Aunn Zara ~ Episodes 2 and 3 Review


Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true ….

Never has this saying seemed as apt as it did today as apney becharey Aunn and Zara fell from the asmaan and got stuck in the metaphorical khajoor… no matter what they did and what they said, everything backfired as their respective family members failed to bite. Ignoring the hapless couple’s protestations to the contrary, the two families merrily continued with their taiyyaris and bilaakhar hamare chooze ke size ke dimagh waley Aunn sahab ek adad chewing gum chabati biwi ke shohar ban gaye… aap sab ko bohot bohot mubarak ho and can someone pass me those choharas please!

So here’s where we stand now … ek taraf we have the hero sahab who felt so suffocated with the attention being showered on him by the entire khandaan ki khawateen that he saw shaadi as an easy way out, a means of shifting the ladies’ attention away from him onto someone else. Doosri taraf we have apney fauji sahab ki eklauti beti, Zara. Much like her new husband she too boasts of a pea-sized brain, and just like Aunn she too had thought of marriage only in terms of escaping a regimented life and an over-protective father. Once the hypothetical rishta became a reality both the protagonists realized they had not thought through this whole shaadi thing quite as well as they should have. Magar, ab pachtaway kiya howat jab chiryan chug gayeen khet …

Zara’s careless dismissal of her husband’s admittedly bumbling overtures, particularly on a night poets write reams about, indicates very clearly that while on one level she is just the kind of wife Aunn thought he wanted, on the other hand though, this anokha ladla is so used to being the pampered by all his female rishtedars that his new biwi just might prove to be a bitter pill for him to swallow. Zara too is finding herself in a similarly awkward situation. Not having looked beyond Aunn’s loving and sweet family she now finds herself stuck in one bedroom with a man who’s a complete stranger to her, and a family that has already taken sides, ammi ji being the only one on her side. The hilarious wedding night sequence, with Nighat phupo and Daadi jaan eavesdropping ever so intently, sets up the premise beautifully for the coming episodes. New relationships, particularly marriages, are difficult enough to negotiate on their own, but then add in the tarka of a joint family with no concept of personal space and/or privacy and you know there are tons of laughs coming your way in future episodes.

While Aunn Zara is a riot, as the OST tells it the story is thori happy thori sad, and so even as I thoroughly enjoyed Aunn’s nerdy dance moves and smiled at daadi, phupo and chachi’s obvious happiness on the occasion of their beloved Aunn’s shaadi, I could not help but notice that the only person who seemed to holding herself back was Aunn’s mother. Ostensibly smiling and chattering away as much as the others, there is nonetheless something that weighs her down, something that keeps her from laughing openly or dancing as freely as the others. As much as I enjoyed the latest episode, for me the final scene was the most intriguing one. Here we have a woman who has been forced by circumstances to live a lie for a large part of her life. Now, with her son happily married off, can she finally shake off her burdensome past and live life on her own terms? Will her family and the duniya waley allow her the luxury of breathing freely once again?

This blend of thori khushi thora ghum makes Faiza Iftikhar and Haissam Hussain’s Aunn Zara a thoroughly engaging serial. I am really enjoying the brisk pace of story-telling and the witty one-liners. The story is meaningful without being preachy and many important issues are addressed subtly and humorously. Given the way the fabric of our society has been ripped apart in recent times by caste/ethnic/linguistic/social divisions, it is refreshing to see a serial celebrating these very differences in a positive manner rather than playing them up.

In terms of acting, Osman Khalid Butt is the perfect Aunn; his gestures, facial expressions, body language, down to those plaid shirts that he seems to have bought by the dozen, everything is just right. Maya Ali is aptly cute and beautiful, but her Zara so far seems to be an extension of her role in Cinderella, right down to her nail biting. I am hoping we get to see more variety in her expressions as her character plays out further. Actually more than Zara, I’m really enjoying her best friend Shehna. I haven’t seen Mahira Bhatty since her outing in Kuch Pyar Ka Pagalpan so I’m really enjoying her here. The other BFF, Manzar, is so very well-played by Mukarram Kaleem. As if Aunn is not stupid enough on his own, he has an even more idiotic friend in Manzar. The two guys share a fantastic chemistry and their scenes are so much fun to watch – loved their little dance on the roof in the second episode!

Among the senior actors, Adnan Jaffer is great as the rigid army dad, seemingly a hard nut to crack, but a man who willingly bends to ensure his only daughter’s happiness. Irfan Khoosat is his usual impeccable self. The little moment between the makholi daada ji and the salty daadi jaan was such a delight to watch. Sabreen Hisbani as the phupo and the chachi and chacha all have made their presence felt. Above and beyond all though, it is Nasreen Qureshi and Hina Bayat who are the heart and soul of the serial for me – they are fabulous!

Finally, a special shout out to the DOP Ilyas Kashmiri for bring Lahore alive so beautifully for those of us who’ve not have had the pleasure of exploring the nooks and crannies of this historic city. The locations are well-chosen and scenes have been beautifully set up to make the most of the lovely settings. The vibrant tones of stained glass atop the doors in the dining hall where Aunn and Manzar hatch their silly plans, the roof top where they dance, the arched doorways in Aunn’s house all add so much ambiance to the overall look and feel of the serial – very well done team AZ!

Written by SZ~

Aunn Zara ~ Episode 2

Aunn Zara ~ Episode 3


41 replies

  1. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou! It’s so strange and oh so inspiring to see that someone (namely you SZ) has been able to sense the subtle nuances and undertones I feared would get lost in the obvious madness of AZ! There is so much warmth and laughter all around and yet there is an emptiness in Husna that was difficult to convey – but you caught on!
    For me the relationship between Dadi and Husna is truly special and I can’t thank Nasreen apa enough for being a stellar co-actor. The same goes for Ami ka laadla – OKB really came through – we have some extraordinary scenes together as the story progresses. Bur truly I get my maximum laughs from Aunn and Manzar’s scenes – Osman and Mukarram are beyond brilliant together (sorry Zara jealous naa ho jaana Plz 😉 To be able to enjoy something as a viewer that you have been a part of is very rare but AZ has become a must watch for me. I too am looking forward to the ‘private’ scenes between Aunn and Zara (snoopy saas right Maya) and the lovably duh reactions of Nighat, Iqbal and Shabana! Love you All team AZ and All our viewers without who we are nothing!

    • @Hina: Lovely as always to hear from you 🙂 Glad to know I was not reading Husna wrong and making up my own story about her LOL… you have nailed her just right!
      You are so right about Frick and Frack aka Manzar and Aunn.. they are fabulous together! Husna-Daadi’s pairing is equally special as is the mother-son bond .. What I am really enjoying here is that there are no hero and heroines as such, rather each and every character is important and integral to the story … very well done by Faiza, Haissam and of course the actors!
      Fingers crossed now that the narrative does not lose steam and turn into a dragfest somewhere in the middle!

    • Hina jee,
      You look so beautiful as the simple Husna. You looked especially beautiful in the green mehndi jora, with the paranda hanging around the neck over your shoulder.
      Husna is so wise, calm & patient. Aunn didnt take these qualities from his wonderful mother. I guess he’s more like his dadhyal, hyper & loud. But he does take his good looks from his mother.

    • @Hina – glad to see you in a different role after the great, Appo in Talkhiyan! 🙂
      you are looking lovely as the very calm, and understanding Husna. Looking forward to see your role develop in the forthcoming episodes!
      Btw – the green you wore at the mehndi, is def your color! 🙂

  2. I am in Karachi and there is ni scene of drama watching which I find strange !!! Your review is making me BAYSABRA , first thing to do when I get back!

    • @Sheema: hahaha I so agree with you!!! While there I felt I was the only idiot, apart from a handful of like-minded friends, who kept on talking about Pakistani dramas!

    • So with you ladies! I don’t think people in Pakistan watch dramas regularly. If they do, I think it’s mainly Turkish and Sony ones. I met quite a few people who hadn’t even heard of Humsafar and Dastaan. I think Bulbulay was the only one I found that people knew about. Otherwise they are usually watching the news channels or Urdu1.

  3. The one liners, comedy timing, n Punjabi dialect all is so refreshing in Aun Zara ! Kudos to Farhat Ishtiaq for writing a humourus drama. Osman Ali Butt has great comic timing and the agitated expressions are hilarious.
    Hina khwaja byat looks so gorgeous ! I can’t take my eyes off her ! She potrays the elegant, graceful mother to aplomb .

    Looking forward to the series.

    • @Spirithum – The punjabi dialect is on point! I think that Daadi has nailed it. Some of the stuff she says is so funny! “Tu paikon ko bhool jayegi”

      And all her crazy rasams with the Chicken and Goat.

  4. Excellent analysis SZ.
    I can not state enough how much I love this play.
    A story about a simple family with witty one liners.
    The Direction is perfect. i too love the cafe in which these two idiots often dine.
    All the stars are acting so wonderfully its become hard for me to pick my favourite. All the four women in Aunn’s house share an amazing chemistry, so do Aunn & Manzar.
    Btw your comment about Aunn’s plaid shirts, I think thats OKB’s signature style, lol. Ive often seen him wearing plaid in various interviews. But he still looks adorable.
    Can’t wait for the next episode.

    • @Mona: Hey! Lovely to hear from you … LOL!! Now that you mention it OKB does wear those shirts a lot otherwise as well ..OOPS!! Its just that he wore so many of them in ep 2 that it was hard to ignore it as just a coincidence 😉 In any case, yes agree with you that its perhaps the only must watch show on TV these days!

  5. so nice to finally read your review SZ…
    Thoroughly enjoyable drama, I loved the chewing gum scene!LOL!!
    The acting is superb,love them all !!!

    • @Deeba: Hey! Yaar, sorry! chutti kuch ziada hi lambi ho gayi, khair this was more than enough and now no lambi vacations in the near future .. now if only we had some more good dramas to talk about!

      • Good u r back SZ 🙂
        Now u must catch up on ullu BFN and dil mohalley kee haveli , Bohot hee weird drama hai but im enjoying it !!

  6. @SZ – hi yaar! Kitne arse ke baad baatein ho rahi hai! How are yoU? I am not watching this serial, but maybe I’ll start now. Hope all is well! Not reviewing Silvatein anymore?

      • @Ash: so true yaar on silvatein being so boring and why dragging so much… Going in circles.. Till 14 it was so good..

    • @BSK: Hey girl!! I’m well and happy to be back .. missed all our fun gup shup … how are you doing? What are you watching these days? No, not given up on Silvatein, it just took me a while to catch up on the missing eps.. posted the latest review .. will look forward to reading your comments 🙂 Yes, indeed AZ is one of the best things on TV these days and is such a welcome break from all the other same old same old…

  7. A great comeback review SZ 🙂 your review always give another aspect of episode that is gone unnoticed by me.. so yes which means watching drama along with your review makes it more exciting and happening!

    Coming to episode.. it was yet another enjoyable episode though less laughable comparatively… all actors are just perfect in their characters.. but as you said Dadi and Husna are charm of the serial.. Nasreen Qureshi and Hina Bayat have simply ace it 🙂

    Dance steps of Aunn, sacrificing ring game for Zara, dadi’s dialogue when zara won the game… these all were my favourite moments…:) and yes eavesdropping of dadi and nighat.. LOL!

    good part is they don’t show precap and keep us on edge on waiting for thursday 😀

    • @Rehmat: Aww.. thank you! Glad you enjoyed the review .. must confess it was very hard to write this one, now realizing how quickly one gets rusty!

  8. Just finished watching the third episode.

    What a fun drama . Reminds me of Akbhari Asghari.

    I love how , Aunn and Zara both tried to get out of this wedding with no luck whatsoever. Are they both seriously that dumb…Becharay.

    Aunn handing the ring to Zara, was really sweet. I guess he is not as stupid as he acts, but she on the other hand needs some serious help. Was the gum bubble really that necessary.

    Is it just me, or , are Manzhar and Zara’s friend about to get married really soon?

    They are about to have a lot of fun post marriage now! and why was the Phupho eavesdropping.

    Glad to have you back , SZ! Your reviews make the dramas so much more fun, except most dramas nowadays are really boring! =\

    • @Ash: Hey! So agree with you on all dramas being so boring these days 😦 The only one thing that I’m even remotely thinking about starting is Vasay Chaudhry’s Ramzan drama Yeh Shaadi Nahin Ho Sakti … Though I have no real hopes from it, it stars the annoying Urwa, and the promos bear a little too close a resemblance to the Baraat series, I will give it one serious dekho…

    • the Phuppo eavesdropping is such a Phuppo thing to do when you have a ladla iklota nephew. Reminds me of one of my phuppos wanting to go on a cousin’s honeymoon trip with him and his wife LOL oh us desis are so interesting!

      • @ Annie: LOL! And how can we forget Asghar and Akbari’s unforgettable honeymoon, when Bayji accompanied them to Murree, smashing all of apna bechara Asghar’s dreams of singing songs and running around trees ala a Yash Chopra hero!

  9. WELCOME BACK!! It is so good to have your reviews back again. Tumharereviews ke baghair review land Bohat sona sona ho Gaya tha.
    After silvatein’s severe disappointment this is the only drama that is going good so far and does not involve the digest ladies favorite characters of dunya ki maari hui aurat and born to be evil mard. We know the ending will be super rushed and somewhere in the middle things will go bit haywire because this is a Faiza Iftikhar writing but I’ll enjoy it as long as I can. Agree with ou on all counts. Hoping Zara shakes off her Cinderella persona and does this differently but the other characters are so strong around her that her weak acting doesn’t put a big dent on the viewing. Oh and I wish sabreen toned it down a bit. Thanks for reminding me that Shehna is the KPKp gal I was trying to place her lol
    Absolutely loved Husna’s jhumkis on the mehndi! Must be from Hina’s personal collection.
    Request – can someone translate Daadi’s one-liners please? This week I could not understand any of the Punjabi thru the context 😦 thank you!

    • @Annie: Hey!! It’s good to be back .. missed all our conversations and impassioned discussions, particularly when I was watching Behad at home and nobody else around me seemed to give two hoots about it LOL!
      Completely agree with you about Silvatein ..just posted a long, read very disappointed, review on it .. 😦 Lets just hope this one stays on track.
      And as @Ash said, we’d be happy to chip in and translate if you tell us what scenes/lines ..

      • thank you SZ and Ash for volunteering your services! I went back to find the dialogues and I think I got most of them on the 2nd listen so I am good for now 🙂

  10. Hey SZ and friends! Finally got down to commenting but you’ve all said all that’s to be said. Aapka review b’jaa hai- as always. Love the show- breath of fresh air amongst the rest of the typical programs around. And I love the punjabi touch- am a fan of Nasreen Qureshi/ Faiza Iftikhar/ Haissam Hussain brand of punjabi humour. But the shusta urdu is great too 🙂
    The wedding night sequence was hilarious- bravo to all! Look forward to more…

  11. I agree with you. Faiza Iftikhar has addressed the issues really well, she has totally nailed the script 🙂
    Loved Aunn’s dance at the roof 😀 the chemistry between Aunn and Manzar is amazing, loved to watch their scenes 😛
    P.S. top notch review as always (:

  12. Seems like he’s got an iklota dost too.. But what a dost he is!! Where would be our Aunn without his Ullu of a langotia yaar! ROFL..the duo is just too freakin funny!! … ghairat/meri hone wali biwi scene, and picture me with ur bhabhi talk.. & then The ”iklota damad” inkishaf scene OMG I’m in stitches!!!
    @ SZ Then I read ur review and that’s equally funny!! ”aap sab ko bohot bohot mubarak ho and can someone pass me those choharas please!”…My husband thinks I’ve gone mad!

    Hina was brilliant as ususal. Just goes to show how versatile she is! truly talented! And dadijis’ ”Kashmir jit liya ai” and phuppo’s evesdropping…the anda on the susar scene..the inkishaf and…the backfiring.. Im loving it all!

    Oh and the truly long awwwwwww scene.. the ring rasam.. that was soooo cute.. but straight afterwards comes the bubblegum bride! blow the bubble in your face bride! lolol….. Poor Aunn!

  13. Comparing Neelum & Zara… N’s pajama bride vs the chewing gum bride! And N dostee nibhaaing with Amtul vs Zara & Husna… mmm And Wali finding freind in Mj vs Our Aunn with… Manzar??,.. Hodood ordinance giftugoo!! lololol

    • ROFL @MJ and Manzar jori!!!! Now thats a match made in heaven!!!

      Btw, after you’re done with this, check out Silvatein and comment on those threads … that was a funny serial as well, but in a diff kind of a way.. sadly that one derailed in the last five six eps but still worth a dekho .. I had a lot of fun with those reviews as well!!

  14. Oh i watched that before came across ur blog. But ill read the comments.. I agree that one started off really well but went a bit pear-shaped towards the end.. that lamboo actress and her budhdhu mian.. and the journalist freind..the comments will be even funnier I bet! Gosh I’ve got a long to-do-list now! lol

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