Wah! Maza aa gaya! Full time paisa wasool!!
Thanks to the innumerable promos,online synposes, and behind the scenes pics it was a given that Ahista Ahista had nothing new to offer storywise. Zavar was no doodh peeta baccha and knew fully well Bi Jaan would never agree to his marriage with the Anglo-Indian Sofia. But kyonke dil tau akhir dil hai, he got married and taking the coward’s way out kept this a secret from his mother. Four years in the only thing Sofia and Zavar seem to talk about anymore is their guilt about their secret shaadi. Blissfully unaware of the going-ons in San Francisco, back in Karachi Bi Jaan is driving herself nuts trying to find an appropriate rishta for her very eligible son. And its not just his bachelor status giving her sleepless nights, her yateem bhanji, Haya’s unmarried status worries her as well. Itna tension ke despite Shirin telling her to chillax, Bi Jaan manages to work herself into a frenzy and lands up in the hospital. And ji, you guessed it – the dutiful son is guilted into returning home after four years. Mubarak ho, water cooler aap ka hua! Figuring out what will happen next is not something that requires an advanced degree in rocket science.
Yes, my friends, Ahista Ahista is yet another one of those serials where shaadi is life’s biggest masla and not just that, this one is a double whammy in that this is also the tale of one shohar caught between two biwis. Ji saheeh samjhe aap, nothing much in the story to write home about. So why then am I excited? Read on…
Just yesterday, I was talking about the very important role of the director in translating the written word into a visual narrative. Its not for nothing that directors are called the captains of the ship. It is their vision, their conviction, that sells us the story, and it because of them that a routine formulaic story gets transformed into something memorable. This is where the difference lies between a Humsafar and a Mere Humdum Mere Dost. Haseeb Hasan’s direction is stellar! Haseeb has done his homework, he knows the story and understands his characters and it shows. Though the entire episode revolved around the ghisa pita shaadi issue – Bi Jaan ko batana chahiye tha, Zavar ka rishta kyon nahin ho raha, Haya ko samjhao – but not for a minute did I get bored. Even the most mundane conversations (read almost all of them) were presented as if they are really important. The excellent acting and stunning visuals had me hooked right from the get-go.
About the acting, Adnan Siddiqui and Sarwat Gilani both have other projects airing concurrently, but their outing here is appreciably hat ke. They look good together although their age difference is pretty obvious, and it is difficult to picture Adnan as the eligible bachelor that Bi Jaan makes him out to be. Saba Hameed, Hina Bayat and Behroze Sabzwari are all playing what seem to be routine characters, but again they all were very natural in their characters. I am not a Mawra fan, and before today I though she would be the weakest link, but I have to say she has surprised me here. I cant remember her looking this fresh and acting so naturally before. Haya’s softness and gentle nature were beautifully highlighted in her scenes with her pets. I loved the subtle foreshadowing of her heartbroken response to the bombshell that awaits her in San Francisco.
Aliya Bukhari’s Ahista Ahista is a story of two households, one in Karachi and the other in San Francisco, and it is to director and editors’ s credit that the two tracks appear effortlessly intertwined. The transitions are effortless and the pacing is just right. The one thing that has now started to really annoy me is the over loud back ground score. There is a reason why its called background -please let it stay there and not allow it to overpower the aesthetic sensibility of the story. And speaking of aesthetics, a huge round of applause for the people in charge of lighting and the DOP, Ilyas Kashmiri. His work here reminded me so much of his earlier projects, Durre-Shehwar, Aik Nayi Cinderella, and Aunn Zara. Be it the closeups of breakfast prep, Adnan looking like a GQ model, the stunning colonial bungalow in Karachi or the fabulous setting of Zavar’s house in the US, all were exquisitely captured. The luxuriously appointed interiors in San Francisco, gorgeous tiled flooring of Bi Jaan’s house, fancy cars, breathtaking locations in and around San Francisco, all come together to create a particular ambiance. While the mind roams free this serial is an absolute feast for the senses.
Along with the visuals, the other thing that stood out was the attention to details, be it with regards to the location or the characters. Every actor is dressed in keeping with their characters. Loved Sarwat and Adnan’s styling. Sarwat’s hair in particular looked fab. It is good to see Hina wearing a brighter palette and Saba looked quietly dignified in her sarees and pearls. Mawra looked appropriately youthful. Suffice it to say that after a long while Ahista Ahista bears the stamp of an MD mega project.
Call me what you may, but despite the formulaic story I enjoyed the first episode. Excellent direction, spot on technical stuff, great acting, attention to aesthetics and stunning visuals made up for the lack of substance. Whether these will prove enough to sustain my interest in the long run is something yet to be determined. For now I am on board… what about you guys? How many of you checked this out? Thumbs up or thumbs down?
Written by SZ~
Ahista Ahista OST