Ahista Ahista ~ Episode 1 Review

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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 image_20taking 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.

image_17Yes, 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, image_4and 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. image_22They 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.image_26 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 image_13closeups 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 image_31create 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.image_2

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

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28 replies

  1. So long since I have seen Sarwat Gilani in anything really good (Dil-e-Muztar was disappointing; btw, what is her other current show?)! Agree – really stunning visuals and the DOP did a fantastic job – super high-definition and so aesthetically pleasing. Initially, I just put it on in the background, but after the first few minutes, I paused it, made myself a cup of chai, and settled back in to focus. From the one promo I saw, I had initially thought that Sarwat and Mawra were sisters, so this kind of disappointed me (wahin do biwiyon ki kahaani), but still, everything but the story has me hooked so far. Plus, it looks like this is filmed in autumn, and to that extent, I don’t mind the Mata-e-Jaan deja vu I am getting from this serial 🙂

    I did, however, have a LOT of questions while I was watching. For instance, why choose an Anglo-Indian – to highlight an India vs Pakistan difference? to highlight issues between Christian and Muslims in Pakistan itself? both? or they wanted to do the India-Pakistan thing but opted not to do the usual Hindu-Muslim story? Anyway, will be interesting to see if the religion/country issue plays out for more than just being a reason for Bi Jaan’s disapproval. Other questions – is that all he packed for his trip to Pakistan? Why is Sarwat so self-centred and focused on herself more than her husband, whose mother is sick 10,000 miles away (although, given how this plays out, seems a bit justified in hindsight)? Is she not even going to drive her husband to the airport? And, most importantly, is he really going to leave that gorgeous car in the SFO parking garage for 7-10 days???? See, even I can do the superficial 🙂

    • @Amudha: Hello, welcome aboard, lovely to hear from you 🙂 Sorry, havent had a chance to respond to your Josh comment, but will do so in a bit 🙂

      Likewise! The promos and OST pretty much tell it all as far as the story is concerned, so I had not planned on I too tuned in treating it as background noise while I did other stuff, and like you paused it, got my coffee and was hooked. What a diff a good dir makes, no? Yes, the DOP has done a fab job… loved the visuals!

      Yes, after MeJ, I too have been unable to get into any of Sarwat’s serials, so fingers crossed for this one. Her Koi Nahin Apna, with Fahad Mustafa, is airing these days from ARY,

      Hahaha! Re: Zavar driving himself to the airport, I wondered the exact same thing! If the biwi was too distraught hence unfit to drive, why didnt he call a cab? LOL! Didnt question the suitcase, but now that you bring it up, haan..true… I guess no gifts for the family 😉

      Re: Sofia being self-centered, I think this is perhaps a character trait of hers. Dont know if youve seen the promos/OST which show her interactions with Haya, but after watching those I think it seems like Sofia is not going to play an accommodating sautan… lets see.. Waisey, tbh I tuned out most of what she was saying, because all they kept talking abt Bi Jaan and her reaction to their shaadi… wouldn’t you think ke after 4 yrs they would have found other things to talk about?? Aur kuch nahin tau mausam ka haal??

      Re: the Anglo-Indian bit, my guess is to perhaps add novelty to the character, or perhaps this way his marriage is kosher, which it would not be if he were married to a Hindu, and it is entirely possible that this is how he justifies his marriage to himself …:Lets see how much of a role religion plays into the story…

      LOL! Bang on sista! Superficial is the way to go if we wanna enjoy this one! Ab hope to continue hearing from you and do join in our convos on this thread and and others as well 🙂

    • @Amudha lol@ why didn’t she drop him to the airport? hai na!! itna pyar muhabbat i would have thought she would’ve gone to drop him esp if its the first time they r gonna be apart!!! lol
      Re Mej dejavu: i got that feeling from the promos.. but for some reason i didnt get that during the episode.. shayad 2 mahine se promos dekh dekh ke now i’ve developed an immunity lol
      re anglo-indian: interesting point! i also thought its just to add novelty.. but ur comment def got me thinking..
      re self centred: i think its more to do with her insecurities… & she knows she is the weakest link…
      @SZ lol @ nothing else to talk about after 4 yrs.. honestly that was really bugging me! lol

      • Hahahahaha kosher wedding… I missed out on that detail as picked it up from 3rd episode, funnily though kept wondering why she would say pati every time( most annoying though, the number if times they have that word being thrown around)makes more sense now. Anglo-Indians that I know off though can barely string a sentence in decent Hindi so massive surprise there that her Hindi/Urdu is perfect. The main guy is turning out to be a bit of a wuss , can understand him not telling family about wife etc but now that this girl is here, he needs to man up.

        • @Maria: LOL! Bas ab what to say 😉 And yeah “wuss” is the right word for Zoyee.. thank you for helping me out there .. would you care if I used it in my next review?
          Ive been unwell so was unable to review the previous two eps, but will pick it from this week … please do chime in with your take 🙂 What else are you watching?

    • @Amudha: i literally enjoyed reading your comment.. Hahah yes he just packed one hand carry for 10 days its more than enough 😉 and as @SZ said no gifts for family lol… I also felt Sofia was just thinking about her fears and was least concerned about BiJaan’s health… Zawar is saying pray for her health and she is stuck on i miss u lol..

    • SG will now get to spend some quality time with the car. If i were i would be overjoyed! 😀

      PS: i guess she had all the right reasons to be self centered and concerned. Because her husband is a doodh pitha bacha, and do dinon mai shadi ke liye maan gaya. tsk tsk

    • @SK:Hey!
      LOL! Not sure if I would call thus one the return of the dramas because the story is as ghisi piti as can be. But if you can stop analyzing, send your brains on vaca then this is a fun watch. Its very well made, and you will get strong MeJ, HS, DeS kind od aesthetic vibes.I certainly did not expect to enjoy it a much as I did, baqi lets see how long it manages to hold my interest.

  2. Thanks for the review SZ. As you say, I’ve sent my brain on vacation many times for the sake of some entertainment in the past year, yeh drama toh phir bhi is well made, afsos the story is all known 😦 Will still follow it…

  3. Aah, I knew it was a mistake reading your review! Now you’ve made me want to watch this serial when I hardly have time 😦 I remember one person on this blog said that you can sell ice to an Eskimo. He was so right 😛

    • @Farwa: Arrey yaar, tusi tau besti kharab kar diti 😉 LOL! I’m just laying it all out…try watching it when you are really tired, tune out the dialogues and give it 15 mins .. batana kaisa laga…

      Waisey you know I was thinking earlier why I had liked this so much, because when writing I couldn’t actually put my finger on what struck me the most, and I have now realized that its biggest plus point is that it NOT filmy.. I cannot tell you how fed I am of the Bollywood hangover that most of these so-called mega-serials seem to be suffering from.. and this one is refreshing in the way it re-orients our drama and brings it back to what I would expect to see in a PK drama… and just for this reason alone I think I would give it a couple more dekhos before making up my mind …

  4. thumbs up or down? well Two thumbs up!!
    thoroughy enjoyed the review.. full time paisa wasool!!! hahaha enjoyed my water cooler to ur analysis why we r enjoying this khokhla plot..
    Although the whole nation had worked out it was a ghisi piti story, woh bhi sub kuch reveled in the promotion…I know i was gonna tune into first ep just for the sake of those stunning visuals and aesthetics.. and What a visual treat this was!!!
    The two houses, the views, the props… everything was sheer delight! from the tea set to the car.. lol
    Mawra was so pretty and youthful..i wanted to be young again just to be able to rock those tunics and cropped pants.. lol … waise how many bottoms did she change from the bed to hospital.. from leggings to chooriars to printed crops lol…
    @SZ they showed off mawras sweet and caring nature with the pets and animals.. but SG also had a dog 🙂 .. waise was it just me or was she referring to Zavar as the doggy’s daddy? which does make me wonder why they still havent got any kids after 4 yrs of marriage? lol (gosh this makes me sound like lilas mum! lol)… btw how could Z hear SG from that balcony.. that was miles away and she was facing the other direction! lol

    As much i was enjoying the background, the only thing that was annoying me was some of the extra long scenes with SG and AS..from the garden/ lunch pe jana convo to the goodbyes… i was like uff abb ja bhi chuko yaar!!!

    acha im really confused.. how is HB related to bi jan? is she the sister or another banji bhateeji? is BS bi jans brother or ghar damad? and why does haya call her shireen aapa?

    @Sz yes def loved HBs brighter palette.. After two really disappointing projects (qudrat and ufffffffffff yeh muhabbat) finally nice to see her here… btw she reminded me of hajra when she was asking her hubby to call zavar.

    the pace was good.. good to see zavar is already in pak and next week shadi ki tayaris are on.. just hope this pace continues and we have more to the story than what we have already seen in the promos..

    re the director: i had enjoyed his tum ho ke chup, and thought his bol meri machli was another one with a ghisi piti aurat rudad but presented with some interesting concepts.. so yes i had some hope.. i just hope this one doesnt disappoint..

    • @FA: rofl @ jaa bhi chuko… Seriously like i was hell bent in giving dhaka to zawar k this kind of ashiqi dosent suits u lol… Haan true waise how could he hear so clearly… She wasnt screaming that much… Its fun dissecting these blunder with pinch of laughters 😀

      I think HB is bi jaan’s daughter and in this way becomes elder cousin of Haya..

  5. This drama has nothing new to offer, it’s better to see the promos and figure out that this is a Mata e Jaan story covered with glam, SZ, I think you should just stick to Mere Humdum Mere Dost, it has a new story to offer and is much more interesting.

      • Have u seen Mata e Jaan? If you haven’t, I’ll tell u. In MeJ, Adeel Hussain marries Sarwat G. without his dad’s permission ( Adnan S. and Sarwat marry without Saba Hameed’s permission) Also, in countless dramas, one has seen that due to someone who is on the death bed and emotional blackmail, the lead couple who initially doesn’t plan to marry each end up marrying each other ( remember Humsafar?) Here, Adnan S. will have to marry Mawra because Saba H. will fall sick and her last death wish is that Adnan and Mawra marry each other.

  6. Ohh it was stunningly beautiful… I mean i love the sceneries, how they shot sun rising and setting .. Everything was so bright and colourful.. Sets, wardrobes.. Just amazing.. I was surprised to see Mawra looking this natural and beautiful.. Personally dont like her but she was so good and then it was HB.. Super cool they clothes were wow..

    I wasn’t actually caring for the story because the presentation was so engaging.. The transition from one country to another was spot on…

    Yes all Sofia-Zavar were talking on same topic whole day.. How boring… Itna pyar he dono me and this what they talk on lol… Just a little distracted thought i felt SG was more comfortable with AS in all scenes… U could feel from her body language but this thing was seriously missing in MeJ….like @Amudha i also had dejavu of Mej only in terms of stunning visuals and SG in it… May be this lead me to comparison..

    Just for the sake of giving my eyes pleasure with good direction and acting and beautiful outfits i am onto it with keeping aside brain and logics 🙂

    Thumbs up from me as well 😉

  7. Please DO NOT waste your precious time by watching this drama which is copied of so many other dramas and movies, if you have time please watch movie ‘Lamhe’, Anil kapoor B Jan, and acting is way better than this bored, unorganized and total time waste drama.I was so disappointed After ‘Bunty I love you’ I can’t watch any good script, best directed,good quality dramas at this time on Hum TV on Sunday

    • U didn’t like Bunty I Love U? The drama had such great dialogues written by the brilliant Khalil ur Rehman Qamar and crisp direction by Siraj Ul Haq. Yes, I do admit that the Bunty track was slow and annoying but other than that, the drama was a treat to watch. Unless I misread ur post- did u mean Mausam?

      However, totally not wasting time on Ahista Ahista. It is also similar to Mata e Jaan in which Adeel Hussain has married Sarwat G. without his elders’ permission.

  8. Hi All!
    A very interesting review. Ahista Ahista def had nothing new to offer storywise, and well even actor wise, because these are the same faces in every other show. Adnan Siddique, is saal ka sabse handsome, aur young hero.

    What it did have to offer as compared to other serials is though, the beautiful houses, views, the lovely mountains of San Fran, a very different ambiance and last but not the least, the Ashton Martin! Oh what a beauty!

    If this story takes place in 2014 then Zavar should have no issue telling his mother, he married the girl of his choice. Why do pakistani mother’s of sons especially feel like they own them and have the right to dictate each and every move. But like mother, like son, promos clearly show, Zavar will also hide his second marriage from Sophie. Chalo, achi tarbiyat hui bete ke.

    What is Hina Bayat’s relation with Zavar and his mother?

    I think this drama will be fun to watch just because it’ll be “pretty”. A hum/md production drama can be as crappy as ever but they do know how to work well with cameras and shoot at the most beatiful places.

    Also, the OST is not bad either, except will someone be kind enough to share the version without the dialogues in it.

    Thx

  9. Yes very beautifully shot, loved the locations especially. It all looked exquisite but am totally with you on ghisi piti!! Another weak man, ie didn’t have guys to tell his mother he is married and gets married again, why is this so easy to do for men?!? and same old same old , I am fed up at what us awaiting and the typical emotional blackmail that will ensue

    • @SK: Yeah I had already warned you re: ghissi piti story and haan am fed up as well, but given the kind of stuff that is airing these days, I’d rather watch this than the Star Plus/Bollywood inspired OTT serials .. at least this one is classy, I can watch it without fearing a headache and enjoy beautiful places, houses and people ..so yeah full on time pass but I’m quite okay with for now …

      Are you planning on watch Laa? The new MZ serial that starts tom on HUM?

  10. Sofia is self centerd bcoz she is Indian!! I mean dusri wife ko justified dikhane k liye they will show Sarwat as bad wife and Haya as good/obedient wife.. wahi nayi botal me purani sharab ko bechna!! wahi feudal type thinking and all! Mard is feudal lord and his wives are jagirs.. Actuality me to Javar ko sabak milna chahiye…. main problem ko chod ker ekdam weak point ko show kr rahe.. and then Sofia sirf esliye buri q dikhayi ja ri qki wo Indian hai! can’t she be a good wife! and if she is not a good wife then plz use divorce de do.. ye dhokha dena or do naavo pe sawar hona mujhe samjh nahi aata..

    • @Nivi: Hello, welcome to our discussions and thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      You know, I too had feared that they might go this route, but after three episodes I can say that the religion issues has been handled pretty responsibly. Definitely Zavar is the problem here, not the two women, and that is what we will see play out here.

      Re: Sofia’s character, she is insecure and whiny and a little crazy, but Im pretty sure it has something to do with her back story and not with religion per se, and I dont think anybody is saying that she is a bad wife or anything, I think the writer created this religion issie to make a plausible reason why he would feel the need to hide his marriage from his mother .. but khai as you rightly say its the man who does not know how to deal with life.

      Would be interested in hearing your take on the rest of the episodes,,, what other serials are you watching?

    • @Asila: Hey! I checked and they don’t mention the designer except for her wedding dress, which was done by Zainab Chottani. I personally think her earlier (Khi phase) clothes seemed like they were from Khaadi.

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