Zubaida Apa, if you haven’t heard this as yet, let me break it to you gently – MOVE OVER! There is a new totka specialist in town! Surprised? Puzzled? Don’t know who I’m talking about? No worries, let me introduce you …
In sey milye…
Pir Manzar in ka naam
Ultey jin kay kaam
Ataa jaata kuch nahin
Magar inko kahan araam
Bila takaluf bakwas kiye jaatey hain
Inhin nahin fikar kisi ka ho sukh chain haraam
Inka kaam sirf bolna, mat samajhye karte hain koi solid kaam
Ab kaun batlaye miyan Aunn ko
Beta choro is bekaar se dost ki jaan
Nahin is ke totkon se Zara ke patney ka koi imkaan
SZ ki suno tau mera hai yeh gumaan
Bekaar gaaney gawa gawa ke
Kar na dey tumhari already sad story ka kaam tamaam!!
Yes! After last week’s hit and miss installment Aunn Zara is back with a bang! While I still think the lead pair’s stalled marital life needs a serious dhaka, there is something so lovable about this serial that one cannot help but be charmed. And topping the long list of charmers, Osman and Mukarram are phenomenal together. The sincerity with which Mukarram delivers his utterly nonsensical lines, and Osman murders one classic song after another, has to be seen to be believed. Too often we see beautifully written characters die a slow painful death on screen because they are not handled well, thankfully though this is not the case here. Faiza Iftikhar’s fabulous script takes on a whole new life under Haissam’s direction, and his actors then ably step in to take it up a notch further.
Today, I was laughing out loud as Manzar chomped away on his samosa, and without missing a beat transformed into Apa Zubaida and dished out a whole new round of more useless totkas. Not to be left behind, the seriousness with which Aunn auditioned with Sheila ki jawani, and then his crestfallen expression, when Manzar was unimpressed with his less than stellar taste in music, Osman was too good! Also loved his expressions as Aunn mentally dispatched every living breathing member of his family to the farthest corners of the universe.
Bechara Aunn! All he wants to do is to take Zara’s hand and have her sing him a modern song… not like he’s asking for the sun, moon and stars, but somehow this masoomana khwahish of his is turning into a near impossible task. Never mind that he is married to the woman with whom he wants to chal chaliye duniya de uday nukre jithey banda na bandey di zaat hoye…. but alas! If daadi and ammi and phuppo and chaachi all were to have their say Zara would have already been well on her way to becoming a mother. Meanwhile Aunn is left by himself to pout and toss and turn in his lonely bed. Seriously, how (un)lucky is this couple?! Na saas ka tension, na nand ka problem, no mazloom or mahkoom scene, no extra marital affair, no ex-boy/girlfriend ka chakar… no “real” problem… magar phir bhi… tension hi tension. Aunn, bhaijan, I think you need to ditch Manzar and his totkas asap, borrow that white steed from your cousin Prince Charming, find Zara and ride off into the sunset with her. Otherwise tau tumhari daal yahan galti nahin dikhayee deti!
What makes Aunn Zara a great watch is that it does not cater to a particular section of the audience. There is, therefore, a love story here for those looking for a lighthearted filmy romance, but then there are also plenty of social messages embedded within the text for those who like to watch issue-based, gharelu masley masai’l waley dramey. In this particular episode, we got yet another tantalizing glimpse at the heartache that Husna carries deep within herself. She might have willed herself to forget the unpleasant memories and pretend they never happened, but one stray reminder, one careless word, and all the buried pain rushes back to surface as if it had all happened just yesterday. Here, the bond between daadi and Husna was so sensitively handled that it brought a tear to my eye. At times daadi appears selfish in how she keeps Husna from telling the truth, the time is somehow never just right, but on the other hand, she is also Husna’s biggest supporter. The way she gets Husna to join in the family sing-song was so heartwarming. And now the youngest bahu is learning from her seniors, subconsciously picking up on their loving and caring ways. As Zara tells Shehna, she doesn’t even know how and when she changed – it just happened. Faiza deserves a huge round of applause for showing rather than preaching about how families are kept together, bonds formed, nurtured and strengthened. Nasreen Qureshi is just fabulous here.
From the senior saas to the newbie saas, Hina Bayat is Husna personified. Her kabhi khushi kabhi ghum expressions are ever so beautifully essayed, and then she also dances! Wah! and talking of dances, how can I forget Nighat’s naagin dance – Sabreen Hisbani was hilarious!! For now I think Manzar and Nighat are in a tight race for the most out there character in the serial.
For a simple si gharelu story, Haissam has managed to test quite a few boundaries, and I say more power to him! For a while now, dance, one of the most natural expressions of human emotion, has been relegated to the realm of vulgarity on our TV screens. This little scene was so aesthetically done and so pure in its intentions that I seriously doubt any thinking person would have the temerity to raise a hand and call it cheap or dirty.
And oh yes! I finally got my wish today as we saw Aunn trying to get through to Zara in places other than the bedroom. The scene with daadi on the charpai was hilarious, as was the one where Aunn was singing happily unaware that daadi was trying to pray in the next room. Yet elsewhere he was seen making puppy faces at Zara through the kitchen window. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that while I may have my peeves with it, Aunn Zara is pretty much the best serial on air these days.
Written by SZ~