Rather than being overly concerned with the destination, I wrote last week, Jackson Heights is the story of the journey towards that destination, a charting of the growth of various characters as they evolve, or devolve, on account of their changing circumstances. Ab because this a journey tau potholes bhi hongey and jhatkey bhi lagen gey, un mein se some can be ignored and some that make you go hmm… and this latest episode was a mixture of some ignorable jhatkas, a couple seriously hmm type moments and then there was Marina Khan and her stunning smile and phir bas … all I could do was to go back and dekho that smile a couple more times.
Before we got to that fabulous Marina moment, however, Bhatti bhai’s melodramatic departure did not sit too well with me. To begin with, I appreciated that we got some touchy scenes with Bhatti and his adopted family. These tender moments made for a fabulous contrast with all those earlier times when Bhatti had only talked about Kathy and Izzy in negative terms; infact even later in this episode he alluded to Kathy’s hostility towards him.
Like it happens in every other family a lot of harsh words had been exchanged over the years, from both sides, but as was evident today it had not always been as grim as Bhatti had psyched himself into believing. All this I got. What I did not quite get was why Vasay and MJ choose to go the emotional atychar route for these scenes. Ex-bhabhi Bhatti and her pleading reminded me of those Lollywood/Punjabi films where the sobbing heroine rokos the jaaney wale shohar’s raasta and spouts off lines like sartaj agar aap ko jaana hi hai tau aap ko meri laash par se guzar kar jaana hoga! Surely the point could’ve been made without turning ex-bhabhi into a weepy filmi heroine?
Magar hamarey Bhatti bhai ain’t no Lollywood ka seedha hero ke he would be as easily swayed by a roti mutyar. Un ko jana tha aur woh gaye. Forgotten were all his immigration issues, a jhat pat talaaq arranged, ghar handed over to ex-bhabhi and bhai jaan yeh jaa woh jaa. Woh tau chaley gaye, but his departure opened up other avenues of thought. If Kathy’s house was his, then why had he stood by silently and watched Kathy throw out Jamshed?
It is at points like these that the subtlety of writing really stands out. The fact that Bhatti basically kept quiet all along indicates that though it might have started out that way, his extended stay in the US was no longer on account of financial issues… if he had enough to buy Kathy a house, he certainly had enough to return to home.
He gave in to his wife on all matters because he couldn’t afford to irritate her. His immigration was that important to him… more important than taking a stand for his bhanja. For a character with more colors than a crayola box, mamu seems to always come across as such a shareef bechara sa guy, Hats off to Nauman Ijaz for his brilliant potrayal of Bhatti.
Salma had been so right earlier. He probably had no intentions of ever returning to settle in Pakistan. It was easier for him to send money and continue complaining about his brother’s harkats. Magar ab jab Bhatti is in love tau immigration status, handing over the house, all meant nothing. Itni jaldi thi un ko ke he never even bothered to inform Salma he was walking out of the house and his marriage! Kya ho gaya hai aap ko Bhati sahab? Have you also become love mein ghum like my girl Michele?
On Michele, this mareez-e muhabbat has in very critical condition. Itna ziyada ‘ishq mein andhi ke can’t see anything beyond jalebi Jamshed. Michele, sweetie, I get that he’s hot and charming, but yaar!! I am having a great time with this track, but really did Michele have to have such a kamzor qareeb ki nazar?
Like last week, the scenes with rejected Rizwan and jalebi Jamshed were so good. Adnan and Adeel have fabulous chemistry. The disdain with which Rizwan looked down his nose at this kal ka chokra and in return the way this upstart reminded him of his white hair was hilarious. But then it was beyond cruel to have Rizwan sit there and watch his sober Michele go all giggly and agree to becoming Mrs. Jalebi. Later on as well our oblivious to everything Michele has Rizwan trying on watches for his rival. Love mein itni ghum ke she’s even forgotten she’d just bought him a watch, a few weeks ago. Umm, hello! Earth to Michele!
Much as I am enjoying this May-December track, did Michele really have to be so hard on Rizwan? I mean, okay fine … don’t marry him, magar becharey ke saath aisa zulm? What did he ever do to deserve this? For the first time in this serial we, along with Rizwan, saw Michele’s million watt smile … woh bhi Jamshed ke liye? I had never appreciated how strong willed Rizwan was, but aaj dekh liya. Marina, Adeel and Adnan are all so much fun to watch together!
Jalebi knows he is pushing Rizwan to the edge with all his chichori harkats, and he’s thoroughly enjoying rubbing it in to the older guy, but I have a feeling that so far we have seen only one side of Rizwan. Still waters run deep ‘n all that jazz, so much as Jamshed may think he’s winning, I think Rizwan might have a trick or two to teach this young man … after all yeh baal dhoop mein to sufaid nahin kye hain na!
Where bhanja is extremely confident as of now … mamu ko tau ghar se nikalte hi zabardast jhatka laga. Bhatti was in such a rush ke he forgot he had fallen in love with a very complicated woman. Sikander’s accident and subsequent serious injuries have once again brought back familiar feelings of familial responsibility, wifely duties, etc. Add to this Iman’s need for an anchor to ground her in a very turbulent family situation, tayi jee’s taanas, and pressure from Bhatti and it is easy to seen Salma’s increasing frustration at feeling pulled from every direction. I love how Aamina plays Salma with so much dignity that never once does she come across as a bechari.
It is very easy for Aliya and Bhatti to tell her to give up on Sikander and move out, but for a girl, wired as she is, it is hard for Salma to turn her back quite that easily. Ok, so far on board with all this. What I didn’t like was the fact that the jewelry was in focus yet again. Last week it sounded like it was all a done deal, but here again we spent so much time hearing about the zevar. Did we really need the long-winded reminder?
I don’t know what kind of a person this makes me, but I’ve actually missed seeing His Evilness in action. Rather than all the zevar talk, I ‘d rather have seen Sikander suffer a bit more. Perhaps falling off the couch? Maybe slipping on the driveway? Ok, now I sound just as evil, but basically Ali Kazmi has done a fab job with this very dark role, and I would’ve loved to have known more about this crazy guy’s current state of mind. We know he’s devolving, and pretty fast at that, so I can’t help but wonder about how he’s processed, read rationalized, this failed murder attempt. Hopefully we’ll get more answers next week.
All in all this was a mixed bag of an episode. Nuanced underplayed scenes have been the hallmark of this serial, but today there were times when I missed the patented MJ touch. Also, the repetition, 19k payment, slowed down the narrative pace. From the precap it seems like we will get a more happening episode, so lets wait and see what Team Jackson Heights has in store for next week. For now, anybody has any guesses for a likely ending scenario? Salma with Bhatti or Salma with Sikander? Michele with Rizwan or Michele with Jalebi? Mamu and bhanja permanently in Pakistan or never leaving NYC?
Written by SZ~