We are all individual entities complete in and of ourselves, but so much of our sense of self is derived from those around us. We see ourselves, understand ourselves and value ourselves not in terms of that we see reflected in the mirror but in terms of that which we see reflected in others’ eyes – we value ourselves based on others’ evaluation of us. That others’ this perception is based on how we perceive ourselves in the first place is a fact sadly forgotten by most. Lifetimes are spent trying to please others, be what others want to see, that which does not exist.This when all that is needed is to be true to one’s own self. Freedom comes only with this realization otherwise there is not much separating humans from puppets, dancing to tunes played by others.
Qasim is truly hopelessly in love with Sassi. He sees himself though her eyes; she calls him worthless, he thinks he is worthless. She makes fun of girls whoflirt with him and lo and behold he sees an unattractive person staring back at him in the mirror. He knows she is not likely to miss him, yet his face lights up when she comes by to pick yet another fight. He’s lived with Khayyam all his life and knows his uncle’s opinion of him, but he still craves his validation. Why? Not because he wants or cares for Khayyam’s wah wah, but because this would elevate his status in Sassi’s eyes.
Sassi sees the world through her father’s eyes. Khayyam treated Qasim like hired help and that’s where Sassi got her cues. Khayyam had no value for Mammo so Sassi treated her like trash. A woman not good enough to win her father’s approval was certainly not someone on whom Sassi wished to waste her time. She would rather seek Sonya Jahan’s approval – she’s the one her father deems worthy of his time and appreciation. But now Sonya is saying things that do not make sense. What is this business of creating and destroying that Sonya talks about? What is this that she is saying about her father, is she saying he is less than perfect? And why does Sonya think that it is not her but Mammo who Khayyam wants?
Where before everything was comfortingly familiar, distinctly black and white – Mammo = bad, Khayyam = good – now things are not quite as clear. Sassi is confused. Her perfect father looks less than perfect when seen through Sonya’s eyes. Her world thus muddied and muddled Sassi turns to her role model – Sonya. She is confident, bold, unapologetically glamorous and most of all Khayyam’s choice – what more could a young girl lacking a strong female presence in her life want? And when the choice is between a drab Mammo or the glamorous Sonya, is there even a question?
Sassi has decided she wants to become the next Sonya Jahan. That Sonya tried to get her to look beyond the obvious is something that flew over Sassi’s head. She heard only what she wanted to hear, the rest left by the wayside. Even what Sonya said about Qasim was left unprocessed, because thinking requires soul-searching, and Sassi does not have the time or inclination for anything with the potential of coming in the way of realizing her ambitions. She is most certainly not dumb, as Khayyam rightly said, she is zaheen like him. Both experts at rationalizations.
Unlike the deluded father daughter pair Mammo is not a fool. They both might think they know it all, but Mammo is the one grounded enough to see and sense the going-ons. She knows Sassi’s infatuation with Sonya is a sure shot disaster in the making, but when she brings her fears to Khayyam he trivializes her concerns and is dismisses of her fears. But as the precap indicates Mammo was right to worry. It is one thing to write qaseedas about a bahir wali aurat but to have his own flesh and blood, his izzat dancing in public inviting other men to write qaseedas about her beauty?!? No way?!
He may be an intellectual, a man of letters, but Khayyam is as stereotypical a desi mard as they come – the kind who have different play books for women outside and inside their char diwari. Mammo has learned this the hard way, now it is Sassi’s turn. How Sassi respond’s to her father’s ire is something I am waiting to watch. Will she allow him to control her as he does her mother? Khayyam is not the type to get easily thwarted but then neither is Sassi is a walkover. What is Sonya’s interest in Sassi? Will she become a pawn in her hands? Whatever the case may [or may not] be, lots of fireworks coming our way!
Yes, plenty of food for thought in this latest episode. I am loving how we are looking at a very familiar story in a completely different, very innovative manner. Saji Gul’s writing has a lyrical quality about it, and is as beautiful as it is thought provoking, the screenplay is fabulous. Kashif Nisar deserves a round of applause for his narrative style and for the phenomenal performances he has gotten from his very talented cast.
Sana has not had much to do so far, but in this episode she was magnificent, and Sajal’s expressions as Sassi tried to understand the depth of Sonya’s words were equally outstanding. Both of them were magical together, and the stand outs in this episode. Bilal was so good in the scene when Sassi comes to Qasim with the saman, the range of expressions that ran across his face as he went from happy to confused to despondent to angry were fantastic. Irsa Ghazal was great as Mammo and Nauman Ijaz solid as ever as Khayyam.
Four episodes in, O Rungreza continues to raise the bar week after week. Here’s to hoping and praying it stays the course.
Written by SZ~