Coke Kahani ~ Episode 4 Review

Coke Kahani 1

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~


55 replies

  1. You’ve spoiled me with your reviews SZ. An episode doesn’t feel complete without it. Though I should be careful, I don’t want to nazar u! How du manage to write such a lovely piece so quickly?

    As for CK, I’ve learnt from u, when words fall short, we can turn to songs so…

    Mein agar kahoon (tumsa haseen)
    Kaayanaath mein nahi hai kahin
    Taaref yeh bhi tho, saach hai kuch bhi nahin

    Except change the tumsa haseen to something like itna accha drama (my weak Urdu, some1 could prolly improve that and would be cool if it rhymes with kahin)

    Really enjoyed it! And like u said it’s nice that it gives lessons without being preachy. And please I really hope other drama ppl learn from CK and give us more stories like this that aren’t centred around the same old topics…

  2. Your are spot on SZ! Totally loved the episode today for the above mentioned reasons. It addressed many problems yet it was not preachy or Annoying.The scenes were very short but they weren’t not incomplete at all. That is a great change. No?
    A guilty confession: There are countless moments when I am Rayan. Ouch!

    I hadn’t watched it because of our load shedding hour being7pm but as soon as I received the update for your review I quickly went back to watch it order to enjoy your review. Thank you team CK and SZ!

  3. @AM and @Heela Thanks! You guys are too kind 🙂 And hey you guys I’m right there with you – I complain just as much if not more than Rayan – ouch me three!! 🙂 While on that, here’s a YT video that is great fun to watch, silly but so true and so apt here – I think we’re all equally implicated – a bit too extreme but I’m sure we’ve all been there done that 😉 — Enjoy!!

    • HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA thanks for sharing this video SZ …i wonder where you found it 😛
      if i had three thumbs, i could give it to CK 🙂
      just to reiterate the point CK > ZGH *ohhh snap* 😛

      • hehehe @Maria: Gee, I wonder about that as well! 😉 No, but seriously thank you for sharing this the other day – I loved it and yahan itna fit tha ke bas! Had to share it with the rest of our friends 🙂 Hope everybody enjoys it!!

    • Hilarious!!! Great video, so so true!! Yes loved todays episode, it explained a lot of issues that confront the Pakistani people. I felt bad for Rayaan, but your review does sum it all up. No point blaming others, everyone has to do what they can to change themselves and make a positive effect. It is very hard to do, but the bottle scene was brilliant. If everyone just does one small thing, the benefits can be immense! Loved your review and love the drama..brilliant work!

    • ROTFL!!! Here is a full cup now shut the full cup!! Oh man awesome!! the other day on NPR after the release of iPhone 5 people were complaining that they would have to buy a new connector for all of their devices because Apple has changed it with the new release and the reporter went – yes these are first world problems 😉 this video reminded me of that report.

      • Yes that is the new “shut the front door “. LOL, loved it!

        And dude the new adapter for iPhone 5 is a first world problem. I am quite annoyed. =/

        • Yaar talking about the apple products, i just despise them but i cant live without them either 😦
          here is one and only look from the onion. Onion is gold by the way! 😛

          and thanks SZ for sharing it with everyone 🙂 first world problems indeed!

          • As much as I love Apple and own almost all their products, this is one I would not get, of course if it were real! but yes Onion News Network is epic! 😀

            • Haha @Annie Everytime I hear the “build a bridge and get over it” it reminds me of that bridge from One Tree Hill. Man did they jump over that one quite a few times.

            • @Ash – haha! I didn’t watch one tree hill. But I think they had something similar in Dawson’s Creek. the CW teen romances – have to have a lake and/or bridge so they can show people relaxing and swimming at midnight.

  4. I honestly have nothing to add! Your review is / has done an excellent job in analyzing and highlighting the important parts of the episode! not that its something new but MA you are so good at what you do, Thank you for educating us as well! 🙂

    I guess we all can see a little bit of Rayan in us as well. How often do we get aggravated at very similar issues but how many times do we actually do something to to change that? 99% never, because thats too much work, unfortunately thats all that really counts.
    Heck I’ve had countless conversations with friends about how Pakistan mai yeh kami , yeh hona chahiye, asa hona chahiye, humain yeh karna chahiye, but honestly no one does anything. we all talk the talk but no one will walk the walk. IA that day comes and we see a different Pakistan, like they say it takes one person to start the change 🙂

    A great eyeopener drama for the youth; to give them some confidence to stand up and start making the difference, we cannot be scared of the “guy from the theatre” like people or the jalsaas and jaloos, have to look past that and make a move. since we are using filmy dialogues and songs to convey messages i guess i can go with “Jo dar gaya woh margaya”

    Kudos to CK!! Finally a drama with a strong message behind it and no not the mazloom aurat wala strong message 😉 But we will see the real difference jab mulk mai log will finally do whats right and change things for the better! 🙂

  5. Another fabulous installment,though the scenes are all pretty short i do not really fell rushed at any point. Again wonderful crisp editing.For me the highlight of the episode was Nasreen begum and Matmaen saab. There couple had some lovely moments of nook jhook and the clip of Nasreen going to university and Metmaen saab getting jealous has it his age it was so cute. SZ so right couple of the year with Matmean saab in his fake hair sitting in his hand calling Nasreen begum out her wish to dye hers own just the perfect pairing. I had to pin some similar thoughts about Rayan but you have just explained it all so well,the angry frustrated young man of our present generation persona how they like to get too angry see in justice everywhere but when it comes to them they hardly pick up a bottle. Frankly most of them are like that which makes it very realistic. Any ho coke studio make a top notch production and kudos to the whole production team especially Mehreen Jabbar.

  6. how do you do it? how?? 🙂 Another awesome review. You have highlighted all the aspects of the 16 minute sitcom so beautifully.
    We all wonder how the writers/director duo have been able to pack so much into 16 minutes.
    We all have Rayan in us. It’s hard to escape that mentality – much easier to put the blame on someone or something rather than “jhaanking” in ourselves.
    And I am not giving up Asher/Khirad so easily and replacing them with Mutma’in sahab and his wife lol No way 😉 But I thoroughly enjoyed both of their scenes. Just Flawless!
    All the actors are doing such a fabulous job and I am still left wondering how they will be able save Alfonso since Rayan lost his one chance of getting some capital to fund the project (aah what an idiooot!)

  7. thank you for taking out time and writing another CK review with the same in-depth analysis, desi rants :D. I have observed that the comments on the review are nothing less than a review themselves! lol guys thank you for all the feed back. It is great to see you guys taking so much interest in the story and that the coke kahani team has succeeded to get the messages across. Really appreciate it guys. keep writing 😀

    • Can we just give you and Mohd. Ahmed sahab and award and be good to go 😉 THANK YOU SO MUCH for not writing about another mazloom aurat stuck with an awful mean husband and weirdo in-laws. It is beyond refreshing!

        • Lol I guess because I never followed any of those dramas. Even amina sheikh said on the humtv morning show that she found the two sis hating on eachother so unrealistic.

          • @Annie: LOL! Funny that Amina should say that since Maat was one of her biggest hits and that one actually re-started this latest trend of meri behen meri dushman 😉

          • @Annie: Tsk tsk – how can you do that ? no wonder sister sister war ratings are down.. lagta hai list dene paregi tumhe so you can catch up! 😛

            • @Annie- just goes to show how lazy we are. 😛
              Waise I cannot get myself to watch ANC. So please try to convince me. What’s so great about it?

            • @Ash regarding ANC it is a Cinderella story so if you enjoy fairytale romances then you will like this. I think Maya Ali and Faizan Khwaja are doing a GREAT job. I am enjoying Maha’s unpolished acting – it is not the calculated kind if you know what I mean. And Faizan is providing the perfect support to Maya’s not so perfect Cinderella. She’s mischievous and not all that docile. It’s fun to watch a non-goody-two-shoes play the heroine.
              I am not sold on Mayer. I find OKB to be too wooden at times and very robotic. It feels like he’s being forced to play the role rather than enjoying playing the role so the passion is missing on screen to play the character. With Maya you can sense that she’s enjoying her role. And Faizan Khwaja has really impressed me.
              Not to mention the camera work is gorgeous!
              Have you watched any of the episodes yet?

    • @Yasir: Hey! Thanks! Glad to have you visitig and reading 🙂 Yes, as you can see we are really enjoying this one – keep writign and keep bringing us more innovative stuff like this one 🙂

  8. you are all very kind 🙂 ..wesay ahmed sahab ko award definitely milna chahye for pulling off such brilliance in both CK and TNS ..and yes inshallah ahmed sahab and i will give you another treat soon 🙂

  9. Excellently written as always with no surprises 🙂
    CK makes me laugh like crazy.. watching matma’in and nusrat begum is literally a treat.. i so agree with you on they being great competition to ashar-khird 😉 Brilliant piece of writing.. Rayyan’s frustrations were so understandable at times.. as it happens exactly the same.. and that picking up the water bottle was small but much needed knock for everyone to get up and act.. i loved dinning table scene and how that one dialogue from his father made rayyan felt so good or rather made him motivated again 🙂
    last scene between asfand and zoya was cute scene.. and here comes our maya 🙂 finally!

    saturday’s are always worth waiting!

    • @Rehmat: Hi!! where have you beenn?! =\
      agreed with your comment! – the three [mother , father , rayaan] have such a cute relationship, ke its so fun to watch!
      and yes the last scene was just adorable, when she says get up and give me hugs, perfect time for miss Maya to enter, but i really hope she’s not too negative and actually helps out with the whole restaurant gig! 🙂

      Fridays and Saturdays are both awesome – lots of tv, followed by these amazingly written reviews by SZ and all the discussion!! 🙂 , ke one cannot keep away! 🙂

      • @Ash: Heyyy:) well i came bit late this time to comment and was enjoying mazedaar discussions going on silently 😉 good to see your reply.. 🙂
        ohh definitely i am totally with you 😀 Weekend is now worthy calling a ‘weekend’ with all fun going on here.. this blog is surely an addiction for me 😉

        • Rehmat: tsk tsk silent lurker … not good 😉
          Good to see we’re on the same page that Ashar and Khirad have serious competition @Annie is not convinced as yet! 🙂

          • now I am thinking about all the VMs you ladies can create w/ Mr. and Mrs. Mutama’in with “tera hone laga hoon” playing in the background. *eek* 😉

            • Wat an idea @Annie – ji … now if only i was that talented I would really do one — wouldn’t that be so much fun!!! Anybody here who can do this? It would be really cool and if they could intersperse Nusrat and Mutma’in’s moments with shots of Ashar and Khirad to bas wah kiya kehne!!!

    • @Rehmat – same thing happens w me. I come in late sometimes and miss out on everything and whatever I want to write has already been said. So from now on ill be checking quite often and not make guest appearances. :P.

      • @Ash: You got me 😀 exactly i will also try to comment as soon as possible.. but i am afraid this will not happen this week :/

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