Nayyer Apa Ki Silai Machine is as if a short story come to life – the kind you’ve read before, are familiar with the beats, but each new reading brings to light yet another layer of nuance and understanding.
Woh purana sa makan aur uski deewaron ka udhara hua plastar… wohi sehan mein rakha deewanaur purani kursiyan… wahan baithi muhalley ki woh shokh larki jo Bollywood ki filmein dekh dekh kar khud ko bhi kisi ghatiya si film ki heroine samajh baithi hai… aur paas waley ghar ka larka jo ab tak apni pehli muhabbat ki yaad ko seenay se lagae batha hai … wahan khari woh pyar karne wali ammi jin ki san saaTh ki silai machine ki ghaR ghaR abhi tak aap ki kanon mein goonjti ho…. auryahan laiTe khud se khafa abba … aur aaney wali jawan bacchi jis ki narazgi aur ghussa bohot kuch yaad dilata ho ….
Written by Sameena Nazir and directed by Tariq Siddiqui Nayyer Apa Ki Silai Machine is not a new story but it is precisely this reason that it keeps you hooked. There is an intense feeling of familiarity, a sense of déjà vu, as the story begins to unfold. The setting is very real and the characters, Hashim, Nayyer, Maheen, Sajid, Ali, even the filmy Sumbul, are all plucked right from around us, we’ve run into at least one of them at some point in our lives.
Nayyer lives with a cantankerous husband, her children live abroad and she is financially responsible for running the household, but there is nary a complaint from this woman. No complaints not because she doesn’t have any but because she’s too busy dealing with life. A broken down water cooler, a sickly husband, orders to deliver for the boutique – and these are only the mundane, more obvious problems in her life.
Included among the more internal stresses, those which she hides even from herself: the emotional abuse she’s dealt with over the years, pain of being estranged from her children, loneliness, among others.
But Nayyer is not the kind to dwell on the half empty glass . She keeps her eyes resolutely trained on the half full part. Hence she has Sumbul’s chirpiness to keep her smiling through the day, Sajid’s unquestioning support to help her with day to day problems, orders from the boutique to keep her financially afloat, a house that is their own, and infrequent may be but at least the children communicate every so often. Just like with her old sewing machine a bit of faith, hope and prayer are all that she needed to keep things moving along in her household.
But even the strongest of people have their resolve shaken and then it as if it all is about to fall apart. Maheen’s sudden arrival shakes things up in Nayyer’s carefully cultivated calm. With Maheen dredging up old memories and re-scratching barely healed wounds the façade starts to crumble, Nayyer is no longer the same woman we met at the beginning of the story.
In its stead is a woman caught in between her husband and her daughter, two very strong-minded people both very angry and both blind to fact to the harm they are causing the woman caught in their crossfire.
Relationship are messy but messier yet is to negotiate a path in between, and this what Nayyer’s entire life has been – a balancing act. And this where Sameena’s writing and observation skills shine. There are no easy answers, no one-size-fits-all solutions to life’s big questions. There are tons of compromises to be made and many a bitter pills to be swallowed, the question is about priorities and choices, and those differ from person to person, situation to situation. Either discard the old silai machine or work with it, problems ‘n all. Nayyer made her own choices as did her daughter. Two women two lives two choices.
While the story had me hooked and I loved the premise, I will say I was disappointed by the soft, and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after ending. That said, this telefilm is a keeper, yet another winner from What If Productions. Tariq Siddiqui’s direction was on-point and I loved the ease with which the narrative flowed. The color and grading was excellent. Also enjoyed the selection of the locations, the old world charm of the set design was lovely and unlike the typical static drawing room/bedroom scenes I really liked the movement in the scenes. DOP Majid Mumtaz’s camera work speaks for itself and added so much more to the onscreen narrative. Oh, and those outdoor city shots and the food shoots – I haven’t missed Karachi this much in a while!
Among the actors – if for nothing else, watch this one just for Khalid sahab and Bakhtawar Mazhar. Brilliant! I so wish so many of our younger popular “social media stars” would watch these actors and pick up a thing or two about acting. I am so glad to see Bakhtawar in a full-fledged role on TV. This is not to say other actors are slackers. Usman Mazhar was very good as Sajid, Iqra Shahid was so fun to watch as Sumbul, and Jinan Hussain was great as Maheen.
Bottom line – this is a must-watch telefilm for those who enjoy quality television and are willing to invest their time in good writing, directing, acting and production. Warna tau aur channels pe chal hi raha hai same old …
Written by SZ~