Life was so much easier when we were children. There was this perfect picture in our minds. A vivid picture of how things will be. Of how they should be. As children we had all the answers. What, when, how, who? We knew it all. As we grew older the picture remained, but it got murkier. The answers which were once easy are no longer as simple; in fact answers don’t seem to exist any more. What we have instead are more questions. More than we can handle. More than what we want to have. We wish for answers but it is hard when the questions are being changed all the time. It is no longer a question of what, when, how, who. It is why, for how long, how much, with whom, where? We lose ourselves in the myriads of questions, drowning in an ocean of unanswered hopes and unfulfilled dreams….
zara kuch der mat jao!
Abhi palkein nahin bheegeen
abhi lab bheench lene do
nahi khud ko chhala ab tak
kahaani seench leney do
zara mein khud ko uljha loon
wajeh paa loon udaasi ki
udaasi ko zara koi sabab de doon
Zara mein khud ko zakhma loon…
tau phir beshak chalay jana…
Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, all are stories of our childhood that began with “once upon a time” and ended with “they lived happily ever after.” Fairy tales. Woven of dreams and passions and desires. Covered by hopes. They made us want to be loved. They made us want to love. They made us believe in love. True love. The one with a happy end. The one with taking breath away. The one we used to hear about when we were six. The one we used to read when we were ten. The one we have been waiting for since we turned fifteen. There is only one problem. A tiny problem. Love as described in these fairy tales doesn’t always happen.
More often than not real life stories are about broken promises, unrequited feelings, tremendous pain and immeasurable suffering. Ask Husna who paid the ultimate price for following her heart. Ask Naseeban who killed her husband when she learned it was he who killed her mystery lover. Ask Azam who suffers because his beloved spurns his affections. Ask Pari whose inner demons won’t let her rest now that the once remote possibility of her beloved Ruqqaiya Apa’s marriage is almost a certainty. All are lovers and all have suffered… theirs is not the kind of love we see described in fairy tales.
Conversely, the unparalleled joy lovers find in their pain is also something not to be found in fairy tales. Yes, Naseeban suffered, but would she give up the time she had with her mystery lover? Definitely not. Ruqqaiya pushed back at Azam every time he tried to come close to her, but did this stop him from pursuing her? Absolutely not. On the contrary her rejections firmed up his resolve. He proved himself to be a rather resourceful young man he first tried to win Ruqqaiya’s heart by going through Pari, and has now blackmailed his father into asking Apa Bi for her granddaughter’s hand.
While what had once seemed impossible, Ashfaq coming to ask for hand for his son, has now happened, Ruqqaiya still finds herself torn. Her love for Pari, which was once a source of utmost joy, is now beginning to feel like a vise round her neck. All those years of bitterness and pain that both these girls suffered through made then turn to each other for solace and comfort. If Ruqqaiya loved Pari, then Pari returned her Apa’s affection a thousand times more intensely. The problem now is that while Ruqqaiya is ready to move on to the next phase of her life, one which does not necessarily involve Pari, the younger girl is not willing to do so. Severely affected by all that has been going on around her Pari had internalized so much over the years that all the pent up darkness within her is now manifesting itself in the form of mental disorders.
Picking up the threads from the final scene of the last episode, where we got a chilling visual of the disaggregation going on within Pari, this latest episode confirmed that last week’s exquisitely done swing scene was not an isolated incident. Pari’s crazed look and manic actions, when she insisted on showing Naseeban her newly acquired dance skills, and her screaming fit, at the end, confirmed that the young girl was now at a point where the darkness within was now in the process of engulfing her exterior self as well. Ruqqaiya has made it clear that her acceptance of Azam’s proposal was predicated on the premise that she would not leave Pari behind, and has assured Pari of the same. While this is very noble of Ruqqaiya, I cannot help but wonder about how much more damage such short sighted promises will inflict on Pari in the long run. Azam is already battling his father, to get him to accept Ruqqaiya as his bahu, does he have the wherewithal to fight to keep Pari with them as well? In making such a big promise has Ruqqaiya changed the fate of her love story – are she and Azam lucky enough to enjoy a “happily ever after” ending?
Story wise Saji Gul’s Sannata is an absolute winner and Kashif Nisar does a great job understanding the nuances and does justice to the powerful script. The actors, Samina Ahmed, Simi Raheal, Nargis Rasheed, Nadia Afgan, Saba Qamar, Sajal Aly, Danish Tamoor, Shabbir Jaan, Yamuna Zaidi, all are doing an excellent job with their characters. Sticking out like a very sore thumb among all this talent were Amber Wajid and the actor playing Asghar Sahab – suffice it to say they were really bad. The living room scene with these two, and the one later where Nafeesa and Ashfaq were talking in the bedroom, were so out of sync with the overall ambiance that it almost felt like a cut and paste from some other serial. A couple of other scenes, Azam conveniently removing the property papers, and Ashfaq capitulating so easily to Azam’s blackmail were too pat to be convincing. Another actor/voice that failed to impress was that of the tree. How I wish the producers had found somebody with a deeper and more importantly an unaccented voice. It would have added so much more to the other worldly aura if the tree did not have a Punjabi accent. That said, the tree scenes were once again very well done.
With Naseeban’s story, or at least the tree part, coming to an end, I wonder who will be next? Will it be Shauki? Or is time for some other unforeseen mysteries to unravel? Looking forward to the next installment!
Written by SZ~