Modern day romances are all about the aaj aur abhi. Lovers dream of being with each other and look forward to a lifetime’s worth of togetherness. Love, for them, is about sharing and caring, making beautiful memories and growing old together. Noble sentiments indeed. The romances that Khalil ur Rehman Qamar writes about, however, are not about the here and now. His brand of love is one the fragrance of which remains forever fresh. Lovers he writes about are not concerned with physical union, dismissively designated as bihaa; for them union is about emotional intimacy, an eternal union of souls, a shaadi.
The intensity of emotion that Shano feels for Khalil or the spiritual link that ties Khalil to Shano is of the kind that defeats logic and rationale. Do they want to be together? Sure. But not at the cost of sullying each other’s name, not at the cost of defying their parents’ wishes, and most certainly not at the cost giving love and lovers’ a bad name. They’d rather hurt themselves first than cause pain to those around them or invite public censure on their loved ones. That said, nobody is allowed to get away with challenging a lover’s strength of will. If he holds back it’s because of his commitment to the beloved. Unfortunately for Fayyaz though, poor guy, aik tau pehley hi buri tarah se bhai-zoned and oopar se nobody sent him this memo. Khelu ko lalkaar kar bechara bari buri ghalti kar baitha.
Last week was about dhish dhish dhishoom and a full on filmi one at that, complete with ghundas, garajtey badal kaali banyaan aur behta khoon. While lover boy was busy defending his honor and by extension his lady love’s, Shano was busy praying, first at the dargah, tying manat ka dhagas and hoping for the best, and later at home. Nahin tau bhi she was prepared for all eventualities – neela thotha daba kar rakha tha mutthi mein. That entire dargah sequence – Shano and Humera waking through the fields, maano-ing a mannat and later praying there – was beautifully executed, with a much more soothing Nimi Nimi Ag playing in the background, and is now one of my favorite sequences in a serial filled with lovely moments. Running a close second, if for nothing other than its OTT filminess was the fight sequence. Though I was laughing throughout that intense maar pitayi, I did feel like bajao-ing a taali and maroing a seeti, or two, at the sight of the four baddies chaaron shaaney chit, laying all around our zakhmi magar gabhru hero sahab – wah Khelu miyan! Dou haspatal main aur dou jirrah key paas! Tussi tey kamaal kar ditta!
All that maar dhaar seemed like small potatoes though when compared to Rasheeda’s cold (read freezing cold) attitude towards Khelu. Yes, she was shocked when he showed up, all battered and bruised, but that should in no way be read as her warming towards her nephew. Simply put Samiya Mumtaz is stealing the show as Rasheeda. God alone knows what really happened, magar jo kuch bhi hua tha must’ve been a drama ‘n a half. Anything that turns a person inside out and causes a woman to become so twisted, so callous towards her eldest daughter has to be a tad more complicated than that seedhi as a jaleebi khahani that Shano had told the maulvi sahab.
From what we saw unfold even Khalil is unaware of the truth about his parentage. Ab asal mas’la kiya hai only time will tell, but so far it is the intrigue of the unknown, rather than the charm of the known, that has me hooked. And on being hooked, how fabulous are Irfan Khoosat and Rehan Sheikh. That scene where Amin hears about Khelu’s arrival and ensuing fight was fabulous! Another endearing moment was when the bechara bhooka bhai (yes, still on the B wali bandwagon) jumped up to inform dad ke ammi ney phir maara tha... awww! Such a cutie! Aur ammi ji hain ke unka maarney ka shauq hi poora nahin ho raha… aaj bhi bechari Shanno ko chimta maara. Ab, as a mother I get Rasheeda’s frustration, ke un ki itni pyaari beti has given her dil to such a sir phira, but aunty ji maarney se tau problems nahin hal hotay na!
Kidding aside, Sadqay Tumhare wala tanga apni dagar pey rawaan dawaan hai … ostensibly a slower episode, I love how the characters, particularly Rasheeda is gradually coming into her own. Samiya Mumtaz, who I cannot praise enough, is simply brilliant. Rehan Sheikh is more than an adept laid back partner for the crafty Sheeda. As for Irfan Khoosat, it is so very educational to see how a seasoned actor can breathe life into a seemingly minor role. Qavi Khan is effective as the peacekeeping maulvi sahab, but we’ve seen him in so many similar roles that he doesn’t make much of an impact.
Among the younger actors, Mahira Khan is easily the pick of the lot. She hasn’t had much to do so far, but her scenes with her parents always leave an impact. The scene where Khalil invites Shano to step out from behind the parda, was nicely done and fun to watch. Adnan Malik seems like he’s having a ball playing this Amitabh inspired, larger than life angry young man. There are some weaker moments in his portrayal, for instance today in his scene with Fayyaz’s brother, but generally he’s doing a great job. Adnan’s overall comfort as Khelu, his flamboyance and the charm he brings to the character goes a long way in smoothing out Khalil’s very rough edges. Mukarram Kaleem is great as Fayyaz, but bari maar pari us ko – felt really bad for him. Fayyaz bha ji, mera mashwara mano, Shano ko choro aur Humera ko dobara dekho. I tell you she’s the perfect match for you. And agar Humera ke liye match dhoondha hai tau someone please help find a suitable partner for Dr. Maqsood. Shamyl Khan plays him very well, and I’m sure the real Dr. Maqsood must be a very wise man, but wow the character, from what we have seen so far, is a poster-boy for a man with no life.
Non-fiction, fiction, faction, fantasy, creative non-fiction, call Sadqay Tumhare what you may, for me its the past of the near past that holds the most attraction. The dilemmas of Shano and Khalil’s present are all rooted in Rasheeda and Inayat’s less than savory past, and it is only after those gnarly knots get untangled and sorted that I feel Shano and Khalil’s story will really take off. For now I am thoroughly charmed by the ambiance and setting and the gradual unfolding of the narrative. Director Ehtishamuddin has done well so far in keeping his viewers interested and engaged. There have been several occasions where the larger than life starkly painted characters, filminess of the screenplay, long scenes, and flowery language could and do overshadow the visual narrative, but all in all it has been reigned in pretty well. On a similar note, the editing has shown a vast improvement since the serial first began but there are still places where a heaver hand is needed.
Kudos to whoever decided to get a second OST done for this serial. I find the second one so much more soothing and a lot more in keeping with the feel of the story. And finally, as I wrap up, a shout out to the DoP and the lighting crew. These guys have done a terrific job is creating the mood necessary for a story of this nature.
Haan ji, tau kaisa chal raha hai aap ka taange ka safar? Are you guys still comfortably on board or is the slow pace getting to you?
Written by SZ~