Author’s Note: “If wealth is lost, nothing is lost; if health is lost, something is lost; if character is lost, all is lost.” This saying has been hotly debated over for several reasons. Somewhere down the line, we have all grown up hearing this epitaph from our parents who wanted to raise us well. We grew up and the society we live in and the atrocities we are exposed to may have made us question the truth in this statement. Despite everything, we all know deep down – we still believe these words to be true. Yet, while you and I can contend over the sanctity of this statement, Kashaf and her sisters have been raised to believe it without question and taught to live by it.
Explosive! I cannot describe this episode any other way. Previous few episodes of Zindagi Gulzar Hai, ever since Zaroon decided to fake-woo Kashaf, have been building up to this point, where it all blew up into one major face-off between Zaroon and Kashaf. Both of them crossed a line of decency that would take ages to reverse, if at all. No one in their right mind would ever doubt the fact that Zaroon deserved every bit of what came to him and more. Kashaf may be rude and stand-offish but she is not a person who would willingly attack someone without ample provocation. In crossing a self-built mode of conduct in public, it would take lot more than her strong will to walk back into the University, without feeling mortified.
I absolutely loved the first scene of the episode where Zaroon was laying it on thick so Kashaf would fall for him. His charm-o-meter was full-on and the words he used, the way he said them, his tone of voice – calm, confident, and eager! God forbid, if it was any of us standing there in place of Kashaf, we would have carried him off to dinner ourselves! Kashaf might have been openly rebutting his overtures, but she was letting herself get affected by his constant invasion of her space. As Zaroon later revealed, it would have been just a matter of time before she let him into her heart, if not already. His obvious frustration at not having made any progress with her when she walks away made me laugh out loud.
Out of their interaction in this scene, this dialogue stood out; note this down for it speaks volumes about how long it is going to take Zaroon to realize:
Kashaf: “Badi der se aap cheezen realize karte hain, nahi?”
Zaroon: “Haan lekin, realize to kar leta hoon”
Infact I loved all their interactions in this episode without exception. Zaroon, looking dashing in red, (Alas it seems wasted on Kashaf 🙂 once again invades her space. This time, the back and forth between the two had me bemused.
Zaroon: Kahin aapko yeh dar to nahi ki main aapke notes leke kahin aapse bhi zyaada aage nikal jaoon
Kashaf: Sirf notes de rahi hoon, apna dimaag nahi. Aur Agar aapne meri notes se koi fayda utana hai, to uskeliye aapko meri dimaag ki zaroorat hoga.
Way to go Kashaf! What a treasure trove of comebacks you have! No wonder Zaroon finds her to be an irritating jigsaw puzzle he itches to solve.
There are two scenes amidst all the wonderful ones in this episode that made the most impact. One was the library scene which had me at the edge of the seat. Even though, I knew what was to come, and the final moment of face-off was much anticipated through out Zaroon’s humiliating tirade of plans to his friends; Kashaf’s confrontation and what happened thereafter, happened so quickly and with so much intensity, it had me gasping. It took a while to calm my racing heart, just the way Kashaf did when she stepped out of the library. Several words were exchanged between them at the heat of the moment, which can be excused but what cannot be forgotten or forgiven is Zaroon’s meticulously planned vendetta that would have humiliated Kashaf and besmirched her good name sacrosanct to her and her family as well.
The economic/class/status divide that plagued Kashaf’s thoughts at every waking moment came alive during the horrific revelation of Zaroon’s intentions. There was no taking back what she overheard.
Kashaf for all her harsh demeanor is a very sensitive person. This incident was a blow to her self-esteem, her dignity, and her heart. It is hard to recover from something she thought she was protecting herself from with her basic nature and to find out that she was not as immune as she believed herself to be must have come as a shock to her system. So, it came as no surprise when she withdraws into a shell, stops going to university, and starts feeling abandoned by God once again. She fails to realize that if it were not for God looking out for her, she would have never overheard Zaroon and known his plan and she would have been worse off for that.
The second memorable moment has to be Rafia’s heart wrenching moments of reflection to her daughter Sidra. Sameena Pirzada makes you feel Rafia’s pain and hurt at Murtaza’s cruel neglect of his daughters while he spares no cost in taking care of his son and his second family. It is extremely difficult for a woman to bifurcate emotions based on relationships and not let one affect another. Try as she might, Rafia fails to comprehend her husband’s lack of responsibility for their daughters, when her heart bleeds to witness the burden her children carry everyday because of his callous disregard for them.
Zaroon faces another dilemma: Get engaged to Asmara or let her go. When backed against the wall to decide one way or another, Zaroon finds it hard to get down off the fence. (Right there is the answer to your dilemma, you dimwit!) I wonder how intelligent, street-smart men like Zaroon have no clue when it comes to matters of the heart. His kasmakash though takes a backseat to the bigger problem he might face if Kashaf complains about his badthameezi to the authorities at the University.
I was peeved with Asmara for repeatedly yelling at Osama about taking sides, instead of whacking her best friend for plotting to tarnish a woman’s reputation. (Now you know why the saying I mentioned at the start of the article is debated) Really woman! Which grade are you in? It is time she grows up and thinks, and acts like an adult instead of a first grade spoilt brat. Come to think of it, Zaroon and Asmara just as well deserve each other.
This episode was an eye-opener of sorts for Zaroon’s characterization, which until now bordered on playful, charming, with a dash of double-standards. But with this episode, a veil has been lifted off the charmer revealing an ugly truth of male chauvinism. It would be interesting to see his character arc from here.
Fawad Khan and Sanam Saeed were brilliant and their expressions conveyed the right emotions we could instantly connect with. Their body language in the library was one of aggression tinged with a bit of reticence and they pulled it off beautifully. Kudos to the actors, director Sultana Siddiqui, and the writer Umera Ahmed for a wonderfully woven last few episodes.
Precap for Episode 10:
Honestly, I would love Zaroon to stew for what he did to Kashaf. If getting engaged to Asmara would do it, so be it. The last dialogue caught my attention when Asmara suggests he should get married to Kashaf instead and he quickly agreeing that it was not a bad idea. I cannot wait to see how that would work out.
Storm brewing in Sara’s cup of marital life and to Zaroon’s chagrin, their mother is lighting a fire under it to keep it hot. Kashaf receives an offer from the University for lecturer-ship. So I’m guessing the next episode will show a leap of few months to a year.