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. All 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.Her 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. Not 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.
While 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 like 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.
Caught 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. When 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 and 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)