Firaaq ~ A parting of ways ~
Be it the person walking away or the person deemed to be the cause of the rift, no one walks away unscathed. All affected bear the heavy burden of anger, pain, hurt, bitterness, betrayal, and to some extent regret. What differs, though, is how those afflicted deal with them, and how these conflicting feelings manifest themselves.
For Shams, what his mother did was something that did not sit easy with him, so he chose the relatively easy route of cutting the umbilical cord. Rather than ever sparing a thought about those he had left behind he chose instead to sweep all the unpleasantness, the sense of betrayal, under the rug. Out of sight out of mind, or so he thought. This, however, is easier said than done. That repressed anger, hurt, pain, all manifest themselves in his relationship with Sara, as he displays severe anger management issues.
Maa ji’s phone call rips open a wound Shams thought he had successfully managed to forget. After talking to his mother, his first response it to lash out at Sara, but after a pop psychology session with Roomi, he allows long-forgotten memories to wash over him. Buried in those flashbacks is a vivid image of his younger sister Payman. It is Payman’s memory that compels him to revisit a place he thought he had left behind forever.
For Tabasum, the pain of losing her first-born is one that she has not allowed herself to feel. Those memories, of her cajoling Shams to listen to her reasons for remarrying, her begging him to not leave the house, all now come back to haunt her as she tries to gather herself together after Sara’s traumatic visit. While Shams, being the older one, and a boy at that , managed to walk away it was not as easy for the younger girl Payman. It was to her that Tabasum now turned. Fearful of losing her second child, she turned into a bitter control freak. All the anger she felt towards Shams was now directed towards her daughter.
Even though it was Shams and Tabasum who parted ways, the person most impacted was an innocent bystander – Payman. While Shams was able to somewhat bury the past and build a new life for himself, and Tabasum seemed to have moved on as well, pretending to herself and the world that her son’s actions had not hurt her to the extent they did, it was Payman who was left to deal with the aftermath, fighting the demons of the past on a daily basis. Her mother monitored every movement, and any independent thought that Payman voiced was seen as a sign of rebellion. It was no longer about loving her daughter, for Tabasum controlling Payman had turned into an all-consuming obsession. Anybody who dared to breach the boundaries that Tabasum had drawn around her daughter was seen as an intruder, someone who needed to be beaten away with a stick.What she did, who she spoke to, what she wore, what she ate, everything had to have her mother’s stamp of grudging approval
Now with Shams back in the picture, it is once again Payman who finds herself caught up in the tussle between mother and son. Her brother, who had not bothered to look her up in sixteen years is now showing concern for her, extending a very tempting invitation to leave everything behind, offering her a chance to feel for herself what fresh air feels like. On the other hand is her mother, who all said and done is her mother. Call it obedience or a sense of obligation, for now Payman is weighing her choices- or does she even have a choice? Should she trust her brother, or should she play it safe and stay put with mommie dearest.
Mustafa Afridi’s done a great job with etching out characters with various shades of black, white and all shades of gray that lie in between. While I am yet to be sold on Imroz, Roomi and Sara, I am thoroughly enjoying Maa ji, Payman and Haider. It is to the director, Aabis Raza’s credit for understanding his character and not turning them into caricatures. Uzma Gilani is simply brilliant, no two ways about it. She absolutely owns her character. You hate Tabasum but you also hear the crack in her voice as she speaks to her son after ages, she threatens Haider with a stick, but underlying all that violence and abuse is a palpable sense of fear, that all this talk of independence might sway Payman, leaving Tabasum empty handed. Along with Uzma, Sanam Saeed is the other scene stealer. Her eyes, her body language, the slight smile, all work together beautifully to breathelife into Payman. Not once does this girl come across as a bechari –weary yes, but beaten definitely not. Absolutely loving seeing these two ladies together!
Among others, Mazhar Ali is fabulous with his understated Haider. Junaid Khan, I have to say, has surprised me here. Again credit to Aabis for drawing out a controlled performance from his actor. Cybil Chaudhry was relatively better today and had more control over her expressions. That said, Sara’s confrontation with Shams lacked the necessary impact. While there is zip zilch chemistry between Shams and Sara, the pair that does have a lot of chemistry is that of Imroz and Roomi. Mohib Mirza and Noor Hassan are both very confident actors and it shows, but I will admit to being lost as to why their characters seem so frivolous (so far) and lacking in depth.
About Imroz, I have no clue why he feels the need to have his portrait painted, neither do I not get why he has no sense of professional propriety. The way he was smirking in that therapy session would have been enough to drive me away, had I been there instead of that loser couple. Moreover, the way he divulged Sara’s confidences, discussed her issues and went on to offer further unsolicited analysis of Shams’ state of mind (without ever meeting the guy, mind you!) was completely ludicrous. And from one looney toon to another, Shams then happily passed on some of Doc Imroz’s pop psychology to bechara confused Shams. Err…. if Roomi was so good at playing doctor then why send Sara to Imroz in the first place? But khair, what do I know… as it turned out Roomi’s brand of psychotherapy did the trick and lo and behold! Shams snapped out of his funk! Wah! Now if only life were that easy for all of us, nahin?
On life being easy and all that jazz, can someone please enlighten as to what kind of a restaurant does Tabasum own that she can afford such a palatial house? First the mansion in Ahista Ahista and now this lakefront palace? Where am I going wrong in my life?!?
Anyways back to the episode, a few minor issues aside, with the lip sync issues almost gone, the relatively lower volume of the background music, well-integrated flashbacks, nice lighting and camerawork, and a smoother flow of the visual narrative I have to say I enjoyed this latest installment a lot more than the previous one. Now hoping for the best and keeping my fingers and toes tightly crossed!
Written by SZ~