Silvatein, the latest offering from Six Sigma Entertainment, initially caught my attention because it was written by Samira Fazal, boasted the return of the hot pair of Aamina Shaikh and Adeel Husain, from Mora Piya, and brought back one of my favorite TV abbas, Mohammad Ahmed. Along with these personal favorites, Silvatein also held out the promise of bringing something fresh to our TV screens in the form of debutante director Shehrazade Sheikh, who has worked with Mehreen Jabbar in the past, the seldom seen Daniyal Raheel, and the introduction of a new face, Mira Sethi. This blend of something old something new, along with a beautifully penned and very well-sung OST, was enough to ensure that I would at least check out the first episode.
Frankly speaking, I sat down with little or no expectations from the first installment. After all, there has to be a limit to the ways in which one can spin the same formula of two feuding sisters. Aamina Shaikh is on her third two-sister saga, one of which, Mirat-ul Uroos, is airing simultaneously with this one. Samira Fazal’s Bari Apa also follows the same trend. So, yes, while I was/am disappointed that rather than breaking new ground, producers and channel heads chose to back yet another version of the same, old same old, I have to say that to my surprise I enjoyed the first episode. Despite my apprehensions, I found myself sucked into the story because of the witty, intelligent lines, well-etched characters, the snappy pace of the narrative, and good acting – very nicely done by director Shehrazade Sheikh!
Zaib and Natasha are two sisters who live their lives constantly trying to one up the other. Aamina Sheikh and Mira Sethi have great camaraderie and chemistry with each other. Mira was very good in her first outing today and Aamina was impeccable as always. What I liked here was that rather than being stark opposites, both sisters are equally bad or good, depending on which team you choose to back. Samira’s ability to write interesting and relatable characters really shines through here. I was smiling at the breakfast table scene where the maan-na-maan-main-teri-mehman phupo was insulting her bhabhi with carefully worded compliments – I guess this is is what classical writers meant when they wrote of makhmal main lapait kar jootey maarna. The fact that the husband appeared clueless, perhaps willfully so, of his wife’s ire at her tareef and izzat afzai was really funny. Parveen Akbar as the now-permanent-house-guest phupho, Rabia Naureen as the beleaguered wife and Mohammad Ahmed as the aankh-kaan-band shohar are all in great form here.
Overall this was an entertaining and engaging first episode. We got a look into the lives of a fairly comfortable middle-class family of two daughters and their indulgent parents. Zaib the older daughter is working, whereas the younger Natasha has apparently finished her studies and is hanging around trying to look for some direction in her life. Both sisters have their share of complexes and insecurities, and both are equally lovable with their own quirks and nuances. Natasha has a boyfriend, whereas Zaib seems unattached at the moment, although her coworker, Vasay Chaudhry, a far cry from his Bobby Dee character, seems to be interested in her. The episode ended with the prospect of an overseas rishta for Zaib.
While I do not expect Silvatein to be the next best thing after sliced bread, I do think this one has the potential to be an engaging mid-week serial. The fact that Silvatein actually has an interesting story, rather than merely being an endless lecture about how to be an ideal bahu and beti, means that it gets my vote for now. Here’s to hoping that it stays on track and does not devolve into yet another aansoo-on bhari dukhi dastaan. Looking forward to the second installment and Adeel Husain’s entry!
Written by SZ~