Alongwith a useful insight on the manifold implications of normalized societal practices, this third episode of Piyari Bitto set forth a road map of what lies ahead for Shakira.
Watching this latest episode I couldn’t help but think how sometimes people’s fates are sealed the moment they are named. Take Shakira’s for instance. Have you ever seen a name personified quite so aptly? Anyone ever so sabir and shakir like our Shakira?
Nary a shikayat nor a shikwa, Shakira is love personified. Love for all, be they her own or those who are around her. Be it Bitto or her tuition waley students, all are recipients of her all enveloping warmth. And how perfectly deliciously does Sania play the soft spoken Shakira. It is easy to see why Mehboob is so smitten with her. How hot and halal is their romance?! Sania ka tau khair koi saani nahin hai, but a huge round of applause for Fawad Khan for more than holding up his side of the equation.
The same household where resides Shakira is also home to Sakina. And Sakina ain’t no Shakira. Where Shakira is all giving Sakina is all-taking. And ab tau after the latest turn of events Sakina is no even gonna bother pretending any more. Why should she? From her perspective she’s suffered enough and high time she have the freedom to live her life on her own terms. She had it all worked out and she almost got it away with it too. Almost!
And this where I see a very interesting comment on how we as a society have normalized so many unfair practices. From the moment a girl is born her looks are commented upon. Her “beautiful features” looks and “gora rung” serve to make her the cynosure of all eyes. From an early age this girl is aware of her superior status among her other “not-so-beautiful” peers. All this works until it comes time for her marriage. The it is all about finding her a “suitable” mach, suitable in terms of socio-economic status. Socially it is all about a girl’s beauty and a boy’s finances. That a chand si larki may desire an equally chand sa larka is not a thought that enters a typical desi parent’s mind.
While most such marriages work there are instances where girls find it difficult to move on from their daydreams of a handsome khwabon ka shehzada. And when it is as obvious a visual mismatch as her marriage is then one can understand the root of Sakina’s bitterness. This is not to condone her harkats or excuse her behaviour but to say that it is these years of preceived victimhood that have shaped Sakina into this vindictive, nasty piece of work. In Sakina’s twisted way of thinking she is surrounded by people who cannot bear to see her happy. Hence her husband’s sickness is like a conspiracy, her daughter a hinderance, and Shakira a rival.
While not her rival in the typical sense, in Shakira Sakina sees a recipient of all the love and respect that she could never get from her family. That it is all her fault that she has alienated everybody is something that she refuses to see. Shakira is loved and respected not just by the family but even by her nikah-fied shohar. She is not as beautiful and way past the eligible age for marriage, but still has managed to get a husband who is handsome as heck. Her own daughter loves her phupo more than she does her mother. How then can Sakina not see Shakira as a rival? Wasn’t she way more beautiful and deserving of a lot better than this ordinary looking ghareeb beemar husband. Atiqa Odho and Nayyar Ejaz are fabulous as the dysfunctional couple. Atiqa in particular is great as the evil, manipulative Sakina.
While much of Sakina’s bitterness is entirely of her own making, I cannot help but wonder about the role played by societal mores in shaping Sakina’s expectations of her life. The disproportionate emphasis on superficial beauty and gora rung at the cost of other more important factors – humility, empathy, awareness, education for instance – needs to be re-evaluated seriously.
All her frustrations have led Sakina to seek affection from those on the outside. Though it hasn’t been said so but methinks she is being played by someone aware of her vanity and weakness. While specifics will be revealed later, thanks to Sakina’s manipulations apney becharey masoom se Mehboob and Shakira are under suspicion.
While I feel for dear departed bhai sahab, magar he really should’ve timed his demise better. Considering how much overtime Sakina’s mind is putting into covering up her tracks I have a bad feeling about the days to follow. Haye haye Shakira! I hope for your sake I am wrong, but …
So yes, I’m still watching Piyari Bitto, enjoying it as a welcome break from all glamor and glitz that seems to have found a permanent home in our dramas. I like how good the acting is and how real it all looks, including the rundown locations. I appreciate how Saji Gul’s writing is simple but meaningful and his lines sound like everyday lingo. As a director Mazhar Moin narrates this story well, using colors from the surroundings and character’s clothing to lighten an otherwise dark story. I just hope that the story continues along this in this manner, because too much doom and gloom will be hard to handle week after week.
And finally, yes!!! thank you for the much better video upload – much appreciated!
Written by SZ~