“Zindagi Gulzar Hai” Starts on a Solid Note so does Zindagi Channel

🙂 Yes! I’m starting with a smile. The much awaited moment for Indian fans of Pakistani Dramas is finally here – to be able to watch the shows that touched our hearts despite the distance, on our own Indian television screens. Zee’s brand new offering, Zindagi Channel with an apt tagline ‘Jodey dilon ko’ started its journey with Hum TV’s popular drama and Fawad Khan starrer, Zindagi Gulzar Hai, tonight at 8.

A solid foundation is as important to build a house on as it is for a good story to take shape. The first episode of “Zindagi Gulzar Hai” does this with finesse. Establishing characters is central for story-telling and without much ado ZGH introduces all of them and goes a step further by revealing the relationship dynamics between the central characters. Parental equations, bond between the siblings, friendships, economic status, trial and tribulations of the primary families – all neatly packed into one smooth flow of an episode – a noteworthy job indeed.

You get an inkling of the lead character Kashaf Murtaza (Sanam Saeed) and Zaroon Junaid’s (Fawad Khan) outlook towards life in the first few minutes of the opening sequence:

Kashaf laments “Zindagi ek bahut bada masla hai…..pata nahi allah ne kya sochkar duniya banayi hai” and wonders aloud if she would have been better off being a man though it becomes clear during the rest of the episode that she has low regard for the entire male clan.

On the contrary, Zaroon is thankful, “Zindagi kya khubsurat cheez hai…har din naya….kya shaandaar package banaya allah ne….” But Zaroon quickly adds that women are the only source of tension in this God given beautiful life. “Woman thy name is frailty, stupidity, stubbornness, selfishness, hypocrisy….”

While Kashaf’s family comprising of her mother and her two younger sisters is shown to be struggling to make both ends meet, Zaroon’s close knit family of four including his younger sister is a well to do, influential family. Their diverse economic backgrounds notwithstanding, both Kashaf and Zaroon have strong sense of self and are highly opinionated.

Kashaf is a person who is burdened with bitterness and is endlessly angry at what life has thrown at her and her family. Lot of her angst is due to her mother having to single-handedly shoulder the responsibilities of three daughters while her father leads a fulfilling life with a second family. Sanam Saeed as Kashaf is tailor made for the role of an angst-ridden daughter full of cynicism and negativity. In the very first episode she has managed to quell any doubt regarding her casting as Kashaf.

In total contrast to Kashaf’s character, it is sheer wonder that her siblings’ attitude towards life seem untouched and mirrors their mother’s hope and positivity. Kashaf’s mother, played by eminent actress Samina Pirzada, is full of soul, a mother you want to wrap your arms around and never let go. Despite dealing with harshest blows of life, she stands tall and symbolizes hard work, dedication, faith, and above all hope. You cannot help but adore this strong woman and Samina Pirzada effortlessly touches our hearts with her performance. On second thoughts, I understand Kashaf’s naraazgi with life for being unfair to a gentle soul.

Zaroon, carefree and in love with life, is on the verge of getting bored of a cushioned life. His life revolves around his friends and family and his focus is music. Fawad Khan with a guitar is a sight to behold and he breezes through the first episode seamlessly as the charming Zaroon. His equation with his sister is well brought out through a series of sibling banter where he teases, and she nags bade haq se.

Even though there was a good mix of Zaroon Kashaf in this episode, the highlight was Kashaf’s tiff with life and her equation with her family. Right at the moment when I was about to scream, “okay, I get it..she is totally khafa with zindagi,” the episode ended, making it a perfect introductory episode for the show. I now know Kashaf and her family’s struggles to meet the three basic necessities – water, electricity, and shelter. I now know, Kashaf’s acceptance of defeat at the hands of fate but I could also glimpse her grit to make it despite the hardships. And that determination is what will make this drama worth watching.

I cannot pinpoint one scene and say this scene stands out. How can I when all the scenes with Kashaf and her mother (Yes the chappal scene included), her conversations with her sister are all worth mentioning. The scene where she refuses to eat meat because it reminded her of her mother’s hard work and sacrifice wrung my heart. Every scene was well thought out and fit into the bigger picture except for one which I did not get – Zaroon’s interaction with his friends. If someone can please enlighten me as to the significance, I shall be grateful.

Promo for Episode 2

“Is khandaan mein tum pehli ladki ho jo ladkon ke saath padne apne ghar se bahar ja rahi ho. Bas beta mera sar jhukne na dena.” Kashaf going to the University to study will come under the scanner by staunch believers that a woman should not step out to study alongside men. Her mother’s resolve is about to get tested, and I leave you with a whopper of a comeback from a strong woman to a spineless man, “Unhe maloom hai ki mushkil ke waqt unka baap unke kaam nahi aane wala hai.”

Talk Soap wishes Zee Zindagi a successful innings as a sole channel to host television shows from across the border.

Neeru
Talk Soap

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15 Responses to “Zindagi Gulzar Hai” Starts on a Solid Note so does Zindagi Channel

  1. Asra says:

    Very well written review 🙂 It’s an extremely proud moment to see Indians appreciating Pakistani content. I have grown up watching these serials with my grandma, like many other pakistani people and to finally get recognition in other countries, is one of many things to be proud of. If u enjoyed zgh, theres a number of serials you will definitely love. I tweeted them. Check them out @asrasid12 #zeezindagi
    Among my faves and top recommended are Dastaan, Daam, meri zaat zarra e benishaan and te very recent mujabbat subh ka sitara hai 🙂

  2. Anurag Singh says:

    Hello Mam,
    I am watching Zindagi Gulzar hai for the past week or so.Am just blown away by the effortlessly sketched out characters of Zaroon and Kashaf.Opposites attract! And this saying wil hold TRUE in this drama I think.After watching it everyday I can’t get the characters out of head and it makes me feel like am immersed completely im the show,which makes me feel am a hopeless romantic.Essentially am loving the flow of the story and I feel a kick when I relate to certain aspects of the show.I came across your blog while searching for Fawad Khan and I must say you are a very good critique although Mam I dont have the credentials to

    • Neeru says:

      Thank you Anurag and welcome to talk soap 🙂
      Ha ha! Being a hopeless romantic is not such a bad thing, Anurag 😀 Fawad Khan and Sanam Saeed are two talented actors and they have portrayed the characters of Zaroon and Kashaf brilliantly. No wonder we aren’t able to forget them 🙂

      Thank you for leaving a comment 🙂

      • Anurag Singh says:

        My pleasure Mam but the one thing that scares me is that what will happen when Zindagi Gulzar hai gets over!!:(…All good things must come to an end,but it will surely remain etched in our memories.

        • Neeru says:

          There are enough good things in this world Anurag. Some other show will take its place and you’ll love that too as much as ZGH if not more. At least lets hope, going forth, there will be no dearth of good shows 🙂

    • Nita Khandekar says:

      Anurag……. .. I guess there will be many such on the channel….. but yes ZGH is one of the finest till date alongside DK is very bad ……. another one that had been recommended by the critique Swati Ghosh of Rangmanch fame was Humsafar….. but I have a feeling it will be telecast soon on the channel!!

  3. Sarbani Chakraborty says:

    Hey Neeru Welcome back…I don’t know whether u believe me or not but the fact is every single day of last one year I missed your reviews..discussions..comments..and off course Zaroon Zunaid…So I am grateful to Zindagi as it get back some golden moments of my life..So a big Thanks to Zindagi…
    As always a flawless musical review…it is really worth to watch Fawad Khan on tv screen and then read your reviews..
    Neeru I already watched Aunn Zara..Watch it..it is simply hilarious..every one perfectly portrayed their character and has superb comedy timings…

    Zee has done a great job.. finally we can watch Pakistani drama in one Indian Channel.. You know I am a great admirer and a regular viewer of Pak Dramas..So thanks a lot from bottom of my heart to Zindagi…I think it’s a great move to improve Indo-Pak relational ship..So looking forward…:)

    • Neeru says:

      Hi Sarbani,

      Great to hear from you. Thank you for your kind words and always supporting my reviews 🙂

      Yes, its a wonderful feeling to be able to watch Pakistani dramas on Indian screens. Its a small yet significant step in the right direction 🙂

      Neeru

  4. Nita Khandekar says:

    Aunn Zara too is very good especially if u understand Punjabi! What I love abt these dramas is, that they keep to the point a romantic serial remains romantic, a comedy one is hilarious with no scheming villains in it!! 🙂

    • Neeru says:

      Ha ha! True that. I forced my husband to watch Aunn Zara with me because I knew he would love it and he did 🙂 Looking forward to the second episode tonight 🙂

  5. Roh says:

    How lovely to read from you again, Neeraja! Brings back very fond memories of sharing and looking forward to the next episode with so much excitement, and those long chats!
    I think the channel made a fabulous entry, and I’m so looking forward to more from other nations, that they plan to show us.
    Was good to see Zaroon and Kashaf on our TV screens, but I have to admit, I didn’t watch it live, and I fast-forwarded the recording to watch the bits that I liked.
    Am looking fwd to taking the journey of these two along with you all over again.
    🙂

    • Neeru says:

      Hi Roh,

      Great to be back – trading favorites 🙂

      It definitely did. And I like the mix of shows on air right now. There will be lots more and I can’t wait to explore beyond the usual American, Indian, and English shows. They are slated to bring in shows from several other countries as well. So, we are going to be spoilt for choices pretty soon 🙂

      I watched Aunn Zara and liked it too 🙂

      Neeru

  6. Nita Khandekar says:

    I have watched the drama as is called across the border umpteenth of time! Recommended to friends and family and sat down to watch it with them at every opportunity!! I too love the way each character sketch is drawn………….. no nonsense, minimal melodrama (none in ZGH), wonderful dialogues, and awesome acting! Swati was the one who re-introduced me to them after a gap of 20 yrs having watched Dhoop Kinary, Tanhaiyaan, Ankahi and the likes in the mid eighties!! The move of Zee is really appreciated for ones who did want to watch something in their free time, but had nothing worthwhile going!!

    • Neeru says:

      Hi Nita,

      Pakistani dramas are addictive because of their content. Story is king for them, and don’t we all love a good story 🙂

      Yes, Swati was the one who introduced them to me. This is a wonderful step by Zee. Now we can watch the shows to our heart’s content 🙂

      Neeru

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