Before last week’s episode, Shams had been merely reacting, following the path set out for him by others, doing others’ bidding. Blithely he complained of how others wronged him and took advantage. Very easily, whatever went wrong or whenever he went off-track, the burden of blame was shifted onto others. Un ke kehne pe kiya tha, us ne pehle kiya phir main ne kiya tha, his standard responses.
Not once had Shams ever taken responsibility for how his life had shaped up. It was either Mushtaq or Suleri or Shagufta or even the neighbor’s cat, basically everybody but him. By some means or the other this loser no. 1 managed to rationalize every misstep of his as being somebody else’s fault – till the point he upped and left for Gujranwala.
In going to Gujranwala Shams took the first step towards independent decision making. All huffed up about how easily Suleri had written him off he went to confront Mushtaq. He was going to set him straight and get his share of the inheritance back. He was done being played by others, it was now his turn to play the others back.
What happened in Gujranwala came as no surprise to those of us who have watched Mr. pea-brained Shams in action. Few crocodile tears from bhabhi, some naqli-ghee laden dialogues from Mushtaq and apney hero sahab was back to doing what he did best – being played. Easily placated with a couple of lacs, laut ke buddhu ghar ko aaye, and not just khud aaye balkey biwi no.1 ko bhi saath laye.
Predictably, this shohar sahab ki entry +1 does not sit well with biwi no. 2 and bas … Shams sahab was back to finger pointing and blaming. Shams! Shams! Shams!! I have no clue what good deeds you did in an earlier life but whatever you did was more than enough to float your boat in the here and now. Kahan tau poor khidmat guzar Maryam is still being punished for a crime she did not commit and kahan apne bekar bhai sahab… yet to do anything productive in life magar phir bhi qismat dekhen: not one but two two wives vying for his love. Did I hear somebody say life’s not fair?!?
Truly, once you move away from the entitled brat Shams to Shagufta, one cannot help but feel for her. On the one hand she’s a political figure with sway and authority, a woman to reckon with, but look again and she’s this woman whose life holds no meaning without her husband. She who commands the attention of thousands outside the house is reduced to being a punching bag for her insecure husband inside the house. All she ever wanted was to be with her husband but now thanks to Shams she’s back to negotiating and cutting deals with Suleri. Did anybody say life’s not fair?!?
It’s not like Goshi’s doodh ki dhuli either, but still … No matter what one might think of her actions vis-à-vis her paternal family or Zarine or even Noori, one cannot fault her as Shams’ wife. The sincerity with which she’s stood by her loser husband is truly worthy of applause. Ab yeh alag baat hai ke she’s backed the wrong horse. Just one look at Ilyas is enough. Seventeen years later he still shines like a prince among men.
But then such is the power of love. It’s certainly blinded Shagufta’s eyes to Ilyas’ love for her, made her disregard her father’s affection, ignore other well-wishers’ advice, infact even Suleri hinted at it, and in not quite a subtle manner either, but what to do. And its not like Shagufta is the only one afflicted. Her chachi is another one. It was her niece who caused them pain, but it is Maryam who’s had to pay the price for Goshi’s intransigence. Zarina is yet another worthy candidate for this blind people’s club.
Not like the poor woman ever had a choice, but Zarina’s unwavering faith is truly amazing. Just the mere glimpse of a hope, he was taking her to live with him, and her attitude made a 180° turn. But afsos! Didn’t take too long for the poor woman’s hopes to be dashed, and pretty cruelly at that. She probably blames Shagufta for this, but really, were she to think a bit, it’s all Shams. A weak man who lacks the ability to take an independent decision and have the courage to stand by it … and why should he? Blaming others is so much easier, no? Ab who cares if others get hurt in the process, its all about Shams in Shams’ head. It always was and always will be. Even his own flesh and blood, his daughter stands no chance in front of such narcissism.
And yes, Noori. Not only does she have to deal with a self-obsessed father but now her mother is emotionally unavailable as well. Thank god for Roomi. Not only does he provide a modicum of sanity in a her topsy turvy world, but now he also brings with him news of others about whom Noori knew nothing. Chachi has made a tentative connection and Ilyas almost afraid to make one. Does he really want Goshi back in their lives again? Are they ready for her? Will they ever be ready for her?
The journey from Goshi to Shagufta has been a very painful one for the woman whose feet are still bleeding from the sores that never get time enough to heal. And it is the fear of her beloved daughter ever feeling that pain that forces Shagufta to keep an eagle eye on her daughter, but… What are these new unknown paths that Noori has started travelling on? What are the secrets she’s keeping from her mother? People say what goes around comes around… does Shagufta have the courage to deal with the kind of suffering she put her father and family through?
Torn between the two loves of her life, Shagufta is being pulled from both sides. So far Shams is winning but for how long? What will she say when Noori starts questioning the past? Shagufta’s turned to Suleri sahab for advice at every difficult juncture in her life. Can she depend on him for this too? And finally, for how much longer will Shams be okay with Suleri’s presence in Shagufta’s life? So far he’s been busy re-adjusting to the chaos of life on the outside, which is diametrically opposite of the ordered life of a prisoner. He’s not happy with what he’s seen so far, and the more he’ll see the unhappier he will get. How much more can he take before he snaps? Or will it be Shagufta who’ll lose patience first? Who blinks first?
Rare it is these days to get a serial which leaves you with so many questions at the end of each week. Rarer yet when the said serial is pretty much halfway through. Kudos to Amna Mufti, Ehtashamuddin, and their very talented team – cast and crew- for making this one such a pleasure to watch and review. Looking forward to the next installment!
Written by SZ~