Oh what a bundle of contradictions our Mr Zaroon is! On the one hand he lectures Sara and Asmara on the importance of wearing proper clothes, so as to not attract undue attention and avoid harassment, but then he goes off and plots to harass a respectably covered woman, just because she deigned to ignore him. He gives Sara unsolicited advice on her relationship with Farhan – respect, accommodate and adjust – but then goes and make a pest of himself with Kashaf even though she is obviously not interested in him. Clearly this man has different standards about how women are to be treated – those related to him are worthy of respect and protection, and the rest are all fair game. Wah Mr. Zaroon! Kiya khichri ho tum bhi! Perhaps you should take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror before you go around doling out your brand of chauvinistic advice!! Fawad Khan is fabulous as Zaroon – effortlessly charming, singing and chatting away lazily with friends, a caring brother and a concerned son, but then in the next instant all that softness is left behind as he ruthlessly plots to break down Kashaf’s resistance. I do not agree with Zaroon’s characterization at all, in fact find him quite problematic, but Fawad pulls it all off so well that one cannot help but applaud. All of Zaroon’s scenes with Sara and Kashaf were beautifully essayed.
Matching Fawad, in fact better than him in many places, is Sanam Saeed as Kashaf. The pseudo apology scene was just brilliant in terms of her expressions. Kashaf’s confusion, regarding the whys and wherefores of Zaroon’s apology was beautifully emoted. Also loved her in the scene where she watches her sisters and mother tutoring students. Sanam’s body language has been perfect throughout as she has conveyed the sentiments of a girl so frustrated by her circumstances that she cannot see even a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Kashaf frustrations are also reflected in her sisters’ attitudes. Though less prickly than Kashaf, they too are angered by the harsh treatment meted out by their father and his family. Sana Sarfaraz was very good as Shehnila, when she opened the gate to let in Hammad. The bonding between sisters is very sweet. Mansha Pasha is very good as Sidra and that scene, when she put aside all their day to day problems and turned girlish for a moment, asking Kashaf to bring her Zaroon’s picture, was very sweet and real. Rounding off Kashaf’s family portrait is Rafia, an absolutely brilliant Samina Peerzada.
In this latest episode we got an important insight into why Rafia puts up with her obnoxious husband, Murtaza. The understanding, that Rafia feels insecure because she has no family support, added so much more rationale to why she keeps putting up with Murtaza. I liked that she finally came clean and told her daughters why they had to continue to bardasht their abba. Her explanation of majboori ka rishta made so much more sense than her previous admonishments to her daughters to blindly respect Murtaza because he was their biological father. Just with the addition of those few lines, Rafia became so much more relatable.
Another character who became a tad bit more believable, and showed unexpected nuance, was Murtaza. I was taken aback when he showed a level of concern about where Rafia and the girls would’ve gone after leaving the house. But as soon as that moment passed he was back to his normal boorish self, blaming Rafia for all of the world’s problems. Though I liked that bit of ambiguity in Murtaza and Shazia Afgan is doing an excellent job as the paranoid, insecure second wife, I wish the director had cut down on some of their scenes. If they just had to be shown, then why not add in the MIA daughters, they would’ve brought some more interest and freshness to the Murtaza family scenes. That said, given Murtaza’s rants about nafarman wives, I wonder what he will have to say about his second wife, when she ignores him and gives a piece of her mind to the swindling Wahab bhai.
Overall, though I am still looking to be blown away, this was a much better episode in terms of pacing the narrative. I continue to have reservations about many of the implicit and explicit messages being conveyed, but am willing to wait and see how the story plays out. In terms of direction, while the Murtaza family scenes should have been trimmed, I was happy to see less of the annoying Madamara scenes and a much toned down Maria. Shehryar Munawar was unimpressive in that one scene he had with Fawad. The rest of the cast has turned in great performances and the chemistry between the Sanam-Fawad pair and the Fawad-Ayesha pair is sizzling hot. Looking forward to seeing how long this truce between Kashaf and Zaroon lasts!
Written by SZ~