Numm ~ Episode 4 Review


For an ostensibly slow episode this was one heck of a fabulous ride – loved it!! 

Every week I find myself falling a little bit more in love with Numm. The story telling is fantastic, and the main leads are fabulous. Every time Fawad and Sania stand in the same frame its like sparks flying all over the place – come closer and you might get singed as well!

Though Mahjabeen and Wali have yet to have a one on one conversation, one that does not involve someone else, why is it then that every time Mahjabeen looks up at Wali there is a whole other story etched on on her face… her eyes holding Wali’s gaze, searching his face for answers to questions that are perhaps best left unasked. On his end, Wali barely ever looks her straight in the eye, but his stiff body language and his hooded gaze signal that he is is not as unaware of this woman as he would like to be. He is unable to ignore her silent presence or simply walk past her.. he comes near her and his steps seem to slow down as if by their own willing.. he finds himself compelled to stop and respond to concerns he knows she will never voice.

1075793_563902363656748_495135903_nIt is in her that Wali confides his innermost thoughts. For a private and proud man like him it is not easy to confess to a mistake, but he willingly bares his soul in front of Mahjabeen. Yes, he shouldn’t have lost his control. He was not embarrassed about slapping the brat, she was asking for it, but he shouldn’t have let her get to him. That he was offering an explanation and an almost apology to Mahjabeen is something to ponder over later, but for now it was Neelam’s disappearance that was the focus of this latest installment. 

The episode opened with Neelam having already gone AWOL. Here, I have to say I am really enjoying the writer’s creatively oblique mode of story telling; rather than spending time on scenes which are unimportant on their own merit but lead to crucial events, we hear about them instead. Hence, rather than seeing Neelam’s getaway, we heard about her escapade from various characters, all of whom helped construct a vivid enough picture that we the viewers were not lost. Similarly, Wali’s meeting with Rahat, Neelam’s mother, was another scene we did not see, but him getting furious with the chauffeur made it pretty obvious that Wali had not appreciated being reprimanded for his bad behavior. Rahat’s later conversation with Mahjabeen confirmed that indeed Wali had not taken too kindly to being samjhao-ed.

Exquisitely interlaced with the present is the story of Mahjabeen’s past.image (4) Mahjabeen’s coquettish smile, her uninhibited sense of self, the easy confidence of the young, and the inner glow that comes with the sense of being loved, all are in such marked contrast to quiet, hesitant woman we see today. Afraid of even her own shadow, Mahjabeen lives in constant fear of things going terribly wrong yet again. This window into the past also confirmed that Mahjabeen had indeed been in love with Barey sahab‘s younger son, a typical feudal to boot. Speeding around in his fancy jeep, armed with a killer smile and possessing an easy charm that could knock your socks off, here was a man who thought the world was his oyster. He was after all the younger son of the much respected and most feared Barey sahab – who would dare cross his path! In an otherwise dark episode, Sarmad and Sania’s beautifully executed interlude was absolutely a pleasure to behold.

935096_563903040323347_903097933_nVery intelligently juxtaposed against this flashback of Sikandar Bakht’s younger son and his carefree attitude towards life was the scene with Wali thinking back to his grandfather’s taunts about the fancy lifestyle, his frustration with Neelam, his annoyance with himself – could there be two men any more different?? One not questioning the system, simply living in the moment and thriving in the luxurious lifestyle, and the other hardly able to breathe under the weight of responsibilities that come with such luxuries. Again, kudos to the writer and director for staying true to the story and not simplifying the narrative.

Neelam’s is the character that questions the status quo; image (1)she asks the hard questions that others are perhaps not in the position to ask. Her conversation with Rahat was a well-written scene, but sadly the badly delivered lines spoiled the impact. How I wish that somebody had worked with Kanza on her pronunciation and dialogue delivery – would have made such a world of difference! That said, the scene with Neelam running away and Wali catching her, warmed the cockles of my romance loving heart. Wali’s whispered apology was full on filmy and should have seemed incongruent here, but it was handled really well by the director and his actors, particularly Fawad. For once there was actually a semblance of chemistry between the pair!

For me, Wali’s apology was a fantastic hook and the episode should’ve ended there, but  strangely enough it went on for another scene, Neelam laying on her mother’s lap and Wali glancing back at her time and again. Not quite sure why the editor let it go for that extra scene, but it sure did dilute the impact of the very powerful apology. image (3)I do hope the editing stays on par here, because an extra scene here or there will definitely lessen the impact of this story, which relies so much on the visual narrative.  Another technical aspect that really needs attention is that of the background score. To give them credit it was a much quieter episode, but the background score still needs a lot of work. It is horribly mismatched in many sequences and at times it is so loud that it drown out the dialogues. Also, I’m not sure if it was just the copy I watched, but there was actually no sound in a couple of places – I could see Fawad speaking, but no voice. Would really appreciate it if somebody could look into these issues – thank you!


Finally, before I sign off, a special shout-out to the director, the DOP and the lighting people. The chase scene was very well choreographed and shot. Also, the scene with Wali and Mahjabeen and their beautifully synchronized moves, the un-moving cold stone pillar a visual analogy for all that lay between them, the unsaid they were both skirting around, was a visual delight – fabulous framing and composition of scenes!

Written by SZ~

Numm ~ Episode 4 


102 replies

  1. Hi SZ, really enjoyed reading your review!! You write so so well!

    I have neutral feelings towards, this episode , nothing much really happened. We just got to know how the servants view the family and how the family deals with stuff especially working hard to keep things hidden from bade saab. So they do know how to be sneaky 🙂

    I think this episode was more about setting the stage for the story to really begin. We got to see how Majhabeen still harbors long lost feelings for the uncle in a precious corner of her heart. How she longs to be loved and treated well and how she survives and garners strength from her happier days to get through her present which is completely devoid of any affection or humanity. Its amazing how she has no bitterness at all when you take stock what she has been through! Thats why she is so deserving of the praise and understanding that Neelam’s mother bestows on her a couple of episodes ago.

    They showed us a much bigger and clearer picture of where things really stand between Wali and Majhabeen. They are slowly but surely veering away from the whole guardian aspect and depicting it as an uncomfortable truce between a man and a woman.

    They are ( and I could be completely wrong about this) also showing Wali softening up towards Neelam. Starting with Majhbeen telling him to understand her feelings, that she is not really wrong to him reflecting upon what his grandfather told him about her..(she is a free spirit or something like that???) to what the sister/nun at her school said that she is unique etc and finally ending with him apologizing and glancing at her repeatedly while she took refuge in her moms lap and shed silent tears. I think for the first time Wali is beginning to understand what is behind her tanturms and that she really feels like she is being taken back to hell. He will prove that she does mean something to him only later to prove that she was right..what her haisiyat really is in his life.

    I think when Neelam and Wali do fall in love we will begin to see (or at least I will) Wali as a fully grown man and not just Majhbeen’s ward and the separation that that will impose between Majhabeen and him will help us (read me) later accept him viewing her as a woman and them coming together. And it will also help Majhbeen to really see him as a man and her husband because IMO she right now loves the uncle and she will move on from that broken heart status.

    And I whole heartedly agree with you about the background music..sometimes its so pleasant when they play the OST and sometimes its jarring. And somebody please improve the audio quality..I really dont get the dialogues half the time. I now need headphones to closely pay attention to what they are saying!!

  2. I feel a little sorry for Neelam because she feels betrayed by her mom. Its hard for a kid/girl to go through that, like they can trust no one!

    • @Aish: I agree .. I felt of the little lost girl there who felt betrayed and let down, particularly when she saw Wali standing there … her mother should’ve told her that ke Wali mere saath aaya hai ar main ne usko samjhaya hai or some such instead of repeating her dialogues twice!! Would have been a fab scene if the mom and daughter had acted well :/

  3. Great review SZ .
    I just loved this episode , it was more visual and less bak bak .
    I loved the wali/mahjabeen scene , SZ, u r right , sparks were there but so subdued . Walis tall frame facing chotti mahjabeen . Wali looked so dashing as always , ;).
    Neelum is a brat , indeed ,but I do feel sorry for her , she has no control of any decision making re
    her life .
    Wali running after neelum and then catching her was a great scene , and his apology seemed sincere , i was just imagining how wow the scene could have been if he had kissed her then , like a mills and boon hero but then I quickly recovered from my fantasy and realized this is a Pakistani drama !!! Lol …
    Loved the black n white flashback , superb !!!!

    • @deeba: lol!! yaar, what an imagination! I still remember your idea about Zaroon and Kashaf playing footsie… since then I have watched that dining table scene again and I always crack up thinking of your comment 🙂 🙂

    • Love ur imagination Deeba. Reminds me of the time when Humsafar was ending and my father was vying for Ashar hugging Khirad- almost urging him on…. But was not to be 🙂

  4. Agree with you on the two best scenes – the “pillar” one and the chase one. Thank goodness the chase happened otherwise most of the episode was a snoozefest for me. And someone needs to buy Neelum a Hard Rock t-shirt vs. a Heineken t-shirt :p seriously chic what were you thinking?
    You are so right about the chemistry between M and W. I like how Wali can’t look into M’s eyes or make eye contact with her for too long. he always ends up looking down. I enjoyed the dialogue from M about “maslon ka haal jazbaat mein nahi….” Wali is remorseful to a certain extent and it was good to see him apologize in that badly dubbed audio at the end 😀
    Other than that I fell a sleep through the rest of the sitting, driving, walking, loud BG music, and a creepy looking Sarmad today. I think we’re in for a few more slow ones… 😦

    • Haha! I noticed the Heineken tshirt too! And in the OST there is a scene where Wali is smoking and has a tumbler with some yellowish-orange “beverage”, my girls are insisting it’s apple juice 😉

      • Oh yeah they’ve already shown him drinking on a few occasions already. Last week he was drinking ginger ale right before the “tapar” 🙂

        • Ladies: looks like abhi tau Wali sahab is going to down quite a few ,pre gallons of apple juice/iced tea/ginger ale – take your pic 😉 After all bechara kitni tension main hai .. ek biwi bolti nahin, doosri bol bol ke bas nahin karti!!!

  5. In a hurry now so will just say that love the M-W scenes- N snenes not so much. Poor girl doesn’t know how to speak urdu and that makes it v distracting. Though the apology scene was so well done by FK (and N I guess)- loved it!
    more later…

  6. “Uss thapad na mujhe meri haiseeyat bata di hai.” Have there been truer words spoken by Neelam? Waqt, give and take, samjhota, compromise, bas baat wahin aa kar kyun rukh jati hai?

    I did not expect this to be such a slow episode, but as slow as it was I thoroughly enjoyed the lull and the storm that followed. It seems the entire episode was built around the final fleeting moments between Wali and Neelam and that half-assed apology. Now, don’t get me wrong, (and for some odd reason I didn’t mention this last week) but I cannot get over Wali slapping Neelam. Kyun? Aisi bhi kya baat kaha di thi usnay?! She’s 16 or 17, 18 tops, obviously she’s immature par haath uthna kahan ka dastoor hai? I don’t condone it irrespective of whether she deserved it or not. Having said that I guess it’s a routine with FK darao, dhamakao, gussa ho, aur phir haath uthao. Kasahf and the library, Khirad, Khizar and Humsafar (on a completely side note you ladies are completely off with FK, I mean Noor Hassan Rizvi is the man, haha!), and then there was that scene from Ashk, which God only knows how I sat through for 16 episodes (yes, judge away!). I’m not convinced with the apology, Kanza needs to GO! They need a new Neelam ASAP. She is ruining the series, did anyone catch her laughing when she was smacked and then when she was talking to Rahat in the schoolyard?

    SZ, she wasn’t AWOL she was MIA. That relationship is like a battlefield and the chanta is just a scar of one battle fought, whether it’s been won or lost I don’t know. The darkness of the episode complimented the mood very well, which simply revolved around the search for Neelam. Mahjabeen’s trembling voice as she answers Baray Sahab’s call is a sign that time is running out and all subsequent actions take that into account. It seems Baray Sahab sabkay dil mein hi nahi unlay zahan mein bhi rahatay hain. Is aadmi say sab itna kyun dartay hai? Aisi kaun si baat hai? Equally compelling was Mahjabeen and Rahat’s conversation. I think Hina Khawaja Bayat would have been an excellent choice for Rahat and Sameena Peerzada as Neelam’s grandmother (although that would have been wasted talent siraf do episodes kay liye).

    Speaking of acting, the way Wali and Mahjabeen interact with each other is such a pleasure to watch. Ek doosray ki taraf peeth kar kay baat kartay hua bhi woh ek dosray kay liye maujood hain. The tasbih in her hand reminds me so much of home especially how her tense self is shown going back and forth in the verandah. Andharay, dhoondh, and the haunting OST (no, not the bad background music which seems like it’s stolen from the Batman franchise) render emotions brilliantly as the scene cuts to Mahjabeen’s flashback. Sarmad, Sarmad, Sarmad, if only you’d say those lines to me (I wish!). Is it just me or do you guys want more of these two on screen as well? The more I see Mahjabeen’s back story, the more I feel that justice has escaped her completely yet she’s not a bitter woman, she’s willing to help both Wali and Neelam, she has nothing but kind words for Rahat, and she just continues without once, for a moment, thinking of throwing the towel in or playing with other people’s lives (which SS does really well in Aseer Zadi). I can say without a doubt that Mahjabeen is a woman of another age (yeh Kaliyug ki duniya hai bhai) like Nani-Ami or Dadi-jaan; selfless, sacrificing, loving, caring, kind, patient, and accepting no matter what (it’s funny we call such women jahil because they are anything but).

    Coming to the men in this episode, I am saddened to say, they are all flawed creatures. As compared to the women who (or is it whom?) operate on a spectrum as well (on one hand we have Mahjabeen, the angelic, virtuous woman that can do no wrong and on the other we have Neelam and her ilk jo “siraf naam ki badi hai” kinds), the men show little variation, they’re all rayees, khandani mard used to having their own way. Maybe Wali is a bit more complicated but recent actions have proven otherwise (if jahil were a title to be given out he’d get it this week).

    Again, SZ, bang on with the review. I love reading your take on the Mahjabeen-Wali relationship. 🙂 Also, you’re point on with a young Mahajabeen although coquettish, really?! Haha! 😉 Finally, I’ve only been posting comments for a little while (long time follower though!) and it’s amazing to see how one good drama can bring so many of us together.

  7. Right you are SZ about good framing and direction here as well as how the story is unfolding. I think the pacing is pretty good. Run in scene was terribly filmi and I too would have liked to see it end there.

    About the sound not being in sync – sometimes that is intentional and I suspect that is what they were going for here – ominous phone ringing from Bade Saheb – but I don’t think it worked. The editing faux pas to note was the weird fade that made Sarmad look like the Joker. Maybe they were taking that Batman theme a little too far? =)

    Y’all do know that rage as we might against the b’grd music, soft dialogues and Neelam’s enunciation, the entire drama has been shot, edited and in the cans so to speak.

    Anyone notice that Neelam actually has the best lines? And that no one can give her a clear answer to her questions. Pity that they scene with her mother had lines like wait, one day you’ll be in control….

    @Aish – the free spirit line was more about being compared to a tez lagam ka ghoda or some such cringe inducing patriarchal dialogue.

    @Bollyqueer – at the risk of being kicked out of this forum I agree with you on FK. his Wali character isn’t winning any brownie points from me. Don’t understand why everyone is sympathizing with him so much – think its the Fk factor here.

      • @Amusingmuslim and @Bollyqueer: LOL! lets keep guessing on that one … maybe Wali will surprise both camps and go off in a completely direction :p

        @Amusingmuslim: nobody’s kicking anybody off anywhere .. yaar, this is all in good fun, discussing dramas waghaira, ab if we all were to agree all the time it would be so boring, nahin? 😉

      • *Hi-fives Bollyqueer* I know right?
        All those steely gazes, smoky silences and hooded eyelids do little to cover up the fact that he isn’t complicated. The only thing that you understand about his characters motivation to stay put and not do anything is his love of fancy cars!

        @SZ I hope you are right but I doubt I will grow to like his character….Also interesting thought experiment would be to replace FK with Bolly’s suggested other (Noor Rizvi) and she how many ppl then see him as victim.

        • @amusingmuslim ::Hi fives back:: Men tend to rely on silences to do the talking for them, as Khirad once said “Khamoshi ki bhi ek zabaan hoti hai.” Haha! The number of times they’ve repeated that dialogue about ash-o-aaram that only Sikander Bakht hits the point home! Noor is pretty good in Aseer Zadi, have you seen it yet?

          • Sigh, no am already on a backlog

            I started watching Numm because I was intrigued as to how they would show feudal land circa 2013 and the whole vani angle too. And am watching Aunn-Zara because of Haissam Hussain.

            Though as far as feudal dramas go my only point to reference is Indian films. Any good feudal dramas that actually address feudalism? I remember some old ones vaguely – Marwi was it?

            • Oh my Allah! Did you just start Dastaan? I love Sanam Baloch as Bano, no one could have done that role better. Have you seen Dhoop Kinaray? What about Aangan Tehra? You will love the latter, funniest serial you’ll ever watch! I’ll hunt down some links for you but I don’t want to sidetrack the Numm conversation.

              As for feudal dramas have you heard of Waris (1980s)?

            • I just have a backlog, not living in the boondocks…=)

              At the risk of side tracking the conversation, saw Dastaan which was brilliant – great cast, love Sanam as Bano and most intrigued by Hassiam so tracking his earlier works now….ones off the checklist are Kuch pyar.. (love it! even if it is Hollywood breakup inc inspired), DeS (his brilliant direction almost had me buying into the regressive politics) and now on Bilqees Kaur. Will have to track down Waris.

              You need to share your email so we can exchange notes…

            • Sanam is back in Kankar, and as much as don’t like the story her acting is what’s keeping me glued to the series. I think though that she needs to leave these roona dhoona roles behind. Speaking of roona dhoona I cannot describe how difficult Dastaan was for me. I remember talking to my nani about the subject so many times, that watching the serial was like reliving her memories, she always said how lucky they were that they didn’t have to see the actual atrocity, and having read Khushwant Singh, Saadat Hassan Manto, Amrita Pritam I could only imagine what she meant. When I saw Dastaan it took me a while to get the scenes out of my mind – when they’re forced out of Ludhiana, attacked in the refugee camp, kidnapped and held captive. I couldn’t get the image of Samina Peerzada as she’s trying to strangle Bano out of my head for the longest time. So as much as I like Dastaan, it freaks me out because emotions run high when watching it. Although, I was pleasantly surprised at how well they showed both sides of the picture, that people are good an bad irrespective of religion. Bilqees Kaur was okay. How about Aseer Zadi are you watching that? And Rishtay Kuch Adhooray Say? Those are the ones I’m hooked to at the moment apart from Numm. And then there’s Hasb-e-Haal.

            • @SK: Comes from literature … quoted often in serials etc .. below is an excerpt from a ghazal where I read it, it might have older roots .. sorry, cant remember the poet’s name off hand, but if somebody knows please do share 🙂

              Khamoshi ki bhi ek zubaan hoti hai
              Unkahe lafzon se jo bayan hoti hai

              Labon se kuch kehne ki zaroorat nahin parti
              Ankon se har baat ayaan hoti hai

              Lafzon ke hujoom main phanse rehte hain aksar log
              Jab ke muhabbat mein lafzon ki zaroorat kahan hoti hai

            • As far I can remember it was Khirad in Humsafar when Ashar and her had a fight, and they made up. Maybe I’m mistaken. Sorry. 😦

            • @Bollyqueer you are correct Khirad did say it. I remembered her saying it to her friend in episode 5 so of course I had to watch episode 5 again and yes it was there! As you can see I am obsessed with Humsafar!

            • I think Khirad and Kashaf both say it. I think Kashaf either says it at the beach or on the wedding night when Zaroon keeps asking her to say something.

    • @Amusingmuslim: On your point abt the serial being all done and dusted by the time it goes on air, actually not so in the case of PK dramas … by now I’m sure everybody knows the famous story about Humsafar’s last rain scene being written,shot and edited, the day before it aired… and this after they had already done a preview airing of the final ep in Karachi, with a different ending! Similarly in the case of so many other very popular serials as well, they keep editing till the last min, adding/deleting scenes, increasing/decreasing the no of episodes depending on audience response .. so, hopefully here in this case we might still see improvement, not overly hopeful, but keeping my fingers crossed 🙂

  8. lovely review! the drama is getting better and better!

    im just confused about one thing, Who is Wali? is he bare sahibs son too? and the guy that sarmad is playing.. how is he related to wali? confused!!

    • Wali is Baray Sahab’s grandson, his oldest son’s (the late Jehangir’s) son, and his sole heir.

      Sarmad’s character is Baray Sahab’s deceased younger son, who we are shown to be Mahjabeen’s lost love.

      And the last two episodes have started to divulge more back story, so we know Mahjabeen belonged to a well-to-do, respectable family that might have been related to Sikander Bakht. Sarmad’s cockiness, attitude tells us that after all Baray Sahab is the ultimate ruler in this area and the controlling zamindaar, but from what he said Mahjabeen belongs to the same biraadiri (clan/community) and also comes from a proud/respectable family.

  9. Great review SZ! Seems like such a paradox, that such a slow episode would have left such an impact!

    I agree that the slow burn of the entire episode was the spark or lead up to the explosive chase scene. Definitely, filmi, but I’m not going to hold that against the directors, because with the recent success of telefilms and the absence of any significant cinema, I can see the tv producers wanting to experiment with or hybridize TV.

    The chase was great, Wali still carries that intense, steely gaze. And although I think FK handled it well, I think his expressions needed some more variance, especially given how long that scene was. Except for his apology, which I think was heartfelt, his face and eyes did not show any nidaamat/softening.

    I really like Wali and his internal struggling – I don’t have a problem with him being written passive/complacent so far; but that is because I am expecting him to step up and turn the system upside down later. I think they are going to show a slow metamorphosis catalyzed by these two women in his lives. It’s not that I accept his weakness as appropriate behavior, but this is a drama of imperfect, human characters, who coexist in a world where there are so many other factors beyond their control.

    I so agree that Neelam gets the best lines, and it’s a travesty that she butchers them with her awful accent and delivery. Is this a common trend that English-medium/convent-educated Pakistanis are struggling with Urdu? So many actors/actresses in their interviews state that they have difficulty with Urdu. I can’t believe how many words/letters are mispronounced by so many of them. I know I sound critical but considering these people have chosen media as their career should they not work on their pronunciation and accent?! I had accepted that the rare person pronounces qaaf so that it doesn’t sound like kaaf, but few can say ghain or khay. I accepted this in Hindi movies, because those letters are not part of the Hindi alphabet, but that’s why Urdu dramas were so enjoyable for an Urdu-speaking/reading audience, because it featured great actors/actresses who had excellent dialogue delivery and accents. I hope I didn’t offend anyone. I was born and grew up in the US, but I have always strived to speak Urdu correctly because I love the language so much. I even taught myself to read Urdu and I love shaairi. It’s disheartening to see how so many people are “losing” their language, whether it be Urdu, Panjabi, or another language.

    Back to my point after that unintentional digression, Neelam, can barely speak Urdu, so these tremendous lines are just wasted. Here is the only character who raises her voice against the nizam/system and the dialogues are just lost in their horrible delivery.

    Is Monazza/Rahat also new to the industry? Though she speaks better, her performances are so one-note. She has the same furrowed brow and the same voice in practically all her scenes.

    I will be back to comment on Wali and Mahjabeen’s scenes, which for me were the best part. They have undeniable chemistry and so much is said without a single word, it’s electric!

    • Just my take on the bad Urdu pronunciation – it is considered cool to speak English by the “convent going kids” since they belong to that certain class. Urdu is never properly taught or emphasized in these institutions. I have met quite a few people from Pak who speak worse Urdu than I do 😉 on a side note that’s one reason I never got into Kashaf’s character in ZGH because her Urdu pronunciation was quite bad.

      • Hey Nur! I think you have a very valid point about Urdu and pronunciation especially back home, but here’s my two cents. I know a lot of people from my school days, and I grew up in India, who don’t even know their alphabet. Alif, bey to door ki bat hai unhe to a, aa, e, ee bhi nahi aati. Keep in mind that we learn Hindi and Sanskrit in school in India and Urdu is only an optional language. I was lucky enough to be in close proximity to my respective grandparents and an entire older generation that was thoroughly proficient in Urdu as opposed to Hindi, so that’s where I learnt my Urdu. It is in hindsight very funny, school mein Hindi aur Sanskrit, ghar mein Urdu, so much so that letters to elders were only written in Urdu, and then Punjabi for day to day use. Talk about being a polyglot?! Haha!

        I think it comes down to whether you’re comfortable with your identity. Mera iss baat par pukta yakeen hai ki zabaan hamari pehchan ban jati hai. The number of times I’ve spoken to my own kind in English is plain sad (not that there’s anything wrong but come on). Koi fransisi dosray fransisi say angrezi mein baat karta hai? Koi chini doosray chini say parai zabaan mein baat karta hai? As for dramas I miss the days of Aangan Tehra, of such durust Urdu. This reminds of Muzaffar Ali’s Anjuman with Shabana Azmi, which perhaps might be the only record of a long dead Lucknow. ;_;

        In my experience language is about fitting in and as Aish and you correctly pointed out about looking cool. And as long as we perceive our language as “uncool” we’ll end up with people like Kanza.

        • Um, ya I would be one of those people though I did know the alphabet but didn’t progress much beyond that. It takes me a grand total of 10 mins to read one short sentence *goes to find chullu bhar paani to doob marno in*

          Also growing up it was plain uncool to be talking in Hindi/Urdu with peers so some of that remains though am trying to reverse that a little. Funny thing is am excited to go back and talk to ppl in Hindi/Urdu only to have them talk back to me in angrezi.Colonial hangover anyone?

      • @Annie: Really?? After all the hype/leg-pulling about Sanam Saeed’s inability to speak urdu I thought she pulled it off very well….all those long, heavy Umera Ahmed lines….I, for one, was impressed with her dialogue delivery and pronunciation!! Actually, if you look at it, most of the younger crop of actors are sailing in the same boat but Kanza Wayne seems to be an extreme case!!!

        • @RR – I think it is mainly due to my own experience since most of the extended family in Pak belongs to the same social strata as Kashaf’s where paying bijli ka bill requires a huge effort, I have not heard any of them speak such posh Urdu despite getting their B.A’s and M.A’s 🙂

    • You are all right in saying that kids nowadays find it ‘cooler’ to converse in English (a lot of moms too) but generally in Lahore, when these young people switch to urdu, that is fine as well. Even if it is weak, it is definitely not as bad as kanza’s- she’s an extreme I think. Having said that I do appreciate the intensity with which she likes to put her point across.

      • I’m definitely no expert in Urdu. Heck I’m from South India. Many a times I dont even understand some of it. All I know is that Urdu sounds beautiful and poetic! And if FK is speaking it then all the more better!! But I can sense the Western influence she is trying to project in her accent that you all are talking about. However I do agree with Afia. She definitely has a long way to go but I think she is supposed to be a ‘firecracker’ if you will, to contrast with the sombre mood of the other two leads. Any toning down that she hasnt done is the director’s fault IMO.

  10. Did anyone else feel like Rahat’s assertion that one day Neelam will get the control she wants because “is nizam ka waris issi nizam ka hota hai, aur iski baaghdor (? I know what it means but I don’t know the exact translation) ek samajhdar aurat kai haath mein hoti hai” is unintended foreshadowing that infact Mahjabeen might produce the next waris, and she is the samajhdar aurat that will know what to do. Although, if that happens I think Baray Sahab will not think twice about issuing a kill order.

    I also think that the scenes with Baray Sahab with his dogs/armed mulaazims, and the one scene where we see Wali walk past a mulaazim being led by a dog on a leash, is foreshadowing to an intense feudal manhunt.

    • first thing first I totally agree with the pronunciation part. many do lot of mistakes, in fact I stop watching any series where actors cant pronounce correctly,
      Rahat is indirectly telling N to take control of things and behave, produce a waris like a samajdar aurat…lest she may miss the bus….I may be wrong

    • Since she says the same dialogue twice maybe both N and M will have a baby lol
      On a serious note, yes if the story has the necessary twists and turns to keep the audience engaged then it would make sense to have the waaris come from M.

    • Oops! 🙂 Now I know why everyone is explaining the sentence – I was actually only asking the direct meaning of “baaghdor”. I’ve heard my mother use it “mahaavratan” so I totally understand the usage and context, I was just curious what it actually meant.

      • @Nur: Baag Dor sambhalna literally refers to the jokey/groom taking control of the horse’s rein in order to control its movement .. from there its gone on to mean to keep the family/finances/household affairs under own’s own control or take complete charge … hope that helps 🙂

    • @Nur: I think your are spot on with your reading of the dogs, and all of Baray Sahab’s analogies with animals etc .. all symbols very closely associated with feudalism. Don’t know if you remember Waris, but there too the dogs were a huge part of the feudal landscape. Actually, though very different Numm reminds me of Waaris, and its creators Nusrat Thakur and Amjad Islam Amjad. Waris had a very raw feeling and to me it ris represtative of a very signature kind of a drama from Lahore, something which disappeared almost entirely when after privatization Karachi became the center of the Pakistani drama industry. I hope this drama signifies the revival of that kind of story telling, different and distinct from the urbanized genteel kind of Karachi dramas.

  11. @SZ: A great review as usual! You write very well and observe very keenly! Agree with you on the M and W scenes. I like the Sarmad/Mahjabeen scenes also very much. I find more chemistry between them at this stage of the story. Neelam, I find unbearable, everything about her– expressions, dialogue delivery, body language, dressing– sorry to say this, so I feel nothing for her. Hope she improves in later episodes. On the whole the episode was slow but has set the stage for something to start between W and N. Incidentally, the first copy of this episode that I saw stopped with the apology and I found it was impressive. It was only after reading your review I even knew about the car scene afterwards, so thanks for uploading the complete episode, I got to see the last bit. You are right, the scene after takes away the impact of the apology!

    None of you have commented on the promo of the next episode which comes at the end of this episode. Mystery of the graveyard is solved– it is Ammu! What exactly was the role she played in this drama I cannot understand, what was the whole point of having this character, unless she has some major scenes in some flashback portions in later episodes!! I like this actress in Aunn Zara so much, what a waste here!

    But the next episode’s promo also brought another mystery— who exactly is the other fellow who keeps meeting Mahjabeen (“chup chup ke miltey hain” as he himself put it)? Definitely not another younger version of Sarmad’s character! I remember seeing something of the intimacy between him and Mahjabeen in the OST video. It is there that I also noted Wali’s jealousy in this regard, if I am not mistaken! So perhaps it is not Neelam so much as this jealousy which clarifies his thoughts about M. Let us see.

    • @RR: Yes, the mystery is indeed solved 🙂 I think Amu’s character was needed to bring Neelam into Wali’s life at such a young age, otherwise there was no rush for the shaadi to happen,,, and she was also needed as the hook to convince Neeelam to return to Wali. otherwise it would have been going against the nature of her character if she wouldve returned just on her mom’s say so. But yes, agree with you about Nasreen Q being wasted here, but hen can you imagine another bad actress here? Uff that might have been beyond torture for all us bechara viewers, as it is we are already suffering Neelam, her mom and her sister 😦

      Re: the young man, I think its Mahjabeen’s nephew or a younger brother, who hides from the family and comes to see her… would love to hear other guesses?

      • @SZ – I thought it was her younger brother as well and they had to meet secretly because she may not be allowed to associate with her family per Baray Sahab. For her usually very controlled, measured delivery she seemed very free and happy with him.

  12. @Nur: What Rahat means to say is, although the son/male heir of the feudal lord inherits the nizam/ fiefdom, if the woman in his life/ his wife plays her cards intelligently eventually it is she who pulls all the strings and has complete control over all and everything (like Sania Saeed’s character in Aseerzadi)!! She asks Neelam to be patient and intelligent and learn to rule Wali the feudal lord-to-be!

    Did anyone else notice that Rahat says this exact same dialogue twice? I found it ridiculous. On the whole Rahat and both her daughters are making a hash of their roles. How sad!!

    • @RR: thanks! Actually I knew exactly what she was saying. Neelam thinks her own mother has betrayed her for placing her in this situation, and Rahat is comforting/assuring Neelam that things will get better if she plays her cards right. I think she is justifying (and being a part of the clan/system/nizam she does know how it works) Neelam’s marriage to Wali for her daughter who doesn’t understand why she does not have a say in determining her own life. Am

      Ammu and Rahat both “know” how the system works and have abided by it with no opposition – probably because they did not think they had a choice or feared the consequences.

      In Rahat’s case, her daughter became the chosen one to bear the Bakht heir and I doubt they could have questioned it. I think that’s why Ammu was trying to samjhaa Neelam in the beginning, that this is just the way it has to be (which I don’t agree with, but I can understand that if it isn’t followed there would probably be dire consequences).

      • Wasnt it implied in the beginning that they have given off Neelam to the Bakht family in her childhood? Does Neelam’s family owe Sikander Bakht something?

        Also Neelam mentions her mom getting off easy because her dad died or something? I thought she said you didnt have to deal with being a second wife or something like that to her mom?

        • @Aish: She was betrothed to him from childhood, a common enough practice where families will do informal mangnis as soon as a child is born. Thats why Neelam knew wasnt really surprised abt the rishta, I think she had been hoping against hope that with changing times things had changed and a childhood engagement would’ve been forgotten.

          Yes, her dad has died and that why she was saying that her mom had it easy, b/c if hehad lived who is to say that he wouldnt have gotten married again, for some reason or other …

  13. That was amazingly awesome review SZ.. what’s more exciting in your reviews is things that i hardly notice, you not only with come up with those but give an excellent understanding to them.. * thumps up* like i missed who came to meet wali back
    village and why he got furious..and when rahat mentions about how she shouldn’t have talked to wali ( btw that time when mahjabeen gave smile when they got to know about neelam.. Sania Saeed look stunning) .. i was like hain ye tab hua and argg you editing people LOL but thanks to you for your hawked eye reviews 🙂

    This drama is so interesting that no one can actually get bore (well except a few 😉 in slow episodes even. The first scene was brilliant in every possible way..these two great actors can take any scene to a whole new level..Mahjabeen’s short and
    precise way of explaining things with her calm and soft voice and her demeanour while talking to wali makes her look so dignified and not-so-daboo-girl.. i liked how wali lowered his gazes and gave a thoughtful look on what she all said.. their relationship is so full of respect and understanding that i can not help but say Zabardast 🙂

    I was and will be rooting for W-M but after watching flashback scene, i had such painful feeling that how this lady deserved all good things in life.. the way she was being loved and pampered that time and now the way she is treated just a head to organize things 😦 i don’t care whether she gets linked with Wali or not but she better get freedom or something she deserves.. out of these 3 characters, only mahjabeen i can say is bearing the most useless riwayats and is being suffering due to circumstances.. On a lighter note.. i actually loved sarmad’s romantic acting..sarmad and sania’s chemistry is top notch.. i was literally blushing 😛

    Last scene and not the least of course.. the chase.. i like such kinda filmy chases but only if done in nicely and it was shot beautifully.. moment when wali holds neelam and says sorry.. i was so like c’mon can i get a hug 😉 i know i am such a despo 😛 but that was so good.. neelam interaction with her mama was pain.. dialogues were written v.sharply but thanks to actors it went down to drain :/

    enjoying it so much that now after humsafar it can be ‘happy numm day’ 😉

  14. Great Review SZ! You point out all the little things which one would tend to overlook. Great work I too loved the scene with the stone pillar between wali and mahjabeen. Beautifully thought out scene and excellent direction. The acting of FK and SS and their nuances were most impressive. The two actors that bring you back to earth with a thud are Kanza and the girl playing her younger sister ( Minahil). Ammu is coughing away almost on her deathbed and all the girl is doing is speaking with a deadpan face and dead voice, looking into her cell phone all the while. Get up and give your grandma a glass of water for heaven’s sake! Kanza’s urdu pronunciation is really bad. To top that is the way she delivers her dialogues… Allah maaf karey! What a tragedy! A superbly directed fantastic story with amazing characterization… ruined by the lead female actor!! I(like kanza) have to grit my teeth and ignore her presence. The beautiful dialogues between Rahat and Neelum were turned to something very ordinary by the awkwardness of both ladies. They were just not able to emote.
    I too loved the way the story is being told. References instead of the run of the mill scenes. The last scene was a delight for any die hard romantic!

      • Thanks Annie! Glad to know every body has the same concerns 🙂
        I think they have butchered this drama by miscasting. They should have thought of other actors. Ayesha Umer is not the only one who can play aggressive western girls. They could have chosen any other actress with better acting talents. I wonder why and how the Director agreed to Kanza. I cannot believe that he must not have realized that she does not have what it takes to be a lead actress !

        • @YF – my guess is that Kanza came with a good reference letter 😀 You know how that goes! I actually feel worse for the writer who probably has nightmares after watching each of the N scenes because so far she’s had the best lines. This was really Maira Sajid’s moment to shine via Neelum’s character but it wasn’t meant to be.

    • @yf: Thanks … glad you’re enjoying my reviews, good to hear from you after a while 🙂 LOL!! You’ve voiced all of our aggravations with Neelam so well 🙂 And so true about her sister as well.. I too was aghast at the way she was ignoring the dying amo and then having the gall to lecture Wali on answering the phone while driving – say what?!! waqai maa ne kuch nahin sikhaya!!!

      • Thanks Annie and SZ! Glad to know every body has the same concerns 🙂
        I think they have butchered this drama by miscasting. They should have thought of other actors. Ayesha Umer is not the only one who can play aggressive western girls. They could have chosen any other actress with better acting talents. I wonder why and how the Director agreed to Kanza? I cannot believe that he must not have realized straight away that she does not have what it takes to be a lead actress !
        Also the Director swings between superb shots to very mediocre scenes ( pillar and the apology versus Ammo and minahil) Does he hand over some scenes to his assistants or what ? The people who did the casting should be reprimanded for the butchering of this brilliantly written piece!

  15. I thoroughly enjoyed the review and the discussions regarding the episode and the Urdu language/accent …ah yes and the episode too …but my episode starts and finishes with Mahjabeen despite the great story and some good direction I fail to enjoy the acting of other powerful characters with great dialogues…FK is fine but something seems missing, Sarmad seems more amusing to me …. Numm Leaves a haunting after thoughts which I can’t describe in angraizee and don’t like writing Urdu in roman…. But eik Ajeeb see kaifiat hoti hai …Sania Saeed is the jaan of this serial …unfortunately despite Neelam,s powerful character the actor is ruining it, although must say she might be trying but hey I also try to make rasgullay but it never turns up good ….lol
    I agree on the discussion about the Urdu language and our younger lot is loosing the beauty and essence of it, I am one guilty mother who despite having great passion for the language couldn’t teach correct Urdu to my kids …I could blame it on the circumstances or the side effect of living in west but still it’s not an excuse , my only saving grace is when I hear my nieces and nephews who despite living in Karachi speaks Urdu with COOL accents , my kids are just little bit behind them.
    Sanam Saeed did try to depict Kashaf to her best , she was not 100% but still she tried …I wish our young lot of actors learn the art of delivering dialogues in the accent of the character they are playing , imagine Merle Streep using her American accent playing Margaret Tatcher! I say Hina Dilpazir is brilliant in that field ….

    • I so agree with you, Sheema, this series up to now is all Sania (at least for me). I think there are certain characters in drama serials that just stick in our heads and don’t leave. Like Samina eerzada and Nani in Shehr-e-Zaat or Bushra Ansari as Jahanara Begum in Aangan Tehra, similarly, Mahjabeen is Sani and only Sania. Of course, I’m biased but she is amazing! :p

    • ooh even the mommy is teaching the daughter not to respect M. I guess along with bad acting she’s transferring some other gems to the feudal-lady-to-be.

      • So what do you think he’s decided? I think he’s made up his mind to send her to school…
        Seems like its gonna be a happening ep.. Amo dies, mom gives bakwas mashwaras, Mahjabeen meets with brother (?) and Wali comes to a decision.. kaafi kuch hai yeh tau!

        • I think you’re right that he will send her to school. Which is interesting, because after the park we saw between them in the last episode I didn’t think the honeymoon would be over so soon! I figured they’d show them growing closer over the next few episodes. Seems like a very quick-paced episode this week. Looking forward to it.

          LOVED the way Mahjabeen said (paraphrased): tum to jaantay ho is ghar mein meri kyaa haisiat hai

          It shows her confiding in him – they do understand each other and their own circumstances.

          And looks like Wali will finally be taking some action – which is what I expected, I didn’t think he’d sit on the sidelines forever.

            • I agree with you both! It looks like Wali is going to step up and be counted.Perhaps to make amends for the affect he has had on both womens lives and may be one of the ways is to send Neelum to school and i’m not sure what for Mahjabeen! Can I ask where the brother scene is I am sure the version I have watched doesn’t have it in. Also can someone recommend a good site to watch the drama as I am watching it on you tube and the results aren’t brilliant.

        • I am wondering if he’ll send Neelum off so quickly because in the promo when she comes back from school she acts like she really missed Wali and gives him a huge lovey dovey hug. So maybe they’ll have a bit of a honeymoon period (we might not be shown but told thru M that W and N were in Switzerland enjoying a Yash Chopra moment ;)) And that could possibly give M the time to meet with the bad-hairdo brother?

            • @shazch – well he couldn’t get go to Switz. in KPKP so might as well fulfill his dream here with obnoxious wife #2 🙂 At least we know she’ll bring some Heineken to the party!

            • @Annie – well he also wanted to go to Switz in Akbari Asghari! 😉 Allah kare is baar to bechara chala hi jaye.. He’s been tryna go in every other drama..

              and i dk if Neelum should be drinking anymore of Heineken. Woh toh pehle hi hamesha nashe mai lagti hai.

          • And here’s the Yash Chopra moment 🙂 Bechara sirf khwabion main he jaa sakta hai Switzerland ..maybe the Bollywood movie walas will take him to hs dream destination 😉

            • @ SZ thanks for sharing!That is so funny I haven’t watched all of Akbari and Asghari so didn’t see that bit! But I do remember the KPKPBT referece @ Annie- Heinkein had me laughing. Maybe Wali wants to take Neelum to Switzerland so he can push her off! I’m sure a few of us would be happy to oblige.

  16. @SZ brilliant review as per usual! You are absolutely correct we the viewer are being treated as intelligent and nothing would have been gained by showing Neelam running away I definately would have been bored with the scene.
    @aish and Nur I think you are spot on!
    I personally don’t think Wali is supposed to be likeable. He is definately not Ashar! I think the director is trying to portray someone who who stunted emotional grown in effect orphaned by the loss of the death of his father and his mother to mental breakdown.He is clearly happy with the status quo and this probably describes most young feudal lords mentality!Most people don’t question their social positions unless they have a crisis of confidence. In this case it is Neelum’s rejection of Wali. I think he is so used to be accepted and it comes as a shock that he is not the catch he thinks he is.I also don’t think we will come to love Wali but we will come to understand him and see him grow as a man.
    I also thought FK was brilliant in the running scene. He bought that scene to life.I also think most of us if we were Neelam would be running extremely slow!OOOPS you caught me! I am also really enjoying the Sarmad and Mahjabeen scenes. It also shows how confident and spirited she was and you can see the strength running through her older character.She may have accepted her fate but does not mean she is weak. I still think she feels guilty and this life, is her making amends.
    As far Neelum and her family with the exception of Ammo all I can do is sigh in frustration!How could the casting director mess up so much!I think this is why it won’t receive the same accolades of Humsafar. Neelum could have been portrayed brilliantly as some one said earlier she has the best lines.

    @Afia I am awaiting eagerly for those excerpts!

  17. Did anyone catch that Jehangir’s brother’s name was Alamgir. I had to replay that part 4 times to figure it out. The name makes sense though.

  18. @shazch: The yt links I have posted here with the review are pretty much the best quality around since they are posted by Geo, and dont have any of those nonsensical ads all across the screen. The sound quality is mediocre though, b/c I guess they didnt have the best sound stuff :/ Sania calls Sarmad Alamgir in the flashback scene when she asks him whether he had talked to his brother..

    Oh and brother scene is in the promos that came after the episode 4 ended. There was a young man with Mahjabeen and we are guessing he’s her younger brother. here’s the link:

    • @Sz thanks I will search GEO then on Youtube as your links are much better quality than the ones I have been watching and they have those ads!

  19. Hey guys!
    Check out this blooper of the infamous thapar scene.. according to the Numm FB page, this was the first take and they had to shoot it twice to get it right, and after that poor Kanza was “not able to eat for many days”…. poor thing!

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