Up until the last episode I was onboard with the going-ons in Teri Raza, there were many loopholes but the smaller moments held it all together and there was an inherent logic to the narrative. Now after 8 episodes I am wondering about the larger purpose of this serial.
Teri Raza started off as a story of a college girl and her crush on a colleague. From there it wandered into the territory of religion and became about istikharas and Allah ki raza, then there was the psychotic boyfriend and his dysfunctional family. A couple episodes ago this became all about arranged marriages, last week was about adjusting and accommodating with new spouses and this week fell pretty much along similar lines.
Next week’s precap seems to suggest the story going off on a shuk tangent, introduces the possibility of a talaq and has Rameez transforming into a crazed person out to avenge his izzat. What else is left now? Doosri shadi? Halala? And where does the istikhara fit into all this? What kind of a buffet type approach is this to story telling: biryani pasand nahin tau pulao ley lein, qorma nahin khana tau qeema kha lein, daal hazam nahin hoti tau aloo tau hain hi. Matlab ke lets put everything on the menu, kuch na kuch tau kisi na kisi ko pasand aa hi jaye ga?
Had Teri Raza been just about arranged marriages and expectation vs reality I would’ve said we have an absolute winner here. What we have here instead is a hodge podge of way too films and dramas, all of which are not gelling well together.
This latest episode continued with the story of the newly married couple and their attempts to adjust to each others’ lifestyle. Where Imtiaz is making a genuine effort Suhana is much more capricious. At points she seems to be succumbing to her husband’s charms but then Rameez and his memories pop up and she’s back to her I-am-the-victim-here stance. I don’t know how Imtiaz stands her but I am losing patience with her mixed signals.
Age is but a number, I was a firm believer in this adage till I met Suhana. Honestly, my heart goes out to her, I can even relate to her dilemmas, but then there are just so many situations she creates for herself. Imtiaz has given her so many opportunities to come clean and start anew with a clean slate but it is as if she has decided to spend her life being a victim. Last week there was hope that Suhana was turning the corner, but this week was back to square one. If she is that unhappy then why doesn’t she just spare everybody the misery and go back to her parents’ place. Surely she doesn’t expect her husband and mom-in-law to put up with her and her attitude for the rest of their lives? If anything she should be angry with her family for pushing her into this situation. They did the istikhara, not Imtiaz and his family, why then is she punishing them/him?
And if Suhana is not bad enough, we have Talat, Suhana’s mom. I can now see the apple has not fallen far from the tree. Why the heck did she have to rush to call Rameez’s mom? Is he a toddler that his mother needs to be told to tell her child to behave? For a family that talks so much about Allah ki raza they show very little real faith in allowing God’s will to play itself out. And now thanks to aunty ji’s immaturity Rameez is firmly back in the picture.
And speaking of Rameez, when we first met him and Suhana as college friends, there was almost no indication that they had been this close. It had appeared they had been close friends who had just recently admitted to falling in love with each other, at the end of their student life. Suhana was shown taking Manzura along on her dates because she couldn’t go alone. But now all these flashbacks seem to indicate otherwise. When did they spend all this time together?
This episode also set the groundwork for shuk angle, enter Suhana’s older cousin. She is beautiful, highly educated, has an apparently flourishing career, why then in the Lord’s name is she so upset that she is as yet unmarried? Why this need to show marriage as the ultimate purpose of a woman’s life? We saw this rush to marriage in Suhana’s case also, but it made sense within the context of the story, but here, this angle was totally uncalled for and such regressive stuff should not be used as a plot point in this day and age.
All in all, it is a good thing the producers went with great actors for this serial. Sarmad and Sanam are absolutely fabulous as Imtiaz and Suhana. Their scenes stand out for their sincerity and emotional quotient and all this is done without any fuss or melodrama. Their breakfast scene, walk in the park, dinner after, Imtiaz’s shock, his later withdrawal, Suhana’s fumbling attempts to make nice, and then him telling her didn’t marry for household help, were all brilliant. I could watch them again and again. Add to this Shami Hilali and her and Sanam’s lovely ludo scene, I can almost, almost overlook all my aggravations with the lack of a larger narrative coherence. But then I remember the older cousin scene and Talat’s phone call and Suhana’s conversation with Jeena and the precap and I am annoyed all over again.
Let’s see what next week holds in store for us.
Written by SZ~