Pehchan ~ Episode 3 Review

pc  Meray shareek-e hayat mujh ko
tum aisi zindagi de do
saliqa aaye, sha’oor aaye
labon pe such ka zahoor aaye
ke meri aankhon mein noor aaye…


Meray shareek-e hayat mujh se
ruh o dil ka milap kar lo
mere sachey aansoon se tum
apne dil ko paak kar lo
kuch aisa sacha milap kar lo
meray shareek-e hayat mujh se…  

Exquisitely woven into these tender lines are a young bride’s feelings, what she hopes for in a new marital relationship. This uncharted path she has embarked on with an absolute stranger where will it take her? Her fears, hopes, expectations, above all her desire to be loved and respected, treated as an equal partner – a shareek-e hayat. p15All her unvoiced, unsaid feelings now penned down on a paper, waiting to be read by her new husband. A husband she is falling in love with. Yes, she didn’t want to get married this early. Yes, she had argued with her mother on this issue. Yes, she had shed tears over her trashed aspirations and ambitions. But at the end of the day she was a dutiful daughter who couldn’t let her mother down. Despite her supportive, but impractical and absentminded father, who offered to intervene on her behalf (the day before the wedding!), when push came to shove she caved in.p24Her marital life started off on a brusque note, but one sign of warmth and she begins to melt.

The initial weariness that seemed to have settled upon her, her forlorn loneliness, when her father left without meeting her, all seem to be forgotten for now.  Her husband’s surliness, his nitpicking all overlooked. For now that one affectionate touch is enough to leave her starry-eyed.  p22Not only is she looking stunning but so beautifully does Alishba play Laila that it is hard not to be moved by her. I shared Laila’s pain as she shredded the poster, experienced her loneliness as she made the long walk back to her new home, and felt her joy as she looked down upon her family and settled down to pour her heart out to her husband, Mansoor. What happens when her bubble is burst is something that will undoubtedly be painful to watch. I am so not looking forward to when Laila learns of her husband’s infidelities. Was this what her mother wanted for her? Is this why Laila was asked to say goodbye to her aspirations and ambitions? Is a suitable marriage still the be all and end all for our girls? All important and pertinent questions, ones that I look forward to seeing answered.

p42While Laila is happily dreaming of a rosy future her hubby has zero interest in his new bride and her romantic fantasies. Where is the time for Laila when he is obsessed with Kuku and her silence? How dare she block his number? How dare she not return his texts? How dare she not wait for him? That a mere woman could treat him lp1ike this, particularly one who he had decided needed his help and was worthy of his attention, was unfathomable. How, just how could a weak woman like Kuku defy him? As if all that was not enough, he has to deal with the sight of Kuku’s loser of a husband, staking his claim on the woman Mansoor thought of as his. Khurram, on the other hand, is completely oblivious to the tension between his wife and the stranger. Mooching off of his wife, that pie in the sky scheme of building houses forgotten for the moment, all he can see in this stranger is yet another opportunity to plug his questionable consulting expertise.

p10Caught between the two men, both of whom seem intent on staking their claim on her, Kuku seems to shrink inwards. Head bowed, eyes downcast, everything pulled inwards, this is not the woman we were introduced to in the first episode. She is nothing like the mazboot woman we first met. That woman would probably never had felt the need to justify herself to Mrs Khan. This is a woman who is hurting, who walks down memory lane remembering those happy times. p11When and where did it all start to go wrong? When did her charming lover turn into this cruel man? Even as she asks these questions of herself, one does wonder whether she realizes that it is not just Mansoor who has changed. She too is no longer the same girl who laughed and joked with careless abandon. Isn’t she playing games as well? Isn’t she using her self-absorbed husband as an an unwitting pawn in this battle of wits with Mansoor? How different are they from each other? Won’t she be equally implicated in the pain that is soon to unfold on an unsuspecting, completely innocent Laila?

Though a slower episode than the past two, I found this one equally engrossing. Every word, every expression, every gesture invites further exploration. Less wordier than most of our other serials, silences speak in a language all their own here. Naveed Malik’s cinematography makes this one a visual delight as the sets and locations are fully utilized to add that extra texture to narrative. The background score adds to the charm rather than detracting from it. Overall, the attention to detailing was once again impressive. The editing though seemed a bit lax today. I have watched the episode twice but still don’t get the need to repeat Laila ap35nd Mansoor’s scene. Also the two scenes with Laila’s brother and her friend appeared reiterative. In terms of acting Iffat Umar was stellar once again. Her body language conveys Kuku’s state of mind so well.  Alishba Yousuf is the perfect Laila. She seemed lost in Tanhaiyan Naye Silsilay so its great to see her back in the groove.  Sohail Sameer is very good as Mansoor, his labored English takes a bit of getting used to, but I am hoping to get there sooner rather than later. Parveen Malik and Qazi Wajid were very good as Laila’s parents. Khurram is such a hopeless character that I almost feel sorry for the actor, Fawad Khan, who has to play him. Sumbul Shahid hasn’t had much to do here, but the way Mansoor  was stirring the pot (what was going on with his all-white outfit?!),  it seems like Ammi ji’s inner saas will make her presence felt pretty soon. So yeah, I am happily hooked.

Well played Team Pehchan!

Written by SZ~

Pehchan ~ Episode 3 (For alternate links click here)

47 replies

  1. For me this episode was stolen by Alishba! We got her story. Her facial expressions, body language were spot on!
    I habe to admit i did find it strange that a this girl who didnt want to get married is now falling for a moron of a hubby who couldnt care less about her on her wedding night, rushed off for a haircut in the morning (most grooms would do that before they get married), who thinks they are playing shadi shadi… How can one moment of care and the offer of sharing a blanket get her so excited? Was it a glimmer of hope? She obviously had some ideas about marriage. She knows she is in with this for the long haul and there is no turning back..@SZ I loved how u highlighted the shareek e hayat bit.. Afterall her mother had gone through it too! And her mothers giving reaction infront of her samdhan when she and mansoor were putting their side down (the shadi valima comparison, the stage, make up photographer etc) says to me she is a typical larki ki maan who would want to see to her daughter settle in the susral no matter what! Marriage is a be all and end all for her and i guess thats what laila has in her ‘ghutti’.. She is much like her mum…
    As for mansoors trip to kuku.. Loved how kuku was quite but her khamoshi spoke volumes! Although M only came for kuku, kuku wanted to show him its strictly business… Inder jo bhi jang ho!

    On a lighter note, mazboot or kamzor aurat, shes a terrible hairdresser!! i would never let kuku touch my hair! Last week she almost burnt mrs khans hair and this week tou hadd ho gai.. Was she on a revenge tip putting mansoors coat behind his chair and using aprin instead of a cape for his hair cut! Imagine the mess!!! Aur ooper se mansoor sahab was still in the same shirt!! He must b itching like mad but shayad muhabbat mein woh bhi bhool gae lol.

    Btw kuku kuch kare na kare, she really needs to sort out her hubby’s hair!! His get up is beyond annoying!! Lol

    @SZ loved how u compared mansoor vs kuku ie they r both users and abusers.. Khurram is just so too.. So far the only innocent party seems to be Laila.. Lets see how long that lasts!

    Loved loved loved the hills in the bg.. The interior of this house may not be anything special, i find the location really wow! Imagine waking up to this view everyday and the sham ki chai..

    Bohot ho gya.. Theres lots ranting and raving for this one.. Will b back for more later.. Like u said there were unnecessary details, neverthless overall i enjoyed it.


    • @FA: hahaha ur seriously so funny yar.. Loved wht u wrote abt kuku as a hair dresser.. So her heels distract me so much.. Even im excited to see how laila deals with upcoming situations.. Too excited 🙂


    • @FA – haha! terrible hairdresser is right!! Wth did she even do to Mansoor’s hair ? All she did was spray some water on. Comb it, or rather run her fingers across it, where it looked like she wanted to pull his hair out. and Walaa he was done. Wonder what happened to the curlers in Mrs. Khan’s hair.

      And i also love the location. Anyone know where exactly that is?


    • @FA: LOL! Mei behen! I’m with you on Kuku and her hairstyling (in)abilities … nope, not going to her anytime soon! LOL@ Khurrm and his hair. Yaar he needs major intervention… not just for his hair but hiskaprey! Those suspenders and checked shirts and chapals! Bechara, he’s stuck in such a time warp! Adding insult to injury is he fact ke bechara is married to Kuku, the epitome of beauty and elegance … bechara kuch bhi kar ley don’t think its gonna help his case any!

      And haan the exteriors are gorgeous! Didn’t you just love the way Alishba was framed with those picture windows behind her, when that cousin brought her chai, really stunning! As for interiors, those gold couches in Laila’s parents’ house were really old school.

      Love the way you put Laila’s reaction in the context of her mother’s and then that scene with the two samdhans ,,, lol waisey interesting how we blame women for being bitchy, yahan to Mansoor left even the women behind! Ab lets see what happens tomorrow.

      Re: the shirt, you know Im probably reading way too much into it, but do you think it was yet another sign of his hypocrisy: still wearing a shirt that he had worn to meet the other woman but covering up his misdeeds with whiter than white outerwear… indicating oopri sharafat? He doesn’t seem to find anything wrong with his harkats, but would he put up with such a behavior from his wife? Is outward purity enough?


  2. Salaams SZ, I liked this episode although it was slow. The scene between Alishba and her dad was sad, how her mom just wanted her to leave maayka, not that her mom hates her. I don’t think Alishba was lost in Tanhayaan Naye Silsilay, her chemistry with Shehryar was great to watch.

    SZ, are u watching Koi Nahi Apna? If ur not, please do. The story is nothing new, but the sweet chemistry between Fahad Mustafa and Sarwat Gillani and fresh dialogues and direction make it a treat to watch. is only attacking this drama. People are comparing this drama to Dil e Muzter and Kabhi Kabhi. These were poorly written scripts with annoying faces of Ahsan Khan and the oppressing saas and nand of Kabhi Kabhi and the villian Sarwat Gillani in Dil e Muzter was so frustrating. The ost is also mesmerizing.


      • It shows a rich girl middle-class boy who decide to marry each other but interesting scenes, natural chemistry and movie-like direction with a strong daughter in law make it worth watching. Don’t watch the ost video as something big gets revealed in it, watch it after drama is about to end.


  3. Omg.. Bee Gul hain kiya aakhir.. I think I have to watch this one as bee gul is winning me..
    @SZ.. @FA are you watching ‘mery badshah ki izzat’ in ‘Again’ by Bee Gul?? I’m simply in love with it.. After a long time such plot has exceptionally sketched..


  4. First of all..apologies for not joining the awesome discussion being made on epi 2.. I missed it so much 🙂

    Amazing amazing review SZ.. Agree with everything u said like always 🙂

    Episode 3 was simply a visual delight, where you simply enjoy the unsaid words, the expressions or body language which do all the talking for us.. Each and everything.. The first thing which i loved was how Laila after changing sat on chair and looked outside window and they showed us the passage and then it connected to her memories .. Talk about ‘yaad ki raahguzar’ … I was actually enjoying those past moments along with Laila.. Beautifully done.. I love Alishba’s haircut and pretty tou she is waise bhi .. Laila seems to me very interesting specially how she didnt noticed or rather ignored what Mansoor was talking about lightenings and baraat but became happy once he said me lene ajaonga.. Charm speaks .. No…??. So intrigued to know how will she face the real mansoor and self realise her worth..she deserved much better than him., atleast this what i think..

    Coming to Kuku and her idiot husband.. Ohh can some smack khuram.. Khudaya why on earth kuku is handling him.. Specially when he said jaan we need to be careful.. Jaan ka patha kahen ka.. Seriously he doesn’t have even change for paniwala.. Coming to serious part.. Clearly kuku have taken this so much to her, its destroying her upbeat attitude and not even stopping mansoor to make those close attempts.. She is giving him silent punishment but it is not working at all.. Must say all actors are doing some brilliant job here.. Direction and writing are top notch.. What we really expect from Talkhiyan team 🙂

    what i am loving here is precaps are so interesting that u can only look forward for next thursday anxiously..


    • @Rehmat: Glad you’re enjoying this one as well 🙂 Yes, have to say I;m really glad they have been able to maintain suspense, unlike a few other channels that reveal the cliffhanger in the precaps, In fact even the teasers and OST video did a great job of showing just enough to whet the appetite.
      Arent you glad ke we have an original script that is keeping us guessing…


  5. Hi SZ very interesting episod , loved it. Can you explain the meaning of the note she wrote for Mansoor. Amazing review , I was waiting for it. ( like “num” review though I cannot compare to this drama ,Way way better in every way, ) I like off bit indian movies and this drama is like that . I think of shabana Aazmi when I see Kuku. All wonderful actors. I hope i am not writing anything wrong . But I love your writing . I was touched by father daughter conversation. Hope to hear from you.


    • @Ranjan: So glad to have you on board for this ride! Yes, this one is a one-off and does have a distinctly artsy feel to it. I am sure Iffat Omar would be delighted with your comparison re: Shabana Azmi. Isn’t it fabulous to finally get a well-made meanigful story that makes for a deeper analysis and has characters that feel very human, not the black and white cutouts we see as a routine in our dramas.
      Re: the note, Aah! I will murder the tender feel of the words if I give you a literal translation – perhaps somebody else can help out – please! For the time being I can tell you that I do have a rough summary in my first paragraph.. shareek-e hayat refers to the person with whom you share your life, so basically she is asking him to open his heart to her, make room in his life for her, make her privy to his innermost thoughts.. in short become her partner on this unknown uncharted journey they have embarked on together. Hope that made some sense!


  6. Dear SZ,
    Thank you for all the praises, encouragement and support once again. Want to let you know that you and your forum of viewers mean a lot to us and really help us keep going in the kind of work we do. Often even during shoots we talk about and are mindful of your kind of viewers out there who watch and notice the little details, are sensitive to the what is being conveyed beyond words and dialogues and are also aware of the social implications of the narrative.
    Like Talkhian, let me confess once again that when Be Gul sent me the first two episodes I was very discouraging. “Who do you think you are writing for madam ? This is Pakistani tv and not some alternative Euoropean film festival. TV and specially Pakistani tv is hardly the medium ……………………….. etc. etc. “ Be Gul waited patiently for the speech to end and then said, “channels and tv aside what does Khalid Ahmad think of it?”. Nonplussed for a moment I said, “ Well I think it’s great, amazing work, amazing script, original, thought provoking, lyrical etc……. but you see I am not talking about myself and the fact remains that …………”. “Well tha’s all I am interested to know. Thank you”, she cut me short. There is no arguing with a Pathan.
    Even before Be GuI had started to write the episodes I had taken the two page synopsis to Nurul Huda Shah. Unlike the weeks and months that channels take to read and respond to your idea she read it in five mins and said, “this is on…. I want it ….. ask Be Gul to start writing”. As simple as that. Later when I sent her the first two episodes it was again with a lot of apprehension. But once again I was taken aback when she showered the writing with praises and accepted the scripts just as they were without even suggesting minor changes. Later throughout the writing process she kept reading the scripts and generously praising Be Gul’s work and style. I think the only reason that a work like this could find a space in today’s television scenario was because of the way Nurul Huda Shah accepted and owned the script and gave us her whole hearted encouragement and support.
    Having given you the ‘back story’ all I want to say that for me Pehchan is a very special work because, as you will find out viewers if you keep watching patiently, that it is a subversive play and I believe that all art ought to be subversive. The play seriously challenges and questions exisiting notions of man, woman and relationships.
    Be Gul’s scripts are a curse and a gift for the director at the same time. Curse, because they are difficult to shoot within the time and resources of a serial. Scenes are not written in the usual, ‘talk, talk’ pattern. There is screenplay and constant movement and each scene brings it own challenges. It takes time and patience. But I call it a gift because the screenplay is so beautifully crafted and detailed that all a director has to do is sensitively follow it and the work is more than half done. I am also fortunate that I have this special working relationship with the writer. She stands with me and by me throughout the shoot as my associate director, my designer, my critic and support. We work together. We disagree, fight and quarrel. But in the end we laugh. I would also like to mention Razi and Seema, the producers who, God only knows why, undertake to produce such scripts time and again and have the patience and the will to go through the grind and the suffering.
    A special shout out there to my D.O.P. Naveed Shahzad, but more about him and the actors and rest of the team and the difficulties of making dramas like this in today’s television atmosphere that is so resistant to them.
    Will burden you and your readers about these once again sometime in the coming weeks.


    • @Khalid Ahmad: thank you so much for giving Dramas like Talkhiyan and Pehchaan.. Which are so different from norm that we look forward to watch, enjoy and feel all the characters as we are living with them.. Just want to wish you and your whole best of luck for all upcoming ventures.


    • @Khalid Ahmad Thank you so much for taking your time out to share this with us. Behind the scene stories always add so much more to our viewing experience.
      & thanks once again to you, and now esp to Bee Gul and Nurul Huda Shah, for giving us hatke plays with such depth in current times, where we only get the same old saas bahu sagas and leaving the viewer with only one question: which lead character (aurat) was more mazloom.. lol..
      We, here at SZ’s forum, love to go for the baat ki khaal… so with so much to read between the lines and and so much reflected in gestures and body language, we can see we are in for a hell of a ride here with Pehchan!
      Would love to hear more from you. Already looking forward to the added excitement, so please keep it coming!!!


    • @Khalid Ahmad . You are the BEST!!! Thank you so much for giving us beautiful dramas like Pahchan and Tallkhiya . Being a indian I love your dramas ,learning a lot from these dramas . Your dramas are so different and very interesting . thank you to all your PAHECHAN TEAM and big thank you to BEE GUL.thanks again.


    • @Khalid Sahab: Hello! What a delight to hear from you! Loved reading the “back story!” Thank you for your very kind words and not forgetting about viewers like us, who, though admittedly a small minority, still look forward to projects like yours and are proud to own these as gems that Pakistani TV can and does produce (increasingly rarely though 😦 ).

      First off a huge shout out to Bee Gul for standing her ground and not letting your pessimism change her mind – thank you, BG! Now here’s a mazboot aurat for sure! And then of course tremendous gratitude to you, your crew, actors, and Seema and Razi Sahab for bringing us yet another fabulous project after Talkhiyan. And kudos to Noor ul Huda Shah for backing this project and owning it as compared to the step motherly treatment meted out to Talkhiyan.

      Talkhiyan was a fabulous project and all of us here loved it – no questions about that. What made Talkhiyan that much more special was that when we had first tuned in we had no clue what we were in for, we approached it with little or no expectations. This time around, though, we came to Pehchan expecting the sun, moon and the stars. The promos looked great, but I will admit to having doubts if that Talkhiyan magic could be replicated, But three episodes in, I am happy to say my fears have been put to rest. Pehchan is nothing like Talkhiyan, but at the same time very similar to it. Dissimilar b/c the stories, the ambiance, the context all are different, the similarities lie in the honesty in Bee Gul’s writing, your understanding and execution of her characters and story, and the team’s commitment to the project. It is easy to see this is not just another serial, rather this is the one where we,the viewers are not taken for granted and are expected to use our rusty brain cells (thank you formula serials) and think and see beyond the obvious.Thank you team Pehchan for not giving in to the pressure to churn out mindless, mediocre stuff and providing us with meaningful entertainment – much appreciated!

      Yes, absolutely please do share more of your insights about the sad state of our drama industry and the challenges involved in making a critically acclaimed but commercially non-viable serial. Also would love to hear more behind the scenes stories from you! Looking forward to another great journey with Pehchan!


    • @Khalid Ahmad, Sir thank u so much for giving us yet another “hut key” serial, and plz keep them coming because v look forward to this kind of work. Believe me if u keep this standard, u’ll witness this group of viewers increasing soon.
      Hats off to Team Pehchan! Love u all


  7. I love your reviews,and they are a real source of inspiration and encouragement for me. I, as an actress, have never talked about my work. This is the only script in my life about which I am personally telling all my friends, and asking them to watch this play as it’s script and direction is immaculate and really close to my heart. By the way, love the comment about how horrible a hair dresser Cuckoo is..LOL


    • @Iffat Omar Its so nice to hear from u!! Absolutely loving u as Cuckoo (hair issues aside of course lol). ..relishing the intensity in your gestures, the unspoken works.. its a treat to watch! looking forward to seeing what Cuckoo does next!


    • @Iffat Omar: so good to see your comment and acknowledgement.. Totally loving u as Cukoo.. You own this character like no other.. So excited to see what is in store for us 🙂


    • @iffat Omar – so lovely to hear from you! Was really looking forward to Pehchan bc of your return! You have been absolutely amazing in Pehchan but can you please get rid of cuckoo Khurram though! 🙂
      Would love to hear about your experience with this drama. Hope to see you in other more meaningful projects as well! And ofc looking forward to seeing Kuku’s story! 🙂


    • @Iffat Omar: Thank you so much for taking the time to read my reviews. As a long time fangirl it is that much more of a pleasure to hear from you 🙂 It is fabulous to have you back with a bang, performing such a well-etched character with so much relish. Bee Gul’s Kuku has many moods and shades and its great to see you bringing her to life with such verve and intensity. Now that Khalid Sb has hinted at subversiveness, I am eagerly looking forward to seeing how Kuku’s character evolves and grows with time.
      I hope you will continue reading as we go forward in this journey with Pehchan, and will join us in our conversations about the serial, its multifaceted characters, and share your experiences, behind the scenes stories and insights. Looking forward to hearing more from you!


  8. From the three, this was my favorite episode! Very engrossing, kept you glued to your seat till the end. It was nice to see other characters, and their stories as well, bc Kuku well she’s not doing much. I don’t understand why she doesn’t throw plaid boy out the door. He is the biggest loser in the drama world. I am not really sure what the point of him is. But if Kuku hates him so much, why is she living with him. O.o.

    I love how (no) Mrs. Khan has to poke her nose into everyone’s business. Why should Kuku need to explain herself to her. Maybe Mrs. Khan should spend more time with he husband and less time at the good for nothing salon. How is it that Kuku is attending three different clients at the same time.

    Mansoor, another loser. Not really sure what he wants either, best of the both worlds clearly. His wife is falling for him and he is too busy running Kuku’s life. Itna busy ke he didn’t even get a chance to change out of that nasty colored mustard shirt. Who is the stylist for the men in this drama. Terrible job.

    I wish Kuku realizes that she is a strong, career oriented woman and can lead a happy independent life, not needing either of the two losers.

    My fave of the episode was Alishba Yousaf. She is the perfect Laila. She looked stunning and facial expressions were spot on throughout. I guess this is what it must feel like to fall in love with someone you didn’t even want to get married to in the first place. Loved all her outfits, and her acting skills clearly shine in this play compared to some of her passed mediocre dramas.

    The father – daughter scene was very sweet, especially since it really doesn’t happen and most fathers are clueless and really do not care whether their daughter is happy or not stepping into a marriage.

    What I disliked about this episode was Laila’s mother going on and on about important marriage is, and that’s a girl’s future. One must marry before they get too old and risthas ana band ho jayien ge. Why is that the Pakistani mentality is still at such a standstill, where the only purpose of a woman is to get married and move on to cater to the needs of a man and his family. She has no career, no ambitions and has no rights on her own life. Things and lines like these just put more ideas in the heads of mothers who have “aging” daughters , and can only think of their marriage day in and day out. Why is it so difficult to let a woman be. To let her find herself before she steps into another complicated journey. Why must a woman give up a life that was her’s to please the rest of the world.
    Its a shame that with time, nothing changes. In fact things just seem to get worse.

    Lets see if Kuku can find that strong woman within herself, and if Laila finds all the happiness in her marriage, as she is already falling for her dishonest husband.


    • @Ash: totally agree with you on marriage point… Seriously yaar this is something where no change can ever be seen.. I know such girl who was doing so well in her career but only cuz her parents continously talk abt how she is still single n other frnds having child at same age… She too had same kind of complex k why im not getting married 😦 achi bhali she was enjoying her life… So sad to see such things happening..

      I loved what you wrote about Kuku realizing her worth and that these 2 men are not of her calibre 🙂


    • @Ash: ROFL @ how does Kuku attend to so many customers at the same time .. too funny! Bechari Kuku! Thank God Kuku’s not a real person with a real salon, warna tau all this hate would’ve def put her out of business!

      Agree with you and @RJ about Laila’s mom and her lectures.. but I would think thats exactly the point being highlighted here .. a sensitively written critique of our misplaced, misguided and antiquated societal norms … I think we are in for one heck of an emotional journey as both of our women grown and evolve.


  9. Dear SZ,
    I’d like to take this opportunity to show my gratitude for your thoughtfully and comprehensively written reviews on Pehchan. It’s a huge source of encouragement for the entire team of Pehchan. Huge thanks to Khalid Sahab and Noor Aapa to give Pivot the privilege to produce it. It’s indeed an honor to be a part of this beautiful project. I and Seema would like to thank the entire team of Pehchan for being so supportive and for all the hard work throughout the shoot; Khalid Sahab for being such a big influence on the entire team, including myself, by leading from the front in extremely tough shooting conditions. Without going into the script in depth and production requirements, I took up the project Pehchan as soon as it was offered to us due to the faith I have in the capabilities and experience of Bee Gul and she delivered way more beyond my expectations.
    Finally, I’d like to request SZ to keep writing overall encouraging reviews to all the projects aimed at a paradigm shift from numbers game to image/quality; Noor Aapa and other channels to look into encouraging such projects in the future too; And media planners (media houses and advertising agencies) to look beyond the ratings and start associating such projects with the niche brands targeted at select audience, thus encouraging Bee Gul to continue thinking out of the box at all times.


    • @Razi Sahab: Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment and your very gracious words – much appreciated! You and Seema have been real troopers, first with Talkhiyan and now Pehchan. Here’s to wishing you and the Pehchan team all the best with this project and hope it does really well. A success here will go a huge way towards encouraging other creatives to take similar risks and hopefully eventually create an audience for these kinds of hatke projects.


  10. “Saccha adeeb wohi hai jo rehnumai se katra jai. Wohi likhe Jo iss ke dil ki gehraie se ubbharta hai, Jo wo dekhta hai, mehsoos karta hai, Jo uss per beetti hai” said Ismat Chughtai. And after this there are no more words of praise that I can come up with to express what I feel about the magic that flows out of Beegul’s pen. In no way am I, or most others like me in my profession are worthy of even commenting about Khalid Ahmad Sahab and his qualities, so I shall refrain myself on this point. Let it suffice, that I am a huge admirer of a lot of qualities that are packaged together in this man that I feel honored to call “Sahab”.

    “Minority” is the word used quite frequently in the comments here for the viewers, but it is this minority that keeps the ray of hope alive, that slowly but surely, more and more individuals would join in this “minority” and turn the tables on the “majority”. And in the meanwhile, let this minority be led by such torchbearers like Khalid Ahmad Sahab and Beegul, and encourage us to look for those better days ahead. Coming to Pehchaan, from Alishba to Iffat, Sameer to Fawad and all the others in between, who is the luckier one? The actors who got such a writer director duo or the duo who got such a dedicated team of talent together? Or Naveed who painted the canvas so patiently with his camera? I think it is us, the viewers who are the lucky ones that all if them came together.

    It is so heartening to read your writing on each episode SZ (regret can’t use words like analysis, review etc for what you write, as I humbly feel, what you pen down for Beegul’s writing has as much heart in it in its own way then what Beegul herself writes). A big word of thanks to Noor ul Huda Shah, for allowing us the opportunity to see something like Pehchaan. And on behalf of all those who have seen, or are going to see Pehchaan, a hope, a promise, that we will be seeing the duo of Khalid Ahmad and Beegul weaving their magic again. And again. And again….


    • @Imran Mahboob: Amen to all that you’ve penned down so beautifully!
      And thank you for your very generous words, means a lot 🙂


  11. great review 🙂 I loved it…is baar tou main bohat late ho gai per chalo der aa-yud durast aa-yud 😉 …mujhay ye epi umeed say kahin ziada pasand aye ab umeed achay ki kiun nahi thi..reason bta chuki hoon Alishbaa…main nay in kaa ek drama TNC silsilay dekha tha aur wo sab ko pta hai ek classic kaa sequel tha jis main expectation level bohat ziada hota hai etc…in short ye mujh per koi khaas impression naa qaim ker sakin aur in k liay mere ander ek resistance paida ho gai..tou pehchaan k promos anay k baad say hi main thik thaak “preshaan” thi k ab kia karoon gi aur previous epi k end per is epi k promo say ye andaza laga ker k ye epi “Laila” aka alishbaa k naam rahay gi tension kuch ziada thi lekin janab saray khudshaat ghalat sabit hoay aur ye epi khoob enjoy ki even alishbaa k liay paala hoa grudge bhi kafi kum hoa hopefully drama k end per ye meri fav actresses main shamil hon gi jaisay Sanam saeed Talkhiyaan k baad meri fav ban gain 🙂

    bilkul ye epi alishba k naam rahi aur laila k past /back ground ko highlight kia gaya lekin is k sath kuch points jo Beegul nay uthaiy hain is shadi shadi k khel main… unhon nay mujhay apni terf khencha ..jaisay “ye hi umer hai shadi ki” kia shadi kaa taluq “age” say hai ye age ho gai shadi ker lo yaa is age say pehlay shadi ker lo ..phir jo jahan jaisa milay bus shadi ker lo koi understanding/compatibility ki zaroorat nahi aur phir ye her inssan k sath tou develop ho bhi nahi sakti like aunty said “tou milo jaan lo pehchaan lo …bus ab debate khatam karo rishta paka ho gaya hai” shadi ek “munasib umer”(society ki tajweez kerda) k ander rehtay hoay kisi bhi available insaan k sath ek agreement kaa naam hai yaa ek aisay insaan k sath sari umer k liay committed honay kaa naam hai jo sahi maani main “shareek-e 😉 hayyat ban sakay

    Mujhay sab say ziada ghussa jis baat per aya “childless marriage less home less old maid” ..Auntyyyyyyy ji kuch sensible bolein shadi koi life insurance nahi… aap k secure future ki guaranty nahi aur bachay… is baat ki bhi kia assurance hai k bachay zaroor hon gay phir ho gai tou aap oon k sath ek safe “bhurh-hapa” guzarein gay kisi old home main nahi..phir is sab ko choro kia shadi in cheezon k liay ki jati hai kia shadi insaan ki khahish say ziada zaroorat aur zaroorat say ziada majboori hai..mera dil chaah raha tha kaash laila ki jaga main hoti tou aunty ji ko ek do jhutkay tou zaroor deti ..lekin end main “khandaani” logon kaa aunty k sath salook dekh ker main nay kaha “yesss badla poora ho gaya aunty aap ye hi deserve kerti thin”

    lekin kia laila ye deserve kerti hai …”bhai tumhara tou naseeb khul gaya itna acha lerka itni achi BARI”…aur aunty k kabhi naa khatam honay walay “bhari jorhon zewar ” k qaseeday.. laila ki mil “itna kuch naashtay main aya hai” kia shadi in chund materialistic cheezon k exchange kaa naam hai sadly humari society main haan aisa hi hai..kisi lerki ki “luck” aur happy married life kaa andaza bari k kapron zewar aur dosri cheezon ki bunyaad per kia jata hai ..lekin laila janti hai k shadi kaa matkab “rooh-o dil say milaap” hai ab ager ye baat mansoor bhi samajh sakay..Bee gul nay yahan shadi k hawalay say society main qaim soch aur perceptions ko prominent kernay k sath sath oos kaa sahi objective bhi bayyan kia hai jo end main hum laila ki zubani ek poem ki soorat main suntay hain..brilliant work

    mujhay acha laga jab laila shadi per apni unwillingness k ba-wajjod apnay bro k kehnay per “mehndi dikhao” sherma ker hath chupa laity hai k kuch bhi wo ek lerki ek insaan hai feelings rakhnay wali aur ek baar jab faisla ker chuki hai tou ek her lerki ki tra wo bhi is naye bannay walay rishtay k hawalay say khaab dekh rahi hai lekin inhi khaabon k dermiyaan oos ko apnay oon khaabon ki yaad ana jin ko kuchal ker wo is muqaam tak aye hai i think “bangles aur poster” oos k inhi naye aur puranay khaabon ki terf ishara say future main bhi jhanknay kaa mouqa milta hai k wo apnay husband say ek behter relation qaim kernay k liay tayyar hai bus oos terf say ishara milnay ki der hai jo last scene main hum nay dekha..bangle scene was brillinat

    isi doraan kukoo aur oos ki yadein..wo yadon ki raah guzer per gaamzen hai….ye bohat interesting hai jab laila apnay yaadon main gum hai sath hi kukoo ko bhi apnay past main khoya dikhaya gaya dono apnay gum-shuda khaabon ki yaad main magan..isi tra morning in 2 different houses ..oos kaa side by side comparison bhi interesting tha kukoo k gher main sab kuch bikhraa oos k huby ki badolat aur laila apna room khud thik kertay apnay huby ki absence main..again ek scene say do different logon k state of mind ko jis tra show kia gaya it was brilliant

    now kukoo nay clear cut msg dia hai k manssor oos k liay ek client say ziada kuc nahi ..mujhay nahi lagta wo khurram ko use ker rahi hai manssor ko jealous feel kerwanay k liay kiunk mansoor khurram aur oos k relation say waqif hai is liay khurram say kabhi insecure nahi ho sakta..I think wo khurram ko apnay liay use ker rahi hai is waqt wo shadeed tor per tanha aur sense of loss kaa shikaar hai kukoo ko kisi aisay insaan ki zaroorat hai jis per wo apni frustration nikaal sakay aur is kaam k liay khurram say behter koi nahi
    isi tra mrs khan ko her cheez explain kerna shayed is liay k dono main ek trust kaa relation qaim ho gaya hai mrs khan ab oos ki raaz daar hain..yaa ab wo kukoo ki majboori hai kiunk jab hum kisi ko apna koi raaz day detay hain khud apni kamzori oos k hath day datay hai

    night scene main phir dono couples ki married life kaa comparison….aur phir wo epic scene jis per mere dil nay bhangra dala aunty ji agay agay dekhaiy hota hai kia..chalo ji ye khatam abhi main nay comments nahi perhay ..tou shayed ek round aur lagay werna next review per mulaqaat..bye bye 🙂


    • @Rj hamesha ki tarah ap ka tafseeli tabsara parh kr maza aya..
      I think laila ki Ami ka “child-less home-less old maid” kehna us k apnay experience ki basis pe tha. Usay lgta hai k uski lyf mukammal hai coz she has a home, a daughter.. Jb k laila ki phuppo ki shadi nae hui is liye vo rishtay-daaro k rehm o karam per hai…
      Phr shadi ko “age” se relate krnay ka rzn b shaed yehi ho k laila ki phuppo ki shadi b late honay ki waja se na ho saki


      • @Atty: Hey! You caught up? Ab agley review pey will wait to hear from you and read your take on these very interesting characters 🙂


      • @Atty : thank u so much aap nay apna qeemti waqt dia…jo baat main keh rahi hoon k zaroori nahi ek insaan kaa jo exp ho wo hi doosray kaa bhi ho life surprises kaa naam hai ye unpredictable hai is main kisi cheez ki assurance nahi aur ye hum nay dekh bhi lia shaadi ek gamble hai… laila ki mom ki life laila ki nahi ho gi…oosay abhi k liay tou bohat problems face kernay perhein gay ..tou shadi ek tra say problems say door honay kaa koi zeriyaa nahi ..isi tra laila ki shadi ager naa hoti tou zaarori nahi wo apni aunts ki tra useless insaan k tor per jiay bulk bohat si aurtein bohat constructive life guzarti hain..tou is main bhi kisi hatmi nateejay per pohunch jana thik nahi….jahan tak age ki baat hai mera sab say bara objection hai kisi lerki ko oos ki education say ye keh ker rok dena k ab shadi ki age nikal rahi hai ghalat hai aao khud kpk say hain aur janti hain kia kuch hota hai ..ager laila perhna chahti thi tou oos ko mom ko oos ko support kerna chahiay tha ye tha oos k future ko sahi maani main secure kerna


    • @RJ: No worries, as they say shukr hai aaye tau 😉
      Yes, Alishba has given a great account of herself here. Earlier as well, her performances in Main Abdul Qadr and Ek Nazar Meri Taraf were noteworthy. She was also very good in the recent telefilm Zahra, also directed by Khalid Ahmed, so I couldn’t really understand your trepidation, but yes now that you say it, I agree, her track in TNS was a weak one and she did not make a mark there, so yes, its good to see her find her stride here.

      Yes, an astute observation, re: the parallel scenes, I think this will be the hallmark of Pehchan, and BF has done a fabulous job here in knitting the scenes such that the parallels are subtle and seem to flow naturally rather that hitting you on the head as a conscious mode of storytelling.

      Re: Kuku using Khurram to make Mansoor jealous, no I dont think that’s what she is doing, nor is Khurram jaisa loser helpng her get over this emotional hump, IMO she is using him to assuage her own ego, to show to Mansoor that she is over him and not sitting around crying for him… also this way she is showing that she is stronger than him.. he might not be over her but she is done with him … The jealousy is all on Mansoor’s part … his annoyance and shock was clearly spelled out when Khurram walked in on them…

      Re: Mrs Khan .. For me she is the most intriguing character and I think her role in Kuku’s life will keep changing, being redefined as we go through this story and we see Kuku and Laila evolve ..

      What I am absolutely loving here is that there are no right or wrong answers. As I had said earlier as well, I see Pehchan lending itself to multiple interpretations, add to that the fact that this is an original script means that even as we wait for the story to unfold we are in for a great ride, lots of discussions about these characters and their motivations …. sahi ya ghalat woh baad main dekha jaye ga!


      • @SZ: oh yes ..Alishba MAQH main bhi tou thin aur bohat achaa kaam kia tha thanks for reminding ..tashakuur besyar zeyad (persian word for thanks a lot 😉 aaj hi seekha ..nahi nahi koi ek banda ye sab nahi sikha raha different log hain aap ko gaaliyaan denay main thori mehnat kerni ho gi waisay aap oon say badlaa lay sakti hain mujhay kisi aur language k words sikhaa ker 😉 …best intiqaam

        ji bilkul pehchaan ki beauty hai k aap is say different interpretations akhuz ker saktay hain ager kerna chaein tou…aur kukoo k baad mrs khan mera fav character hai jis main sab say ziada interested hoon aur khahish hai oon k bald husband bhi apni entry den tou maza hi aa jye ..kukoo aur manssor ki big egos hi oon ko yahan tak lay aye hain dekhna yahan say kahan jatay hain ..iffat apni career best performance day rahi hain ..aur mujhay ahsaas ho raha hai k jitni achi ye artist hain tou apnay talent k hisaab say inhon nay bohat kum kaam kia hai ..hopefully is k baad hum in ziada screen per dekein gay..aur Khalid sahib k liay tou ye hi k word “artist” in k liay bana hai …tou dekhtay hain kal kia hota hai


        • @RJ: Haha! No no no talk of badlas.. why would I want to do that?! Just glad to see you turning into a quite the linguist.. kheyli khoob!


  12. Just finished watching episode 3 🙂 It’s lovely to read comments from the cast and crew here, SZ. How I wish these labours of love and dedication received their due!

    It’s really late now, so I’ll leave detailed comments tomorrow, but for now, I’d like to echo what others have pointed out – Kuku’s no Edward Scissorhands! Poor Mrs Khan looked petrified (the same expression I have when I am sitting on the dentist’s chair, lol). And even Mansoor was more relaxed when he was out of that chair!

    I can’t thank you enough for keeping on harping about Pehchan, SZ – it is worth it’s weight in gold…


  13. For me, episode 3 was about two characters who control…and in this battle of control and supremacy, the controllers forget that tables can sometimes turn against them…

    Mansoor – he is one of those who gets his strength by putting others down or keeping them at his mercy – whether it is a strong girl like Kuku or his quiet, gentle new bride Laila or his mother and mother-in-law – this man wants to be in control and feel very powerful. His non-verbal put-down of Khurram (although Khurram was asking for it) was also part of the same idea I guess.

    Laila’s mum – one of those women who thinks mum knows best. And tries to control Laila’s life by imposing her decisions on her, not giving Laila any space or the credit to be able to think and make her own decisions. I wonder what will happen when Laila’s mum realises that Mansoor is not the catch she thought he was, or that her decisions lead to Laila’s unhappy future…

    There were so many messages challenging popular wisdom/conventions that came out of this episode:
    – how marriage is often seen as the ultimate raison d’etre of a woman, that she is incomplete without a shohar and kids;
    – education is always secondary for a girl – ambition? What ambition? Qualifications, dreams, choices – all have to be sacrificed in the name of marriage, because heaven forbid, if the girl remains unmarried, then no worse fate can befall her;
    – sending an unmarried girl off to study in a foreign country? Think again! She might just bring shame and dishonour to the family – get her married off, then she is her husband’s property/responsibility;
    – keeping the daughter’s susral happy is of utmost importance – after all, don’t these people hold the key to the daughter’s happiness?
    – men like Mansoor, who look good on paper, are always a good catch – doesn’t he have it all: good looks, money, status – what more does a girl need in a husband? Plus, how fortunate is the girl when the susral sends her all those expensive joras and jewellery!
    – and given that she’s got such a wonderful husband, girls like Laila should learn to be ever so grateful, learn to “adjust” and put up with “minor invonveniences”…

    I liked the quiet way in which they are challenging these ideas. The actors have done splendidly to portray the characters so realistically – these characters continue to stay with me long after I finish watching the episode, such is the strength of the writing and its on-screen translation. When Laila took down that Paris poster, I was wondering for a moment if she’d really tear it apart – that whole sequence of the poster and looking at the bangles was so beautifully done…

    I love the choice of music in each episode – “One way ticket” brought back some wonderful memories for me…that gramaphone player is such a well-used prop 🙂 Looking forward to episode 4…


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