Pehchan ~ Episode 16 Review


Laila, tum kya karogi ab?

Unlike her daughter who has no problems sleeping, poor Mummy ji is at her wit’s end:  What is this that her daughter has done? Walking out on a ameer, suljha hua, handsome shohar is just not done, specially not in khandani families like theirs. Akhir, what was Laila thinking or rather not thinking? Clearly she did not stop for even a second to think of how her actions would besmirch her late father’s naam aur izzat? She did not spend any time thinking of her mother, who would now have to deal with people’s questions? So selfish had she become she wasn’t even worried about the impact of her actions on her baby daughter’s future? Think, think, think – yes, all this had come about because of Laila’s lack of thinking. Aunty ji was right, because if seen from her perspective, Laila just did not think!

Yes, true, Laila did not think. She did not think of things in terms of others –  in terms of her dead father, in terms of her aging mother, or even in terms of the future of her baby daughter. What she did think of instead was in terms of  I, me, myself – in terms of Laila, in terms of herself as a woman, in terms of herself as a living breathing individual. Is thinking for one’s own self wrong? Is putting oneself, one’s self-interest, one’s self- respect, ahead of other peripheral concerns wrong? If Laila were to not think for herself, then who else would? Her mother? Her husband? No, she already tried them and both had failed her…. all they did was to look out for themselves. If they could put self-preservation first, then why was it so wrong for her to do so?

Why are we as a society so frightened and threatened by the thought of  a woman living life on equal terms? A woman asking for parity? Why is a wife expected to explain herself and defend her actions while the husband is free of any such expectations? Why is it wrong for a woman to demand equitable treatment? Rather than walking two steps behind him, why can’t she walk beside her shareek-e hayat with her head held high? Humsafars sharing equally the weight of familial honor, naam and izzat? 

Such are the questions that Bee Gul and Khalid Ahmad have us mulling over week after week. Questions that perhaps have no answers, easy or otherwise, but just thinking about them is step in the right direction. There is so much around us that we take for granted, so many societal notions that we take as given. It is these so-called normative that we are being asked to re-examine here, because after all it is none other than all of us together who comprise this duniya and duniya waley. We who complain about the hypocrisies and small mindedness of the duniya, about the fact that a woman is a second class citizen in a patriarchal society, perhaps its about time we looked around and counted the number of women upholding, preserving and perpetuating such a problematic setup. Laila’s mother, her mother-in-law, or even Mrs.Khan, aren’t they just as culpable as say a Mansoor or a Khurram?

And yes, on Khurram, seems like we’ve finally seen the last of him. Kuku’s confession had shaken him to the core, but rather than acknowledging that it was his weaknesses that led Kuku to Mansoor, he rationalized it so that even while giving Kuku credit he still came out looking like the injured party. Very conveniently he  cast himself as the masoom na-samajh baccha, one who did not know any better, and Kuku, the responsible parent. Left unsaid was the fact that Kuku should’ve know better, she was the mature one after all. That he kept using the word baccha again and again without sparing a single thought to Kuku’s feelings, ignoring her obvious pain, spoke volumes about how little he had changed. It was still all about him. He was going to leave anyway, not like the plan with the friend had materialized overnight. It was just that the events played out such that he was able to walk away with his head held high.

Such is the mashriqi man’s sense of entitlement, such is the pedestal on which we as a society have placed this mard. Even after wronging Kuku Khurram came off as the one wronged. Laila, on the other hand, even after suffering so much emotional and physical abuse, left her house aware that she was opening herself up to finger-pointing and name calling. As a jilted spouse Mansoor will have the world by his side, even Laila’s mother is in his corner, but Kuku on the other hand warrants no such sympathy. Loved, loved how the two couples and their situations were juxtaposed and how the paralleling of their scenes highlighted what the words were not saying. Heard and unheard, voiced and silenced, spoken and visualized, all elements come together brilliantly to make Pehchan the gem that it is.

Yet again, another one out of the ball park!

Written by SZ~

Pehchan ~ Episode 16 (For alternate links click here)

19 replies

  1. How you do it no seriously me ajj tou bata hie dou your secret of understanding and peeling the layers so damn perfectly… I was and will always be amazed by your great reviews and how you explain and connect the dots brilliantly 🙂 thank you so much for reviewing this one specially…

    Finally after wait of 2 weeks.. Pehchan was back on our screens with a bang.. I liked how you mentioned about the comparasion of two couples and most importantly man and woman… How true.. Where khuram leaves with no think-on-later-moment , Laila leaves with bucket ful of questions and to rethink about her decision by aunty ji.. Khurram leaves with no burden on his shoulder.. Akhir mard zaat he.. Khaahe ka bouj.. Thats for woman only..

    Your review also made me understand how Khurram was being selfish and in his character from start till end.. Because i didnt go in depth and also may be didnt focus much and thought that atleast Khurram realized his being bacha and reacting in same way.. Acha all this long i was waiting for him to ask sorry abour abortions ya kuch bhi.. He didnt say a single word about it.. Because like u said it was all about him.. How he used to demand.. Not how kuku has suffered to limit … Tou in this way by reading your take i understood it was not his guilt rather his selfishness to leave with pride and show as in k mene bohat bara daan kya ho. .. :/

    Laila Mansoor confrontation was sooo intense like seriously.. Her answers were apt and mun band karne wale.. Have to see whats her next step is as her mum keeps on asking her to think, then rethink then again think.. Aaahh but wahh laila.. Rather Wah BeeGul.. Your dialogues and scripts are so crisp and just to the point.. The answer laila gave to mumy ji was OOLALA…

    Where is our gang bhayee.. Ajao larkyo.. So much to discuss 🙂


    • @Rehmat: Aww! You’re too kind!

      I know! They didnt even announce ke there would be no Pehchan that week, and here I kept waiting forever.. seemed like a weird week without the further misadventures of the Pehchan gang :/

      You know like you when I watched it he first time around I too thought ke chalo Khurram thora tau bara ho gaya, but in rewatching just the Kuku Khurram scenes it was like watching a while other convo … remember in the begining of their scene she begins to say something but he doesnt let her continue ,,, first he coughs then he starts off … and then its all about him … main main main .. and as you rightly said not once did he apologize for her barren life, infact by comparing himself to a child he was pretty much walking away from the very adult decisions that he had imposed upon Kuku .. and then his usual patronizing tum kitni khaas aurat ho.. uff at that moment it was hard to figure out who I hated more – Khurram or Mansoor. At least in Mansoor’s case he is somewhat open about his hypocrisy but here in Khurram’s case its not all that obvious.

      And in terms of comparisons, the two men and how they both turn the guilt around on their respective spouse, albeit in very different ways is nothing less than fascinating and as usual every time I think about this serial I am left awestruck by @BG’s understanding of human psyche and and amazed at her packing so much in so very succinctly.

      Yes, all the confrontations and conversations, actually every scene had depth and import. Really not looking fwd to its end at all. Already sad 😦

      Bas ab, hopefully ppl will start getting back to their routines tau we will get back to our detailed discussions .. as you say a lot to discuss here!


    • Loved your review and love this serial – it’s the only drama I watch and the best one I’ve seen in years, even decades!
      The only thing I have a different take on is Khurram – yes there definitely is male privilege and he can walk away in a minute, without second considerations and all that but the last episode really made me reevaluate their relationship. It’s complex to say the least – but like any adult, real relationship it has imperfections but is also resilient. He was leaving because he planned to – it was one of his crazy ideas finally gone right and he’d probably hoped to tell Kuku about it very differently. But then she told him and it’s almost like his initial anger gave away to a more pragmatic kind of denial. Not denial exactly, he recounted how unfair he’d been to her (and I definitely read that as an apology, no doubt about it) – but then he couldn’t bring himself to face the enormity of it. He even said it’ll be so difficult for you that two relationships end at a time – but it was less annoying this time, like a coping mechanism in zombie mode. No details were discussed, no chastisement, just a rationalization that could be taken as an apology. Then he asked her to *help* pack his suitcase (or as my mom commented, do it all by herself), like nothing had changed. It was when kukoo was packing his suitcase – she was proud of him, happy for him, glad to share this day with him -and fondly put their photo in there that I realized only two people can really know what’s going on between them – an outsider can only speculate. Yes he left on good terms with her but that’s partly male privilege and partly because she cared for him. I did initially feel bad for her that all she wanted was a bit of validation to make her feel good about their relationship/bond. but tgen perhaps that’s human nature – or perhaps that’s how women are socialized here.
      It’s odd but it seems like both the women in the drama are the mature ones in touch with themselves and the husbands are/were cranky babies.


      • @Rabia Waqar: Hey! Welcome aboard, lovely to hear from another Pehchan aficionado 🙂

        Enjoyed reading your detailed, not to mention very insightful take on Kuku and Khurram’s relationship. “…only two people can really know what’s going on between them – an outsider can only speculate.” Very well put indeed! But ab kyonke yeh drama hai and we the audience have been invited in to these couples’ private lives tau phir chalo hamara speculation banta hai, no? 😉

        I agree with you in that Khurram’s apology was a “real” as could be; from his perspective he was sincerely apologizing with as much honesty as he could muster. I don’t think there was any conscious desire or inclination to hurt Kuku or anything.

        I think by the end of his long elaborate apology which was giving lie to pretty much everything he was saying, he had grown up etc, Kuku too had come to a similar realization – her childlike husband would never grow up, and that he was right that she had pampered him like a mother, although it was done more out of genuine love than majboori as he put it.

        This complete lack of realization on Khurram’s part, that she, Kuku had genuinely loved Khurram and supported him not just financially (he acknowledged that) but emotionally as well ( her abortions which went completely unacknowledged), was what I see as a moment of trememdous insight and growth for Kuku. Khurram did not grow, she did. Just as he [claimed] to have grown up and decided to move on, she too in that moment stopped expecting him t turn into the man she wanted him to be, or had once hoped he would one day grow into – someone strong she could lean on. Once she came to that realization then that was that .. what was the point of recriminations and shikwa shikayat, for that you need an adult, you cant reason with a child. And so when she packs his bag and puts their picture in I saw it as a mother packing her child’s suitcase, a bitter sweet moment for any mother, when she knows that her little chick is ready to leave the nest, spread his wings and fly… hence that resigned, even affectionate smile on her face. They could never be lovers or equal partners but they would perhaps remain good friends. Again, just my take .. would love to hear more from you or others reading our discussion 🙂

        So true the women are the stronger ones here, and the men like crybabies, take away their favourite toys and they start crying and stomping their feet, but then don’t you think this also a case of art imitating life?

        And ab I hope you will continue joining us in our discussions… always fab to have anothre POV to ponder upon!

        P.S. Apologies it took me this long to respond back, but i wanted to sit back araam se and re-watch those scenes before responding 🙂


        • Awww, thanks for the warm response SZ, great to be here! I remember when I first started watching Pehchaan I really wanted to know what others thought of it – when I discovered your blog, I was like yayyy, it’s making the ripples it should/I’m not the only one loving it!

          And of course, speculation tu banti hai, deconstructing the latest episode is all that keeps me going until the next one arrives! But when I said one can’t know what’s going on between two people, I meant, I wonder if that’s the point bee gul etc wanted to make….

          Agree with most/all of your points…he never wanted to hurt Kukoo, the abortions not being mentioned was HUGE – like I think that’s the one thing I couldn’t forgive him for (on behalf of Kukoo, not that I have any right to, but if I was in her place I can’t imagine how I could be so civil with someone who not only made me/asked me to put an end to what was in my womb, but more importantly, that she’d never be able to conceive again/it’d be dangerous for her to conceive again? if i remember correctly), and yes, she was the proud mama who felt pride/a sense of achievement like her child was leaving for college or something, but also a sense of relief – like a job well done, ending on good terms and all….here I saw a glimpse of maturity in Khurram, compared to Mansoor for example or even his own former self – the last time he thought Kukoo’d been unfaithful, he dragged her to her lover’s in a fit of rage…the fury emanated from this macho sense of owning Kukoo – typical in our society…but the somewhat new and improved Khurram seemed partially resigned to having contributed to the situation – he says something about Kukoo putting up with his childishness (a person like me?) and Mansoor’s mood swings – it made me think of a mother-father-child (Freudian!) triangle! perhaps I’m reading too much into it…

          And Khurram was definitely not Kukoo’s equal – mentally, emotionally or intellectually, I wonder? – but that’s probably how it was from the start….I’d love to know more about how/why she married him…

          So SAD that this drama is about to end…it’s so real it’s amazing, really, really beautifully done…and for sure until it ends, you’ll be hearing from me!

          Great connecting with you 🙂


          • @Rabia: Yes, I agree, if you put it that way and compare Mansoor to Khurram then tau definitely we saw growth in Khurram. And compared to how Mansoor was behaving in this latest ep then tau 100% growth. Am waiting anxiously to read what you thought of this latest episode!

            Re: what Kuku saw in Khurram, because as you rightly say they were/are no where near equals, we had discussed it here.
            On that note, have you had a chance to read through our earlier discussions? If not, do go thru them. We had quite a conversation going then .. and then Ramzan happened and summer vacations and we kinda lost momentum, but I’m hoping ppl will start coming back.

            Re: what @BeeGul thinks about our take or what she intended to put out, one part of me would love to hear her take on ourdiscussions, but going some of he bloomers we’ve come up with – calling Kuku a gangster’s moll or Mrs. Khan’s hubby being a gangster, and him being Kuku’s financier for her saloon and using it as a means to launder money – Lol I’d rather not have her reading through and wondering in logon ko kya ho gaya hai!

            But no, on a more serious note, yes the writer and director definitely do have a POV they want to put across and it carries weight, but for me what carries equal if not more weight is its reception, i.e, how it is received, read and understood by those watching it. What do you think? 🙂


  2. Ur elaborated review gave me an insight on this episode.. As i m so pre-occupied with Pyaray afzal these days k zyada deeply ghaur nae kr saki Pehchan pe 😛 😛
    @Rehmat ye sb kaha chalay gaye hain kuch weeks se? Rj, FA ?
    @SZ plz ap review likhna na chorhna k koi parhnay wala nae hai.. I m sure k comments na kr rahay hon but parh zarur rahay hon gay sb


    • @Atty: LOL! Ji ji mujhe andaza hai ke aajkal aap kaafi busy hain …. Allah aap ke Afzal ko lambi zindagu ataa farmaye and may be rumors of the unhappy ending be all false .. dekh kar batana kya hua 😉 Phir us ke baad Pehchan par waapis aana parega aap ko …. I’ll wait to hear your take 🙂

      Naa! I write only about what I genuinely enjoy ..and these ones are especially a labor of love so no, not gonna stop writing .. and re: comments, its actually typical of post eid and last few weeks of summer vacations, so chalta hai … aa jayenge sab wapis .. aap bhi farigh ho kar aa jaaye tab tak 🙂


  3. @Atty: hey.. Kahan gayab hain app 🙂 good to see u back.. I wonder too where everyone has gone..
    LOL yes @SZ please keep writing 😀


  4. HI SZ . I still can not figure it out how you understand and than link it so perfectly well that I get when I read your review. I Remember Laila s father said mere beti se challenge mut karna. And Laila prove it ,her father has raised her well and confident . the conversation between Mansoor and Laila OMG. I was like there you go mr. Mansoor. Bee gull is great and all the cast of drama . And thanks again for wonderful review
    Can you tell me what is the meaning of mashriqi.


    • @Ranjan: Aww! Thank you so much for the compliment, I am very glad to hear my reviews are helping you relate to the various nuances of this fabulous serial!

      Yes, you are so right, Laila’s father had indeed warned Mansoor to not take his daughter for granted, but see, such an idiot,,, despite the warning he went ahead and kept on pushing her, till we came to this fab confrontation…so glad Laila did not mince any words. I do, however, think that more than her dad, it was Mansoor who pushed her to the limit and then Kuku helped her understand Mansoor’s true nature, thus helping her steel her resolve to not give in to any of Mansoor’s threats,

      Would love to know what you think of Laila and Kuku’s relationship… and how they are helping each other understand themselves better..

      Re:mashriqi: it is derived from mashriq which mean East, and mashriqi is the adjective which means Eastern, and by mashriqi mard I mean an Eastern man , as in a desi man…
      And related to this, maghrib means West and and maghribi means western.. hope these meanings prove to be a useful addition to your home made dictionary 🙂

      And please don’t ever hesitate to ask meanings of other words that confuse you .. it would be my absolute pleasure to help 🙂


  5. Hey!! @all Aap ne bulaya aur hum hazir! lol..

    I was catching up with pehchan and the reviews and comments, (the pehchan experience is not the same without SZ’s review and everyones insight) and i had planned to drop a full-on, lamba chora comment at the latest review.. but i just had to stop and drop my two pence here lol.
    first things first : Let me take out my biggest frustration to date…mein ghoom phir ke aa gai.. dunya mein kia se kia ho gya.. magar yahan itna kuch hone ke bawajood, time lagta hai ruk gya hai!!??.. woh bachchi abhi tak be-namm kion hai bhai!!!??….Can somebody please name the baby!!!!!!!!! i wonder if its babies like these who end up with names like ”baby” or ”dolly” or ”guriya”, even guddoos.. yahan tou bachi bhi grow nahin karr rahi.. even Laila’s kitchen has started turning over profit, kitne saal ho gyeu shadi ko (ref : lalias comment on her anniversary), magar bachchi utni ki utni hi hai lol…anyway Joke aside, i do wonder why this baby is still be-naam… is there a deeper meaning here?

    @Rabia Waqar I hear you! re Khurram growing: I agree with u. I also think we have seen some growth here. it was only kukus zarf and patience, abb yeh tou miyan khurram hain, inn se ziyada expect karna hi bekar hai… He didnt react as madly as last time. He went out and reflect over things this time. He recalled the previous encounter with Mansoor and Laila. Perhaps he compared his reaction to Lailas, who was covering up for her cheating husband at the time…but somethings never change ie khurrams ‘mein’..

    but it was nice to see a decent closure to K & K..

    btw what was up with the ball and kid scene? somebody needs to teach these children about safety! i mean honestly a child should be running a mile away from a wierdo stranger like khurram, instead of letting him hug him like that!!! … no? lol

    Bohot kuch hai kehne ko: 6 eps ka bukhar hai…

    Oh haan.. absolutely loving Laila!!! the way she has learnt to stand her ground, and live for herself, her resolve and attitude,… but soo, soooo disappointed with auntie ji!!! I honestly thought for a minute she would come around, when Laila hugged her and cried her eyes out.. magar ufffff inhon ne tou hadd hi kar di!!! i always tried to see her point of view, but honestly this is just beyond disappointment!!! there is no excuse…


    • @Fa: Hey back!!! Bas agli bar no lambi chuttis for you and that’s that!

      LOL, loved reading your comment and bhai yeh kya aatey hi thaka thak sawaal… yaar banda koi araam se baithta hai, chai shai peeta hai, koi idhar udhar ki khabrein sunata hai, kitne patties aur kabab khaye type news, and then you get to questions .. but khair since you just come back isliye maaf kiya, magar kabab patties ka haal ahval zaroor dena 😉

      Re: the nameless bacchi, ok here’s my theory: The fact that she does not have a name is telling of a girl’s place in our society. Discrimination starts from day one. If this would have been a boy their wouldve been a full on fight between the naani and daadi about who got the honor of naming the baby, after all he wouldve been the khandaan ka naam barhaney wala.. but here this is a girl so why bother, waisey bhi a girl is known either by her father’s name or her husband’s name, ab husband ke aaney main time hai and father has pretty much rejected so I think her being without a name is more symbolic than anything else … and dont you just love how miyan Mansoor is now threatening to use this child as a ploy to get Laila to toe the line – ufff!!!! Karahi vat sab chotey par rahey hain … have to find a more creative way to torture this mard ke naam pe dhabba!

      LOL, baqi haan bacchi ki growth ka masla is worth pondering over .. hmmmm any doctors following this serial? Anybody else with ideas as to why this child is not growing???
      But in a more serious note, isn’t it a testament to the strength of the story and the skill of story telling ke we are happily overlooking such a huge issue… it bothers me, but not to the extent ke I sit up at night and worry abt it (and yes, I have been known to do that on occasion! 😉 )


      • @SZ awwww!! a big hug1 honestly missed u guys loads. Kia yaad dila yaar!!! had plenty of patties and kababs and mangoes for u, me and all the gang.. bass soch lo apna size kahan pohonch gia hoga! lol..

        Abb believe it or not I didnt even as much a glance at the TV screen back home.. I was wondering if its just us desis abraod who r following the drama scene? lol ..

        re the sawalat ki bhonchaar: yaar watched all those eps in a go.. sub ka khumar nikalna tha na!!! but ur so right abt the strength of the story! Im absolutely loving it.. Bass just need to catch up on all the real stuff thats taking a while..

        re the be-naam bachchi: im like ur explaination.. makes sense! bass hum hi koi naam de dein bechari ko?

        ROFL @ maard ke naam pe dhabba.. def lets work out a saza fit for this geezer!


      • @Rehmat awwww! glad u enjoyed it. i was pbbly laughing just as much typing it lol
        I just hope team pehchan dont read it or they might get the wrong end of the stick.. from kukus hairdressing skills to mansoors horrid jacket to this benaam bachchi with growth issues.. i think kuch ziada hi tang khech di..


  6. By the way, did u guys watch Laa…such a stupid drama, all over the place, dull acting.
    Peer sahib family had no raub watso ever. Last episode was the dumbest. Such a waste of time.
    The new girl was pretty but acting wasnt too great.


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