Tamasha Meray Agay ~ Telefilm ~ Review



Aap yaqeen karen na karen magar I am quite convinced that somebody up there was listening to my naala-o faryaad  the other night. Right after I signed off here, I stumbled upon a write up about an upcoming telefilm. I was not familiar with the writer or the director, but the fact that it featured two of my all time faves, Nimra and Sarmad, was reason for me to go looking for links and give this one a shot. No more than ten minutes, I told myself, after all it was already past 2 am. Well … the rest as the say is history. Succeeding where big budgeted, mega-hyped, glitzy serials had failed miserably, Tamasha Meray Agay grabbed  my attention from the very first frame. I was absolutely riveted and did not move a muscle till the final credits were done rolling. Written by Sameena Nazir and directed by Tariq Siddiqui, this one has been produced by What If…Productions and was aired on TV ONE a week or so ago. If you are as fed up as I am of the run of the mill pyar/mangni/shaadi,/talaaq/doosri shaadi/bechari bewa, type gharelu stories then this one is for you. Starring Nimra Bucha, Sarmad Khoosat, Salim Mairaj, Nazr Ul Hassan, Hammad Siddiq and Kashaf Meer, this is one of those exquisitely narrated, increasingly rare out-of-the-box telefilms that should not be missed.

NB4Resisting the temptation to tell it all here and now, I will say that though the bare bones plot is not exactly novel, it is director Tariq Siddiqui’s sensitive execution of Sameena Nazir’s eloquently written script that sets Tamasha Meray Agay apart from the rest of the stuff out there. After what seems like a really long time I have come across a telefilm with so many layers of meanings. The deeper you delve into this deceptively simple tale the more it lends itself to a closer analysis, making it really difficult to then do justice to this textured story in a mere few sentences. Simply put, it could be said that this one is about a has-been actress who mentors an unemployed young man. But as you go along further this also the story of a misunderstood mother who sacrifices her everything to ensure a better life for her only daughter. Even as the woman’s story is placed front and center, this is just as much the story of her lover, Dinu, who hovers around his beloved much like a moth does around a flame.SM He exists solely for her, whether she returns his affections is of no consequence to him. Such is the intensity of his love that it is only after he is assured of his beloved’s eternal peace does he allow himself the luxury of death Adding grit to this very nuanced story are the omnipotent duniya and duniya walley. We meet Malik Sahab, a manipulative, ruthless exploiter, and the two footpath-iyas whose sole purpose in life is to judge others. These three offer a pithy commentary on the hypocrisy and double standards prevalent in our society. Written in the style of great short story writers of yore, refusing to give in to the crazy demands of commercialism, Tamasha Mere Agay is a labor of love. And it shows.

NB6Unlike an episodic serial, where the writer has the luxury of time: to set up the context, introduce the characters and then after the preliminary sketch is ready, to color in the various shades of text and the subtext, here, given the tight time frame, we jump right into the story. It is to the writer and director’s credit that they navigate through a very complex story with such finesse that the viewer is never lost between the kaun kahan kab kyun. The fluency with which the narrative transitions between the past and present is applause worthy. The DOP Majid Mumtaz does an excellent job framing the scenes and ensuring that each and every flicker of expression is captured and conveyed to the audience. The various get-ups are very well done and the attention to detail is applause worthy. The scene where Nimra breaks down upon reading her daughter’s harsh letter is heart-wrenching. The fact that she is dressed as a man at that point, mustache and all, adds that extra layer of meaning, one which is not lost on the audience. On the whole, this has a very theatrical, rough around the edges, kind of a look and feel, and I for one appreciated the setting and pacing of this story.

All this is well and good, but none of this would’ve worked half as well if the actors had failed to rise up to their SK2challenging characters. Salim Mairaj is fantastic as Malik Sahab. This is apparently Nazar Ul Hassan’s first foray into TV from theater, and he handles the transition pretty well. There are shaky spots in the way he handles Dinu, but overall he is convincing. I don’t need to tell you about Sarmad, just that he takes to his character like a fish takes to water. From the very first scene to the last one, he IS the unemployed Adul Raheem, who decides to become an actor and goes on to learn the craft under the tutelage of his mentor. I loved the sequence where he does his first acting exercise, and from thereon we see him gradually losing his inhibitions and gaining in confidence, to the point where he ventures out dressed in drag.  The dance sequence was beautifully done as well. His humor is the perfect foil for Nimra’s darker, intense character.

NB3And yes, Nimra. WOW! How fantabulous is she here!?! I loved her in Daam, Sabz Pari Laal Kabootar, Ghar Aur Ghata, but here she is in a completely different league. Anywhere else in the world an actress of her caliber and beauty would have her pick of roles, but afsos here she keeps getting cast as the homely bechari (anyone remember Mera Yaqeen? Sorry Sarmad!). I don’t want to give away her character, but will tell you that she is absolutely stunning here. If for no other reason, watch this one for Nimra and her pairing with Sarmad. They are so so good together!  Us ke baad if you don’t enjoy it feel free to come back and throw anday tamatar at me for recommending this one.

One complaint that I always have has to do with music and the way it is used in our TV NB2dramas. In this case, I am thrilled to say that for once the background score was aesthetically applied and somebody had actually thought about what music pieces to  put where. The lyrics of the two qawwalis, Amir Khusro and Rumi, were aptly chosen to convey the sense of Dinu’s spiritual journey without actually talking about it. Similarly Bulley Shah’s kalaam was appropriately used and the lyrics matched Sarmad’s dance movements onscreen. And yes, while on that, kudos to the editor for his work in the opening sequence. The various cuts were judiciously applied to visually convey the sense of movement and drama of Noor Jahan’s classic track from Umrao Jan.

Finally, a huge thank you to TV One and Seema Taher Khan for going against the tide and backing such merit worthy projects – Much Appreciated!

Written by SZ~ 

Tamasha Meray Agay ~ 

For Alternate Links Click Here


30 replies

  1. And seriously i Love you for suggesting/recommending this telefilm to watch.. Else would have never knew about it 🙂 a huge thank you…

    This was simply brilliant and as u rightly said it hold in tight grip from start to end.. Nimra Bucha was flawless.. Have mostly seen her in dukhbhare roles but seeing her as strong lady with some great witty lines to say.. Loved her more n more and maann how beautiful she looked, every getup adorned her… Chemistry with Sarmad was top notch.. Even Sarmad Khoosat was awesome.. Specially in the scene when he have to emote on feelings with his expressions.. Amazing..

    Totally agree with you on how it was superbly directed and written.. I like those small messages hidden behind the lines and one more time shukrya.. Because i couldnt felt dino track.. Your review helped in making understand that.. It was all so simple yet so powerful.. 😀 jis tarah sakht garmi me thandhi hawa k jhonkha maza deta he, theek usi tarah ye telefilm lagi..:)


    • @Rehmat: And a huge thank you to you for taking the time to watch this one on my recommendation 🙂 Also appreciate you being the first one to comment.. warna tau main bethi soch rahi thi ke I was the only crazy one going ga ga over this one. Haina! What a lovely change to see Nimra as the beautiful woman that she really is .. and of course to also see her playing a role that gave er a chance to showcase her phenomenal talents. I so wish our producing/casting people/directors had the ability to see beyond the fair and lovely stereotype of beauty and appreciate true talent. Don’t you wish Nimra and Sarmad would hold acting workshops where they could teach these so-called heroines of today the alif bay of acting!
      ” jis tarah sakht garmi me thandhi hawa k jhonkha maza deta he, theek usi tarah ye telefilm lagi..:)” Spot on, my friend!


    • @Rehmat – RE: Dukhbare role. yep the poor woman was typecast in the same ol roles by the same production company! Glad she was able to break free and show her talents in this play! 🙂 I am hoping we see her in similar roles in the future! 🙂


  2. Salaams Desi Rants, I have heard of this telefilm, might watch it/not as I don’t like Sarmad’s acting.

    I want to know if u heard about Saathiya on Tv One Global. It stars Faisal Qureshi, Fahad Mustafa, Faiza Hassan, Abid Ali, and even Aisha Khan who is yet to come.
    5 episodes have taken place and each episode is about 30 minutes each. I sincerely recommend that u watch this drama, it is fast paced and very interesting, each episode is not to be missed. It airs every Thursday at 8 pm. Faisal Qureshi has a dark side. It is written by Zubair Abbasi, who I have to commend for writing such a gripping drama.

    Here’s the link for episode 1:


    Also, on Ary Digital is Koi Nahin Apna of Big Bang starring Fahad Mustafa and Sarwat Gillani. The story is nothing new but the episode was at a nice pace, the direction was crystal clear and the chemistry between Sarwat and Fahad is cute.


    • @ Aisha: Wasalam. Yes, I got your tweets about this serial as well. I will check it out if and when time permits. Re: Koi Apna Nahin, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I checked out the first ep and found it to be very run of the mill, so dont think I will be following this one. Hopefully soon we’ll come across a serial that both of us can enjoy together 🙂


  3. Thanks SZ for recommending this telefilm,i really enjoyed it.
    I loved the songs that were played,and Nimra and Sarmads acting was amazing!!
    some of the dialogues were so funny i was laughing out loud!!!


    • @Deeba: Thank you for checking this one out on my recommendation. Glad to know that we are on the same page with this one 🙂 Yes, I too loved the humor of it. Too often we find these artsy kinds of stories taking themselves too seriously, as a result they tend to become very dry as a result people get bored and turned off, but this one did a great job holding the audiences’ interest. Agree, the songs were very well selected. I loved the eclectic mix of music and more than that really enjoyed the placement of the various tracks.


    • Thanks SZ, Saathiya’s ost and this one Punjabi dialogue are cheesy but otherwise, this drama is really interesting


  4. I asked u to dig something out for us and here u r!! Absolutely fab!! Thanks!
    Sarmad was great . but absolutely loved Nimra. Shes a fab actress and I was particularly impressed by her in Ghanta aur Ghata but here we see how versatile an actress she really is! The dance, the andhi maa.. then dressed up as a man…itne sare roop.. sab aik se barh ke aik..
    At its core its a very dark story but loved how it was balanced out with good humour. I particularly enjoyed the training scenes.
    @SZ loved ur detailed analysis of the different layers in the story. and like @rehmat said, ur review helped me connect with dino’s track alot more.
    loved the DOP work..
    Basically overall a wonderful surprise! Thanks once again for the recommendation!


    • @FA: Bas dekh lo – from your lips to God’s ears! Koi qabooliyat ki ghari thi shayad, warna tau koi asaar nazar nahin aa rahe they ke kuch accha milne wala hai 🙂
      Aww.. my pleasure! Glad my review could help a discerning viewer like yourself. When I didn’t hear from you right away, I did wonder if the film was bad or if the review sucked so bad, ke you were trying to be polite. Cannot tell you how relieved I was to read your comment and not get scolded 🙂
      Btw, didn’t the andhi maa remind you of all the Nirupa Roy c. 70s Bollywood movies where she played the andhi ma LOL! And yes, the dance was fab! So aesthetically done and I loved the Suraiya Bhopali type topi on her head. All in all a gem of a film with get ups to die for. So painful nahin to sit through the other stuff being aired these days, when you know this is just a sampling of what our very talented artists are capable of producing.
      On a diff note, I hope you are feeling better 🙂


  5. Thanks SZ for this telifilm wonderful review . You always analyze so nice that people like me get it . There one drama on tv one sathiya is nice so far so good Faysal is different . May be when you have time review qaid e tanhai please. Thanks .


    • @Ranjan: My pleasure. I’m glad you enjoyed it and were able to appreciate it with all its subtleties and all. I will add QeT to the list of dramas I have down as possible reviews. Thanks for the suggestion.


  6. Isay kehtay han Art aur Entertainment ki perfect blending 🙂 review ki first line per nazer partay hi mere kaan tou kharay ho gaiy kiunk aj tak tou aisa hoa nahi k aap nay kuch recommend kia ho aur mujhay pasand naa aye kiunk jis tra aap nay apnay zouq ko nurture ker k oosay “saat perdon” main chupa k rakha hai taa k zamanay k “serd o gurm” say mehfooz rahay wo waqai tareef bulk rushk k laiq hai :)…so aisa insaan jo be-hud selective ho oos ki choice kaisay achi nahi ho gi

    main 95% sure thi k mujhay ye telefilm bohat pasand aye gi …shuru main tou 100% thee phir socha k dunya main kuch bhi ho sakta hai tou bhari dil k sath 5% kum ker lia LOL aur ji bilkul isay dekkha aur 6min 10sec k baad hi main nay kehna shuru ker dia “I loved it loved it loved it” 😀

    brilliant piece of work …very artistic lekin entertainment value bhi perfect thi ..dono main balance ka khayal bohat achay say rakha gaya…get-ups kamal k thay aur bilkul thik kaha ek theatrical feel thi aisa laga k tv ki bjaiy stage per dekh rahay han aur tittle “tamasha mere agay” bhi is ko mazeed endorse ker raha hai obviously meaning wise is ka ek link theme k sath bhi tha

    acha ager main is kaa genre decide kerna chahoon tou nahi ker sakti kiunk starting was hilarious phir drama romance(in a way because they talked about mohabat mohabat) suspense even bohat say social issues uthaiy gai han aur lastly sipiritual element bhi tha tou bohat complex story ya jaisa aap nay kaha deep aur multilayered story hai
    aisi story ko handle kerna bachon ka khel nahi aur end main is ki presentation hi is ki sab say bari specialty k tor per samnay aye hai actors main sermad ka naam sun ker dil kuch doob gaya tha kiunk in ki acting ki ziada fan nahi lekin is character ko jis tra own kia mind blowing hairaan ker dia

    star of the show nimra thin jab main nay in ko daam main dekha tha tou socha wow kia great actor pk industry ko mili hai bilkul art movies k actors ki yaad ati hai in ko dekh ker lekin oos k baad itnay salon main inhon nay kabhi impress nahi kia sivaiy Virasat drama k waja tou aap nay mention ker di lekin yahan …I think ye telefilm in k bina wo ho hi nahi sakti thi jo is waqt ye hai fabulous fantastic work …

    qawalies were superb aur kitni detailing nazer aye her her cheez main…kiunk jigsaw puzzle k tukron ki tra ye choti choti cheezain mil ker drama ki over all feel per aser andaaz hotay han..songs bhi mere fav thay ek aur reason mil gaya pasand kernay ka 🙂
    THANK U SOOOO MUCH ..aap ki waja say ek aur brilliant cheez dekhnay ko mili aur ye khasa bhi bus aap hi kaa hai is main kisi ka hissa nahi God bless u


    • @RJ: Appreciate all the kind words and for trusting my choice enough to give this one a shot. I really meant what I was writing above, ke after penning this review I was waiting very anxiously for the feedback, and jab kaafi der khamoshi chhayi rahi I was quite convinced ke bas ji ab to anday tamatar parey hi parey… but thank you all for reaffirming my faith :). Its fab to know that despite what the industry walas tell us, there is an eager and appreciative audience out there, one that is bored to death with the mediocre stuff and is able to appreciate and applaud quality work whenever presented with it.

      Re: the telefilm: Absolutely, you summed it up so well… perfect balance of art and entertainment. If only somebody could go teach this formula to the rest our drama makers out there. Also with you on the aesthetics of the film being just so. Like a completed jigsaw puzzle, each piece fit in so well that it becomes hard to differentiate between the various pieces, but then take one piece out and all you can see is the gaping hole.

      Re: the genre, interesting point. I think in my own way that’s what I was alluding to as well when I mentioned that it was written in the style of classical writers of earlier days. I was thinking of so many of my favorite short stories where I would be hard pressed to describe them merely as romance, humor, social commentary. Infact to pigeon hole them in such contrived categories would be doing a great disservice to these literary pieces, Infact, now that I think about it I think this is the huge difference in stories today and those in the days gone by. Ab if a story is described as based on a social issue tau phir dont go looking for any kind of humor in it.. uskey liye aap ko ghatiya slapsick comedy dekhni paregi. Agar serial ka basis saas bahu ki kahani hai tau phir tau koi chance hi nahin ke is mein shohar ya susar ka koi kirdar ho. Similarly if it is supposedly following a two-sister formula then everything/everybody else is relegated to the background, jabke pehle aisa nahin hota tha.. and thats why they had universal appeal. Whether you were a man or a woman, married or unmarried, rich or poor,educated or not … there was something in there for everybody …

      Khair, yeh tau kahan se kahan pohonch gaye aur woh jo kehte hain na ke agar baat chal nikli to door talak jaayegi isliye lets call it a night for now 🙂


  7. Welcome Back!!! 🙂 Now please stay away from pathetic dramas so we don’t lose you again 😉 {hamari choti si guzarish ha}
    Will definitely check this one out. There is a lot more room for creativity in telefilms and thank goodness for that – they are less dictated by ratings and Kareena Kapoor selling cell phones. I just saw the Coke Kahani gal in a telefilm as well and I watched it just for her even though she had a very tiny role in it and the telefilm was just OK. Chalo kahin na kahin tow acha kaam ho raha hai 🙂


    • @Annie: Honestly! I am done with the tripe being put out in the name of entertainment. These ratings will be the death of all creativity on our channels these days :/ Oh, what telefim was this? Do share the name, will try to check it out. I am so off these dramas these days, ke I rarely check DOL anymore, kiya faida all I see are Turkish faces or roti soorats 😦

      Back to the telefilm, so glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Ab waiting for your unique take on this film, what worked and what didn’t. Been a while since we’ve read an Annie special 🙂


      • Ah love you for recommending this! I watched it all only ffwding the Dinu parts which is an accomplishment 😉 should I say it in Abdul Raheem’s words- Eggcelent! When he said MugleAzam tow mujhe Murgee yaad agAyee 🙂 haha like others have said the topic was uber serious but absolutely loved the writer’s humorous style and Sarmad’s interpretation of his role. Nimra was the STAR of the show -you could see she was loving it. You said it correctly that after Daam we had lost her to A and B’s mazloom aurat. It was Fab to see her in her element. The Malik Sahab guy always surprises me with his acting. He was good in the fairly recent MJ telefilm on target killings.

        Overall amazing! My only issue or rather question was that if it was a ghost then why were the 2 men sitting outside shown to be young during the story and then aged at the end. That was the only thing that didn’t gel with me but a very minor issue.

        The telefilm with the Coke Kahani gal was just OK. It was called Khamosh Muhabat. Good thing about telefilms is that you haven’t wasted 22 weeks on them to find out they are horrible 🙂 I did start watching Pyare Afzal from the middle and that is the only drama I am watching these days – good movie masala type fun. I would recommend catching up on it once it finishes since they are dragging it out a bit. Bashar Momin seems like a waste of a lot of money – kind of reminds me of those shaadis where you go and people tell you dulhan ka Jora Bohat expensive hai and when you see it you think to yourself as to what and where they spent the money on.
        Anyways here is hoping against hope that we see 1 good drama per year.


        • @Annie: Those two guys outside were in the past as well, thats why they were young, The fact that we were shown what was going on inside and then shown their responses was a way to show how wrongly the going-ons in the house were being interpreted by the duniya on the outside, I thought that was a very nifty trick to keep us guessing and for ensurign that we felt Sarmad’s shock when he/we heard the truth. Hope that makes sense!

          Yes, Saleem Mairaj is a fantastic character actor, much like Rashid Farooqi. They become whatever character they play so much so that you never see the actor only remember the characters he/she has played. Unfortunately not too many of such experienced actors around these days. That’s why even though I was not going ga ga over the new guy playing Dinu, I did appreciate the fact that he was a NAPA trained actor who was willing to play a deglam role like this one. Vajdaan Shah, ‘Shaam’s annoying bff from Shukk, and Fawad Khan, the new guy playing Iffat Umar’s hubby in Pehchan, are also trained actors.

          LOL@ comparing BM to the OTT talk that happens around shaadi times 🙂 For me this was more like a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes, where AnB created so much hype ke when I first saw it I was convinced ke there was something wrong with me, b/c otherwise how could everyone be going gaga over this “masterpiece” 😉

          Thanks for the heads up about the telefilm, I’ll check that one out.


  8. Thankyou sooo much for this. Loved it. Bohat maza aaya….Loved the acting, the settings, the music, the dance sequence of SK and the first acting exercise.
    The ending (spoiler alert) was intresting but in an other way I thought it was a bit simplistic….Have seen otherdramas jin mein bhi the ‘lady’ is revealed as a ghost. But I liked the way the ghost says that it will be a rooh that last day. I was so mortified that she’d burnt herself….:(
    And are you saying that Dinu believes that by teaching another human being to live life the right way, Firoza was achieveing eternal peace and hence, he died after that happened? Kyounkeh otherwise toh he had buried her…
    So in this way Dinu would be the only one knowing that F’s ghost is in the house and who was the guy who sent SK there is the first place? Basharat bhai? DInu?


    • @Afia: Glad you enjoyed this one 🙂

      Yes, she had committed suicide and Dinu her lover/companion knew that, but he knew that she/her rooh was bechain b/c she had cut her life short and did not wait for her time to come where she could have her story heard and she could clear her name. It was only after telling Sarmad her story, and teaching him all the life lessons that she had learnt the hard way, was her rooh able to attain eternal peace, Once Dinu knew that her story had been heard and and her point of view understood, her name cleared if you will, he was able to let go and die, and join his lover in the heavens…So yes Dinu was probably the only one who knew what was happening inside.
      Sarmad’s character was sent by a randomer, some rishtedar or other, he was probably given the key ke tum chaley jao makan khali hai … doesn’t he say in the begining ke he was told ke yahan tau koi nahin rehta …
      Not sure if I make much sense ….other friends, please jump in and help clarify 🙂


  9. My Dear dear dear SZ! A big big thank you for drama deprived me with some substance. I just lost the track of time watching this play, the direction , story and acting was of a class which Pakistani Drama industry is famous for. The story was very well knitted and the director directed it to perfection, until the last scene one was not really sure what would happen next, and that’s the art of story telling, you leave the reader keep guessing what would happen next. Nirma Bucha was given a meaningful role which suited her caliber, it felt for the first time as if she had the opportunity to KHUL kay act and show the audience what she is actually capable of, she gave us the feeling of watching a stag act , a live performance on stage.. Sarmad showed a glimpse of his acting skills in Numm , and here he just surprised us all , he did his character with so much innocence that it looked so real. The other characters were actually brilliant. The choice of Farid Ayaz,s qawali was icing on the cake. The story was very touching and shows the real face of entertainment industry, how it use to be , and I pray that its not like that anymore….. Over all the channel needs a big salute for giving us something interesting. The best thing is it has proven once again, a good story and equally good direction with good technical support with actors who can act doesn’t need big names for success. I am glad they didnt take the big stars here as I am kind of fed of same faces in all the channels and shows, like yesterday my husband was trying to figure out the story and at the end I said ” its a different serial” and he said ” lo yahi sahab toh thay uss mai bhi” …Hum TV is worst is having the same people again and again. But anyways , loved this play and congratulate the entire team.


    • @Sheema: Thank you so so so much for trying this out on my recommendation .. glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Exactly! This is what I would happily show to my friends as a representative of Pakistani drama, not those idiotic saas bahu serials that the big production houses are churning out like there is no tomorrow. Totally agree with your hubby … there is very little to differentiate one drama from other these days, The same five faces alternate b/w various dramas, we see the story tweaked in different ways, same houses, and in case of HUM TV even the clothes are recycled… so yeah why even bother with so-called masterpieces. Isiliye I think Im now happier checking out serials from lesser known production companies, smaller channels etc, at least they seem more open to experimentation.
      And haan, on that note, did you check out Pehchan? Kuch kaha nahin aap ne? I am intezaaring to hear from you 🙂


  10. A work of art! Enjoyed every minute of it. Although i will admit i was a bit confused, but it came together at the end! Sarmad Khoosat at his best. always have been a fan of Nimra Bucha, but in this telefilm she was outstanding. All the different characters played so effortlessly.
    This is a perfect example of a strong woman, something other drama makers should pick up on.

    I guess at this point , we should be happy with what we get.

    Thanks so much SZ for recommending this. See you around.


  11. @SZ. I really enjoyed this play. Nimra B. is brilliant. And I think she’s gorgeous. No need for fake blond hair and fake glassy looking eyes here. She’s a real desi beauty. I enjoyed the many layers of this telefilm. Thanks for the recommendation.


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