Zindagi Gulzar Hai ~ Episode 4 Review

ZGH-coverFirst things first – let me begin with a standing ovation for Samina Peerzada – what a performance! Her portrayal of Rafia, a woman who’s finally decided that she’s had enough of her husband’s bluster, is absolutely fabulous. Though Rafia never found the wherewithal to fight for her own rights, anxieties about her daughters’ futures give her the strength to go against a lifetime of social conditioning and take a stand against her verbally abusive husband. She is hurt and pained by Murtaza’s ongoing tirade against tumhari jaisi auratein, but remains steady in her resolve to not give in to his demands, be they about her daughters’ education, their rishtas, or about somebody else’s daughter’s admission. Go Rafia!

Alongside Rafia, Kashaf is another character that has really been developed well by the writer, director, and the actor. Much like a coconut, Kashaf is hard and rough on the outside; she has no problems in giving the metaphorical finger to the guys in her university, be it the arrogant Zaroon or the more thoughtful Osama, and does not think twice before telling off her father – this angry young girl is no wilting wallflower. But on the other hand, the private Kashaf is very soft, much like the inside of the coconut. Offhand comments like “you’re weird,” get to to her and affect her. Publicly she hides her insecurities behind a tough exterior, but the minute she walks into her house, her shield disappears and we see a more human Kashaf pop out. With all the various shades to her character, sensitive but surly, soft but abrasive, Kashaf is a tough nut to crack, but Sanam Saeed is doing complete justice to her role. Loving her here!

Completing Rafia’s family are Sidra and Shehnila. Both Mansha and Sana are doing a great job here. Usually siblings don’t get much to do in our serials and are there for an obligatory scene or two. Here, however, we actually get to see the very warm bonding between the mother and her three daughters. The way they offer their silent support to their mother is beautiful. Sidra is the daughter who shares her mother’s pain, calms the younger sister, and smilingly puts up with Kashaf’s constant complaints about everything and nothing. In many ways then Sidra is the one holding the family together – the rock that everyone looks to for support – I hope we continue seeing more of her. Mansha Pasha is great as Sidra!

Moving from Kashaf’s relatively more functional family, to Zaroon’s completely dysfunctional one – this track is still not cutting it with me. Fawad is great, yes we know that, but even Fawad with all his fabulousness cannot sell Zaroon to me. His double standards are just plain annoying. I would understand his concern for his sister if he was himself sitting at home waiting for her, but since this was so not the case, his lecture seemed out of place. I could have swallowed that, but then it turns out he’s looking out for her not because he cares, but out of concern for image and servants’ gossip – say what?? He can flirt all he wants with Asmara and the other women (sorry I refuse to call them pretty girls), but that’s somehow rationalized under the rubric of “friendship”?! Wah Zaroon! What fabulous double standards you have – not impressed!

While on Zaroon and his family’s characterization, why is it that all of Zaroon’s family seem to have come alive the day the serial started. Its as if they have no back stories and everything that’s happening here is taking place for the first time. In the last episode, Junaid’s surprise at his wife’s unannounced trip was difficult to comprehend  They’ve lived together for so long, why was he so taken aback? Similarly Zaroon’s questioning his mother about her  trip was strange. Hadn’t this happened before as well? Same thing with Junaid criticizing Sara’s inappropriate clothes. In this episode too, Zaroon getting mad about his sister’s later arrival seemed overdone. Surely they must’ve had these arguments many times before?

Apart from this peeve, it is interesting to see how the Zaroon-Kashaf track is being gradually built up. Despite their protestations to the contrary, both are intrigued by each other. The furtive sidelong glances and the check on each other’s activities is slowly being unfolded. The Osama -Kashaf scene and Zaroon’s response to their conversation was very played out. Shehryar, I was happy to say, came across much better here. I think a big reason for that was that this was one of the most natural scenes in an otherwise contrived university life story.  It also helps that unlike our gum-chewing hero, Osama actually looks the part of a university student. While Shehryar was convincing, Asmara just continued to be her annoying clingy Zaarrrooon self – how can he even stand her?! Mehreen, you’re lovely and so much better than these roles – please enough already!!

Overall, this latest episode was a mixed bag for me – getting there, but not quite there yet. We are still in the character development phase, so not much happened in terms of moving the narrative forward. I really wish the pace picks up and we have less repetition, particularly in the Zaroon-Asmara and the Rafia-Murtaza scenes. Murtaza sending the friend to Rafia’s office was a good touch, but that scene went on forever. We later heard him talk about this incident with his second wife, and then rehash it all over again Rafia – wow, how much can this guy talk?! Like Kashaf, I hope he takes the very broad hint and gets that he’s no longer welcome there. While a lot of time is being spent on developing Kashaf’s side of the story, Zaroon’s track is still flailing around. Not sure why the writer and director were content with leaving Junaid, Ghazala, Sara, and Asmara’s character so underdeveloped and uni-dimensional, particularly when Kashaf’s track is so well-etched out, but all I can say is that this imbalance is now beginning to grate. What could have been a great episode, because of Samina and Sanam’s fabulous performance, turned out to be nothing more than an average outing, which is a shame.

Here’s to hoping that next Friday’s installment is relatively more gulzar!

Written by SZ~

P.S.
A very humble request to Momina Duraid/MD Productions’ Wardrobe Incharge:   If you’re reading this, could you please ensure that we never see this caftan again –  its been around the block quite a few times now – thank you! 

4ladiesng

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95 replies

  1. Lol SZ I nearly fell off my chair laughing… that humble request ..:) I think most young men are like Zaroon . One rule for me and one rule for my sister.
    I love the way Zaroon is so disinterested in Asmara and she is the archetypal clingy/psycho girlfriend. Zaroon’s family are a bit of a caricature . Spoiled sister and arrogant mother …silly, shallow,rich women .. I love them at least they are predictable.
    I wonder will Kashaf’s Middle class goodness last when she marries Zaroon and joins the elite rich club …or will she have to give up her “good person” membership card?
    I really hope Fawad can now move on from these roles and do something a bit more challenging. He is too good an actor to waste his talent like this.

    • @Sadaf: Yaar, what to do?? We’ve talked about this recycling so many times in our comments, so thought it better to put our humble arzi up in the post this time and hope that it gets read!!
      Re: Kashaf and whether she changes after marriage is something we’ll all have to wait and see – after so many additions and modifications, don’t know how much they’re going to stick to the original…
      For those who have read the novel, plz no spoilers!

    • lol Sadaf at the good person membership card. She will fly to Tando Adam without telling Zaroon and he wouldn’t know how to get there 😉

    • So true about wishing Fawad do something more challenging. I like him in such roles too but would love to see him in something totally different. Weren’t Hassan and Asghar just too cool?

  2. So I have a new name for Asmara , who is a reincarnation of Madiha and will save you all from typing two names when inevitably we will cross reference as they are both jealous, annoying , with clinfgy psychotic tendencies …”Madamara”..!!! I felt I had watched all her scenes today in the past three episodes and before that in Ashk!!! Ugh I just can’t tolerate it, if it wasn’t for zaroon being in those scenes I would swich off. Also Aba should have stuck to his words and not come again, would have saved us the same dialogues, agree with you SZ the story needs to move on! However the library scene was brilliant, and all of s.s and Rafia scenes were well done. Could have been better, hopefully z and k have some interaction directly soon, although they are very much in each others thoughts, which is interesting:)

  3. Agreed, completely! Lol at Madamara. Is Madamara ne to waqai mein math mar dee hai. 😀
    Anyways, not much to add, except for the fact that Zaroon’s double standards have started to irk me, alot. What was HE doing until 2.30 am at night? I hope the character is deliberately made as flawed as he is, because I seriously think he has a multiple personality disorder. Waiting for Kashaf to come and save him… xD

    Surprisingly, the scene I enjoyed most today was the phone flirting with the “pretty” girl. I commented on this blog a couple of days ago that I wanted to see the old Fawad back. Here he looked and sounded like he was plucked off the set of Satrangi and put on here. It was a treat to watch him do that flirty, slightly annoying bachpana sa persona and I would prefer this Zaroon over the precocious Mard-e-awal one.

    • @Sherry – Good to have you back 🙂 Yes, hamara Zaroon thora samajh se bahar hai – lets see where he goes from here! I liked that phone scene as well, except that “pretty” girl/aunty was very distracting and then we had Madamara with her jealousies and her pearls! Kya yaar!

  4. As usual a very well written review SZ.I just loved the episode. I am quite addicted to this serial. I love the disturbed personality of Kashaf and totally understand the reasons why she has become so complicated. SS has really acted well and is so true to the complex character of the heroine. Fawad was fantastic. I loved the scene where he is telling off Osama. I think he is jealous!! He has already started fancying the ‘ average girl with the average looks’ 🙂 Asmara and Sara’s roles have been played in a very typical way bringing nothing new to the characters. Hence they fail to impress. The father has done justice to the role of a man who cannot cope with the fact that he is inferior to his wife in everyway. Hence, he overcomes this by blaming his wife for everything under the sun.
    Rafia is my favorite character.As a wife she may be bullied and scolded, but as a mother she is rock solid!! The way she stands up for her daughters is amazing. She is the most inspiring character in the whole drama. Another character that comes across as very real and human is that of Sidra’s.Deeply pained by her mothers worries, amused at her sisters sudden interest in her looks,admonishing her younger sis and making excuses for everyone, she comes across as someone trying to deal with the harshness of life in the best possible way. Mother and daughter excelled in the last scene which brought tears to my eyes. Well done ! Fantastic work team ZGH

    • @Anupama: I’m with you on loving Kashaf and Rafia – they’re great! Love their characters, their weaknesses and strengths – just so true to life and fabulously played! Yes, Mr. Zaroon is definitely intrigued by Ms. Churail Awwal – lets see how this competition, between him and Osama, for Kashaf’s attention plays out in the coming episodes! 🙂

  5. Hundred and ten percent agree with you… this was absolutely a worth forwarding episode except Kashaf’s side story and Rafia scenes…though nothing new but their character development is interesting to see unlike Zaroon’s..things at his side are so random without any proper insight..

    Since university scenes have started, i hope to see more kashaf and zaroon interaction but guess have to bear more 3 to 4 episodes with Madamara going all gaga over zaroon and seriously annoying.. wonder how people managed to see Ashk…

    Other thing that is terrible is Maria’s character… it seemed so much forced, out of no where she comes and sticks herself to Kashaf.. bhayee kuch to realistic and natural dikhaoo.. the Birthday scene.. my goodness.. popping up like kiddo and having cake..:S

    Library scene was great till kashaf and osama were talking, -Shehryar indeed was a pleasant surprise here- as soon as it shifts to him and zaroon.. it was pain.. so dragged in staring…and repeated dialogues..

    last scene was actually the whole complete one i liked.. Sanam,Sameena and Waseem…brilliantly acted and directed!

    Hope next one is good, full of raves 🙂

    • @Zanab: Hi! Welcome! great to hear from another fellow drama lover 🙂 Yes, all the actors have worked hard and it is definitely showing.. just wish that some of the characters had more depth.. who’s your favorite character here? Any scene you particularly liked or disliked?

  6. I am with you this week as well. This episode was so ho-hum for me. I think i was yawning in a few places like Zaroon was.
    First off my rant: Can we please take the whole Murtaza story and shove it somewhere?? I forwarded those scenes and that barely left a 20 minute episode to watch. Seriously after SeZ this drama seems like it was written by a high school/undergrad as their first writing assignment.

    I think aab tow uss nightie per aik sher ho jana chahiye

    Kya kehna hai tumhara HUM janum
    Jidhar dekho wohi nightie nazar aati hai
    Aab tow bichadne ka nahi hai HUM-may ghum
    Tumhara jalwa dekh ke hi neend aati hai

    Bechara Fawad. He was concerned about looking the college kid part too. I wish he would have focused on wearing more t-shirts and jeans rather than those cashmere sweaters he so loves and looks so proper in 🙂 I did like the sis-bro confrontation but like you said, it’s not like we are watching a wife-swap, sister-swap reality show here and these people don’t know each other.
    That Asmara b-day sequence was so blah and pointless. Followed by YET another conversation between Asmara and Zaroon about where he spends his money blah blah blah. We got that 2 episodes ago that he has friends who are girls who he likes to hang out with. Can we PLEASE move on with the story already! Sad thing is that we’ll get more of the SAME cr@p next week. I want to send Asmara and Murtaza to the moon so we don’t have to deal with them again and the story can move on.

    What was up with that scene where it looked like Hassan from Dastaan was sitting down and talking on the phone with some uninterested aunty? Did they film that scene later on when FK was growing his hair long because I was uncontrollably laughing at the whole new hairdo during that (another pointless) sequence.

    The Rafia school scene did remind me of my father and how people used to bring him quality booze so he would let their son into college. Ahh memories 😉 Good job Rafia even though the sequence was too long.

    Sidra again was great this week. I think they should hook up Osama and Sidra :p Heroine nahi tow heroine ki behan sahee 😉

    Anyways, thank you again Sarmad and FK for giving us Ashk so we can say chalo Ashk se 100 times better hai.

  7. @Annie: ROFL! Your shair was hilarious! Have you been thinking about it since last week’s precap?
    As for Zaroon’s clothes, I think mummy jaani buys his clothes on her various trips abroad, and he being the farmanbardar beta that he is, wears whatever she brings him… hence he ends up wearing very stylish and expensive but not-so-hip clothes…
    by the way how come we know nothing abt Osama? Is he a rich “kid” like Zaroon n Asmara? Cause he certainly doesnt dress like them…

  8. Nahi yaar I saw your side by side pictures and it came to me 😉

    I hope Zaroon gives away his clothes like Falak after marrying Kashaf, and Osama grabs some. Maybe that will get rid of those awful branded polo shirts he keeps wearing 😉 But yes I was wondering if he is rich like his buddies since he is always hanging out with them, but we don’t see his life outside of college.

    • I think this whole story is going to get deeper when Zaroon proposes and Kashaf is reluctant to accept. Then their Married life etc.I think we are all annoyed with this college stage as it is so unreal. I don’t know about liberal arts colleges but if you are studying any kind of science it just about guarantees sharafat as there is simply no time to wast on romance.

      • Oh Sadaf! you are so right. When you are studying any kind of science subject you don’t have time to romance.. those professors put a heavy load of books on your back and you can not even stand straight to look at a guy..:-(

        • I am thinking I should start watching this drama from about episode 8 or 9 because that’s when the real drama would start?? My constant complaint with 22+ episode plays that the real story doesn’t start until episode 10.
          I agree about the studies. I know a few MBA and Masters students and I haven’t seen them in the past 6 months, and when they do show up, they have to leave early because of all the work they have to do. It’s a Ramen Noodles kind of life.

          • But with Humsafar, lol if you’d watched it at episode 10.???..haha alll the brilliant parts gone and mummy aap kya keh rahin he left lol!!!

      • @ Sadaf I think you are right but also once there are more direct scenes between them in uni would also be fine, I think a lot of us are impatient maybe because we were expecting more after the episode 2 clash. I guess we will just have to wait, I am sure it will get much better IA. Haven’t given up yet, its still better than a lot on right now. We survived Ashk Lol… :pppp

  9. A very well-written Review SZ 🙂 Loved every part of it and agreed to every bit too. Why Am I so bored of this Fawad Khan starer?! I mean I should not be but the truth is that Asmara (read: Madamara) and Murtaza scenes, like everybody said, were too long and boring to watch. Sara, Ghazala Aunty and Asmara are weary and boring. Maria’s character isn’t that important but still I love her on-screen presence. I would have walked out of the television lounge happily, had they shown more of her in the episode than Asmara.

    Like you said, a twenty year old wearing this far-out classy pearls’ necklace was rather weird. If I live on this planet and know some people in their twenties , then this is a huge mistake.

    On the other side, Rafia’s family is great. I loved that scene when she thinks aloud about the rishta-Murtaza sequence but finally finds immense peace in walking through her daughters’ room and checking upon them. Samina Peerzada is lovely as Rafia.

    Kashaf is my favourite. She does go over-board with her complaints at times but that is how life has changed her. Enough with the mazloom aurat dramas. Way to go, Kashaf!

    Madamara Is such a well-though-out name. We have a great replacement here 😀

    Waiting for the next episode when Zaroon will brush off Madamara. I know nothing substantial will happen but I was waiting for this big NO hence the excitement.

    • @Heela: Yes! thank you for reminding me of that scene- it was indeed a lovely scene and for once no talking – her expressions said it all!
      Isnt it sad how all of us are getting slowly and gradually turned off 😦
      As I see it the major problem here is that we were expecting a whole other story and yeh to kuch aur hi nikla — If this hadn’t been based on a novel, we would have approached this serial on its own merit, but the problem is that it is based on a novel and the additions that they have done so far are not working well with the original premise. This shift in focus from university to the two families and their gharelu issues is turning into a big mess. Here’s to hoping they can get the story back on track within an episode or two …

    • LOL Heela so agree with you about those pearls! On one side Zaroon was working late into the night, and on the other side Madamara is dressed to the nines wearing her pearls to bed.

  10. LOL!! Laughing so hard right now, I’ve to say SZ, that P.S was the highlight of your awesome review, and few comments were just too good. Madamara (hehehe). Asmara is really getting on my nerves, and Murtaza is not a man of his word, every time he says he’ll never come back but then he goes against his word. when will this drama get rid of A & M? overall it was a nice episode. Last scene was so touching when Rafia was trying not to cry saying she is looking for her glasses. and sidra’s silent support. oh Rafia you need to grow a backbone, not only when it comes to your daughters but when it comes to you too, and that cake scene.. Go kashaf!! you can get as many cakes you want when you’ll marry zaroon, you don’t need A’s birthday cake but that cake was salivating my mouth..:-) anyway waiting for next epi…

    • @Farah: yes, I think Samina is the one holding the drama together at the moment, baqi tau everything is falling apart – the last scene was lovely indeed! LOL @Kashaf can get as many cakes as she wants after marrying Zaroon! Enjoyed reading your comments – keep em coming 🙂

  11. English Subtitles Please….i like this drama vey much ..i watched 2 episode of it..Can someone subtitle the rest of episodes???

    • @Leila: Hi! I tried to look for other subtitled episodes, but couldnt find any 😦 I’ll keep looking and if I find any I’ll post the links on these threads – do keep checking back. Meanwhile do join in our conversations – perhaps the reviews and the comments can help you wit hwatching the episode and we can always help translate any difficult lines 🙂

  12. read your review. great work. even if some things in the episode disappoint, ur review doesnt!

    ok so somethings about ep today really annoyed me. y is maria running after kishaf!? there seems no basis for their friendship. wat I experienced when I was in college is that dupatta wali larkis hang out with other dupatta walis (in 99% of the cases it’s true). kashaf is also acting the same way with maria as she does with zaronsmara. we know she’s complexed but dude srsly? either maria should have changed her look, the girl should wear glasses and look like a bit of a loser to make it believeable why she is running after this nose-in-air kashaf or sanam saeed should have toned down her rudeness. If she feels awkward around rich ppl, she can show that to her ‘only friend’. maria really shouldn’t have this look as she fits in more with asmara crowd than with kashaf. shawar kammees mayb? also, they are cutting a cake and singing happy bday so y do you wonder (did u think asmara is celebrating her 5th anniversary of being the character running after fawad?)

    fawad you are good looking but y formal shirts sweaters, wear clothes for the character like t-shirts and jeans? noone wears formal shirts in college but for presentation days. acting is natural but look should also b natural and real.

    disappointed with kashaf always being rude to every1 but some ppl still r running after her like maria and osama which doesnt make sense and doesnt happen in real life. osama ok still makes sense as he is attracted to her but y maria?

    best scene was one between rafia and the guy with fruit. happens alot in pak society and most ppl give in.

    • LOL at 5th anniversary. I know that whole sequence was so awkward. And I agree Maria’s character sticks out like a sore thumb.

    • Thanks SNS! Lovely to hear from you! You’re so right – this whole university part, which was the main attraction of the story, is going completely off track. I wish they had kept the original beginning and not tempered with the explosive Kashaf-Zaroon confrontations – in the absence of which this whole thing is not making much sense…And yes, Maria’s characters is not well-etched out at all!

  13. LOL! 5th anniversary (hahaha)… maybe if she didn’t stop doing these same kind of roles she’ll definitely be celebrating 5th anniversary for the said reason…

  14. I love (or maybe just like) some parts of ZGH and some I can easily skip- now that’s not a good sign. FK’s scenes I will never skip although his phone call to one of his GFs was hard to stomach. What kind of a girl did they choose for that role? Less said the better.
    I like FK’s scene with SM (thank god, SM acted better than before) about Kashf. Also Kashf’s analysis of herself wrt ‘ajeeb’ was cute- well done SS! Samina P was super as usual- spoiling us with her performances nowdays.
    SZ, you’re so right about Zaroon’s family having no back story- it does really seem as if everything is happening for the first time- strange na? I wish UA had developed Z’s family the way she’d done K’s family.
    Zaroon’s scene with sis- Yes, we live among double standards but I am not going to condemn Z for those. Had I a son, I would probably let him be out for longer than I would let my daughter. But my main reason would not be “what would the servants think?”. It’ll probably be to do with aurat-sharm-haya-security….
    This show would get so much more interesting when Z and K actually start to interact. A number of scenes could have been trimmed to get this done by ep 2-3. But somehow they want to give as much footage to Waseem Abbas as Fawad Khan/Sanam Saeed :p

    • @Afia: Exactly! Having Zaroon criticize his sister because of naukar kya kahenge was the most bongi reasoning I’ve heard in a long time .. and since when does the status conscious Zaroon hang around naukars, listening to what they are saying about his mother and sister?

    • my 5 year old LOVED that scene between Zaroon and Osama. She was laughing out loud at Zaroon’s staring down Osama. She made me have her watch it again, and today she was sitting down and giggling and I asked her why and she said she was thinking about the Zaroon staring scene LOL

  15. Hello all. After seeing the episode and then reading the review and especially the comments I laugh loudly and feel glad for Bollywood to not have an audience like ours. Come on guys who looks at nitty gritty details. It is important to have a broader vision and look at the whole package that is offered to us. I believe dramas like ZGH can easily compete with many Hollywood and Bollywood movies quality wise let alone Turkish and Indian soaps. And with a matter of time and government support in the future hopefully our TV industry can become huge Inshallah. To do this our industry needs support and not criticism like why is Fawad Khan wearing formal clothes like sweaters. I have seen many kids wear this while in high school and this guy is in Masters. Many people do not even look at these minor details. How would you guys evaluate Shah Rukh Khan’s clothing in JTHJ for a 46 year old? I think dramas like ZGH are keeping our audience hooked up to Pakistani dramas in the midst of Turkish and Indian soaps and Hollywood and Bollywood movies. They need our continued support and hopefully things will improve. Just compare the dramas of 2012 with those of 2007. There has been a massive change in the last five years and much more is to come in the future Inshallah. So ZGH team you have my 100% support. Keep up the good work.

    • our comments are more along the lines of constructive criticism, We think Pakistan’s drama industry can create some explosive work on screen and we have seen that time and again. If we are pointing out things that don’t fit into the overall picture, it is more for the creative teams to take notice so they don’t make the same mistakes again which will only lead to betterment of our drama industry.

      And I don’t like to compare our dramas to Holly, Bolly, Jollywood’s movies. We have been the pioneers in the drama industry so let’s have healthy competition with our peers rather than comparing to the soaps from Turkey, India, or the inevitable Shahrukh Khan.

    • @Ehsan: if you read carefully there is no mention nor any comparison here to any kind of Lolly/Bolly/Hollywood, or other international dramas and soaps. As @Annie said, this is a constructive critique from within. Khali wah wah karne se baat nahin banti. We highlight both the good and the bad. Moreover, as to your point ke who cares about the nitty griity details, well, we do! The fact that we are all engaged in a discussion proves that yes there are viewers who do watch seriously and are proactive in pushing our dramas towards betterment.

    • @Ahsan we are not laughing out loud while making these comments the reviews and comments give credit where the credit is due. We just feel that people out there might be listening and might take notes .We feel for every character in the play and do not get why a certain character is thrown under the bus without any reason. Bollywood is not our headache we feel for plays that is why we talk about then and discuss them with in depth analysis as they shape up minds of many people.

    • Well put Annie, SZ and Javeria, I hope people understand where we are coming from when we criticize some aspects of a drama. One cares hence one criticizes, otherwise who would care a damn.
      On that note, I hope our govt takes notice of the Indian /Turkish content that’s flooding our channels. Last night around 9-10 pm I put on all the major channels and all of them (checked atleast 5 channels) had Indian movies or shows running on them. What a bummer- felt like kicking the people who make these rules.

  16. i totally love your reviews! one thing i missed were kashaf,zarron showing their intellectual side and competing with each other in studies in sir abrar’s class which were my fav parts in the novel but sadly they didn’t include those scenes!!

    • @Ifra: Thanks a lot! and thank you for taking the time to read and comment – welcome! Yes, absolutely agreed! I so wush they had not messed with the original beginning The first episode was fine, but after that they should have followed the novel for a bit!

    • completely agree with you Ifra. I keep on waiting that we’ll maybe get some classroom scenes. Yahan per tow Waseem Abbas ke dramay hi khatam nahi horahay.

      • @Annie: you know in Ashk we had Ajjo aand Dinga and Mehru and Bilal all of whom had more airtime than Rohail and Zaibu… I just hope ke that kind of scenario doesn’t happen here … so far even the second wife and Murtaza have had more time than Zaroon and Kashaf!

        • hahaha! you are SO RIGHT! Murtaza and the 2nd wife are our Dinga and Ajjo here. Next week’s epi will give more air time to their first born son – what museebat :p

        • I think you just hit the nail on the head. SZ That was ONE of the biggest problems with ASHK and if it happens here well ,HUM might just have a problem on their hands.
          I am basicly watching this for Fk , how long will that formula work? That is why I think Fawad needs to diversify a bit to take some of the pressure off . I don’t want to see constant scenes of Wasim Abbas doing zulm etc… to make Kashaf look mazloom . we got that already,

  17. Totally agree with your review!! on all the points you hae mentioned! fabulously wrriten!!
    Sorry guys but ZGH unfortunately is not working for me.
    It really does not take a drama 4 episodes to take off…. I really want to just not watch the episodes until there are more Zaroon/Kashaf interactions.

    Why can’t Zaroon chill with the gel and formal clothes and save them for one he starts his civil service job? [or whatever profession hes gonna go into]

    Asmara needs more attention then she already gets, randomers wishing her happy bday and shes still complaining? Its your birthday and woh bhi prolly the 30th? one, so chillax woman

    I mean fine people celebrate bdays in college but just among friends, not the entire university and no one will come wish you if they don’t know you. has nothing to do with being rude or ill mannered.

    Maria is way too perky for me. Like what is her problem. What is she always so happy about and how rude of her to tell Kashaf she is weird. … if anyone is weird its her and her wardrobe, ugh!

    Again with the Waseem Abbas scenes, and sit tight friends bc he is not going anywhere any time soon, so jitna marzi hum kahain, it’ll not make a difference. Does the guy not hear himself, the stuff he says is so irrelevant and i doubt anyone has that frame of mind no matter how backwards one might be. These dramas really know how exaggerate when it comes to these male dominating stories.
    If thats not bad enough we have the double standards wala Zaroon who thinks just because he is a male he is allowed to do whatever he wants to but a woman can’t because the society will talk trash.
    Is the society really that farigh or messed up? or Does the writer now know it as well as she claims?
    This story is completely flawed and very repetitive. Yeh woh zamana nahi hai where people sit and discuss what someone else is doing and what their up to. And why are the elite always the criminals in everything??

    Lastly, Kya har week koi concert ho raha hota hai, Sarah goes to way too many concerts, are there no other hang out spots??

    Shehryar Munawar – a much better Osama this week, he is growing on me, but just make Asmara and Sarah vanish!!! oh and……

    Please lets move on with the story !!! 🙂

    PS! love the bit with the caftan! i swear every time i see it, I want to go throw up bc its just disgusting! Yes, even if it has been dry cleaned!! ewww!!!

    • Hehee Ash Pakistan main almost concerts hona band ho gaye hain,due to tight security policies and the threat of terrorist activities in these venues hardly on or two happens in one year in Lahore. Karachi the situation is even over more strict so no chance of weekly concerts .

  18. SZ loved your review-spot on and honest ,you took the words right out of my mouth though my rant would not have made so much sense. Samina as you say was fabulous though why is shown to be even older looking than the horrible rug-sporting Muratza?Why couldn’t she play her own age,Kashaf her eldest is 22 not 42-right?
    Zaroon like everyone else has commented needs to know his preppy look is out of place and boring , is it only me who noticed that there is an definite resemblance to Rowan Atkinson, specially with his gelled hair look? FK seems uncomfortable in his skin doing the young-supposedly carefree spoilt brat who is also a closet MCP at heart and there is something seriously wrong with his taste in women -overage drama queen who wears pearls to bed and uni and sifarshi aunty-ji.He does not deserve a kashaf.
    SS as Kasahf was for me the star of the episode prickly on the outside and yet her insecurity and vulnerability was shown beautifully when she is looking at herself critically in the mirror and refusing to wish Madamara(,love that nickname ).
    SM too was much better this week , he is seriously cute- looks and dresses the part and hopefully his acting will improve too.
    Energizer bunny Maria needs to calm down and underplay,she is getting on my nerves too.
    Agree with@Ash , it is the story/script which is flawed as well as the characters( which are un-relatable.Why are all men in the writer’s plays such wimps , shades of reverse misogyny (there’s a word for it which escapes me at the moment) and why are the women made to suffer so relentlessly?
    @Ehasn we are not nit-picking on faltu details they do matter to discerning viewers and MD productions should have paid more importance to these details instead of spending time and energy on creating the hype with the incessant trailers/spoilers that instead of enticing audience is acting as an irritant and a deterrent.

    • @Fariha: Very well-said as always! LOL@ energizer bunny! I was calling Murtaza that the othre day when Sk and I were talking about him going on and on and on and on and on…. If the Energizer ppl are looking for new brand ambassadors, they should look no further than ZGH, we have quite a few candidates here! 😉

  19. @ Sz true that! I mean , it is very sad that we are losing interest in this drama. I had only read a few pages of the novel and its charm lied in all the university scenes and nok Jhok. Like all of you, I too was looking forward to more of Zaroon-Kashaf scenes in the university instead of Asmara’s irritated/aggravated accent when she goes on complaining about Zaroon’s girlfriends. A very important point raised by you is that, all these characters seem like they have come to life in this drama serial. I am dead sure Zaroon would have been like this since his high school. By this time Asmara should be used to this. Considering Mrs. Ghazala’s verdict of these two being the closest of friends:/
    @ Annie, wakai mein I had not noticed the time thingie. Zaroon Sony ja Rahein hai aur Asmara Jee pearls peheni hain. LOL!

    Please ZGH ! Treat us nicely. We love you!

  20. I agree with Ahsan. I do think we are getting too critical. I do think it is an excellent drama, but that is what it is …just fiction and a drama. So, lets chill out and enjoy the show. I think you all are getting a bit spoilt 🙂 with the amazing dramas being churned out by your various channels. I am surprised that many do not want to see the father’s scenes when he is the reason for Kashaf being what she is. A girl with trust issues and a complex personality. And then you say the characters are not well developed? How will they show this unless they do not show the background and the behaviour of various characters? I think each and every scene was needed. A large majority of south asian men have double standards and our hero is also one of them. I think this is what the writer wants to show.Also she has created Kashaf/Rafia to tell the women of our region, how to deal with such men in the best possible way. It is an excellent piece of entertainment and both the writer and the Director have done a very good job 🙂

    • @Anupma we are all watching/enjoying the show and very well differentiate between fiction and reality.What gave you the idea other wise? The father debate was done on the second ,third episode being a black character,if any one put a play out there they should except criticism . Criticism means there is a potential for growth.All praise and criticism is done with well intention. To you this might seems like an excellent play to me not so.I have a right to say why not so .The beauty of any argument is if we can try to understand other people opinions. You don’t have to change yours for me neither i for you but we all can agree on somethings and disagree on others.

    • @Anupama: This is not about getting spoilt or not wanting to watch serious stuff – we do! If you look at other dramas covered here, Shehr-e Zaat, also by Umera, a spiritual drama about a girl looking for God, was as serious as a drama can get. We loved it… there was no Fawad Khan there, no romance no nothing but we were still glued and had intense conversations about that one, and yes critiqued it as well… Similarly, I am now covering Talkhiyan, which is again as serious as it gets .. but we’re loving it, dark as it is. So this not about our inability to not appreciate good well made diverse dramas. Our problems with ZGH are coming from a very different place.

      First off, ZGH is based on a popular novel, where the focus is completely different. Yes, it is about Kashaf and her insecurities, but told in a more creative way. The novel was based on Zaroon and Kashaf’s story, It started off with their meeting in the university, Their first encounter is very dynamic … over time there are a number of fiery encounters between the two, and all the issues that are being shown separately here, ie., Rafia/Murtaza and Ghazala/Sarah, all were shown obliquely rather than being discussed in detail. The story revolved around these two characters … it was their story, rather than being Rafia and Murtaza’s story, or Sarah and Ghazala’s story. Here, all of Zaroon/Kashaf’s initial encounters have been completely watered down to the point of being non-existent. Even if we see more scenes later, we will never get why Kashaf was/is so annoyed with Zaroon. Her rudeness to Zaroon on day one was not b/c of churail awwal, but b/c of a whole other incident. They have other encounters in class as well, which explain clearly why Zaroon is so competitive with Kashaf…and it is these initial encounters that shape their attitudes towards each other for the rest of the story.

      Secondly, this project was also marketed as being a story about university life – on the launch show as well, the director said this was one the few dramas to show so much of university life and that it had a very different feel. However, as seen so far the university scenes have been peripheral rather than central, and the feel is no different than all of the other social dramas out there, hence our disappointment. I would have been like you if I had come to this drama without having being bombarded by the hype built up around this drama for the past 7-8 months… but sadly this is not case… they marketed what was basically a social drama, as something very different.Right now, all we are getting is more of Rafia’s story … which we are all appreciating, but the question here is, at the end of the day is the Rafia’s story or Kashaf’s?

      Finally, if they’re spending so much time on Rafia, why not develop Ghazala as much as well – why are we content to leave her as all negative? After all isn’t Zaroon being just as much impacted by her as Kashaf is by Rafia?

  21. Well you have all said what i wanted to say and agree with almost most of your comments i simply love our weekly chats 🙂 SZ again a fantastic review .For the last two weeks we have have been hoping Murtaza and his wife character will get a boot but i guess he can’t help but showing up on our screen .At this point i want to scotch tape his mouth and make him disappear in the thin air all his wife and ever do is say awful lot of bad stuff about Rafia and nothing else.They are just put there to generate anger and hate. Well our 22 year old Zarron(cough* cough*) has really chosen a wrong major he should really be studying Psychology .He is more interested to know how women should act , behave ,want ,do react .I am quiet sure in psychology he would be getting the A’s he so desires. And when he chews the chewing gum i really want to say from screen ‘Zaroon go and throw it out achay bachay don’t chew a gum half the time’.
    Kashaf has really built strong defenses around her ,she has walled herself in her own self.She could have said a simple Happy Birthday to Asmara but i guess her defence mechanism sets in against people she does not like .I cannot help but feel for her as she goes even judgemental on her own self comparing herself to others. Sidra is a sharp contrast to her speaks of balance that on does not have to be pessimist all the time.She carries a smile on her face (very few characters in the play menages to come with this) and probably the only one who fits the title Zindagi gulzar hai,for the rest i can only say zindagi beaqar hai ,awazar hai,pahar hai…Asmara well what an annoying presence .Life would be better without annoying characters like her.

    • LOL@ psychology major and the zindagi bezaar hai 🙂
      Yes, Kashaf, Sidra and Rafia have to be my fave characters as well… Oh how I wish Umera and Sultana Apa had spent a bit more time on Zaroon and his side of the family, Madamara included :/

  22. Heard the shocking news of Sheharyar Munawar’s brother death this morning in a car accident. My heart goes out to SM and Sultana Siddiqui on the death of her nephew. What a tragic loss! May Allah rest his soul in peace and give the family strength to bear this loss.

    • Shocked to hear this. So sorry for the whole family. May his soul rest in peace and may Allah grant sabr to the family. Ameen

    • Very sad! May his soul rest in peace and may God grant Shehryar and his family the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss. Ameen

      @SNS: thank you for sharing this sad news with all of us.

  23. I heard about this sad news. So Sheheryar is related to Sultana Siddiqui ? What atragic loss,I think SM put up a picture of him a few days ago. May allah give them sabr Ameen

  24. Great review SZ. Like you said, all characters in kashaf’s family are very well etched ( love the middle sis) but zaroon and family are without depth. Dunno about you, but FK just isnt working for me in this show..his expressions are too mature for a college going guy and again repetitive to HS.

    Will wait and watch a bit more before deciding whether to continue with the show….hopefully the show will pick up in the next episode

    • @indepgal: Thanks! Like you, many of us on this page are also unconvinced by FK as a college student. I am so waiting for the post-university phase where they can all quit pretending to be 22 yr olds and start playing their real ages. I think that is where we will see FK shine as Zaroon…
      Re: the pace, I too hope the tempo picks up soon otherwise many viewers will lose interest … but then again it is 24 eps… :/

      • So I’m now totally fine with FK as a college student wearing sweaters and shirts! Why? Well if faisal qureshi can act like an immature university student,( I saw some clips of Mera pehla pyar, you gotta see the last episode even I don’t follow it but he was acting like a little kid actually) then FK actually seems pretty ok for the part. SRK in KKHH anyone remember?? But seriously where would they get a 22yrold to do it who would then be able to do the mature scenes when he’s a parent?? As for dress, I see kids wearing the same style to Elementary school everyday, lol so he may be just preppy and went to a formal school! Come on, if it wasnt for Asmara ruining the scenes he actually would be fine, the overall effect of the university scenes are just blah due to her madamara tendencies!!

        • LOL@SK!! Too funny with your analogy of elementary school kids! Too good! 🙂 Yaar, no, not bring in a 22 yr old actor, just needed to dress down… I am surrounded by this age group 24/7 and not seen kids dressed like this unless its a formal occasion .. but in any case I just hope we dont have to wait too long for the “real” story to start .. all these issues are becoming highly noticeable b/c nothing is really happening – I so hope tomorrow’s ep does no disappoint!

        • @SK – yes but the different in KKHH was all the college scenes were flashbacks. In present time SRK had already moved on from the college life. And thats what i said about ZGH – it would have been a lot more fun to watch if the college scenes were a flashback, would have been a lot more believable.

          Preppy kids wear polos, jeans, sneaks, zip ups. They don’t look like the director of a financial firm with their hair parted from the side. And Zarooon came home at 2am, supposedly was hanging out with friends but had a dark grey button down tucked in black slacks and dress shoes? I wonder where he and his friends hang out…

          Basically I am ready to see some Zaroon / Kashaf interactions on screen now and Asmara hiding somewhere under her bed.

          • Ash maybe preppy students in Pakistan are different than USA lol and totally agree with the last part, if we had seen more of Z with K the dress probably wouldn’t be that much of a big deal.. I did see him in promo in jeans and tee running up to sir ibrar walking with kashaf…so there’s hope!!!

  25. i study in medical uni n many of our classmates do wear formal shirts n sweaters.i thnk its all abut ones personal choice like sum of d girls put on makeup n jewellry while sum donot.so im pretty ok wd fk dressing.sk z rite actually mr adds d irritating effect to the scenes.i also saw d last epi of mpp n it wz hilarious to see faisal n farooq actually playng uni students.

  26. The lack of depth in most characters is honestly irritating at this point. Asmara is the most annoying and I have to calm myself down every time she appears onscreen because she’s so intolerable. And I was also disappointed by Zaroon’s double standards; they reminded me so much of my own brother who acts so self-righteous when it comes to me but does whatever he wants just because he’s a boy (and he *is* just 16 year old). It’s a problem of mentality that I hope this show would discuss but I’m not keeping my hopes up or anything, judging from the way Zaroon’s side of the story is handled.

    I really agree with what you said about Zaroon’s family–it truly feels like only started existing at the beginning of the drama. It would have been much better if we saw Ghazala and Sara’s attitudes for ourselves without the friction with the men of the family. That would have told us about their “liberal” views and that their behavior has generally been accepted by Zaroon’s dad. But those sudden conflicts are too unbelievable.

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