Shadi tau ho gayi, just as she willed it, magar afsos! Goshi bibi’s khushi didn’t last too long. Not even a day had passed before she was back at her father’s house, in her darkened bedroom, in a prison of her own making, not quite able to look her family in the eye. On his end, Shams, her barely chaubees ghante purana shohar, wasn’t exactly jumping for joy either. Back in Gujranwala, where life is already pretty complicated for him, Shams’ surreptitious return has stirred the pot in more ways than one.
Were there to be such a contest, there is no doubt in my mind that Goshi and Shams would be crowned the uncontested winners of the Rab Ne Bana Di Jori award, living as they both do in their narrowly circumscribed me myself and I world, where egos reign supreme and it is only winning that matters. Both are clueless, willfully so, of who they hurt in the process; Goshi has broken her father’s maan and Shams has shattered poor Zarina’s heart to smithereens. But who cares. They both think only in terms of winning and losing and so far both see themselves as coming out ahead. But …
Temporary triumphs and short term successes might lead them to think of themselves as winners, but the fact of the matter is that Goshi and Shams are both being manipulated, and very skillfully at that, by the kingmaker Suleri sahab. Like an expert puppeteer he knows exactly which string to pull and when to let go. Suleri is not in this for the short haul. He is a man who invests and bets on the future and for him they are probably just two of the many horses he’s betting on … who knows when which might come in handy. For now, he’s content to let the younger pair’s story play out, adjusting only a bit here and tightening a tad there.
Given how immature she is and how sheltered a life she’d led before she walked into college, Goshi is understandably smitten by the shiny glitz of the outside world. Enter Shams and Suleri. So dazzled is she by their superficial glitter- Shams’ street smarts and his purported protective nature and Suleri’s charm and urbane sophistication – that her own more humble family seems to not be worthy of her any more. A keeper like Ilyas is easily dumped, the loving chachi unceremoniously pushed aside, and her sadqay wari going father’s affections easily toyed with – all so that Goshi can marry Shams. Even now, with the truth out, she tries to convince herself otherwise.
Waisey can’t really blame Goshi. Clearly she and her family share the same DNA. No matter how many times she pulls the wool over their eyes, ghoom phir ke they come back and convince themselves of Goshi’s innocence. Brilliantly underscored here is the point that no matter how wrong Goshi might be she still always ends on the right side of her family. In Maryam’s case its the exact opposite. No matter how tameezdar and farmanbardar she might be, for her saas she remains the kothay tapni, a girl with questionable morals.
But then even if her mother-in-law is not as yet on her side, Maryam has found an ally in Ilyas, and after Goshi’s shaadi mishap even Fayaz sahab seems to not be quite as upset with her. While Maryam and Ilyas might not have thought they’d get married under such circumstances, it is interesting to see how much of a quiet anchor Maryam’s become for the household. Chachi leans on her for support without realizing it and Ilyas has a newfound air of confidence about him. The way he confronted Goshi the day after and defended Maryam made for quite a contrast from the days of yore. Similarly the way he delivered the new of Shams’ second marriage highlighted his newfound maturity.
Six episodes in, much like my other favorite Amna Mufti serial Ullu Baraye Farokht Nahin, Preet Na Kariyo Koi too is turning out to be quite the socio-political thriller, kuch hatke, something deliciously different from wohi ghissi pitti stories. Even as routine cliches- doosri biwi , never-fails-to-work-its-magic pehli nazar ka ‘ishq ,and de rigueur bachpan ki mangni with a conveniently available first cousin – find their way into the narrative, they all have been skillfully reworked and woven into a whole new context with such finesse that the same old same old looks fresh and new.
It is to the director Ehtesham and his actors’ credit for making the story come alive, all characters so real and relatable. Ahsan Khan and Hira have author backed roles and they do them complete justice. Ahsan impresses as the anti-hero Shams and Hira gives Goshi the necessary depth.
The real strength of Preet, however, lies in the cast of characters that surround Shams and Goshi. Hasan Noman is fabulous as Ilyas. His character graph is beautifully drawn and even though we’re only six episodes in we’ve seen this character exhibit so many nuances; the speech impediment, in particular, has been really well done. I love the meticulous attention payed to softening the hard R’s and hardening the soft ones, and so far don’t think I’ve seen a goof up.
Maryam, Ilyas’ better half, barely has a scene or two but even in those Mira Sethi leaves an impact; her body language makes words superfluous. I hope we get to see more of her in weeks to come. Rehan Sheikh is another one we haven’t seen much of, but his one scene today was enough to give me the heebie-jeebies. His is a character that leaves an impact without needing long lines or stretched out scenes; that cigar, the slicked back hair, the ringed fingers, all convey so much and more.
Above and beyond all though, Preet is a must watch primarily because of Erfan sahab. His take on Fayaz is so so brilliant. I so wish our younger actors would record this performance and take notes on how to make each and every gesture count, and realize that acting has nothing to do with wearing designer clothes, sporting perfectly styled beards and oversprayed hair, and displaying bulging muscles… acting is about expression and emotion. I could go on about each and every scene of his but suffice it to say such a performance deserves all accolades possible.
While all these people in the city have made an impression, the gaon track is yet to take off. But now with him there, it seems like focus will shift, at least partly, to Shams’ side of the family. I felt for poor Zarina as she got all decked up only to get ruthlessly fired by Shams and probably has another firing in store from her sister. As for the sister and her husband, I am eager to see what transpires when they meet Hurricane Goshi.
Its been a while since I’ve enjoyed a serial as I am Preet Na Kariyo Koi. I have no clue if it will hold out all the way, but for now I’m glad that after a long time we have here a project that brings to mind the good dramas of yore, where the producer, writer and director all were on the same page, where stories had reason and rationale, and when actors knew how to act. So bas ab here’s to hoping and praying this one stays the course!
Written by SZ~