Watching as many serials as I do, I have come to realize, and reluctantly reconciled myself to the idea, that pretty much every serial will have a slow episode or two, and ab tau even more so given our channels’ penchant for 20+ episodes. I was quite prepared, therefore, ke Goya par bhi yeh din zaroor ayega. Aur phir yahan tau das achi episodes aik saath aa gayeen theen so chalo break tau banti hai boss … chalta hai. But, but …
I get the logic of this being a bridge episode, as the story transitions from one phase to another, and I’m even okay with a slowing down of the narrative pace but what I’m not on board with is the patchiness. For ten weeks Goya stood out for its coherent and logical narrative. There was a reason for everything that happened and every scene had purpose and meaning. Up until the last week it all made sense, and very well at that. This latest episode, on the other hand, was very rough when compared to the fluency that had been the hallmark of the past ten episodes.
The eleventh episode opened with Sr. watching Mohini’s documentary. Not quite sure how and when Mohini and Nomi found the time to complete their work and get it aired within day or so, but there it was. Interestingly enough Sr. was so busy planning for his son’s impending return ke he didn’t seem quite as bothered with the contents of this supposedly explosive documentary. When Haniya walked in he surprised her with the news of Omar’s accident and him being in the ICU. While poor Haniya was still trying to absorb this shocking news he asked her to prepare for Omar’s return and confirm Zaibunissa’s appointment, she had impressed him with her cooking skills. Prodigal beta was returning and what better way to celebrate his return than serving him his favorite seafood dishes.
The next morning very pareshan Haniya rushed in to inform her husband about Omar’s serious condition and his admission to the ICU. Errr….. Haniya ji, were you not paying attention when Sr. told you this khabar the night before? Chalein is sab ko chorain … lets talk about this scene … what was this?
Colour me confused but after all the emphasis on Omar in the ICU why was he shown in a private room? Chalein woh bhi chorain… lets just talk about why the why was Mohini shaking Omar like there was no tomorrow? Did she miss the memo about his compressed spine and the fractured ribs and punctured lungs? Was this the same Mohini as in the earlier episodes? If Mohini behaving out of character was not bad enough we also had the nurse baji and the most bizarre sequence of lines. What the heck was all that talk about Omar’s tabiyat, previous mareez walking away on his own feet and how was it connected to questions about Mohini having children (don’t even get me started on that loaded line!) and the weird invitation to chakar laga lein to the accounting office??
Moving on to better stuff, I enjoyed Zaibunissa and Sr’s scene in the study. The strategically displayed violin in his study was a nice touch, a useful way to connect Sr.’s past and present, but just as it was all begining to cohere and I thought chalo the episode’s back on track, the mysterious lady threw us another curveball. Her do din pehley response to Rahat’s query as to when she arrived in Pakistan had me totally flummoxed. Did she arrive at Rahat’s straight from the airport? I can only assume Sr. was in such shock that the most obvious kyon kab kaise all got forgotten.
The bulk of the episode dealt with the frustration faced and felt by Mohini and Asma as they ran from pillar to post trying to figure out a way to pay the ever increasing hospital bills. I get that these scenes were meant to convey the ladies’ increasing sense of helplessness, but all the extraneous medical mumbo jumbo just created more room for bloopers. We were told, for instance, in quite some detail, that post his first surgery Omar was on a ventilator and was to be kept in an ICU for two months, but when we saw Omar being wheeled to the operating theater for his second operation there was no ventilator, not even a measly drip!! And nobody questioned that?!?
All this is to say Mohini’s dilemma could’ve been conveyed so much more efficiently and meaningfully if there hadn’t been this obvious need to pad the episode. Sprinkled among the fillers were a few powerful moments as well. I always look forward to the scenes between Haniya and Sr. I love the way Tara Mahmood’s playing this very understated and so far unassuming personality. Given how strong she is I cannot help but wonder what a woman like her is doing with Sr. Does he have some kind of a hold on her as well? I hope her character is given a chance to open up in future episodes. Another nicely executed scene was the final confrontation between Sr. and Mrs. Jr. Sana Javed held her own in that powerful scene with the veteran Usman Peerzada. Now this was the Mohini I remembered from the time before she married Omar, the woman who made Jr. believe in the possibility of a life away from Sr.’s mansion.
Interestingly enough Mohini seemed to find her backbone only in the presence of Sr. or Mrs Hashmi. The rest of the time it was like watching a whole other woman. I had a hard time recognizing this Mohini who needed a Nomi to assure her all was going to be well, or the hysterical Mohini who fell apart to the extent that her mother and Nomi had to hide the extent of Omar’s injuries. I get that the thought of losing Omar terrifies her, but for a career woman, someones who’s grown up with a strong widowed mother as a role model, someone who takes such pride in her confidence and can-do spirit, I find these hysterics rather out of character.
The episode ended on a cliched but impactful note with Sr. guilting Mohini into walking away from Omar. Given her state of mind even before the accident – bechara Omar and meri wajah se woh dhakey kha raha hai – it is not hard to guess which way she will lean. If indeed she does go the predictable path then I feel sorry for Omar. Sr. had failed him a long time ago and now it seems like this girl will as well. She, who he had thought was different, someone who understood him and his issues, was also gonna make decisions for him based on what she thought was right. I, for one, cannot wait for when Omar remembers this is Goya and not While You Were Sleeping and wakes up and take charge of his life.
Omar, my friend, utho!
Written by SZ~