One of the things I appreciate about Teri Raza is its fluent narrative. It’s only been six episodes but here we are: Suhana and Rameez were friends, they declared their love for each other, Imtiaz maroed his entry, he came he saw he proposed, dadi ka istikhara, Suhana said no, Suhana said yes, Rameez ki waapsi, Ramiz ka rage, Suhana ki vacillation, Suhana’s head games with Imtiaz, dadi ki tabiyat kharab and shaadi happens. Phew!
But wait, there’s more!
This episode also marked the beginning of the end of Imtiaz’s andha dhund muhabbat for Suhana.
Agreeing to an engagement in theory is very different from getting married in reality, and this difference hit Suhana almost as soon as she accepted Imtiaz’s mangni ki angoothi. She rebelled and argued but it was too late. Just like that she was married to a man she barely knew.
That she did not get to know Imtiaz, beyond the superficial, was all her doing, he had offered her plenty of opportunities. But all that was now in past, the what ifs and could’ves and should’ves were all academic at this point. She was now married. Whether she liked it or not she had to spend a lifetime with this man.
On the face of it Teri Raza is a serial dealing with the concept of fate, man’s will vs God’s will, and phrases like istikhara, bad shaguni, gunah, ‘Allah ki raza have been used frequently to reinforce just that, but for me what works is not what is being said, but that which is unsaid. I am enjoying this one for the close up look it offers at the dynamics of desi marriages, how they work and don’t work. There are many forces at play here: parhai khatam = shaadi karwani hai, notion of an accha rishta, familial pressure, emotional blackmail, and most importantly, the concept that a girl can only be “settled” after she is married. Once married it is incumbent upon the woman to make the relationship work.
Imtiaz, as we have seen him so far, is a soft-spoken mild-mannered person, someone with a lot of respect for women, and in the particular case of Suhana, a lot of love as well. For her happiness, he was willing to back away from the rishta even after the engagement, he was even willing to compromise on the dates for the wedding, sab kuch karney ko taiyar they yeh sahab. What then changed when Suhana became his wife?
Suhana is young and immature, we get that. But Imtiaz is not. Why is he blind to the fact that Suhana needs validation of her presence in his life – mere words cannot do that for her. The whole world expects Suhana to adjust to living with Imtiaz, why can’t he adjust a bit too? Right from the get go she is expected to fall in to his way of life. That she may want to do things differently is an option taken away from her when Imtiaz tells her to not interfere with the running of the household. She has to adjust to his routine, he sleeps early so she has to as well. All compromises are hers to make. Why? Would a short-term compromise on Imtiaz’s part have made Suhana amenable to a long time compromise?
As things stand now, this designed to lead up to Suhana’s inability to “appreciate” a man like Imtiaz and their later differences, but this post-marriage scenario did have me reflecting on the in-built desi expectation of a woman’s compromise. And it is insightful moments like these that have me hooked to Teri Raza.
Teri Raza works big time because the actors make it all look so real and relatable. Sarmad Khoosat and Sanam Baloch are very good together – they made for a fabulous black and white jori at the wedding. Sarmad’s Imtiaz is all charm and warmth, but that streak of chauvinism is starting to show and I am liking this new shade to his personality, not because I enjoy it but because it makes this character just that much imperfect and more interesting. Suhana is a multifaceted character and Sanam is doing very well in portraying her various shades. Her expressions, after being told off, albeit gently, at the nashta table were fantastic. What a confusing time this must be for Suhana?! Also, props to the stylist for the change in Suhana’s wardrobe – that embroidered dupatta was gorgeous!
Apart from the leads’, there were couple other moments that I enjoyed in this episode. One was Suhana’s father complimenting his wife on her handling of the wedding, a small gesture but it spoke volumes. How often is it that we see drama men taking the time to appreciate their wife’s efforts? Usually it is all about berating wives and shikwa shikayat and khana laa do, kapray de do type conversations. By the same token, I enjoyed the wife discussing her worries and fears with her husband, again a positive model of spousal relations that we almost never get to see on TV any more – well done Naila Ansari!
So far so good – I am still very much on board. What about you all?
Written by SZ~