The second chapter in the saga of the feuding Malkana brothers was as gripping as the one before, as I thoroughly enjoyed the luxurious ambiance and the extra-ordinary attention to detailing. In recent times, after Talkhiyan, this is yet another serial where the makers have succeeded in creating a whole other universe which sucks you right in. The richly etched out characters, the complex but gripping screenplay, intense acting, the superb cinematography, spot-on editing, and the beautifully utilized sets and locales give this serial a very polished look, allowing viewers to enjoy the unfolding narrative without getting caught up in the whys and wherefores.
Today we got more of an insight into how a feudal lord’s mind works. Nothing or no one is allowed to come in the way once sights are set on a particular goal. Ghulam Fareed’s blasé attitude on hearing of his father’s murder, or even the news that he would never be able to see his sister again, is indicative of how little value human life or for that matter familial relationships hold for such a character. For them money and power is all that matters the most.
Likewise, Ghulam Ishaq has absolutely no qualms in getting rid of his newly-married daughter-in-law. Without a second thought he orders her shot; perhaps even an annoying macchar would merit more consideration from him before it was swatted down. The way he dismisses his own daughter, when his son tries to explain the consequences if his actions, is very telling of a woman’s place in this male dominated hierarchy. That the newly bereaved son acquiesces to his father’s completely ignorant explanation, of why Nazeer Fatima had to die, despite knowing better, is very telling of how deeply ingrained these feudal values are. It is all about preserving the man’s honor and his izzat, no matter how high the cost. A long dead son’s murder has to be avenged even if many years later, but a daughter is easily handed over to the enemy – who cares what happens to her. A woman’s life has no value and no merit in this patriarchal world.
In most parts of the civilized world, a higher social status would afford more agency to the woman, her elite background empowering her to have at least a say, if not more, in decisions impacting her life. What we get though in this feudal setup is a complete opposite. The saucy maid has more freedom to make a play for the man she desires, she comes and goes at will, and talks to whoever she wants. In contrast, the bibis, the daughters of both Malkana brothers have absolutely no say in where their lives are headed, a harsh fact of life that even a lowly maid understands, when she easily dismisses them as bhairain, sheep.
Ghulam Fareed’s dastaar bandi, the public pronouncement of his succession to the late Ghulam Yacoob’s position as the family elder, was one of the scenes that stood out for me. The hypocrisies underlining that moment, as the chacha bhatija buried the hatchet, had to be seen and heard to be believed. So much of Ghulam Ishaq’s blustering reminded me of the political rhetoric we see on our TV screens everyday. The conversation that follows, between Ghulam Ishaq and Ghulam Fareed, heralds the founding of an unholy alliance between the two patently evil men. I guess future episodes will reveal the far-reaching implications of this private one-on-one. Meanwhile Ghulam Fareed is now the head of the family, and god help the women of his household.
Yes, this was an action packed episode indeed. Much happened and many hints were laid out for what is to come. Even as we got better acquainted with many characters, there are many that still await a formal introduction. How, for instance, do the characters of Nauman Masood and Saleem Mairaj fit in to this already complex story? What role, if any, will Gulam Ishaq’s son Ghulam Ali play here? How will Nargis Rasheed’s character play out? How will Omair Rana’s role as the urbane English professor fare in the feudal set up of this story?
So far, Amna Mufti and Kashif Nisar, and the cast and crew have me hooked. Here’s to hoping that Ullu Baraaye Farokht Nahin maintains this high standard of storytelling and keeps us engaged till the very end. Looking forward to next week.
Written by SZ~