O Rungreza ~ Episode 12 Review

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~

21 replies

  1. Loved the review! What I like best about all your reviews is that you see things the rest of us don’t, so thank you for that. Bravo!

    So, for me, this episode was a bit strange. I thought Tipu’s arrival and presence gave the show a much-needed lighter track, but his whole fake accent and foreign-returned nakhre threatened to descend into farce. Add to that Khayyam’s hilarious running away from Sonia’s shouty manager to return to his own home, and it was all a bit slapstick for me, and seemed out of place in a show that’s been so restrained so far.

    I don’t know what to make of Sonia. I don’t think her affection for Khayyam is real. She’s drawn to his talent, but the man himself is useless to her. She’s also still very hung up on Wajih and I think Khayyam is just a tool to bring Wajih back, IMO. Her artless uttering of Wajih’s name while chatting with Khayyam was a really well done bit.

    There were several other bits I genuinely enjoyed in this episode. Mammo’s dignified reaction to seeing Sonya and Khayyam together, Wajih’s cruel but effective dismissal of Sassi’s crush (and wow, Omair Rana is really hitting it out of the park here), the way Khayyam pinches himself to make sure he’s still alive after he wakes up from his stupor, the tiny scene where Qasim gets yet another letter from home, etc.

    Khayyam is so two-faced that it’s impossible to know what he’s really about, but if the promos for next week are anything to go by, lagta hai nashey ke saath saath Sonia ka bhoot bhi shayad utar gaya?

    Liked by 1 person

    • @RK: hey! Fellow night owl!
      You are right abt Hamza’s accent and all but you know I was wondering if
      he had really been abroad all those years? Remember bua told him abt how his habits hadn’t changed at all in all those years? I dk if I’m trying hard to find a reason for all that OTT ness but that line kinda gave me hope — also he was shady as heck with all that talk abt his job and lifestyle .. I have a feeling he’s come back only to mooch off of his parents ( ok, well desi parents don’t quite see it that way but ..) otherwise it’s not like him to return for no rhyme or reason..
      re: Sonya, my thinking is that she didn’t love Khayyam for the person he was but more for what he represented – who else would know more abt love than a poet, so disillusioned by a husband who cannot see through to the real woman in her, she cane to khayyam looking for love there, but I think she soon realized that he too did not understand love .. for him it was physical union whereas she was looking for more a meeting of the souls .. and so yes in that way she was using khayyam to satisfy her own longing not because she fell in love with him as a person. And yeah, I too think her true love is Wajih. Infact in many ways Sassi’s interactions with Wajih may well be mirroring Sonya’s story and him being who he is it is easy to see why young starry eyed girls would fall for him.

      What did you make of the “letters” Sassi is (hand delivering ??) to Qasim?


      • I’ve been sick all week, and I’m taking these weird medications that mess with my sleep cycle. I took a 4-hour nap this afternoon, lol. That’s why I’m awake way past my usual aunty-appropriate bedtime. 😉

        I think we’re pretty much on the same page with respect to Sonya. Where do you think she’s disappeared to? Does she have like a hideout house in the hills somewhere?

        Noman Ijaz was fab in all his scenes today, but yeah, especially when Tipu dances with Sonya. Btw, they were dancing without music, no? A bit random, but in keeping with Tipu’s personality.

        I agree with your suspicion that Tipu might not actually be foreign-returned. I wonder if he was just in another city and spending all his parents money while pretending to be abroad. Kya cheez hai yeh Tipu bhi!


        • Aww! Feel better soon!
          I dk where she went.. would she gave another house? Hmm she doesn’t look like a woman who has that much foresight or financial sense .. maybe back to where she came from? If she’s really serious abt finding her self then where else to go than to where it all began, no?

          I didn’t notice the lack of music but I have noticed that the bgs has gradually become more intrusive since that past couple of episodes .. I wonder if they have a diff editor now..


  2. Hey SZ
    Bohot hee aalaa review!
    You are so right , junior firdous Jamal is replica of Dad. For a minute I thought Tipu might be gay and that’s why he was ousted but that’s not the case.It was so funny when he didn’t want his hair messed up😀
    Sassi ko to chup lag gayee hai.
    And Khayyam sahab is quite a character , questioning Sonia why she came over , I mean seriously, this man is such a hypocrite.Khood Sonia ke haan reh raha hai aur woh agar aa gayee to bura mana liya .
    Mommo is so whiny and annoying , bohot hee irritating hai. The maid has more sense than her.
    U r right abt sonias lipstick , she always wears pastel nude colours.
    I missed Qasim ….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Deeba! I love how we’re all up at this time of the night 😬
      Tipu, I think is gonna keep us all guessing. I am really curious to know what was it the caused him to run away .. and he could be gay as well .. you never know .. there are theories floating around that Meena might be paired up with Qasim, which would be an interesting proposition too. Uff, Khayyam tau bas aaj baazi le gaye! What a man, what a shareef man!
      Dana’s lipsticks are generally pastels but today in that sharab scene she had strange orangey/ red lipstick and o found it really distracting!

      Also I thought it was so cute that Bua sits and eats with them at the table and that too with a spoon and all! Is she really a maid or some door parey ki rishtedar?

      Liked by 1 person

      • @SZ also i liked how bua cutely said thanku when Tipu was just asking how was she.. haha.. yes she being sitting with them was really nice.. n she speaks such good philosophy.. wah


  3. Wonderful review like always..
    How true about uncanny resemblance to his father.. gosh it looked like we are seeing Firdous
    Jamal k jawani ke din.. even at times he voice also sounded so similar to his father.. constant use of word yaar was bit off tbh for me.. he acted so over but liked him in scene with mammo where he was laughing without being considerate even for a sec.. waqai baap ka beta nikla.. is se tou Sassi achi.. oh and that dancing scene was hilarious too..

    Khyam ka mood kaise hojata he agr mammo nazar ajaye tou.. dil karta he utha k de marun n then his blame games..uff.. Sonya served him right by unintentionally calling him Wajih.. i agree with you @SZ and @RK regarding sonya’s love for him.. but i really want to see how he actually transforms into gentleman rather than being rotlu n blame master.. pehle ro raha tha Sonya ji chahiyae ab rou raha he Sonya zaleel karke gayee.. bhayee insaan ho.

    Mammo eyes ki im fan..the way she looked at thosr earings..uff behn Allah ne haath diye he tou use karo aur 2 rakh to do Khayam ko..

    Sassi n Wajih scenes are getting interesting.. her spark is somewhere lost but still she is there to make it..


    • @Rehmat: Hey!
      Do you really think a man like Khayyam will ever improve? kuttey ki dum kabhi seedhi hui hai? Its years of conditioning and I somehow dont see it getting fixed any time soon.. but again who knows!

      Yes, Mammo’s hasrat and somewhat envious glance was beautifully done – I love Irsa here.


  4. Very interesting review and comments, one observation though – Tipu’s cleanings his hands on his clothes and Bhua’s comment. Anybody?


        • This is what i wrote in the comment 🙂

          “You are right abt Hamza’s accent and all but you know I was wondering if he had really been abroad all those years? Remember bua told him abt how his habits hadn’t changed at all in all those years? I dk if I’m trying hard to find a reason for all that OTT ness but that line kinda gave me hope — also he was shady as heck with all that talk abt his job and lifestyle .. I have a feeling he’s come back only to mooch off of his parents ( ok, well desi parents don’t quite see it that way but ..) otherwise it’s not like him to return for no rhyme or reason..”


  5. SZ great review as usual…I had not thought much about what Sonya thinks of Mammo to me it is quite clear she does not want to be turned into Mammo so she is not willing to marry Khayyam. On some level I think her and Waji are doing a real life play, but then why would they hate on Khayyam and Sassi so much to stage her disappearance, however this is a great plot twist. OK honesty this whole entry of Tipu has me miffed….I mean what was that and what is going on… I honestly think he is gay or else his acting was just horrible and i don’t think it matters in these cases if you are an actor’s son. I am looking forward to Sonia Mishals entry… also I wish there were more scenes with Qasim. I thought the letter scene was important. I think it showed that Sassi has no words left to explain her current state. She probably feels like she is swimming in deep waters and there is no boat in sight. Also she is not sure if Qasim is reading her letters as he is not responding.

    On a side note I just finished my binge watch of Dumpukht Ishq and OMG what a drama and such stellar performances. I am in awe of Sonia’s acting especially considering she is new to the industry and NI was just no words…he was fabulous in his portrayal of Habibullah, so evil but acting like a victim. Is there any role in the world he can not do? just Brilliant… I think every actor should take classes from him. Another feather in Kashif Nisar’s cap. He most definitely is the best drama director in PK currently.


    • @Seher: Re; the letters,Sassi had told Qasim that she didnt expect any response from him but she would keep writing to him irregardless, and I think its also about exercising self control because he knows that if he starts corresponding he will not be able to control himself and would go running back to her ..

      I should try and find time to watch DP .. its on my to watch list but its almost impossible to juggle so much viewing and reviewing.

      Also Kashif Nisar has another drama starting soon.. Dar Si Jaati Hai Sila, wriiten by Bee Gul and starring Nauman Ijaz and Yumna Zaidi and others …


  6. Zabardast angel SZ… really appreciative yur discourse of reaching the subtext…. as Wajih says keh “Paltoo Janwar ko ght bethay milta hai , Azzadi ki Keemat chukaani parhti hai”… Sonia ne bhe azaadi ki koi brhi qeemat chukai hai…

    Though as a writer i shudnt not explain wht my characters are actually doing on screen… i just want to giv away some hints here about Tipu…

    1. The fake accent … a person who cant gell into his family well… do u find such segment in our society who is much alienated cuz of influence of foreign ideas?

    2. Tipu says his father threw him out of home … and now the father is behaving in the same manner himself… do u sense here the tension and hint of animosity between father and son?

    3. Khayam is a typical conservative man (for his family like almost all desi men) Vs Tipu seems Liberal desi… now lets see Wht he has to offer Sassi… 😉

    Thank u so much SZ for this beautiful review… and all who r watching and appreciating here


    • Hi Saji, lovely to read your inputs. We are more eager for coming episodes now.

      Hope drama shoot is going on. Please let us know when its shooting is completed.


  7. All I know is, week after week I look forward to the review as much as the episodes. Had it not been for these, I for one (and I would gladly admit) would not have had the (added) benefit of fully understanding the true nature of the story – sub texts, subtleties and all – along with getting a taste of your marvellous writing and observation skills.

    As Mr. Saji Gul himself writes above as well, he shouldn’t have to explain it to the audience but in the end, graciously does for us. Thank you.

    The Wajih Kamal dialogue quoted stood out for me in this episode.

    It’s a treat watching all these little nuggets linked together in a poetic manner, if I may, telling a story as well as gently probing us to take a hard and critical look at the world we have created around us.


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