Mammo has to be one of the top two contenders for the most bechari khatoon on TV these days. Or so it would seem if one reads the comments about her on social media. But…
Yeh social media waley kiya jaanen...
Ask Sonya Jahan and she may have a different perspective on Mammo.
She who has an entire nation going crazy about her, she who inspires poets, she who has fans among every age group, she who has directors waiting to work with her … yes, that superstar, that Sonya Jahan is actually envious of our bechari Mammo.
Well, because Mammo has what Sonya Jahan can never hope to have – unconditional respect and societal acceptability.
And herein lies the brilliance of Saji Gul’s writing. Hypocrisy thy name is desi society. And who better to embody societal double standards than our very own romantic shayar sahab, Khayyam Sahni. He who is willing to drink zeher for his lady-love is upset because she dared show up at his house and actually met his son. Ab sochein zara kiya izzat reh gayi uski betey ki nazron mein?
Yes, male honor is not bothered when he abuses his wife or openly cohabitates with another woman while still being married to his sharif-un-nisa wife. Nahin ji, is mein be-izzati ki kya baat hai. Yeh tau unka khandani mashghala hai. But yes, his mardana izzat was plenty bothered while his lady-love twirled with his jawan beta or earlier when his jawan beti announced her ambition to be an actress. Ji bilkul yeh sab tau sharif logon ke lacchan nahin hain. I loved how this episode elaborated on the tensile concept of sharafat in desi culture.
Speaking of sharafat and sharif log, Tipu made his much-anticipated entry today and what an entry it was! Like father like son. Both selfish and self-centered to the core. I loved how cleverly it was slipped in that Tipu’s departure to lands faraway had been precipitated by some untoward, unmentionable incident in the past. We don’t know as yet what happened, but jo bhi tha it was enough to make Tipu still want to stay hidden from his neighbors.
But hai tau apne baap ka beta na. Why bring up stuff which is so easily brushable under the carpet, much more fun to ridicule others. So he poked fun at the absent Qasim, laughed at his mother’s concerns, and questioned his sister’s inability to stand up to her father. Khud tau sahab dum daba ke bhaage they aur ab aaye hain doosron ko sabaq parhane.
While all these details will be elaborated on in later episodes, I thoroughly enjoyed this very detailed first look at Tipu. Clearly nothing he is does is without a well-thought out purpose. Hence this unexpected trip home too must have an agenda. As the episode ended this man of mystery dangled quite the bait in front of his sister. After having fallen from grace in her father’s eyes and missing her friend Qasim, Sassi is eager to please her brother and be the keeper of his secrets. And so next episode marks Meena’s entry.
So jam-packed was this latest episode that it is hard to tie up in a neat bundle, but so immaculate is the writing and so impeccable is Kashif Nisar’s direction that the narrative flows smoothly, without ever feeling rushed. And on that note, Wajih is most definitely not a man to be rushed, nor is he easily persuaded. Sassi is pretty and vulnerable but the über suave Wajih is a master player, and he’s been at it a long time. Sonya Jahan was his creation too, wasn’t she?
Going by the confidence that oozes out her every pore, it is hard to imagine Sonya ever being as naïve and vulnerable as Sassi is now, but now and then there is heard a note of wistfulness. When she talks about the dying in her beloved’s arms there is a hint of a reason for her breakup with Wajih. She was Wajih’s creation and he fell in love with the image he created, whereas she was looking for someone to fall in love with the real her, warts ‘n all, not the glamorous film star. And it is this fear of history repeating itself that has Sonya backing away from Khayyam’s proposal. She’s been owned once and she doesn’t want to be caged yet again.
I suspect it is this search for freedom, and herself, that has Sonya walking away from everybody and anybody who wants a piece of her. Her time away will afford her and others around her some clarity of thought. And sure enough, going by the promos, her absence has served its purpose. Wajih is no longer ambivalent, the affected disinterested look giving way to angry panic. Khayyam, on the other hand, is shedding crocodile tears, no more the jaan dene wala ‘ashiq. Forgotten are the wa’adas and jaan deney ki qasams and all that is remembered is [woh aurat] jis ne itna zalil o khwar kar diya ke main apne bachon se bhi nazren milane ke qabil bhi nahin raha…and the timely reminder of how it is Mammo’s fault for not stopping him. Ji bilkul sahi kaha aap ne Khayyam Sani sahab.
Wah Khayyam sahab! b Bhai wah! Matlab ke aap mard hamesha aur har haal mein sahi aur masoom and aurat hamesha ghalat aur buri! Wah kiya kehnay aap ke!
Yes, this was another fab fab episode of O Rungreza! Beautifully written and directed, this was Nauman Ijaz’s episode to shine and that he did ever so brightly. Sana Fakhar (what’s up with her strange lipstick shades?) was great as Sonya. Irsa Ghazal, Omair Rana, Sajal Aly, Bilal Abbas (he gets letters hand delivered?) all were excellent. Hamza Firdous’ entry brought in a welcome lighter note and thankfully he was so much better than what his earlier snippets had let on. His resemblance with his father, the veteran actor Firdous Jamal is uncanny. Ab looking forward to Sonia Mishal’s entry next week. Bring it on!
Written by SZ~