Author’s note: My aunt’s advice to me when I was on the verge of taking THE most important decision of my life that went against the norm, “Any change will be met with resistance. You should go ahead if you have the conviction to stand by your decision.” I did, and the journey so far has been worth it. In this episode of “Zindagi Gulzar Hai”, writer Umera Ahmed focuses on a woman’s strength to swim against the tide with conviction. But she is also quick to point out that not all women are right in doing so.
As I sit to write this review, to bring out the finer points of the episode, I realize there are one too many to address and each one of them so beautifully interwoven, some obvious, and some so subtle that it would be a feat to explain each of them and mean it the way the author intended and the director portrayed on screen. But, I shall try my best.
Kashaf’s character is an interesting contrast between hope and despair, past and future. She constantly vacillates between her grit to give her mother a better life and her conviction that nothing good can happen to her. On her way to check the admission list in the College, watch her switch from resolute faith in her capability to provide better for her mother in the near future to absolute certainty of her failure to get admission into the University. In short, she distrusts everything around her more than she trusts herself. But the tiny spark of trust stems mainly from her mother and subconsciously Kashaf’s conscience pushes her to validate her mother’s unwavering faith in her.
The moment I had been waiting for arrived quite early in the episode, Kashaf and Zaroon together in a single shot. They are poles apart in every which way possible and hence the sparks flying off the minute they came together in a scene irrespective of the fact that they had not exchanged a single word with each other. Zaroon, unaware of her presence right behind him, calls Kashaf, the topper on the list, a chudail. Ofcourse, she hears him and I could literally see the fumes rolling off her.
The scene that follows the next day between the two has to be seen to be appreciated. Ultra rude Kashaf spitting fire over the calm and cool Zaroon….Chudail awwal indeed!! 🙂 Poor guy didn’t know what hit him. He seriously had no idea why Ms spitfire was taking it out on him. Fawad Khan pulled off the incredulous look to perfection starting from charming, disbelief, embarrassed, to fuming: he was a treat to watch. And those of you who ever doubted Sanam’s ability to play Kashaf, watch the scene. She nails the act of a simmering Kashaf with a cold façade and this scene is proof enough for how custom fit the role is for her.
If you want further proof, note her body language when she hears her no-good father insult her mother for letting her step out for higher studies. The entire sequence of her in the kitchen with her sister is well executed; the credit should also go to the director Sultana Siddiqui.
Kashaf’s mother is an epitome of silent strength and solid conviction. Against all societal diktats, she encourages her first born to step out into the world and make her place. At the same time, she reminds Kashaf of the values she was raised with. While she has every reason to keep her husband at arm’s length, she continues to give him respect, however undeserving. On the other hand, Zaroon’s mother, a modern woman with strong convictions and an air of independence, goes a little too far in ascertaining her space; the same lessons she has imparted to her rich, spoilt brat of a daughter, Zara.
I was glad Zaroon took the role of a big brother seriously, when he points out the unfairness with which Zara treats her fiancé. Unfortunately, he finds no support from his parents with the mother taking Zara’s side and the father considering it too trivial a matter to advice Zara over. At least you tried, Zaroon! Some lessons are meant to be learnt through experience and not through brotherly advice.
I had a hard time digesting the fact that Kashaf spent a lot of money moments after she cribbed about how they did not have enough to repair her mother’s slippers or get her a new pair. A slip in the script perhaps because the math just doesn’t add up.
Episode 3 precap:
Looks like the tussles continue with the relatives of Kashaf hell bent on getting her married, but her mother stands like a rock, knocking out anyone who dares to challenge their decision to stand by their conviction. My respect for her grew tenfold when she smartly quips in the precap, “Zameen mein tokhre khane wali aurat ke ghar par aap rishta lekar kyun aayen hai?”, when her brother in law insults her.
The cracks in the Junaid household begin to show through the beautiful façade of a perfect family of four. Marriage is not about seeking permissions, but informing one another of each other’s whereabouts due to concern and mutual respect. The women seem to be in a hurry to break all norms, while the men have no idea how to convince them that not all norms are meant to be broken.