Mera Naam Yousuf Hai ~ Episodes 8-14 ~ Overview

MHYH

In my last post on Mera Naam Yousuf Hai I had commented on the real-world social implications of Khalil ur Rehman Qamar’s filmi glorification of a roadside romeo’s infatuation as a spiritual love story, and had highlighted the negative impact of such representations. I had also noted the writer’s casual normalizing of various words and phrases generally considered impolite and inappropriate, and had questioned the point of a serial which bore more than few passing resemblances to his other recently aired projects.

Seven weeks later, my stance on Khalil sahab’s problematic romanticizing, the familiar frame story, predictable plot-points, and choice of register remains unchanged. It would, however, be churlish to not applaud his insightful characterization and incisive take on the hypocrisies that prevail in our patriarchal social set up, and then within this framework his questioning of whether it is indeed the men who call the shots. Moreover, it is the writer’s sensitive representation of the many faces of societally sanctioned domestic violence, the emotional toll of systematic abuse, and its symptomatic presentation, in not just the abused partner but the entire family, that have compelled me to revisit this serial.

To recap, the bare bones plot is as basic as that of a boy sees girl, boys falls in love at first sight, with her name, mind you, girl with that name is not impressed, boy stalks said girl, tries to convince her of his divinely inspired ‘ishq wala love, girl remains unmoved. That the girl shows zero, zip interest in him and his love does not bother the boy, after all he is the Yousuf to her Zulekha.

Abhi tau Yousuf hadn’t even made it beyond salam dua phase with Zulekha, ke the zalim samaj makes its presence felt, as in we are introduced to two other contenders for our heroine’s hand. From hereon, the hero’s task is twofold: to continue convincing the lady of his love and fight off his raqeebs, one among whom is the girl’s abba’s handpicked choice. We are now at a point where the zalim samaj is doing its bestest to ensure this love story does not have one of those and-they-lived-happily-ever-after kinda ending.

Fleshing out this skeletal, to say nothing of mundane, plot is a rich array of beautifully etched characters. Where I do not give two hoots about whether they end up together or not, and even as my jaw clenches every time there is talk of the sanctity of Yousuf’s love for Zulekha, I cannot help but be drawn into the emotionally turbulent world of the characters that surround these two characters.

When we had first met Afia, Zulekha’s mother, she appeared to be the one whose was the last word in all things family related. She was vivid, full of life, had a sharp tongue, and did not hesitate to call out maulvi Noor Muhammad, her husband, for his hypocrisies and double standards. Maulvi sahab, on the other hand, seemed to be all hot air, a man who commanded respected everywhere else but home, where he had no choice but to listen to his sharp-witted wife poke fun at him and his family. But that was then.

What we are now seeing is quite the obverse. Maulvi sahab is no bheegi billi and neither is Afia quite as in charge as she had first appeared to be. Beautifully woven into the main narrative is the tragedy of Afia begum’s life, one that began with a beautiful, refined and educated young girl’s forcibly arranged marriage to a perhaps older, uncouth, less-educated man. Where she spoke the language of aap janab he inhabit a world where words like munh tor doonga and gala daba doonga were commonplace. He married her knowing she was romantically involved elsewhere but the high that came from owning someone else’s object of desire was reason enough for maulvi sahab. Afia’s facetiousness and sarcasm is not because she rules over the household, it is precisely because she doesn’t.

Afia spent her marital life being systematically abused by her husband. Her doomed love affair, higher education, and tehzeeb, all became effective weapons for him to use against her. His elder sister, probably similarly insecure in front of her gorgeous bhabhi, egged her brother on. It was all about teaching this woman her rightful place in their world. Helpless in a way that most women in our desi society are, Afia can only lash out verbally, her sharp tongue her only line of defense and her protection.

Noor Muhamad and Afia’s children grew up seeing their mother belittled and abused by their father and his family. Wali, the older son, grew up to be a photocopy of his father. From what he saw and imbibed, pulling his sisters’ hair, threatening them with bodily harm, pushing and shoving them, all were socially acceptable, actually desirable, traits for men to posses. The daughters, on the other hand, had in front of them their mother and her travesty of a marriage as their model. Hence Zulekha’s cynicism and questioning of Yousuf’s love, her declared wish to marry a partner of her choice, and her encouraging Hajra to continue studying.

Though they girls might’ve never been physically abused, he said pehley kabhi nahin maara, till the time he slapped Zulekha after her conversation with her phupho, it was obvious that these girls were so used to emotional abuse and the threat of physical violence, that when it actually did happen, it was not as shocking as it might’ve been to someone else. Afia, though, was horrified. Though she had been unable to protect herself she had done her level best to ensure her daughters’ safety. And to see this happening was worse than a body blow.

For her to now want to protect her daughter by coaxing her to run away, pushing her towards a man who she knows will value her as an individual, makes perfect sense, now that we have the context of her life. Afia is not aiding and abetting Yousuf in his quest to get his Zulekha, nor is she doing this to upstage maulvi sahab for personal satisfaction, rather this a petrified mother protecting her daughter the only way she can, ensuring Zulekha’s safety by entrusting her to Yousuf, Wajih’s son.

I have been a huge fan of Hina Bayat’s from the get go, but this time around her Afia has completely blown me away. For those who were as turned off by the earlier episodes as I was, I would urge you to check out episode 13, if nothing else. This is Hina at her best. I don’t think anybody could’ve played this very complex character with as much insight and empathy. The glimmer of tears behind every smile, the strong, confident front, which is actually just that, a front for the very scarred and hurt Afia. Her flinches, the way she visibly crumbles at the first slap on Zulekha’s face, and how it takes a third slap to literally shock her into reacting -all just fabulous!

Domestic violence does not happen in a vacuum. Given the context of our patriarchal desi culture, in many households this is a socially acceptable way for a man to behave. Here we see the older sister pushing and encouraging her younger brother to keep his wife under his control. The same woman cannot stand it when Noor Muhammad slaps Imran Mughees, or snaps at her daughter, but all is kosher when comes to the “other woman”and her children. Were Zulekha to have come in to this family, she too would have undoubtedly become another Afia, the abused wife of a weak-willed man used to blindly following a strong woman’s diktats.

Like Imran Mughees, Noor Muhammad and his son, Wali, too are fundamentally weak men. Tough looking, with heavy beards, bulging eyes, and hulking physiques, nobody looking at this father and son duo would question their mardangi and sakht tabiyeet, but put them in a room with Bushra and Tehmina and they turn into dribbling, drooling babies, with just as much sense. And this is where Khalil-ur Rehman’s understanding of human psychology shines through.

An important question raised is whether it is still valid to call  our social set up a patriarchal one when we see how easily women like Kausar, Bushra, Tehmina make men do their bidding. Khalil sahab’s answer, as I read it, is as simple as it is complicated: Patriarchy exists and thrives because men and women participate equally in this process of preserving perpetuating outdated ideas and ideals. At its very basic, patriarchy is nothing more than a set of traditional social structures, gharkhandan, biradari to illustrate the case here. Hence, khandan ko jorey rakhna, khandan ki beti, khandan ki izzat, ghar i bahu, all become equated with a shared sense of honor; to preserve this honor and ensure its unsullied reputation is an implicitly stated responsibility incumbent not only upon the men but women as well.

Hence we see Zulekha always conscious of her abba ki izzat, Afia constantly mindful of her husband’s honor, and Wajih telling off his son for dishonoring Zulekha. At the same time we also have the likes of Kausar who deriver power from their position as the khandan ki bari and manipulate the notion of khandan ki izzat to settle their own personal rivalries – in this case to  neecha dikhana to Afia by whatever means possible.

This is Mehreen’s fourth full-fledged serial in a row (Mata-e Jaan, Rehaai, Jackson Heights and Mera Naam Yousuf Hai) which highlights the issue of domestic abuse. Managing this deceptively simple love story, making these written intricacies come alive on screen, ensuring the subtleties all shine through is a feat only a director as experienced as Mehreen could’ve managed so beautifully, and making it all look so effortless to boot.  Not only does her expertise come through in terms of the silken smooth visual narration, but also in the performances she’s managed to extract from her entire cast.

Maya Ali is a revelation, her dialogue delivery has improved by leaps and bounds and she’s looking stunning here, so wish she’d carried this forward into Diyar-e Dil as well. Imran Abbas is another one who has really impressed, it’s been a while since he’s been this actively engaged with a character. Mansha Pasha seemed to have gotten lost for a while with all the mundane serials she was doing, but here her Madiha is a class apart. Waseem Abbas, Behroze Sabzwari, Parveen Akbar, Farah Nadeem, Mizna Waqas, Taqi Ahmad, Ali Sheikh, Azam Khan, and the rest of the supporting cast all shine in their respective roles.

Adding that touch of class to this beautifully executed package is the editing and sound – techies responsible please take a bow! The sound design, the background sound, the choice of songs playing in the blackground (Noor Jahan’s hamare saanson mein aaj tak hina ki khushboo when Wajih entered Zulekha’s house – wah!), the judicious use of the OST – all fabulous! I would HIGHLY recommend that an episode of this serial be used for training sound people.

Mera Naam Yousuf would not be the serial it is without Qasim Ali Mureed’s cinematography. Every single scene, every individual frame is beautifully lit and captured, The slice of life scenes, play of shadows on walls, a splash of color in even the darkest [narrative wise] of scenes, all make this one such a visual delight. And as in every MJ serial, there are little, little things that make a huge impact on the overall scene. For instance, in one of Yousuf’s various jail scenes, where he is talking to a policeman (if I remember correctly), his cell mate is busy cleaning his ears – a minute detail, but it went such a long way in balancing out Yousuf’s lines about his ‘ishq and what not.

Yes, I’m happily back on board this Khalil sahab and MJ led rail gari wala safar.  Having seen other similarly serious stories fail to grab eyeballs, I see why this issue-based serious story had to be penned under the guise of a love story, easier marketing etc, but I sincerely think that the writer has undermined his own writing, doing injustice to the story by drawing on familiar plot points and filling in preexisting older characters sketches with new colors. Had there been fresh framing and less emphasis on Khalil sahab’s favorite romantic trope I would’ve been less inclined to switch off.

Would it have been anybody else but Mehreen J and Hina B, I would’ve never bothered to look back, but because it was them I kept checking sporadically, till I happened to catch the scene where Zulekha was slapped by her father and Afia’s reaction to it, and that was that. Where the rest of the awam is busy debating the likelihood of Yousuf and Zulekha’s happy ending, I am interested in seeing how the writer bring’s closure to Afia’s character – she to me is the real hero of the story. Too often we’ve seen brilliantly written stories fall apart at the ending, dekhen yahan kya hota hai…. 

Written by SZ~

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36 replies

  1. This time I can say Welcome 😉 Been following the serial and am in love with a) dialogues b) afia (HB) c)soundtrack … Effective use of it. While I am nowhere and have never been close to the situation but at some point the narrative hits home. KR really knows how to present issues with a play on words and between his dislogues, MJ’s direction, brilliant cinematography and outstanding characterization and acting by one and all, this is a treat to watch. Its good to have non hero/heroine characters stand out for eg Mad. And Afia. I did start to get irritated by Mad’s obsession with Y and Z’s story but the sibling relationship comes to the rescuse. The actor playing Daaji is quite endearing if i may say so. Hajra how coyld I forget her. What a refreshing character. All power to women. Hoping womanhood comes out stronger in the play… Also love Y’s stepmom.

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    • @AK:Haha! Thank you .. although welcome back would be more appropriate in this case 😉

      No but seriously, I agree with all your points, and that’s precisely the reason why I sat through the first seven episodes, and why I am happy to be back.

      My frustration with the story at that point is on record. I was and and continue to be seriously concerned about story lines that give a wink and nod to what in the real world would be out and out stalkerish and dangerous behavior. Not just that but by getting two popular good looking star together you also have so many youngsters sighing over the “cute romance” and wanting the lead pair to be together.. and all this was really difficult for me to sit through… so when I left reviewing, I left on the note that I;d be back whenever something changed, and as soon as the story shifted gears here I am … And this is not to say that I still didnt get annoyed everytime Yousuf went into his sermonizing mode abt the taaqat of his love …

      KUR is hugely talented and we all know that, He is also, by his own admission, one of those few writers who can write what they want and not have it changed by the director producer etc .. and so I feel there is that much more responsibility on him to make sure that he puts out his best effort every time .. forget about the problematic premise, why the need to repeat plot points, situations etc …

      All that said, the characters are beautifully etched out and yes, now with the story being about something other than divinely inspired love, it does make for a great watch 🙂

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  2. Humbled and overwhelmed!! Thank you SZ – I really have no words to express my gratitude for your appreciation. There is so much more to MNYH than a love story – the societal hypocrisy, exploitation of religion, emotional and physical abuse, the right to freedom of choice and the repercussions of decisions and choices made. I am amazed at Khalil sb’s understanding of women’s minds and psyche and a multitude of human relationships. His dialogues are unforgettable, Mehreen’s handling of the scrip remarkable and Qasim’s camerawork unparalleled! MNYH has been blessed with actors who became the characters instead of enacting them. For me Afia was a painful character to play – her laughter, her tears, her anguish, her helplessness, her courage and her values made her so complex and yet so very real. Thank you for appreciating that! Hope you will not be disappointed with the rest. Look forward to your reviews and your readers comments 🙂

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    • @Hina: 🏆👏👏

      Watching Afia made me angry once again at the thought of yet another superlative performance going unrewarded and unapplauded. I seriously wish there were awards other than these hum and hamarey awards that cannot look beyond their own projects, no matter how mediocre they might be 😡

      Yes, IA, am hoping to continue on with the reviews … I hope Afia has some kind of relief, if not happiness, in her future!

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  3. Oh my this was just a smashing review yaar.. Sooo loved it… I seriously feel that bar bar ki tareef karna makes myself sound like idiot, but your review always helps me in understanding so many subtexts, multi layered characters and also show me different angels of drama beside the quite obvious ones.. So that I am bound to praise and admire you 🙂 I used to notice the background songs but never noticed the song during Wajih and Afia takara… So thank you.. Thats such a beautiful song though..

    To be honest i was watching this like un interestingly till episode 12 or when Zulekha agreed for Nikkah.. I was like oh yea baby this is something different now.. And then we see Afia taking the position seriously.. Us se pehle all hasi mazaq stuff.. But i so agree with you @SZ HB was just marvellous.. She have done it again n again but this character is so v.different and she has that poise to portray such beautifully…

    Emotional abuse i never noticed in this way but thinking it now makes absolutely sense..and this is no way lesser than physical abuse.. You can literally loose your mind if you don’t have driving force.. For Afia its her daughters.. And this reminds that song played when Hajra imposter herself as Zulekha was awesome… Heard it for first time.. I so want these three ladies to live in open air, free from this suffocation created by Noor Muhammad and Wali..

    These both can be so low, coward and hypocrties that people like Mansoor unke aage dum bhi nhn marte.. I find them more ugly… I also like your point on how Kosar have this upper hand on her brother and khandan…she so sounded like typical aurat who has that power… Such ladies always think they are right.. Unko hamesha vo maam dya gaya hota he k since ap bari ho tou jo hukum and this leads them to move the things literally as they want… #terribletoeventhinkofit

    But i am so fed up of watching this much violence in dramas.. 2 bar police and precap me phir ghunde.. It makes it so depressing..:/

    MJ is indeed making this a visual treat.. Like you said the way she extracts out such brilliant performances.. Amazing 👏👏 Having said that ab app weekly likhti rahyega review 😉

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    • @Rehmat: Thank you!! So glad you enjoyed the review and it made sense – it was so long that i was really afraid that nobody would bother reading it, is liye parhney ka aur comment karney ka shukriya 🙂

      Yes, I too am enjoying this direction of the story and the socially responsible highlighting of issues, which has been very well done by Khalil sahab.

      LOL! Loved your comparison of these guys witn Mansoor, waise woh bhi inhi ki nasal ka tha … a typical hypocrite .. with different sets of rules for himself and his wife. Actuallu, interesting you bring up Pehchan.. in many ways, eps 12. 13. 14 reminded me of Pehchan, in that both serials raise the same issues ..

      Haan, IA, you keep reading and commenting and I will keep reviewing this one til the end .. 🙂

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  4. SZ! Wow amazing review…love this drama mainly because of the acting. The scene you mentioned was quite horrifying and Maya Ali was splendid. I remember from the first episode that it was indeed Afia begum’s role that made me tune in to see where this play is going. It truly is amazing how an actor like Hina Bayat who has done a variety of roles can still manage to wow us with an astounding potrayal and bring so much frshness to a role which has been part of many drama’s (that of a helpless house wife). I recently watched Aunn Zara and Ms. Bayat is most definitely a very fine and versatile actress and you are so right how supporting roles which make it worthwile to actually watch a drama from start to end are not lauded enough.

    My favourite scene so far has been the conversation between Yousuf and his Stepmom when he was in jail. Imran Abbas’s face expressions were soo accurate…lovely to see how these actors grow with time…truly enjoying this drama….I was a little dissapointed with JH but soo happy to see Mehreen Jabbar bring her A game at direction again …..looking forward to your next reviews ☺☺

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    • @Seher: Hi, good to have you on board with this one as well 🙂 Indeed Hina is a gifted performer and she has the insight and ability to pick relevant roles and then infuses them with so much life that they become truly memorable … her Khala Khurshida was another one that really made an otherwise mindane drama watchable – if you haven’t checked it out as yet, you must – she’s fab and totally unrecognizable in it!

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  5. Hey SZ, I have been a silent reader of ur reviews. Ur analysis compelled me to comment here to appreciate u for ur thorough review. I have nothing to disagree with u regarding ur review of this drama. how often does it happened that the other characters get undermined to put focus on the lead couple and their love story no matter how senseless it maybe? the specialty of this drama r the characters of tesp Afia. they r what make it impactful rather than a love story. Not only does it have perfect casting and direction, it excels in every department.
    Zulekha’s Nikah changed the course of this drama and this particular episode was very intense . may be Yousaf was meant to enter zulekha’s life to become a reason for afia and her daughters’ escape from Noor muhmmad’s hell. People like Noor Muhammad and his sister r the ugly face of society and one that breeds more filth in the society to make good people suffer. lets see how the story unfolds and whether the good wins over the bad.
    I will be looking forward to more of ur reviews.

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    • @Suhana: Hello! Lovely to hear from a silent reader – welcome!
      Loved reading your very well-put comment and I totally agree with your point. My issue with the love story, came after reading tons and tons and comments on various fora where young girls were just ooohing and aahing over Yousuf’s love for Zuleikha and how they wanted her to meet him or run away with him, like it happens in Bollywood movies. Forgotten in the midst of all this sighing was the fact that he was basically a stalker . and were this to happen in real life we would be all shaking our heads over it … Moreover, as an adult while I can easily ignore the shady beginings of this love story angel and focus on the other characters, but for the girls sighing over the “cute” pair, that love story, and his pure love for her, is all that matters, and as a parent that really bothered me, hence my protest .. and not reviewing it was I guess my own way of protesting it 🙂

      But, now, as you have astutely pointed out,, the focus has changed, and even though the story is still a love story per se, we are seeing other issues take front stage and thats where I feel its my duty as a reviewer to draw attention to them.. and you are absolutely correct in that Noor Muhaamad and is sister are indeed frighteningly real people and it is sad to see how much they can get away with as long as they couch it in the language of religion and familial honor, and kudos to Khalil sb for unveiling such corrupt and sick-minded people and showing their reality..

      Ab I hope we will continue hearing from you, particularly on this thread 🙂

      P.S. You have a lovely name!

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  6. If i m told to drop 1 of the 3 plays i m following these days, i’ll happily drop DeD and continue watching MNYH and Alvida.. Beautifully etched characters (who do not change colors without anticipation), amazingly portrayed on screen by our talented actors, and most of all brilliant brilliant direction and photography.. MJ and Shahzad kashmiri have done superb job… These dramas r visual treat. And i was missing ur reviews on these.. Coz ap ki observation kamaal hai. Ur reviews help in noticing subtle things.. Reminds me of Pehchaan journey…
    Re: sensitive issues burried under romantic love story- thats actually brilliant idea for other writers.. V all know how Pehchan, Talkhiyan, UBFN, Sannata were ignored by masses, because of heavy duty social issues.. I think with stories like MNYH, msg can reach larger audience

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    • @Atty: As I mentioned to @Afia below DeD ko seriously lena abhi mushkil hi nahin namumkin hota jaa raha hai .. I am watching for the amusement factor and reviewing so that there is a counter narrative to wah what a masterpiece type comments I’m reading ..
      And thank you for those kind words, bas dekh lo, jahan story ne direction badli I came back, and now IA hope to be here for the next 6 weeks so that we can all enjoy this journey together, ’cause now I’m so used to sharing my thoughts with you all and reading your take that I dont enjoy the watching by myself anymore.

      Re: serious issues under the guise of a love story, absolutely 100% agree, good strategy, but not this sarak chalti larki dekhi aur aashiq hogaye type .. college fellows dikha dete, behen ki friend ka dost, Tony ka dost .. lol so many other ways of getting them to meet creatively .. and haan repeating plots and character sketches also not a good idea .. but otherwise, definitely, nothing like a love story wai glamorous wrapping to get the awaam engaged 🙂

      Ab yahan milte rahenge, IA 🙂

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    • I was thinking the same ☺so happy to hear…Alvida and MNYH are both so much better in every aspect then DeD although it seems to me the last one is probably the most costly production…I really hope the story picks up soon…(hoping the older lot will get less screen time so we can see some Aunn Zara magic lol)

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  7. SZ, thanks for this post. I was actually wondering if you were continuing to follow MNYH. Reading your review gives me the courage to attempt to watch it (left it at episode 2 or so, I have some catching up to do, eh?!)

    Will catch up soon and join you guys 🙂

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    • @VZ: As you know I was plenty annoyed in that last post, but as I mentioned in the review it was MJ and all the good stuff her serials have, and add to that HB, I had to keep checking in … for a while that whole pyar muhabbat bit got a bit too much (mind you still happens but not near as much), but I’d say catch up with from ep 9 onwards .. the focus starts shifting from there till it gets to ep 12, and then 13 and 14 are bang on … vintage MJ … and ep 13 compelled me to stop and message Hina as I was watching (never done that before) she was just that good – took my breath away! Then I binge watched all episodes and here I am. Give it a shot – I think you’ll enjoy it. Unlike ST the content is solid and we dont have the writer’s personal bias so its all good 🙂

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  8. Am glad you did this review SZ coz the last couple of eps have been “unputdownable” as they say for books. I’ve been watching this serial all along and even though your critque is just, it was still mazaydar to watch. HKB was awesome (wouldn’t she have made a great Roohi in DeD instead of inappropriately aging the younger lot?). Her eyes, a tear, hint of a smile convey so much.
    Apna hero looked properly surprised when he sees Zulekha arrive at his doorstep. That scene was so cute 🙂 Also liked the way Moulvi sahb is not getting to marry his lady love, much to his frustration- Hurray for Zulekha’s strong resolve.

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    • @Afia: Exactly ep 13 is what got me to stop flicking channels and sit up and watch .. and then the rest was “unputdownable” as you so nicely put it 🙂

      LOL, Uff DeD ki tau baat hi naa karo ,.. I cant even take it seriously anymore.. its fast turning into one of those serials ke its so bad that its good .. For me its on the same level as Numm, though to be fair to Numm it had some amazing moments and it made sense once in a while, where DeD I am yet to find have an AHA moment …

      Yes, Imran A was spot on with those expressions and lol yes it is funny how maulvi sahab is getting thwarted at every turn .. ab tau Bushra ne bhi daant diya ,, tum keh diya!! 😱 Socho saari umar he’s lived with Afia’s aap janab and yahan tau shadi bhi nahin hui and she’s started jamao-ing her ru’b on him – loved his expressions there!

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  9. Nikah is a very sacred thing a life long commitment between two individuals,but the way this subject has been treated in this drama and many others,I don’t appreciate.It would’ve been better if Zulekha was engaged instead of nikah.And why there is always a narrow minded religious person in every other drama.There are lots of religious persons who are really nice and have a great sense of humour.I know many will not agree with me but that is what I felt after watching it.

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    • @Hira i agree.. First thing that put me off in MNYH was “Maulvi” Noor M’s character.. Typical soch na, k hr daarhi wala munafiq ho ga.. BTW ye kaisa maulvi hai? Namaz b ghar me parh raha hota hai. Y they call him maulvi…
      Waisay i loved Maulvi Subhanallah of PA

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      • SZ sooooo happy you “binge watched” MNYH 🙂 love your insight and critique – negative and positive!!
        Afia and Seher – no words to express my gratitude!
        Hira and Atty – the whole point of showing the contradictions of Molvi Noor Mohd is to bring out the truth. The institution of Nikah has been turned into a joke that is convenient for men – countless dramas on the whole misinterpretation (and allow me to say, bastardisation) of the concept of 3 talaaq and halala have only strengthened that. Kudos to KRQ for highlighting the pre requisites of Nikah (the girl’s consent and free will) and even her right and grounds for divorce as stated in Allah’s shariat (esp if she has been forced into it).
        The term Maulvi or Maulana was used for a learned or scholarly man – unfortunately that too has fallen into misuse the way deen has.

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        • @hina you have been superb!!
          I simply loved the scene where they take away Hajra instead of Zulekha. Your expressions and the tears and the dialogue delivery were just beautiful!!
          I am really enjoying the dialogues and underlying issues being brought out.
          Women not having a choice is against Islam, I couldn’t believe some of Noor Mohammad’s dialogues,just wow!

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      • Pyarey Afzal was my favourite.Maulvi SubhanAllah was too good and I felt so sorry for Afzal inspite of all his blunders.

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        • @Hina thanks a lot for replying but one more thing how can a person even think of a second marriage when he has such a gorgeous and graceful wife😊

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          • @Hira – to anwer your question, I’ll quote Afia – “jab bazaar ki chupriyan. khanay ki aadat par jaaye to ghar ka saaf suthra khana achcha nahin lagta”! 😉 😉

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        • @ Atty Pyarey Afzal was my favourite.Maulvi SubhanAllah was too good and I felt so sorry for Afzal inspite of all his blunders.

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  10. Love that you are back on the wagon👍past few episodes have been superb
    I can’t wait to see what happens, it is definitely not predictable. The Nikaah definitely changed everything, no one expected that to happn, what a twist!!!
    Can’t believe the ugly characters of Noor Mohammad, walI and Phupo…. Yuk and yuk!!!
    I sincerely hope they are not the norm over there. Hypocrisy risen tonew level!!
    Phupo was fine with her daughter doing badtameezi to her mamoo coz she was defending her mother
    Well Zulekha was looking out for her mother but when your own father is selfish and rude what do you expect
    I can’t wait to see how this all unravels
    Everyone is fab in this, and simply ilive daaji and madiha bond, been shown beautifully!

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  11. @SZ what a fab review! I’m glad you’re back. Watching dramas with your reviews is another experience 🙂
    Like u said, last few eps have been phenomenal! I’m loving all the subtext here. The way they have highlighted the hypocricy is amazing! Although I don’t generally like the way maulvi’s are demonized in our dramas, and I certainly didnt like Maulvi Noor Muhammad and his flirtatious, drooling character, I like how it’s turned into something more interesting as they take it to another level. Not only is he is turning to religion to justify his decisions, but crossing boundaries as he sees fit. But what made it really interesting for me to watch was how this mardangi ka alambardar mard is being played by women! He is naach-ing on their ungli ke ishare.. does that also make him a sawalia nishan to mardangi? .. Behind mard there is an aurat (or two), and at the end of the day, aurat is aurat ki dushman.. The society is made up of men and women, and its def not mere mardon ka muashra.. both men and women are ‘actively’ responsible for this mentality.
    Aur jaisa baap waisa beta.. maulvi sahab ka Wali-ehed.. (isnt Wali becoming too repetative in our dramaland?)
    Hina is absolutely breathtaking!!! What a talented artist!! The scene where she sees Wajih Ahmed and the turn around in her character and morale from that point onward was amazing. The pain in her eyes, the slouch in her posture.. For me that was the turning point in the narrative, where we saw the real shift in the story, and its focus. It’s not just about not marrying Z in Afia’s susral, or to yousuf , its about not letting her become another Afia Begum..
    I enjoyed how Z was bartering her way out for her mother. She is indeed Afia’s daughter! MA is surprisingly good.. yes, If only she was the same in DeD..
    What I’m loving abt MNYH is that all the actors in the smallest of roles are giving their full! Imran Mughees I’m enjoying as a performer. Although they were totally useless episodes, I had a good laugh at IM’s crying like a baby, and pretending to have short term memory loss after the kidnapping..
    Madiha and Daji, Z’s & Y’s sister are good fun to watch. Juxtaposed against the zalim samaj, there’s plenty of warmth in other relationships. I am enjoying the loving sibling relationships here. & the step mom’s is fab too. Afia was Wajih’s Zulaikha.. only she could put it out for him like so..
    MJ is def at her best! I was comparing this to DeD where we have a fairly ordinary script given a melodramatic filmy treatment. The location is beyond amazing, but it doesn’t translate on the screen. Some scenes are great where others are very average. With MNYH MJ has managed to somehow play down this very dramatic script. The location is otherwise ordinary but every frame is magical and works wonders…
    oh btw in the whole love story bit, although i didnt buy the Y falling for Z’s name and the whole ishq business, I did enjoy the connection to the original Yousuf/Zulaikha story i.e. how it was Zulaikha who proved Yousuf’s innonence / got him out of jail.. Zulaikha had put up quite a show for the showdown.. and our Zulikha chose the same route by agreeing to the nikah… before this, I felt there was role reversal, which was interesting in its own right… Now that a married Zulaikha is at Y’s house, we might see more connections??
    Precap looks fiery! I laughed out loud at how Z attacks IM lol

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  12. @All: The review for ep 15 will be up as soon as I can sit down to write it … last week was crazy and now an even crazier weekend begins so please bear with me 🙂 thanks!!

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    • Hey! @ Shamim: you should give it another go … And try to look beyond the problematic frame story. I think you’ll find it a lot more engaging of you focus on the Hina Bayat track … She is phenomenal here! I know, I was supposed to do a review today but the crazy weekend is being followed by an equally crazy week. I’ll shoot for it tomorrow and see, otherwise this weekend you’ll get a two-fer 🙂 tab tak you catch up 🙂

      Did you read BG’s responses to your questions and others’ as well ?

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  13. I have to run fast to catch up the band wagon that everyone is ridding again……Missed all the episodes after the 5th……… As usual ur review are instigating me to give it a try again……waiting for new the review……take care so long………

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  14. To recap, the bare bones plot is as basic as that of a boy sees girl, boys falls in love at first sight, with her name, mind you, girl with that name is not impressed, boy stalks said girl, tries to convince her of his divinely inspired ‘ishq wala love, girl remains unmoved. That the girl shows zero, zip interest in him and his love does not bother the boy, after all he is the Yousuf to her Zulekha……………………………
    You nailed this serial by these remarks…… This ishq wala love made me flung away ccrashing the dishes on the wall…… But after reading ur long review I want to see HBayat again….

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