For a plot as mundane as can be I continue to be surprised as to how Ahista Ahista manages to keep me coming back week after week. Simply read this is yet another story of two biwis fighting over one shohar, with mazloomiyat, shuk and rona dhona galore, but what makes this one interesting is that even as we see biwi No. 1’s blood pressure rising by the minute, and biwi No. 2 with her ever present roye and bin roye aansoo, the real bechargi has been reserved by the hero sahab for himself. Considering how manipulative he is and how easily lies roll off his tongue, I am amazed as to how this guy rationalizes all his harkats. Be it scolding Haya, for not lying well enough to placate Bi jaan, or getting all huffy with Sophia for daring to question his whereabouts while she was away, this man really thinks he is the one true victim here. Aik taraf bari begum ke sawaal pe sawaal and doosri taraf choti hain ke unko tau sirf apni pari hai … why can’t these two think about HIS position?! Ab bechara ek shohar kis biwi ko khush kare aur kis ko nahin… and soney pe suhaga Bi jaan …. why are these khawateen just pushing at him for all sides … jaaye tau bechara aik eklauta Zavar kahan jaaye?!
Don’t you feel for the guy… feel his tension and pareshani increasing… ahista ahista?
Ab yeh alag baat hai ke no matter what he says none of us are buying into his halaat ka sataaya hua mard routine, but let’s give credit where credit is due – Adnan Siddiqui is very good as the utterly hopeless Zavar. Every time I watch this guy in action I have to wonder ke yeh shakhs kis duniya mein rehta hai… for how long and how far does he think he can get away with his lies?! Watching him also brings to mind our other friend Mansoor, and it is here where Ahista Ahista begins to take on meaning for me. Some of the questions raised in Pehchan, about cultural double standards, hypocrisy and the mashriqi mard’s sense of entitlement, are being raised here as well, albeit in a much more “mainstream” manner.
And on this issue of commercialism, while I get why certain elements in the serial had to be played up, I wish Sophia had not been be portrayed as such a shrew and Haya not turned into such a roti dhoti behen ji type. There is more than enough nuance in their characters that they did not have to be painted in such stark a manner, turning them into near caricatures. Hence, even as Mawra is great as Haya, I love how despite her tears this girl does not hold back in telling Zavar off for his hypocrisy, I find my mind wandering off thinking about how and when did she acquire such a drab wardrobe… shayad airport par kisi aunty ji ke suitcase se us ka samaan badal gaya hoga, surely the ever so suave Shirin did not send her off to San Francisco with such clothes?!
Sophisticated Sophie, on the other hand has no issues, wardrobe or otherwise, she is not only sharply dressed but sharp of mind as well. Her questions about Haya’s indefinite stay are definitely pertinent, but I don’t get how a sprained ankle gets translated into tabiyat ki kharabi and how this haalat entitles her to treat Haya like a maid. And finally apne Zavar sahab – can someone enlighten me as to what exactly is it that he does? All those mansions are sure to be costing him a pretty penny. So yeah I do have questions, and tons of them, but despite the unavoidable trappings of mainstream dramas and their more tears equal high ratings formula, Aliya Bukhari and Haseeb Hasan do a creditable job of keeping things moving along fluently.
So far Zavar has managed to keep a lid on things, just barely though, but now with Bi jan almost out of the picture, don’t think it’ll be too long before Sophie finds out the truth about Haya’s marital status. Surely, Zoyi doesn’t think biwi No.2 is stupid enough to cover his lies for too long, and biwi No. 1, despite her insecurities and issues is not the kind to suffer fools gladly. Things have also been stirred up with the entry of the chichora stalker Mustafa (Coffee or lemonade? The first time you meet a random girl in the park? Like seriously??) and Ruby (typecasting alert!). Also, waiting to see what role do Javed Sheikh and Laila Zuberi play in helping Haya assert herself. Most of all though I am really looking forward to seeing how Mr Zoyi gets his comeuppance. Jhoot bolney ki saari hadein cross kar di hain in sahab ne. Maa, behn, behnoyi, biwi no.1 biwi no. 2, kisi ko nahi bakhsha … aur tau aur he’s such a compulsive liar ke acche khaasey scrambled eggs ko omelette bata rahe hain! Uff taubah!
Written by SZ~