Ullu Baraaye Farokht Nahin keeps going from strength to strength. This latest episode was yet another winner from Amna Mufti and Kashif Nisar – thoroughly enjoyed it! The fact that, even though it is based on one of Amna’s short stories, there are no spoilers floating out there makes this one so much more intriguing to watch. Not knowing what to expect when ensures that I am hooked and booked every Tuesday, eagerly looking forward to what is to unfold.
Unlike the last week, where people died left, right and center, this one was a relatively quieter episode. With Ghulam Fareed now formally installed as the head of the family it was no surprise to see him staking his claim as the the family elder. His conversations with each woman in the household, from his eldest sister to the lowly maid, ensured that all knew that things were no longer going to remain the same. An era had come to an end with Ghulam Yaqoob’s passing – Ghulam Fareed was now the lord and master.
Though he protested to the contrary and cried crocodile tears to pretend otherwise, this man is nobody’s fool, he very clearly knows what he wants – complete and absolute control. His one-on-one conversation with his lover/maid/keeper-of-secrets, Sajida, his quiet assurances and promises to his new bride Gul-e Rana, the complete about face in front of his elder sister Kaneez Fatima, and his underhanded effort to keep Asiya at home, all were instances that offered intriguing glimpses into the mind of a very complicated personality. Ghulam Fareed is a man difficult to understand, his every word contradicting his previous one. So far he’s made sure that nobody in the family knows about Nazeer Fatima’s fate, and has played his cards well-enough so that he three women in his life are left guessing as to his true intentions. For the fourth woman, Asiya, he seems to have set into motion a chain of events that do not bode well for her plans to fulfill her father’s desires and finish her MA in English Lit.
While Ghulam Fareed shows complete disregard for what any of the women around him want for themselves, he’s satisfied with imposing his will on them, on the other side of the village, his uncle Ghulam Ishaq proves that he too is cut from the same cloth, very much a member of the same family. Much like his nephew, he too shows an utter disregard for his own daughter’s well-being. He doesn’t seem to be losing any sleep over how she might be faring as a wife to a debauched man. All that matters to men in such feudal setups is that their izzat has been protected and old debts settled in what they perceive as an honorable manner.
While the crazed norms of a patriarchal society are well-known and much attention has been focused on women as victims in a feudal setup, what makes this serial so much more interesting is that while in the larger context these women may not have more value than sheep or cattle, none of them can be easily dismissed as becharis. The battle of wills between Sajida and Gul-e Rana, and the quiet but intense showdown between Gul-e Rana and Kaneez Fatima were superbly executed. Similarly, the way Kaneez Fatima coldly disregarded her brother’s dramatics, stood her ground and refused to back down to his demand to keep Asiya at home was a fabulous moment. I am really enjoying how the drama is being played out here, without any resort to loud voices, tears, or horrible background music. The director’s faith in the script and his sound aesthetic sensibility has a lot to do with the classy ambiance of the serial.
Another goose-bump worthy moment was that of the discovery of Nazeer Fatima’s body by Saleem Mairaj’s character. Beautifully shot, it was a telling moment indeed when the khala realizes what has happened, but decides to maintain her silence. Looking forward to seeing how and when the news of this murder leaks out; the reaction from the two families will certainly make for a riveting watch.
Overall, the entire team of Ullu Baraaye Farokht Nahin deserve a round of applause for bringing us something different. All the actors are doing a fantastic job. Saba Qamar, Uzma Hassan, Irsa Ghazal, Yamuna, Salim Mairaj, and of course Nauman Ijaz, all are bringing something extra to the table here. Sohail Ahmed left an impression in his brief stint today. We haven’t seen much of Nauman Masood or Omair Rana so far, but from the promos it seems like there is a lot yet to happen – waiting to see how it all pans out!
Written by SZ~