For some the past is a foreign country, for others, however, today is but yesterday in a new garb.
The polished and confident politician Shagufta Shehzadi we see today is a far cry from the immature Goshi who defied her family and married Shams against their wishes. It’s been eighteen long years and even as she has lived a lifetime in each single day, in many ways it is as if time has stood still for Shagufta. As if on repeat, every single morning she’s woken up determined to wipe clean the slate and every single night she has gone to bed with her hands soaked in blood. The past just refuses to let go.
No matter how hard Shagufta tried to protect Noori it was as if fates were conspiring against her. Looking at Noori in the present is like looking at Goshi of the past. Though two very different girls growing up in completely different contexts, for Shagufta it is like looking at herself in the mirror. This situation, Noori’s rebellion, is precisely what she had been trying to prevent with her strict parenting. Her daughter would never go through what she herself went through, she had promised herself. But, as they say, what man proposes god disposes. Today, after all these years Shagufta is right back where she had started, but this time around the shoe is on the other foot. She is the parent of a young woman with a mind all her own.
While Shagufta is looking at the present through the prism of her past, the fact of the matter is that the two situations are completely different. Were she to step outside of herself and look at matters objectively, Noori is nothing like her mother. Where Goshi’s rebellion was based on rose-tinted idealism, her daughter has no option but to rebel. With both her parents playing games to satisfy their own individual agendas nobody’s paused to ask Noori what she wants. Quite a far cry from Goshi’s situation all those years ago, when her doting father put aside his feelings and trepidations and gave assent to his beloved daughter’s choice of a life partner.
Though there is no doubt that Shagufta loves her daughter as much as her father loved her, the big difference lies in the size of their egos. Fayaz sahab never wanted anything beyond his daughter’s happiness. Shagufta, on the other hand, is engaged in an ongoing battle of wills with her husband. To be fair to her, however, in her own roundabout way Shagufta is looking to secure her daughter’s happiness, something Noori will most definitely never find with Shams’ choice, the problem is that she is only looking at it as a way to one up Shams and also to rectify mistakes of her past, none of which have any bearing on Noori’s present. What Shagufta doesn’t realize is that by dragging Noori in her personal issues she’s placed her daughter in a very vulnerable situation. Enter Bhola.
Much like his sister, Bhola too lives in a present steeped in the sepia tones of the past. The anger he felt after his father’s death has not abated a bit in all these years. With time bitterness and pent up rage have taken on a very sinister tone, so much so that even his young niece is not be spared. Ilyas, Maryam, chachi, all might have forgotten and forgiven Goshi with the passage of time, but Bhola has refused to let those traumatic memories fade. In allowing himself to be persuaded by Bhola’s story Roomi might have made his biggest mistake to date and unwittingly put Noori’s life in danger. Whether Shagufta can set aside her ego for her daughter’s sake and beg forgiveness from her younger brother is something time only can tell.
Self absorbed though she might be, Shagufta is at least thinking of Noori’s best interests, at least from her perspective, sadly though the same cannot be said of Shams. This man really deserves not just a trophy but a carton full of trophies all declaring him the biggest nincompoop around. As if finding a middle-aged suitor for his daughter was not enough he had to go ahead and visit Suleri’s sister as well!?! What is amazing is that despite the fact that he has not done any conceivable good deeds in his life, he still finds himself the husband of two devoted wives – one who happily presses his feet, helps him wear his shoes and cooks for him, and the other who despite everything can see no further than him. Truly there is no accounting for luck!
Interestingly juxtaposed against Shams’ track is Suleri’s track. The man who has every conceivable material luxury at his beck and call, whose one flick of a finger can change somebody’s life and fortune forever, Suleri, finds himself envious of a man who is empty-handed in the material sense of the word, with neither name nor fame, Shams. Where Shams has really done nothing to earn Shagufta’s love and trust, Suleri has been a constant companion through all those long, dark years,. He’s been the one to whom Shagufta’s turned for financial and emotional support, he knows her better than her husband ever could, his has been the political clout that turned Goshi into Shagufta Shehzadi, but even after all that he finds himself on the outside looking in.
That he is in love with Shagufta must’ve been a thought that gradually creeped up on him, as he slowly molded the young girl into this woman with substance. It says a lot for the respect and regard that he holds her in now, that he who had once made a pass at her without giving it any further thought is today unable to give words to his feelings. Shagufta, on the other hand, is still so absorbed in Shams, despite all that he has done, that she can only look at him nonplussed when he literally bares his innermost feelings. That scene, where Suleri takes off his glasses and watches Shagufta walk out of his home back to the house where she lives with Shams has to be one of the best scenes in the last few episodes. Rehan Sheikh, what he did in that scene was simply amazing!
Eighteen weeks in, Preet is still going strong. Kudos to Amna Mufti, Ehteshamuddin, and the cast and crew for maintaining the high standard week after week. Rehan Sheikh is fabulous as Suleri – no matter how small a scene. he makes every second count. Ahsan Khan plays the asinine Shams with a lot of finesse and effortless ease. Hira is great as Shagufta, giving her best to a very complicated character. It was a pleasure to see Hasan Noman back in action. Saman Ansari as Zarina does well overall, but there are times when she slips up and sounds like a polished urbanite. Noor Khan is doing well, but her partner in crime, the actor playing Roomi falls short of the high standards set by the others in the cast. Also below par are the actors playing Roomi’s parents; the actor playing Bhola also seemed to be literally reading his lines in the scene at the dhaba.
All in all I’m still happily hooked … how about you all?
Written by SZ~