Talkhiyan ~ Episodes 6 and 7 Review

TalkhiyanAfter a crazy couple of weeks I finally caught up with the last two episodes of Talkhiyan, and let me just say this serial rocks! Though an adaptation, Bee Gul’s Talkhiyan has legs long enough and strong enough for it to stand tall on its own merit. The story, screenplay and dialogues are just perfect. I don’t know how long it took her to pen this one, or what other work she has done earlier, but I for one am now a true fan. Add in Khalid Ahmed’s direction and aesthetic sensibility, Naveed Malik’s stunning cinematography, the brilliant cast, where its hard to pick between newcomers and veterans, the excellent production facilities, and we have a beautifully executed serial, one that is truly a pleasure to watch and savor.

What stood out after watching two episodes back to back, was just how well-knitted the various tracks are, and how seamlessly the narrative moves between various temporal zones – from Zoya’s present to her past, and travelling back even further to Bibi’s past. While Zoya is our primary interlocutor, we are in effect hearing the story in different voices and seeing it unfold from various perspectives.

We are privy to Bibi’s anguish, as she tries desperately to maintain a semblance of control in her rapidly unraveling life; we hear the censure in Zoya’s voice as she blames her mother, for Jugnu’s current state of mind, and traces his present maladjustment to back when Zoyee had disappeared; and we follow in Appo footsteps as she sneaks away to the church to find solace among Father Albert’s things. While the story is complex, the creative simplicity with which it is being narrated on screen ensures that we the viewers are never lost.

Even as Talkhiyan is about the myriad forms of hypocrisy and double standards rampant in our society, the writer and director are very even-handed in their approach to the story. Rather than simplistically resorting to the argument about ours being a male-dominated society, hence the problems, this story of the crazy Silverwood people underscores the fact that these skewed norms exist because they are instituted and perpetuated equally by both genders.

If one the hand we have Jaanu being asinine about Bibi’s ability to handle her own business and very charmingly equating her with the illiterate village women, on the other end of the spectrum we have Mama-ji finding excuses for Ayee’s late night assignations, bechara Jaanu thak jaata hai… jawan hai, tanha hai, but scolds Bibi for staying out late at night, after all log kya kahenge…

The thing I really appreciate here is the writer’s non-judgmental approach. We are never told upfront who is good or bad; rather, characters are allowed to evolve with the story. Other than Her Evilness, Appo De Ville, no character is completely black or white. Despite the fact that he saved Mama-ji from Agha-ji’s abuse, and notwithstanding his pedigreed charm, Jaanu baba is a sleazebag of the first order.

Similarly, Monty, who seems to be in line for the lover of the year award, is savvy enough to know which side of his bread is buttered – he might’ve been in love with Bibi since bachpan, but refuses to divorce his heiress wife. Initially it had been easy to relegate Mama-ji to the category of a bechari victimized wife, my heart broke when Jaanu dashed all her hopes of getting photographed for the publicity posters, but this time around I was fuming as she gushed on endlessly about her wonderful son, making his birth sound like the second coming… Mama-ji, it was Bibi’s birthday for heaven’s sake!

Talkhiyan is one of those serials where it is hard to pick one moment over others, but I have to say that the kids’ scenes never fail to strike a chord. Appo is crueler than Cruella De Ville could’ve ever been. What kind of woman exacerbates a child’s fears, going on and on about the andheri tareek raat as the terrified child is praying for his sister’s safe return?! Zoyee was beyond adorable when she played dress-up and teased her hair à la her tormentor’s. The way the two kids pulled out their napkins with a flourish as they sat down to eat the birthday lunch was so sweet. Loved the little added touches: Bibi gently tapping Zoyee on her hand telling her to use a spoon; barely noticeable, these gestures go a long way in adding texture to the story unfolding on screen. Sabina and Sagar are just magnificent!

Sanam Saeed was another one who stood out as the distraught mother trying to find her lost daughter. Clutching her child’s sandals to her chest and trying to keep her fears at bay, as she imagined the worst possible scenarios, Bibi finally broke down – her outburst was magnificent.

Monty was the perfect foil as he watched her unravel. Sarmed Mirza is impressing in his debut project. Resisting the urge to overplay Monty, I am enjoying the way he is playing this soft but ultimately pushy character. He expects Bibi to come around to his way of thinking, but refuses to give an inch on his end. Though he keeps talking of unrequited love, I can’t help wonder though if his offer to Bibi is driven by revenge more than anything else.

Hina Bayat is fabulous as the deliciously evil Appo. Shamim Hilali is superb as Mama-ji; I was laughing at the way she provided ridiculous explanations for Jaanu’s exploitative policies. The way her voice rose and fell as she passionately defended her son was worth seeing. Adnan Jaffer is outstanding as the “socialist” Jaanu baba – Marx might have a thing or two to say to this Oxonion’s take on his theory though! I love the irony of his nickname, ’cause he is so not a jaanu/lovable person. And yes, speakng of Jaanu, Nargis Rasheed is in great form as Ayee. The way she was all over Jaanu’s car as she was “cleaning” it was hilarious. She doesn’t say much, but her smiles and glances are laden with meaning.

Finally a huge shout out to whoever is responsible for blurring the cigarette in Zoya’s hand – thank you! Now if only someone could feed poor Zoya some khana that would be great too – the poor child’s been roaming around the whole day with only cup of chai. Mehak is lovely as our very tired, and now probably hungry, interlocutor Zoya – Jugnu ab bas ghar waapis aa jao, your sister needs to eat and sleep now!


Written by SZ~

31 replies

  1. Dear SZ, Thank you for all the glowing reviews you have been giving us for Talkhiyan. I feel amply rewarded ! I must confess that I had entered this project with great aprehension. In fact from the outset, when Bee Gul had announced that she is going to dramatize this story I had discouraged her. I thought it too subtle and narration based for a tv serial, especially given the ‘Dosheeza Digesty’ trend that that has set in these days.Infact all that goes in the name of drama on tv these days is actually ‘melodrama’,which is an entirely different genre. So as a working partner I opposed Bee Gul to the extent that we had arguments and fights. But being the Pathan that she is she held her ground and went ahead with it. I even warned the producer of possible financial consequences. But met with obstinate persistence. I loved the script when it came to me but once again bombarded Bee Gul with protests. ‘Where am I going to get these child actors who have countless scenes in the script’, I said, ‘and how am I going to manage these scenes with 6 to 8 characters in the scene at one time; etc; etc?’ But Bee Gul did not budge and forced me to take up the challenge. As I went along directing it I realized how brilliantly she had put it all together . Also, she stood by me all through the shoot, creatively and logistically, our quarrels notwithstanding. Thank you BG ! How the whole cast got passionately involved in the play and made it their own is another story. At times I had to strive to match their enthusiasm. Thank you all ! I was amazed by the creative input that came from each individual. They say that a successful director is one who can tap the creativity of the whole team. I deserve credit only to that extent.
    I believe that the play is doing considerably well in terms of ratings too. This is a great surprise. Even if we have made an iota of a dent into the present drama scene it was all worth the effort.


    • @Khalid Sahab: Thank you for following the reviews and commenting – much appreciated!

      The effort that the producers, you and Bee Gul put in, along with that of the entire cast and crew, is evident from the quality of the final product. The love and sincerity with which the serial was made is reflected in each and every frame!
      So true about the Digest trend, and I’m glad that Bee Gul stood her ground and refused to budge! I hope the reception afforded to Talkhaiyan has restored some of your faith in the viewing audience — we are out there and will keep supporting you, and the others who are making an effort to bring about a change in this current trend. I know it is easier said than done, but the only way to beat this current trend of formulaic stories is to keep making such dramas and slowly but surely change will happen, and production houses and channels will have no other choice but to take note…
      Here, I must say that I have been really disappointed by the way Express has handled the publicity for Talkhiyan… even though I am hugely thankful to them for taking a chance on this serial and for posting the HD quality YT videos, II have yet to see any excitement about this serial from their end. While they are very active in the promotion of their Turkish serials on the social media, Talkhiyan seems to be receiving a short shrift from them. Living abroad, the only way I could’ve known about this serial would have been through publicity on the social media, but there was complete radio silence on their end – no buzz, no publicity, no hype, no nothing! I would’ve never even known about this gem of a serial if it hadn’t been for a heads up from Hina Bayat, after which I kept an eye out for the promos…
      Clearly, its not just the audience that is at fault, channels are equally guilty, if not more so…. In this day and age with so many channels and serials competing for viewers’ attention, publicity plays a huge part in what we all end up watching…. If only the publicity department at Express and their FB page admins could’ve gotten their act together, Talkhiyan would’ve received its due share of appreciation ..


  2. Thanks for the great review SZ. Yes this is totally hatke and everyone’s done a great job! Kudos to the team. So many issues- all handled so well without the preachiness and shor sharaba. I also love the setting- so good to see our beautiful country depicted well.


  3. great review and yes i agree the chidren are simply outstandingg.Their scenes are always superb.well directed well acted and well executed.The best thing is even the smallest details are given importance.Sanam saeed for me she was the reason i started following it;other actors were discovered laters and i must say all fir in their respective characters perfectly.Hina bayat is a sweet heart.Last but not the least kudos to the director as well all know he is the captain of this hsip 🙂


  4. Wow.. you perfectly balanced out the absence of last week review.. even more than that 🙂 thoroughly enjoyed!

    I can’t tell you how much i am enjoying this one, one even for a single moment i get get distracted or raise my eye brows….wonder why few people are finding it slow..
    What i like so much is simplicity in showing things.. the scene where appo ji goes to church, explains it all so beautifully.. she keeping envelope in drawer, touching affectionately to things of Father Albert.. too good! Hina Bayat was phenomenal there!

    Jaanu Baba’s birthday lunch oppss sorry it was Bibi’s birthday.. thanks to mama jaani.. jaanu was miracle baby, janu ko ye tune pasand hai, jaanu ko ye dish pasand he.. my heart literally felt for Bibi.. Sanam was classic when searching for zoyee or dealing Jaanu Baba in last scene.. indeed great choice for Bibi 🙂

    And so is Adnan Jaffer as Jaanu Baba.. his double meaning dialogues with aayee or making mamaa ji understand about labors do have right on raising their voice for injustice.. so enjoyable!

    I was so taken back about how mama jani gave logic to bibi about jaanu baba’s disgust.. and same times making strict tune for bibi for coming not done 😦

    These Bachas are way adorable and more talented than that.. i so look forward for their scenes 🙂 and so agree with you on not giving food to older Zoyee.. Mehak khan was so good in delivering monologue about jugnu’s mind state !

    all welcome for sundays now!


  5. Hello SZ..! Thank you for yet another humbling review. Glad you liked the small details we naturally added in to our scenes and the effort the little ones made, and for making it a point to mention Nargis Rasheed. She really was superb in her role! I think the entire team of Talkhiyan knew that this was the kind of drama that would cater to a certain kind of mindset, a different type of viewer. And it’s wonderful to read the reviews and see how much people appreciate how different this drama is and love it for what it is. I loved Bibi and am so grateful to Khalid sahib to have been given this opportunity. We had a brilliant group of actors… great chemistry, genuine fondness amongst one another and a lot of respect for the story and script. Thank you all for watching… it only gets better and better!! Take care and lots of love. x


    • Hey Sanam! Great to hear from you and thanks for visiting and commenting 🙂 Loving you as Bibi! Those little details are what make this project stand out from the rest of the serials out there, as they attest to the attention to detail and the extra effort you all put in to make this one special.

      Talkhiyan is a rare breed indeed, and I’m so glad that you all took the plunge and signed on to this different project. I sincerely hope that Talkhiyan is not a one off, and that the team will come together again and present us with another equally note-worthy project!

      Looking forward to hearing more from you!


    • Hey @Sanam – Lovely to hear from you! Huge fan since Daam. Thank you for sharing these details about the drama with us. Talkhyan is def different from the rest of the things we see on our tv. Surely for a certain kind of mindset, although people should be open minded and welcome new stories, bc for how long can one watch the same story told in ten different ways!

      Anyways loving you as Bibi. The character is written so well and you are marvelous. Such a bitter, cold, but in your face kinda person. How everyone else should be. Straightforward and to the point no matter who they are dealing with, and what the situation might be!
      The break down scene was a fave of mine, and of course all the ones with the kids. Must have had such a good time shooting with them, you guys have awesome chemistry!
      Well i really hope Bibi finds some happiness in life and if not , at least she will always have the kids by her side! 🙂


  6. @sz and we were afraid you’d forgotten us silverwood people!!! hahaha

    No, but seriously, thank you… You have an incredible knack for being able to capture the essence of the drama and of being able to make it come alive with your words. Thank you, thank you, thank you…


    • @Mehak: Thanks!
      LOL! How could you think I’d forget my favoritest dysfunctional family? Rest assured, I am not giving up on the cazy Silverwood ppl that easily, particularly now that your bechari bhooki pyaasi Zoya has aroused my maternal instincts! 😉
      @Bee Gul and @Khalid Sahab: Aap ne accha nahin kya bechari Zoya ke saath… kam az kam bechari bacchi ko chai ke saath samosa hi khila detey :/
      Zoya should’ve checked into a hotel instead…


    • @Mehak – hows that starvation diet working out for Zoyee. Did she lose any more lbs then she needs to after not being fed for soo long??

      Btw , you gotta tell me where you got those red sneaks from, totally love em! 🙂


      • @ash LOL oh god the sneaks!!! Well, to be completely honest, orange and red are my two favourite colours, hence the “oh so flambouyant” sneakers hahaha I do apologize if they’re slightly in your face, but God zoya needed at least some colour in her life, don’t you think?! Now… To answer your question, they are from adidas. Part of a range that stella mccartney designed for them a while back. 😉


        • Dude, I actually do like the sneaks! no jokes so please, no need to apologize!!! 🙂 I used to own pair of red nikes, royal blue pumas and purple converses, yes i know very odd and “in your face” colors but i loved them, and none of those are even my fave colors! 😛

          But I agree Zoyee does need some color in life. Aik toh dark thoughts, dark atmosphere and then surrounded by dark people! Just tell me that she will be changing out of that same shirt in the next episode! 😛


  7. I think this review is one for the cast to say hi to everyone so hi from me too. SZ thanks so much for the positive comments. It encourages a new actor like me tremendously. It was absolutely a pleasure to be with such a fun team. The kids were great, we had loads of fun playing badminton and ludo on set. Everyone on the set was really supportive, Adnan, Hina ji, Shamim ji, everyone. I was quite spoilt lol

    The chance Khalid Sahib, Be Gul and the producers gave me was amazing, and thanks sooo much to them. I would like to go on record and say it was Sanam who recommended me to them.

    It is a great feeling to be a part of such a drama as my first, so different from others and one so well received. Please do keep watching, Sanam is right, it only gets better.
    Monty 🙂 xxx


    • Hey Sarmed! Great to hear from you! Thanks for the clarification on the earlier review about Yohan.. I thought I heard it as that, but now I know better 🙂 So, Monty is just like the rest of them, known only by his nickname! Looking forward to seeing if this Nawab of Lucknow keeps his promise to marry Bibi!


    • Sarmed if this is your first acting assignment, I have to say Hats Off to you Sir!! What a fabulous character you have played. thank you Bibi for giving us Monty!


    • Sarmed – Good to see you here! Yep guess this one is for the cast to interact with its viewers, but cannot be complete without the oh so evil Appo ji and the kids! Would love to hear about their experiences with this masterpiece.

      I am really hoping that you [Monty] will not leave Bibi hanging, but you’ve got that evil sly look……. =\

      Looking forward to more of you in Talkhiyan and other plays as wel! 🙂


      • Well well, it won’t be that easy to pry any information out of me re Monty or any of the Silverwood folk…but I’d like to see you guys try 😉

        Annie. Thanks for the appreciation. Like you I too have to thank Bee Gul for my character’s creation too, he’s the only one who is not in the book.

        Ash … too true. These kid are highly talented and truly professional in their attitudes. It was also refreshing to see parents and their relatives supporting these children in a positive and encouraging way. Sigh … wish I had started when I was 2 🙂

        I am playing a very different character in upcoming Sarmad Khoosat’s ‘Mein Manto’ … let’s see if you guess who I play, if and when you see it. xxx


  8. Thoroughly enjoying this serial and your beautiful reviews to supplement them:) This is one drama that although a little dark still keeps you engrossed while watching. Love the hard hitting dialogues from Bibi, she really knows how to pack a punch in just a few sentences, whether its to appo or Janu baba …that final scene she really puts hypocritical janoo baba in his place… Sanam is just fab as her!!! The writer has written beautiful dialogues for her, just love them.
    Agree also SZ her breakdown scene was so well executed and shot, The whole cast is doing great and especially the kids , wow they are just fantastic! It’s also so lovely to see a lot of the team commenting on here, seems like they all had a great rapport and a fab time making this drama. The hard work really shows, the acting is brilliant and the camera work is beautiful!
    I am looking forward to more exciting stuff from the silverwood family… thanks for something different and unique!!


  9. Loved your review! This drama is superb!
    Sometimes its hard to believe that its actually a Pakistani drama, since we are used to getting those formulaic stories and commercial projects.
    Each character is so complex and fits their into role like a glove. We don’t see any one who is entirely black or white and that’s what makes the story and characters so much more bearable.

    Bibi’s breakdown scene was praiseworthy. One of the best performances I have seen in a very long time!! Sanam Saeed is an amazing actress whether as Bibi or Kashaf, two very different characters and both just as enjoyable bc the actress is doing a fine job!

    Appo is one evil being. She is always out to get Bibi and her kids every chance she gets, yet has a hidden agenda of her own which no one else is really aware of. I wonder what that’s all about?

    Ayee, another one who is quite the clever being. I love how Mama ji defends her son when its comes to this but Bibi cannot even go for a walk at this hour bc people will talk. I am hoping somewhere along the lines of this drama they point out that these double standards between men and women needs to go, I mean jaanu baba has needs [clearly so does aaye] so doesn’t Bibi have needs as well? [not that she is doing anything]
    I wonder if she will say yes to the proposal, doesn’t look like Monty will take no for an answer and he really seems to be interested in her, unless its just a tactic to get revenge.
    Jaanu baba is clearly threatened by him so really looking forward to what this new character has to add and will he bring Jaanu down, will Bibi say yes. Will older Jugnu ever make it home, bechari Zoyee will get old waiting for him. So much to look forward to!! Thanks to the entire team for coming out and interacting with us viewers. This drama is def a treat for us all! Looking forward to the forthcoming episodes and reviews!! 🙂


  10. oh man these crazy silverwood people are addictive. I keep coming back to check out the kids (esp. Little Zoyee’s FAB performance) and see if Appo’s eye shadow color has changed 🙂
    Bibi does remind me of Kashaf Murtaza at times with better makeup but because of not receiving any sort of love from her parents, Bibi is so unsure of herself and scared to move on with her life whereas Kashaf is much stronger and in your face. I wish Sanam would have played them the two characters a little differently.

    On to Jaanu Baba – his white pants and shoes cracked me up – such an Indian movie look with the colorful scarf and all 😉 he totally looks like he lost his way to the Shakespeare theater.
    Mamaji and her fake Bibi birthday was Hilarious!! Was it me or did Bibi not take any meat on her plate – Sanam must be a vegan? And no chai in the chai cups was too funny. I felt for Zoyee when Appo dropped the cake plate 😦 Mean Mean Cruel Appo.
    You’re right about Aayi cleaning Jaanu Baba’s car – such a classic moment. I wonder if Punjabi movies have scenes like these 😉 lol
    I am loving Monty. He seems like a fairly honest fellow (or am I getting played like Bibi?) He is like the pebble that is thrown in a very murky still pond that causes ripples all across. The character is underplayed at the right moments and shows his chivalrous side at the right moment – brilliantly played IMO. One of my fav characters along with Zoyee
    Zoyee and her “Appo dressup” scene was fabulously done! This girl can hold an audience! Zoyee please open an acting school and teach some of our model turned-actors a thing or two about Acting – Thank you very much! I would be forever grateful!
    also enjoyed the “tennis ball” transition from young to old. Very creative!

    A few questions:
    – Why did little Zoyee run away? I was thinking the older Zoyee would comment on that incident in retrospect but she didn’t mention it.
    Why did they blur the cigarette in Zoyee’s hands but not the ones in Bibi’s, and the guys’ hands? that was strange.
    Is it just me or the addition of the old servant (all of a sudden popping out of nowhere) is annoying and just overstretches and leads to never ending scenes. Sorry not fond of this new fella and his repeated dialogues about his 2 sons. Sun sun ker thaak gaaye.
    Please give older Zoyee some food to eat, a new shirt, and new jewelry to wear. This shirt is getting more wear than Zaroon’s red one and Khirad’s peach kurta. Zoyee needs to invade Appo’s sari closet asap :p
    And please don’t turn Monty into an “evil man”. I am tired of watching the whole “men are evil and women are persecuted” theme over and over again. *pulling my hair out wala icon*


    • Hey @Annie – Long time! Kahan ho!!

      Loved your comment – but you left out my boy Jugnu! :O

      Btw agree with you Monty is another one i like but i am not getting a good vibe from him, something tells me hes after Bibi to get some sorta revenge or other motives behind this marriage. But Silverwood ka hai akhir, itna seedha aur shareef to ho nahi sakta! ;).. Lets see what happens…


        • Hello Ladies!
          @Ash – busy as heck! finally got a breather a couple of days ago to catch up and comment. Too many projects and deadlines at work and then on to home-work.
          @Javeria – oh I am so with you _ I really hope Monty is not another crazy evil man but in the back of my mind like Ash – Silverwood ka kuch asar tow hoga. There has to be something wrong with him too since the whole “men are persecutors, women are persecuted” theme that plays out so often in our dramas 😦


  11. I am so in love with this thread wow all my lot of silverwood crowd showed up from Talkihyan and i am so thankful to them for coming here and commenting. Khalid Ahmed ,Sanam Saeed ,Sarmed, and Mahek Khan much appreciated guys for being a part of us viewers.Thanks to SZ who takes time for her busy schedule and write these reviews and give us a chance to get to know what went behind the scenes tit bits through you people. I love the serial and Talkihayan team has created quiet a master piece from our TV watching standards.I really hope it gets some recognition in form of some awards,atleast.Both the episodes were fantastic and when Sanam cried it was quiet some performance on her part.The story just has so many twist and the character development keeps better.Apo keeps getting darker ,Janu Baba more hypocrite but one never losses the narrative. Bibi stand up for herself says it on there faces .It’s a blend of dark and light where charter’s like Monty,kids provides some relief.


  12. the only reason i stumbled upon this forum is the dialogue i caught myself hearing about the mom admonishing the kids about spit bubbles and how strongly it seemed a translation of a sentence right out of arundhati roy’s ” the god of small things”. the backdrop also seems familiar. the book was a gem and so many people in pakistan dont know the true price of it and i assume the same fate of the dramatization. best of luck in the world of shouaa and khawatein digests.


    • @sara hamid khan – Hey! Question, are you following the drama? if so , how are you liking it? does it do justice to the novel?

      Ive not read the novel, just a few summaries online but i am totally loving the drama because its so different from the rest. Its unfortunate that its not kicking off with the majority of the audience as much as it should bc like you say they dont know its true worth.

      Would love to know what you think of the drama.


    • @sara hamid khan: Hi! Glad you found us, and its great to hear from another Talkhiyan fan. How are you enjoying the serial as compared to book? Would love to hear more of your thoughts on Bee Gul’s adaptation 🙂 I personally enjoyed the book when I read it, and now I’m loving Talkhiyan.. the gorgeous setting of the story, the crazy characters, the lovely lines .. everything is praiseworthy … and yes, completely different from the digest-y stories!


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