Jo kal guzar gaya hai usey bhool jao, jo aaj hai us ki baat karo ….
~ Agha jan to Ruhi
In other words quit wasting grey cells worrying about the what the whats and focus only on happenings in the present. Diyar-e Dil is nothing if not about right here and right now.
Given the serial is about to end, I am returning to Diyar-e Dil with my dimagh ki batti gul and trying my hardest to focus only on the aaj ka sabaq of meem se mitti pao. Let’s forget that it wasn’t really Ruhi who wronged Arjumand all those years ago, forget that Behroze and Suhaib were never as doodh ke dhule as they are being made out, overlook the minor detail that Fara hadn’t come to the haveli of her own violation, and ignore Wali’s cave-man tactics as an aberration and remember only his hero-giri. Sab kuch bhool jao sirf aaj ki baat karo.
Theek, Agha jan, aap ki baat sar aankhon par… hum bhool gaye re har baat…
Am happy to forgive and forget, but, but… what to do of those confusing forget-the-past-but-remember-the-dead-24/7, type mixed messages conveyed in pretty much every episode?? For characters that are supposedly dead why is it that we’ve seen and heard more of Behroze and Suhaib than the very much alive Wali?
Why remind us of Behroze imploring Ruhi to accept Wali as her son-in-law, without also acknowledging the fact that Ruhi’s ire stemmed from the fact that she had not been consulted about this decision? The long-winded apology from a roti dhoti Ruhi must’ve pleased many, but when juxtaposed against all that had gone on before it made very little sense. Yes, agreed Ruhi is no angel, but to be fair to her, Agha jaan and apne dearly departed Behroze bhaiya did play a part in how she got to this point.
Arjumand’s plea to Wali, to not ask her to be a farishta, was very heartfelt and beautifully executed, kudos to Haseeb, Hareem and Osman, but again this scene holds weight in just that moment. Arjumand’s problems have little to do with Ruhi and Fara, rooted as they in her complicated past with Behroze, one she seemed to have whitewashed while playing happy houses with Suhaib. Ruhi and Fara have never really done her any wrong personally so why blame the pair for her miseries?
What Agha jan did so many years ago was wrong and there is no disagreement that in the final analysis it is Arjumand who has suffered the most. It would, therefore, seem logical that she would be the first one to ensure that history does not repeat itself. But no, this is not how things unfold here.
This is Diyar-e Dil where ulta is the new seedha and we see Arjumand doing now what Agha jan had done then. Willfully ignoring Wali’s feelings and turning a blind eye to Fara’s unsaid apologies she’s been continuously telling her son to send Fara home. I get Arjumand’s hurt and bitterness, but isn’t her anger misdirected? Rather than taking out her frustration idhar udhar, why not go straight to Agha jan and straighten out her hisab kitab with him? After all isn’t his dil se kiya hua faisla responsible for all her woes?
Thirty one episodes in, Diyar-e Dil is nothing like the nuanced novella on which the serial is ostensibly based, overflowing as it is with repetitions and reiterations, inane lines, duniya bhar ke cliches, and a patent attempt to add in every supposed TRP hook. There are sweet and warm moments that stand out but overall this one has fallen short of the mark.
Shortcomings of the script and an over-stretched, melodramatic narrative, however, should not take credit away from the director and his actors who have put in a ton of effort to make this whole circa 70’s Lollywood good-vs- evil story work as much as it does. Abid Ali is brilliant. No matter how long-winded his monologues or how inane the lines, he makes them all work, even when Agha jan is directly contradicting what he’d said in earlier episodes. Among the younger actors, Osman Khalid Butt owns Wali. When the serial began not many had thought he would make a good Wali, but all doubts have now been put to rest. There are fleeting moments though where he appears to overthink and comes off as awkward/stiff, but he and and Abid sahab are the two reasons I continue to watch this serial, and that theirs are the only characters with a somewhat logical arc of sorts.
Sanam Saeed has tried hard to tap into her vulnerable side but her Ruhi is so starkly written that all falls flat, and quite badly at that. Hareem Farooq does well as Arjumand, but again like Ruhi, she too represents a lost opportunity. When the serial began I had hopes from these two characters, rife as they were with possibilities, but sadly other than a flicker or two of interest all nuances went unexplored and we ended up with characters that were pretty much DOA.
Fara’s was another character that held a lot of promise on paper but never really came into its own, aansoo bund hotey tau kuch karne aur kehney ka mauqa milta bechari ko. Maya Ali is good whenever she’s pushed out of her comfort zone, and we’ve seen good bits here and there but generally Fara has failed to make an impression. Of the others, Mariyam Nafees is the one actress I would like to see more of in the future, and my annoyance with his character’s 180° turn notwithstanding, Ahmed Zeb has played Moiz well.
For a serial that started off promising so much Diyare-e Dil is yet to deliver. Will the last couple(?) of episodes do the trick? Will the much awaited Wali and Fara scenes, if they ever air, compel us to bhool jao the guzra hua kal and remember only that jo aaj hai?
Waiting and watching…
Written by SZ~