Sang-e Mar Mar ~ Episode 22 Review

semm

After the heightened emotions of the past couple weeks this was a relatively quieter episode, a bridge between the doom ‘n gloom of yesterday and the promise of a brighter tomorrow that waits around the corner. How long to get to that point, when wounded hearts are finally healed and longstanding feuds truly forgiven, will depend on the will of those involved. So far only Gulistan Khan’s family is willing to move on. Pari and Torah, on the other hand, continue holding on to their burdened past unwilling to move on without a perceived resolution of their grievances.

Torah’s nursing of grudges against Gulistan Khan and his family makes sense in view of all that he’s suffered since childhood, and impressions left on a young mind do not wash away that easily. The trauma builds up over years and every slight thereafter, whether deliberate or unintentional, serves to keep fresh the festering wound. Torah thought he was done with revenge, but seeing Gulistan not only revive his relationship with his surviving son but also take credit for property jointly worked with Torah’s family serves to fan the flames yet again. That it was not meant the way it came across is not the issue. It is what it meant to Torah is important. The incidental reminder that he is without an heir is yet another slight that methinks will not sit well Torah. Looking forward to seeing how this offhand comment affects Torah behavior with Bano in the next episode.

For her part Pari too remains true to her personality. She has never hidden the fact that her goal is to be the queen of her domain, unwilling to share anything, even her husband, be it his affections or material possessions, with anyone even his only sister. To now find out now that even after everything that has happened, she just cannot seem to get rid of Shirin – she is a shareholder in her brother’s property. Any other person would’ve let bygones be bygones and moved on, but Pari just refuses to give up. Destroying Shirin is now an obsession with her.

While these two characters remained true to their graphs, I was surprised and a little taken aback at Aurang’s almost overnight transformation from a man-child, desperately seeking his father’s approval at every turn, into this decisive man of action. It was too easy and too pat. Surely a lifetime of distrust and fear of disapproval does not get washed away with one conversation? A bit more time spent on Aurang grappling with his choices and future course of action would’ve helped me buying into this sudden change. That said I loved the carrying over of the motif of the peela kapra and the playing out of that symbolism. Well done Mustafa Afridi!

Shamim is another quick turnaround. Gone is the hesitant woman, who was almost afraid to utter a word in case it offended anyone. For all these years to the world she was Gulistan Khan’s wife, the mother of his three sons. The bitter reality, however, was that she was a  mere daasi, a woman whose sole purpose in life was to serve … never question the status quo. How could she? When was she ever invited to speak, let alone be an active participant in any conversation? And had she even voiced an opinion who would’ve paid heed to her? But one acknowledgment of her wujood from her husband and Shamim’s world changes overnight. Not just in the way she hold up her head and walks as if a burden has lifted from her shoulders but in the assertive manner she talks to Aurang. All this happening so fast, particularly when there are years of hurt to forget, was too pat. Had it been an actor other than Sania, I would’ve not bought into this at all. But her Shamim is so compellingly sincere that it is difficult to argue the whys and whynots.

The promo for next week sees Daa ji floating, a huge change from his earlier stance of always ordering and informing, the idea of Shirin marrying Aurang. How this plays out, particularly after Shamim overheard (a convenient contrivance!) Palwasha and Aurang, has me waiting in anticipation.

All in all a mixed bag of an episode, with some likely and some not quite as palatable twists and turns. Mustafa Afridi’s writing remains taut but I do wonder about the uncharacteristic rush with some tracks. The conversation about ribah looped back to earlier episodes but the long-winded discussion of morality and ethics took away from the story on hand. Kudos, however, to Saife Hasan and the entire team for making even the improbable scenarios palatable with excellent direction and acting. Nauman Ijaz, Sania Saeed, Paras Masroor, Kaif Ghaznavi, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Kubra Khan, all have me waiting for the next episode.

What did you all think?

Written by SZ~

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26 replies

    • @Sonya: Thank you – much appreciated!

      Re: Daaji vs Daarji: I checked with members of Team SeMM and they tell me both are correct.. the same title is pronounced as Daaji in the northern areas where this serial is set and it is Daarji in the Punjab, where the Sikhs in particular use this variant. I hope this explanation makes sense …and now because of your query I too have learned something new .. so thank you for that!

      And now that you are here, I hope you wont be a stranger and will join in our discussions 🙂

      • Dear SZ: have been a fan of your blog ever since I discovered Pakistani dramas 2 years ago, found your blog and read most of it. Not sure why I leapt in with a trivial comment: have composed so many posts mentally but felt all of you are experts and I was learning so much. By the way, I am Sikh and that is why I caught the daaji vs daarji reference.

        Second, BTW: Pakistani dramas have become my mother’s lifeline since she moved from India almost 3 years ago after my father passed away. She has watched over 100 dramas. Needless to say that we don’t have the same taste in dramas but occasionally overlap.

        My husband–who is American– watched binge-watched Humsafar and Zindagi Gulzar Hai with English subtitles on Netflix.

        • @Sonya Pelia: Aww! Thank you for being a dedicated follower – truly appreciate it and more so since I was away for so long and its dear friends like yourself who kept visiting and kept it all going, giving me hope that I could still comeback and pick up from where I had left off .. ❤

          Your mom sounds great, a real trooper – not easy to pick up and make a new home at this late stage in life, happy to know that Pakistani dramas have been a part of this re-settling process. My warmest regards for her – would love to hear from her if she's online. And more power to your hubby for binge watching these dramas – now why do I think he was watching more for Sanam and Mahira rather than the stories 😉

          Re: Not joining in before: Hawww! I always thought we must come across as mad to those browsing thru, discussing and agonizing over details that even the actors and directors probably never even thought of .. so ab aisey mein how can you be intimidated? Bas ab you know we are jhallas so just jump in .. no need to compose posts … hum tau aisey hi likh dete hain, without ever thinking ke there are other ppl out there . so bas ab no more hesitation jump in and join in .. and dont worry abt your comment, it was totally legit and I learned something new as well .. 😀

  1. Great review, as always, SZ.
    I think the relationship between mother and son; Shameem and Aurang, has now reached an interesting plateau. It was the city experience that gave them a connection. I recall in earlier episodes, Shameem’s animated discussion with Aurang when he arrived from the city and was more-or-less the outsider in the family. Shameem now is forcefully protective in her opposition to him as the heir apparent. I agree with you SZ, his transformation and adaptation to this new role is a little too rushed. The urban/rural binary that characterized him and his relationship positively with his mother and less so with his brothers and father, could have been an excellent trope to explore this character’s inner conflict, who now has the burden as the only male survivor expected to take the legacy forward.

    This episode I thought how perfectly cast the three actors were in their respective roles as the three brothers. I wished that their relationship – pursuing the rural/urban binary; philosophically and pragmatically – was explored in more depth. And what a great job all three have done in their roles.

    Since Main Sitara I have now come to appreciate MZ’s quiet on-screen presence and portrayal of the characters he assumes. Here too, there is a gentleness that connects him to his mother and the tenderness of their relationship is well done in the narrative. Despite that, it now seems that he is eager to please and stand beside his father.

    Have a great week end everyone.
    JR
    Over and out

    • @JR: loved reading your comment.. you are right there are so many unexplored possibilities and so much material they had on hand to play with and add an extra layer of complexity to the characters on hand .. but what do 😠 as we’ve seen in our various discussions on various threads that we spend so much more time on these characters than the drama creatives ever do .. think Preet, Main Sitara, and so many others .. increasingly I am finding it hard to get intellectually invested in these dramas because at the end of the day there is really not much to work with ..
      MZ is great when he has a director who pushes him and where he is with serous actors .. otherwise tau I’m sure you remember the disaster called DeD ..
      Also, thoroughly enjoyed your take on the SS interview.
      Re: sharing them with a larger audience, they are in the public domain and if ppl are interested they can always ask to use them .. it is sad really that such great actors are so under appreciated when actually they have so much to give to the younger generation .. I always wonder why rich production houses like MD who also have a channel backing them cannot call upon these actors to conduct workshops for the newcomers and use them as valuable resources, thus investing in the future ..

  2. PS: And yes, I did not miss the alchemy of the “peela kapada” SZ. Brilliant! I wish the director/writer know it is much appreciated. At some point we should discuss the symbolism and classification of color in traditions on the subcontinent.
    Hugs!

  3. @SZ spot on on review!
    Yes def a bit of a strange ep.. I wonder if theyre trying to stretch it because of the popularity.. What with all the sood saga taken up to a whole new level and narrative beginning to sound preechy… but yes the peela kapra was a nice touch..
    Although sania was fab i still felt her character had jumped huge leaps in too little a time… Perhaps its because she feels that with GK resigning she needs to fill the void…
    I thought it was interesting to see pari snap of her half delusional state and taking control of her life – while shamim steps up and takes the lead in driving descisions in her household.. Two women cant be more different yet in a way in similar circumstances.
    So Turkhane’s revelation was a dream sequence afterall… So where will we go from here? Mumkin hai aurung and shirin will get married and Turkhane’s brother will spills the beans after that causing a whole load of unrest in shirins life and gk / aurungs household.. Turkhane will finally own up?.. In essence its a dew extra episodes added… what do u think?
    Torah khans rvenge tip back already.. Again stretching tactics…?! Yes it makes sense and all but was that scene really necessary..
    Idk i felt this ep had ded vibes again.. What with the ilham/dream seq , the visits to the zameen / grave/ riverside.. Hope they get grips with it asap and get on with the story

    • @ FA: DeD has really scarred us in a way even Numm didn’t! But yes seems like stretching tactics are underway .. I think I read somewhere SeMM has 24/25 eps and it’s 23 tomorrow so let’s see .. I just hope we are done with dreams – enough already!

  4. Interesting Review SZ! I had a slight different opinion about the events which followed very closely to what happened in last weeks episode. I believe the transformation you suggest sudden in Aurang’s attitude was not sudden at all actually. I was almost 100% that he would do what he did (less dramatically maybe). It was very well established in the last episode that Gulistan Khan knew Aurang was different from his other sons and himself when he confronted his dad at a young age (hence sending him to the city). I also believe Gulistan Khan knew that when he gave Aurang the keys that he would most likely take care of matters his way and not in the way Gulistan had followed his fathers footsteps. It was confirmed when he ended up hugging Aurang after he set the fire. Shamim’s reaction was also inline with her character as it was apparent from the beginning that her relationship with Aurang was strongest compared to her husband and other sons. Now she saw her husband wanting their “only” son to follow in his footsteps and she could not protect him anymore.

    Overall it was good episode to establish that everything will be slightly different now onwards with Aurang being more prominent and Torah will need to deal with that. In my opinion Torah will again resume his revenge once there is friction because of Palwasha;s relationship being in danger. Looking forward to it!

    • @ Seher: hey! good to read your thoughts .. hmm .. I see where you are coming from and yes events would’ve unfolded in the same way, but I don’t know I just wanted to see a little bit more of a mental struggle, some thought given to the city life A was going to leave behind .. he was leaving his studies incomplete .. would a real person just drop everything in an instant .. maybe I’m being a nitpick but everything has been so well paced so far that this development fell short of the mark for me ..but yes, now clearly established that things will be diff .. but let’s see Gulistan might’ve handed over the business affairs to his son but he’s still going to continue meddling in his life , now with trying to arrange his marriage without asking his son. I guess old habits die hard!
      Yes Torah is not going to be a happy camper with this turn of events .. let’s see!

  5. Wonderful review as usual .SZ , father and son very touching scene . I think GK is realizing to let go. But looks like shamim is filling void place . I think when couple get old men gets mellow . ( may be I am wrong ). Pari is still very negative even after losing husband , poor Shrin!!!!! I still donot understand why Bano is so bitter with everyone . Did something happen in her childhood? Thanks SZ.
    @ FA loved the way you use Mumkin Hai ! Flash back of all Num discussion .

    • @Ranjan: apologies for the late reply…
      Re: Bano: if you remember they had shown in that flashback sequence that she had been in love with Pari’s husband but was married off to Torah Khan, whom she detested and viewed as an inferior .. hence her own unhappy life has made her bitter towards eveybody and can’t bear to see anybody happy ..
      hope this helps!

  6. Dear SZ, thanks for the review. I was in a lot of pain the last couple of days so I couldn’t reply earlier. I’m feeling better now so here I am 🙂

    This episode felt a bit thanda – I’m not able to understand why. The father-son hug was nicely done, but for some reason it felt a bit too perfect, with the ladies looking on and hugging. The scene felt like a scene from a play, and whereas usually team SeMM manages to draw me in to their world, this time it didn’t feel right. Also, the eaves dropping scenes are such an annoyance. I was telling hubby that I wouldn’t like to stay in Serena hotels as they seem to have such thin walls.

    I agree that both Aurang and Shamim had this overnight image makeover, especially Aurang (it was as if he was just waiting for GK to tell him to stay). Also, didn’t he have a life in the city? I think a scene where he’s thinking things out could’ve bridged it, the way they justified GK’s reconciliation with his past. With Shamim, the change was more palatable. Like FA mentioned on the previous thread, sometimes the woman does take centre stage. Or may be because SS convinced me? 🙂

    The contrast between GK- Shamim-Torah and Pari was interesting. Pari has not lost something very precious to her, whereas the others have. When someone loses a dear thing, a precious thing, their basic nature changes – for better like GK and co or for worse, towards revenge, like Torah – we sometimes see people turning spiritual, we sometimes see people bent on destroying those who they believe are responsible for their situation. That losing a precious thing has to be a kick in the gut feeling – like in SeZ, Falak got when she met Tabinda. That GK got when he lost 2 young sons (even after losing Gohar GK was not shaken enough to reflect on his actions, his past. It took two losses for that feeling to kick in).

    Pari still feels in control – she still hasn’t experienced that bebasi or that realisation that there are events she cannot control or that she cannot manipulate. We’ll see what happens if she comes to that realisation… Her first blow was when she had the two miscarriages, second blow was losing Saif-ur-Rehman (until he died, there was always the chance of another baby). Neither blows altered her basic nature. Let’s see what happens and how it will change her…

    I think they should now move the story along. After Gohar’s death there was a lull lasting several episodes, don’t want that! I don’t know if the “hand of Hum” is behind this (drag things if trps are good, if they are bad, drag them just the same). Uff!

        • Haha! Its all about hooks and other marketing gimmicks, nahin 😉
          No, watching the latest ep of Kitni Girhein Baqi Hain – Chewing Gum .. check it out … and this is a heads up for everybody .. the Numm super ladies return and how!

          • @SZ: yes i intend to watch that but bouy read some seriously negative comments k ye kya dikhna ki tukk thi.. it serves no purpose to society n why SS agreed to do so.. and here i was ya Allah aisa kya dikha dya.. so yes will watch tonight n also watched BeeGul’s aisa dramon me hota he.. that was quiet interesting one too.. did you watch that?

    • @VZ: loved reading your insight into Pari -so true!
      And yes, can’t have this dragged out! You remember DeD was supposed to have also been around 25/26 then ended at ep 33?! *shudders*

  7. Pari’s track is one that im enjoying the most.. Till something happening happens at Gk house.. Lol.. The way she has taken things in her hands with full authority and firmness.. Makes me wonder how far will she go… @VZ i think maybe loss of her child again.. Sorry haven’t watched ost so making random guesses..

    I like the way Shamim was now finally talking… High time i must say..since GK is at his vulnerable state, i think it made balance by Shamim doing the talk..

    And yaar not fair Durkhane confession was dream.. Arrgg.. That seemed such an interesting plot in last week promo bu then i guess thats how they want us audience to get intrigue lol

    • Rehmat, that dream sequence was super annoying! Hats off to FA for guessing it. They’ve done it earlier as well. I think it’s a bit underhand to use it in a promo, especially since they are getting good viewership anyway. 😦

  8. After the emotional roller coaster of the last two episodes, this one felt like a bit of a let-down. There was something just a bit flat about it. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but a lot of it felt like filler and it stood out because SeMM has been so good about moving things along without a lot of fluff until now.

    The peela kapda story and its resolution–with Aurang finally putting his father’s worst mistakes to bed–was really well done and was the highlight of the episode for me. I thought it was interesting that Aurang, always his mother’s son, managed to do exactly what she implicitly wanted while also doing his duty to his father. That makes him sort of perfect though, so I’m sure he’ll put a very wrong foot forward soon, lol.

    Shireen becoming a widow right around the time that Aurang decides to stay home is a bit too convenient, no? I know they’re the lead couple and all, but I’m still rooting for Aurang and Palwasha because they are adorable together. /fingers crossed

    • @RK: we are on the same page overall re: the flat feeling of the ep .. yep a bit too convenient all that has happened in this ep.
      I think it will be the Shirin and Aurang pair at the end, after all we are supposed to sympathize with her after all that she’s gone thru. And because it’s so late in the day I think the hero’s halo is firmly fitted on his head now , can’t/won’t go wrong now.

      Ab let’s hope they get get back on track again .. would be a shame if they drop the ball this late in the game ..

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