Talkhiyan ~ Episode 3 Review


Silverwood ka Jaanu baba
Oxford ka parha hua,
Rhodes scholar Jaanu baba
Comrade Jaanu baba
Mama-ji ki aankhon ka taara
Agha-ji ka vali-ehad
Bibi ka eklauta bhai
Jugnu aur Zoyee ka mamu
Apni angraiz biwi se talaq ke baad Silverwood laut aya
Desi sahab Jaanu baba…

And Jaanu baba was back at Silverwood…

Thus far Zoyee had narrated her childhood memories in the third person, employing a bystander’s stance, trying to maintain a neutral tone, but this time around there was judgement and censure. That Jaanu baba’s arrival had shaken things up at Silverwood was clear from Zoyee’s description of his homecoming. Welcomed back with open arms, Jaanu, in Zoyee’s recollections, is larger than life. He’s flamboyant, charming and Mama-ji’s beloved, the apple of her eye. Even the hyper critical Appo has nothing negative to say about him. Jaanu talks of big ideas and ideals – about defeated people in search of identities, faded footprints, lost destinations, and people imprisoned by their dreams. In short, Jaanu baba makes a very strong first impression on young Zoyee and Jugnu.

Though the kids are young and easily impressed, they cannot help but notice the difference in the way Jaanu and Bibi are treated by the adults. Even as Bibi is stigmatized and maligned for bringing her neelay peelay bacche to Silverwood, Jaanu gets off scot-free. Appo, who never misses an opportunity to remind Bibi of how she has singlehandedly managed to mess up her brother’s nasal, cannot bring herself to criticize Jaanu baba’s marriage and subsequent divorce to a gori. Similarly Mama-ji never questions Jaanu’s divorce, nor is she concerned about neighborhood gossip. Rather, she is thrilled to bits about her very intelligent son’s arrival; nary a question is asked about his years away from Silverwood. As for Jaanu baba, though he berates Agha-ji for being an Anglophile, a kala sahab, he himself quotes Shakespeare at length, and takes pride in having read at Oxford. Adnan Jaffar is fabulous as the silver-tongued Jaanu baba!

Pickle and Vinegar-hearted Silverwood People …

The inauguration of Silverwood Pickle Factory marked a new era for the residents of Silverwood. The beautifully done scene of Agha-ji burning his chair and certificates heralded a changing of the guard. Now Mama-ji would no longer be afraid of being used as Agha-ji’s punching bag, her skills were being appreciated and recognized by her son. Appo could rest easy about the rising household expenses, and the villagers had a new means of earning their livelihood. Everybody’s lives were changing for the better, except for Bibi’s. In fact, her brother’s arrival and subsequent welcome further underscored her marginal position in the family. She and her children were non-entities, useful only as pincushions for Appo’s sharp barbs. Jaanu baba was too busy with his fabulousness to worry about his sister, and Mama-ji was reveling in her son’s brilliance – nobody cared enough to worry about Bibi and her children.

Life is a pickle share it ….

Easier said than done, this tagline underscored the irony of it all. Though a family for all intents and purposes, the residents of Silverwood were  clearly not interested in sharing anything other than insults with each other. All this bitterness was wont to spillover into the way the children saw and perceived the world around them. Zoyee was convinced that Jugnu too would grow up to be a male chauvinist like his father and grandfather. Earlier she had solemnly assured Cruella de Ville that she would never enter into a “wrong” marriage. Later that night the kids informed Bibi of their decision to add on to their names, making them longer, so that their children would never be left without a last name. Sadly, rather than being a foreign word, as it should be for children this age, the term “divorce” and its attendant drama were a part and parcel of these kids’ everyday vocabulary and role playing. Sabina and Sagar are rockstars in the way they bring Zoyee and Jugnu alive on screen – simply superb!

A strong critique of the double standards, male chauvinism, and hypocrisy prevalent in our society, Talkhiyan makes a powerful statement without resorting to preachiness or moralizing. Three episodes in, the serial continues to build on the momentum generated in the first two episodes. The skilled storytellers, Bee Gul and Khalid Ahmad, continue to draw us in to the crazy world of the even more crazy Silverwood people. The actors are all doing a magnificent job with their fabulously quirky characters. Mehak Khan’s strong opening monologue set the tone for the rest of the episode. Shamim Hilali is brilliant as the mother who is so unfair in the way she differentiates between her children. Khalid Ahmad’s suppressed fury when he was burning his chair and certificates was beautifully essayed. He knew he had lost the battle and accepted defeat, but he was darned if he was going to allow the victor to sit in his chair. Sanam Saeed’s Bibi is no victim, but she does hurt and at times her children are not spared her wrath either. Hina Bayat is magnificent as Appo. She is happy handing out insults, but when its her turn she is not one to take it silently. The tension between Appo and Bibi is gathering steam – looking forward to seeing who gets the last laugh!

Written by SZ~ 

Episode 3 Links:



Daily Motion



24 replies

  1. Was waiting for your review … Another great episode. Loved the chair burning scene and accompanying music. So powerful! Thanks 🙂


  2. Another amazing review from you ,feels like i am going through i page of a very good book. Your Talikhyan review’s are just phenomenal. Another great installment of the play living up to it’s mark . The beauty of the play lies in the well etched characters and everyone has a very interesting story. Janu Baba is quiet a show man talking of all big ideas even he walks like he is walking on a stage acting a part .His Shakespeare King Lear’s monologue or the introspection on society while showering chocolates around him ,he is quiet a character. The way children adapt to anything around them and how deeply it effects there psyche is another very interesting aspect. Kid Zoyee and Jugnu are just brilliant actors . Their dialogues are very intelligently written where nothing goes overboard and you can still see humour in them otherwise it is pretty heavy stuff but brilliant writing job. Aga Jan chair burning scene was fascinating too watch as it came you can see a frustrated man coming to his knees. I love the way Janu Baba took his mom and walked away .Actors are all doing a fab job can’t praise them enough. Every scene is so meaningful ,apo endlessly writing ‘i love you’ Bibi and Janu attitudes towards one another and ‘life is a pickle share it’ and Bibi constantly playing ‘Please come back to me in Casablanca’.I am so enjoying all the stories of these lost souls of Silver Wood.


    • @Jav – LOL at Kid zoyee and kid Jugnuu – that was funny to read. but yes you are so right about kids adapting to things around them and how it affects them in a long run maybe thats why older Zoyee is the way she is now bc of a very scarred childhood.
      The kids are brilliant indeed and so cute. Their lines have me cracking me up especially when jugnu goes “divorce divorce divorce!!”

      I think Appo writes “I love you” to herself since the only person she’s in love with is herself.


  3. @Khalid Sb: Thank you for taking the time to read and comment – your support is much appreciated!
    @Mehak: Thanks for continuing to read my reviews – I hope I am reading the story right and not misinterpreting anything! Do correct me if I get stuff wrong or miss out any imp developments 🙂 Loved your opening monologue!
    @Afia,@Haj and @Javeria: Great to know that we’re all on the same page and loving this one. Yes, the chair scene was so beautifully done! It was brilliant in the way so much was conveyed without unnecessary dialogues or other stuff.. yes, @Afia, I too thought the OST was brilliantly used at that moment… I think Mehwash Hayat’ s particular tonal quality and the rawness of her voice has been superbly utilized by Waqar Ali here.
    @Javeria: Indeed, I too thought Adnan Jaffer was excellent and all his theater experience was on full display here – loved that scene when he ended by throwing candies up in the air – what a showman Jaanu baba is!
    @HAJ: Would love to know about your favorite moment in the episode.. anything in particular that stood out?


    • @sz Hahahaha you’re not missing out anything! If anything, I feel all of us are learning more about and, in fact, getting even better acquainted with our own characters thanks to you!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the opening monologue – all credit to beegul there. She’s written so beautifully and her sentences are so subtle, yet laden with so much meaning, it’s truly remarkable. And I think she gets the timing absolutely perfect so that each word comes to life in ways you wouldn’t have perceived, imagined, or fathmoed possible. I’m just honored that she trusted me, with my disjointed urdu et al, enough to allow me to deliver the lines she penned down so beautifully 🙂


  4. Just caught up on the first and and the third episode and I have gladly jumped on the ‘Talkhiyan’ bandwagon. No regrets!

    I loved it. Appo is so irritating but she is simply brilliant. The way she dislikes Jaanu baba but still showers her fake love over him in Bibi’s presence is the best way to show our male dominant society. The best factor backing ‘Talkhiyan’ is the different storyline and the very ‘new’ characters. Though, we are very much familiar with the actors playing them but there is a fresh new vibe in the play that makes it very different, Pleasantly!
    My favourite scene from this episode was the eye-contact of Bibi and Jaanu when jaanu rescues mama jee. Such a well acted out scene.
    I have followed your reviews for Talkhiyan and now as I have watched the episodes too, I can better relate the two, i can say that I am blown! I love how you have penned down your thoughts on this play,Great stuff!


    • @Heela – agree with all your points. Each actor playing their character has totally owned it.
      And yes that scene was really well done.


    • @Heela: Hey! Phew! I’m very relieved that you are all liking the serial, b/c otherwise I would’ve felt horrible for recommending bakwas stuff! Indeed as everybody’s commenting the characters are such that one cannot help but feel strongly for each of them, regardless of whether we love them or hate them. And yes, it does have a very different vibe to it as you so very rightly put it. Yes, loved that particular scene! Actually I find it so compelling that after SeZ this is the one serial, where I usually watch an episode twice just for the sheer beauty of it all! Glad to have you on board! 🙂


  5. Hi SZ. I thorughly enjoyed your reviews. You are really gifted. I have a website for which I am looking for a writer. Would you be interested in writing for the Drama-melo-drama section? I would’ve done this more formally but I could not find any email or a way to contact you.


  6. WOW!! Your reviews are so amazing, like @Jav says, its like reading a book where you dont want it to end, but unfortunately all good things do come to an end. =\

    Two episodes ago, when Bibi returned with her kids everyones attitude was as bad as a sour apple and not a single person in the house offered her any kind of support.
    But Jaanu baba comes and everyone takes a 360 degree turn with their behavior??
    So are guys that much more important then girls, the same exact scenario , one a girl, one a boy, but the son gets a sweet treatment even from people like Appo but i guess bc as you, SZ, say everyone looking out for their own benefit with this new venture he’s starting up.
    And speaking of which, how did Bibi ruin the family generation? she is a girl, once married off is not really held responsible for carrying the family name right? If anything Its Jaanu baba who has ruined it, but eh what does anyone care, thank God he is back and coming up with new ideas to keep everyone busy.

    Appo so hysterically evil, only cares about herself and finding every excuse to make the kids lives more miserable, They however are sooo cute, always trying to start up a conversation with her, but she’s too busy admiring her feet and perfectly polished nails. So I guess that is what one does at old age to stay young. 😉

    I am just really loving the really different feel of this drama. Each actor has played their character to perfection ke asa lagta hi nahi someone is acting, whether it be the kids, Mehak Khan who is fairly new or the seasoned actors.

    Love every bit of it.
    So much to look forward to in each episode.

    Btw- totally unrelated but when little Zoyee was going on about how she will change her name to a really long unrelated name so she can have a surname it reminded me of Pheobe from Friends, when she got married and went to change her surname but ended up changing it to some longass totally unrelated name! 😀


    • @Ash: Thanks! Really touched by all the kind words – you’re all too kind and I really appreciate you all for always taking the time to read and comment – and more. importantly, ignore all my typos and errors!
      LOL @the Friends analogy! Yes, I too enjoyed how we were shown rather than told about the difference in the way the brother and sister are received by their families. I have to say I’m really enjoying the subtlety with which the issues are being highlighted.. Looking forward to more!


    • Ash I find the hypocritical scenario with Janu Baba and Bibi amusing too ,When Bibi tells Janu baba going to Oxford does not makes any one a genius she is very right But mama ji thinks her son is netter then Shakespeare because he can deliver Soliloquies, Monologues.The just put him on such a high pedestal . No one once questioned if divorce could be his fault it was granted had to be his wife’s .But in Bibi’s case every one already declares her guilty without thinking for a second what happened to her and what she is telling from day one. Quiet a stark contrast . It sets an amazing tone the way society deals with a taboo like divorce here.


  7. I can’t wait to see why have they slashed the time span by half, between the twins’ separation and reunion. 31 years made their ‘sense of loss’ come out to be absolutely perfect. And somehow, I had never pictured Chacko to be this handsome 🙂


    • @ Knubbyah my guess they wanted to keep charters young book was for another audience few things cannot materialize on TV as i am sure few parts of the book will be missing here.They adapted it as much as they could for our screens. Yes Chackoo(Janu Baba) was a nice surprise ,looking fwd to how it will unfold.


  8. Brilliant episode and an excellent review!! Agree with all of you, loving all the characters and the kids impress week after week! Janu baba is quite a character, he seems to have many layers though which is intriguing. Feel bad for bibi, although the father who is so rotten to his wife was the only one who defended her somewhat but is dead against Janu baba, whereas everyone else loves him. A very dysfunctional family, but interesting nonetheless…looking forward to finding out more!


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