Zid, written by Bee Gul, directed by Adnan Wai Qureshi and produced by Mehroz Karim Rind and Momina Duraid, is the story of Saman, ostensibly a headstrong ziddi girl who derives particular joy in playing haan shaadi nahin shaadi type of juvenile games. With one broken mangni under her belt by the end of the first episode Saman had succeeded in dumping yet another mangetar.
While the rest of TV land ammas and abbas are going crazy looking for one acche gharane ka khoobsurat parha likha sharif larka for their daughters yahan tau jee there seemed to be no such issues. Idhar mangni tooti udhar Appo snapped her fingers and bas!
What with with the third time around being a charm and all that jazz, by the end of the second episode Sanam bibi is on the verge of getting nikah-ed to a third guy, this one an ameerikan.
As a rule I avoid mangni shaadi talaaq type serials, but this was a) Bee Gul, and b) Adnan Wai Qureshi’s serial so I wanted to give his one a dekho. And it is because of them that I sat through a very annoying first episode and gave it another go today. Where the first episode was pretty much a washout, bar a few places, thankfully the second episode fared relatively better. The scenes were relatively shorter and the narrative much more coherent. That said, so far Zid, though it bears traces of Bee Gul’s brilliance, is devoid of the wow factor of a Talkhiyan or Pehchan, both of which had me hooked from the very first frame.
Back to Zid, to the couple of lines in the first episode that seemed like it came from Bee Gul’s pen, Saman’s deep seated fear, her reason for refusing all those great rishtas: Meri apni zindagi hai, meri apni raye hai, mujhe lagta hai main shaadi kar ke kaheen gum ho jaoongi. Considering all the compromises she is being asked to make – yeh-kaunsi-nayi-baat- hai and sab-mard-aisey-hi-hotay-hain type dilasas she’s being given – it is no wonder she is wary of stepping into this quagmire we call shaadi. The fabulous Sultana Zafar was a lot of fun to watch as Appo, a stand-in for the omnipotent duniya and duniya waley, giving voice to all that a girl has to hear when she decides to take a stand.
Zid is by no means condoning Saman’s behaviour nor is it a call against marriage, rather it is an opening of a conversation, an invitation to re-think our desi interpretation of marriage as a social contract. If marriage is indeed an agreement between two equal partners, then why the unwritten unsaid societal expectation that it will but naturally be the girl who will comply, give in, bend over backwards and bear the burden of making this partnership work. Hence, respond ASAP to shohar sahab’s texts, never ignore his phone calls, etc, or else live in the constant stress ke kiya maloom kab her sar[ka]taj might feel unappreciated.
Another place where I felt Saman echoed my feelings was when she complained about the constant shaadi talk – thank you, thank you, thank you. Can TV producers and channels please frame those dialogues and subah shaam un ko bila nagha parhein… shukriya. And if you think I’m joking, please take a minute and go through the plots of most of the serials airing these days. In the specific case of Zid, what a mangetar Raza’s found himself… aap sunye aur agar aap wahan se tauba tauba kartey na bhagein tau mera naam badal dijiye ga. Seriously! I don’t know how Raza puts up with his airhead fiance, but wow! I so wanted to hit the ffwd button every time the woman opened her mouth! Kaprey, shaadi, kaprey, shaadi, and more kaprey and more shaadi .… majaal hai jo koi aur kaam ki baat bhi ho us larki ney!
On the issue of bekaar baatein, I have no clue who thought it would be a great idea to have the characters jabber so much. From the rejected mangetar, to Saman, to her friend, to Raza, to his mangetar, to Appo, to the parents …. taubah!! Sab ke sab loag kitna boltey hain, aur woh bhi nonstop!! If all this repetitive, reiterative talking had been edited down we could have had one solid episode instead of two wishy washy ones. Sadly the little subtext that managed to survive Bee Gul’s transition from artsy to massy writing was diluted to the point of being non-existent, buried deep as it was under all the talk talk. I really want to hang on till Imran Peerzada and Nausheen Shah’s entry but don’t know for how long I’ll be able to take this phar phar chalti tez gaam ke se lambe lambe dialogues – please have mercy!
Adnan Wai Qureshi is a director whose previous work I have enjoyed quite a bit and was looking forward to seeing his take here. These two episodes have, however, been pretty disappointing in this regard. Saman is headstrong and rebellious, yes, but do those qualities necessarily go hand in hand with being badtameez and rude? Nowhere did we see a quiet moment, some introspection, kuch thoughtfulness. Where was the Saman who reflects on her place in the social hierarchy Where is the girl who cares enough about her parents to give in to their demands for shaadi but then struggles with her choice? Where was those moments of internal conflict? All we got to see was a Saman who seemed to actually derive pleasure out of her broken mangnis and then decided to get married to yet another stranger, as on a whim…
Maya Ali is an actress with potential, but given her inexperience she needs a lot of guidance and direction and so far I am disappointed to see Adnan and his actress’s take on Saman.Though she looked pretty and I liked her peppy wardrobe and over all look, Saman sounds a lot like the second coming of Zara. Among others, Ahsan Khan is an experienced actor and it showed. It will be interesting to see Omar and Saman’s relationship develop in the coming episodes. Kunwar Arsalan left a good impression. Humayun Ashraf made a good Raza, but I didn’t get the need for the unshaven, unkempt hair look. Among other actors I was thrilled to see Lubna Aslam and Manzoor Qureshi, but as the OTT Saman’s parents I felt the genteel Lubna Aslam and the softie Manzoor Qureshi did not quite fit their assigned characters.
Given how hyper Saman was I would’ve expected a lot more firmness from them, but they seemed to be taking it all remarkably well. Shukar hai Saman meri beti nahin, is all I can say at this point. I hope that as the story progresses Saman will calm down and Maya will grow into her potentially interesting character. Huma Nawab was a complete surprise and I was thrilled to see her again. But, wait… why was she playing Ahsan’s mother? Had ho gayi!! Aik taraf we have actors like Humayun Saeed and Adnan Siddiqui still playing romantic heroes and doosri taraf we have Huma playing a mommy? Not fair!!
With a better, relatively tighter second episode, interesting characters and actors like Imran Peerzada and Nausheen Shah and Angeline Malik still to make an entry, I will try to stick with this as far as I can. In short, I’ll do my part and sincerely hope the captain of the ship and his cast and crew, and the editors will do theirs!
Written by SZ~
Zid ~ OST