Rarely has the English language seemed as inadequate is it does when it comes to describing the various shades and textures of human relationships. One term – love – is easily used to describe a whole range of feelings. Hence a mother loves her child, a husband loves his wife, a lover loves his beloved, a friend loves her best friend and sister loves her brother. What is lost here are the nuances. Just one word falls woefully short in describing the complexities of each bond. The vernaculars, on the other hand, have a treasure trove of vocabulary to vividly describe the pleasure and pain, the beauty and brutality of human relationships. Hence the rationality of muhabbat is exquisitely distinguished from the irrationality of ‘ishq.
Adroitly charting its path, between that which can between controlled and that which refuses to be tamed, Sannata is an exposition of the various shades of love that exist within us and around us. Be it Pari’s dangerous obsession with Ruqqaiya, Ruqqaiya’s complex bond with Pari, Salma’s problematic relationship with her daughter, Bi Apa’s reluctant affection for her granddaughters, Naseeban’s fascination with her mysterious suitor, that unnamed yearning which brings Shauki to the dargah, all are manifold expressions of that which we simplistically refer to as love.
This latest episode drew us deeper into the complicated lives of the inhabitants of Bi Amma’s dilapidated haveli. Azam and Pari’s growing relationship has disturbed Ruqqaiya in more ways than one. Not only is she forced to confront the undeniable fact that Pari is no longer a child, but she also has been compelled to take stock of her relationship with Pari. It is easy to claim to be a mother, but when push comes to shove can she find it within herself to make a choice – who would she choose if she had to pick one: Azam or Pari? Difficult and painful as this situation may be, it is not without a silver lining. It is easy to be judgmental, as she had been for all these years, but one stumble and Ruqqaiya is forced to reevaluate her feelings for her mother. For the first time in a long time Ruqqaiya seeks comfort in her mother’s all forgiving embrace.
Pari, on the other hand, though all grown up in one sense is still very much a child in other ways. Unable to make sense of Ruqqaiya’s quicksilver mood changes and very much enamored by Azam’s charm and warmth, Pari is unable to make sense of her rapidly changing world. The visit to the psychologist’s office underlines Pari’s confusions very clearly. There is no one else in the world more real to her than Ruqqaiya and Azam. But where Ruqqaiya had initially represented a safe haven, now for Pari, all complicated and unfathomable pictures represent Apai.
Azam on the other hand, represents a knight in shining armor in Pari’s flights of fancy. From what we’ve seen of Azam so far, it seems highly unlikely that he had deliberately set out to star in Pari’s young fantasies. All he had wanted to do was to make Ruqqaiya and Pari aware of Pari as a person in her own right, not just an inanimate shadow that had no individual existence. Now that his well-intentioned plans seem to have backfired, I am eagerly waiting to see where this track leads.
And yes, speaking of interesting tracks, Naseeban’s story has to be one of the most intriguing ones I have sen in recent times. Whether her mysterious suitor is human or an other worldly being or merely a figment of her imagination, in the final analysis what matters is what he represents for Naseeban – someone who gives voice to all of Naseeban’s inner most thoughts. Needless to say, woh jo bhi hai he/it has my full attention.
Maintaining his grasp on the pacing of the story, director Kashif Nisar is doing justice to Saji Gul’s beautifully layered story. Once again the air of mystery around the tree scene was really nicely done, the sepia tones added much to the overall feel. DOP Rashid Abbas is to be commended for his camerawork. The look of this serial adds so much depth to the spoken words. The scenes, where the camera retreats as Naseeban’s story smoothly segueways into the present, or the manner in which we are drawn into the narrative with shots from the top, making it seen like along with Pari we too are looking down on the middle aged zamindar trying to make case for a third marriage, were beautifully done. The actors all deserve a pat on their back for making Sannata a standout.
In a serial with a lot of attention to detailing, the get ups and accents of those around the young Naseeban do not jive with the time and place of the story. In terms of make up, poor Nadia Afgan deserved much better than the perfectly painted raccoon eyes she was wearing throughout today’s episode. I was glad to see Sajjal sans her usual makeup in the scene with the psychologist. Rarely have I seen her look so vulnerable and young, and she nailed that scene. Among the actors, all made their presence felt, Nargis Rashid’s shiny silver wig notwithstanding. Lost among all these stalwarts is Ambar Wajid, Azam’s mom. The scene where she was screaming away at Azam was the one sore spot in an otherwise engrossing episode. I sincerely hope we do not have to put up with her for too long.
Overall this was anther happening episode as the pace continues to pick up with each new installment. Here’s to hoping that Sannata continues to build momentum and not stray off course – fingers crossed!
Written by SZ~