Circles hon ya squares ya ke triangles, headline grabbing or so commonplace they barely register, attractively packaged or humbly wrapped in a week old newspaper, heavy enough to be immovable or light as a feather, fragrant or smelly, eloquently penned or a bunch of jumbled words, whether inviting further discussion or a huge turn off – simply put, no matter how you approach it – 2+2=4 or 6-2=4 – a social issue is a social issue.
Sans the shohar-biwi-saali triangle or the beti-behen- biwi-bahu-maa-saas circle of a woman’s life, or the biwi-shohar-bache-doosri biwi square, Goya stakes it claim as an issue-based story with its thought provoking commentary on the relationship between a child and parent. In and of itself a coming of age story is nothing radical or new, but what make Goya a standout are its expertly woven interlinked tracks, each shedding light on a different facet of the first and most important relationship in our lives. Goya is not just Omar’s story, but also that of Mohini, Adnan, Zara, and Ali, fellow travelers on what essentially is an internal journey.
Omar grew up craving a mother. It was not the absence of love and affection that mattered as much, provided as it was to a large extent by Mrs Imtiaz, but the real tragedy was his mother’s absence as an interlocutor. Boys need fathers to guide them to manhood, but how is that to happen if said child and parent do not speak the same language. For Rahat communication was/is a necessary evil, useful only for negotiating business deals, Omar on the other hand needed words, clearly spelled out acceptance and encouragement. With the father and son on two completely different planes with no bridge to connect the two, it is no surprise then that Omar gravitated towards a girl who pushed all the right buttons. Mohini is playful but practical, she criticizes but is also quick to appreciate. He wants to be indulged and she enjoys pampering him. In Mohini Omar has found not only a supportive wife but also an indulgent parent.
Much as all seems hunky dory between the newly married couple, they still have a ways to go before they can be called life partners, on an equal footing, in the real sense of the word. And this is a growth arc we see being brilliantly developed here. Omar thinks he’s proven himself, but walking out and eloping does not a man make. He complains about Adnan but has he even stopped to think how much he owes this man? Living rent free is not questioned as is the money that appears magically in his wallet and clothes that seem to come free of cost. Granted he had cash on him but how far can this be his only contribution to the marriage. Mohini is happy playing ghar ghar for now but how long before the bubble bursts and she wants a real man to walk alongside her.
If Omar grew up with mommy issues then Mohini missed out on having a man in her life. She is attracted to Omar not just for his looks but for how seamlessly he fits in to her life, unknowingly plugging all the gaps in her otherwise full life. Growing up as an only child with a single parent she’s never had to vy for her mother’s attention and Omar’s being effectively alone means that here too Mohini has no competition. Asma’s being very self sufficient too has left impacted Mohini’s personality. Had Mrs. Imtiaz lived it might’ve been a different story but now Mohini gets to effectively indulge her latent desire to be needed and desired for what only she can offer.
Barely discernible for now but cracks in the relationship are making themselves felt. He wants to do things his way and she bosses him no end. He is naive and she’s a know-it-all. Conversations about their life together being likened to Omar’s strict childhood, casual comparisons between Mohini and Rahat, and him going along with her desire to pamper him are all very telling of the complicated relationship they share.
Whether it will be Omar’s challenging of her high-handed attitude or Mohini’s need to pamper being replaced by her desire to be treated like a princess – she’s talked about how she’s missed out on being a daddy’s girl – or the circumstances external to their relationship, there is no doubt that both Omar and Mohini have a long way to go before they become each other’s better halves. They need to see each other for who they really are rather than filtered through a prism of unfulfilled needs.
Sana Javed is likeable and relatable as Mohini but so far is yet to make a real impression. Her partner, Osman, on the other hand, has made Omar his own. Comparisons to his Aunn in Aunn Zara are unavoidable but it is to his and Farrukh Faiz’s credit for reading beyond the obvious and giving Omar a completely different vibe.
Like Omar and Mohini, Adnan too has a family issues, the kind which would thrill Freud no end. Unlike Omar who was kept sane by Mrs Imtiaz’s unconditional love, Adnan grew up alone used to hiding his pain behind the facade of a frenzied party-on-hai lifestyle. Though he looks about ready to pass out at any given moment, his slurred speech and slouchy walk hide a very astute brain. His confrontation with Rahat was the scene of the serial so far. Usman Peerzada is a senior actor and his excellent performance is no surprise, but Gohar has been brilliant so far and this scene sealed the deal. If he can resist the temptation to become a star and stay selective then there will be no holding him back.
Adnan typifies the son Rahat always wanted, cleaned up of course. Though Adnan angered him no end there was glint in Rahat’s eyes that gave away how much he enjoyed the challenge. What Rahat does not know is that Adnan is this way because he was left to fend for himself. He did not grow up under a father who tied him down even as he wanted him to fly. Ostensibly Omar and Adnan have nothing in common, but look beyond the obvious and there emerges a shared bond of rejection, pain, and loneliness.
It is this recognition that has Adnan inviting Omar to move in with him and has him marching into Rahat’s office. He may dismiss him as a charsi and ajeeb sa admi for now but when Omar starts seeing a bit more clearly he will realize how much he has to learn from Adnan. While Mohini is his world for now, given their complicated equation one does wonder how Adnan’s full fledged entry in Omar’s life will impact Mohini and Omar’s life.
With Adnan poised to make his entry into Omar’s life, Ali and Zara are all set to make an exit. Zara for detox, but actually taking time to rethink her life, the strings of which are being pulled by her nefarious dad. Ali is being pulled away from Omar’s life thanks to Sr. sahab’s continued meddling. Rahat might say otherwise to Zara’s father but he is doing his best to mess with Omar’s life. And where would we all be if Rahat’s father hadn’t interfered in his life. Goya ke yahan tau issues hi hain …
With the story now having reached the one third point it is worth applauding the plotting and pacing of various graphs and their carefully thought out intersections. Narrative pace remains consistent and engaging, the direction on point and the acting top notch. Kudos to Team Goya for making it all look so effortless and natural.
Among things that aren’t quite as natural: a) the background score – could we please have the volume lowered and if possible a few silent moments? b) the dull lighting, and c) Mohini’s annoying driving scenes. We know she’s driving the relationship for now, no need to emphasize it further. Apart from these Goya is sailing smoothly so far.
Finally, if somebody at ARY is reading: Please, please upload HD quality, non geo restricted episodes online. Goya has a huge audience. It is being enjoyed not just locally but globally as well, and there is no bigger turnoff than watching a poor quality video. I would greatly appreciate it if somebody could look into this matter. Thank you.
Written by SZ~