Zindagi Gulzar Hai Episode 23 Review: “Philhal itna bhi Kareeb nahi”


A bittersweet episode that was filled with doubts, insecurities, hurt, pride, and joy, Zindagi Gulzar Hai exposed us to quite a gamut of emotions. It also showed how vulnerable a relationship is when those involved do not talk to each other and clear things up. Both fall for assumptions that could lead to the death of an otherwise good relationship.

Kashaf and Zaroon have settled into an uncomfortable silence, each expecting the other to apologize and break the ice. The only difference being Zaroon’s eyes constantly flicking to his wife to gauge her reactions, sense her eyes on him, and secretly hope that she would take the first step towards him as was seen in the very first scene of the episode. Her curt and subtle, ‘philhal itna bhi kareeb nahi’ directed at him, momentarily dashed his hopes.

Zaroon receives a sense of clarity after talking to his father who assures him that he should consider himself lucky for Kashaf chose him. His feeble attempts at reconciliation sans a heartfelt apology do not move Kashaf and that upsets him.  What did he expect? It does not even occur to him that he should state his case preferably by starting with a sorry. Instead the matter escalates and Kashaf senses Zaroon’s pondering over his decision to marry Kashaf. It is humiliating and hurtful to have your spouse question his choice of a partner.

The mirror scene where Zaroon, in a bid to break the ice, compliments her and takes it right back (itni bhi achchi nahi lag rahi thi) after she leaves with just a thank you was well executed. Kashaf looked gorgeous in Red, and the picture of a beautiful couple was complete with Zaroon donning black. He acted childish while Kashaf was acting like an adult but how long can a woman already saddled with her own insecurities bear a man’s actions.

Zaroon’s frustrations at not being able to affect Kashaf the way he wants to makes him mumble aloud about not ever wanting to get married again and half asleep Kashaf agreeing to him was hilarious to watch. The entire exchange left him even more frustrated at Kashaf for agreeing to his predicament.


Added to that, the news of her pregnancy comes as a shock to her; it sends her spiraling down into a state of uncertainty and tears. The scene where she breaks down is heart wrenching and Sanam Saeed managed to convey Kashaf’s fears to us flawlessly. Her words of self-reflection hit us hard and make us realize the vulnerability of this strong woman that lies in her inability forget her father’s abandonment and neglect over the years.

Am sorry to say, Zaroon fell down a notch in my eyes. Kashaf’s tears and the news of pregnancy seem to have released Zaroon of the tight spot he put himself in or at least he behaves as if the past is in the past and need not be addressed to the extent where his part of the blame be discussed. He lays down another rule conveniently forgetting that he was the first one to break the other two rules set by him. Her feeling that he would not understand her predicament, her fears, or her past that threatens to shadow the present, is very much justified. But I hope this is one barrier both find a way to break if they want to make a success of their marriage for Kashaf’s fears are deep-rooted and has to be addressed by someone she loves.

Hammad Hammad Hammad! The crown prince who turned out to be poor! After a lot of shifting blame between Nigar and her son, the second family of Murtaza comes up with a plan to ask the very able Rafia to take care of Murtaza’s son. It is so ironical that the very man, who left his wife for want of a son, goes back to her requesting her to take care of his son. I did not expect Rafia to agree to the arrangement after all she owes nothing to him. Infact she has lived her life despite him. But as the saying goes, ‘old habits die hard’ and she is a generous soul, who would put Hammad’s interest before hers however painful it would be for her. I would love to see Kashaf’s reaction to her mother being responsible for Hammad’s education.

Finally! Rafia has always stood up for herself and her daughters in actions throughout her life but somehow, when faced with her husband, she fell short of words. After all these years, to actually come out and say it aloud while unflinchingly looking into her good-for-nothing husband’s eyes, was like a purge to her soul. She deserved to experience that sense of pride in herself as a mother, as a wife, as a woman who stood against the norms of society and won. Rafia’s tears falling freely after the confrontation essayed a lifelong struggle that culminated in sweet victory. It is true that her daughters have gifted her that moment but I would be loathe to take away any credit from a mother who molded her daughters into confidant individuals who face the world on their terms, Kashaf being a shining example.


Sara deserved a second chance at marriage and she took it. This time, she has her eyes wide open before entering into a committed relationship. The Junaid family looked picture perfect in the photo-op during the wedding even though we could sense the discord between Zaroon and Kashaf from their body language. 

I am in awe of Kashaf, Kashaf Murtaza, the new Kashaf, who despite carrying a pretty heavy baggage on her slim shoulders, has the gumption to stand for what she believes in with a lot of dignity. I say this not from what is shown of her, but of what could have been with a woman faced with a similar situation as her. It is hard to maintain a sense of balance and clarity, in action or words, when you feel cheated out of a loving relationship for no fault of yours. Anyone else in her place would have hid behind that excuse to lash out at those closest to him or simply ignore. But here she was, taking care of her in-laws, going all out to fulfill her duties as a daughter-in-law. It is the right thing to do and is one of her most commendable traits.

An incident of interest that was cut short or perhaps will be shown in the next episode was that of Asmara’s phone call to Zaroon. What a contrast from his accidental meeting with her on the driveway! He was happily married then, now not so much. He was angry and bitter at her then, now not so much? I would like to see what matter of interest and emergency Asmara wanted to share with Zaroon over dinner.


Zaroon’s diary entry about Kashaf gives us hope that he is curious enough to find out more about why Kashaf reacted the way she did – “She is a confidant strong woman. Strange!” Fawad Khan is brilliant to watch. Put him in any situation, give him any space little or more and he is sure to own that space. His expressions on hearing that Kashaf is pregnant says a lot about this actors mastery over his body language and expressions. They quickly flit from surprise, concern, shock, disbelief and utter unbidden joy and then back to ‘what the heck is she crying for’. Sanam matches him step for step, expression to expression, action to reaction; we are indeed truly fortunate to see this pairing come alive on screen.

Precap for Episode 24

Twins!!!! Yippeee! Yippeee!!!  Double the drive for Zaroon to woo back his lady love! Amidst a tug-of-war between the parents to be about shared responsibilities, Kashaf’s insecurity about her looks pops up and bursts Zaroon’s bubble. It is like opening a pandora’s box. Hope Zaroon does and gets to know her scars. She deserves a prince who will look beyond her strength.

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Neeraja Unni

Reviewer, Talk Soap

You can reach me on
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/neeraja.unni05
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16 Responses to Zindagi Gulzar Hai Episode 23 Review: “Philhal itna bhi Kareeb nahi”

  1. CA says:

    Can you please review episode 25 and 26? If you can, please do! because I’m really looking forward to reading your take on it! Thanks:))

  2. sadafmunir says:

    24th episode ka review kaha hai i am not find it……..plz tell kaha hai

  3. Saman says:


    Zindagi Gulzar hai is about finding ‘perfection’.

    Kashaf & Zaroon; they start by finding the ‘perfect’ person to share their life with. For Kashaf, Zaroon is perfect, the one with the perfect life. For Zaroon, Kashaf is the perfect woman. Somewhere between certainty and uncertainity, both of them take a leap of faith and start their life with the ‘perfect’ one. Neither is unaware of the bumps they might encounter in the future.
    Soon,they discover that the other is not so perfect. The bumps are not just bumps. They are craters.

    Kashaf’s bubble bursts when she realises that the ‘perfect’ life she imagined Zaroon to be enjoying, is after all not so perfect. He has his own fears that have lead to his insecurities; Hidden below thick layers, Zaroon has trust issues as well. He feels deprived; and craves to fulfill those voids that he has nursed all this life. This feeling of ‘lacking’ makes him a better man, a better husband, and hopefully a better father. But this feeling also puts his ‘expectations’ very high. Zaroon after all, as Kashaf realises, is not the perfect man with the perfect life.

    Zaroon’s bubble bursts more gradually. The ‘perfect’ woman, who he took to be ‘strong and confident’, comes with a huge baggage; A baggage he was not unaware of, but Kashaf masks her insecurities with her strong exterior; and this makes him mis-judge the depth of her insecurities. His woman’s ‘perfection’ is marred by vulnerabilities that run very deep. This fear of being let-down makes her avoid fully engaging with anybody. In her relationship with Zaroon, she drops her guards ever so gradually and very very cautiously; only to raise them up, high and strong, promptly, at the slightest chance.
    However, the deprivation she has felt her entire life makes her value the life she is building and makes her a loving, caring and devoted home-maker. After proving to be the ideal sister and daughter; Kashaf might also be the ideal wife and daughter-in-law; but as a partner, as a lover, Zaroon discovers she is not perfect.

    So, we have come to a place where both Zaroon and Kashaf are struggling with each other’s imperfections. Till they see these ‘imperfections’ as flaws, these flaws in their partner will challenge them – it will feed their inherent fears, aggravate their insecurities. They see the other fall short of their ‘expectations’. They feel, if not cheated, short-changed.

    But God has blessed their heart with love. Destiny brought these two lost souls together because they are meant to heal each other through love. Not through the unconditional love they receive from the other; but by discovering the unconditional love that fills their own heart fo the other; The love over-flows so that the burn they feel will get washed away.

    When they will both discover this love, that will over-come any other feelings and emotions, they will discover that there are no flaws; they are imperfections that are perfect.
    They will then discover their ‘perfect’ partner and their ‘perfect’ life. Because perfection is not flawless; if it was, the moon would not have the dark marks, the sky would not have shapeless clouds, the trees would not have scaly barks, the leaves would not have spotty edges. Perfection is beauty in all its glory, perfection includes everything; it is not exclusive, it is inclusive. Every garden is beautiful, not because of the ‘perfect’ blooms, but because all the imperfections blend and come together beautifully.

    Zaroon’s Kashaf and Kashaf’s Zaroon is ‘perfect’. In this journey, they do not discover that their partners are imperfect; they discover that the one they are in love with is perfectly imperfect. In the end, they will discover perfection.

    “The Rose’s rarest essence lives in its thorns”

    • Saman says:

      Apologies for the typo error… The quote at the end of my previous post is by “RUMI”

    • Shahzad Aslam says:

      Can you please review episode 25 & 26???

    • hamnah says:

      WOW WOW WOW, I just loved this comment of yours, loved it! how beautifully you explained everything, It’s like you read Umera’s mind 🙂 keep it up, sis!

  4. hina says:

    Yes im wondering what will i do when this drama will be ended 😦

  5. aimy says:

    As usual a brilliant review..agree with u on all acounts…Fawad Khan and Sanam Saeed were just brilliant esp in the scene when K was crying both actors nailed it…and 2nd fav scene of mine is when K was writing her diary….her dialogues…UA i m proud to b ur fan…how beautifully UA showed all of us mirror for a second…keh kabhi hum jisko bura kehte hain ya jisse nafrat karte hain life mein ek point per aaker unconciously ussi k jaise act karne lagte hain, like when K says ‘Aaj aaine mein apna aks dekh kar sharam si aai…sari zindagi abba ko malamatain karte karte…’…hamari society me kitni hi ‘Parhi likhi Maa’ hain…when get pg, deep inside their heart do have a fear keh ‘beti na ho jai’..SS was jst brilliant with her vocal expressions & lastly i want to praise Samina Peerzada (Rafia)…u r gem.. proud to have an actress like u in our industry…scene in which she was crying alone and Shehnila cms..that whole conversation b/w these two brought tears in my eyes..yes this is ur time to shine,ur moment of pride..way to go Rafia…BTW want to mention a blooper in last epi..R/K phone scene…i think it was supposed to b in this epi nt in prev 1(editing mistake)…

    • Neeru says:

      Thanks Aimy! Oh then thats what it is…was wondering about that scene.

      • Saman says:

        I have a feeling that phone call (in the prev episode) between Rafia and Kashaf, was when Kashaf suspected that she might be pregnant…so u knw, sharing with mom types… the news got confirmed later after the test etc. It was definitely meant to be during the Zaroon-Kashaf stand-off period (over Osama) as is evident from Kashaf’s monologue(pehle uss bachche ko toh sambhal loon jo nikahname ke saath mila hai)… just a guess… But yes, definitely editing problems as the edited scene that finally aired did not give it context creating confusion over time lines

  6. u says:

    superb review as usual.. 🙂

  7. Neeru says:

    It sure has Fida. Welcome to Talk Soap 🙂

  8. i guess Zindag Gulzar Hai has created once again a new history for pakistani drama,Aapa Sultana Sidiqui and writer Umera ahme4d’s cocktail has give4n us such a wonderful flavour of life

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