Today, let me begin with thanking the producers, the idea people, the director, the writers, and the other behind the scenes people for bringing us Coke Kahani. It takes a lot of courage to go against what is considered a wining formula, don’t need to reiterate it, we all know about the ghissi pitti storylines we are treated to again n again. For bucking the trend, for taking a risk and for doing something different, and especially for believing in the audiences and giving us some credit for having a brain, a huge thank you. I do not know who those nameless faceless people are who enjoy the mindless abuse of women and their endless stream of tears, but l can definitely assure you that there is a whole other audience out there as well, one that is sick and tired and fed up of all the mindless stuff we are treated to 24/7. Thank you all for acknowledging us, the “other” audience, and bringing us a much-needed breath of fresh air – thank you for Coke Kahani!!
Sorry for the diatribe, but I am honestly starting to lose all patience, actually have lost it already, with the continued onslaught of the same old same old … ok, back to Coke Kahani…
Once again, this episode nailed it in terms of pinpointing the endemic issues plaguing our society these days, and it does so in a very subtle manner employing a very lighthearted tone. Aren’t we all tired of being lectured at 24/7? Importantly, I love the way we are being shown that these societal problems are not created in a vacuum, rather, it is we who are responsible for creating them in the first place. So while its easy for Rayan to point fingers and criticize his other friends for being hypocrites and giving them long taqreers about being fans of Man United and Arsenal etc (what’s his problem with that though, they’re cool!), he fails to realize that he is also a part of the problem. As Zoya shows us, when Rayan unthinkingly throws the empty soda bottle, the correct way of addressing a problem is not by giving long sermons, rather the solution can only be found by picking up one bottle at a time. Brilliant stuff!
Rayan is a character that is beautifully written and executed, kudos to the writers, Mohammed Ahmed and Yasir Rana, the director, Mehreen, and of course the actor, Ahmed Zaib. This is a complex character. He is an only child, that too a son, so the umeedon ka markaz of both his parents. They in turn have pampered him, in so many ways not allowing him to grow, but now that he is of age there is an expectation that he should start behaving like an adult. I love the subtleties here. Rayan chafes under this weight of this unsaid responsibility, and in many ways tries to rebel against it all. He gets frustrated when things don’t go his way… of course there are way too many things wrong in Pakistan, and all those add to his growing anger. We all empathize and sympathize with his frustrations. Thoroughly enjoyed the scene with the windshield washer kids who are ubiquitous in Karachi. I so totally felt his irritation there!!!
What Rayan fails to see though is that his own attitude needs to be adjusted as well. Yes, there are jalsas and juloos, and they are annoying as heck, but then he is a Karachiite, he should know better, why not leave early?? That interview was very important, and in missing the appointment he let down those who trusted him. Similarly in the theater, yes, ignorant people need to know better and not break lines, but then is fighting and stooping down to their level the only solution? Why not go complain to the management there? Rayan is an excellent portrayal of the frustrated urban youth in Pakistan – hate the system they live in, but don’t realize they are turning into similes of the very system they criticize. I don’t think he could get away that easily with discarding an empty bottle that casually anywhere else in the world. In fact for that matter, would he even do this if he was in the US for instance? No, he would not. Then why do we treat our own country this way? Perhaps Rayan and his ilk need to jhaanko in their gareban first??
It is particularly impressive that while the message is to stop assigning blame, move forward and start fixing things, there is also the simultaneous exhortation to not forget the past. It is impossible to move forward without acknowledging the contribution of our elders. Loved it when Ruqaiya tells Zoya to not discard the cutlery because it was an heirloom. And speaking of Ruqaiya, it is fabulous to hear the various regional and ethnic dialects. Truly, Pakistan belongs to all of us, not just one particular sect or linguistic group. High time we left sectarian divisions behind and move forward as a united people.
Any review of Coke Kahani would be incomplete without my nominees for the couple of the year, Nusrat Begum and Mutma’in Sahab. Move over Khirad and Ashar, this couple is sizzling hot! How fun was it to see Mutma’in combing his toupée and as for Nusrat wanting to go back to college – yea!!! She’s my heroine for sure!! Mohammed Ahmed and Shamim Hilali are just too adorable!! Another funny moment, when we learn about the benefits of having an un-graizi medium girlfriend – wah!! Kiya baat hai aapki Saad Sahab!
Sorry for the never-ending review, but this a tribute to the skills of the writers and director for packing so much in to a 16.35 minute episode. I hope others are taking note of this new kind of story-telling. Two thumbs up for Team CK!!!
Written by SZ~