O Rungreza ~ Episode 8 Review

Sassi! Sassi!! Sassi!!!

Bhaiya kiya larki hai yeh!?! One minute I am laughing at her but the very next minute I am laughing with her. I love her but cannot help getting mad at her either. She exasperates me but then I can’t stop shaking my head in wonderment at her sheer gall. Matlab ke koi alag hi sample hai yeh!  

Sassi is exactly the kind of zor ka jhatka our comatose desi drama heroine needed. She is grey, she is black, she is white, she is all colors of rainbow combined. She is someone we’ve never seen before but at the same time she is someone we all know intimately. She is the innermost core of every woman bared for the world to see – that part of their selfhood that women have learnt (after centuries of conditioning) to hide even from themselves.

Sassi is unapologetically brash, she dares to question, she throws down the gauntlet, she falters and fails, but not once does she accept defeat and quit. It is her life and she is determined to live it on her own terms. Whether her choices are right or wrong and whether she is good or bad, all that  is for the world to judge. For her all that matters is that she is  true to herself. Saji Gul, Kashif Nisar and Sajal Aly, hats off to you guys for giving us Sassi, a woman who shifts the paradigm to fit her needs rather than molding herself to fit the prescribed norm. Love this girl!

So much of who Sassi is comes from her surroundings, her parents and their dysfunctional marriage, Qasim. Her mother’s silent screams fuel her rebellious tone – what is to be gained from being like Mammo? Her’s father’s imperious ways drive her rebellion – if Khayyam can why can’t Sassi? Why should she comply when compliance doesn’t get anyone anything? Qasim has been meekly nodding his at everything everyone has ever dished out to him and where has that gotten him?

Sassi knows she stresses out her mother, she knows for her father appearances are everything and she knows Qasim would lay down his life for her – but why give in to all the social pressures and why be a people pleaser? Her chosen path is a rough one but this is where lies the challenge for her, at least for now. She thrives on the high that removing each obstacle in her way brings her. And now she’s set her eyes on her most difficult challenge yet – Wajih Kamal.

Whether Wajih Kamal will be as easy to understand and manipulate, as her family was for Sassi, remains to be seen. Details of Wajih and Sonya Jahan’s breakup remain unknown and our intrepid heroine has so far never really ventured out of her familial comfort zone. Hence, I cannot help but be fearful for her; life does not always work according to a plan, no matter how well-thought. Her broken leg on account of the moved charpai should’ve taught her that, but Sassi tau Sassi hai. When has she ever heeded even basic common sense and rationale? Signs and symbols tau door ki baat hain.

Yes, this eighth episode was all about Sassi, but what I love about the writing here is that all surrounding characters have a life of their own. Watching Qasim suffer breaks my heart but he has to learn to stand up for himself. He will learn that respect is earned not handed out as an offering. I think his new job will go a long way towards instilling a sense of self and self-confidence in him. And it is only then that Sassi will see him as a person in his own right.

Qasim now has a way out, Mammo is in so deep she cannot even see that much of the morass around her is of her own creation. She has a voice, but it has been suppressed for so long tot even a pained cry comes out any more. While these two acknowledge their shortcomings and weaknesses, Khayyam Sani has no saani when it comes to self-delusion – he has the art down pat. No matter what curveball life, or Sassi, throws his way, he still comes out with a 2+2=5 type of a solution. His thickheaded plan of Sassi’s shaadi is a perfect example of such a mindset. Bhai jaan sudhar jao warna that homegrown hurricane of yours will wipe off that self-satisfied air of yours for good. Phir koi bharam kaam nahin aayega.

Every week I think I have watched the best of O Rungreza and so far the bar has been upped every week.. Saji’s writing continues to sparkle and the Kashif Nisar’s direction is brilliant. Actors are the literal sonay pe suhaga – it is really hard to pick one over the other. Each actor has breathed life in their character. Loved so many scenes today that it is hard to pick.

Bottom line I am a very happy camper at the moment. Lets hope and pray all remains this way till the very end. Ameen!

Written by SZ~

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30 replies

  1. Hi SZ,

    First to comment here!

    Loved this line of your: “life does not always work according to a plan, no matter how well-thought. Her broken leg on account of the moved charpai should’ve taught her that, but Sassi tau Sassi hai.”!

    I loved her dialogue, oye tarroo idhar aao to Qasim.

    I wanna Zubiya says the same to Asfi when he stares at him a lot!

    But Sassi is Sassi, no one matches her!

    Best
    Saadia

    Like

    • @Saadia: Hey! Thanks for reading so closely ❤
      Haina!! Sassi tau is bas ek alag hi sample hai koi!

      I watched this past ep of YKS as well, and Sajal and Ahad are fab together and their scenes are sweet but there is nothing new there that we havent seen. Yahan tau bas ji!! What to say! Love Sajal and love the diversity she brings to her roles!

      Like

  2. Yes, there is nothing extraordinary.

    Given writers limitation, she exploits deaths and emotions- you can’t expect much but just a melodrama!

    She uses old tried and tested themes and wraps in beautiful wrappers to sell with high prices. Usual business!

    Though, love Sajal and Ahad together!

    I wanna Sassi and Asfi together!

    or maybe, Sassi and Salar together in one drama!

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    • Haha! Sassi would snap Asfi out of his funk in a heartbeat … I dont think he can survive the shock of Sassi .. he likes the docile kinds better, I think 😀

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    • @Saadia Thanks for mentioning YKS too and thanks @SZ for commenting on YKS too.

      I liked last two episodes of YKS very much.

      In ORangreza, somehow much married protagonist pursuing another muse isn’t appealing to my heart.

      Two other plays of Saji Gul are currently on air – pyari bitto and Iltiza.

      SZ, have you seen few episodes of Iltija as well

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  3. Wah, kya review hai! Loved your description of Sassi, especially this bit “[w]hether her choices are right or wrong and whether she is good or bad, all that is for the world to judge. For her all that matters is that she is true to herself.”

    That’s a very interesting observation, but I’d like to disagree with it a bit. I don’t think Sassi knows what her true self is or wants/needs. I think she’s sort of living in the moment, although (as you rightly noted) much of her personality is a rebellion against the role models she sees around her. She’s very calculating in the way she pushes people’s buttons, but she’s also quite immature in that she hasn’t learned to balance manipulation with empathy. It may turn out that Sassi has no use for empathy, but I don’t think we’re quite there yet.

    As I was watching this episode it struck me that we rarely ever see Sassi having a quiet moment to herself, or a scene where she’s reflective rather than reactive. We only really see her through the eyes of the other characters, so she varies between exasperating, rebellious, and charming, depending on which other character is in the scene with her. Hopefully, her crush on Wajih Kamal and the resolution of that subplot will give us a bit more insight into the character.

    This is obviously a Sajal Aly vehicle through and through, but Bilal Abbas deserves a healthy round of applause. His Qasim is restrained and self-contained to a fault, and that’s a tough role for a young actor to pull off. I like how Bilal has even modeled his body language that way. Have you noticed that Qasim’s gait is deliberately slow and that he barely even swings his arms when he walks? It has the effect of making him appear meek so neither Sassi nor Khayyam ever notices the real Qasim.

    Looks like some big stuff in the next episode too!

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    • @RK: You are absolutely correct, thats what I meant as well.. true to herself as in true to her feelings in that particular moment. She doesn’t lie there is no subterfuge with her, IMHO. Absolutely, her very true self is yet to reveal itself, to her and/or to us.

      Rest, I think we are both pretty much on the same page. Yes absolutely Qasim is fabulously played by Bilal. I saw an interview somewhere where he said that this was a challenging character, physicality wise. He had to hold himself in a lot, controlling his body movements etc .. and what I really like that none of this looks like “acting”.. shabashi to this young actor. Well done!

      Like

  4. Hey SZ
    Sahi kaha , alag hee sample hai Sassi !
    I just love Sassi , she’s such a treat to watch .
    Her outburst in the previous episode was mind blowing ! ! Bilkul sahee sunaee khayam ko.
    The Titanic scene was awesome , I was flabbergasted.
    Qasim is adorable whereas Mommo is annoying , she’s really getting on my nerves .
    Love this drama and can’t wait for next epi.

    Like

    • @Deeba: Haha! Titanic was a ton of fun and I am so glad we were spared the rona dhona of the aftermath of her fall and the whole drama that mustve ensued.

      Qasim is fab and Idk Mammo is working for me I just love how the mom and daughter are polar opposites 😀

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  5. SZ! Thoughtful insights about a rivetting story with brilliantly nuanced characters.Saji Gul has woven a rich tapestry of emotions and human traits and foibles and he is a true rangreza in his craft.The acting is spot on and I hope that the makers dont give in and take the predictable route.Would love to see Sassi achieve what she desires and has the world eating out of her hands only to lose Qasim as he finally comes into his own and stops being a doormat in trying to be obedient and keep everyone happy.Imagine another woman in Qasims life and how Sassi would react to this!The track about Khayyam and Sonia and Sonia’s awareness about Sassi’s fascination for her and whether Sonia will use this against Khayyam; and Sassi’s growing fascination for another man after her disillusionment with her ‘ideal’ man and the potential conflict this will create between Sonia Jahan and her ex-husband.
    Can’t wait for the next few Fridays!!
    P.S- Love the OST to bits!

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    • @SP: Hello! Lovely to hear from you – enjoyed reading your comment, you have a way with words!

      I like your predictions .. and would be on board with things if they go the way you predict .. lets see what curve balls the writer has in store for us!

      Please do continue joining us .. it is always fab to hear from new friends 🙂

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  6. Unpredictable was the word I was thinking of when watching this episode; do not have a clue inspite of the sense, a feeling that plenty (may) have been fed to us an audience throughout the course of the serial already, as to where the story is headed.

    Owing to the above, cannot characterize Sassi into one box – as you say above, SZ – black, white and grey and probably all the rest of the colors in the spectrum.

    I must applaud and marvel the writer. I feel that in creating this character, not only has he made Sassi and integral part of the story line but in such a way that she acts as sort of a subconscious to everyone else. She is a sort of vessel, a subconscious, a vessel through which you can understand and gauge others, without it sounding and looking judgemental.
    It’s a sort of well rounded story from not just one perspective (if you know what I mean) because you get to see through her eyes.

    As I read other comments too, I think this may be similar to what RK is also saying.
    Perhaps.

    Like

    • @Arisha: Hello Hello!

      So fun to hear so many perspectives on these fab characters. I like the way you akin Sassi to a vessel, interesting way of putting it 🙂 Haina! I too like the way all characters have their own POVs and we get to see the story unfold from each of their eyes without it being made to look like a deliberate strategy. I am liking how organically and almost effortlessly this story is unfolding. Ab bas lets pray it stays the course.

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  7. No praise is enough for the brilliant episode. The hero for me is the writer of the play. How difficult it is for true writers to write in the soap format, to have cliffhanger moments and to pack a punch for the jaded audience we have become and yet delve into the psychology and motivations of the characters. The 2 scenes that were a standout for me – Of course the Titanic scene which was like a splash of cold water in the face. And the hospital scene where Khayyam wordlessly refuses to donate blood and the way these two Mammo and Qasim leap to his defence. Uff! That for me was the key to the personalities of the three dramatis personae. The self humiliation and self- abnegation that Mammo and Qasim are capable of only can give rise to a Khayyam.
    I read the review and the replies here in the same “khumaari” having just watched the episode. and believe me the experience felt so complete. It was like combined study before examinations when all the finer points were covered thanks to the meeting of so many minds. 🙂
    I agree with RK that Sassi is not as self- aware and transparent as she seems to be. In the beginning it seemed to be a classical electra complex but now the writer has peeled off a layer and we find it is her mother’s ill-treatment and her desire not to be a Mammo which is her motivation. Looking forward to more such layering:)
    SZ@ in your delicious review you said that the mother and daughter were poles apart. That is right and like Deeba S I find Mammo’s door-mat irritating. But I guess only a door mat could have given birth to a fire-brand like Sassi. Rebels are not born out of sorrow but humiliation.
    So looking forward to the next instalment!!!!

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    • @Molly: You describe the aftereffects of this drama so well .. and I myself cant wait to read what everybody else is thinking and what you all made of the various scenes that I loved .. thank you all for making this such a fun thread!

      Yes, lets talk about that Titanic scene – how just how fab was it!

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  8. Brilliant review.. like always.. Orungreza is superbly going week after week… and i am so impressed by pace. Its just perfect.. and with perfection these actors are portraying their characters.. how freaking natural ..

    Sassi was on fire today right from 1st scene to last… i love Sajal’s chemistry with everyone here… the way she speak to mamo and qasim i I have noticed has changed after that dynamic thapar by Khyam… i dont know i could be wrong but that bullying and insulting tone has mellowed down.. and it will be so interesting to see her paths crossing with Wajih..

    Love that scene with Mammo looking from window our budhe lovebirds..like she had no option but to see this .. but more than that i am looking forward when Khayam will learn his lesson with hopefully mammos transformation too..

    I like how mostly ost scenes are covered.. and still there is so much more to see.. we have Sonia Mishal still making her appearance.. and its so interesting to see the layer getting peeled week after week.

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    • @Rehmat: Yes, I too am intrigued to see how Hamza and Sonia make their entry into the story .. how and when does the prodigal son return and what were the reasons for his departure in the first place ..

      Hmm . interesting insight abt Sassi having changed .. now that I think abt it you are right, she is quieter but shes also become more destructive and vindictive .. lets see yeh oont kis karwat bathta hai ..

      Yes! I too am looking fwd to Khayyam’s comeuppance!

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  9. Hi SZ and all
    I think this is the only drama I am enjoying these days. Thanks for the fab review SZ.

    Sometimes I think Sassi is just reacting and shooting from the hip, and yet sometimes I think (and there is evidence in the play to illustrate) that she is planning something and she knows what she’s up to and which way she is going to chalao her teer.

    I am enjoying Sassi! and yes @RK you are right about the actor portraying Qasim (sorry no time to check his name). Nice work all round.

    Until soon
    JR

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    • @JR: Hello ji! Hope all’s well. How goes the writing?
      The actor playing Qasim is Bilal Abbas and he was in Dumpukht as well.

      You are right abt Sassi, but IMO despite all her big talk she is still a child when it comes to things that really matter. So yes she plans and makes plans and executes them, but her thinking is only in the now, much like a child’s. I dont think she’s thinking of the long term repercussions, like say her mother does, hence there is no fear of the omnipotent duniya kya kahegi or feeling of social pressure. Where Mammo is too afraid, Sassi is fearless in that regard. And I personally think that over time both will move away from their two extremist stances and hopefully take a more middle of the road approach to life .. lets see ..

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      • @SZ. Hiya! Writing is S L O W.

        Yes, Bilal Abbas was in ‘Saanp Seerhi’ where I last saw him.

        Yes, you are right, I don’t think Sassi fully understands yeh zaalim duniya. But I do admire her chutzpah.

        Did I miss something? I feel there is some mystery as to why Qasim has ended up with Mammo and there is something special about their relationship.

        Cheers,
        JR

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        • Oh, his parents passed away in an accident and that’s why he’s with Mammo, his khala, and that’s why he feels obligated and lives within himself. Mammo is very protective of him because maybe sees him as a kindred spirit and also feels protective towards him, since he’s her responsibility in a way. This was revealed earlier on, 2/3 ep (?), in a conversation between Mammo and bua.

          Aww! Good luck! Hang in there kiddo, almost there!!
          We’ll have to throw you a virtual party once you’re done.. so proud of you and all our super intelligent and super overall readers ❤️

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          • @RZ & @SZ
            Thanks for the good wishes.

            JR
            PS: Just in case anyone missed it, I posted on another thread, many Pakistani movies and ZGH and Humsafar on Netflix.

            Like

  10. @All: So, Molly’s comment gave me the idea that it would be great if everybody chimed in with their particular fave scene so far .. or something that was so very insightful in terms of characters and their motivations… would be fab to read your standout moments .. Lets hear from you all!

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  11. @SZ and desirant family members

    Just thought of sharing an incident that my desi friend in USA is experiencing.

    This family had fixed wedding of their daughter to a suitable groom from their own community.

    While the preparations were going on, girl called off this wedding.

    She married one of her classmate- inter racial marriage-boy is black-of African origin

    Girl’s parents are in a state of shock / trauma and currently avoiding all relatives and friends.

    Parents who spent initial years in say Asia and later in USA versus their kids who are born in USA, very often both don’t agree to one-another on such matters

    Developed world is all about melting pot / multi culture. You must have seen some similar cases earlier, hopefully it works out well for everyone involved.

    Like

    • Hello @AS
      Thank you for sharing this story but I fail to see how this contributes in any way to our very specifically drama based discussions. Please refrain from sharing unrelated stuff. This is not the appropriate forum for such matters. Thanks.

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      • @SZ I appreciate your views very much.

        As the famous saying goes – “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”.

        Dramas are sometimes made on desi life abroad e.g. Jackson Heights.

        The Lead actor in that – a desi man – marries a white female.

        And I don’t know the reasoning of desi logic but we are more receptive to white race than black.

        And I want to convey this as a suggestion to drama writers so that they may explore it in some depth.

        Is it possible for us to initiate a new page (new thread) here when we want to share something with audiences here that is not directly related to drama being reviewed

        Thanks.

        Like

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