Ahista Ahista ~ Episode 2 Review

 AA

Having made it very clear last week that I’m not watching this one to exercise my brain, I am happy to report the second episode of Ahista Ahista was just as enjoyable as the previous one.  Even though her story moved along a very predictable path, I enjoyed watching Aliya Bukhari’s interestingly etched characters coming into their own.

From a very masoom and confused Haya, to the increasingly desperate Sofia, the typical mother Bi Jaan – beta tA10here was a reason I never allowed you to watch Lollywood films otherwise you’de have seen through my emotional blackmail, to the very loving and concerned, in fact too good to be true, Shirin, the very milquetoast kinda Safeer bhai, and finally the biggest loser of them all, apne so-not-a-hero Zavar sahab, we saw a whole range of personalities on display. There was plenty of scope for OTT-ness and theatrics, particularly when Saba Hamid seemed like she was just about to start channeling Bahar Begum, and I thought ke chalo ji yeh serial tau gaya kaam se, Haseeb Hasan, the director, ably reined it in and we were spared the heavy duty waterworks. But even the two tears and one hichki were  enough to ensure that the family matriarch got her way as her farrmanbardar beta  forgot A3all about his wife in San Francisco and caved in.

Bas, udhar hero sahab ne haan ki aur idhar Bi Jaan enjoyed a miraculous recovery. There were no more beemari ke asaar in sight as she practically glowed at her beloved Haya’s mehndi. Shirin and Safeer were equally thrilled as well. Clearly the two ladies were relieved ke with Haya settled unki zimmedari khatam hui.A5

Zavar, on the other hand, looked like he was suffering a serious mazloomiyat ka bukhar. But no matter how he might rationalize his harkats of the past few years, the fact of the matter is that he was/is a weak man. Pehley lying to his doting mother and now to Sofia, and going by the promos Haya is well on her way to becoming the newest member of the ladies-lied-to-by-Zavar club.

Out of all A6of them, I feel the most for Haya. Having lost her parents at a very young age, she was brought up in a household filled with adults. Every step of her life has been taken in accordance with the dictates of her elderly, puraney khayalat wali Bi Jaan. Living in this very protected, and somewhat suffocating, bubble, Haya has no clue of what lies outside the gates of her aunt’s haveli, much less the life that awaits her in the US. Till date, apart from the adults in her family, she has only had homeless cats and injured birds as friends; perhaps she feels a certain affinity for them. Few are the moments when she can A13indulge in horseplay with the neighborhood kids. It is no surprise then that Haya is both fearful and excited by the prospect of this marriage. She looks forward to when she can live as she pleases, in a home that would be hers. But that would be then, for now her concerns are gently allayed by Shirin.

While Haya is happily planning a life with Zavar, Sofia is going nuts trying to ignore the voices inside her that tell her that things were not quite as simple as Zavar was making them sound.A17 We dont have much of an insight into Sofia’s character so far, and I look forward to knowing more about her. How did she meet Zavar? Even after four years of marriage why is so clingy and insecure about her relationship with her husband? How come they don’t have any children? Or is it her inability to conceive that drives her fear? In any case no matter what the reason might be, there is never any excuse for a husband to lie to his wife, and yahan tau tau shohar sahab was rachao-ing a doosri shaadi, and that too with a girl more than half his age! Needless to say by the end Zavar had firmly established himself as a serious contender for Mansoor’s mard-ke-naam-pe-dhabba  award.

Once again the honors for this episode lay with the director. A1The narrative flowed very smoothly, there were no long drawn out scenes, and visual interest was maintained in the way the set was used in terms of actors’ movement. Like in the previous episode here too the San Francisco track was never forgotten and Sofia was very much a part of the going ons in Karachi, even if in spirit or via her phone calls. Adnan’s voice over at the end was beautifully superimposed over shots of a pensive Sarwat Gilani. Weak as he is, Zavar might think about how he would explain himself to his wife, but he would never have the guts to give voice to his thoughts. Very nicely done! Also well done was the rain sequence. We know barish has become de rigueur for dramas these days, but this hA2ere was an innovative take on a rain scene and was as aesthetically shot as the iconic Khirad and Ashar one. Loved the shot of the wet grounds after and that lone plop of water – loved it!  The interior shots, lighting in the corridor, shots of the living room, Bi Jan’s room, the exterior of the decorated haveli, all serious eye-candy stuff. The attention to detail in the background is impressive. Really enjoyed the scene with the girls practicing their dances while Haya got her mehndi done. All this coupled with very good editing make Ahista Ahista a great watch.

As for the actors all are doing justice to their characters. I liked the way Sarwat portrayed Sofia’s increasing anxiety. Mawra is a complrete surprise. For once her makeup and styling are age appropriate and I think this is A11her best acting to date. I was not a fan but am liking her here. The other senior actors were all great as expected, but I am having a huge problem with the fact that Adnan Siddiqui, Hina Bayat, Saba Hameed all seem to be in the same age group, give or take a few years, and to see Adnan playing Saba’s son is ridiculous. In all this I am so glad that Hina was not asked to put on a whitener and purposely age herself. She looked absolutely stunning as she danced in that lovely blue outfit. Watching Hina and Saba Hamid, with her ugly grey streaks, I wonder why producers  and directors insist on aging our not-so old actresses whereas men in the same age group get away with playing eligible bachelors, and finding brides barely in their tweens. Yeh naa-insaafi nahin tau kiya hai?!

So yeah, tired old story or not, I am still enjoying this one, what about you all?

Written by SZ~

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29 replies

  1. Assalam Alikum,SZ, After a very looooong gap I am writing you , appologies for this delay. I am not watching any serilas these day but do watch this one fro Sarwat and Saba Hameed. I don’t know about the plot of drama shrama but I did see a night mare !!! I dreamt last night that my husband married again and bought his newly wed to my house !!!! lol and ha ha ha ha but I felt so angry in the morning that bilawaja I fought with him …. aray yaar why showing these kind of shows all the time …

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    • @Sheema: Wasalaam!! Kaisi hain aap? Main to intezar hi karti reh gayi! No, but kidding aside, its great to hear from you .. been a while!

      LOL! Ok sorry shouldn’t be laughing, but it is funny and scary at the same time! Haan, I get you ke there is an overdose of these plot lines and we should have diff stories etc, and I usually give these a wide berth, but this one caught my eye and interest b/c of the stellar direction and presentation. So Im not thinking too much just sitting back and enjoying the ride.

      Did you check out Pehchan? Also Laa, started last Saturday, written by the fantastic Sarmad Sehbai has gotten off to an interesting start .. it has its fair share of issues but still you should give it a serious look .. agar dekho to batana what you thought of them ..

      And yaar ab itna lamba ghaib mat hona!

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  2. hahahaha thoroughly enjoyed this review.. a really funny one after quite some time.
    lol@ ‘beta there was a reason I never allowed you to watch Lollywood films otherwise you’d have seen through my emotional blackmail’.. too good!
    & ROFL @ zavar is a serious contender for the mard ke naam -pe dhabba awrad. Uff sooo true! jhoot tou jhoot, how could he hang up on his wife like so? and then from the promo, not bothering to take haya’s hand / ring khud pehn lo.. Def another mansoor in making!
    SG is a bit annoying with her chipkoo-ness, but i can understand her insecurities too.. A husband who wasn’t even man enough to tell his mummy dearest abt their shadi for 4 yrs, would be a biba bachcha number one infront of his bemaar amma.. yes, sofia had no rok tok. she has watched plenty of lollywood, bollywood movies to work out bijan ke haan kia chal raha hai! .. and yes zavar also nominated for the biba bachcha award..
    & yes AS wins the ‘abhi tou mein jawan hoon’ award! lol.. honestly waise how do these men get away with it!!?
    Shireen apa is def too good to be true.. Waise abhi tak i still havent worked out how shireen apa is related to bi jan and zavar.. any guesses?
    looooved the rain scene. my fav! a hatke style from the HS romance here.. how Z was at the top of the staircase, under an umbrella.. and Haya and the rest soaking wet, playing away in the rain.. highlighting the difference, in their ages and characters… & then the shot at the end with the ball and reflection of the house in the water with a plop at the end was fantastic!! and the way ball was placed at the reflection of the staircase where Z was standing earlier, also suggested whats to come next..loved it! .. But one question.. when & how did she get a chance to play football? subah subah – first thing in the morning? before the nashta? lol
    Loving MH’s no make up make up.. She looks so innocent and young. and in loove with her youthful wardrobe! too cute! She played Haya’s fears, anxiety, and confusion beautifully.. very subtle! her sharma-ing was so not the typical playing with her dopatta style. It was so natural. how she is shy and almost scared to face him, this almost stranger, who has entered this household..
    & We get the second takra this week!.. but what a difference!! compare this to the one in laa..
    @SZ totally with u abt the OTT-ness factor.. thats whats making it a great watch!
    thanks for pointing out the dance practice in bg of the mehndi scene.. the whole seq was choreographed so nicely! And then HB’s dance.. so classy! loved it!.. and thats whats nice abt AA – everything is in-line with the overall feel of the drama, the characters and surroundings..
    Yes the story is a no-brainer but the presentation is wow-worthy! so yes im thoroughly enjoying this visual treat!

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    • @FA: loved how you pointed about age difference being shown and the reflection of staircase 🙂 haha bachi he na haya toy baarish dekhte he bhar nikli khelne k lye 😉

      The reference to lolly wood movie of SZ also made me LOL.. She is funny 😀

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    • @Fa: loved your reading of the rain scene .. Ive watched it twice 🙂 and thinking nothing happening except some football… no sweet nothings, no coy glances, no tere bhege badan ki khushboo se .. type scene going on .. but still so effective!
      LOL! I think bacchi hai na .. I know my neices annoy the heck out of my bhabhi when they run out of the house first thing in the am if there is even a remote possibility of rain .. and I give their example because they are in Khi, where barish is such a huge deal.. our kids here are so blase about rain snow everything .. itna dekhte hain ke sara charm hi khatam ho jata hai …

      *going off on a tangent alert* the rain scene also reminded me of how every season, change in weather, is celebrated with such enthusiasm there .. idhar tau no garma garm pakoras when it rains, no romantic sardi waley din where you snack on dry fruits and garm coffee, and no 6 am halwa poori waley nashteys …:'(

      Ok so now I’m officially hungry so will go scrounge up something to eat!

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      • @SZ subah subah kia yaad dila dia!!!! Abb i wanna have some halwa poori!
        Waise dunno abt where u r, but here in the UK we do celeberate any bit of sunshine that comes our way Lol.. Warna barish se tou we r so aajiz ke hadd nahin! Abb harr barish pe pakore fry hone lage tou ho gya kaam lol

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        • @FA: i know ye @SZ hamesha aisa karti hain.. 😉 i agree with you as i am in UK as well and sunshine pe tou we make most of it… Yakeen nh aata k haiee its sun 😀

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        • @FA – Its been raining for weeks here. I think aap ne London ki baarish yahan bhej di, so please take it back because we hate rain!

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  3. Amazing review.. Ur review makes me in love with the visuals more and more.. Story no doubt is silliest but maann the presentation is beautiful stunning.. And what not…
    Even i loved the rain scene.. The way it was shot made me tempted to play.. And that plop was awesome.. We rarely such amazing shots done aesthetically.. Not finishing here they also showed haya’s hair still wet when that Takraao happened.. How real.. Haya’s confusion, hesitation to come infront of Zavar were so naturally shown.. I really really liked Mawra here.. The way she started crying after takrao, or her voice modulation when Shireen woke her up from sleep, her tiredness.. I mean such attention to details was a pleasant one..

    Lovveeeedd the outfits HB and MH wears… They are beauty and so stylish.. Mehndi scene was nicely done.. Hina Bayat looked stunning and the dance was so graceful… Everything was going so smoothly and maze se that no even for a second i thought kya tou bakwas story he..

    SG is great.. Specially her last phone call… The way she showed her helpness and frustration or even when she angrily blamed Bi Jaan being the only issue in her married life and broke the glass was superb..
    The bridal outfit in precap was lush… All set to look forward for next one 🙂

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    • @Rehmat: Yes, I too am really liking Mawra here … for once she is not playing the chalako masi (Yahan Pyar Nahin Hai) or the mazloomiyat ka ishtehar (all her other 500 serials). I think the one big thing that has become very very clear to me now is the huge role a director plays, be it in terms of his understanding and execution of the story, or his aesthetic sensibility, or his ability to get the best out of his actors. The others are all experienced actors and we expect them to do well, but Mawra is indeed a revelation .. I love her scrubbed face look, the ponytail, the age appropriate clothes etc…I hope she will take a moment to reconsider her career path now and take on selective projects with good directors.
      And on good directors, love Haseeb’s attention to detail.. I had forgotten this tbut hanks for reminding me of the wet hair inside, and as @FA said, just the huge difference between how the two takras, in Laa and here, were handled …

      Yes, HB looked amazing and danced so beautifully …. aaaargh! why, why, has she been relegated to these mummy jaani roles??? LOL! I protest on her behalf!

      Ab lets hope ke yeh isi tarah mazedar rahe 🙂

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  4. okay so I loved the Review more than the Drama itself.lol by the way am I the only one who finds Sophia calling Zavaar “Zoyi” very awkward.I mean zoyi is such a feminine name in the first scene I thought they have a daughter or what.What is the relation between Zavar and Shireen aapa and i too agree Saba playing Adnan’s mother is annoying.

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    • @Ruba: LOL! Chalo Khair hai … I have a feeling this one will be a lot of fun to watch, write and talk about, so I think that will be entertaining in an of itself, so looking fwd to that 🙂

      Oh yes, good observation.Yes that whole Zoyi bit is not only annoying but an unfortunate reminder of the absolutely brilliant serial Talkhiyan .. remember our lovely choti Zoyi and bari Zoyi in that one .. sadly the Zoyi in question here is well beyond the Fair n Lovely age!

      Haan even I couldnt figure out the relationship b/w Shirin and Bi Jaan… last week I thought she was her sister and Safeer was a ghar damaad but then in this ep Haya was calling her Shirin Aapa so i was vey confused … perhaps if any of our commentators here or somebody from the AA team is reading this they can help us out….

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      • @SZ i think haya calling shireen as shireen apaa because she is her elder cousin.. N even i thought the same k shireen and zavar are siblings…

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        • @Rehmat: Nah! How could they show HB as Saba’s daughter? But then again, if AS can be her son then tau kuch bhi ho sakta hai …

          Btw, mubarak to all those whove been following MD dramas since HS days … did anybody notice that MD Productions has retired Aunty Fareeda’s brown batik caftan .. both HB and SH were wearing new caftans, block printed ones, which looked like they had been bought by the dozen … diff colors but essentially the same kind.. ab dekhtey hain kitni ammiyan and auntiyan will wear these ones 😉

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    • @Ruba – Zoyee might as well be her stupid Dog’s name. lol. If Zavar was a real man he would tell her to stop calling him that feminine name. But he proved to clearly not be, and a 50 year old son (old man), gave into his 55 year old mother’s request to marry a 20 year old. Bravo

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  5. @All: Ok so before I forget I wanted to share a thought I had while I was writing the review …

    So we have a weak man here in the form of Zavar, very nicely played by AS, and then we have another sample in Pehchan in the form of Mansoor, again beautifully played by Sohail Sameer. Both man claim to be “majboor.” We hear very similar lines from them: Ammi/Bi Jaan ke aagey naa na kar saka, meri majboori samjho, haan main kamzor hoon…. and so on and so forth ..both “claim” to be ammi ke farmanbardars but they pretty much do whatever they want as and when it suits them..

    Mansoor had no issues dating Kuku, living with with her, giving her a ring etc, and then supposedly not being able to say no to mom, he marries a very innocent Laila… and then goes around bullying Kuku, giving her the proforma meri majboori samjho, why are you doing this, I’m doing this for us ..and then to Laila he says ke its now up to you how you wanna live your life, your khushi and unhappiness are both in your hands …

    Zavar too had no problems marrying a girl of his choice, knowing fully well his mom would never approve. Then to make matters worse he carried on the lie for four long years … and even now he’s agreed to his Mom’s aakhri khwahish knowing fully well ke hes now not only lying to his mom, but cheating on his first wife and messing up a young girl’s life, someone who has not done anything to deserve this .. ab he will ignore Haya, as if not sleeping with her will somehow absolve him of his guilt, then bring her to the US and lie to both wives, along with his ongoing lies to his mother ….

    Im not quite sure where I am going with this exactly but i just thought these two characters made for an interesting contrast and compare exercise, as do Laila and Haya and even Kuku… it would be great to hear from all of you and see what you make out of these two characters, Mind you, I am not saying ke aisa hota hai … or that these characterizations are necessarily to be taken as a gospel truth ke haan sab mard aisey hi hote hain .. but I think both writers, Bee Gul and Aliya Bukhari have picked up on some essential truths here, as in how we as a society hold men and women to very different standards … and both raise the question, in very different ways, as to whether is it really correct to easily dismiss the woman as the weaker sex, sinf-e nazuk? Because from what we are seeing here,and in other serials and from what we see happening around us, actually its the women who are seem to be the stronger sex, an who “manfuly” deal with whatever life throws their way… so the question to think about is are we so habituated with these stereotypes that we have stopped questioning them, accepting them as unquestioned, well-established facts, and then living our lives in accordance with what have by now become norms?
    Again these are very broad generalizations but something, I think, worth thinking abt …

    Some of these issues have been raised earlier in our Pehchan discussions as well, but I thought adding in the very different but essentially similar characters of this serial might make for a more interesting convo … I dont expect us to come up with any right or wrong answers, but I think this will interesting,not to mention informative, for all of us to discuss, agree and disagree … This is just intended as a conversation opener and hopefully we will be able to continue this convo as these serials continue .. we have not seen much of Daniyal and Naina but it will be great to see where they fit into these convos …

    Apologies in advance if this makes no sense, but I thought ke chalo koi nahin .. sab apney hi hain .. its okay if you think Ive lost it 😀

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  6. why is naina nagging so much? grow up woman,stop being so insecure,he wasnt gone a day and shes asking when are you coming back, i mean,,,come onnnn,give the guy a break ,hes gone after 4 years but i guess she also realizes that a wuss like him who cant tell mommy that hes married , can be forced into a doosri shadi since hes so weak , waisay why do such men exist?? its so pathetic.
    and bi jaan ,typical dominating mommy,allah sab ko bachaye aisee mommys se!!!!
    and zoyee is definitely a feminine name,how can zavar be called zoyee????? sounds ridiculous

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    • @Deeba – well can you blame her. I guess she knows her husband is such a coward and his mother a typical blackmailer mother. She probably has this gut feeling thats killing her inside. I honestly cant blame her. I think id react the same way if i were in her situation

      Zoyee is way feminine. I was so wierded out when I heard her calling him that. I thought she was referring to a girl. But no, it was short for Zavar. Wierdooooo

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  7. Hello everyone! As always what wonderful reading ur reviews make SZ – even to someone who is a part of them 🙂
    It’s interesting how everyone is confused about the relationships and even about us actors being in the same age group – may I remind u that I played Humayun Saeed’s mother in Tum Ho keh Chup? Though no regrets on that one as Bibi Jonum’s character was a class apart! But yes, Hum Tv in particular has relegated many of us to Mommy roles and if u think Saba ji (I detest calling colleagues APA)

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  8. Hello everyone! I know I’ve been missing for a while but here I am 🙂
    As always your reviews make for a great reading SZ even to those who are a part of it 🙂
    To satisfy everyone’s curiosity – yes Adnan and I are playing siblings and Saba ji (detest calling colleagues APA) is playing our mom. As actors we play characters and mould ourselves accordingly – remember me playing Humayun Saeed’s mom in Tum Ho keh Chup? No regrets on that one as I wouldn’t have passed up a character like Bibi Jonum for anything. But yes, the double standards do exist as strong characters for mature female actors are hardly ever written as they are relegated to playing Mommies – think back to ALL those “kids” I’ve played mom to – right from Fahad Mustafa, Adeel, Fawad to Sarwat and Mahira. Atleast with Samina Peerzada and Saba Hameed I can say I grew up watching them!
    If Haseeb had had his way I would have played Adnan’s mother this time around too but after THKC I think he felt guilty! Hahaha! Additionally I didn’t have the dates to manage that but both Haseeb and myself so badly wanted to work together again that I agreed to play Shireen – even though it wasn’t as powerful a role as I may have wanted. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed working with one of my favourite directors and I’m sure you guys will enjoy watching it just as much! Look fwd to continual feedback 🙂

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    • Hello Hina
      You are one of my favourite actresses and may I add that your dance in ep 2 was lovely , you looked very graceful !!
      Love your acting and style 🙂

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      • Thankyou Deeba! Most touched 🙂
        Your appreciation means a lot – particularly as I was suffering from severe sciatica pain throughout the shoot of Ahista Ahista – even during the dance sequence. So thankyou again!
        And oh – the kaftans – we’ll u won’t see mine again SZ as it belongs to me. But here too the orange /red kaftan worn by Saba Jee is the same one I wore in Ishq Gumshuda!! 😉

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        • @Hina: Hi!! Lovely to hear from you 🙂 Awww! So sorry to hear about your sciatica.. hope you’re feeling better now!

          LOL! Thanks for info abt the caftans .. I dont remember the orange one, but the brown one from Humsafar is such a HUM standard, ke the minute saw Saba wearing one, I started looking out for that one… good to know ke we wont see it again, not that it wasnt pretty or anything, but you know just saying 😉

          Noooo!! Can’t even begin to imagine you as Adnan’s mom, so am glad you’re playing siblings 🙂 No, but seriously, yeah high time we started seeing women in their their 30/40s being depicted as leading interesting productive lives … as it stands now it seems like Pakistani women are either in their 20s or in their 50s where the only thing they do is worry abt their children’s shaadis …
          Also, if we are expected to swallow Adnan as a as yet eligible bachelor why cant we see you or Irsa Ghazal (another fab actress being wasted in one pareshan haal maa role after other) playing a central role where they are paired off with a younger man or even a Humayun Saeed (how long can he keep romancing 20+ yr olds).

          Back to AA, I hope we will see more of you as Shirin as the serial continues 🙂

          Re: Laa: Aaaah!!! ok, so now everything makes so much more sense .. yes this was more up Haseeb’s alley, and though it is way too early to say anything but I have a feeling this one would’ve shaped up so much better under Iqbal Ansari and Haseeb but oh well!

          Re: Jalpari, absolutely, a fab serial! It is funny because Jalpari was brought up so many times in our discussions that I went back to watching it (its almost 2 am and Im watching you and Nauman Ejaz onscreen right now ) IA planning to do an overview very soon .. keep a lok out .. would love to hear your thoughts on that one!

          Re: Sarmad Sehbai being related to you .. beauty, brains, talent, a big heart, wonderful family, and now Sarmad Sehbai too .. MA! You are blessed indeed! 🙂

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    • @hina khwaja bayat Thanks for joining us here and sharing the titbits . Its always such a pleasure to hear from u.
      First of all, thanks for solving the mystery for us lol. We’ve been going bonkers trying to work out how Shirin Apa is related to bibjan and Zawar.
      re the dance: Sorry to hear abt ur sciatica. Hope u r feeling better now. Ur dance reminded me of that scene from Aunn Zara, which was another hit! Both of them so elegant!
      I had loved ur Bibi janom, and still sends a chill up my spine everytime i remember that grave scene!… So glad to see u here in AA but abb now that u mention it, I just wish u and HH couldve been together in Laa too.. that wouldve been epic!.. but for now thoroughly enjoying the very elegant, very concerned, too good to be true Shirin Apa!

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      • FA: Haan, that grave scene was amazing! I remember not being able to sleep for atleast a couple of nights after that. Of course knew ke it was a drama and Hina was acting n all, but it was a little bit to realistic for my liking :/

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        • Always a pleasure joining u guys – and SZ I’m looking fwd to ur overview of Jalpari – particularly the confrontation scene between Noman and myself! Have something to share on that one 😉

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          • @Hina Khwaja Bayat: i so love your personality and acting skills.. You are blessed seriously… I watched last night hie Jalpari and that cronfratation scene and i had to tell you that scene was spectacular.. Watched twice … My goodness it was just brilliant.. @SZ so looking forward to your over view now.. Pretty quick please 😉

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