By now I know I probably sound like a broken record with all my tareefs … but what to do?! Talkhiyan keeps getting better and better as Bee Gul and Khalid Ahmad ratchet up the tension with every episode. Just as we thought that Bibi was ready to begin a new, and hopefully happy, phase of her life, her charismatic, main tumhen bachpan se pyar karta hoon, suitor upped and left her. Not only did Mr. oh-so-charming-but-ultimately-full-of-hot-air Monty just leave her, but in his hurry to get back to his susral, he forgot to shut the metaphoric door behind him – enter Bibi’s loser ex-husband, Paul.
Despite the very loud background music, the opening confrontation between Bibi and Paul was simply superb in its execution. I loved the scenes after as well, with Bibi walking among the ruins. An apt analogy for her own ruined marriage, these dilapidated structures too had been unable stand up to vagaries of time. Just like the moss covered stone walls, Bibi’s life too had stagnated to a point where it was well nigh impossible to start afresh. Monty’s entry in her life might have added a temporary splash of color, a ray of hope, but, just like that lone wildflower that Bibi picked, such relationships are ephemeral at best. Bibi’s sardonic smile then and her later weary walk up the lonely stairs said it all – the talkhiyan in her life were not coming to an end any time soon. Sanam owned the first 7 or so minutes of the 9th episode – she was fabulous!
And yes, speaking of Monty, where did our Nawab of Lucknow disappear? I hope he doesn’t vanish without saying goodbye to all of us! How cute were Zoyee and Jugnu with the box of chocolates that Monty had sneaked in to them. Loved Jugnu’s expressions as Zoyee spilled the beans to Bibi. Later too, Zoyee was brilliant when she whispered to Jugnu that Monty had given them the chocolates as a part of a nefarious scheme to make them sick. Monty you’d better come back to defend yourself against all these slurs on your neeyat! Sarmed Mirza was missed this week, but Sabina and Sagar are such superstars that they more than make up for anybody’s absence.
Any mention of Zoyee and Jugnu is incomplete without talking about their nemesis, Appo. Wow! this woman is beyond evil! The way she goes on and on about how the children will be abandoned by their mother is just beyond belief. Normally, I should have absolutely no issues absolutely hating this woman, but how can I? She is so unwittingly funny! A part of me wants to be re-incarnated and have the delusional Appo’s life, where kaam is all about massaging and painting one’s hands and feet! Can somebody give this woman a reality check?! I thought Hina Bayat was great before this, but here she is truly magnificent as Appo De Ville.
From the evil Appo, to the equally vicious, but infinitely more suave, and oh yeah, lets not forget thaka hua, Jaanu baba, it is like watching a pendulum swing, from one extreme to another – no wonder Mama-ji looks dazed most of the time. Just as Jaanu baba had ensconced himself at the top of my most hated characters’ list, particularly after last week, when he propositioned the unsuspecting female workers in his factory, the man showed some heart! The longing in his voice, as he talked about men missing their children too, was really touching. Adnan Jaffar has been brilliant in essaying the various shades of his very complex character.
The one thing I am appreciating more with every passing episode is Bee-Gul’s even-handed approach to all her characters, be they male or female. There are no clearly designated zaalims or mazlooms. After having seen glimpses of Paul in earlier episodes, I was fully prepared to dislike him on sight, and I did just that when I first saw him in this episode! I was compelled to change my mind, however, when I saw him trudging through the graveyard, making his way slowly up the hilly path and then come to a stop outside of Silverwood. The entire sequence was beautifully visualized. The shots of him outside, while the kids played merrily inside was heartbreaking – all he had to was just call out their names, but the effort with which he willed himself to turn away and not look back was very sensitively essayed. Summer Nicks is excellent as the once creepy but now somewhat-rehabbed Paul.
Last, but not the least – a collective cheer for Zoya! Yayyyyyy!!!! Finally the red shirt has been retired, and hopefully buried with full honors. So glad the poor girl got some sleep! I guess it would be expecting too much from those two crazy women to have fed her breakfast as well. For now, I’m just enjoying a more-rested Zoya. I love how seamlessly the narrative flows temporally, from Bibi to Zoya, from Zoyee’s bachpan to Zoya’s adulthood. Zoya’s narration has left me very intrigued, and I am looking forward to knowing more of what happened to the once close family unit of Bibi, Zoya and Jugnu. What happened to Bibi? How did Zoyee and Jugnu separate? When, if at all, is Monty returning? How does Baloo fit in to this already complicated scenario? Jugnu, you’d better be coming home soon – you’re sister’s been waiting long enough!
Though I’ve rambled on enough, it would be unfair to end without a special shout out to Naveed Malik, the DOP for Talkhiyan – fantastic work this!
Talkhiyan ~ Episode 9
Written by SZ~