This is probably the first time with Aunn Zara where I walked away without a satisfied, wah kya episode tha feeling. Though there were plenty of lovely moments sprinkled throughout – loved daadi ji’s reminisces about daada ji marhoom’s tariqas to manao her, smiled at Manzar’s unfazed chichorapan as he line-maaroed Shehna, and felt apna bechara Aunn’s frustration as he ran from pillar to post trying to find ways to jump-start his badly stalled pyar ki kahani – nonetheless the been-there-done-that-feeling lingered throughout. The slow pace, the fact that nothing “new” happened today and the by now all too familiar random ending, all came together to make this the one that fell just short of the finish line.
Continuing from where he left off last week, now that he’s made up his mind that he is interested in Zara, Aunn continued to bumble his way through to make his place in his wife’s heart. Again following pir saeen Manzar’s advice Aunn decided to take Zara out for a movie date. Sadly though, much like the frustrating khandaani dinner last week, this time around too ulti aanten galey par gayeen as the evening ended disastrously with Zara getting her forehead stitched. Bechari Zara! The one good thing that came out of this fiasco was Zara’s unexpected defense of Aunn….seems like fauji sahab’s tomboyish daughter is just about ready to lose her heart to the khandan ka eklauta chashm o chiragh, Aunn.
Of course, before any of the dil lena aur dil dena business can even begin, there are many a slips between the cup and lip. First daadi ji unknowingly plays the villain in this yet-to-start love story, and then Aunn messes up the plot even further when he places flowers next to a very allergic Zara’s nose. Given the whole lack of privacy bit, it is by default then that all the romantic encounters between our newly-wed couple take place in the bedroom, and here much as Haissam might try otherwise, unfortunately now, after five or so weeks since Aunn and Zara’s marriage, all these scenes shot within the confines of that one room are beginning to look the same. The scene where Aunn fretted over his decision to apologize seemed never-ending, particularly since the punch line, Zara’s allergies, had already been revealed in the promos for this episode. Also, there was a similar scene earlier in the episode as well – where Zara had snuck in to Aunn’s bed after escaping from daadi’s bedroom – granted that the context of the two scenes was different, nonetheless there was this sense ke abhi tau dekha tha …
Apart from Aunn Zara’s dhaka start story, we also saw Manzar trying his very best to patao Shehna, who I must say has a very level head on her shoulders. I am really liking Mahra Bhatty here, and Mukarram Kaleem never fails to bring a smile to my face. I love all his scenes with Osman Khalid Butt as well. Infact, the Aunn- Manzar pair is so much more fun and actually share more chemistry than the Aunn-Zara pair; today their hot and heavy breathing and the OTT angst was a bit too reminiscent of Bollywood at its cheesiest. Though Maya Ali is getting better, very likable as the chulbuli Zara, she is not quite there yet. Her emotional exchange with the superb Adnan Jaffer, when fauji sahab proposes a separate living arrangement for Aunn and Zara, failed to make an impression.
What did make an impression, and a very strong one, was how creatively the scene between Husna and daadi ji, Parveen Bano (!), was shot. Rather than relying heavily on closeups, as Haissam seem to like to do, here we saw a very agitated daadi’s reflection in the mirror as Husna calmed her down, reassuring her that Zara was not lost. I love the finesse with which Husna handles the easily excitable daadi. Unlike her boisterous in-laws, this quiet woman does not cause too many ripples but still almost always manages to get her way. Faiza’s done a fabulous job writing these two very contrasting characters. Along with Mukarram and Osman, Hina Bayat and Nasreen Qureshi would be my other nominees for the jori of the year award.
Overall, though still fun, I found this episode to be more lethargic and less engaging as compared to the previous ones. Here’s to hoping the pace picks up appreciably and we can go beyond Aunn’s continued attempts to win Zara’s heart – yaar Zara ab bas bhi karo aur Aunn ki apology maan lo… we all need to move on!
Written by SZ~