Dar Si Jati Hai Sila is not an easy watch and it doesn’t pretend to be one either. There is no attempt to dilute a very serious subject, no sugar-coating of a sensitive topic, and no a glitzy wrapping of a sappy romance. Nope, none of that here. Right from the get-go it is clear that this is a story that will hit a nerve. MD Productions’ newest serial Dar Si Jati Hai Sila is a story of abuse of privilege.
Abusers and abuse come in many different shapes and forms. Predators don’t just live in dark, dinghy alleyways and abuse does not only take place outside of the house. Moreover, abuse is not just sexual, it is also emotional and social and financial. Abuse can happen anywhere, even in brightly colored havelis like Noor Manzil and abusers can strike anywhere, even in the ostensibly secure environs of the chardiwari. Importantly, abusers are not always strangers. This is the takeoff point for Bee Gul and Kashif Nisar’s Sila.
An absentee husband has left Sadia financially and emotionally dependent on her in-laws. This burden of obligation has silenced her to the point where she is reduced to a non entity. Sila resents her mother’s powerlessness but ongoing sexual abuse has left her shaken to the core. Unlike her chirpy, confident cousin Zaini, a severely traumatized Sila can barely stand in the same room as her fiancé, forget about talking to him or allowing him to come close. Sadia and Sila are both victims and they realize they are being abused. But the problem lies in their inability to either report or walk away from their abusers. In a societal setup where family comes first, last and forever, how can one report a family member? How does one walk away from family?
The first episode was a very effective entry in to the world of the residents of Noor Manzil. At first glance they are a happily well-adjusted family. The older siblings wishing well for a widowed sister’s family, the absentee brother’s family well provided for, and mangni taiyyaris taking place amidst dholki practices. But a second glance reveals a different picture. There is plenty of simmering resentment and the veneer of happiness is just that – a veneer.
Hatim Joi or Joi mamu is quite the character. A middle-aged happy-go-lucky bachelor he seems universally loved. Or is he? Zaini doesn’t seem too fond of him and Sadia looks on him with hatred and fury. But their reaction is nothing compared to Sila’s. She freezes up the minute she sees him and then starts shivering. Sila’s condition is not hidden from anybody, but gossiping about it is more fun than actually figuring out the issue. Throw into this mix a mother miffed over an accha rishta slipping through her fingers, the absentee brother unable to support his family and bari bhabhi unable to find fault in her beloved brother and it is clear why there is no interest in solving the riddle of Sila ko dar kyon lagta hai.
They who should be helping solve the riddle are the ones willfully blinded to the problem.
Because responding to the questions in Sadia and Sila’s eyes is not a simple task. Their questions require answers that call for introspection and honesty. Aur such kaun bolega? Hence Sila is about abuse of privilege – about the misuse of power in discharging one’s duties and obligations, either at the cost of others or to the advantage of those abusing.
Dar Si Jati Hai Sila boasts a solid story and some really powerful actors. In the first episode Nauman Ijaz was easily the pick of the lot, brilliant as the creepy, repulsive mamu. Saman Ansari was effective as the beleaguered Sadia and Yumna Zaidi made a strong impression as the traumatized Sila. Sakina Samo was good as the matriarch but I found her too shrill in places. In fact, I thought the whole episode was pitched a level higher than required and was too in your face. The background music was very loud and added to the feeling of overall chaos. Kashif Nisar is a brilliant director and I am a huge fan, but this particular episode was far from his best work. Also: Why oh why is the O Rungreza set being used for this serial as well?
Finally, even as I am very much interested in the story I will have to give this one a pass for the next few weeks at the very least. Thanks to the marketing department, so much of the story has already been revealed in the teasers. Ek tau pehley hi there is déjà vu because of the set and phir ab oopar se these revealed plot twists. Why do channels do this?
Pros and cons considered this was an effective introduction to a promising new serial, one which will appeal to those who don’t shy away from dark topics and enjoy issue-based stories.
Written by SZ~