First things first … lets begin with pinning a medal on the chest of two of the smoothest operators in Jackson Heights, Jamshed and Sikander. No, no, don’t worry we’ll get to Bhatti bhai as well, hain ji, you alright with that ji? Okay, so now that we’ve settled that ma’mla there, back to what I was saying … umm… where was I?
Haan! Yaad aaya! Jamshed and Sikander. Ji, tau un donon ko medals mil rahe hain itni lambi lambi chornay par … honestly, bas wah! Forget about my masoom Michele and meri seedhi saadhi Salma, arrey even I, worldly wise as I like to believe I am, was ready to aankh band kar ke do yaqeen ke bas in donon se ziyada sincere tau aur koi ho hi nahin sakta!
Kiya pathos, kiya khuddari, and kiya meri bhi koi izzat hai type filmy tareen lines from apne roothey huey hero sahab! Michele, my sweets, ab roney dhoney aur mashwara mangne se kuch nahin banney wala… you’ve been hooked and are now being reeled in by an expert!
Not to be left behind hamarey wife-beater wearing shohar sahab also turned on the charm and the waterworks. Kitne aansoo aur kitna full on drama, baqi jo kami thi woh amma ki biryani ne poori kar di … *sigh* poor clueless Salma! Sikander’s purely evil grin at the end said it all: His wife and her zevar never ever stood a chance.
Waisey, though my sympathies are totally with Salma (girl power n ‘all), bibi needs a serious reality check. Does she have any idea how much college costs? Even a state college? Aisa kitna zevar hai ke you would go blab about it, and that too to Sikander? Arrey madam, no matter how much zevar you might have, it is not gonna be enough. But khair, ab tau woh bhi gaya hi samjho.
On a more serious note, I love how subtly we’ve been shown how we marry off our daughters without extending them any real sense of emotional support. We might laugh it off, but for many around us, variations of those old cliched lines – beta shohar ka ghar hi ab tumhara asli ghar hai, ab tumhara janaza hi susral se waapis aayega – still hold true, particularly for those from smaller cities. And this is exactly what we see Salma doing; trying all means possible to keep her family together. She sees no option of going back, and though she has friends here it is a very different deal. Confessing the full extent of her hopeless situation is a option she refuses to consider. Hoping against hope, and telling Iman the same as well, that this time around things will be different. I sincerely hope Aliya can stage an intervention, or perhaps Bhatti bhai will step up to the plate? Koi bhi ho, doesn’t matter, the bottom line is that Salma desperately needs help getting out of this toxic situation.
As for Bhatti bhai, I love how slippery this character is… beautifully written, excellently directed and exquisitely performed, this guy spans all shades of grey. His equation with Kathy makes for excellent drama. He says phans gaya about his marriage and she has no qualms berating him when it suits her, but then again he ‘aint no doodh ka dhula hua either. And its these contradictions that keep us guessing as to this man’s real motivations. Or perhaps he himself too lives in the moment. Maybe, maybe not?
Magar khair, jo bhi hai, aaj Bhatti bhai too deserves a medal. Nahin, bas no special reason ... just that his weekly pity-parties seem to ask for some kind of an acknowledgement. Itney dukhi hain becharey! But wait, before you shed any real tears for him, just watch him with Salma – daant andar jaana mushkil ho jatey hain inkey!
While our cabbie was alternately sad and happy, my girl Michele had a quite a downer of an episode. It was heart wrenching to see her doubts, and later her phone conversation with Rizwan. One cannot help but feel for Rizwan. Woh tau becharey apne rakh rakhao and sharafat mein hi maarey gaye. Even during this call, I wonder if there wasn’t a part of him that was secretly hoping that Michele was finally re-thinking her equation with him.
The problem though is that Michele thori nahin kaafi mushkil pasand hain. Rather than going for the happily available, uncomplicated Rizwan, she finds herself attracted to exciting mix of thrill and danger that Jamshed represents. After being in hibernation for so many years she is reawakening to the needs of the girl within her, one who wants to not only be wooed but challenged as well. Waisey tau I might’ve given Jamshed a chance, but unfortunately that phone call to naani put paid to my good intentions.
With the past couple of episodes Jackson Heights has come into it own. With each character there exist myriads of possibilities, so many viable paths available to all that it is hard to predict who will eventually end up where. Regardless of jo jahan bh jaaye, I am warning you guys – Jamshed and Sikander I’m looking at you particularly – you’d better be good to my two girls. Haan your being hot and hunky helps, but not to the extent ke you get a free pass and are allowed to go around breaking these girls’ hearts. Khabardar jo zara bhi garbar ki!
That I’m having khayali conversations with fictional people is a testament to how well-etched these characters are and how real their dilemmas are, to me at least. Vasay’s script and lines take on a new life under Mehreen’s able direction and then the fabulous actors bring it all together. Marina, Nauman, Aamina, Adnan, Adeel, Ali, Neelofer, Meher, Monsoon, Alma and Theo, you all are a ton of fun to watch. Now if only your characters could learn to play nice with each other!
Counting down to next Friday…
Written by SZ~