Sahi ya ghalat, mujh main kuch kar guzarne ki himmat tau hai na!
I may be wrong, but I’m not a hypocrite!
Without resorting to screaming or shouting, Bibi’s controlled but vicious words cut to the heart of the matter – yes, she was by no means perfect. She had taken many wrong turns in her life, and would perhaps do much more that would make her even more of an outcast, but she was not one to live a lie. Bitter as she was with her lot in life, resentful though she might be of how her parents differentiated between their children, and infuriated as she was with Appo, Bibi was unlike her other family members. She had forged her own path in life and empowered herself. Unlike Mama-ji, she was not standing by waiting to be rescued, nor was she looking to her husband and son for their validation – good or bad, she made her own choices. Unlike Appo, Bibi did not spend a lifetime pining away for a lost love; rather, she risked the ire of her family and married a man of her choosing. Unlike Jaanu baba, she did not resort to flattery and underhanded means to gain control of Mama-ji’s business. Nope, that was not Bibi. Unlike the pseudo genteel and sophisticated Silverwood people, Bibi chose to live life on her terms – yes, she was not a hypocrite!
Living life on one’s own terms, particularly in our social setup, comes with a heavy price. Having realized that she would be a fool to look to her family for support, Bibi was getting accustomed to paying for this “privilege” in terms of familial censure. In dealing with the social pressure, giving back as good as she got it, Bibi almost seemed to have forgotten that she was not alone – she had two children. Innocent bystanders in this whole situation, Zoyee and Jugnu were unceremoniously plonked down in the middle of a conflict they could not even begin to understand. There were sweet moments, nightly chats, picnics and songs with their mother, but overall they lived in a very adult world. They read Shakespeare and talked about hypocrites, chauvinists, gender stereotypes, divorces and “wrong” marriages. They tried to win over their glamorous grand-aunt, Appo, but their innocent advances were continually rebuffed by Her Cruelness. Agha-ji was a distant figure, and their present-but-absent grandmother gave them an occasional pat on their head whenever she stepped out of her inner tormented world. There were heartwarming occasions, designing posters for the factory, and helping their grandmother get dressed, but such moments were few and far in between. Among all these crazy characters, Jaanu baba seemed larger than life. Earlier showering candies and ensuring that his mother was never again abused by Agha-ji, and later partnering with Mama-ji and helping her expand her business, he did seem larger than life. Jaanu baba could do no wrong.
Alas, Jaanu baba did not wait long before showing his true colors – yes, he was no different than the rest of the Silverwood gang. The charm with which he duped Mama-ji into signing over her pickle business had to be seen to be believed. It was heartbreaking to see Mama-ji’s hopes being dashed, one more time, as her son laughingly announced that the photographer was already done with pictures. After all, as he put it, how could a woman’s picture be used for labels and advertising. So much for his big ideas and ideals. Shamim Hilali is absolutely brilliant here as Mama-ji. Without resorting to words, her body language conveyed all that Mama-ji was feeling so very eloquently. Kudos to the writer and director in letting this scene play out as it did. Beginning with the children merrily chattering and helping their grandmother get dressed, the momentum was gradually built up with Aayee’s surprise at Mama-ji’s makeup-ed look, the scene culminated in a brilliant climax with very dejected Mama-ji left alone as her silver-tongued son walked away with the two kids – Jaanu baba was no different than his father. One tyrant had been deposed last week, and this episode saw the crowning of his equally ruthless successor.
Tyrants, even deposed ones, do not take kindly to being thwarted. We saw Agha-ji continually demanding attention, but rejecting all of Mama-ji’s placating gestures. The episode ended on a surprising note, Bibi walking into the room and being shocked at the sight of what looked like a suicide. I had not anticipated this moment so the hook worked perfectly, leaving me eager for confirmation of Agha-ji’s death. The precaps for the next episode, however, gave it all away. I wish the promo editors had been more mindful in terms of keeping the suspense alive. Nonetheless, even though that moment was ruined, there are more than enough twists and turns here to keep me waiting for the next installment. When will Zoyee’s never-ending day come to an end and when will she meet Jugnu? That one scene, Aayee humming happily as she walked out of Jaanu baba’s room has my brain working over time. I want to know more about the mysterious stranger/family friend who avoids Silverwood people, but keeps running into Bibi. Also, looking forward to seeing how Jaanu baba deals with the women of his household. Have reading at Oxford and quoting the Bard made Jaanu baba less of a male chauvinist pig?
Normally, such a dark story would have me switching channels quicker than Zoyee and Jugnu could figure out what would come out of a hole in Mama-ji’s head, but Bee Gul and Khalid Ahmed are so good with their storytelling, that I end up eagerly looking forward to the next chapter in the Silverwood Saga. Mehak Khan, Nargis Rasheed, Sanam Saeed, Adnan Jaffar, Hina Bayat, Khalid Ahmed, and Shamim Hilali, all are exceptional here, but I must give special credit to Sabina and Sagar – they are brilliant! Naveed Malik’s superb camerawork is as much a character in the story as the rest of the Silverwood gang. The producers deserve special credit for the overall rich look and feel of the serial. Yes, this was another excellent episode from Team Talkhiyan!
Written by SZ~
Episode 4 on YouTube