Gar Maan Reh Jaye ~ Episodes 8-16 Review

gmrjIn concert with all of you I too rant about the same old same old dished out on a regular basis by our TV channels. And we are not wrong in our complaints. On any given day we can see at least 2-3 permutations of same gharelu saga –  a bharmaar of  bholi betis, buri behens, bechari biwis, bebas bahus, boorhi ammas. beemar baaps, and bewa bhabhisBilkul bheja fry is what I call these serials. That said, there are a few that even when working within these parameters manage to surprise, and pleasantly so at that. Gar Maan Reh Jaye serves as a prime example of this phenomenon.

Ji, there is nothing new per se here, magar jo purana hai woh kuch naya sa hai. It is in the fresh treatment of a ghissi piti story where intelligent producers and talented creatives – writer, director, DOP, technical crew and actors – come in to play. Hence we have teen betiyon ka majoor baap, jahez chahiye saas, do behenon ki rivalry and a talaq, but in a hatke manner. I watched the first episode on a whim, primarily ’cause of Hina Bayat, in a completely new avatar, and Nadeem. The rest of the cast included a few non-compelling names and some brand new ones. Basically I went in blind. Suitably intrigued by the first installment I stuck with this and remained happily on board. Even as I continued, conditioned as I have become by the beech key blues that our serials seem to suffer from, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Every guzarta episode had me wondering: Is this the last good installment? Well, …

Take a bow Team Gar Maan Reh Jaaye!  A huge round of applause for all you guys!

I’m not saying it is a perfect serial. No. The background score tends to get over loud a bit too frequently and there are times when I wish the narrative would pick up pace. OTT moments, actors who, I think, still have a long way to go, and the young ladies’ crazy-glued curls, perfectly backcombed hair and makeup, all drive me nuts, but then enter Khursheeda Begum and her freej ke thande paani ki pukaar, and her anokha ladla Ahsan and HELLO! Forgiven and forgotten are all irritations and annoyances and I am glued!

Kudos to Mona Haseeb for giving an age old story an innovative twist and equal credit to director Mohsin Talat for staying true to the story, allowing these characters to come into their own, and most importantly maintaining audience interest by keeping the suspense alive. I hold this is an oft-told story but such is the strength of  writing that I have no clue where this is going. So far there have been quite a few unexpected twists, but they’ve been so well-knit that they seem to happen organically rather than being randomly thrown in just for the sake of adding masala.

Sixteen weeks in, Nisa is back at her father’s house, Ameen sahab has accepted Farrukh’s proposal and seemingly the nightmare of his eldest daughter’s shaadi and talaq seems to be behind the family. Aur tau aur Farrukh even has a friend’s rishta in mind for Asma. All in all it would seem like we are headed for and-they-lived-happily-ever-after ending. But wait! Dramey mein abhi bohot kuch hona baaqi hai mairey dost!

At the ended of the 16th episode we have apni aakhri saansein gintey huey Ameen bhai, a pareshan Farrukh, ghabrayee hui Nisa and Dania, and eloping in haste but repenting in leisure Asma and Ahsan. Smack dab in sab ke beech mein is the bilkul-not-a-bechari bewa Khursheeda Begum – she, mere dosto, is the real hero of the story.

I love how the whole saga starts with her being dil key hathon majboor. If only she hadn’t had her badtameez dil set on the thandey paani wala freej and thandi hawa dene wali masheen none of this would have happened. But dil tau hai dil, dil [ko ilzaam] kya keejeye, and as the story unfolds it is mind boggling to see the extent this lady is willing to go to fulfill her desires. Normally it would be very easy to hate a selfish, self-centered lady like her, but it is to the writer, director and actor’s credit that they have kept her grounded, quite real and relatable, and dare I say almost likeable?

From a few stray lines one gets the sense of a sad back story. She’s had an unhappy marriage, probably an abusive one. Later, alone after her husband’s death, she toiled day and night to raise her only son. Given the cultural expectations we have of a male child, is Khursheeda wrong to have expected to get some award, to say nothing of a reward, in the shape of a kamao beta and a khidmat guzar bahu with a jahez big enough to satisfy a lifetime’s worth of unfulfilled dreams and desires?

Though Khursheeda’s approach is all wrong but she has been handled with such sensitivity that I, for one, am really hard pressed to hate her. How can I? How can I not be impressed with the way she ran circles around the poor maulvi? Us ko aisa ghumaya ke woh bechara abhi tak ghoom raha hai! This lady is nobody’s fool! Then the way she cried after Nisa left – hai bechari! Itney waqt ke baad unko araam naseeb hua tha… ab kaun paka kar de ga woh gol garam rotiyan?!

If all this was not enough to melt my heart, we had to hear her heart wrenching cries as Nisa’s jahez ka samaan was being carted away. Had that scene gone on for a minute longer you would’ve seen me standing at street corners, collecting chanda to buy Khursheeda her thandey paani wala freej! All this to say that Hina Bayat is fantastic here. Before this I would’ve doubted her ability to pull off such a role, but after this I’m awed.

And if the mother is such a happening gal then how could her b for beta be far behind? I had not seen much of Bilal Qureshi before this, but this outing has been very impressive. Ahsan gives me the heebie jeebies. The menacing look in his eyes, his body language, controlled anger, ice-cold expressions, all come together just so. Its not about what he says its how he says it. So looking forward to seeing how this character fares in the serial.

Among others, I am disappointed in Nadeem sahab’s flatlined portrayal. Yes, Ameen sahab is no firecracker magar yahan tau aik aadh chingaari bhi nahin. Noor Hassan on the other hand is very impressive as the controlled Farrukh. I do hope though that there is more than one note to this character. Among the three girls, Manal Khan is the most natural in her character. I like Kiran Haq as Nisa, but her curls and makeup are an absolute no go. Sanam Chaudhry is in a lot of serial these days so I guess she must be pretty popular, but as far as her acting here goes she leaves a lot to be desired, similarly her hair and perfect makeup. Why, why must these ladies be so perfectly made up all the time is beyond my understanding. Kaash utna hi time acting ko bhi diya hota…

Finally, a shout out to the DOP, Luqman Khan. I don’t think Hyderabad has ever looked as picturesque as it looks here. Within the narrative there are many instances that catch the eye: the attention to facial expressions, shots of arches and the doorways, faqeer framed in the galis, Ahsan on the mundair, pigeons in the sehan, all add much to the overall ambiance. All in all, am still a happy camper; made it so far and hope to stay with this to the end. Maan rakh lena, please! 

Written by SZ~

14 replies

  1. im thoroughly enjoying this drama,
    ehsan is creepy,the way he grits his teeth…..and his poor mother crying for that fridge….
    awesome acting by everyone!!!!


  2. Thank you SZ! You are always very fair and yet, generous in your critique 🙂 Khursheeda is truly a fascinating character for me – a character beautifully conceived and written by Mona Haseeb. I’m indebted to Iqbal Ansari for believing I could pull it off (rarely does an actor like me get such an opportunity) and grateful to Mohsin Talat for allowing me to explore the underlying nuances and emotions of this seemingly cold, greedy woman. I cannot agree more with you about the beauty of Luqman’s camerawork – he is one crazy, passionate, driven DoP! You had to see him perched on the walls, hanging through roshandaans and balancing on the edge of roofs to get his shot, to understand what lengths he goes to. Together Mohsin and Luqman are an incredible team and every moment of GMRJ has become memorable thanks to their boundless energy and immense affection. Mohsin in particular inspired so much of what Khursheeda evolved into on screen 🙂
    But it’s not over yet – there are more twists and turns all the way to the end. Just when you think you have seen it all, a surprise is in store. So many stories today revolve around the same themes but it is Mona’s handling of the characters and situations that makes GMRJ different. Wish us luck – taakeh jo Maan aap humain day rahi hain, woh reh jaaye 😉


  3. I watched the first 1-2 episodes but really could not get past the girls’ curls. I mean what? what? Androon shehar karachi, khanay ko hai nahi, lekin curls tiss se miss nahi hote.
    But yes HKB, you should take a bow, loved your new avatar! Keepin’ it real!


  4. I really tried watching this drama. Made it to episode 6 but couldn’t go any further….my husband compared it to water boarding…


  5. B for Brillant review, as always! .. reminded of the b (urdu wala letter bey) ki boli, we used to do as kids..

    ok so I’m hooked on HKB’s Khursheeda Begum!
    I was recommending GMRJ to someone and i sounded like a twat as i was narrating an age-old plot.. One really needs to watch it to understand the ‘hatke’ we have here.. i was really trying hard to sell, but the minute i mentioned HKB playing a conniving, mohalle wali, paan khane wali, burqa posh khatoon, the attitude changed.. Our sweet, polished mummy ji transformed into jahez ki lalchi amma.. suddenly my friend wanted to see it to believe it! she watched a couple of eps and she is still hooked! lol.. so yes for me and perhaps many others GMRJ is HKB’s Khursheeda begum!

    The way she was clinging on to the jahez lorry.. Laga abb giri ke tabb.. and the dukh in her eyes and body.. hai!!!! Honestly if FK can romance a pole, HKB you can make us feel your pain for loosing jahez ke freej ka thanda pani. lol
    I was in tears when she was going on abt haan karaoon gi valima, abb karaoon gi valima… the speed at which all that was rolling out!!! .. It was a ROFL moment! Its just the way this kinda craft-iness is balanced with humour and sensitivity all at the same time – pretty amazing!!!!
    Kamal ki namooni aulad mili hai Khursheeda Begum aap ko!.. lol.. Ahsan sure creeps me out big time! If only we knew what goes on in that little brain of his.. Abhi tak i have never been able to predict what he’s gonna do next.. I dont think I had watched any of BQ’s plays before, but he’s a right gem!
    And Ahsan’s bestie.. woh bhi kia cheez hai! really enjoyed watch him suffer in the latest installment. lol

    DOP is fantastic.. and fantastic is the HD quality uploaded by Express Channel!!.. thank you soooo much for letting us savour all that amazing camera work @HKB mentioned..

    Abb now that @HKB has mentioned more twists and turns, im even more drawn in!

    Btw yes im surprised too… no rants so far (from me).. there are plenty and @SZ u’ve got em all there in ur review.. Aaj ka comment HKB ke naam.. so jane do all the curls, and make up, and pheeke nadeem and so forth.. I can live with all that if Khursheeda begum and her anokha ladla keep me roped in..


    • Array FA bachi – tu ne to Khursheeda ka dil itna barha diya keh phatt ker seenay se baahir na aa jaaye!! 😉 Bus dekhtee jaa keh Khursheeda karti kya hai – uss na-murad, bay-ghairat Ahsan nay to kahin ka nahin chora. Aagay ja ker to aur gul khilaaye ga kameena!! :p


      • Awwwww khala!! aap ne tou mujh bachi ko lal tamatar bana diya!!!! Poora comment mere naam!!! Bass Khala abhi Tariq Aziz se kehelwa ke aik freej aap ka karwati hoon!.. aur sath mien water cooler bhi!


  6. Totally agree with you @SZ and @FA that HKB is show stealer all the way… This drama have me really hooked to see what happens next and how.. full of interesting twists and turns…

    I simply loveee Khursheeda Begum…well only because HB is doing her 😉 .. The way she cried for jehaz ka samaan.. I was about to cry too..HB portrayal is so real and amazing that inspite of doing things the wrong way.. I had my all sympathies for her.. Kamal ki cheez hain ye.. Love the scene between her and ahsan and the way she said thanda paani kaise pyoongi and meri bahu kitni khidmat karti thi.. I wanted to hug her.. She too wanted asasaishen and return back of her efforts.. Jo k she is right but ofc tareeqa galat.. Still I was like sab ignore karo but koi thanda paani laa de please.. Her voice modulation showed she have really screamed alot… Outstanding… Pata nahin Ahsan miyaan ke dimag me kya khunas bhara he… But i must say BQ act so good.. Bus in amaa beta khe scenes are totally rocking 😀

    Its so good to see Hyderabad in such amazing way.. I couldn’t recognize at first.. Since its my city tou ahaa haa kya tou khushi milti he dekh kar.. The faqeer randomly sings hamd gives so soothing sound 🙂

    Im intriguied to know more about Farukh.. Something says to me its more to eyes than what we are seeing…

    Looking forward to this hatke penned story 🙂


  7. Have been FFwding through this. I must say Hina Bayat’s portrayal is the only one worth watching. Nissa is annoying, her father even more so. And I am so tired of hearing bhoj, amanath, fiqar as synonyms for beti on both sides of the border in this medium. Writers rehem karo!


    • JR: Yes, the daughters and their rona dhona gets annoying .. but haina! HB is amazing and I have to say Bilal Qureshi, the actor playing her son is very good as well!
      Re: the daughters and them being a bojh and all that yes I hear you, my friend, I’m so done with all that as well, but I am enjoying the way the writer has managed to add in various twists and turns if only they had edited this tightly and cut out abt two three episodes worth of tears and sobs … abhi aagey chalo and watch Khursheeda’s chakars and how she makes a ghan chakar of the maulvi and her son ..
      and LOL you think Nisa is annoying, what abt her krazy glued curls?! Actually more than her, its Asma the middle one who needs acting lessons I think..

      Oh, btw, check out these telefilms .. I dont know if Ive already given these names, but do check out Miley Jo Fursat, Drama Fever, Firdous Ki Dozakh, Khamoshi .. all are uploaded on my yt channel .. Im working on a review of a few telefilms ..hopefullly should have it up soonish 🙂


  8. Just tuned into this drama recently after having seen you mention it on your site. I was skeptical at first as well, but like you I was looking forward to Nadeem and Hina, and I like Noor and Kiran as well. At first, I was having a hard time buying Hina in that role. Its just so unlike anything shes done, which i truly respect, but she just comes across as such a modern sophisticated kinda lady, a beauty at that, that it was hard to initially take her seriously as a paan eating uneducated chalaak saas. But I stand corrected. She has done more than justice to the role, that a few episodes in, im loving this new Hina. She has done such an amazing job. And I must say, as chalaak and self serving as Hina’s character is, only she could add just this touch of loveability to the character. I look forward to all of her scenes, and I was laughing yesterday, because as much as I should hate this character, I think I have a soft corner for her. So all in all, I am enjoying this drama. The one thing I would like to point out is, can everyone STOP screaming so much???!! Bilal is good, but his shrieking is annoying! Alot of rona dhona that I have to forward at times, but like I said, im still watching. I see you stopped reviewing…hmmm.


    • @Masooma: Yaar, what to do! I try my best to keep up with as many as I can but this thing of 25+ eps means that after about halfway everything starts dragging so badly ke its really hard to continue … Im kinda keeping an eye on this but we’re now 26 eps in and the story seems to have lost its vitality … about 2/3rds of each ep is focused on the silly sisters and then Hina has a few scenes, which is all that I tune in for .. I like Bilal Qureshi as well, the guy playing her son, but its really hard to sit thru an entire ep where all we get is the two older sisters screaming at each other, both with their manicures intact and fancy done up hair … I’ll probably do a finale review once the serial ends .. magar abhi tau hosla nahin hai …

      But all that said, yes, this one should be watched only for HKB and her Khala Khursheeda….. she is a real piece of work … dont know how far youve watched but do watch till this jahez bit …. Hina is fabulous!!
      Waisey from the precap it seems like ep 27 mein shes gonna get injured … kaafi zor se gireen bechari! I hope Hina didnt hurt herself too badly while shooting that scene!


  9. oh man, its still running??!! i thought it was over so i tuned in. Man I thought 26 episodes was going to be a lot, and yet theres still more to come, wow! okkkkkk….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.