So, despite all their protestations to the contrary, sab ki aankhon ka taara Aunn and the fauji sahab ki eklauti beti Zara ki shaadi ho hi gayi. Episodes 4 n 5 zoomed in to provide a closer look at the first few of days of TV land’s masoom tareen couple’s married life. Aunn and Zara are so naïve and unversed in the ways of the world ke they have no idea of what this whole shaadi business they were so gung ho about entailed. Trying to escape what they had perceived as “difficult” circumstances, living life as the cynosure of their families’ attention, both are gradually finding out that the nitty-gritty details married life are not quite as simple as they had initially seemed. While they did manage to eke a pinhole worth of a breathing space within their respective families, they now have to deal with a whole new set of problems.
Kahan tau so far Aunn’s problems in life had revolved around the over protective ladies in his family and hamare hero sahab was fed up of their hovering, and ab kahan yeh naubat agayi ke laadley miyan ki apni biwi has shown him a No Lift ka sign. Not only is Zara unfamiliar with all the 19th c, literary manuals on how to be a good wife, one who know’s her place vis-à-vis her husband, but she also has the temerity to show him up by being unafraid of those dastardly cockroaches and breezily fixing blown fuses, all without missing a step. As if all this was not enough, to add insult to injury, Aunn has to not only nurse a bumped nose, but also leave the protective char diwari of his own house and go spend an entire day with his in-laws. Once there, he not only has to suffer the ignominy of falling off a bike, jog at ungodly hours, but also eat his meals at fixed times! Aww! Bechara baccha … itna zulm!! As if his own family was not enough, now Aunn has to deal with his daday of a father-in-law as well. Osman Khalid Butt is pretty much perfect as Aunn – can’t think of anyone else doing as much justice to Faiza Iftikhar and Haissam Hussain’s anokha ladla of a hero.
Zara too is gradually figuring out that marital life is not just about the sweet loving susralis, rather they are the free part of the buy-one-get-one free deal. Hence even as she is gradually winning over her in-laws, one lady at a time, she is also having to deal with her shohar of a husband. Ab if a husband hogs the bed and snores loudly then how is the bechari biwi supposed to sleep? Us ka tau araam waraam sab haraam ho gaya na! Upar se Aunn keeps criticizing for her less than neat-nick habits, while he himself has no problems throwing about wet towels and walking around the bedroom in a state of near undress – ab how is a girl supposed to deal with such a husband?! Maya Ali is aptly cute and gradually growing on me as Zara.
What I love about Aunn Zara that it is not just the story of the lead pair, rather what we have here is a skillfully interwoven story of three generations. One of my favorite scenes in the previous episode was one that involved Aunn’s daadi and Zara’s daada. Nasreen Qureshi and Irfan Khoosat are in a league all their own and the chemistry between the pair is absolutely fabulous. The lakri ki kanghi scene was hilarious! Another couple I really enjoy watching is Husna and Daday, as daadi affectionately refers to Zara’s dad. I don’t think they are paired together in this serial, but the two parents make for an interesting study of contrasts. Zara’s dad is an army officer, a seemingly hard man, but once you get past the gruff exterior he’s a complete softie. It was heart wrenching to see this very disciplined guy break all his own rules and show up early, not once but twice at Zara’s in-laws’ house – all because he missed his little girl! Much as he may protest otherwise, when it comes to his only daughter, this father is no different than all the other dads out there.
Juxtaposed against the softhearted dad is Aunn’s demure mother, Husna. While she is indeed soft-spoken, Husna is no pushover. She is a woman who picks and chooses her battles carefully. The soft but firm manner with which she dealt with the issue of Aunn spending the night at Zara’s parents’ house was a beautiful illustration of how she must have carved out her place in this crazy household. Even as Nighat phupo and Shabana chachi lay it all out there, Husna keeps her thoughts to herself. Apart from Aunn Zara’s story, her’s is the other track I’m really looking forward to seeing develop. Adnan Jaffer and Hina Bayat are so much fun to watch here. I wonder if it would be considered incestuous if I were to suggest that some enterprising producer cast Appo ji and Jaanu baba together as a romantic pair? Needless to say Adnan Jaffer and Hina Bayat are excellent as the samdhis.
Among the rest of Aunn’s crazy family, Sabreen Hisbani is great, though a tad bit OTT, as the kooky Nighat phupo. Though we got a bit of her hilarious talaaq wali kahani khud us ki zabani today, I’m still quite curious about this woman. Is she really as dumb as she seems? Surely, there are hidden depths to this woman… if so, then why haven’t we seen any hints yet? So far, apart from her almost unhealthy obsession with Aunn, she does seem to enjoy flirting with daday sahab. Lets see where that flirtation leads to, if at all it does. And while on Nighat phupho, hey, where are her two girls? They are such cuties! Can we get them back please – lice n all?!
The fifth episode also marked the return of Iqbal chacha – how hilarious was the scene between Yasir Mazhar and Nasreen Qureshi as she lay there complaining about stomach flutters even as she had a dupatta tied on her forehead. Manzar, the Frick to Aunn’s Frack, was also back this week, dispensing more of his totally useless mashwaras. Mukarram Kaleem and Osman Khalid Butt have to be one of the hottest TV joris around these days. Shehna, Mahira Bhatty, was also back this week. While Shehna is so much more sensible than that chichora Manzar, I am still rooting for them to get together as a pair -perhaps then Shehna can talk some sense into Manzar’s pea-sized brain.
Faiza and Haissam’s Aunn Zara continues to be the one bright spot in our otherwise dreary TV lineup. Without resorting to loud slapstick, lewd insinuations and crude one-liners, while keeping the romance and intimate moments all kosher, the team of Aunn Zara is succeeding beautifully in their endeavor to provide us with wholesome entertainment. My one complaint, if it may be called that, is that episodes don’t seem to have a freeze point, rather they tend to conclude without any proper buildup to a hook, leading up to the next episode. It is almost as if the episodes are being cut off arbitrarily, perhaps keeping the time constraints in mind. Both last week and this week, I kept waiting for further parts to upload before I realized that the episode had just ended, fizzled away rather, leaving me a with a tishnagi of sorts. This minor peeve aside, I am totally enjoying the Aunn Zara laugh-a-thon, and eagerly looking forward to the next installment!
Written by SZ~
Aunn Zara ~ Episode 4
Aunn Zara ~ Episode 5