One of my favorite metaphors, when it comes to describing our serials, is that of an onion, peeled away layer after layer till the core, which conceals an important something, is reached. The final resolution, that concealed inner core, is what most of our stories are about. When it comes to Jackson Heights, however, this metaphor works in a different way.
The veiled promise of immeasurable wealth may necessitate a journey through innumerable difficulties, conversely an ugly secret may be veiled beneath layer upon layer of progressively less–beautiful mistruths. The duality of the veil is such that it can both uglify the beautiful and beautify the ugly. The veil is that layer of onion – flimsy and translucent enough to beg for a deeper investigation. The metaphor of the onion, then, describes the progression, rather than the destination.
Read in this context, Jackson Heights is a telling narrative about the journey – a bumpy road to an uncertain, unknown destination. And it is this difference, the emphasis on the process rather than the end result, that makes Jackson Heights a standout.
Talking in terms of specifics, I must say this episode got off to quite a dhaka start. Much I love Ali Kazmi I hate his Sikander even more. I was, therefore, thrilled to bits at the sight of Sikander trussed up worse than a Thanksgiving turkey. Beta bola tha na mat karo Salma ko tang .. ab bhugto! Sadly, though, much of my glee was diluted by the glib desi style gun disposal (how come nobody saw him waving it around like a lunatic just prior to his accident?) and then the whole insurance/payment thing was a bit too easy peasy for my liking. Also, there seemed to be quite a few issues with keeping the mathematics straight.
A few weeks ago Salma talked about her jewelry being worth enough to pay for Iman’s college, and today it seemed like it was worth only 19k? And this was not all. Did you notice how easily the aftermath of the accident was handled? No accident reports filed, no paperwork, no nothing. Also, it seemed bizarre that Sikander was sent home with such serious injuries. And finally, considering how much medical care costs, even with insurance, that the 19k sounded more like a down payment on a more substantial amount rather than the full payment. In short, nothing made sense in this hospital/accident scenario, most of all not that utterly weird purple waiting room/third rate no-tell motel room(?) – what was up with that?!?
Another jhatka was the fact that Bhatti and Kathy had been married for only five years. Given all the delays in his immigration etc, and the fact that he’d been in the US for a total 15 years had made it sound like he’d been married longer. But now that we know he wasn’t, what was her doing for ten years before Kathy? Was he married earlier as well?
Barring these inconsistencies, I loved the rest of the episode. I was cheering Iman on while she sunao-ed her evil daadi, and loved her immense belief in her mom; her firm manner and unhesitating words while defending Salma were very heartwarming. Beautifully woven alongside was Iman and Salma’s conversation about Bhatti sahab. Aamina Sheikh was brilliant in that scene and the one with Aliya. The dilemma of having to choose between those who love you and those whom you love was beautifully expressed. How was she to tell this preteen that she had been too quick to jump to defend her relationship with Bhatti. How could she? She herself didn’t know! She had not even allowed her heart to inform her mind … aur loag tau door ki baat hain…
While Salma was still trying to untangle her very confused feelings, struggling under the burden of her daughter’s hopes, Bhatti in typical Bhatti fashion appeared to be having an easier time cutting through his swath of responsibilities. All problems – immigration, providing for family back home, deal with Kathy – which had previously, according to him, stopped him from visiting his mother back home, all seemed to hold zero meaning for Bhatti sahab. His unequivocal mode of moving on made for a brilliant contrast with Salma’s hesitant, as yet unsure response. He seemed surprised, almost shocked, that Salma would even ask about his wife.
How easily Bhatti dismissed his marriage with Kathy as a deal. Was it really as cut and dried as he made it sound? ‘Cause Kathy’s reference to their dates before they were married point to a whole other reality. The precap indicates he has a sobering reality check or two coming his way. Looking forward to seeing how Bhatti sahab manages to negotiae his way through those tight spots. Bhatti sahab, aap ka bhanja tau jalebu hai hi magar aap bhi amriti se kum nahin hain! Needless to say Nauman Ijaz deserves all accolades possible for nailing Bhatti sahab. Hain? Haan? Oye meri baat samjh aa gayi hai na?
And on jalebis, uff!!!Jamshed! Jamshed! Jamshed!! Apni mareez-e muhabbat Michele is totally out of it, bilkul hi love mein ghum, listening to songs like this on repeat mode:
While lady love fluttered around him like a mother hen, Jamshed sahab was too busy playing his jalebi jaisey paicheeda games. Loved how he turned it all around and painted himself as being misunderstood and victimized by those bad duniya waley (shades of Bhatti khandani genes?). He began the day showing attitude to Michele, then played Mr I’m-so-busy-being-a-hotshot-I-have-no-time-for-you-guys type of silly games with Javed, to give him credit he did show a modicum of concern there, but the best scene, the moment of the episode was reserved for the convo between Rizwan and Jamshed. How brilliant were Adeel and Adnan in that scene?! Another fab moment was Jamshed thinking up more evil plans and then totally surprising Michele with his 180° turnaround. Aamina’s dilemma as she shared her concerns with Aliya was another gem of a moment (anybody noticed how gorgeous the girl looked with her hair open?!). It is scenes such as these that make me forget all my annoyances with Pakistan dramas and give me hope that as long we have such amazingly talented creatives magic will continue to happen
For an episode that started off bumpy, I’m sure glad it didn’t end that way. I don’t know how its all gonna work out by the end (and I do reserve the right to complain if need be!), but at this point I can definitely say that so far this has been a great journey, waisey bhi agar humsafar aap jaise or Team Jackson Heights jaisey hon tau phir kaisi shikayat aur kahan ki shikayat.
Written by SZ~
P.S. Don’t forget! Sunday is the last day to post your questions for Vasay!