Zindagi Gulzar Hai ~ Episode 2 Review

ZGH-cover

I’m kind of in two minds about how to review this episode. A part of me wants to go gaga and rightly heap praises on the lead pair, the direction and cinematography. On the other hand though, I can’t help but shake my head wearily at the starkly etched out black and white characters and the hackneyed story line. Not sure how to go about doing this, but in all honestly can’t do one without the other, so here it goes …

After the brilliant ending last week, the second episode started off on a strong note with Kashaf in the university, looking for her name in the merit list. The milling around of real students provided a lovely backdrop for Kashaf and Zaroon’s pehla taakra, which was excellent! Zaroon is arrogance personified; he walks with a swagger and doesn’t care who he has to shove around to get to where he wants to go. In sharp contrast Kashaf with her downcast eyes is too busy musing about her social circumstances, comparing her mother’s tooti hui chappal with the well-shod feet of the people around her. This was a very well done scene; the elite academic institution juxtaposed against the more ho hum institutional setting of the school where Rafia, Kashaf’s mom, teaches. The stained corridor of Rafia’s school provided a stark contrast to the beautifully designed setting of the Indus Valley campus, visually underscoring the difference between the privileges of the classes and the bare necessities of the masses.

Kashaf and Zaroon’s admission to the same elite institution sets up the premise for the rest of the episode. Kashaf’s bonding with her family is truly special; I loved the way everybody gathered around to hear about her day, and her mom and sisters were so happy for her. Though Kashaf is generally embittered, and would probably describe herself as angry with the world in general, there are the rare moments when she is happy. Though she would probably never recognize her feelings as those of joy, but that rare smile of satisfaction, at heading the merit list, her taxi ride back home and buying mithai to celebrate the occasion, tells a different story.

In some ways it is not hard to see why Kashaf is angry with the world. Her mother, fabulous as she is, is really hard for me to understand. Her husband is an absolute nincompoop, and if her daughters realize this and we can figure it out in two episodes, why does Rafia not get this as yet? Why does she continue to seek Murtaza’s approval and expect him to celebrate her children’s achievements? Also don’t get why, despite her own experience, Rafia sees marriage as the be all and end all to a woman’s existence; is marrying well the only goal a woman should aspire to? She is completely supportive of Kashaf’s desire to pursue a higher degree, but then this dichotomy in her behavior leaves not only me but Kashaf aggravated as well. I would be equally if not more so angry with men, if a ranting lunatic like Murtaza were the only male role model in my life. Amidst all this chaos, I like the way Sidra navigates her way through life. She escapes in to her own fantasy world, and I love the way she humorously shuts out Kashaf’s rants. The sisters’ bonding is very sweet and their scenes always leave me with a smile on face.

On the other side of the metaphorical tracks, life is very different for our hero Zaroon. He is rich, looks like a million bucks, has a deadly smile, sings like a dream, and as if all that is not enough, he is intelligent to boot- sigh! So there should be no problems in his life, right? Wrong! Zaroon’s annoyances stem from his sister’s unreasonable behavior towards her fiancé in particular and her attitudes towards men in general. Sarah is stubborn and spoilt and her behavior irks Zaroon to no end. Sarah’s behavior though is a mirror image of her mother’s my-way-or-the-highway approach to life and her casual attitude towards her family and home. Unlike Ghazala, Junaid is more laid back and seems spineless. Zaroon’s conservatism and chauvinism grow out of his frustrations with his parents’ different personalities.

The episode ended with the much awaited first clash between our naraaz haseena and the handsome hunk. We’d been waiting for this scene since the promos and it did not disappoint for even one second. I have to specially commend Umera and Sultana Siddiqui for the way the churail awwal line was carried over from the first scene to the last scene. Excellent way to bookend the episode and leave us all looking forward to more sparks flying between the two protagonists.

Okay, so far so good. These were the good parts that I thoroughly enjoyed. I absolutely loved Fawad and Sanam here – they’re fabulous! Samina Peerzada continues to be superb. Among others, Mansha Pasha is endearing; Hina Bayat, Ayesha Omar, and Mehreen Raheal do their best to rise above their uni-dimensional characters. Looking forward to seeing more of Maheen Rizvi here. Sultana Siddiqui’s direction was absolutely topnotch. I loved the way the college scenes were shot; using actual students in the scenes was a masterstroke and added the necessary ambiance to the story. Also the contrast between the elite college surroundings and the more humble school was great. Similarly the scenes where Kashaf has to first walk, then find a rickshaw, and later transfer to a bus provided an excellent visual of her hard life. Her tribulations were brilliantly highlighted when we saw the ease with which Zaroon drove up in his fancy car, parked it right outside the entrance and casually walked in to the university.

Shahzad Kashmiri’s cinematography is beautifully done. His visuals capture the essence of the story so well, and Sultana Siddiqui narrates the story with such ease that I cannot help but wonder about the wordiness that we see here. Why is there so much talking? TV is first and foremost a visual medium so we do not need long-winded and at times repetitive dialogues. My other huge beef is with the easy resort to stereotypes. Beginning with Ghazala and Sarah to Murtaza and his second wife and his brother, I cannot help but grit my teeth every time I see these starkly etched out characters. Please could Ghazala be slightly less black, and Murtaza be slightly more likeable? Why do all males have to be such chauvinists? Why do women have to be shown as either gharelu=good or career-oriented=bad? Is it asking for too much for our writers, directors, producers to give us more relateable characters and stop this continued propagation of problematic notions about the elite classes, working women, and modernity? Surely, Mr. Zaroon knows that there’s a middle ground between liberalism and chauvinism?

In the final analysis, while I’m not completely bowled over, I’m very much smitten.  The chemistry between Kashaf and Zaroon, Zaroon and Sara, Zaroon and Asmara, and Kashaf and her family is magical. The individual scenes are tender and heartwarming enough to make me temporarily overlook my annoyance with the overall story, the stereotypes and what-nots. I ended the episode with a huge smile on my face, and this is to the credit to Sultana Siddiqui, her talented cast of actors and her technical crew, for rising above the been-there-done-that story and giving us some memorable moments. All deserve a huge round of applause for keeping us thoroughly entertained. Looking forward to more from Zaroon and Co!

Written by SZ~

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97 replies

  1. I guess I am the the first to comment because we are both on USA time. Great review SZ 🙂 Can find nothing to disagree with. The story and theme are contrived and as old as the Hills but so was Humsafer. Sultana Siddiqui has made it all special. So far the direction and cinematography are excellent . The two leads are great , Fawad is predictably perfect as is humanly possible and although Sanam needs to work on some of her dialogue delivery she is great. I just hope they will do more showing and less telling in Kashaf’s case as I think that inner monologue thing is getting annoying. I loved the line about all rich people being beautiful ..remember Muju telling Kiran she would be beautiful too if she was a s rich as Daneez ?
    I too am a little tired of these starkly painted characters. Kashaf’s father has other daughters does he hate them like these three..? Oh and that typical chalaq second wife who has him in her clutches . I liked that Kashaf’s Character blames her father not his second wife. Overall though this serial has Blockbuster written all over it despite those flaws . I think The general viewing public like their villains straight with no Ice ;)so it should not bother anyone as much as it does me. Zaroon is the backbone of this whole serial anyway. Now they have hamara Fawad as hostage , I have to see the entire serial no matter what . so play on …

    • @Sadaf: I’m with you on this one! Lets, just hope that as the story progresses there is a bit more nuance coming our way… if not, then oh well … lets just sit back and enjoy the Kashaf/Zaroon moments …

  2. Thank you SZ for such an honest review I have a mixed reaction to ZGH. I like Sanam’s acting a lot to me she is the star of the show. Fawad shines in some scenes too. Samina is really good as usual. Lovely moment of the episode for me were the the scene between Kasaf and her Mother and the bond of the three sister and there scenes together. I loved how they were bringing her stuff and were as happy for her going off to a university.

    Both Kashaf and Zaroon are a tit for tat couple Zaroon calling an unknown girl churail and Kashaf getting back at him in front of the whole class. Both are quiet arrogant in there own accord.

    Now what i don’t like women being shown as the dominating evil kind like in the role of Zaroon’s Mom beacuse she works and leaves the house thus she has no clue what goes in the house. Therefore her children her spoiled her daughter thinks she has to repeat her pattern. She treats her friend/fiancee as she thinks her mother has treated her father just to show us how working mothers treats there kids. (a repeated pattern in Hum Tv ) now.

    On the other hand we have Zaroon who is supposed to be like this as he is a product of such environment ,mom works and dad could not speak up. He has a strange notion that he wants to be a chauvinist . So he thinks it is better to be superior to women and consider them secondary expect women to stay home to cook, clean, and raise children because as such a liaq fiaq student he should know the definition.
    On the other hand we have Kashaf monologues kay baap sirf tv dramon main bation ki tallem say kush hotay hain asal zindgai main har baap ki naak kat jati hai agar beti parh likh jaye, I get she is really angry at her dad and frustrated,but if it’s her general perception towards society she really can’t see beyond her own misery. Which makes me sad towards her too as her own upbringing her colored all her perceptions.So at this point i think both Kasahf and Zaroon are a confused characters Zaroon more than her . Murtaza and his second wife are coming across most unlikable characters as were intended .

    • Interesting analysis Javeria. You’re right why does Zaroon have to pick between a chauvinist or a spineless man – it doesn’t make any sense.

      • @Javeria: We’re on the same page as far as mixed reactions go .. not quite sure, but as @Ash said, something is off…. lets see how the story unfolds and how the characters develop. There are still 22 eps more to come and plenty still to go.. so lets keep our fingers crossed.
        Regardless of how the serial does, I can see is that it will provide us with plenty of food for thought as we discuss various social problems etc,.. so even if we disagree with whats being shown onscreen, we’ll still get a lot out of our conversations here….so, along with waiting for some great Zaroon/Kashaf moments, I’m also looking forward to some great discussions in the upcoming weeks! 🙂

  3. Lovely Review! Could not agree more. I swear all this anticipation and excitement for this drama, but sad to say its missing that spark! Granted it has a top notch cast, a great team behind it but i am not sure something still seems to be missing. I am hoping that my opinion will change as the episodes progress, we get to see the college scenes, followed by the romantic ones ! tehehe.

    I love how the episode starts off, Kashaf walking into school, staring at everyones brand new shoes, and wondering what her mother did, and how she will provide her with it all once she becomes successful. Very heart touching,
    Zaroon pushes Kashaf out of the way to check out his name, she should have pushed him back instead of being in “rich people rich world” lala land! now that woulda been fun! 😀
    And what is Zaroon reenacting SRK from Mohabbatain with his sweater hanging on his shoulders, I mean what 22 dresses like that, come on yaar, dont spend so much time gelling your hair and looking all metro, because guys dont do that till their at least umm yea 25!. loosen up a bit, and oh also, do you seriously change sunglasses very hour? I mean list check karne ke waqt aviators aur phir gaari mai wayfarers. ?!?! At least you’ve got good choice! 😀
    And hes way too mature for his age, I mean who really cares about having people wait, or responsibilities at 22, especially if they come from such a spoon fed lifestyle….

    Not impressed at all with the whole Waseem Abbas, his second wife, brother melo drama! Cant they make a drama without all this, like imagine how cool would it be if there was none of that and just straight kashaf , Zaroon, friends, college, and kashaf’s family scenes. I think the drama would be a lot more likable. I mean there are more then enough of those melodramas going around. Wish this drama was all fun and no stupid double standards stories in between.
    Also, do they seriously need to go on with the “aurton ko parne ki koi zaroorat nahi” Oh God where is the wall for me to bang my head on! give us a break.
    Rafia needs to get a grip and let go of the useless mard ke naam pe dhabba. He gave you nothing your entire life, stop being so freaking scared in front of him. But Thank God she will speak up in the next episode
    okay so thats my rant, clearly i am pissed!

    Khair moving on, mom/sisters bond is very cute and so fun to watch. Yes a lot of talking and dialogues but I still enjoyed it. Sanam Saeed and Mansha Pasha have great chemistry, one would believe they are sisters in real life.
    One being so positive and the other being so negative is a great way to balance their thoughts.
    My most favorite line “Tumhare saath doh gante baat karne ke baad dil karta hai banda samundar mai chalang maray” Haha – loved it!

    But I feel Kashaf’s pain, life for some is not a bed of roses. I mean okay fine one doesn’t openly complain about all my problems and issues bc honestly where has that got anyone but the problems are there for everyone and why is shaadi so important in this culture, can a woman not be independent and live her life ??

    Well I really hope we get to see more of the college scene, Kashaf and Zaroon and less chiq chiq of her father and his cricket team that no one really cares about.

    • LOL @ cricket team. Completely agree with your rant! And yes I agree I wish they would have given FK t-shirts and jeans to wear rather than button down shirts. I am not complaining about how fine he looks but very few 22 year olds dress like that.

      • Thanks for pinpointing that Annie, I agree that is way too preppie a look for young men in that age group now. I think most young men of that wear band tee shirts and fancy jeans

    • Good catch @Ash at the sunglasses’ blooper! I was laughing while reading your rant as @Annie put it.. too funny… Seriously with you in that gel needs to be toned down and the wardrobe needs a serious readjustment, but won’t complain too much because FK is indeed looking pretty fine! 😉

  4. Great and honest review SZ! this episode was a mixed bag for me too.

    I knew that we were going to be treated to b&w characters so it didn’t surprise me with the done to death weirdo evil baap and his gang of conspirators and Zaroon’s mom being oblivious to when the dry cleaning needs to be picked up. it is a very typical Umera Ahmed style and the promos did not offer us anything different to expect. I conveniently forward the Waseem Abbas scenes – they are completely unnecessary. In fact I laughed when Kashaf said aisay baap sirf kahaniyon mein hotay hain jo beti se khush hon because it is actually the other way around. There are dads who are extremely proud of what their daughters have achieved in real life.
    Anyways these gripes will continue for another 10 episodes until K & Z get married. And then we’ll be treated to some new cliches 😉
    Credit goes to Sultana Siddique and the actors for lifting this one beyond the hackneyed story line otherwise it could have very well turned into an obnoxious Geo production. Thankfully we were saved from another Ashk.

    • @Annie: You’re right, I should’ve not been surprised, but I guess I had higher expectations of a Sultana Siddiqui project. That said, like you I’m going to now watch with zero expectations and just enjoy the Zaroon/Kashaf scenes, cause they look fab!
      Yes, thank God no Ashk.. love the way Ashk is now turning into a bar by which we measure how bad dramas are! Now should I start saying thank God for Ashk? 😉

      • Sultana siddique can work wonders only to a certain extent and we can see that she definitely helped develop a lot of nuances for the two main characters otherwise they would have come across as uni-dimensional too. The way the younger lot has been managed shows the work of an experienced director. I wish they would have gone with less than 20 episode and cut out all the waseem Abbas scenes.
        Did you notice the editing blooper when Zaroon is talking to Farhan bhai (lol) and Farhan asks him how college is going when they haven’t started college yet . That scene should have come next week.

          • @Ash LOL I seriously did not see the glasses switching. I think I was partially traumatized by the Mohabbatein wala SRK sweater on Zaroon 😉

            • lol – you better go have another look

              I think maybe Rayban has hired FK to be their official sunglasses model! 😉

        • LOL@Farhan bhai! that was funny indeed! And yes, I wondered what the heck was he talking about.. but then I thought he was playing the usual clueless relatives who make small talk… waisey what does Sara do, other than being a brat? She’s younger than Zaroon, then why isn’t she going to college or some such?

          • @SZ – I was wondering the same thing about Sara. What does she do all day?? She did have an interesting shirt on when she was talking on the phone w/ Zaroon.

            • @Annie: Dont know if you read around but that shirt created quite a stir all over the web. I am not really sure why but I think it was offensive?

            • @Ash – I did not know that since I tend to stay away from FB – it eats up too much of my free time (or lack there of it). I can totally see people getting offended by that t-shirt. I was surprised to see it myself. We know a guy who wears similar kind of statement making t-shirts so I am used to it to a certain extent.

            • Yes it said little miss jihadi and a burqa clad girl with a bomb strapped to her…not very funny, I found it rather offensive and rude. Apparently sultana siddiqui has apologized on her fb page, bit how could no one notice, seriously.

      • ASHK has given us all some deep trauma… It is being put on in the USA now….If my hair falls out and I start posting crazy stuff ,you will know I am re watching it

        • @Sadaf – NOOO!! please don’t re-watch that trash!! I rather you watch Zaroon singing “all the single ladies” on repeat 😉

          • haha yea why would anyone re watch that drama unless their getting paid big bucks!
            and seriously get rid of dish network – it is so pointless ke had nahi

  5. I am sorry I am going to disagree with most of you, we are thinking from a very western point of view and an obviously educated point of view, and more than likely our family has supported us. Half of the masses who watch these dramas are not from this type of background and do exactly what Kashafs fathers family is doing. I also detest his scenes, but sometimes you have to show things like that to give a reflection of what is happening. In many towns and villages women are not allowed further education for that exact reason of co-ed and the goal is to get them married as quickly as possible, I have seen so many people back home doing exact thing, smart intelligent girls who want to study but are married off at 18…its very sad and more rampant then we think, with fathers and family culture being a big issue, SA said she was going to focus on this message, so I’m not surprised.
    Anyways back to the episode, loved all the parts you mentioned, love how you contrasted the uni and rafias school, very observant!
    One other thing Zaroon seems very different than I thought, he has the attitude and swagger of a confident, elite class guy but also is conservative. I guess when you have a dysfunctional household, it affects you and makes you more sensitive to relationships. Well anyways loving zaroon and kashsf, at least they are grey!! Looking forward to more fiery clashes!

      • @SK: You are absolutely correct in saying that education on co-ed schools, education for girls, etc are important issues and that’s what they are highlighting here, I guess my biggest problem is with the way Waseem Abbas’ character has been made so black. There could have been ways of making him appear more human. I am very interested in knowing about his relationship with his other two daughters. Is he as disinterested in them as well? He is just shown as a heartless person. I want to know more about the role he plays on Rafia’s family. He does not seem to be contributing his fair share towards the family, nor does he seem interested in the kids, so I’m not exactly sure why Rafia expects him to be happy at Kashaf’s admission .. let’s just say that I was expecting more nuance in the way the father is portrayed… baqi tau yes, Zaroon’s dysfunctional family has a lot to do with the kind of man he is shaping up to be…
        Agree with you that of all the characters Kashaf and Zaroon have the most interesting grey characters and are the most fun to watch – can’t wait to see how they clash! 🙂

    • @SK – i agree! Its a really big issue and more common then we know but the thing is there are many other dramas they are conveying the same exact message as this one. aur woh bhi over and over again. I think the message has made its point, it’ll make a difference once we see people act upon it and do something about it.
      I guess we will see Kashaf arise from that background and problems and become a successful career oriented woman.

      Agree with you about Zaroon. Like Kashaf [the poor , feel sorry for me], Mr arrogant, know it all Zaroon also has his baggage. Coming from a dysfunctional family can really mess with your personality and turn you into somebody you are not or don’t want to be. I think he’s confused about a lot of things as well.

      But like you, really looking fwd to the Z and K scenes! 🙂

    • SK my only point is what is the use of showing such an evil character,like what is the lesson to be learnt? He has been simply put in the story to generate hate towards his type of men. There has to be some good side to everyone like you cannot suppose har baap bura hota hai like Kashaf , similarly a person cannot simply be only flawed.Jis tarah Kasahaf ki baat saunay main ihmqana lagti hai is tarah yeh maan lena ka admi who has been leading a marital life for so many years father of 5 daughters will be really this pathetic. This is not a Westernized point of view ,i remember my driver uncle being more keen for the education of his daughter than anything(lower class). The lower-middle class have often the most soft fathers very loving who give quiet some time to there kids.About Universities In Punjab University even in GCU girls from many villages and outskirts of Lahore come.(I live in Lahore so only tell you about that). I have seen there fathers coming over on holidays really happy.Karachi is already ahead of Lahore. So to show such a hateful ignorant character when really we have in Pakistan moved quiet ahead (except for Swat areas but this play is not depicting that area) i do not get it’s appeal. Umera dialogues are generally a statement towards the society and her viewers often think everything that is said is right so i just do not agree with certain dialogues in this play.

      • SK i am only making this claim because i have taught at a public sector university for nine years. Quarter of our girl crowd was from the villages or small cities.Only because this much our girls hostels could accommodate.In Punjab University 70% of the crowd comes from little villages and cities. There are universities for only women too if some one wants but i never really saw girls giving them preference as there merit was always low. But even if that is the choice i see no harm in it as long as a girl is getting educated. I agree many girls are still left behind but they never took up studies to start with.

        • We are still talking about a very small percentage of women compared to the population. This is a huge problem, and needs to be addressed and what better than in a blockbuster drama that a lot of people will watch and might even ponder on. It is shown in many dramas, but the attraction this drama holds with a great team can maybe reach put to more viewers.

      • Thank you Thank you Thank you so much Javeria.for pointing out that we have other whole segment of people, especially dads who encourage thier daughters to go farther. while my mom’s schemes in life revolve around getting me married *roll eyes* my dads worry is that i need to have the best education possible in the world and yet my dad has a very conservative mindset and my mom comes from a liberal family.

        I am going to start with what I loved about the episode. I am in sync with most of your comments. I absolutely loved Kashaf’s doubts and apprehension of going to an elite class university and anxiety about making it to the list, getting ready, the appropriateness of her clothes, her family’s celebration and her happiness was very genuine once she realized she was on top of the list. I could totally relate to all her emotions and even her consistent rants and pessimism didn’t bother me so much. I promise one day if I ever meet FK, I will ask him to please sing…wow I still can’t get over the fact that ZGH title song was not sung by FK himself! Oh why oh why …

        My favorite scenes today had to be the clash between Zaroon and Kashaf. My friend was like agar yahan par mujhe koi good looking guy akar hello karta to main phisal hi jati…but itna attitude to nahi hota yaar and then I reminded her about the time we met Mr. B (I wont say his name 😛 ), he was quiet the hunk of our class. On our first day of classes we heard his announcement that when he becomes a plastic surgeon he will change all our faces because in his opinion none of his girl classmates were pretty and when he finished his sentence his eyes paused on my friend. He was cockiest person I had met and when he said hi to me first time, I simply replied back “I hope my ugly face didn’t burn your eyes.” He thought he was all that but now that I am a bit older than that incident and Mr. B and I are really close friends, I realized that when guys are over confident and we girls have attitude like Kashafs, bartaan to phir bajtay hi hain 😉 so yeah I totally relate to Z&K’s encounter!

        So here is where I have a HUGE problem with the drama so far: the evil beyond evil dad. I remember Daam and I liked the father’s role more believable and relatable as well. I wish they wouldn’t paint all fathers like this with many daughters and it makes no sense to me what feudal village is Kashaf’s family belongs to, where the beta has to inherit all the zamianay???. They could have made the dad’s character a lot more nuanced. The problem with our society now is not the attitude towards girl’s themselves or education but accessibility to it. From my experience and observation, I don’t think people hold this attitude anymore that daughters any lesser then boys. As hard as it is to believe, a lot of educated families hold these biases towards females more which are quiet pathetic. For example, even though it is so late to change this now, I think what they should have done with the dad’s character is that he doesn’t remarries but doesn’t holds or thinks highly of his daughters or the fact that they can go farther than sons or boys and blames it on Kashaf’s mom as well. This could have been a more appropriate representation rather than going and marrying and having a whole other family (what world does this happen in now)?

        As far as we are concerned about education for girls, Last year on my visit to Pakistan I visited almost 8 villages and had lengthy discussion about the changing attitudes of sending girls to school or for post-secondary education. Here is what I found out. People are very encouraging and very proud that their daughters are getting educated and agree that daughters are more useful than boys. One of the elders (a long time ago who almost stopping talking to my grandfather because of my aunts education), especially mentioned to me that he finds it very hard to come to grips with the fact that while primary and mostly secondary education is available to girls, accessibility to post-secondary education is so lacking that he fears that many girls who could go so far are left behind. He said the biggest worry for him was not the fact that girls were not getting educated but that in smaller villages or towns there is no proper transport infrastructure for girls to attend college and sadly in most of our villages the attitude towards co-education and traveling alone is a huge barrier to going forward.

        I am glad ZGH is a platform for discussing all these issues so appropriate to our society. I definitely personally cannot relate to the dads character, nor such a dysfunctional family like that of zaroon’s but I can certainly relate to Kashaf’s anxiety about university, the travel distance, passion driven by the fact that you have to go forward for many people, boys like zaroon, girls like Kashaf etc.

        p.s. I know a lot of people were extremely offended by Sana Omar’s “little miss jihadi” shirt and please count me as one of them. Jihad is a very sensitive topic in our religion and these things should certainly not be over looked. If they did this deliberately on purpose to create controversy then this was done in very bad taste. How did they think they were going to get away with it?

        • Agreed Maria that times are definitely changing albeit slowly. My uncle runs a school in a small village close to Khi and most of the children who attend are girls and the parents are uber happy that their daughters are getting even the basic education. There’s still a lot more work that needs to be done on the high school and college level.
          I think most of us are on the same page about Waseem Abbas’s character – it needed to be a little more nuanced and layered. I wish WA would have at least attempted to play it differently from his experience, but that’s expecting too much 🙂

  6. Lol Ash at the ‘cricket team’ and i really liked that line sidra says to kashaf too, I actualy laughed out loud.
    Also completely agree with your annoyance at kashaf’s dad. This is the first time I started watching a drama live streaming. Am thinking of going back to YouTube though, no ads and forward through kashaf’s dad etc, I think I’ll enjoy it a lot more.

    Loved your review SZ, seemed to express just what I was thinking. It’s a story that’s been told beautifully, but kinda a shame that the story itself has some flaws that are quite bothersome. But still, I think overall I am more drawn into it than bothered by it and am trying to overlook the stereotypes.

    Maybe if Zaroon’s mum was just shown to be a not that great wife but not necessarily a career woman. It would still reinforce the rich/poor stereotypes but at least not the career woman=bad wife one. Anyway I’m choosing to see it as she’s a career woman and happens to be careless about the house too but doesn’t mean all career women are bad. Actually, in the story later, Kashaf for a while works and is wife right? And she’s meant to be shown in a good light so in that case career woman doesn’t = bad. (Like I said, I’m trying to overlook the flaws so this could be my mind working overtime on that and making up these arguments lol :-S)

    Anyway, love Kashaf and especially Sanam’s acting. Sometimes Kashaf comes off as bitter and pessimistic but sometimes u feel like she’s just being realistic and facing her difficult reality quite honestly. And love how much she cares about her mum. And that she’s not perfect.

    Really like the Sidra-Kashaf discussions. They kinda feel like what goes on in my head. You try to keep a balance between being realistic and having high hopes for the future. Especially their takes on marriage. I remember being younger and believing in Prince Charming and happily ever after and then becoming bitter and thinking like Kashaf what’s the point of marriage on seeing ppl around me as I got older.

    I didn’t get Kashaf’s mum’s thing about marriage initially and thought it unrealistic. But now thinking about it, she reminds me of my grandma. As much as she gets happy when I do well in my education and wants me to eventually get a good job etc she said something to me once like as difficult as marriage might be, we do all still need to get married. Can’t completely make senseof this a girl is incomplete without getting married issue. But I think maybe that’s not necessarily what they’re saying. I think she wants Kashaf to get educated, independent etc but also to get married just because she sees that as a natural course of life like even if she had a son she would want him to get married eventually isn’t it? I dunno this is a weird issue….

    Sorry for the Kashaf’s dad Zaroon’s mum etc, I just see them as that so haven’t caught onto the characters names…

    Oh and am so glad that the churail awal thing is because of what Zaroon says in the beginning. Otherwise I found that line a bit annoying and weird when seeing it in the promos. Like no matter how much of a couldn’t care less attitude you have, who would say such a thing on a first meeting without any reason. But she had a reason so that’s ok…

    I actually start off every comment thinking this time I’ll keep it short! Anyway…

    • AM: Naa!!! don’t shorten your comments, love reading everybody’s detailed feedback 🙂
      LOL @ going back to YT.. I tried it last week and the ads got to be to much, so I sneaked a peek a couple of times, but then went back to YT .. DOL was pretty quick as well. I think I will also ffwd those dad scenes, I understand why they are there, but its a bit too much to take..
      I agree about the career women stereotypes and how they will show Kashaf as being a career woman managing her family successfully, and I want to see how thy portray it then, but for know, it is putting me off .. but I’m hopeful, as I commented above, its only two episodes in, so I;m keeping an open mind.
      Yes, I’m loving Sanam here as well … I really think Sultana Siddiqui has pulled off a casting coup of sorts here, but choosing her as the embittered but really strong Kashaf. What I really like about her character is that no matter how angry she gets, she’s never feeble or weak, and here of course her family support system counts for a lot.
      All of us are on the sme page as far as Sidra and Kashaf’s relationship is concerned. Its beautifully written and the director’s gotten great performances out of her younger cast.
      Kashaf’s dad is Murtaza and Zaroon’s mom is Ghazala … not memorable characters, so can’t blame you for not remembering their names 😉
      Yes, I had wondered what that was about too, and as I noted inmy review .. it was a very smart way to bookend the ep with those lines, b/c they completely hooked us in the beginning and when the ep ended we had a smile again.. very nicely done!

  7. Heard about your blog so thought I would drop a line here too. I am a great fan of Pakistani dramas and so are many of my friends in India. You won’t believe this but there were some boys in my college who were called ” Rahat’ and girls who were named ‘ Zoya’ ( no they were not muslims) because their moms had seen ‘ dhoop kinarey’ and had kept their names on the lead pair of that serial. So, you can imagine the fan following!
    I don’t know how you all see it but I AM IN LOVE WITH ZGH!!! I love FK and SS. I love the Sidra- Kashaf relationship. So sweet and natural.
    @ Ash: I agree with you. Mansha Pasha and Sanam have great chemistry. They remind me of me and my sisters. The body language and screen presence is great between the two sisters.They even resemble each other!! Great casting.
    @ SZ: Great review! I love the way you analyse everything. Also everyones comments. I have seen issues that are similar in my country too. Girls really are told to marry early and forget about education. This may not happen in the cities but it is common amongst the 80% who live in small towns and villages. So it is a very south east asian mindset.So you all should not be critisizing that. Men do make all the decisions in our part of the world and most decisions are based on honour or “what the world will say” philosophy
    The lead pair is great. The chemistry is awesome and so is the Direction. The college building is awesome. Is it real or is it a set? FK is a heart throb!! Do you have such men in abundance in Pakistan or is he a rare specimen 🙂 ????

    • @Anupama! – how are you! good to hear from you . There are a lot of great pakistani dramas out there and i am sure many here can suggest some great ones!
      as for ZGH fingers crossed it gets even better then it easy, but aur kuch nahi to at least there is plenty of eye candy ! 😉

      No idea where these names came from Kashaf and Zaroon but i am really liking Kashaf, Zaroon sounds a bit off but khair it works bc they have great chemistry! 🙂

      and you know what i think he is a rare speciman, bc we are looking for him and so far no luck!! =( …. i thought each person had 7 look alikes, so where are the other 6 FKs!!!!!

      • Ash, I have to disagree- lahore has come pretty cool lookers around 🙂 and yes, my sis met a perfect FK look-alike in Islamabad. Yahan tak keh they got a pic with him too 🙂 – (was a cardiologist in the US) (yes, we’re a family of crazy females!)
        Anupama, Hi! The college is in Karachi- Indus Valley School of Art- nice building na?

        • hehe Afia, nahi i didnt say there are not any “cool lookers” i am sure there are, i am talking about the FK look alikes, but looks like your sister found one, 2 down 5 to go!! 😀

          and yes that college is in fact real and a very lovely piece of architecture! the designers have done a magnificent job! This was the same college in ShehreZaat right?

        • OH MY GOD Afia you cannot leave us hanging …Looks like FK , Cardiologist ,USA hmmm….oh wait I already have something similar… show us the picture please , please…PLEASE???

    • @Anupama: Hey! thanks for checking us out and taking the time to comment — great to have yet another another drama aficionado joining in our conversations 🙂 As you join us in our convos, you’ll notice that we tend to be hard core in our critique so nitpick about every detail and discuss and debate every issue, but that does not mean we are not enjoying the drama in question– in fact its the other way around, the more we get into our debates the more engage we are as viewers.. so here we are not denyign the importance of the issue at all just questioning the black/white characters…
      LOL@ your query about FK! Haha.. we’re all fans here, so you’re in good company 🙂
      Nice to know that Pakistani dramas have an equally ardent following across the border as well 🙂 You mentioned Zoya, so are you watching Marina Khan in Tanhaiyan Naye Silsilay? Would love to know how you’re enjoying that one? do share your thoughts and hope to see you here regularly from now one 🙂

  8. “Smitten but not bowled over”…sums it up perfectly for me as well.Spot on review as usual SZ agree with everything you said about the b&w characters , I think the problem lies not in the story telling but the story writing – I think it was Maria if I am not wrong who ascribed this problem to the genre of digest writing and its catering to its target audience -I completely agree with her .I firmly believe that the success of HS,SEZ and even Durre–shawar was more due to the brilliant treatment of the directors and the talented casts than the script itself.
    I didn’t really like the technique of using diary-writing and the spouting of lengthy monologues in such salees urdu either. While watching the car scenes between FK, Mehreen and SM , the only word that springs to mind is’ contrived’ and I for one have not seen such immaculately turned out 22 year old boys going to college.
    On the plus side I love SS as Kashaf specially her contrariness the way she plucked the plate of mithai out of the tea tray for her father and her disappointment at his lack of any expression of happiness for her achievement .The lovely bonding between the mother and sisters , the way they all rally around her on her first day at the college, so natural and heart-warming.I think in the face-off between FK and SS , it was she who came off as the winner acting wise, she appears supremely confident and not at all in awe of Fawad’s considerable acting prowess , the chemistry between them looks really promising and so looking forward to their future clashes.
    Sultana Siddiqui’s expertise is evident through out and is a treat to watch , ZGH might not have bowled us that over yet but still its miles ahead of all the other beyond blah dramas with mile long titles which we are subjected to throughout the week(with the exception of Bari Apa of course!)

    • @Fariha: Where did you disappear? Missed you! As usual a beautifully written comment – agree with you about pretty much everything, especially your last line that despite all its shortcomings Zgh is still above and beyond the rest of the stuff we see during the week.
      Re: your comment about digest writers and their targeted audiences, I agree with you to a large extent, but I think this is where the content heads, producers and directors step in, because there are people assigned to go over scripts and suggest changes and additions, keeping in view their target audience, the viewers. It is at this point where changes should be made and are often made, but sadly more often than not these are made with the TRPs in mind, and we all know what that means. So its not fair to blame just the writers, other people are equally implicated in this process. That said, Umera’s scripts probably dont go through as much of a scanner b/c Sultana herself said that UA’s scripts come and are ready to go … so I would say it varies from case to case and its slightly unfair to make a blanket statement about digest writers…

      • I know it may sound unfair but that is my personal opnion about that genre of writng nothing against any particualr writer.I have been brought up on a staple diet of Manto,Shaukat Thanvi and Nasim Hijazi,so the rest…..ok enough said I dont want to start a controvesy.
        Where have I been ?trying hard to finish an assignment and my dissertation and not not being very sucessful so far, so wish me luck please.
        Another very welcome addition that I forgot to mention are the English sub-titles,which means I am not simultaneously trying to translate the dialogues for my daughter while watching ZGH, I wish they would do it for Bari Apa as well, it would save me so much time…

        • @Fariha,I hear you and agree with you, but wanted to be fair to the digest writers as well…
          Hey! we’re in the same boat! We should start up a writing group or something! 🙂

          • Are you studying as well? I thought I was exceptionally foolish to start parhai again burhappay main and have been ruing my decision for 4 yrs now .Good to know someone else is suffering too , may I ask what is your field of study, I presume its for a Masters’ and judging by the quality of your writing, I would hazard a guess something related to Linguistics/literature??

  9. That is so funny Anupama…. I am sure we might have a few Fawad’s lying around , just like I am sure you have some SRKs, Hrithiks and Salman Khans in India…
    This story is a good but nothing extraordinary ,it is the actors and the Director who have made it special.It occured to me this would all be so different if Sarmad had been directing ,more intimate and heartfelt? Or if Haissem Hussain had directed it would be more edgy , modern and even more slick? I have no complaints Sultana Siddiqui is fabulous but just thinking out loud…

    • I was thinking the same thing after watching the 2nd episode. how would have Haissam or Sarmad treated the script. I think both H and S would have turned a few things on their head to make some of the characters more believable which might have annoyed a few folks 😉

  10. Aalllaa…. SZ u reviewed so well, while reading this review there’s a smile on my face from 1st line to last line 🙂 thorougly enjoyed it…. Jst luv ur 2nd Episode review 🙂
    though m not agree with u on ur 1st episode review but this one is realy fantastic luv it…. 🙂

    • @Sonia: Hey! thanks for commenting! Arrey yaar, agree or disagree you should still voice your opinion. We all enjoy reading the vast variety of opinions…. it would be so boring otherwise 🙂
      Ab, keep on sharing your thoughts, I’m happy to be read contrary thoughts- adds to the fun!

  11. Sat down to watch both the episodes. And I think they were superb.I totally relate to Samina’s story as I have undergone something similar. To the utter frustration of my, I too for a long time thought about ‘ what is proper for a wife’ even if I had been made to shoulder the entire burden. I too would inform about the successes of my daughters though realizing there was no interest on the other side. I gave them lectures on ‘ aakhir woh tumhara baap hey’ when I saw them getting angry at my spineless behaviour. And I have seen a number of women do the same thing. Hence to me the story is very true and Umera is superb!! What she is writing is not about the elite. She is addressing the issues of the 90% of the poor and middle class for whom life is a huge struggle. In that world believe me the characters are all black and white!!
    I think they have all done a fantastic job. Sultana siddiqui cannot be replaced by any other director. Her experience is awesome. Kashaf , Samina and Mansha and the other sister have an awesome chemistry. I am totally impressed!!

      • Sorry to hear that ms, unfortunately there are men who are very black and white. I hope its just a minority, as its so hard to believe a father would not have affection for his kids even if he doesn’t want them to have a higer education. SZ raised a valid point, he seems so heartless and disinterested, I would also like to know how he treats the other daughters. I guess UA did write the extreme, by having another family too, and not treating them equally is very black and white. They could have easily shown a father who loved his kids but just had a different pov about life, ie,wanting them to be married rather than getting a uni degree. I guess people do like watching the villians though and the weak overcoming their struggles and earning victory over their oppressors, makes for good drama, so I understand why it has to sometimes be shown as extreme to make it more extreme. I mean look at Farida in Humsafar?? Although I don’t like zaroons moms stereotype, as elite mom working and not a good mom, but hopefully as someone mentioned they will show kashaf as working and managing everything which should be a positive, and they are also showing rafia as working but still a great mom, so I don’t think its that stereotypical.

    • ms: Thank you so much for sharing your personal story – I’m really touched and cannot even begin to imagine how painful that experience must’ve been…
      This is one of the best parts about blogging that we are learning so much from everybody else’ experiences. Please continue sharing your insights as we go along this journey, b/c you can offer us a perspective that we would not have otherwise.
      I understand your point about there being no middle ground in the case of the lower income groups, but again, I guess as a viewer I would have liked a bit more insight into the dad’s character. Also, if there is only black and white among the lower strata then surely there is more of a margin among the elites .. again, like Murtaza, I would’ve liked more insight into Ghazala’s character. But again, the story is only two eps in, so we’ll wait and see how in unfolds..
      Agree with you completely about Sultana Apa’s direction. she’s done wonders with the cast. Love the way she’s brought about the middle class household of Kashaf and her family alive for all of us. Yes, the ladies all rock in that family!

  12. OK! so everyone has said everything and there is not much left for me to say but still here goes nothing! 2 episode was kinda slow for me and a bit boring too. i mean come on! how many freaking scenes can they add of kashaf’s father and his evil 2nd wife. I am sure if it was her daughter going to university with scholarship she’d be on cloud nine. but no since its her step daughter, she has to poison her happiness$_$. and from where did this bhai jan came from. i don’t remember kashaf’s father had any bro, who brought “rishta” for her, or may be it did happen. don’t know.. looks like now i have a memory loss which i don’t remember:( and don’t asmara have her own home and family? she is always attached on zaroon’s side, in his car, at home, in hotels… anyways last scene was really awesome. churail awwal.. LOL! and also how kashaf reached university by changing two rides.so true. i agree with SK, the society in which we live has majority of those who belong to middle class and lower class families and in these male tends to be a more dominating part. he takes decision for his family. women especially girls have no say in anything. they just do what they are told to do. and even some male in upper class are like this too. men are chauvinist no matter to which class they belong. stare at any women they want or do anything there heart desires with them but if anyone else do the same thing with their mother or their sisters or their wives, they want to gauge eyes out of those men. typical male ego!! and those who are liberal are far too much liberal. as SZ said there should be a middle ground between both the extremes. @javeria: i totally agree with you. not every father is like kashaf’s father, in fact nowadays many educated people comes from middle class families but still even in such modern times men always has more right than women. money is also a big problem. if a father can support only one of his children financially for education he would go for his son not daughter. and there are many highly educated girl doctors and engineers etc in ours society but once the get married their husbands don’t allow them to go out for job and what they do “cholha, handi, and bache sambhalna”. all in all episode was just OK, dont have much to say about it but yeah after last scene waiting for next episode. ok if i write anything more it would be ready to publish:) gotta go. have to prepare for my final exam:(

    P.S: SZ your review was really great, agree with you on all counts.

    • @Farah i don’t have an idea where bhai jaan came from too, maybe a character in the story but i have forgotten or the added a new character. Haha yes Asmara really needs to stop following Zaroon , Mahreen has been following him since Ashk 🙂 I can hardly see any difference in her acting now. And best of luck for the finals.

    • Farah; Thanks for your detailed comment – ab nahin boloongi ke dobara batao – lol! Enjoyed reading your rant! You and @Ash are great at expressing your indignation, and in such a fun a way too! The bhaijan character is an addition to the story, we never read too much about Kashaf’s family except in passing and the sisters, etc, also never figured prominently, as far as I can remember. So true, I think the first scene hooked and then the last scene booked us for next friday… kamal ki narrative technique hai Sultana Apa ki!
      Good luck for your exam! IA you’ll get through with flying colors!

      @Javeria: Fawad and Mehreen were together in Dastaan as well!

  13. SZ ,you have reviewed this episode beautifully. You have echoed our thoughts and it is a perfect package:)

    I loved this episode for two prominent reasons. One being many Faawd Khan scenes and the second seeing Kashf’s family’s excitement about her admission. The Kashaf we saw entering the college and the Kashaf who found out her name leading the merit list were very different. It was aptly shown that education empowers women. Reading about Rafia in the review and when you said , why does she need the consent if her not-so-dear husband and why does she have to share everything with him?! Is something I agree with but believe me SZ it s very relatable for me. I have personally seen many couples like that and I have witnessed the ruined lives of the children too just because their mother ‘has’ to ask their father. It si disturbing.

    On a lighter note, isn’t Zaroon way too cute? I loved how he mimics Asmara and then his sister when he has rub his achievements on their faces.

    I too fail to relate to Mr. Murtaza and Mrs. Ghazala Junaid. Why are working women portrayed as vamps and so very careless?

    The camera work and the dialogues were really good and the episode ended on a very exciting note. I am eagerly looking forward to Zaroon’s answer to Kashaf’s very rude remark. I really liked how they juxtaposed her idea of all the beautiful people being in the college and her believe that she really is that ‘churail’ that guy was talking about:)

    • Hey @Heela! Thanks so much yaar for sharing your insight into Rafia’s character. Like I said to @ms, this is one of the great things about our discussions we get to hear so many viewpoints and get so many insights that we don’t ordinarily get while watching by ourselves. As @SK said many of us are blessed enough to have been spared these experiences, so cannot relate. But again, I do feel the way they are being shown here should’ve been tempered a bit… and made more nuanced.
      That said, interestingly Zaroon and Kashaf are shown with grey shades .. I’m with you I am enjoying Kashaf’s characterization and Sanam’s doing fab!

  14. This is probably one of the best openings to any drama. Although, I feel and forgive me for being so critical but the acting by all the characters greatly vary. Clearly, there are two parallel families but the acting by all the characters in Kashaf’s family including the father is powerful and complimentary. On the other hand Zaroon’s family is just flat in every manner and even at times it comes out as exaggerated as if all the characters are trying too hard.

    It’s phenomenal how all of Kashaf sister’s and the mother resemble with each other. I feel the younger sister, Sidra even sounds like Samina Peerzada, who with this character has out performed herself.

    p.s. Roman urdu… why?

    SS

    • Sameen: Hey! Great to hear from you 🙂 LOL, no apologies for being critical. As long as we limit our discussions to dramas and are not making personal comments or indulging in harmful gossip, we’re good 🙂 I agree that Kashaf’s family has a more relatable characters, despite our problems with exagerations. On the other hand, the weak Junaid, the headstrong Ghazala and the spoilt brat Sara are indeed kinda out there…
      LOL@roman Urdu.. I wondered why too .. considering how much English Zaroon speaks, it is weird to see him writing in such flowing Urdu.
      Keep commenting, lets see how the rest of the story lays out 🙂

  15. @Sameen Syed: I so agree with you. Sidra and Kashaf LOOK like sisters and yes Sidra looks like Samina and even sounds like her. No wonder we forget most of the time that they are not real sisters. I also agree that all the actors in Kashaf’s family are powerful , leaving an impact on the story and on us. While except for Zaroon, every body in his family is forced and flat. I too have pledged to support MR through this self destruction. Zaroon’s singing was just mindblowing.
    Loving the Drama and its ratings are soaring. I think we have another Humsafar here.

    • @YF: yep they all look like they are related in real life! this is what you call great casting! No wonder we all love them so much more compared to Zaroon’s messy family. Sirf Zaroon theek thaak nikla! 😛
      yep the drama is going good, but i hope it gets better! bring on the romance scenes already! 🙂

  16. This epi was better than epi 1.
    This play would ve been better without Waseem Abbas. His scenes are too long & boring. I’m afraid we ll get to see a lot more of him
    Ayesha Umer has walked out of Bulbulay set into this one. What was up with the little miss Jihadi t shirt? Making fun of your own religion is not good. I did not find that at all funny. Mehreen Raheel is another one. Looks like she walked out of Ashk, nightmare, into this one.
    FK s young, poor little rich boy attitude is annoying. Man, you are so good looking , act your age.
    The only person I’m impressed with so far is Kashaf. Love her acting.

    • @Afsheen: HI! yes i agree with you, i really hope we dont see too much of waseem abbas and his other family. Why are those scenes even relevant to the storyline. I really hope they dont take too much of the screen time! *fingers crossed*

      haha @ walking out of one set to another – I loved it when Mehreen Raheal walked into the classroom and Kashaf gave a quick stare thinking “khuda ameer logon ko shakalayen bhi achi de deta hai”

      and yep Team Kashaf for sure! Sanam Saeed deserves the best actress award for this and its only been two episodes! Loving her.

  17. Salam Sahelio!
    Enjoyed reading the review (surprise surprise!) and all your comments. I would have LOVED this show if it had half as many scenes showing the plight of Kashf’s family and her dad etc. For me there was an overdose of “Hum ghareeb hain, ghareeb hain, boti, chappal, tooti chappal, mochi chappal, etc etc.”
    The first scene was great. Had they concentrated more on those univ scenes, it would have been so much fun and the story would’ve have moved along – Oh, why the quest for 23 episodes?
    The last scene too was well done- came out better than the clip shown in the advertisement. Probably once college begins (finally) the episodes will become better.
    Comment ho aur Fawad ko yaad na kiya jaye? Aisa ho nahin sakta! He’s the best thing that happened to this show- does his scenes so effortlessly and with such style- mazaa aajata hai!

    • @Afia: Lol @ ““Hum ghareeb hain, ghareeb hain, boti, chappal, tooti chappal, mochi chappal, etc etc.” I too wish there was less reptition…

  18. It is a bit amusing. I think you all are just looking for entertainment and light stuff in your dramas. Hence the objection on ‘hum ghareeb hein, tooti chapal ‘ etc and wanting the uni scenes only or atleast wanting a major share of uni scenes in the episode. How will that make the story ring true? The writer and the Director has to establish the characters, the reasons for them being what they are and why- The differences in the perspective of the lead pair and the reasons behind it. And that can only be done if such scenes make up a good part of the epi. I think these scenes are the very reason your dramas are so popular here. There is no compromise. Glamour is not an issue and the story moves along as it should. If it becomes heavy going sometimes,there is still no compromise. If it would be only glamour and entertainment that inspires a viewer then what is wrong with our dramas in star plus? I think you ( the Pakistani audience) now take these visual master peices for granted. At least that is the way I think 🙂 You crib about Kashaf’s negativity but ……:)

    • i was thinkin the same thng….i m from Pakistan and even i thnk tht these scenes are necessary for establishing the characters……..maybe its just tht we ve scene so many similar tracks before tht now we r like…yeah we get the point…move on already…we wanna see something refreshing and thts wht the uni scenes r…they r different 🙂

    • Anupama, totally agree! I’m sure this will turn out to be a good balance of serious moments and lighter scenes which is what a good drama should be. Glad to see you are enjoying Pakistani dramas!

    • I can understand where you are coming from Anupama but sometimes life itself is so full of misery that one doesn’t want to see an overdose of more when one is looking for some entertainment. Specially scenes of Waseem Abbas screaming and being hateful again and again are too much to stomach.
      And yes, we are thoroughly spoilt by all the great stuff being produced here 🙂

  19. I also agree with aupama and laiba. The class divide that this serial is hinting at is very visible in the comments of the ex pat community here. I also live in Pakistan and though I come from an upper middle class background but all those things that are shown in the serial are things that I am also familiar with. some of my close family members(maternal cousins) are facing and coping with the same probles and their actions and reactions pretty much resemble the predicament and ramblings of Kashaf. I would give the writer a ten on ten as far as portrayal of the middle classes is concerned. These scenes have actually given me some food for thought and the reason to be grateful for everything that I have since birth.

  20. I cant judge and rate the writer’s portrayal of the upper class as my family is very religious and conservative and we dont have a liberal lifestyle at home. But I have seen many girls like Asmara and Sarah when I was attending college and I find them totally believeable though not relatable.

  21. completely agree wd anupama and rameen.a large percentage of women r facing these pblms.so such pblms shud b highlightd more n more rather than showng saas bahu conflicts.all these scenes r there 2 give an insight n logic of protagonists attitude twrds life.they cant b overlookd.even wdout them we will fail 2 enjoy uni scenes.nd lead pair willl leave n impression of only arrogant rude ppl just bickering to gain others attention.

  22. @ SZ True that. These discussions are very productive and I am legally addicted to them. My Internet experience is incomplete without a visit to this blog. I totally share you thoughts that these characters do need some betterment. Let’s see….hope the story along with its characters grows on us and we are ‘made’ to forget about these loopholes.

    For now, like everyone said Fawad Khan ruled these two episodes and yes Sanam too 🙂

  23. Hi All: Great discussion going on here, enjoying all the comments as everybody is sharing their perspectives and insights 🙂

    Peripherally related to our conversations here, I wanted to share this blog post about two Pakistani women, both of whom are taking a stand against societal norms and defying stereotypes. I loved reading their stories and was very inspired by them. Would love to know what you all thought…

    http://thinkloud65.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/defying-stereotypes-two-pakistani-women-taxi-drivers/

    • Thank you sharing the blog SZ! I just read the lady taxi driver story and it was awesome! So very true what the lady said. Too bad I can’t comment on it w/out logging into WP, Twitter, or FB. but will bookmark the page 🙂

  24. Hello ladies!! I’m sorry to barge into your discussion here. I have been reading for a couple of days, the discussion is so interesting and all of you make great points. I cant resist anymore so I really hope its ok if I join in and put my two cents forward too.

    I read a lot of you have mixed feelings about the show. But I’m absolutely loving it. Maybe because I just finished an Indian soap that was well done but very cliched and unrealistic and I find the sombre tone of ZGH just ..very refreshing.

    I think all the characters here are portrayed very well. I know a lot of you are disappointed with the manner in which Kashaf’s father is portrayed. I think its very realistic. Here is a man who has likely grown up in a backward uneducated area where being a man is all about having a great job and fathering a son. Where he has failed on both counts. Except for the boy who arrived late but I think damage was done already to his psyche. He feels extremely inferior and he is consumed by his own ‘shortcomings’ that he cant see what he does to others. This is where I think Rafia feels bad for the man and which is why she is sympathetic towards him. Whereas his other wife manipulates his insecurities for her own gains. Making him feel like a man, falsely making him feel good about himself to get her own way. she is a balm to his bruised ego if you will. All this emotional baggage he tries forget about by projecting it on his daughters and his first wife. This is only place where he can be ‘boss’. or he it at least be indulged. Second wife will not tolerate it and nor he is encouraged by his brother. He is pretty much a puppet in their hands. So as an emotionally damaged and insecure man I think he is being shown really well. And there are plenty of such men in our society, so man like him is not hard to come across

    As for Zaroon’s mom Im with you all.I dont why career makes you bad. I wish her husband would be more supportive of her choices. she did something good and instead of being proud of all that his wife has accomplished the man is worried about his suit. Of course its too early to pass judgement on the functioning of Zaroon’s family but I do feel sorry for his mom that her hard work is nerver appreciated. Imagine how much more she would do if her husband was supportive? She would be a much better person and not such an embittered lady.

    As for the rest, just like you all I’m totally in love with the bond Kashaf shares with her family and her mom.

    I loved the scene between the lead pair and I’m totally in love with what we have seen so far. I think I watched the episode 3 times already 🙂

    Again sorry to butt in uninvited.

    How do we officially join? is this a closed group? I do see that all of you are very well acquainted with each other, so I was wondering..?

    • Hey aish welcome aboard ,no way this is a closed group , in fact the more the merrier. It is really sweet of you think to like that but plz you are not butting in from any accord. We are all just happy campers who love to discuss plays and a new opinion is always refreshing.Anyone can comment any time. Interesting comment,well on career women my concern is not how Ghazala is in this particular play as they usually give career women a very stereotypical story line mostly and it has been overdone. Ghazala is coming of as a callous women who does not care for her house hold much neither her kids but it’s great ZGH has got us all talking and discussing these things.

    • Hey Aish! Lovely to hear from you – glad you decided to take the plunge and join in our convos! Naah, as @Jav said, not a closed group at all, in fact the more the merrier! I start off the conversation with my review and everybody then joins in and share their views. There are no right or wrong answers, everybody’s opinion is equally worthy. We love hearing different points of view and learn so much from each others insights and personal stories. So yeah, no apologies, no nothing for butting in, we’re glad to hear from you – consider yourself as one the gang from now on 🙂
      Re: Murtaza – I enjoyed reading your analysis of his character. You actually make him so much more human than he comes across… I think you’re spot on in your assessment … and I think this is exactly where the screenplay misses its mark, they could’ve cut down a bit on his blustering and showed a little more of his character and background etc, as you point out. Is he educated himself, how does he interact with his other children – his daughters? Do they go to school? Is he as uncaring about them as he is with these three girls? How does he treat his son? Is he the stereotypical spoiled only son? I guess, for me, just a tad bit more insight and I would’ve been happier. Similarly in Ghazala’s case, I’m sure she was not born this way.. what makes her behave the way she does. Just a couple of scenes…

      And yea, now that you’re here dont be a stranger and continue sharing your thoughts, not just on ZGH, but other threads well. Looking forward to more convos! 🙂

  25. SZ and Javeria, thank you so much for the warm welcome!! It brought a big smile to my face 🙂

    Javeria, I agree with you on that. Till we get some back story like SZ said about Zaroon’s mom its going to be hard for us to watch her treat her children like possessions. I saw that scene in the OST where she talks very rudely to Zaroon when he asks her about her trip. I’m sure there is more to it, but these women completely misunderstand anyone showing any kind of concern. First Zaroon’s sister (when her fiance asks her about informing people when leaving home ) and now his mom. Something must have happened to Zaroon’s mom that she so fiercely guards her ‘space’ and she has passed down that somewhat unwelcome attitude to her daughter too. Anyway I do dearly hope like SZ that they flesh out the secondary characters. Otherwise it will be hard to gauge why Zaroon finds women so unfathomable. And fate has in store for him another woman who is going to be guarding her space and rights like his mom 🙂 ..or maybe not..who knows??

    SZ, I really LOVED LOVED reading your reviews!! Superbly written!! And this discussion is so interesting and it makes you think hard. Its why I risked the plunge 🙂

    Thank you so much for making me part of the gang!! I’m loving the analysis and the atmosphere here!!

    This show could definitely use a new editing team!! Some scenes could be constructed better! I agree with you completely!! they need to include a monologue for Murtaza. Maybe he does feel bad about the way everybody treats him like a loser, some introspection would be very welcome!! Maybe he has a diary and this is where Kashaf developed the habit from? One of the few positives he has passed on? Thats too much to ask for right ? And cheesy too 🙂 or maybe the next time Kashaf starts ranting about her dad Rafia can offer some insight into the man. Like you I’m really curious to see how he deals with the other family too. My guess is he behaves himself over there. Because his second wife will not take rubbish from him 🙂
    On the FB page I saw a photo of a guy who play’s Kashaf’s half brother. I think we will get to meet him sometime. I hope he is a good guy!! One that would fight for his sisters!!

    I’m really curious to know if Zaroon and Kashaf ever talk about her dad later on. I want Zaroon to understand why she is the way she is. And I hope she picks up on somethings about his family too 🙂

    Why does Zaroon (love that name) choose to speak to Kashaf in the classroom last week? I mean I know everyone is trying to make friends but she is so not someone he would choose to be friends with and its glaringly obvious unless he is not judgmental at all?? I wonder if he will explain that in the next episode?

    Again SZ and Javeria Thank you so much for the welcome!!

    • @Aish I really enjoyed reading your comments and agree with most of them, so glad you took the plunge:) I am glad you mentioned about why Zaroon approached Kashaf, I have also wondered that and didn’t think she’s his type, so hopefully we will find out tommorow, cant wait seriously!! Apparently Sultana Siddiqui said tommorows episode is going to be very exciting with important things happening!!

      • @SK @Aish: From the promos methinks the dad’s going to walk out and leave us in sakoon till Kashaf is successful .. hopefully from this week on we can just move from complaining abt him and enjoy the rest of the story 🙂

      • Welcome Aish! 🙂 Your analysis of Murtaza was def. very interesting to read!

        Like you ladies I have also wondered why Z wanted to talk to K in the first place. At first I thought maybe there is an empty seat next to her and he plans on sitting there so have to make conversation but that’s not the case. Maybe he’s just the friendly type and likes to talk to new faces (esp. girls) in the class. Let’s see if they shed some light on it tomorrow.

    • Hi Aish! I wrote a reply to you a few days back but I think it got lost somewhere- my net ran out etc. Anyway welcome to the blog. SZ is as welcoming as is humanly possible- don’t know how she does it!
      Had written some comment but I don’t think it is any longer that relevant- but agree with your analysis of K’s dad.
      Zgh today 🙂

  26. Annie and SK, Thank you so much!! you ladies have a great discussion going on here and I feel so happy to take part in it now!! So thank you 🙂

    @ Sk, really? She said that? Oh my, if I wasnt excited enough in the first place now my expectations are soaring !! hope its every bit as exciting as she is said it is because I’m enjoying these post episode analysis and we need more food for thought 🙂

    @ SZ..hahahaha…I really want that too. As much as I like the secondary characters they just fade into oblivion when the leads are together!! so if they show whole episodes of just them I would not complain..at least I hope not 🙂

    @ Annie Hi 🙂 I thought so too..that maybe he is going to ask her to move over one place? because his friend is sitting in front of her…but her chudail awail line just completely threw him off…I LOLed out at her ‘ aap mujh pe has rahin hain ya apne bewakhoofeen par ‘ to his friend..it was mean but funny….She is so self conscious about everything but she very confident about her ability to talk back..she just went all out!! I’m waiting to see how that scene ends and them in class together with the professor (humsafar dad I mean)

    SZ, did you write reviews for humsafar too? I would love to read those.

    I’m so excited for this show!! :):)

  27. Afia, just saw your comment as I was browsing through the site. Sorry, I dont know what it is, but comments show up so randomly for me 😦

  28. Its a series, not a film. There is sn actual graph to characters of murtaza and ghazala! Thats the good part. They are not static. Hence over the course of the series u see an evolution. That we as viewers are not used to any more! All the characters evolve from where they are now to what they become by the end of the series!! So watch on . :-))

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