Pehchan ~ Episodes 11-12 Review

pehchanBas! Bohot ho gaya! Tum duniya bhar ko batana chahteen theen na ke tum kitni successful ho, business chala sakti ho, theek hai, ab tum apne shohar ka socho… Tumhain tau bas apni hi fikar hai… you just want too much!
Laila! ab tum bacchi nahin rahi ho, bacchi ki maa ho. Khwab dekhna band karo, tum ab is bacchi ki fikar karo. Kal jab yeh bacchi bari ho jaye gi tau phir?

How dare she? How could Laila even think to live her life on her terms? Did she forget she is living in a societal setup where a shareef mashriqi aurat exists solely as a daughter, a sister, a wife or a mother – she has no identity independent of the men in her life. As a daughter she is expected to keep her father’s izzat ki laaj, as a wife it is incumbent upon her to walk the path chosen by her husband, and as a mother her child’s parvarish is solely her responsibility. Neatly compartmentalized as the various phases of her life are, where then is the space for a woman to live for herself, as an individual entity, independent of the men in her life?

If this shareef mashriqi aurat does make the mistake of defying cultural norms, choosing to forge her own path, then its not just the men whose izzat is at stake, the women around take umbrage as well at their beti/bahu’s  harkats. What is wrong with her? How dare she turn her back on the thaat and mazey, and the bara ghar and the ameer suljha hua shohar? This is what every girl dreams of, no? And, so is Laila’s mother wrong in wanting and attaining all these things for her only daughter? Why then is her daughter being such a nashukri? Her husband has not asked her to go out and earn a living, why then is she hell bent on making life difficult for herself? Laila’s saas is equally perplexed. If Laila is out working all day, who would look to her beloved son’s nashta and chai? Forget about the fact that nobody’s bothered to name the baby as yet, but mummy and saas sahiba are really concerned about their nameless granddaughter’s tarbiyat.  Sab ko pareshan kiya hua hai … Laila ko tau sirf apni hi fikar hai… she just wants too much!

So, where exactly has Laila erred? Does she really want too much? Should she have quietly put up with Mansoor’s silken slights and suave put downs? Should she have allowed him to continue using her as a disposable object, absentmindedly used and easily forgotten? Was it wrong of her to not turn a blind eye to her husband’s infidelity? Was it a mistake on her part to want her husband to treat her as his shareek-e hayat? If expecting a husband to be faithful, to love and respect his wife, to share parental responsibilities, is considered as asking for too much then yes, both her mother and saas were right – Laila was expecting too much.

On the other hand though, if Laila is indeed expecting too much, then isn’t it our fault, our as in our society as a whole? Why do we even bother educating daughters, teaching them elusive concepts like thinking, independence and free will,  allowing them to think they are individuals in their own right, that their wishes matter. Why not just go back to the late 19th c, back in the day when women were taught just enough to read religious texts and educated just enough so as to be good wives to their highly qualified husbands. Perhaps, in many ways we are still stuck in the 19th c, as far as social attitudes towards women go, or at least as far as miyan Mansoor’s mindset is concerned.

Nahin ho sakti thi ek divorcee se shaadi! Dekho meri maa kabhi raazi na hoti is shaadi ke liye. Mera ek status hai, social standing hai meri, biwi hoti hai bacche hotey hain social space mein, aur hamein yeh saarey faisley society ke hisaab se karne hotey hain…. tum Laila nahin ho Kuku, samajhne ki koshish karo yaar, pyar tau tumheen se karta hoon na! Main apni biwi se tau pyar nahin kar sakta na … isliye meri jaan tum meri biwi nahin ho … tum tum ho … meri biwi ke naseeb mein Kuku hona kahan hai …tum mein aur us mein bas ye hi farq hai… yeh do alag alag cheezain hain …

Wife and girlfriend – do alag alag cheezain hain. The first one an ornament to be treasured and protected and the other a favorite plaything, jab khel kar dil bhar jaye tab phenk dijiye. His wife has a right to his name whereas the girlfriend has his heart, or so Mansoor claims. What he does not realize is that his words give him away. Do alag alag cheezain. At the end of the day, be it Laila or Kuku, both are merely things for him, things he plays with, things he amuses himself with, inanimate things he does not credit with a heart or feelings.

As it plays out, however, these do alag alag cheezain have the last laugh. What Kuku had failed at, Mansoor succeeded in doing for her and that too very melodramatically. After being told her haisiyat in such stark terms, Kuku sees Mansoor for what he is, and after Khurram it was his turn to be boxed out of her life. Laila on the other hand, plays her hand with a lot more subtlety and finesse, she hits him where it hurts the most. She plays the society card back to the man who thought himself a master in using such tactics.Much as he hates her working and stepping all over his I-am-a-mard-hear-me-roar ego, there is not much he can do except stew in silence. But for how long? Today it is his mother, tomorrow it will be the duniya walas giving him taanas for not being able to control his wife.

At the end of the 12th episode we see a very deflated hawa-nikla-hua Mansoor begging Laila to give him a second chance. So far Laila has played the game very smartly and it will be interesting to see how she responds to his plea for forgiveness. Also looking forward to seeing what role Sa’di plays in Laila’s decision. In Sa’di’s eyes Laila sees a glimpse of the naïve romantic girl she used to be and there are hints of a rekindling of interest. But whether this spark will be fanned into a full fledged flame is something only time will tell.

Like Laila, who, thanks to her late father, has stepped on the path to independence, Kuku too is trying to get over Mansoor. He’s out of her life, but erasing him from her heart is a whole other deal. But moping around is not Kuku’s style, so we see her flaunting her over the top jolly self and Mrs. Khan is scandalized at the sight of a red-lipsticked Kuku. As in the past, we again see Mrs. Khan playing the role of the the gossiping duniya waley. Though she talks the talk, Mrs Khan is not one to condone Kuku’s behavior. What she is not seeing here is Kuku’s frenzied animation, the desperate attempts to convince herself of her happiness. Her dreams, of becoming a mother, shattered by her loser husband, her heart smashed into a thousand pieces by her hypocritical lover, this is not a woman who is out partying every night. She might want the world to think so, but I somehow doubt that is the case. Let’s wait and see what the coming weeks have in store for us.

So yes, two very happening, action-packed episodes. There is a lot to be mined here and each scene is laden with meaning and nuance. While talking about scenes, I am at a loss to understand why the narrative seemed choppy in these two episodes. There seemed to be a couple of bridging scenes missing in the previous episode, from where Laila comes to Kuku’s salon to their becoming partners. In this episode too there were a few chopped scenes, for instance mere humdum mere dost was abruptly cut off. Perhaps somebody from the channel could look into why an otherwise brilliantly told story is being messed up with bad editing.

laila collage.jpeg

On brilliance, loved how Laila’s three phases of life were visually marked out. From a carefree jeans clad girl, to a newlywed who feels the need to hide herself from the world and perhaps from herself as well. And in this latest phase we see a confident saree clad Laila, she knows who she is – not only a daughter, a wife and a mother, but also the proud owner of Laila’s Kitchen. Her mother might think Laila has forgotten her station in life, but actually she hasn’t. Unlike Kuku, who flaunts the norms and pushes the envelope with her lifestyle, Laila is staying well within her limits. She is still living with her husband in his house, the only difference is that she is now living there on her own terms. Does living life on her own terms make Laila a nashukri, someone who wants too much? But then as Laila asks, if she does not not look out for herself then mera kaun sochey ga mummy? Pertinent questions with no easy black and white answers.

Fabulously done yet again, Bee Gul, Khalid Ahmad and Team Pehchan, take a bow!

Written by SZ~

Pehchan ~ Episode 12 (For alternate links click here)

 

Pehchan ~ Episode 11 (For alternate links click here)

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10 replies

  1. Here u are after 2 weeks.. Missed this review, but u must b busy in settling with new Ramzan routine.. Ramzan Kareem!
    Ep 11 was much more happening then 12.. sudden death of Laila’s father was heartbreaking. These are incidents which help u grow with time. Uncle ji khud tau kabhi aunty k samnay bol nahi sakay, per Laila ko sikha gaye..
    In these episodes, Mansoor ka character puri tarah clear ho gya hai, k us k mind me “do alag alag cheezain” kaisay clear hain..
    Laila’s journey was shown beautifully throughout the drama, so i can feel for her..
    On the other hand, Kuku is still a mystery.. i think it will take few more episodes to understand her completely.. i m not able to digest how Kuku, who stood against the society to start her own buisness and then run it successfully, agreed to Khurram’s demand of aborting her children? that too on “JAAN bs ye last time.. ye deal tau samjho pakki”… Bus ye kafi tha to convince her to go for abortion, Jab k she always wanted to have kids??
    Sa’adi: kuch ajeeb sa laga hai mujhe, khurram type ka.. jo sirf baatain krtay hain.. I was unintensionally comparing him to Monty of Talkhiyan, and sa’adi was failing badly.. i hope Laila is not drawn to him..

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    • @Atty: Hello! Ramzan Mubarak to you as well 🙂 How are your rozas coming along?
      Sorry, was down with my infernal migraines and then was out of town isliye kuch zyada hi lamba gap ho gaya, but ab Im here and will be on track from hereon, fingers and toes crossed>

      Haina! Mansoor tau bas kiya hi sample hai .. just dont have the words for him .. and did you see the extended ep 13 promo? Ufff!!!! Ab tau miyan Mansoor ka kuch karna hi parega!!!

      Re: Laila: Indeed Uncle ji ne khud to kabh koi firm stand nahin liya but paved the way for his daughter’s stand .. waisey didnt yo find it interesting ke he died just as he had lived …do page parhey and gone.. such an easy way out, nahin? Im sure, rather than the money Laila wouldve appreciated her father’s actual physical and emotional support behind her.but oh well, ab she has to deal with aunty ji …. she is another one who incites me to hink violent thoughts every time she opens her mouth.

      Re: Kuku: Actually, the way I am reading her, I think her character is quite clear .. yes, she is strong enough to open her business and run it, she is bucking the norms and is not afraid of asserting herself and makes her own choices in life,.. she is quite liberal (if I may use that word very loosely) and it is reflected in choice of dressing, western etc. But at the same time, no matter how unconventional she might look on the outside, on the inside she is a homemaker at heart, one who wants to make a home, have a family with her husband. Like any other woman she wants to make her marriage work, and hence we see her giving in to Khurram’s demands time and again .. and I would go so far as to say that it is this disillusionment with Khurram that pushed her towards Mansoor in the first place. So when she started going out with Mansoor initially, in her mind her marriage was already over, though she n Khurram were still living together. It was Mansoor’s support that gave her the strength to walk out on Khurram.

      Now if this is how we read Kuku then there is this irony that at one point in time it was Mansoor who urged Kuku to cut her losses, dump Khurram and move on, and now here we have him pleading with Laila to not give up on their marriage and give them a second chance … I guess its easier giving advice to others but when it comes to one’s one case then its a diff story altogether!

      Lol at Faris Khalid/Sa’adi reminding you of Sarmed Mirza aka Monty… actually Sarmed wouldve been good as Mansoor, no?

      Ab lets see what happens in this 13th ep…

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      • @SZ: i liked your take on Kuku.. And indeed kuku is homemaker from inside… The way she is composing herself after khurram and now mansoor shows how strong she is.. But she just needs an emotional support to get over the bad phases in her life.. She lacks in that part.. Like i liked when laila came to give her invitation and made her chief guest… I was feeling she needs that honesty to understand her from someone without any selfish reasons

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  2. HI SZ so good to hear from you! How are you? Missed you sooooooooo much.
    Laila is sailing , she is the daughter of her father who taught him so good . I think she has kept Mansoor on his toe? I think there are women like Kuku in this world?they are not going to change , but I am not sure about Mansoor . I donot understand Saadi SZ in this holy month of Ramzan pray to god that your month goes smoothly. Enjoy the holy month . Want to send you dates. But I don’t know the address. Hope to hear from you.

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    • @Ranjan: Awww *hugs* So sorry for disappearing, but as I wrote in my response above, I was not well and then was out of town that’s why was MIA .. I read your comment on the previous post as well … thank you so much for thinking of me – really means a lot!
      Re: dates: you are an absolute sweetheart and bas your saying it and thinking of me is as good as me actually receiving the dates .. your best wishes mean the world .. thank you!

      Yes, Laila is indeed surprising Mansoor in the way she is dealing with the whole situation . And yes, her father’s love does give her the confidence, but i also think she has her mother’s spine .. I dont think a weak person, like her father was, couldve stood up to Mansoor like she does .. and this I think she gets from her mother . although I dont think aunty ji would appreciate my saying that! LOL!

      Re: Kuku: I actually see her as a sympathetic character, just as Laila is … both have had a tough time in life and both are dealing with it in their own way.. I wrote my read on Kuku, in the review as well as in my response to @Atty … would love to read your detailed analysis of Kuku in our next ep discussion (homework for you — start writing that essay 😉 )

      Re: Mansoor: did you see the longer promo forhis coming ep? Uff!!!! that man!!! ugh!

      Re: Sa’di: Lets see how his character unfolds…

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  3. SZ so good to see you back in action and hoping your health is better too :).. The entertainment gets completed with your reviews literally..

    First thing first.. Marvellous review.. Loved how you put 19c have gone by but mindsets are still the same… How true and bitter.. And what more strange is the two women themselves who are more against on a woman independence.. Forget about men.. As they say aurat hie aurat ki sab se bari dushman he..

    Coming to episodes..i only watched epi 11 and to say i simply loved it to core.. Fathers day scene with such nuances of love and affection was treat .. The way laila’s father gave her check with some amazing moral support to be independent and due to this Courage she gave that diary.. The death was a shocking one and what made it more real was no rona peetna, white dresses…that time i loved the scene and felt bad for a father who just couldnt read more what his daughter was going through but n

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    • Ahh hate ipad.. Accidentally hit post comment..

      Cont.. But now as i read SZ’s reply to Atty .. It gives more perspective as to how he was a weaker person from inside always.. He didnt had that confidence to talk openly and boldly buy chupke chupke he was more himself and i agree Laila’s boldness is all thanks to aunty ji LOL 😀

      The stern in Laila’s voice, the courageous demeanour is so visually pleasant that i was all the time saying go laila go…and to show such brilliantly and gradually.. Hats off to director.. When i talk about visually pleasant.. I liked how Sz you described her transition from jeans to sarees.. Impressive 🙂

      Ok now the scene which was Ace.. Starting scene between Mansoor and Kuku.. OMG that was just so happening.. Finally the man himself those harsh words which according to him werent a big deal and the way he was uttering and making kuku understand was so insensitive.. The moment he said 2 alag alag cheezain.. Point clear.. Those two women are just mere living things.. Mansoor jaise logon ko sachi me gardn hie maror deni chahiyae.. But to Sohail Sameer is portraying him so good.. For kuku seems like this was last nail in coffin..but what made me confused that she was still having those flashbacks on how mansoor helped setting her business or was she just comparing that how Laila gave importance to a woman and She was going crazy over a retarded man :/

      Just saw epi 13 promo.. Things are getting more awesome 🙂

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  4. Hello friends 🙂 …main nay apni Pehchaan journey phir say start ker li hai..isi liay 10th episode say start kia hai jahan per mera last comment tha…ab taman episodes / reviews/comments dekh rahi hoon…jahan kuch add kerna hoa zaroor karoon gi…umeed hai ye safer yaad gaar aur pur-lutf rahay gaa

    Excellent review SZ…aap nay bohat behtareen tareqay say sum-up kia hai..loved it..well mujhay sadi acha nahi laga..malang type..aur acting wise abhi tak impress nahi kia..khaas tor per jab samnay alishba itni powerful performance day rahi ho..lekin in kaa Urdu accent acha hai..loved the song….khairay day naal..waah beautiful…mere liay highlight hai jo dikhaya gaya k merd being a provider jis tra manipulate aur exploit kerta hai..brilliant..kukoo ko dekh ker afsos hoa…aur aap kaa analysis k different aur khush honay aur nazer anay main ferq hai..well said…hopefully wo bhi apni pehchaan ki terf gamzen ho gi..aur khushi hoi k “purani cheezon ki qeemat bhi berhti hai” 🙂 ..ok ab next episode per chaltay hain

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