That love is a many-splendored thing is something of a universal truth. Since time immemorial poets have been exhausting themselves trying to describe this multi-textured emotion we know as love. One benevolent gaze and the besotted lover is forever lost to those around him, that fleeting moment of joy being enough to last a lifetime. Conversely one harsh word from the cruel beloved is all it takes for the despondent lover to sink into depths of despair. Whether they enjoy the highs of ecstasy or suffer the lows of agony, lovers of all ilk are common in that once afflicted their lives are no longer their own. Their pleasure and pain, laughter and tears are beyond their control as they oscillate between emotional highs and lows. Looking in from the outside this might seem like an unenviable position to be in, for lovers, however, this is the point from where the journey towards the goal begins, where the world is eventually left behind and all that remains is the love of man for his Maker.
Seamlessly picking up from last week, this latest episode found Ruqaiyya and Pari back at the haveli. No matter how much he tried to convince her otherwise, Ruqaiyya refused to heed Azam’s passionate entreaties and adamantly rejected his outstretched hand. For Azam, this rejection was a bitter pill to swallow. Once home, for the first time we hear Azam’s side of the story. In proposing to her, he’s not just seeking a wife but also looking for a way out of a particular way of living, the foundations of which are laid on immorality and corruption. Needless to say his boldfaced denouncement, of the very values that his parents held so dear, is not looked upon favorably by his cheat of a father. Caught between a lifestyle that he wholeheartedly rejects and a beloved who refuses to succumb, Azam finds himself in a very difficult position. He’s come far enough that there is no going back, but then the way ahead is not so clearly marked either. Simi Raheal is such a fabulous actress and its such a pleasure to see her play the quiet and understated Najma. She and Danish Taimoor were very good in the bedroom scene.
While Azam suffers through agonies inflicted by Ruqiyya, the few stolen moments that Naseeban once shared with her mystery man have left a profound impact on her life. The once easily scared girl is no longer afraid to push back at her husband when he tries to stop her – nothing and no one is allowed to intrude on her time with her beloved. But, as her tree-man chastises her, it is she who knows and understands the mysteries of love, not her husband. Hence her expectation, that he understand her, was a futile one. It was, therefore, up to her to show him what love meant and illustrate to him the lovers’ way. Naseeban’s is definitely one of the most intriguing tracks in the story and I cant wait to see how and where it intersects with Azam and Ruqaiyya’s track. The younger couple could definitely use a leaf or two out of Naseeban’s story. The DOP Rashid Abbas has done an excellent job in maintaining the aura of mystery around the tree scene, and Yumna Zaidi looked stunning as the young Naseeban.
Coming to another thread in Saji Gul’s exquisitely knit story, Azam’s no-holds barred declaration of love has brought about a sea change of difference in Pari’s behavior. No longer is he counted as a friend, who was once placed on a pedestal almost high as the one Ruqaiyya apa occupies. Rather, Azam is now the enemy, one who was threatening to take her beloved Ruqaiyya Apa away from her. Hence we see her plotting, telling Bi Apa about Ruqaiyya’s presence in Azam’s room and later snooping around for his letter to Ruqaiyya. Sajal is going from strength to strength as more facets are revealed to Paris personality. Her gradual devolvement, the crazed, almost manic look in here eyes and her continuous fidgeting with Ruqaiyya’s hair, when both were outside eavesdropping on a conversation between Salma and Bi Apa, was beautifully directed. Another scene that literally sent shivers up my spine was the last scene, where Pari/Ruqaiyya was swinging on the swing in the darkness. Stunningly directed and shot, this swinging back and forth, between light and dark, provided a beautiful visual to underscore Pari’s rapidly deteriorating mental state.
Shauki’s was another track that left me wanting to know more. A wanderer, as much a seeker as any other other characters here, Shauki cannot but stop himself from seeing Pari. Though scared by him for now, I can’t help but wonder how long before Pari succumbs to her inner inquisitiveness and wants to find out more about this man. Who is he and what does he want with her?
An entangled tale of lovers and beloveds and pleasure and pain, Sannata continues to draw us deeper into a world where the play of light and dark is such that it makes it very difficult to separate fact from fiction and myth from reality. Looking forward to more next week.
Written by SZ~