinda. Furthermore I get the impression that he has learnt his lesson and is feeling some remorse. He has a lot to make up for in order to win Falak back. No way is she coming back to him on his terms any more, she has made that crystal clear. For a while even I questioned how Falak would convince herself to go back. I don’t think it was just Nani’s words that made her. I think it was her placing her complete faith in God and then letting things take their course. In the prayer scene, Falak asks God why Salman is being given back to her when she does not want him, she wants something else. I would say, this is where God then answers her in His own mysterious way and guides her. As it turns out she is a total winner on all counts, she has got her husband back, a beautiful daughter whom she dotes upon and that inner peace, in fact the whole package. I am guessing she is happy with Salman now. Life is not a bed of roses for anyone but Falak was one of the lucky ones who persevered and did not get lost along the way. Hope what I said makes some sort of sense.

        • @zka: thank you for you lovely explanation!! you have written it out so well – makes a lot of sense now! 🙂 I’m so glad that they spent time showing Falak’s thought processes and that she spent time pondering over her decision and returning on her own terms, rather than going back simply b/c anybody was telling her, or she felt pressurized. I hope that Falak remains happy with Salman, and he has seen the error of his ways. Will miss SeZ and our discussions 😦 I hope you’re onboard for ZGH! 🙂

          • I am already looking forward to the fireworks between Fawad K and Sanam S, and your reviews of course! By the way, thanks for letting me know about the DD translation.

        • I have to agree Zka your explanation makes a lot of sense 🙂 Glad it answered some questions i had in my mind .Thank you.

        • @ZKA – Excellently explained! I really wish people would come read this review and comments because a few of my friends who were following the drama are totally hating that she went back to Salman. It is so pissing me off, but kya karain… for a lot of people clearly this was a love story and not the journey from wajood to zaat.

        • Great explanation Zka! I am also of the belief that something good comes out of something that we deem bad for us because human beings are always short sighted. I have been proven wrong time and time again by God due to my short-sighted ness

  8. So its finally over, what a journey its been for Falak and for us!!! We’ve had amazing discussions due to some amazing reviews, thank you SZ and you just did it again. I am not very familiar with these stories and poetry you seem to so efforlesslly post and explain this drama, but they seem very apt for the explanation of this drama, and keeps me reading and enjoying! I was also not ecstatic that Falak went back to salman, but the reasoning was amazing. She made Allah happy, and that’s what she went through this painful journey for to find Allah right? It made me feel stupid after Naanis convo with Falak. The main thing was she was at peace and was now doing things for God, if he can forgive us why can’t we forgive??
    Thank you to the whole team, everyone did amazing, Loved,Mahira all the way through, so beautiful and played such a difficult character with so much ease. Naani was fabulous, will remember her nasiyeeats for a long time.
    Hopefully we all can learn lessons from this and stop and think about why we really are living, and what our purpose is in the grand scheme of things.

    • @SK: Thanks! Agreed, that somehow Naani’s naseehats convinced all of us that going back was the right choice for Falak to make. I dont think naani’s advice is universally applicable tho, I would have to say it depends on a case by case scenario…what do you think?

  9. The journey of ShehrEzaat would have been incomplete without your amazingly written reviews! Id like to start my comment thanking you from the bottom of my heart for this every week! This drama had some really tough urdu that went right over my head and even some of the deep stuff and if it weren’t for your reviews I think i would be a clueless Shehrezaat watcher. The comparison /analogy you’ve given, well I have no words but written in 12 c, asa lagta hai is dramay ke liye likhe gai thi. Never have I read such a perfect analogy for anything before. Thanks for educating us the way you do! I will surely be looking into this poem in the near future.
    Thank you for these reviews. as much as the drama will be missed, so will your Shehrezaat reviews, I think they need to add them in the dvd for this drama awesome would that be. We dont even get deleted scenes and bloopers and here i am asking for reviews..sigh

    Khair Moving on to the last episode! and what a finale it was! Unlike most people who had mixed feelings about the ending, I think this is what reality really is. How many people would avoid getting divorced and work on making things better, especially after that person has finally acknowledged their faults. Yes forgiving someone is the hardest of all things to do. We’d rather hold on to that hate and let it eat inside of us, then to go ahead and forgive someone and free ourselves from that pain. Why? Because we don’t have that patience and purity inside of us to forgive people and move on. It takes A LOT!! and this is why Allah ki zaat se koi bhi bari zaat nahi, the most forgiving of all. and if HE can why can we not. why must we hurt ourselves by holding on to that grudge that gets us nowhere.

    Falak is one lucky person and although she is a fictional character i envy her! She at the peak of her life found herself and her beloved and her face is now lit with noor. How blessed is she, to have reached her journey with success. One of the most difficult stages in one life to attain, one that we all are so far from but hopefully we can take a lot of away from this drama and help ourselves find the beloved.
    Mahirah Khan, loved you in Humsafar and you have been totally amazingggggg and shut up all the haters [ 😛 ] as Falak. Hoping to see you in upcoming drama serials!

    Some of the things Naani says although are very true and hold a lot of depth to, but how many people actually go by all that in their daily life. Koi bhi itni himat nahi rakhta to go and forgive their cheating husband. I guess when she says it and explains in the context of religion it makes sense but people dont really think like that therefore its hard for us unless we reach that stage that Falak is now on.

    Salman is only “pasheminda” because Tabinda left him, he asks all the same questions without once realizing that did the same exact thing to someone and now that hes left alone its totally okay to patch up.
    I guess its just as hard to ask for forgiveness as it is to forgive someone. As Falak says to her mother who is still confused and doesn’t understand how her daughter became so wise All of a sudden, but it is after many falls that we finally learn to stand.
    There is just so much to take from this drama. Each scene, each dialogue leaves you pondering. makes you stand in front of that mirror while all your faults are being thrown at you. I for one am in search of zaat and that content feeling Falak is now living! What a great example for us all.

    My only issue and not such a major one was the story of Salman and Tabinda was left hanging. I mean what kind of woman in their right mind would leave a guy like Salman. Haan shayed for Falak he was a total @ss but for a Tabinda he was that perfect prince charming we all look for. So what was her reason to leave him?? I guess the same could be said about Salman who left a wife like Falak for Tabinda. It is all in the eyes of the beholder and what the Almighty wants us to see. God does work in mysterious ways.
    Mikaal’s expressions when he searches for Tabinda around the house were priceless!! this is what you call amazing acting!!

    I feel that Mehrunissa should not take the blame for what has happened to her daughter. I am not sure why they showed what they showed, about her mom thinking its all her fault and for not raising her child right. Sometimes when a child grows up, its their responsibility to figure out what is right or wrong for them, that point where your parents can no longer make your decisions for you or to tell you what to do.

    “Aik waqt asa bhi tha mai us pe mara karti thi ” – well like she [Khirad] said in Humsafar “mohabbat mara nahi karti, kahin humare andhar chup jaati hai” That exactly how Falak feels about Salman which is why she forgives him, that mohabbat is still in there somewhere just now hard to find as its been taken over by the love of God.. I think she’s made a good decision for herself, we see her leading a much happier life and if it weren’t for Salman like naani says “kya tum rab ki kadar karti” if this hadn’t happened to you. Indeed, “jab Allah pe tawakal hota hai na toh har kaam asan ho jata hai” Honestly i am sure she wouldn’t. So in a way she can now thank Salman. 😀

    SZ, all the scenes you mentioned were truly the essence of the drama. All my faves!

    Thank you to everyone who was a part of this great great project! One that really has made us think and seek inside of us! Its been a great journey for us all [clearly i have no shame in speaking for all of us ..hehe ]! HumTv you rock!

    ShehrEzaat, you will be missed! not that your a real person or anything and can read this but nonetheless aap ki bohut yaad aayegi, thank you youtube!! 😀

    • @Ash: Thank you!! Much appreciated!
      Loved reading your very detailed comment. RE: Mehrunnisa: I could see where she was coming from and I didn’t think other were blaming her per se, but I know that like you many others too thought she was was being unjustly blamed – perhaps Hina Bayat or somebody else associated with SeZ, if they’re reading this, can help explain it better?
      Its interesting how you’ve drawn a parallel between Khirad and Falak, I never saw them together in this way, but yes, what you say does make sense – thanks for sharing that insight!
      Agree with you on missing Tabinda here and feeling that her story was kinda left dangling in the air – Missed seeing Nadia in the final ep! Khuda hafiz kehne ka mauqa bhi nahin diya! 😦

    • @ Ash I always liked reading your comments throughout SEZ,almost agreed with everything you said. This week too agree with you mostly only on Mehrunisa i think it was being blamed by Falak and thus she breaks down,i always thought it was her friends betraying her that she lost hope and really changed because she never paid much heed to Falak ‘s problems and thought she was being emotional unstable. In the end too she does not ask Falak for forgiveness but her own self she says ker hud ko maaf karna mushkil hota hai,and she had her own journey. And it is a part of her journey that she had to realize where she has failed in life for her own self and she clearly has let her daughter down by not being there for her and not understanding her and now she realizes Falak wasn’t an emotional fool as she herself admits Falak has grown a lot.

      • @ Jav & SZ – thanks! 🙂

        @ Jav – Your explantation does make sense and fine Mehru might be at fault but not completely. Kuch insaan ki apni ghalti bhi hoti hai. But like you said now her journey has officially begun.

    • I love to read and this becomes more interesting when i read something like you have commented… too good Ash 🙂 each and every line was excellently written

      • hehe i thought the same thing! and i was like this woman cannot be serious with this kurta! i think we had enough of it in HS! but this one was a lot better!

        • That coral Kurta bothers me-why didn’t Khirad change her clothes? Ashar changed about 4 times during that time. Or was it all one day from the start of hareem’s surgery till the Asher-Khirad scene on the waterfront? If it was one day, then why was ashar changing so many times? Sorry friends, kuch humsafar ka pagalpan bhi tha…

          • Khirad didn’t change because she wasn’t falak. She didnt care about clothes. Her daughter’s life was on the line here.

            But that bridge (ashar Khirad scene ) needed a change of clothes. Sign.

            • Lol you guys we can’t live without bringing HS somehow!!! I also thought for a minute is that orange shirt the same?? I guess it was a different style, but yeah Khirad made it so famous for all those important scenes, it was hard not to do a double take. The hygiene issue bothered me too Afia…

  10. Some questions that my family was wondering about :
    -What really did attract Salman to Tabinda? Maybe the ones who’ve read the book know…
    -Why did tabinda leave salman? If she was after riches, wouldn’t it make sense to have the baby and be mrs. salman for life? Or are we not supposed to dwell on these details and just be aware that salman got done to him what he did to Falak?

    • @Afia: Thank you for reading and appreciating my SeZ reviews – much appreciated!
      Re: your questions, if I renember correctly SeZ ws a 58 pg novella, which pretty much should give an idea about how much stuff was added in for the serial. Tabinda has basically no mention except being described as a an extremely ugly woman, and then towards the end al we hear is that she wiped Salman clean of all his money etc. Basically her aim was to milk Salman for all he was worth. All these questions that we are now asking are based on the details added in later. For that matter even Salman was a very peripheral character in the novel – here we saw him as an actual living breathing character. I guess the basic focus, as you rightly said, was on Falak all along and her journey from wujood to zaat. The rest were all depicted as her azmaishes along the way …
      Thats my read, perhaps others would like to add more ? 🙂

      • Thanks for your thoughts. Considering they’d added the characters, I wish they’d put more depth into them- specially Tabinda.

  11. Wow! Where to begin from? SeZ ended in the best way. It could not have ended in any better way than this. Like you said @SZ the Falak we saw today was brilliant. Mahira Khan’s portrayal of ‘this’ satisfied Falak was apt and simply perfect. Adding to the charm of the drama, the dialogues in the background through out this drama were perfectly placed. We usually do not see such stuff on television, except for the voiced thoughts of the characters. Brilliant stuff!

    I too would like to thank you SZ for giving us such beautiful words to read and so many thoughts to cherish. Loved every one of your reviews!

    Congratulation team SeZ! SeZ is a winner for sure and every member of the crew deserves all the credit earned by this play because the joint effort of these crew members is what made SeZ glorious in itself.

    SeZ and SZ’s reviews will be missed! Looking forward to ZGH InshALLAH.

    • @Heela: Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the show and my reviews 🙂 SeZ was indeed special and is now on my list of top ten fave shows .
      Now onwards ho to ZGH! Bring it on! 😀

  12. @All: You’ve all been so very generous and kind with all your remarks about my writing that I’m at a loss – thank you, thank you all for reading and commenting week after week. Truly means a lot! Hopefully we’ll continue onwards with our conversations as we begin watching a whole new slew of shows – Zindagi waqai gulzar hai! 😀

  13. SeZ ended so beautifully. Loved loved loved each n every thing about Sez whether it is Umera’s fabulous and thought provoking story n dialogues, Sarmad’s outclass direction,Khizer Idrees amazing Camera work, Mahira’s wardrobe, styling and perfect portrayal of Falak, Mikaal’s arrogance and superb performance, Naani’s lovely n straight to heart style, Hina and Mohib acting.And and the beautiful use of mirrors.
    Everything is just being wonderful and classy about SeZ. Sez has set its own class. Must sy Khizer Idrees had a major part in this artistic touch of Sez and Mahira you have made a bigger place in every one’s heart <3.

    Will miss Sez a lot and your magical reviews SZ that Sez extracts from you… There are so many favorites fromSez that it is hard to mention. But ''Dil ajeeb shae hai, ajeeb cheezain mangta hai, ajeeb cheezain krney ko kehta hai'' is my absolute fav. My initial reservations regarding falak's return to salman dies itself as end gave some ajeeb si satisfaction. And those last 3 lines in the background were just magical. For me SeZ is a masterpiece and always remain at a high place in my most favorite list 🙂

    And BTWI missed rushna and hamza in the end it would be pleasant if they show some of their interaction with this new and blessed falak in the finale.

    • @hoorean: I’m with you – although people are complaining abt the dragging of SeZ, I feel ke kaafi kuch reh gaya – no Tabinda no Rushna, no Hamza 😦

      Yes, that was one of my fave lines as well, along with the behaya ya bahaya chhezin nahin hotin…

      Actually, would love to hear what scenes and dialogues are everybody’s faves and why – my fave scenes I’ve already mentioned … would love to know abt your favourite scene or a line that touched you all the most … 🙂

      • One of my fav scenes was the one near the pond, with the ‘bail’ dialogue. And the one where Falak gets hysterical on the phone with mom and collapses in Salman’s arms.

            • Hey! Yes! Finally got it back Friday evening. I was so annoyed ke I went out and bought a generator. And the day I buy it electricity decides to come back.. I was a happy camper to finally see some light! We got lucky cause half of my town is still without power. And now it’s a mission to find gas.
              Khair things are getting better slowly but surely . Thanks A lot for asking! :).

      • It has be the wardrobe scene when she tells her mother that she has so many clothes and shoes about israf,Mahira just acted so very in that scene.It gave me chills and particular dialogue dil bhi ajab shay hai but i have many favorite selected lines from all your reviews.I was initially thinking this week i will only make a list of them and comment with them instead on the episode.

      • There are too many favorites of mine but that junoon wala scene is my most most favorite. And the opening scene of Sez n that later chor wai scene at Makli, all the mirror scenes, Falak- naani kitchen scene, falak – salman random encounter at stairs in maryam’s party, falak – Sarmad khoosat scene and reference to humsafar, falak- tabinda first encounter scene and break down scene after that, closing scene of Sez and the scene where Naani was narrating Qisa e Hazrat Yousaf.

        And too many dialogues that goes straight to heart Qabrastan fascinate hony ki jaga nh hoti wala …………. Apne Allah ko na batao k tmhari mushkil kitni bari hai bulky apni Mushkil ko btao k tmhara Allah kitna bara hai ………. Haya b nazr m hai aur be hayaiii b ……
        and that Falak – Hamza coversation about buut bantee hi tootne k lye hai kyunk yehi unka naseeb hota hai.

        Ohh i have made such a long list 😀

      • All you mentioned are definitely my favourites.. i also loved how falak angrily called her mum saying ‘ap ne mujhe kuch nh sikhaya’ , that scene too.. when nani says to mehrunissa ‘ nahin nahin Rabb aisa nh he, vo to Rehman he, Raheem hai ‘ 🙂

  14. After the serial has completed, I am in complete awe of Mahira Khan and Falak’s character. So just writing down my thoughts on the different phases of Falak we have seen in the last 19 weeks. This by no means is a full list 🙂
    – In the beginning we see a Falak making fun of Hamza and the famous Phoonk Phoonk ke qadam rakhna wala scene. Not bothering to even think about life beyond the present.
    – then we see a completely infatuated Falak who is running in circles around Salman and becoming a “your wish is my command” slave to Mr. Anser.
    – next we have the green (literally) with envy Falak planning to throw tezaab at Tabinda but hitting rock bottom instead, screaming in the shower, and while playing with the tezaab bottle calmly telling Salman he can marry his lady love.
    – We see her screaming at her mother for not teaching her anything about Allah and in the last episode we see a sharp contrast of her comforting Mehrunissa and telling her it is not too late to make a connection with her Raab.
    – we see a completely lost and desolate Falak post-Salman trying to figure things out, wandering here and there, screaming at her mother about israaf while giving the little girl a HUGE hug and crying her eyes out at the young girl’s loss.
    – we then see a much calmer Falak, still soul searching, questioning, learning how to pray, and finding peace in having that conversation with Allah. Still a little confused if and how to achieve zaat.
    – Finally we see her come around where it seems like she has found that inner peace. She’s then hit by Salman wanting her back, but this time we see a completely different Falak. One who can stand up for herself, and follow what life has to offer her on her own terms and be content with what God has given (back) to her when she doesn’t need it anymore.

    To portray so many personalities and emotions is no small feat. Hats off to Mahira for really embodying Falak to the core and making her so relate-able. I become very surprised when I read comments that people did not find this drama to be all that. Either they completely missed the boat or I understood more than what the story was trying to convey. Should I feel sad for people who weren’t able to internalize even a single message from this play? I can’t help but do. For me it has been a wonderful journey. I just wish more people would have learned a lesson from something so special. I guess it just means there is more work to do to get to those people. We need more dramas like these.

    Thank you SZ for taking us on this wonderful journey. Your reviews were a GREAT supplement to our study 🙂 It would be a great travesty if they are not included in the SeZ DVDs somehow. (if anyone from MD Prod. or 7th Sky is reading this)

    • totally Agree with you @Annie! Especially your last para about people having issues with the drama or not getting it! Like you i feel for those people who missed a great message the team of SEZ tried to put forward. I guess its their loss.

      But asay dramay roz roz nahi bantey, thats for sure.

    • Everyone have written so extra ordinary well.. Annie you are no doubt one of them.. 🙂 What a good thought on attaching SZ reviews with SeZ episodes.. i will definitely buy then 😀

    • Beautiful comment Annie. I enjoyed reading the way you have portrayed Falak’s journey, and what a journey!

      SZ, thanks for mentioning Annie’s comment in our conversation on the D’Buzz thread. Isn’t it amazing how each of us find so much to think about, analyse and discuss with others on this play…

      I just finished reading the novella and I must say, the drama truly brought out so many layers in the story – and Nani was a masterstroke… Hats off team SeZ.

  15. @ Aniee yes yes really just exactly what i loved about Falak’s character and how Mahira has pulled off this brilliant chracter. So very true.

  16. My fellow soul searchers,

    It has ended finally, it takes with it a piece of my heart and leaves me with a bit of it’s soul..

    I don’t know how to begin really, but I guess its best to start from where it all started. I got lots of scripts after Humsafar and nothing was hitting home. I remember sitting in Momina’s office and as usual picking her brain, being indecisive. She said there is this one script, its about a girl who sets on a journey to find herself. I said I would like to be a part of that. She’s like “yes, i’d like to produce it”. (at that time the script was with 7th sky, so still undecided which channel will be taking it)!

    Conversation ended and we moved on. A month later or so I get a call from 7th sky asking me if i was interested in this play called “Shehr e Zaat” – told me the story etc.. Sarmad was directing, thats all I knew. Eventually Momina also came on as producer.

    So I get the 1st draft of the script and I read it – it frightened me! Not because i didn’t enjoy the story but because I felt I wasn’t ready to handle this. But I was looking for a challenge, so I was confused. Every page had Falak dialogues, every scene had Falak in it. There were so many discussions.. even got to meet Umera Ahmed in the process. We had a great chat over chai and gol guppas 🙂 I asked her all kinds of questions, I told her to change the ending… she insisted that Falak wasn’t the old Falak, that she saw herself in Salman now (I didn’t understand it then). I remember asking Umera if I had to choose between Kankar (great script!) or Shehr e zaat what should I pick? She laughed and said to me ” Your’e asking me to pick between God and something else?”

    I got my answer. 🙂

    And so the shoot began and it has to the hardest shoot ever (not thats i’ve had too many) – no New York freezing temperature or Mirpur Khas boiling heat can be compared to this shoot. Understanding Falak was hard, I took it upon myself to play her ignorant rather than mean/arrogant. Discussions on set about every scene became the norm. Be it Hina, Samina Peerzada or Sarmad we were constantly debating scenes, everyone had their own take on religion, on spirituality.. on zaat.

    I will forever be grateful to Momina and Umera for convincing me to do this and believing in me to take up this challenge.

    The Actors! The Crew! All of them went through the drill and gave it their all. (Special mention – Mohib Mirza..some of our scenes were so nicely written and it was so enjoyable shooting them).

    For me this serial was about the nani, ama and beti.

    There is so much to be said about our senior (not so senior) actors. I wish you could all be on set to see how disciplined they are, how organized, how punctual and how they love what they do.

    Hina Bayat, what a great time we had shooting together! We bounced off each other’s energy. I learnt so so much from her (wish I could learn how to organize my continuity clothes like her, guys thats a treat to see!).She was the perfect Mummy!
    (Yes, time and again when i’d say Mummy we’d go into “Mummy aap kya keh rahi hein?”)

    Falak was nothing without nani. Shehr e Zaat is nothing without nani. And nani without Samina Peerzada? Well, you know what i mean.
    What an actor! She and I connected instantly. I’d feel every line of every scene with her. She has to be one of the most giving actors. She gives and gives and gives. If an actor could direct another actor with in a scene, it happened with Samina Peerzada directing me in scenes ( without saying anything). She taught me so much about acting without teaching me. My most favorite scene(s) are with her.

    All of this talk, every word becomes null and void without my director. He asked me to trust him and I did… I didn’t know I was in for a joy ride. Be it the shower scene, the mirror scene, the jhoola scene, the makli ruins, the keechar waala scene etc…he would tell me lets do it like this and I would say ok lets (and tried to give it my all). He made a little bit of an actor out of me in Humsafar and a little bit more in Shehr e zaat.

    SZ, thank you for being so kind with your words.. but even more for understanding the essence of Shehr e Zaat. You gave a whole new dimension to this story, even for me and I was living it. We are all humbled by the response. And please don’t write so eloquently, it is not fair on us lesser mortals to keep checking our apostrophes and spellings just because its SZ’s blog! 😉

    Thank you, all of you who watched. Thank you for watching it with an open heart and embracing what you saw. Thank you for debating, liking, disliking,hating,loving etc … thank you. Sorry if ever I did not live up to your expectations, I will continue to work harder.

    In Umera Ahmed’s words – Dil ajeeb shai hai naani,
    Ajeeb cheezein maangta hai,
    Ajeeb cheezein karney ko kehta hai..

    She had us all at the first line…

    All my love,


    p.s Sorry for the long post, I have decided to take some time off work and yes, i’m bored 🙂

    • Mahira, Wow so amazing to read some of the story behind SEZ!! I think this took a piece of all our hearts and we all went on a journey with Falak trying to find our zaat. You were wonderful as Khirad, but as Falak you just blew us away. I think we all have enjoyed your performance immensely. Really looking forward to your next projects, and good luck to you for the future!!

    • thank you Mahira for your thoughts on how you picked this script. I remember you had written after Humsafar ended too and I am always grateful when actors come out and tell us something behind the scenes. It just lends SO MUCH to our viewing and thought process. I should thank Umera for not letting you do Kankar then 🙂 You are Falak for me. I cannot imagine anyone else playing it. Thank you for giving us another STRONG woman character on screen. Hope to see more brilliant work from you in the future. Right now I only trust you and Syra Yusuf to pick good scripts for yourselves 🙂 Good Luck and God Bless!

    • Thank you Mahira for visiting 🙂 it feels so good interacting with you.. I hope you read all this. Please join Facebook as well 🙂 Your Fans are desperatly waiting for your next project.. With Shehr-e-Zaat you made us all Speechless. remarkable performance hats off to you.. Thank You for doing Shehr-e-Zaat.. We want you more and more please DO NOT take break PLEASE it’s a request come quick.. we all are waiting

    • Wow.. so good to see you here and more good to see your detailed comment.. loved going through the back end story 🙂
      I would say with your portrayal of Falak, it was easy for me to relate.. your expressions / body language from old falak to transformed falak were best. Keep doing such awesome work. Best wishes for you always 🙂

    • Dear Mahira,
      Thanks so much for taking the to read and comment – and thank you also for your very kind words – much appreciated!!
      Loved reading the thought process that went into your selection of SeZ as your next serial following the tremendous success of Humsafar.I am sure it took a lot of courage to pick up something so radically different, but all of us are really glad you took on this challenge – Loved you as Falak!
      Wishing you all the best for all your future endeavors and intezaar is shuru for your next project!

      • Thanku Mahirah for sharing your side of story behind SeZ. I was expecting that you share some of your thoughts with us as you did after humsafar. I loved the way you played khirad and loved loved loved you as Falak. You appeared as a powerhouse of wonderful performance in SeZ.

        And now as Sz said intezaar began for your new project so plz bht ziada intezaar b na krvana 🙂

  17. Mahira simply loved hearing your thoughts and thanks for visiting us.I have repeatedly said how i completely loved you as Falak and you clearly are a very fine actress.You have impressed many people with Sherezat the depth you have given to the character ,no one else could have done this role more justice .

  18. Nice review! I’ve been reading your reviews as of late and they’re very well written and I enjoy reading them. 🙂

    I had some disagreements with the drama at many points but I thoroughly enjoyed the drama. I absolutely love Sarmad as a director. I think this guy brings out the best in his actors and actresses and I truly believe he did the same with this project.

    I didn’t like Mahira in Humsafar. When I look back I don’t know whether it’s because I didn’t fully like Khirad, the character or I didn’t like Mahira’s portrayal of it. Regardless of the case, I felt the performance was overrated and I only hoped that I’d like Mahira for a performance far more praiseworthy & challenging. Then came Shehr e Zaat. With each episode, I couldn’t help but feel everything Falak the character was going through. I hated Falak for being so naive, immature and falling for a guy like Salman..yet I felt bad for Falak. As Falak got closer to God, I started to understand how important it is to connect with God even more..Before I knew it, I realized how all of this wouldn’t have been possible had Mahira not done a splendid job. I started liking Mahira’s performance & portrayal as Falak. I think Mahira Khan has jumped greatly from Humsafar to SeZ and honestly speaking this is THE performance that I’d like to praise Mahira Khan for now. The last scene was particularly my favorite. That behaya & bahaya dialogue with the addition of dil ajeeb sheh hai, naani.. These lines still go through my head in Mahira’s voice at times and I must say it hits me every time. 🙂 Mahira Khan, you were great as Falak! Wish you all the best with your future projects.

    Everyone else was great in their respective roles too from the beginning till the end. Mikaal, Samina Peerzada, Nadia Afghan, the side characters etc. The drama wouldn’t have been the same had any one of these people not been a part of it. Although I did have a bit of a problem with Mohib’s performance, However, won’t get into too much of that since there were other things that I appreciated throughout the drama that outweighs some of the smaller things that one disapproves/disagrees with while watching a show/movie etc.

    All in all I enjoyed this will definitely be a memorable one. And I must say the OST added an entire new meaning to the drama, and vice versa!

    • @ S.A.: Hi! Welcome and thank you for being a regular reader and I’m so glad that you took the time to comment – enjoyed reading your detailed comment. I am totally on the same page as you and agree with you on all counts:) Yes, I think given the complexity of the subject SeZ addressed, we all had issues with something or the other along the way, but at the end of the day, the positives outweighed the negatives so overwhelmingly, that to pick on our disagreements does seem churlish. We all learned so much along the way, and hopefully we can hold on to the messages conveyed through SeZ, to become better individuals.
      Now that you have taken the first step, I hope we will see you as a regular here, joining us in our weekly discussions. Whether you agree or disagree with us, would still enjoy reading your thoughts 🙂

  19. Mahira, So good to hear from you. I enjoyed Neeyat, loved you as Khirad and but Falak you lived so thank you for giving us so many hours of viewing pleasure and lots to think about. Your hard work was well worth it. All the best always!

  20. If I was Spell bounded by your review on 1st episode, then I am in such an Awe with your Finale review. Extremely beautifully written and worth to word ‘ Finale’, you nailed it again SZ. We all when say SeZ is incomplete without SZ, we literally mean it 🙂 My few cousins have start visiting blog and one of them says, ” i read all SeZ reviews on blog and re-watched the episodes..I easily could understand the in-depth meaning only because of reviews ” 😀

    The Last episode has all the ingredients that can make it called ” WOW”. With Falak signing divorce papers in previous episode, it made me wondered how they are going to end the drama in next episode, but starting scene made me quite clear where it was going. The way Salman finding Tabinda was seriously giving a glimpse of dialogue ‘ Din me Chamkadar dekha hai, waisa banjata hoon use na dekhoon toh ‘. Awesomely portrayed by Meekal, small role but gave life to Salman Ansar’s character.

    It takes guts to meet someone with open heart who have insulted you terribly and specially if that someone is your better half. Falak having so much grace and contentment on her face meeting with Salman showed that she has moved on. loved the last line of that scene ‘ insaan kuch bhi karsakta hai’ how badly true 😦

    Not going back to Salman was highly relate-able, anyone too could have done the same, but then Nani-Falak conversation, (which eventually became scene of episode) gave all answers on my face. Umera Ahmed never leaves a chance for me to admire her. Some hard hitting dialogues and you are bound to say, Yes, indeed she is right. Nani saying ‘ Zindagi kay faislay Dil say nahi karnay chahiye Rab ki bheji kitaab say karnay chahiye’, I felt what if people start doing the same, won’t it make our lives simple and straight forward with no confusions at all. Its always easier to say but to follow it requires “Zarf / Big heart” but then these followings take us to path of Jannah as well 🙂 ( Going bit off-track, but I heard ‘ Illahi teri chokhat par’ and it was apt suited Falak )

    Talking about Mehrunissa-Falak scene, I don’t think Mehrunissa should be one to be blamed. She never went through any Azmaaish that could make her close to Almighty. According to me, only few blessed people find their Zaat in their happy days with satisfactory lives, but then there are people who when come across Azmaaish, they don’t think like that and by any measures they get over to their problems, leaving them unchanged. And then there are people like Falak, who are extremely blessed, with just 1 ‘Lamha’ and their lives are totally changed with Tawakal on Almighty and through that Faith, they take steps against their will but still with content heart as Falak said, ‘ Tawakal, cheezain asaan kardeta hai’.. loved it 🙂

    Falak-Salman — Last scene, she made it all clear as it was in Novel, I am this way, whether you like it or not.. too good! Ending scene with her daughter and showing Nani as well simultaneously was feel-good scene. From the background dialogues running, i would rate on top – Nani’s saying ‘Rabb ki mohabbat ke ilawa her mohabbat ko zawal he….’ On 2nd ‘ dil ajeeb che he nani…’ last dialogue was confusing for me and i got to know from UA Official page regarding that dialague of ‘cheezain behaya ya bahaya nahin hotein unsen mansoob jo kya jata hai vo behaya/bahaya hota hai ‘ NOT written by Umera and being used by director without her consent. ..

    Mahira Khan was flawless right from 1st episode to last.. i always thought considering her innocent face before starting of Drama that how could she perform such arrogant character in start.. imagining her in transformed falak was easy and acceptable..but She made me a big shshshsh 😀 Sameena Peerzada, watching her as Durre-e-Shehwar made me in love with character but seeing you as Nani, made me in love with You..Tremendous work 🙂 Hina K. Bayat, i cried along with Hajra on Aabi’s death and this I felt Mehrunissa’s helpness.. such natural actor you are..*applause* 🙂
    Last but not the least, Nadia Afgan, I can’t hate Tabinda, because she literally made me laugh in such intense scenes 😀 Enjoy her work..

    So sorry for going it too long. 😦 Have definitely learnt lessons from SeZ as i learned from DeS.. Every Friday I used to become more stronger person.. will badly miss my ” Dose ” But now time for some light mood.. Welcome ZGH 🙂

    • Rehmat: Thank you so much for reading and following all the reviews right from the get go. Thoroughly enjoyed reading all your detailed and thoughtful comments. Indeed SeZ was special, right from the very first shot!
      And yes, agreed, SeZ was lovely and we all learned a lot from it and saw the error in so many of our harkats. I hope we can hold on to naani’s naseehats and implement at least a few of them in our lives. That said, yes, time for a change in direction and time for some lighter moments. Enjoying TNS and CK for now and of course all fingers and toes crossed for ZGH!
      P.S. Your cousins need to start commenting – no more lurking allowed! 😉

  21. SZ, I thank you for penning down exactly what was in my mind/heart/soul about Shehr e Zaat. Thank you for taking us through the streets, pathways and gardens of this beautiful city. We do not even know your name but your words have allowed so many people to deepen their understanding of this ‘drama’ (I do not like calling it just that, it is so much more, but oh all the world is a play..).
    Let us all meet our Rabb the way He wants us to, let us be thankful for the faith we have, the love we have received from Him, and the help He has sent from unexpected places. In a way, all of us have some of Falak in us and sometimes it takes a good, hard look in the mirror for us to realise that. But a believer is a mirror to another believer, is s/he not? I know that reading Umera Ahmed’s words are like being shown a mirror to discover yourself.

    JazakAllah khair, friend. 🙂

    • @Just Another Ayesha: Welcome! Loved reading your beautifully penned comment – thank you for your very kind words, I am beyond touched! You’ve described the essence of SeZ so aptly succinctly that i have nothing more to add, except that I hope that you will continue visiting and sharing your thoughts with all of us as we continue on to ZGH, another Umera Ahmed serial – lets see what is in store for us there. Do join us us in those discussions, I would really enjoy reading more of your writing. Now that we’re friends don’t be a stranger! 🙂

  22. Yes, Shehr e Zaat has come to an end but for many of us the journey continues! A journey of discovery – of oneself, those around us and the ultimate zaat which we all endeavour to find but few do. As Mehrunissa said Falak was one of the lucky ones who was able to attain that so early in life but us lesser mortals are still miles away from our destination. Mehrunissa too is still treading that path – she hasn’t reached the end but she has travelled enough to reach a point of self realization and acceptance that again few do. Many viewers have commented on the unfairness of Mehru being blamed for all that happened to Falak but playing Mehrunissa I felt that was necessary. Parents do have a responsibility towards their children which is beyond their material needs. Today we see parents directing all their energies into getting their children into the “right” schools and colleges abroad but we also see them moving away from our social values that emphasised “tarbiyat” as much as “taaleem”. It was important for Mehrunissa too to take stock of her own life having allowed herself to get sucked into the rat race of keeping up with the Joneses. I’m sure like myself many found Mehru’s words and actions ringing true of their own. She represented what we see all around us and facing up to her failings was her first step moving away from the “majaazi” to the “haqeeqi”. This was an emotionally difficult project and one that warranted greater responsibility than most – but as Umera aptly said when we all voiced our concerns ” who ever said that the work of Allah was going to be easy”? It wasn’t! But it was worth it!! The honesty of intention of the entire cast, crew, writer, director and producers came through to bring to life an idea, a feeling, an understanding of that which is intangible, yet very real! Here we owe YOU a huge thanks SZ for peeling off the layers one by one to reach the core of that idea and constantly reiterating and reinforcing those ideals with beautiful analogies. SeZ would have been incomplete without your reviews – and I agree, the DVD release would also be incomplete without them. Personally I am grateful to Allah for having been part of this project that gave me the chance once again, to work with my crazy friend Sarmad and my dearest Momina – both of them emotionally blackmailing me to say yes 🙂 Khizar Idrees turned out to be a hidden gem – his camerawork did soooo much in bringing out that which wasn’t visible. What an honour to share the same screen space and such special moments with an icon I grew up admiring – Samina Peerzada – an artist with such a beautiful heart and soul. And what a pleasure and what fun working with Mahirah – a powerhouse of talent, a heart of gold and the temperament of an angel! I was always fond of Mahirah but grew to love her as someone who will always have a special place in my life! As I said earlier SeZ has come to an end but my journey continues having forged special bonds with some very special people! Thankyou SZ for giving us this space to come together in our journey!

    • It always feel so good when our fav celebrities interact with us through the blog and share their experiences. Hina you are such a Gem that i found Momina and Sarmad 100 cent right for their blackmailing. You have such a variety in your expressions and gestures, overall styling n looks acc to characters that it is hard to find even a glimpse of your earlier character to the present one. It is always pleasant to see you.

      And about Mehruniisa’s responsibility in shaping Falak i agree with you.

    • @ Hina Bayat – Loved reading your comment! so very well written. Thank you for giving us such a great insight to Mehru’s character. I for one was one of the people who felt Mehrunissa was not completely at fault for Falak’s shortcomings. But your explanation makes so much sense and puts everything into perspective about parents responsibilities towards their kids..
      The drama would def be incomplete without you, so glad you decided to do this very different , challenging role. Just comes to show how great you are at what you do! [acting]

      And how great would it be if these reviews do become part of the DVD for SEZ. I am sure you can get the word out to the producers! 😉

      Really looking forward to seeing you and interacting with you on this blog when the much awaited ZGH airs!!

    • Dear Hina,

      Thank you soo much for your beautifully written, very thoughtful comment.Loved reading your insight into Mehrunnissa’s character, and why you thought she deserved the recriminations. I hope it helps answer a lot of the questions that many have been asking about Mehrunnissa. Like everybody else who’s commented before me, I’m so glad that you did take on the challenge of SeZ – there couldn’t have been a better Mehrunnissa – as I had said in one of my early reviews, don’t think there’s ever been a character so aptly named! 🙂

      I really appreciated your taking the time to interact with all of us here. We’ve loved having you join us in our discussions. Your comments have helped explain so much and clarify so many of our confusions about the going ons in SeZ. I too echo the sentiment above and hope that you will continue being our humsafar as we look forward to our journey with ZGH – hoping to hear more from you as that one starts 🙂

      Finally, wow! your very very kind words are indeed overwhelming. I am so touched by your very generous appreciation. Coming from someone I genuinely respect and admire, these words mean a lot — thank you, thank you !! 🙂

  23. What a thoughtful comment! Thanks Hina for being a part of this journey with us and explaining so many things. Nedlees to say you were a perfect mummy for Falak. So glad Momina and Sarmad made you do it. And yes please Hina make these reviews a part of SEZ CD’s , they will be incomplete without them . 🙂

  24. After reading this article I didn’t know whether to feel sorry for this author or frustrated at people who just can’t ‘get’ the message of SeZ. I think she is wrong in her analysis of Falak’s mom and her Nani totally. I don’t know how she gets the idea that SeZ is propogating the idea that children should be rude to their parents, based on one scene. She is so totally off the mark …
    I agree that not all ‘azmaish’ comes to people who are irreligious but the way she’s put forward her argument is not only repulsive but it seems as if it comes from a very angry individual.

  25. Hi SZ and everyone else on this blog,
    I’ve been reading (and really enjoying!) your reviews and others’ comments since quite a while and never thought I’d ever comment myself. I’m one of those silent observers, I love listening to discussions and other people’s opinions but hardly ever give an opinion myself, mostly because I’m too confused, and am trying to understand everyone’s ideas and actually figure out what I think!…
    But your linking this article somehow just compelled me to comment. It was really interesting to read!

    I’ve always interpreted the drama in the same way that you have explained (though you always bring out even deeper meanings). And assumed that it so clearly presented such messages and never thought that anyone would see any differently! (quite narrow minded of me)

    But it’s amazing how people can watch the same thing and yet interpret it so differently. It really illustrates how our own experiences/mindset affects the way we interpret something and actually makes me wonder if a drama can ever be blamed/held accountable for portraying certain messages?

    So I think it’s great that you brought up this article even though the author’s thoughts seem so different to yours.

    I think the author is definitely right in that the themes she’s interpreted from the drama are un-Islamic, the two that stood out in her article:
    1) Falak’s disrespect to her mother
    2) that Salman’s affair was Allah’s wrath on Falak for not being religious and that if you are religious you will not have any tests.

    But the main thing is that those were themes ‘she interpreted’.

    Those same events can be interpreted in a very different way (basically the way you’ve explained them)
    1) it was just a way of conveying how Mehrunnisa’s materialism was wrong. Never was the disrespectful behaviour glorified in any way to make it seem as if that is Islamic or good.
    2) the affair was not Allah’s wrath. In fact it was His mercy, because it showed Falak the reality of things, and brought her closer to Allah.

    When interpreted in this way the drama seems to convey what I would think to be themes that fit in with Islam’s teachings.

    This reminds me of a discussion I once had with my grandma when I used to think watching dramas isn’t good because when they show ‘bad’ things we may be influenced by it. But she felt the drama just showed what was happening in the world and one can take either meaning out of it. For example an evil ‘saas’. Some people may try to use the same tricks as the drama saas etc, others may see the big mess it creates and learn the lesson not to act in ways she has.

    I have actually hugely confused myself thinking about this issue so I don’t know if I’ve really made any point clearly or just rambled incoherently, but hopefully the post was somewhat understandable. I would love to know what others think of whether or not a drama/ the people who made the drama can be held accountable for portraying certain messages or it’s just us who interpret things from it…

    This question is actually quite reminiscent of the whole ‘things are not behaya or bahaya but what is understood from them are behaya or bahaya’ (I initially thought I didn’t agree with this quote, but it seems maybe it is true for some things…)

    I am tempted to spend a paragraph talking about how much I loved and enjoyed SeZ and how great this blog is but my post is already epically long so I think I should end it here.

    • @A – Hi! Welcome. Glad you decided to stop by and comment. Always good to have new people join in and throw in their opinion! 🙂 Loved reading your comment!

      I see where you are coming from about the ET post but honestly I think she is missing the point of the drama….but then again like you said everyone sees a different message or sees the drama differently.

      When was Falak ever rude to her mother except when she yelled at her for not teaching her about religion?

      And also the drama never tried to depict a certain way of Islam. When they make ten million dramas about a really religious person going through never ending azmaish, why does no one complain about how “oh she was so religious, why did this happen to her”

      Azmaish does not look at how religious or unreligious a person is. It just comes. Sometimes its God’s way of getting people to turn to Him, or kind of like a wake up call.

      You ask a very interesting question about if “dramas / the people who made the drama can be held accountable for portraying certain messages or it’s just us who interpret things from it…”
      I think it all comes down to an individual’s interpretation and how they take a certain message or apply it into their own lives. Some people agree with messages being conveyed and some people hate it. You can take Shehrzaat as an example, there is so much to learn from it and everyone interpets the message completely different. Some people loved that she went back to Salman and others hated it.
      The dramas are probably trying to show a certain message but they leave it open ended for people as well, and i think this drama was a perfect example of that to some extent. But in my opinion I think some people have completely missed the mark.

      Anyways thats my opinion and I would love to know what other people think about it.

      P.S would love to read that extra paragraph you left out, because a comment / post can never be too long. We all love reading!! 🙂

      • haha, when I first read your comment I was like ET? Where did extra terrestrial come into this discussion from? :-S I figured it out in the end though…

        Thanks for being so welcoming guys! I love that about this blog. and thanks for your insights about the question i asked…

        and on Ash’s encouragement…
        After you stopped writing on dramapakistani sz, I didn’t enjoy the episodes as much without reading your review. I was really hoping that maybe you’d be reviewing somewhere else but didn’t even know how I could find it. I googled something like shehr e zaat review sz thinking it was a long shot and found this blog! Needless to say, I was really happy. I especially liked this last review and had never heard of the birds story before. Please do share any other sufi/spiritual stories you know of. The fact that the cast have said that you brought such deep insights into the story really says it all! (Maybe they’ll mention the reviews on tomorrows show! and all those who didn’t ‘get’ the drama will be enlightened )
        Besides your reviews though, I love the little community of commenters and the conversations…

        And obviously none of these conversations would be possible if it wasn’t for such a great drama! I never thought a drama would be able to do justice to such deep ideas of spirituality and things but all of the sez team have done an incredible job

        And 2 of my favourite quotes from the last episode:
        – the one about there being no tawazun (balance?) in our life. Most problems in our lives stem from this.
        – the one about there being no perfection in life, and perfection being only for Allah (when falak breaks the sculpture). Again, I think so many problems stem from that, looking for perfection in ourselves, others, and our life.
        they’re such simple ideas but it’s hard to really internalise! and act accordingly…

        • @A – or it could have been ET the alien! 😉

          Loved your google story! what are the chances eh.. gotta love google for all the answers!

          BTW, how cool would it be if the actors in fact did bring up this blog on the live show.. phir hum bhi keh sakhenge ge that “oh, we are associated with that blog too”! 😛
          Nonetheless, looking forward to the show, although have to agree with @Annie, scared of all the fanatics that might call in. ..

          Love the last quote you chose. Indeed only perfection is Allah.

          One of my fave quote is when Naani says,
          “Dont tell Allah how big your problem is, tell your problem how big your Allah is” . That quote hit home for me.

          • You ladies kind of read my thoughts! I wish either SZ could call in to the show or they mention her awesome reviews on the show. I know most of us would be lost without the reviews much like that funny lady from ET 😉 Ash that is one of my favorite quotes too!

            • Fingers crossed it goes down without any mishaps and ends on a high not.I will like nothing more than a mention of SZ ,but i have concerns too.

    • @A: Hey!! Welcome! Glad that you decided to stop being a silent reader and join in our crazy convos – the more the merrier! Really enjoyed your very nicely written well-thought comment – and no, you don’t come across as confused or rambling, why would you think that?? 🙂

      You bring up a very interesting point about the extent to which we can we hold our media responsible for the various messages that are being put out – surely there is some responsibility on us as viewers as well.. Generally speaking, I’m inclined to agree with you – the behaya and bahaya line is particularly apt here – but there are particular cases in terms of specific dramas where I have questioned the kind of message that is being put out there… particularly when the majority of our TV drama viewers have little or no education and belong to the lower or lower middle class socio-economic strata- for these viewers what is presented on TV is seen as the gospel truth, in many cases this is the only exposure they have to the larger world out there. Given this scenario, I think the media does have a responsibility to be careful with the explicit and implicit messages being conveyed through the dramas, ads, films, etc …

      Finally, please never feel that you have to edit your thoughts or cut short on any tareef, or worry about sounding confused – we’re all in the same boat here so no judgement, we just enjoy reading each other’s thoughts and exchanging opinions, etc … is liye likho aur dil khol ke likho 🙂

      Looking forward to reading more from you – no more lurking allowed!! 😉

      P.S. Loved reading about your conversation with your grandma – I was picturing you like Falak laying on her naani’s lap saying dil ajeeeb shai hai naani …. Loved those lines!! Oh, how I’ll miss SeZ 😦

    • @ A, Welcome to SZ’s blog where an ‘A’ can make good friends with ‘SZ’, ‘SK’, ‘Ash’, ‘Heela’, ‘Javeria’ and many more. And yes, even me who’s still naive with the ways of the net :\ and goes by her full name!
      SZ, my daughter was looking at my laptop today and said “Mama, har jaga SZ SZ kiyoun likha hai?” Me: “Meri friend hai baitay”, my soon-to-be-12-yr-old: “Aapki koi friend bhi hai?” (!)
      Did you notice in the comments on ET, one person had cynically remarked :People are raving and ranting about … SeZ. Couldn’t be a coincidence na 😉 ?

      • you are so sweet and funny with your “naivete with the web” – cute 🙂 If you just went by AQ we wouldn’t know who was the owner of that Humsafar cake!

      • @Afia – your daughter sounds cute
        and dont worry there are probably ten million other Afia Qazi’s out there! i doubt anyone can trace you. 😉
        And speaking of ET comments, there were pretty whacko comments on there, reminds me of DramasOnline comments.

  26. Just the way ET likes to go if you want to severely criticize a play ET is a place for you,I am glad for one the commenters do not agree with her as they did on DES and Humsafar. ET is developing their own syndrome of being over critical without even establishing the base. Clearly the writer has no interest in the serial as she has not even seen the last episode i guess she just love to criticize every moving object.

    • Agreed Javeria. I think anyone can state their opinion on ET without as much as watching or understanding a drama. I remember with DeS some other blogger had an issue with Nadia’s character.
      I personally do not care for the blog post because they are just random thoughts put together into a form of an article and don’t make much sense because they are not backed by any logical explanation. If people need to rant and express their frustration, ET needs to stop having them publish it in the form of a news article – kind of funny and sad because it brings down the value of their news website.

  27. @Afia and @Javeria: I agree that the writer seems to be a little too quick to rush to judgement – I’m actually not sure if she sat and watched the whole serial. In talking to friends etc, I have heard many similar comments, but every time I’ve asked them if they’ve watched the whole thing, they always say that they’ve watched random episodes, chalte phirtey… and as we all know SeZ was not the kind of the story where you could watch one week and then pick up the story after 3 weeks.
    Khair, I thought it was interesting read and made me think twice about how I was interpreting the story, and more than that I thought about the larger question: is there a right way or a wrong way to read a story….

    • SZ i would have given wightedge to her thoughts has she seen the complete play and then given play some credit where it was due.There is one pushed lined but the rest is again very harsh,her line Our dear viewers just lapped this up and like these are questioning the intelligence of the viewers as if you likes the play you are insensible person.Even the header is controversial “sherezat and it’s misplaced knowledge of Isalm” . This i know it all mentality is always rubs me the wrong way. How can you write a book review if you have not read a complete book same goes for the play she was not reviewing on episode but the whole play .I read this book but i left the last chapter but still here is the review.

  28. Apparently there is a live show with the cast of shehrezaat on November 9,2012 at 8pm

    Here’s the message from the shehrezaat and humtv page.

    A HUM TV SPECIAL: LIVE program with the cast and team of Shehr-e-Zaat, a showcase with note of thanks to the masses. Watch LIVE, on 9th November 2012 at 8:00pm Only on HUM TV.”

    • I don’t know if that is such a good idea considering how rude our awaam tends to get when it comes to religion with the whole I am right, you are wrong mentality.
      I hope they don’t take a lot of live callers. I have a feeling there might be some fanatics calling in to tell-off the cast and crew.

  29. Apart from your long and most enjoyable reviews/comments that kept pouring in through the length of this play, the comments on this review are simply a delight. And then to top it off having Mahirah Khan’s and Hina Khwaja Bayat’s presence on this blog is over-whelming. Like everyone else said, It is great to hear from the actors themselves, their at location experiences and behind the scenes stories, open a new window for us viewers. Some questions are answered and some new ‘topics’ to ponder over are raised.

    Again, Thank you Team SeZ for this masterpiece. Looking forward to live transmission.
    and yes SZ for this blog to have these conversations 😀

    • Sarmad: This is really sad and I am beyond shocked. I can see where you’re coming from and empathize with you. I really wish this whole matter had been handled a lot more discreetly and professionally from day one!:(

    • Sarmad, I am so sorry that things have gotten so out of hand that you’ve had to disown your own hard work. Rest assured we know what magic you are capable of- thanks for SeZ…

    • I agree ! What’s the point in working so hard if your work is not even appreciated. Umera ahmed official page has been very unprofessional in handling this matter. And now Sarmad has to go around saying he disowns the project that would have been nothing without him to begin with.

      And the last time I checked umera ahmed wrote most of the screenplay. Koi qayamat toh nahi aagayi if he changed one line. It’s still written by her.

      I can just imagine what’s going to go down in the sez show.

  30. He worked so so hard and why are they doing a live show now? Maybe he will tell the reasons there .i am so depressed. 😦

    • Javeria: I agree, no point in a live show without Sarmad! I hope he comes and addresses this whole issue … What a sad ending to such a lovely show – so disappointed 😦

      • Omg what is going on??? I just saw Sarmads status??? This is very sad…will he still come on the live show?? I wish they had sorted this out privately.

      • Agree with you SZ. this is really disappointing. While SEZ maybe a good well written story it is Sarmad who made it so special. It would be nothing without him. What have they done or said to make a modest individual like him so upset. I remember how modest he was about Humsafer. Momina and the everyone was pushing him to take credit and he was so aajaz and sweet.There has been something cooking from the beginning , remember how he had to apologise for that Humsafer Joke when Falak gets that rishta? Allah gives us all success and talent as and I really think that too is a test ,how we treat others is a test. The story of SEZ is not that unusual ,it was Sarmad creative vision that made it rise above the ordinary. At this point I am sad but not surprised..

        • I agree with you Sadaf – sad but not surprised given how argumentative people get over trivial things. Now that you remind me about the Humsafar joke, my goodness, people had made such a huge deal out of it!
          I have to appreciate Farhat Ishtiaq and Samira Fazal that they do not say a word in public about what changes were made to Humsafar and Dastaan – 2 massive hits which were enhanced by the director’s vision of the story. I wish the UA Official team would learn to exercise some due diligence before posting things on their page. (if that is the cause of Sarmad’s reaction)
          At least we know one thing, we won’t be seeing Sarmad working on anymore of Umera’s scripts in the future if her fans cannot tolerate his sense of creativity.

          • There was a controversy regarding the changes in Humsafar script too and there was a lot of Hallah ballu on Humsafar page during the airing of Humsafar. Farhat had also objected to something on her page connecting with the changes Sarmad made and Sarmad came up with an explanation. I dont exactally remember the details but there was a public fued between sarmad and farhat too on her page. Samira does adaptations all the time and she is not an original writer like farhat or umera. I think the problem lies with the adaptations of the digest writers. Everytime a novel is adapted the director is on the recieving end. Is it time we do away with the novel adaptations?

            • I didn’t realize there was a feud with Humsafar too. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t visit FB a lot 🙂 I agree with you about adapting digest stories into dramas. There are always those who you can never make happy because they have a very set mind about their favorite characters and stories are supposed to look on screen. No room for creativity. I can already feel a storm brewing w/ ZGH starting next week. I am sure I’ll be shocked by the random comments UA fans would be making in a few week’s time.

            • I don’t think so Sadaf. I have seen it quite consistently that her fans always get quite rude whenever one of her digest’s story is turned into a drama.

            • I agree with @Annie – UA official page admins need to take it easy. They are so defensive about everything and argue because “they’re always right”. I wonder if UA actually authorizes all these statuses the admins put up.

      • What it is all going on. Sarmad has the major part in making SeZ what it is. Seriously i’m shocked enough can a single dialogue can create such ac controversy that Sarmad has to take such a step. Feeling so sorry for him. And now a show without Sarmad for SeZ .. no point 😦

        • Apparently he can’t take people calling him unprofessional and unethical anymore which UA offical have been calling for many days as he added a dialogue.So he is putting the whole matter to rest.

        • Fariha there was the dialogue chezain be haya nahi hoti, it was not written by Umera check my first comment on the top of this page and the discussion underneath. After the play ended Umera’s official’s said Sarmad added it,they also claimed previously they ha has has dragged the play from 16 episodes to 19 . There admin said on his profile that he is unethical and un professorial which he has removed now i guess. But they have repeatedly said these things.

            • Thanks Javeria, still disowning a labour of love which SeZ clearly was doesn’t really make sense.Its an emotional rather than a professional response and correct me if I am wrong but shouldn’t the production house rather than the director be responding to allegations made by UA? Wasn’t she the one who wrote the script of the play?Seems really unfortunate that such a thought-provoking and consciousness raising drama is sullied by distasteful and narrow-minded bickering.Sad:(

  31. @Fariha Umera has not said anything directly only her officials have and i guess Momina the producer is very good friends with both that is why not stepping in between. I hope Sarmad comes on the live show and tells the rest.But in case if he will say anything on his profile i will tell you guys.

  32. So I finally watched Shehr-e-Zaat in one sitting, as I tend to do with Pakistani serials – I do not have the patience of waiting a week for the new episodes. My first thought on episode one was that this was going to be an interesting serial – the opening visuals of the tile work and calligraphy was amazing , plus the Abida Perveen vocals totally enhanced the mood . By the time I had reached the end – I was disappointed , Not that the story was not a good one but it seemed a long one andthere were elements of the story that I would never relate to in reality. So the plus points then. The Character of Falak was well thought out and the transformation in her personality , beliefs and outlook on life was handled with care – although the whole part of the woman herding goats and disappearing at the end was a bit over the top.. The character of naani was a good one as well , although I would question how many grandmas these days would put spirituality above their own grand children as naani was doing in the early episodes. The biggest disappointment was in the handling of Salman’s character . Now besides the fact that I am a male , I can not in a million years belive that Salman could fall for a girl like Tabinda. The whole ‘ Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ argument is a false one . For two people to get close to each other , there HAS to be some level of personality complementing between the two and in the case of Tabinda and Salman there was none. A big disappointment that these characters were only concieved it seems to be an antagonist to Falak’s character. At the end of it I came away from the serial not being happy or sad , but indifferent – the only saving grace for me were Abida’s vocals, the artictic touch , Falaks portriat done beautifully. I also could not help drawing parallel with the Alif Laila and Bagh o Bahar dastaans where the ‘evil’ people who are considered good looking often take on lovers who are depicted with ugliness – a point I fail to have understood so far.

    • The whole irony is the fact that the drama teaches lesson about forgiveness, maybe UA (a brilliant writer she might be) and her team of administrators could have dealt with this a little more professionally so could have Sarmaad and Momina and let go of this whole thing …you know um forgiven. Sarmaad doesn’t needs to apologize for anything. I think Sarmaad has done a brilliant job in portraying a story like SeZ because honestly from a film makers point of view, it is very difficult to do it and yes It could have been improved on in certain parts but alas, you can’t always make everyone happy.

      I mean after all it was just a drama right? 😉

  33. Did anybody else notice, though they kept showing promos of ZGH, there was no announcement about the launch show on Sunday?! Anybody has updates on that? All this has left such a bad taste in my mouth that my khushi and excitement about ZGH has gone all phuss now 😦

    • Meri to pehle hi excitement khatam howi hai..ab shooro bhi kar dayn ZGH koo…I hope its worth the wait cause i am watching it with 0 expectations now!

    • I did not really like the live SEZ show,it was lackluster without Sarmad as he always holds everyone together,even Mikal was not there. There was not a single interesting call and Momina gave zero credit to Sarmad,maybe she was angry at him for not coming or whatever but a good friendship seemingly i guess has come to end. And it’s all happening so publicly 😦
      And Mahira should stick with her SEZ wardrobe at this point even i am finding faults in the poor girl.All your fault SEZ team.

          • They were talking about Sarmad the entire time.. Mahira, Sameena, Mohib and even Momina.
            And Abdullah Kadwani clearly said no other director would do justice to this script.

            • I am only talking about Momina rest did acknowledged him Momina said a line at the end. But yes maybe on the surface things are fine.

            • Yeah they all mentioned Sarmad being Amazing and how no one could have done it better…clearly he was missed. Obviously all the problems are not going to be aired on the tv, they had to keep it happy and together, but you could tell they weren’t their normal enthusiastic selves. I’m just wondering why all these dialogue issues werent cleared up while shooting and post production. Why all this after its aired and ended, it just doesn’t make sense. Sarmad did an amazing job directing this and I don’t know what disowning it will actually do?
              Pakistan makes the most amazing dramas, but I am shocked at the unprofessionalism, why was the UA official page telling the public everything. Even if umera didn’t write it, instead of her officials pointing at the director they could have subtly said something else. I have noticed there is no tact, just people pointing fingers. People obviously have not learned anything as Maria said, she is so right, a drama that teaches about forgiveness has obviously not been heeded. Very disappointed with this whole fiasco, there is always hope though that someone will show zarf, and be the bigger person.

          • @Javeria – of course we do not have to agree. everyone has different taste. There might be something you like, which others may not like and that is totally okay.
            I was just saying that i liked it, thats all. 🙂

            • Yaar frankly this whole thing is going to my head,Mikal is my cousin Sarmad is a very dear friend i am taking it all a little too personally ,i wish i would have kept SEZ just ‘only a drama’ level but it’s like it happened to my very close friends i am really sad.I am sorry if i am a little angry,i duly apologize.

        • Completely agree with you Sk – that was the first thought that had come to myind but then I had perviously seen other unprofessionalism on their FB page so i took their recent comment on SeZ with a grain of salt – herr waqt koi problem nikalte hain here they go again kind of scenario – but i hadn’t realized the enormity of it.

          I agree with the other ladies -now ZGH is going to start with a big gray cloud hanging over it.

          • Maybe they should just stop adapting novels like someone mentioned. What a headache for directors! ” Omg its not exactly like the novel oh diddums, kyu itne changes kiiye, kyu scenes add kiye, kyu characters add kiye….novel mein to red pajamas peney the, drama mein blue pajamas hai….etc you get my point , so annoying seeing those comments everywhere, so childish. Even adaptations of American books are not the same as novel. Why can’t people see them as two different mediums?? When will people undrstand, a drama has to attract the masses. It has to appeal and be watchable. People need to grow up and stop stirring contreversies, its not like the novel will disappear once the drama is made, if you don’t like it go back and read your book:p

            • Most american adaptations are never the same as the book. Some of the most popular books, Hunger Games, Harry Potter collection,etc were all very different from the books because the screenplay cannot be written exactly the same. They need to make changes in order to film it as somethings come out differently on screen. and people love them both in their respective categories.

              Agree with you, its for two different masses, and true fans of the books do not even bother watching the filmed version so I suggest these people do the same of watch but don’t compare. I just don’t understand why people would have such an issue. Just treat the book like a book, and the drama / movie as that, thats why its called an adaption, adaption has changes, its not word for word with the book.

              A screenplay is so much more harder to write then a novel. It would be nice if people do some research before coming to such conclusions, and then there would be no misunderstandings.

  34. Ok, now, this post is somewhat off the topic but it features SeZ’s Hina Bayat and you , my dear SZ , hence here goes…
    I’d gone shopping with my two girls and bhanji (had to get her a b’day present) to Haroon’s (young girls love this shop) in Qadaffi stadium lhr. We were about to leave when we decided to go back in the shop to get the presents wrapped as well (they do a marvelous job). When we got out a 2nd time, we noticed a group of people gathered in the parking area. On a closer look I saw a tall good looking person, rising above all others…hey, it’s Osman Khalid Butt I cried 🙂 Immediately stopped the car. First thought let it be, kya kahoon gi? Then I thought about you SZ and my friends here and decided to get out of the car and see how it goes. My older daughter Rameen knew who he was, the younger ones probably thought Mama/Khala pagal ho gayeen hain. Rameen got out of the car with me (actually I thought the younger ones were also out of the car but later realized they’d stayed in the car, too shy – me oblivious of this fact at that time).
    Rameen informed me “Mama, Yahan Zareena bhi hain” (as in Humsafar:) I went up to Hina. They were having kind of a meeting and I literally broke it up/butted in (apologies) and went up to Hina and started telling her how I was a fan, loved her work etc. The others sort of disbanded. HB was v gracious. My first thoughts-so fresh, lovely skin, very petite, super slim like a young girl! Then I got the brainwave that I have to tell her that I am one of those who follow SZ’s blog (thori name dropping toh bunti thi ;).
    Me: “I’m a friend of SZ……have read your comments…love your work”.
    HB (happy to hear that I’m friends with SZ:) : ” SZ writes sooo beautifully. We owe her a great deal for writing such beautiful reviews- she’s amazing….the best thing about her is that she’s always so honest”.
    Me; agreeing with HB, said something like “…and (SZ) is always so…so…(me trying to think of an appropriate word but failing miserably….so…honest” (afia, duh, HB’s just used that word already :p)…and then I tried to hide my embarrassment by adding some other adjective 🙂
    Hina: If you are such a drama enthusiast …”you’ll love our new project, hisar-e-mohabbat….and you must meet our director Haissam Hussain”.
    I couldn’t believe my luck. The poor guy was waiting around (probably waiting for me to leave) and then was forced to meet me. I told him how he was one of my absolute fav directors, how I loved Dastan and how my family’s fav show was Akbari Asghari.
    After meeting these two gems, I seeked out OKB who was with some other unit wala boys. Told him how I was from Isl and had followed his work for a while. He was very sweet. Was wearing this lovely black shirt with thin purple stripes- totally ‘spick and span’. Mein sub ki maasi lag rahi thi. Got pics with all 3 🙂 Rameen being the dutiful daughter while mom goes crazy. Came home and was literally jumping with joy….you must have felt the tremors at your end 🙂
    oh btw, when HB was talking about you, OKB was also lurking around 🙂

    • @Afia: Thank you for sharing yet another one of your fab celeb encounters – yaar kiya kismat hai tumhari!! loved reading the detailed aankhon dekha haal. You wrote it so well ke I felt that I was right there along with you – nicely done!!
      Aww! Hina is so sweet and I am so touched that she even remembered my name out of the blue – I’m very humbled and actually grateful to you too for sharig this very sweet anecdote – now I will go through the evening with a smile on my face 🙂
      Throughout, as I was reading your post, I kept thinking of how humble and down to earth our celebrities are and how fabulous it is to have celebrities who are welcoming of their fans and are so charming and personable offscreen as well…
      And you were so cute with the bit about forgetting about your children and going out to meet them hamari khaatir — aww love that you were thinking about us in all your excitement 😉 Thank you Afia – loved reading this one!!
      Chalo ji, ab intezar shuru for your next celeb encounter!!! 😀

      • Hina, and not remember you? Yeh kaise hosakta tha…now who’s being humble here? Do you know I told her twice that I’m SZ’s friend/follow her blog (as if she wouldn’t believe me the first time), also told her my name and she was so sweet – said that she recalled my name (thanks for being kind Hina). So you’re so right about our celebrities being so humble and welcoming. I apologized to them 2-3 times for disrupting their work (but did it anyway!) and HB kept saying it’s fine, no problem etc.
        One person who was humbler than humble was Naeem Tahir Sahib. His grand daughter goes to the same school as my girls and he sometimes comes to pick her up. One day I just told him how much I appreciate his years of work for TV and also as chairman PNCA and his reply was “thora bohat kaam karte rehte hain”. He was just so cool.

        • Another cool and humble celebrity is Saleem Sheikh. My brother-in-law’s family saw him and his family at Bangkok airport. My sis-in-law said that she sort of kept staring at him but couldn’t bring herself to say anything. Her daughter told her that it is getting embarrassing- either say something or stop staring…Eventually SS himself nodded Salam at her, smiled and moved on 🙂

          • Afia cool stories yaar ,my only encounters with celebs have been the singers no one from the drama crew except for Mikal(which does’nt count as i knew him since we were kids).I do remember meeting Marina Khan in Hilton(now Avari) when i was eight and tanhiyan recently ended and i was jumping up and down.My father pushed me to go and take her autograph which i did and she was very sweet she hugged me.And i showed it to my whole class as she was The celeb at that time. It made me happy for so many days.

            • Javeria, I would love to have Mikal as a cousin 😉 And on top of that, Sarmad as friend, aur bhi acha!

    • A big LOL 😀 i was literally laughing on ur bracket phrases.. 🙂
      You are seriously so cute Afia.. and yes i am so amazed how you meet with our celebrities with such poise.. too good 🙂

      • I seriously think “cute” is getting synonymous with “duh” “dumb” “got nothing better to do”! but thanks anyway 🙂

        • NOOOOOO!!! @ Afia, aisa sochna bhi mat!! We all absolutely love the way you have the guts and the gumption to go up to all these celebrities … I think we’re all (at least I know I am) very envious! And I think I speak on behalf of all that your style of writing up these celeb sightings is way too cool! More importantly you write with an honesty that is rare. You are fabulous the way you are – dont ever change! The compliments are all straight from the heart!! 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing Afia:))) Really enjoyed your encounter, I think SZ is right, you do have a radar, and thus time you met 3 at once. Love that SZ and her blog was a topic of convo, that’s awesome! I like how you just discuss all this stuff with them like, I wouldn’t know what to say. Keep them coming!!

      • Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. It’s pretty brave of you to talk to them, I would feel quite awkward, probably would’ve thought ‘let it be, kya kahoon gi’ and left it at that… (not that I’ve actually had the chance for such encounters and unlikely I would) Glad you didn’t 🙂

        • Yaar tareef kisko achi nahin lagti? Our stars are after all humans (almost like us 🙂 so if you like anything about them, tell them. But if i was with other adults my age then i too would be shy to go up ‘n talk to celebs coz of the fear of people judging me.

    • @Afia: WOW! Thanks for sharing this! Being a huge fan of HB i loved reading your encounter with her. Loved the way you told it, i felt like i was a part of it all! lol
      HB seems like such a sweet person and I have to say wow if i ever met a celeb I wouldn’t know what to say, where to start, but looks like running into celebs is a norm for you, no wonder you are so good at it!

      Love reading all your stories and have to agree with you, how can one not rem SZ and her reviews, i think isliye OKB was lurking, he wants a SZ review.. hehe!

      But khair, when I come to Lahore i am hanging out with you, since you have that celeb rader!

    • Wow Afia, what an amazing encounter to have. I love love Hisaam, he is one of my fav directors. I know it takes so much courage to go up sometimes and introduce yourself but I think from all of us you truly do have the radar built in. I have had plenty of celebrity encounters myself but there was extremely embarrassing when I was 5 but the most hilarious one was the one with Bobby Deol and Akshay Kumar.

      My cousin had just arrived from east coast and I decided to take her downtown. I had no idea they were filming for a Bollywood movie at that time. Anyway, we walked right into the set accidently and I saw boom mikes and shot gun mikes and loads of brown people and I was like to my cousin: “dekho aisay lagta hai koi Indian movie film ho rahi hai” and she was uninterested and simply agreed to go “yes, chalain, doesn’t seems like anybody is around.” And we just turned around and smacked right into bobby deol and askhay kumar. And my cousin became so tongue tied that she looked like a fish out of water. I was like “ Hi, how are you doing, can we please take a picture with you if that’s alright” and they were like ok. Anyway they reeked of smoke and looked nothing nothing like they do in Bollywood movies. I think our Pakistani celebrities are prettier and original 🙂
      thanks for sharing your story with us Afia.

      • Yup, agree with the ‘Pakistani celebrities are prettier and original’! 🙂

        My only encounter was a Bollywood one so hadn’t brought it up as thought maybe it’s not related, but since you brought up bollywood Maria… 🙂

        Me and my mum saw Aishwarya Rai in a shop on Oxford Street, she was there with her daughter and mum and a bodyguard. I spent a few minutes trying to look at her discretely to figure out if it was actually her. She was wearing pretty big sunglasses so I couldn’t see the face clearly. Later I was thinking that the sunglasses were a sign that it could be a celebrity, why else would you wear sunglasses inside? So I kept glancing at her and pretending I was looking around the shop and not at her. Then I whispered to my mum saying it could be her and even though they prolly wouldn’t be able to hear I was trying to tell my mum in a roundabout way where I don’t take her name in case they realise we’ve recognised her. When my mum finally got what I was trying to say she was like yes it is her. I still couldn’t believe it, I spent another few minutes analysing. I was like but I think she’s quite short (she wasn’t short but like average height) I would’ve thought Aishwarya would be taller. And why is no one else coming up to her, it can’t be her…

        Initially we were just gonna walk out, my mum was asking so what do you want to do, do you want to talk to her or ask her for a picture. I was too shy so figured we’d just go. Then I was like a picture would be cool. Obviously, didn’t have the guts to ask but my mum did it for me 🙂 I wouldn’t even stand with my mum when she was asking, I was like a few steps behind, that’s how shy I was! Anyway, the bodyguard said no and that was that. So agree with what you guys said about Pakistani actors being welcoming of fans and things… (Though I think she had her daughter with her as well so could be she didn’t want her photographed)
        She looked really pretty though, and very graceful.

        So clearly I have a lot to learn from Afia! 🙂

        • Aha A you made that encounter sound really interesting, I could really picture it all happening in my head.So much fun reading all these posts Afia thanks to you too for sharing these posts are so fun.

      • Wow maria! At age 5 you knew keh indian movie ki shooting ho rahi hai? No wonder u’re in this field now 🙂 Do us proud!
        Lol at “reeking of smoke”! Ours are definitely smarter cleaner etc. OKB seemed so dhula dhulaya keh poocho nahin. Saleem Sheikh (his daughters also go to my kids’ school) is so well dressed keh maza aajata hai dekh kar. He can carry off a white pair of jeans which not many can. Great dress sense like his brother.

        • @Afia: LOL@ while pants … they, along with white shoes, always remind of Jeetendra in those horrendously bad 80s Bollywood movies – remember those? *shudders* 😉
          @Maria: You have to share your Nauman Ejaz wali story and the other funny ones you had told me once – plzzzz 🙂

          • LOL Afia this particular incident with bollywood crew happened two years ago but the one that happened when i was 5 or 4, is a bit mortifying and my family never lets go of it and of course i told SZ and Nadia a while ago, so i will put it here 🙂

            When this incident occurred, I had no idea who Noman Ijaz was (other than uncle)! He came over to help for preparations for a family wedding and the house was full to the brim. When he knocked on the door, I opened it up in agitation and before he could even say anything I said. “App bhi agayee? app ko pata hamaray ghar main bathnay ki bhi jaga nahi hai, is liye ab app chalay jain.” And I shut the door on his face. I wonder if he would still remember me:P thank god, my uncle saw me opening and closing the door and took over the situation. Later that day i did same thing to my dads best friend.that was worse because he really got offended and actually left…
            the end

            • OMG! Maria, tum kya cheez ho? bari dangerous ho! I’m not surprised your family doesn’t let you forget this story. It’s priceless. What did poor NI look like after this encounter. Waise that guy’s been around for so many years and still looks cool!

            • My goodness 😀 ROFL.. too good! you were such a bombastic kiddo.. i am wondering Noman Ijaz’s expressions.. 😉

            • Maria that is Hilarious!!! Most 5 year olds are shy around strangers and here you were telling off people at the door! I can totally picture it too lol!

          • @A: I agree. All these posts and comments have def made my morning a whole lot better. :D.

            @Maria: really cool story!! How was NE. He’s one of those few actors who looks even better as he ages! 🙂

    • ok I am late to the party 😉
      Thank you for sharing your encounter Afia! I have to agree w/ the rest, you are SO BRAVE to just walk up and strike a conversation with Hina B. I would have also thought ‘what would I say??’ besides the usual I love your work da-da-da
      It’s so cool that you met Haissam too!
      I am not crazy about OKB – like you said too dhula dhulaya for me lol
      Sounds like Haissam is repeating OKB and Hina B. after Cinderella. Wonder who the lady love is going to be….hmmm 🙂 Thanks for all the Insider information! We need to come up with a new online Identity for you – AfiaCelebEnchanter so next time you don’t have to say this is Afia – woh SZ ki blog wali friend lol

      • I think all drama walas would give me more points for being “SZ ki friend” so I’ll stick to that 🙂 SZ, sorry for using you to my advantage 🙂

        • LOL@Afia: If my name is of any utility at all, please feel free to use it – mere to kisi kaam ka nahin hai 😦
          @Maria: Hey! thanks for sharig that hilarious story with all of us – its just as funny the second time around 🙂
          @A: See its fun, nahin! Sab ek se barh kar ek!
          @Annie: Maya Ali is the female lead in this latest Faiza Iftikhar amd HH venture – so basically, along with HB, the same trio from ANC … HH does like to repeat his pairs: Sanam’s done a whole bunch of stuff with him and FK too did four serials with him… This will be OKB and Maya’s third serial with HH, they’ve already done DeS, ANC with him and now this latest one, Hissar-e Muhabbat.

          • SZ, aap idhir aayen toh sahi, you’ll be a celebrity in your own right.
            What great sources you have- ref Maya Ali playing lead in HeM 🙂
            FK did AA, Dastaan, KPKPBT and 4th being?
            A new drama is starting on TVOne I think, by the very original name “Pyar ka pagalpan”(!)

            • @Afia: The fourth one was Jeevan ki Raahon Main – which was HH’s first – it starred FK, Jibran snd Sami Khan as college friends, who also lived together .. it was a fun college drama… which dragged in parts, but fun overall…
              Re: Maya Ali as the lead: the picture was on all the media fB pages a few weeks ago.:)
              LOL@ the TV ONE drama name – bas yaar originality to khatam hai in par!!

          • I have a khala (ammi’s cousin) who came one day to our place and was talking about some lady she visited from her biradri. Knowing I watch dramas she said “woh keh rahin theen unka beta bhi directer hai- ajeeb sa naam tha haasan, hasaam, hussain?” I did a double take on that and then told her keh he’s one of the best we have etc, Khala (not into dramas) wasn’t as impressed as I wanted her to be 🙂

            • LOL!!!!! waisay the first time I heard the name Haissam I was like someone must have mispronounced Hassan so can’t blame the dear khala too much. It is a very unique name!

            • thats awesome Afia 🙂 its funny how some celebrities you really want to meet but you are unable to and some you just end up meeting soo randomly its strange. 🙂 and thanks everyone, it takes courage to share such an embarrasing story but oh well, i don’t remember NI’s expression or remember him at all and i hope he doesnt remembers this or me at all too 😀

          • thanks SZ! I don’t know if I should be excited or not…..hmm…not 😉
            I know we got tired of seeing FK and SB together sweating through the streets of Istanbul. Aab bechari Maya and OKB ki baari hai.

          • SZ yaar tumhe kabhi tow apna name reveal karna paday ga – maybe when you meet with Afia and she has another chance encounter with a celeb 😉

  35. What a lovely account @Afia 🙂 loved every bit of it….
    it si true that you are so lucky to meet everyone and to top it all, you are very confident (MA) too. These celeb encounters are extremely interesting to read. Thank you so much for sharing them. You met Haisam Hussain?! Cool! Cool!
    SZ , let us all wait for the next story……looking forward to it already.

  36. A prime example of how silly I am with celebs is when I saw Sania Saeed at the Islamabad airport some 4 or so years ago, She was flying to Scotland for shooting ghost, I think… I saw people meeting her, talking to her and she was so nice to all of them – and here I was sitting right across the aisle from her, and couldn’t muster up the courage to go say Hi to her! *sigh*

  37. @SK: Just read this comment of yours properly :
    “Maybe they should just stop adapting novels like someone mentioned. What a headache for directors! ” Omg its not exactly like the novel oh diddums, kyu itne changes kiiye, kyu scenes add kiye, kyu characters add kiye….novel mein to red pajamas peney the, drama mein blue pajamas hai….etc you get my point , so annoying seeing those comments everywhere, so childish.”

    I so agree with you – very well said!! This kind of idiocy has already started with ZGH — I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that people were complaining about Sanam being a tall girl, whereas Kashaf was about 5.3/5.4… so they were saying ke its wrong casting and were already hating on Sanam and the usual stuff about story kharab kar di!!! Imagine, abhi to it hasn’t even aired as yet!!!

  38. @ SZ Islamabad has nothing as exciting :p Celebrities toh Alan even our family members refuse to fly over as it is a boring p,ace:p I have had one ‘big’ celebrity encounter and it is …
    I remember a year back, my mother was going through a dental procedure. Her doctor was in f-10 and usually I used to accompany her. One usual winter evening, my mother requested me to get tagged along her so that she won’t be alone. I was having my mid-terms then so I went without even changing my very casual dress. The doctor had given us a time inbetween the rush-hours. That day something strange that I noticed was that every doctor and all the assistants were dressed in some what fancy dresses. Meney Kaha shaid koi important meeting ho but Kiya howa….I sat on the couch reading my Islamiat book when Nadia Khan walked in. Her daughter was getting her cavities filled while Nadia Khan along with her father were waiting for her. Believe me, we three sat in the waiting room for 2 hours but I didn’t have nerves enough to talk to her or to tell her how much I loved her chirpy and lively personality. GOD! It was so awkward that I smiled to her time and time again but didn’t utter a word….just when she was leaving the doctor said keh oh yes Nadia we gave you this time kiyonkey ke rush nahi hota and yeh aik aur patient attin hai with her daughter.

    Not to forget how my mother got mad for not informing her about Nadia Khan’s pressence as she is a huge fan …..
    Regrets! 2hours were more than a blessing. No? Nobody was rushing and she wasn’t even busy. Chaloo may be next time.

    But thank God , I didn’t do this when I met Imran Khan. I got him sign a bat, a paper and his book for me. Yay!

    • @Heela: Thanks for sharing your story. You know long before there was anyone else, there was Imran Khan. OMG, I totally loved him…stayed up nights to hear the running commentaries whenever he played in Aus/NZ, and knew all his stats backwards and forwards and had collected pretty much every picture of his ever taken! But kismat meri, ke have never ever met him 😦 You’re one lucky girl I must say!
      Nadia Khan used to be my fave morning show host. Like others she too tended to get annoying and all that, but still she did the best interviews … then she got weird towards the fag end of her show and her new evening show was just bad!!!
      Isn’t she a permanent resident in your shehr now? I saw her on the ARY morning show where she was giving Nida a tour of her house…

    • Heela, Yaar Isl (my hometown) is not boring at all- there’s so much happening there now even if it wasn’t before.
      So you saw Nadia Khan? Cool! Next time ‘shram’ ko side per rakh dena aur mil lena aur ammi ko bhi milwana. Totally agree with you viz a viz NK’s great interviewing skills and later her downfall/lies to get ratings etc.

  39. Oh really? You seem to be a huge Imran Khan fan..He is very sweet. My cousin took us along with her to his book launch here in Islamabad. When I had finally reached his table after waiting for a long time standing in the line I stupidly asked him to come to my school as he had promised once. He smiled (trade markedly Imran Khan smile) and said ‘sure’. Though he never did because of his crazy busy schedule but it was sweet of him to respond like that to my idiocy( but I am thankful I talked to him)…

    yes, Nadia Khan was a great interviewer. I totally agree with how her shows changed over time, but the ebst part about her is that she is the one who conducts some research before going ahead with an interview. Yes, she lives in Islamabad. Just that day, my friend told me she saw her bungalow somewhere near Bahria. Maybe that is why I haven’t gotten a chance of seeing her a lot in Islamabad:)

  40. @ Afia haha Islamabad is your hometown wow! Yes, it is not boring when you have a routine life here but for people who come from much more happening-places like Karachi then their first impression of it is as a boring place:p Anyway, I like its peaceful and quiet life….
    haha yes, you are my inspiration InshALLAH next time I will go ahead and talk to them:p

  41. I have been re-watching some of the SeZ episodes just in the last couple of days and I felt like writing up an A-Z of SeZ. I am just putting some words down, I’ll flesh it out a bit and add some meaning etc a bit later. So here goes my attempt:

    A – Allah, actions, answers.
    B – beauty, blindness
    C – confusions, curiosity, calmness
    D – desperation, doubts.
    E – expectations.
    F – Falak, fears, frustration.
    G – growth, giving, gratitude.
    H – humility, happiness, hope.
    I – infatuation, imagery.
    J – jhoola, journey.
    K – kindness, knowledge.
    L – life, love, light.
    M – Mehr un Nissa (Mummy), message, mirror, materialism.
    N – nani.
    O – opportunity.
    P – Prayer, pause, peace.
    Q – Quran, questions.
    R – restlessness, revelation, reflection, realisation.
    S – Sarmad Khoosat, Shehr-e Zaat, SZ, Salman, soul-searching (so many!)
    T- tests, truth, Tabinda!
    U – Umera Ahmed
    V – voices, victims.
    W – wealth, words.
    X – zenogeny.
    Y – Yaar ko humney jaa ba jaa dekha…
    Z – zaat.

    SZ, I have been trying to read up all your reviews on SeZ, they add so much depth to the story told on screen. Rehmat was absolutely right when she said your reviews should ideally go on the SeZ DVD – may be as a voice-over? Much love.

      • Thanks Rehmat 🙂

        L for lesson is so true. Will definitely add that on.

        This play is so rich, every time I watch it, there’s something new to discover and learn and reflect. Miss plays like this.

  42. SZ, sorry I am filling up this space rapidly. And thanks for keeping the doors open 🙂

    I am trying to expand on the A-Z list I wrote up above. I will try and keep it to one or two alphabets each time. Here goes the first set:

    A is for:

    1. Allah – the most Benevolent, the one who is ever ready to hold our hands and guide us, the one who always forgives, the one whose love is infinite…

    2. actions – the good ones that take us closer to Him, the not-so-good-ones we need to seek forgiveness for; actions that are aimed at pleasing people as opposed to actions that help people; actions that feed the soul as opposed to actions that feed our egos, our pride, our anger; actions that bring us peace and happiness as opposed to actions that lead to pain and further our negative emotions and thoughts.

    Without being even an bit preachy, through Falak we got the chance to see both sides of the coin – actions that lead to Him and actions that take us away from Him. The way to Him is out there, it’s up to us whether we want to take it or ignore it and continue moving away.

    3. answers – answers that Falak was seeking, answers that helped her make the leap from the uncaring and self-centred person to the self-aware and kind person that she became… answers that come to the lucky few who stop to think and self-analyse…answers that nani gives to all Falak’s (and our!) difficult questions…answers that are waiting to be discovered, if only we ‘will’ ourselves to ask the questions…

    B is for:

    1. beauty – initially Falak’s obsession with her external beauty, which was ripped to shreds the moment she saw her antithesis Tabinda…the beauty Falak was so aware of and so proud of, the beauty whose soul is empty…and then as Falak makes her journey, the physical beauty is set to one side, hardly any attention is paid to it, instead she blooms into a beautiful person from within – someone who sees people suffering and tries to help and if not, atleast empathise and understand their situation, someone who understands the fragility of life – the sort of beauty that is ever-lasting and comes with a soul to boot.

    2. blindness – Falak’s blindness to all that was around her – her privileged life, things she always took for granted, her blind adoration of Salman, in turn Salman’s blind trust in Tabinda, Mehrunnissa’s almost self-imposed blindness of not needing to or not seeing the reality in her daughter’s life (when she felt Salman would come crawling back to take Falak back, when she could not fathom Falak’s obsession with God…), Salman’s parents’ blindness to their past actions…there was the “unable to see” (when Falak was desperately seeking God) and the “can see but won’t see” (Mehrunnissa) and the “don’t want to see because it’s too hurtful” (Salman’s parents)…

    • @VZ: yaar you have written so beautifully that i just couldnt control to acknowledge you.. Lovvvveeed reading this.. N looking forward for more

  43. Back after a bit of a break. Continuing our A-Z, here’s the next set:

    C is for:

    1. confusion – when we can’t see any direction, when our way gets foggy, we feel we are struggling alone with a problem with no one to help, feeling lost…we ask ourselves: what should I do now, which way should I go? How will I know if that’s the right way?

    Towards the end of Falak’s journey, when Salman calls her and asks her back into his life and home, Falak is confused – she asks, “Why am I being given this choice when I no longer want it? What should I do now?” That scene where she is praying and crying, asking for help, asking for directions, is a beautifully written, well-acted scene and one of my favourites. It showed that even while Falak has come far in her journey and she thinks she knows what she wants in her life and there is no confusion in her mind, the unexpected turn of events do leave her completely stumped for answers.

    Mehr un Nissa is confused too. She was always a supremely confident person, one who thought she had her life all sorted, had her daughter’s life all sorted, that she had all the answers she needed. Even when Falak was going through difficulties, Mehr un Nissa was quite confident that they’d clear the mess, no problem! Her mother’s well-meaning words and advice are brushed aside…And then when Falak begins her journey, Mehr un Nissa is left perplexed: she is confused about Falak’s change of lifestyle, unable to understand why Falak was blaming her for not introducing her to God, confused about her next set of actions, about her daughter’s next step…

    2. clarity – after confusion, comes clarity. If confusion is dark, clarity is light. If confusion makes us feel lonely and worried, clarity makes us reach out and be at peace. If confusion leaves us direction-less, clarity gives us a sense of purpose and direction. And how do we get from confusion to clarity? As nani aptly puts it, we go back to the Book with all the answers… if we read with love, care, diligence, humility and honesty, the answers will come to us…

    3. curiosity – the urge to know more, to explore, to seek what we don’t know…

    Falak’s curiosity – initially about Salman (who is he – this flesh and blood manifestation of her sculpture), later about Tabinda (Who is this person who has managed to make Salman fall for her? What did Salman see in her?), then about the real things that matter (how are the house-helps living within their meagre income? how can some people with so little be so much happier than those who have all kinds of material comforts? what happened to the boy who was hit by the car?). At each step in her journey, Falak’s curiosity leads her to questions, then to answers.

    4. calmness – when we are at peace, with ourselves, with the people and situations around us…when we don’t get rattled by an azmaish and instead we see it as yet another opportunity to strengthen our links with God…

    Nani was the perfect example of calmness – in contrast to Mehr un Nissa’s tense reactions, Falak’s initial flippant outbursts and reactions, Nani was ever so calm in her actions and speech – no blaming, no lamenting, no judging. Her calmness offered solace and hope to Falak, gave Falak the strength to start her journey. Towards the end of the play, we saw Falak too becoming much calmer, her reactions were more tempered, more subdued than before…

  44. Continuing the alphabets:

    D for desperation – the sort that Hamza feels for Falak, that Falak feels for Salman, that Salman feels for Tabinda. There is an underlying fear, an insecurity, a desperation to please, worry about losing the object of affection. The restlessness, crazy out-of-control feelings, leaving the person exhausted, no respite even after gaining the affection of the person in question. Running from pillar to post, in never-ending cycles with no end in sight. Desperation, which gives rise to doubts like “Am I good enough/not?”, “Will he/she continue to love me or not?” – the sort of doubts that never let you enjoy the moment in peace… So D for desperation and doubts, leading on to D for difference.

    Difference between love for a man and love for God. Difference in the way that love is treated, difference in the outcomes of the love. Love of God gives peace, calm and contentment, gives strength and removes fears. Falak’s journey is testament to that.

    • I should have also included D for Dialogues. The meaningful, beautiful dialogues which brought out the spirit of the play. Nani’s dialogues full of comforting words, Falak’s questions and realisations, Mehrunnissa’s justifications, the mundane and the deep, there are so many beautiful dialogues, my favourite is the one where Falak compares how God accepts our love without reservations and how fellow human beings question our love. So D for Dialogues.

  45. E is for Expectations – the sort we have from others, which often lead to disappointments, anger, heartbreak and rift in relationships, even the closest of ones.

    Falak, at the beginning of the story, was so used to being admired etc that she expected that behaviour from everyone she met. It was the fact that Salman did not even remember her that led to pursue him. So their relationship began in a way on failed expectations.

    Even Nani had expectations from her family, which led to so many arguments and eye-rolls between her, her daughter and granddaughter. But the difference was Nani’s expectations were not for her personal benefit and Nani had the good sense to realise that some things have to be figured out by the individual themselves.

    There is one more expectation – when things don’t go according to our wishes, we expect God to sort it out for us in our favour, an almost entitled expectation. We forget that (a) instead of expecting, we should ask, (b) when we ask we should be humble enough to expect God’s will. Expectations create negative emotions, asking and accepting God’s will creates acceptance and peace.

  46. On to F. F is for:

    1. Falak – the person whose spiritual journey is SeZ. The one through whom we can get a chance to look inwards, think about where we are and where we could be, what we are running after and what is the way to achieve peace and calm, what is ultimately going to matter and what is not.

    It takes a lot of courage to do what Falak did when things went wrong – introspect, seek out a way of life that’s so different to what she’s used to, give up poor habits, accept mistakes, take actions to put things right. How often do we do that? In today’s rat race, we brush these important things under the carpet, leaving the difficult decisions for another day. SeZ is our chance to think about our lives, answer ourselves whether we are truly happy and devoid of negativity, do we realise the fragility of life… So thank you Falak for being what you were and what you became…

    2. Frustrations – When things don’t go according to “our” plans, when we don’t get what “we” think is the best for us and forget that there’s a bigger power who is in charge, who knows the past and the future, who truly does things for our welfare. Frustrations over small and big things, our inability to change things our way, when people don’t react the way we’d like them to. The way Falak was frustrated that Salman wasn’t giving her importance or the way Hamza couldn’t understand what Falak saw in Salman, MehrunNissa’s frustrations with Falak, with being unable to bring her only child happiness etc.

    3. Fears – initially, Falak’s fears that Salman wouldn’t love her, then fears that he was going to leave her for someone else, fears of “What am I going to do without him?”, finally fearless Falak who realised what our whom actually mattered and who didn’t.

    Fears and frustrations cripple us from doing our best, being useful to others, they hold us back. Losing the fears and moving on to acceptance and making peace with situations beyond our control, trying to see positive (silver lining) even in dire situations – these are possible when we consciously stop looking at the world with “I, me, myself” glasses as Falak shows us…

  47. G is for:

    1. Growth – the way Falak went from being self absorbed to self aware, from being arrogant to turning sympathetic, from feeling entitled to becoming humble. Growth not in the physical or materialistic sense but growth of the mind and heart, growing closer to God in the process.

    2. Giving – not the fancy charity giving that MehrunNissa claims to be giving ever so often, but giving from the heart. Giving the way it is supposed to be done, the way Falak understood giving. And giving not just material things but giving our time, giving attention, giving solace, giving a kind word to those who need. And giving without being conscious about it, without keeping count, without any expectations in return. The purest form of giving. And giving forgiveness to those who have harmed us, the way Falak forgave Salman. How often do we/can we do that…

    3. Gratitude – saying thanks to God who has given us so many things that so many others lack. One of my favourite scenes is where Falak realises how her staff live in cramped quarters, struggling for life’s basic necessities, which she has always taken for granted. Her realisation that people are a lot happier and thankful with much much less, her shameful realisation of her own wedding expenses, the extravagance, the utter disregard for excesses, be it food or material comforts. The way she feels far happier after giving away compared to when she owned all those things, her changed demeanour when she understands how kind God has been to her and how complaining she has been… Gratitude for the real things in life – good health, loving family, concerned friends, for having the ability (physically and monetarily) to help others… Falak, you have taught us to be grateful and generous in ways that really matter…

    • Just wanted to write this dialogue that Nani says about gratitude: “Allah ka shukr adaa karnay kay liye kisi cheez ka hona zarori thori hota hai, bas insan ko aadat honi chahiye Allah ka shukr ada karnay ki”

  48. H is for:

    1. Humility – the realisation that whatever we think we are, there are situations outside our control – situations that shake us out of our comfort zone, situations that we can only face and come out of, with His help.

    Falak falling for Salman, Salman falling out of love for Falak and Tabinda entering his life, leaving him, Falak’s spiritual journey – none of these could’ve happened without Him allowing it to happen. Humility is what MehrunNissa faced when she couldn’t do anything to bring sukoon to her only child or get her out of her suffering – loss of control. Humility is Falak realising that as long as she was only thinking of materialistic things and wrapping herself up in ego and pride, she would remain khali haath.

    Pride and arrogance mean “I have this (beauty, ability, money…). Humility means “God has been kind enough to give me this, I must use it to help others in every way I can”.

    2. Happiness – the outward happiness from transient things versus the true, lasting happiness which comes from building a lasting relationship with Him. And how do we do that? By being thankful for the true gifts in our lives, by being thoughtful and kind, by not harming others with our words or actions, by giving some of our time, money, knowledge for helping others, by always keeping a line of communication open with Him.

    Initially when she was besotted with Salman, all her happiness lay with him. But was she truly happy or was she always worried about doing the next thing to please him?

    Falak found true happiness when she analysed and realised what she was missing out – and right at the root of it was not building that relationship with God. Once she sought His help and guidance, she gained awareness and saw how blessed she was and how until then, she was blind to others with far less than her.

    3. Hope – the feeling that all is not lost, God will never turn us away once we ask Him for help and guidance. Also, being hopeful for others, the way Nani was for Falak or the way Falak was for her Mummy.

    If we think of our lives as passing through a dark tunnel, then God is the light that will show us the way out, but unless we seek out that light, we will continue to stumble. But once we find that light, we can help others reach it as well, and that’s the hope that Nani and Falak hold out to others, that’s what SeZ holds out to all of us. Whether we take the chance to reach out to the light or choose to struggle through the darkness is something each of us has to decide…

    4. Hamza – to me, his character represents what happens when you don’t get what you desire, whereas Falak got her biggest wish in the form of Salman. Hamza didn’t undertake a journey like Falak. Part of me wishes that he too has taken stock and made a start towards that journey, but then this is Falak’s story and the focus is entirely on her.

  49. I is for:

    1. Infatuation – desiring something or someone passionately, only to look back a few years later to realise it was just a passing phase and nothing permanent would’ve come out of those feelings.

    Very similar to what Falak felt for Salman – he was a heady mixture of the same stuff that Falak herself was made of – beauty, arrogance and taking others’ feelings for them for granted. Falak’s feelings for Salman initially were a mixture of intrigue (“Who’s this person who’s ignoring me?”), which turned into a chase and finally into infatuation and an obsession. The nature Falak could realise that, looking back. But try telling the younger Falak that! Her fixation with Salman was less about him, more about her “Mr Perfect”.

    2. Imagery – SeZ is so rich in imagery and SZ’s reviews help us understand those little vital clues that the director has left in the play. The best one is probably the imagery with light – Nani opening the curtains of the dark room, Falak letting more light in (last episode), the use of mud to show the negative things in us. The famous mud scenes and the way the fakir explains that God loves us despite all the “mud”, whereas a fellow human being might turn away from us, put off by the “dirt”, was such a beautiful message.

    Salman’s sculpture that Falak broke in the last episode, was again not just a sculpture but the sum of all of Falak’s negative emotions like arrogance, ego, pride. It was also an imagery for the fragility of human existence – the sculpture didn’t take long to break and once broken, it did not retain any of its original qualities, it was unrecognisable.

    Falak’s mirror scene was another well-done imagery. SeZ shone with its very enjoyable visual storytelling, which helps drive home the wonderful messages.

  50. And moving on to the next alphabet, J is for:

    1. Jhoola – I should’ve probably included this with the imagery part above, but I felt this merited its own short write-up.

    Jhoola – swing, representing restlessness (Falak thinking about Salman forgetting their anniversary, how could he, etc), representing indecision (what should I do now, whom to talk to, how to solve this issue), representing the human mind that jumps from one thought to another in a fraction of a second, unsettled, swinging between practical and illogical, between rational and irrational…

    Jhoola also representing the swinging fortunes of the characters – Falak getting Salman, Falak losing Salman, Salman getting Tabinda, Salman losing Tabinda, Falak the infatuated, Falak the obsessed to Falak who is calmness personified, Falak who was rich in the materialistic sense to Falak rich in the spiritual sense…

    2. Journey – Falak’s journey that we were all privy to, MehrunNissa’s journey that’s probably just starting, a journey that is possible only for those who realise they need to take it on, otherwise it is something that eludes us, caught up as we are in our daily routines. It’s a very special journey – one where the destination makes it worthwhile, because it’s not an easy decision to undertake this journey and stay with it till the end – like the beautiful reference to The Conference of the Birds given by SZ above, very few actually make it to the end. Though the journey is full of challenges, learning to hold on, with prayers, introspection and an open mind being our support system, gives us hope that we too may be one of those lucky ones who can make it through…

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