Mera Naam Yousuf Hai ~ Episode 17 Review


That we live in a patriarchal society is old news…. that its not just the men but women too are equally complicit in perpetuating and preserving what is essentially a self-serving system is an open secret… what is perhaps not quite as easily understood is how and why we are so deeply invested in this very problematic way of thinking.

There are many who set out to challenge the staus quo. The problem, however, arises when in the process of ushering change they are made to stand in front of a mirror and acknowledge and own the distorted reflection that stares back at them. Fact of the matter is that truth is brutal, the reality too harsh to bear, and egos very fragile. It is at this point that the majority takes a pass and goes back to repeating and reiterating the very same antiquated ideas and ideals they had initially set out to change. Take for instance the examples of Wajih and Nudrat, Yousuf’s father y2and stepmother.

When we first met him Wajih Ahmed was supportive of his son’s love story. Though on occasion he reminded his son to be mindful of Zulekha’s izzat aur naam, he never really condemned his son’s one-sided ‘ishq. As the story unfolded we saw the reasons why… Wajih was a nakaam ‘aashiq, one who had never really gotten over his first love. Then came the maar dhaar and the court kachehri ke chakar and Wajih realized his son was dead serious, as in wouldn’t blink twice before welcoming death in the name of love. With the painful example of his own life in front of him he was determined his son not suffer the same way, hence it took little convincing for him to go ask for Zulekha’s rishta.

11407208_912303012145198_465148248547460744_nHis confrontation with Afia left him reeling. Now muhabbat was no longer about romanticizing his sanbhaley huey puraney khaton ki potli, it was about him being a buzdil and kamzor. Now it was about needing sleeping pills and not being able to look his wife in the eye. He, who had once told Madiha she did not deserve Yousuf, was now presenting her as an option to his son. More importantly, muhabbat was now being described as bad luck (?!?). How else was he to explain to his heartbroken son why this rishta could never happen. How could he even begin to tell Yousuf why he did not have the himmat to stand in front of Afia and ask for her daughter’s hand. Asking Yousuf to look u[on Madiha as an alternative and hoping he does so is Wajih’s way of saving face. Does it really matter then that Madiha deserves better than a man for whom she will always be a second option.

YousufLiving with a man for whom she was never his first option is a pain Nudrat knows all too well. Who else but her would have an inkling about what this young girl goes through every time Yousuf calls out for Zulekha. She is the best person to advise Madiha to cut her losses and turn around, to stop torturing herself – he will never be hers. Instead, what she says to Madiha serves as quite an eye opener.

The bits about girls being doctors who fix what their predecessors break seemed more like she was justifying her own life. This is a role Nudrat begum has assigned herself, or how she understands her place in Wajih Amed’s life. Compelling Madiha to confess her love for Yousuf gives Nudrat a reason to ask Taji for his sister’s hand in marriage. If she succeeds in this arranging this rishta then she ooves to herself as well as to others that she is not only a good stepmother, but also a good doctor, the type who brings araam to her dard-e dil ka mareez.   y4

While all this is very noble-minded and serves Wajih Ahmed’s family well, where is Madiha in all of this? What about her desires and dreams? A lovely girl, doesn’t she have a right, like Zulekha, to be loved for her own self? Perhaps Nudrat had no other choice, but surely she values herself enough to not give in to a desperate mother’s pleas. she has her brother by her side, why then should she settle for a man who has nothing to offer.

Her refusal to give in to Nudrat’s entreaties gives me hope, but again, she too is very much a product of the same mindset that Yousuf’s step mother is coming from. Also, it is one thing to talk about walking away from love, but to actually do it is very hard. That time on the roof, when she pointed out unhappily married lovebirds in the neighborhood, seemed more like a warning to self rather than mere girl-talk with Zulekha. Madiha seems steadfast in her decision for now, but how long will she be able to hold out? She may not be his Zulekha but he is most definitely her Yousuf.

10411051_880676495286674_1280935305158492789_nIf going with what everybody else thinks is best for her is what she chooses to do, she should definitely consult with Afia begum. Unlike the Wajih Ahmed, Nudrat Ahmed type of rationalizers, Afia’s had the courage to look her reflection straight in the eye and acknowledge and own her past. After having lived with a man who took joy in torturing her Afia was determined that her story would not be repeated. Her daughters would have choices andoptions. No matter what her husband’s harkats, ignoring what the duniya said or thought, she put up with everything, all to ensure the same fate did not befall her daughter. When Hajra tells her of Zulekha’s predicament she rises up immediately, but then …. there was only so much could do as a mother, now her case lies with the highest of authorities.

Mind you though, this is Afia, and she ‘aint the kind to sit back and wallow in her misery. No, that would not be her. 11412336_907901795918653_6439189486233219894_nAfia is the kind who is not afraid to kick her only son out of the house. Why shouldn’t she? What good did having a man around do all these years? Infact had Noor Muhammad not been around, Wali might’ve been a different man, one who grew up with a strong parent as a role model rather than walking in the shoes of a weak father, who is currently busy celebrating his second hand jawani with his second hand wife, beti’s fate be damned.

Where Wali grew up under Noor Muhammad’s tutelage, Zulekha followed in her mother’s footsteps, developing a steely spine that nobody even realized existed – until now. So far phupho and Tehmina are in shock but it will be quite the melee once they get over the fact that their new bahu is not just Afia’s daughter, she’s their niece too… kuch tau genetics ka bhi asar hoga. If her aunt has been manipulating her father for all these years it is now Zulekha’s turn to not only make them pay Afia’s dues but some of her own too!

There is a lot to be said about in this multifaceted story and there are a lot of beautifully written lines in typical Khalil ur Rehman Qamar style, but it is Mehreen Jabbar’s expertly handled subtle reading of the subtext that makes this serial stand apart from the rest. There is so much that is being said visually and there is a world of emotions that the actors are exploring with their expressions, body language and dialogue delivery, all of which make this 11267400_911795845529248_4012304156594881538_nserial an absolute delight. I have seen all these actors perform in the past, but they all seem to bringing that something special to the table.

Hina Bayat ups the ante with every episode; that scene with Mizna Waqas, where she got up and sat down, she was fabulous. Mansha Pasha’s take on Madiha has been really impressive. Madiha could’ve easily be turned into either the bechari or the other woman, but it is to MJ and Mansha’s credit for keeping the audiences interested and guessing. Maulvi sahab though a caricature in many ways has occasional moments of brilliance, when Bushra talks about her first husband,  and you’ve got to hand it to Waseem Abbas for making the most of those moments. Farah Shah is great fun to watch. The guys – Imran Abbas, Taqi Ahmad, Ali Sheikh- all are doing really well.

Editing, visuals, background score, the judicious placement of the OST, all deserve a huge round of applause. To wrap it up, Team Yousuf, well done guys!

Written by SZ~

Mera Naam Yousuf Hai ~ 2nd OST ~ Mahiya Dur Gaya ~ Muhamad Umair Ahmad

11 replies

  1. Wow, good to see you backing the show 😉 I continue to love it for all the reasons mentioned in your review. Afia Begum represents “bas ab bahut ho gaya” state of a woman after all the years of ‘abuse’. Zuleikha is after all Afai’s daughter. If I were to be a devil’s advocate, I’d say she is “spoiling the girls” 😉 Can’t wait to hear some comments on our baray bhuray. I love how women in KRQ’s dramas are so strong and bring a breat of fresh air. So done with the mazloom bechari larkiyan. I believe only a couple of episode are left and I can’ help but think that Yusuf will end up with Madiha and frankly while Madiha has been portrayed brilliantly by Mansha, I am getting a bit irritated by her character now. Bahut ho gaya bhaiyee, ab bas bhi karo Yusuf Yusuf. There is not a single actor that has not done a convincing job and that in my view is a big plus on MJ’s part.


  2. I just loveeee your review yaar… Though havent watch the episode but you have given an exact and clear picture of whats going on and what happened this week… Simply fabulous… A perfectly balanced review 🙂

    Even last week’s review where you and @VZ were discussing on Domestic abuse.. It was so engaging and v.informative.. All power to you girl for writing and educating your readers so well 🙂


    • Rehmat – I was missing you and FA in the DeD page – how is your father-in-law’s health now? Hope he is getting better…

      (sorry SZ for jumping in, saw Rehmat’s comment and couldn’t resist saying hello to her!)


      • @VZ: Hey… Yes he is getting better Alhamdulillah.. Thank you so much for asking yaar.. Felt really nice 🙂

        Aww I know yaar.. I too miss commenting and interaction with you lovely people.. Will join soon 🙂


        • @Rehmat I hope and pray he gets well soon. Good to hear from you! Now that he’s better Alhamdolillah, abb enjoy the mangoes and all the ramadan festivities, shopping and all.. Ramadan is not the same anywhere else!…aur haan stay safe – I hear about the mad heat wave!
          @VZ awww thats sooo sweet yaar! Been too busy with work and was totally snowed under (in our mini heat wave here lol).. time hi nahin mila .. plus honestly speaking last week I was so blahed out ke i almost gave up on ded.. i felt i had nothing new to say.. wohi sub purani basi,… all that we had been talking about for weeks…. But now that uve mentioned ded thread, its always fun to rant and take the mickey lol.. u know what i might just drop by.. lol #tempting


          • Lol, at being snowed under – I am having the fan on full blast on my face and still feel like I am getting slowly roasted, right in time for dinner – can only begin to imagine the plight of those suffering from the heat wave…

            Re: Ded – tell me about it, unless they move on to Wali-Faara pronto, it feels like there’s nothing new to say, all blah/meh at the moment, feels like we are well and truly stuck in a traffic jam…


          • @FA: yes definitely Ramadan here is totally amazing.. LOL haan mangoes were in my welcome package.. Khoob maze se khaye.. Heat wave is sad part though.. Thank you so much for wishes 🙂


  3. A huge round of applause for Team MNYH for great entertainment and @SZ for a fantastically detailed review!
    A few weeks ago we were not quite sure about KUR’s heroes and his much too similar stories and ishq wala love, but I think MNYH has well & truly redeemed itself ! The focus on the older generation, their love-less married lives and our society & mindset in general has turned this into a very interesting watch. Both men and women are equally complicit in preserving this mindset.
    The larkiyan/doctors wali line was actually very demeaning and extremely disturbing… but at the same time very thought-provoking.. Is this what our society has reduced the woman-kind to??!!.. (thats nursing rather than the docs)
    @SZ You have mentioned all the actors but let me add Maya. I’m not a Maya fan but here we are seeing an absolutely fantastic performance from her and it’s hard to believe that its the same person playing a retard or a 5 yr old teenager in Ded …. Such is the direction by MJ!!
    Another actor who has surprized me here is the guy playing Imran Mughees. Its always fun watching this easily-manipulated character.
    I was thinking the whole zanjeer thing could have easily gone soo soooo wrong.. but I think MJ handled it so well! With just the right amount of banter, sarcasm, and the oh-so-perfect and sound editing, balanced with serious, almost eerie, sad and fun notes. The episode had that much needed dash of humour to balance out the overpowering zanjeer factor.
    I enjoyed how Z was not a typical roti dhoti mazloom aurat and had the guts to fire back! She’s afia’s daughter and yes, those dadhayali genes r there for sure!!! lol
    The nikah khawan and gawah’s fees/charges was an another fun moment.
    The maulvi sahabs reaction to his new bride’s ex-husband’s tareef was telling! Looks like it will be a case of asman se gira khajoor main atka for maulvi sahab!
    Acha was it just me or did someone else also thought about AJ during the whole suhaag raat/ consummation sequence? Baqi sub theek hai, enjoyed it and all, but is it something that could be described as prime-time family drama?


  4. @ SZ I just finished watching the 17 episode of MNYH & then read your detailed review….. you are so fantastic at writing the reviews that one feel compelled to see that is going on next….. there is not a single actor who got a chance to face the camera & did otherwise than the character demanded, all praise to our fav. MEHREEN JABBAR, what a seasoned director she is no doubt about her, with due respect SZ I would like to add the the highlight of this episode ( in my opinion) was the the breakfast table scene in Afia’s house….. My God! What a scene it was I have no word to describe Hina Biyat”s acting as zakhmi & bebas sheerni, such powerful dialogue by KURQ showing mirror to the blind (maraad) and the flawless direction of MJ, all 3 in full competition, this scene can easily be dedicated to all 3 KURQ, HB, MJ.
    The mocking dialogues of Zulekha & powerless phuphoo brought smile to the tight lips…….. And as FA said, I thave mentioned too somewhere that I am enjoying the role of Imran Mughees as moom ki naak & his innocent expressions………@ VZ missing ur say on this one…….@ Rehmat hope all is well with ur family….. @ FA loved ur comments……
    Waiting for the next one…..


    • Shamim, I haven’t managed to watch this episode yaar, planning to watch this and today’s episode together and then comment 🙂


  5. Just watched this and episode 18 together!!! What a superb drama this has shaped into, beautiful dialogues, excellent direction and awesome performances!!! Maya Ali has never been this good, and got to be one of Imran Abbas’s best roles. Too many to mention but Hina as Afia has been excellent of course. I too really like The guy playing Imran Mughees, he’s done a wonderful job, I really felt for him!! They are all pawns at the hands of phupo and Mamoo.
    Can’t wait to see where it’s going from here. Zulekha was brilliant in Phuppos house. The Sharp dialogues kept us hooked in all the scenes, didn’t even realize the drama ended
    so glad Noor Mohammad gonna get his just dues. Hypocritical and a sad look at society where everuthing is ok for the man!!
    Live the confident women KRQ has created, even Madiha is a brilliant character, real and human with flaws and nuances, not just a bechari or a plotting other woman , mansha has been fab!! The bond with daaji has been shown beautifully!!
    Loving this so so much and Good review SZ as usual you hit all the points and more!


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