Talkhiyan ~ Episode 11 Review

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In 1835, presenting his views to the British Parliament, on the education policy for “the intellectual improvement” of the “comparatively ignorant natives” of India, Thomas Babington Macaulay stated, “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, a class of persons Indian in blood and color, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.” For Macaulay, this notion, of training Indians to eventually become “fit vehicles for conveying [rational and modern] knowledge to the great mass of the population,” was integrally tied in to his larger mission to civilize India. Over time, Macaulay’s vision, to create a class of anglicized Indians who would serve as cultural intermediaries between the British and the Indians, was not only realized, but so internalized by the natives themselves, that there came into existence a new social class. These Indians imbibed the belief that their relative proximity to the British, their education, wealth and affectation afforded them a level of prestige that set them apart from the hoi polloi. In short, they were the brown sahabs, and therefore inherently superior to the aam junta.

Fast forward a century or so and meet the Silverwood people – our very own living, breathing brown sahabs, the barey aadmi. The recently departed Sir Agha ji, a scientist, Mama ji, his violin playing widow, Appo ji, his aristocratic sister, his Oxonian son, the “comrade” Jaanu baba, and his daughter Bibi, who is obsessed with teaching her children propah manners, all relics from another era. While all are as different from each other as chalk and cheese, the one thing that separates them from the rest of the townspeople is their innate belief that they are actually a class apart. Hence Bibi’s constant admonitions to her children, to not blow spit bubbles and behave like cultured people, and Appo ji’s irritation with the neech log, and the maamooli midwife’s daughter, with whom Jaanu baba not only deigns to “relax,” but also has the temerity to offer her chai in Mama ji’s finest china! How dare he hang out with such unattractive (literally and figuratively) women?!

Appo ji’s ire, though funny, is not only reminiscent of Macaulay’s pompousness, but also reflective of the deeply entrenched divisions in contemporary society. Today, perhaps more so than ever before, these differences appear insurmountable, primarily because these are not just economic in nature, but have evolved over time to become an intrinsic part of our moral and social fabric. Education, which ought to have brought us out of our backward looking ways and introduced us to modernity, seems to have only deepened preexisting class divisions, where speaking the Queen’s English and spouting Shakespeare is valued more than being a good human being. Relationships, rather than being based on mutual love and respect, appear to be more and more based on making the right connections, and of course, ensuring the continuity of the brown sahab silsila by producing an heir from an equally pedigreed mother. Enter Nawab Monty.

Prince Monty, so suave and charming, was seemingly the answer to all of Bibi’s woes. Alas! He turned out to be as evil as the silver-tongued Jaanu baba and the snow queen Appo ji. Elitist to the core, all he eventually cared about was securing his wife’s jaidaad and ensuring that his nawabi superwoman of a wife could fulfill her khawahish for aulad. Gloriously oblivious to how he was trampling over Bibi’s sense of self, Monty kept on rambling and rationalizing his decision to marry this guaranteed fertile woman…  Argh!! Monty had better not cross my path any time soon!!!

Sarmed Mirza was fabulous as the toofan ki soorat aaya aur ghubar ki tarah bikhar gaya Monty. As a maiden outing this was definitely an applause worthy performance. His nuanced portrayal of this eventually asinine character had us initially rooting for the gentlemanly Monty, the hapless lover who had had a crush on Bibi since his bachpan, one who gave Bibi hope, that there was perhaps a way out of the darkness engulfing her life, one who promised her the sun, the moon and the stars, … and then …. sigh! All I can say is that my frying pan has a standing date with Mr. Monty’s perfectly coiffed head.

This was an episode of endings and beginnings. Monty’s exit from the lives of the Silverwood people might have been felt much more acutely, were it not for Baloo’s entry, Kamoo’s long lost son, the kisaan leader. The children have already warmed up to him; Zoyee’s pause, to peer in to Monty’s jeep, and then merrily continuing on along her way signified, that for the children at least, Monty was a closed chapter in their life. Baloo’s utlity to the Silverwood people has been effectively established by the writer and director. Much as she hates him for his less than illustrious credentials, our brown sahaba Appo ji is forced to ask the man to fix her bathroom shower —hai Appo ji! Kin kin kami kaminon ko bardasht karna parta hai aap ko! Hina Bayat is simply outstanding as the very colorful Appo ji!

With Baloo all set to rile them up against Jaanu baba’s injustice and exploitation, will the proletariat rise to voice their claim against their mai baap? Ironically enough, though the Silverwood people view themselves as a step above, they are no better than the rest when it comes to dealing with women. Rather than hurtling abuses at Monty, as they rightly should have, they see Bibi as the antagonist. Faced with what she perceives as yet another rejection by her family, where does Bibi go from here? Though very much a part and parcel of the elitist Silverwood clique, Bibi is also its most vocal critic. Is this latest incident going to be the proverbial last straw that broke the camel’s back? Looking forward to seeing how the brown sahabs rally around to protect their turf and territory. Eagerly awaiting the next installment of the Silverwood saga!

Talkhiyan ~ Episode 11

Written by SZ~

25 replies

  1. Lovely review as always !
    Monty has really disappointed everyone !
    Btw where is Aiyee ?
    I was dreading the part where Bibi was going to leave the kids and go off with Monty for a few days , Appo would have been ultra cruel !
    Shukar hai uss ki nobat nahin aayee…


    • @Deeba: Yea, Monty bas bekaar hi niklaa 😦 Chalo har kaaam main bhalayi .. Bibi ke naa jaane sey bacchon ki bacchat hogayi!
      Yeah, you’re so right .. where is Aayee? I wonder how she’s dealing with the fact that Jaanu baba is now “relaxing” with younger women…


  2. My SZ how do you write so well 🙂 What a wonderful review!
    I haven’t watched the epi yet but your review reminded me a bit of Dastaan when Bano goes to teach the “english medium” kids and they have these non-desi names and purposely don’t talk in Urdu. From 1950s to now times have not changed one bit.
    So Monty did turn out to be our typical Pakistani dramay ka mard as we had expected last week. *sigh* when will I get my good Pakistani man in a drama that is not some loser or a momma’s boy. The “men are evil” streak continues! Maybe some writer will take notice and finally show men in a better light. Otherwise there is always Coke Kahani and Tanhaiyan to rely on :p


    • Thanks! You’re so right about that family in Dastaan, exactly the same situation ..
      Yeah, Monty bas Monty hi nikla 😦 Looking forward to reading your thoughts after you watch it 🙂


    • @Annie – yep umeedan were crushed and Monty turned out to be typical.
      As far as you hoping to see the unexpected, well keep your hopes alive! The day will come one day, just dont know when….

      Thanks for turning out to be a loser, Monty!!


  3. I haven’t seen this ep so far but your review was so good, it was as if I was actually watching the show 🙂 SZ aap ki angrezi behtar ho rahi hai ….koshish jari rakhen 😉


  4. Ugh Monty how could you??? So disappointed in you…poor bibi!!!.
    I can just imagine what her family would be saying, you are divorced, have two kids…who else is gonna marry you, so what if his wife needs a child…and so on.
    Funny thing is they all act aristocratic,, we love the British and are so above everyone else …but still have the typical small minded desi thinking. Hypocrites galore at silverwood!!

    Your review was beautiful, loved it!! Thank You!


    • @SK – yes the hypocrisy is in pretty much everything they say. The upper class aristocrats of Silverwood, but prefer the boy over the girl. its always the girls fault. Who cares if there is abuse in the relationship please put up with it for the rest of your life (Bibi and Mama)
      And only men have needs so its okay for anyone to stop by, but a woman cannot take a stroll after hours, bc “log kya kehenge”

      As you rightly said, ‘hypocrites galore at Silverwood”. But I love how everyone still does whatever they please no matter what anyone says to them! 😀


  5. Amazing Review!!!! enjoyed reading 🙂
    oh this episode was such a feel-bad one for could you do this Monty..same old mentality.. 😦 but on other hand it was great to see Baloo finally.. and his gelling up with kidos.. beautifully shown!
    My favorite Appo ji is truly a piece.. i try to hate her but i couldn’t 😀 loving the pace of drama.. every single episode gets you hooked! i so wish we could see the cast sharing their off screen chemistry in their morning show!
    and how many episodes in total?


    • @Rehmat – With Appo its a love hate relationship. You wanna choke her one second but the next laugh at her witty remarks! I for one am a fan.

      Yes me also wondering how many episodes of this drama.

      RE: Morning show? kuch zyada umeedain mat rakho.. Express Ent ki marketing team abhi so rahi hai…does Express even have a morning show? !


      • @Ash: Lol :d u always make me laugh so hard.. Yeah thats true about appo ji

        You won’t believe i actually googled to see if Express channel has any morning show, so yes they do have with name Rambo, Sahiba aur Aap:)


  6. No words to praise the review. This is such an excellent piece of writing!! Cannot get enough of reading it!!

    So Monty was as predictable as ever. Well wishful thinking didn’t get us too far and there was no true love in his appeal at all.
    Gives a lot of insight to both Monty’s character as well as Bibi’s. He was looking for his own motives and Bibi was looking for happiness. It’s no wonder she is as cold as shown. Horrible marriage experience, walks out with two kids, finds hope in an ex lover and yet again betrayed… After all this how she still manages to separate from the kids, well i guess we will have to wait and see what turn of events will lead to that.

    Monty had come so far, do aur minute chup behta to it would have sealed the deal. Bibi had practically signed the nikkah papers and bamm he spoke too soon. Makes me wonder if the nikkah was done what would have happened. LOL.

    Ok so since that is not the case, the return of this Baloo is going to be interesting. How important is he and what’s his role in their life?
    Btw – I wish someone would have given more thought to the names of the characters in this play. The only normal name is of Zoya’s. What is up with the rest of them???

    As evil as Appo may be, but wow that woman always has a point and is right most of the time. What kind of crack is Jaanu smoking, sitting and having tea parties with the lower class workers from his factory? LOL. I actually thought Appo was going to go snap at that woman but she really held back, and Baloo disgusts her but she has no problem using him for her own purposes. She is so wickedly hilarous.

    It is so difficult to pick a favorite character out of this group as they all outdue themselves in every episode, well my favorite is def not Monty or Jaanu baba but between the kids, older zoyee, Bibi and Appo: love them all! Such very weill written character, all so relatable in some way…


  7. Monty bechara kya kerta, Appo ji ne acha moqa dhoonda tha yeh mauzoo chairnay ka. Aur Bibi bhi to bus na kernay ke liye taiyaar baithi thi. Khair jo hua so hua … ab Bibi ka kya ho ga, kya khayal hai?


    • @Sarmed: Appo is always looking to start trouble. Monty should have known and waited ke at least woh papers toh sign karle…

      Khair, your loss mister Monty, and BIbi was not looking for excuses. She was actually pretty happy
      Ab bechari wapis depression me chali jayegi… =\


  8. SZ … aapka review kamal tha. Such insights into the history are valuable as the mentality left behind by the British is still sooo deep seated


    • Thanks Sarmed, glad you enjoyed it. Apologies for such a nasty send off for Mr Monty, but no matter how much you defend him, Mr. Monty was asking for it! 😉
      Even though your character’s gone, I hope you will continue following and commenting on the thread.


      • Of course … Even though I have read the script, I am intrigued how the story unfolds on the screen and can’t wait for the next episode and the review. Thanks to you SZ there is a forum to discuss this serial and connect with those who are watching.

        Monty ko apni bar bar ke badlay jo milna tha mil gaya … yaani kuch nahin … from Bi Bi … I am sure Monty loved Bi Bi … lekin Bi Bi ko uski mohabbat per yaqeen nahin aya … uski beniyaati per foran a gaya … yeh silverwood ki duniya itni seedhi kahan hai keh ab Monty bhi seedha nikalta …


  9. I didn’t see this for the longest time since i didn’t want it to ruin God of Small things for me. But i am glad I did because this drama has a very different feel to it. At times i forget that it’s an adaptation as it feels very original. Firstly, I am glad the writer decided to do the flash back in chronological order. In the book, the entire flash back is a stream of thoughts which works beautifully in a book but would have been very confusing in a serial. btw SZ READ the BOOK! it is a piece of art.

    a few qualms about the drama:
    – why can’t ppl call others by the proper relationship? why do the kids call their mom bibi? etc . this is where, the playwright unnecessarily picked up something from the book that doesn’t quite fit into the drama script.

    – Janubaba is a well educated,well off man. I find it very hard to digest that he’d sexually exploit his mom’s “maasi” who happens to be twice his age or sleep with the female workers in the factory.


    • @Sonia: Glad you’re onboard with this one and enjoying it. I have read the original, several times in fact, but as I have said earlier and you also commented, this one is worthy of being enjoyed and appreciated on its merit.

      Re: Jaanu baba and the women … I don’t know about Bee Gul’s take, but I know from my experience with a lot of landed elites in Pakistan, that even though these guys are educated abroad and very sophisticated etc, they have absolutely no qualms in indulging in similar activities; it is simply taken as a given that they will always have a girl/woman or two on the side, even though they might be married etc …

      I hope we’ll continue hearing more from you on this thread 🙂


  10. @SZ – your description regarding class system is too good !
    n today’s episode –
    jab bibi said ki ‘ tumhari superwoman ye shaadi karne degi’ n monty replied ki’ye usika mashwara tha ‘! why bibi left that conversation inbetween !! use usi waqt sab clear krna tha ! khair, as expected shaadi nai hui ! But monty is not only insensitive but stupid as well – at the time of nikah itni detail me sab kahega to ye to hona hi tha !
    i liked doll house scene !
    n yes sanam saeed look so beautiful in every scene why she is mentioned even as average looking girl !
    and i guess last part of this episode we will be shown tonight !!
    (PS- ur reviews are always awesome – take this line for granted for all my comments 🙂 )


  11. IMO Bibi wanted to believe that Monty truly loved her and that’s why she did not probe him when he let it slip that it was his wife’s suggestion to marry Bibi. Also Monty knew that it would not sit well with Bibi and hence never did tell her outright his real reasons for marrying her. But guess at the time of nikaah he could not contain himself and ended up self-congratulating himself a second too early.

    Ah and as for Bibi, in spite of her talkh outlook towards life and her tough exterior, she was hopelessly hopeful…looking for the ever elusive love that had always eluded her.


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