Aaj tum khafa ho, naraz ho, ghussey mein ho magar laut kar mere paas hi aaogi. Haan tum bohot stable ho independent ho, isliye asani se dhakey dey kar mujhey apni zindagi se nikaal tau rahi ho, lekin, tumhari zindagi mein aaney wale har kaantey ko main ne nikaal bahar phenka hai. Tum yeh sab bhool rahi ho magar tum mujhe nahin bhool paaogi … haan main jaanta hoon, tum mujhe nahin bhula paaogi. Kyonke mere baghair tum kuch bhi nahin ho Kuku!
Mujhe ehsas ho gaya hai ke main ne tumharey saath… I’m really sorry Laila. Laila, main hoon na main sanbhalloonga sab kuch. Dekh raha hoon main yeh sab . Yeh jo tum business kar rahi ho, khud ko independent kar rahi ho mujh se door honay ke liye, mujh se alag honay ke liye. Laila…koi zaroorat nahin hai yeh kaam kaaj karne ki, main hoon na main sanbhaloonga. Kyon khud ko itna muskil mein daal rakha hai. Tum meri ho aur main tumhen mushkil mein nahin dekh sakta… samjheen tum?
Wah miyan Mansoor, Wah!
Ek taraf threatening your ex, doosri taraf cajoling your wife, and the cherry on top, your aah-o zaari: You two women have teamed up against me, ek mard aur do aurtein, how cruel! Main bikhar raha hoon!
Uff bechara! My heart is bleeding for this laachaar mard, aansoo hain ke rukney ka naam hi nahin ley rahey… someone hand me a box of tissues, please!
After watching this man play the rota-dhota mard to such perfection I cannot help but wonder if our drama makers have the equation all wrong. Bekaar mein we call the aurat laachaar, yahan tau we have the chalta phirta poster boy for mazloomiyat – the suljha hua, shareef, mature, handsome, ameer, silently suffering, sadly ignored shauhar sahab – apne miyan Mansoor. Such pathos, kitni takleef mein hai bechara!
Faced with such full on (melo)drama how could our Laila, naïve, though not quite as seedhi as she once was, not be swayed? Chalo, even if he was laying it on pretty thick, phir bhi, at least he was making the effort, and then mummy ji had also been rubbing her nashukra-pan in, ab how was apni Laila to resist such aah-o zaari?
And as if Mansoor and his drama queen (king?) harkats were not enough, Agony Aunt ka nawasa Sa’di added more mirch to the already masaledar stew by urging Laila to rebel. Ab koi poochey ke bhai, Sa’di, aap se kis ney mashwara manga? And, aisa bhi nahin ke he’s offering any concrete help. Nope, his airy fairy solution to the whole problem is to suggest a vacation. Say what?! How is running away for a weekend supposed to solve Laila’s marriage issues? Not like he’s offering to marry her or anything, nahin nothing like that, he can only talk big, and help carry her bags, bas that’s about all. Shukar hai Laila had the wherewithal to shoot down Sa’di’s (indecent) proposal. Sa’di, sahab, please stick to serenading and dazzling the likes of Mrs. Khan, baqi Laila tau has enough on her plate at the moment- thank you.
Watching Sa’di put his moves on Laila, it is easy to see how Kuku must have once fallen for Mansoor. Much like Laila, Kuku too was dealing with a difficult marriage when Mansoor entered her life and swept her off her feet. Romance, poetry, late night convos, how much could she have resisted? Now that she looks back on those moments with Mansoor, Kuku cannot but be heartbroken at way she allowed herself to be used and abused by not one but two men.
These are the experiences that Kuku draws on as she warns Laila to not give in to Mansoor’s pleas. If Laila allows herself to be played this one time, then it is she who would be responsible for her messed up life. Bilkul! Kuku, great advice! You hit the nail on the head when you told Laila to remove her blinkers and learn to fend for herself and take responsibility for not only her own life but her daughter’s as well. Mummy ji and saas ji’s mashwaras are coming from a different place and a different era. No matter what anybody else tells her, it is her life and this is her decision to make – whether she will participate in the preservation and perpetuation of the web of societal deceits and half-truths, or if she will learn from Kuku’s missteps and forge her own path, its all up to her. Methinks whether she realizes it or not, Laila has already made her decision, the phone dig was a telling one. Now it is up to her to recognize and acknowledge her choice and get on with life – zara jaldi... your daughter needs a name ASAP!
Thirteen weeks in and this one keeps getting stronger with every episode. Bee Gul and Khalid Ahmad’s Pehchan is exquisitely nuanced as they makes us feel for every character, whether you love then or hate then you cannot ignore them. Iffat Omar’s fabulously done Kuku is the glue holding the story together, and Alishba Yousuf owns her role as Laila. His pronunciations not withstanding, Sohail makes a great Mansoor. Parveen Malik, Sumbul Shahid and Anita Camphor are doing justice as Mummy, Ammi and Mrs. Khan. Sadly can’t say the same about Faris Khalid as Sa’di; he and Alishba seem more like siblings which essentially renders their potentially interesting track ineffective. But what this track lacks in chemistry is made up in spades by Kuku and Mansoor’s track. Their confrontation in the kitchen was excellent – my favorite scene of the episode.
Looking forward to the next installment!
Written by SZ~
Pehchan ~ Episode 13 (For alternate links click here)