Where do I start?
Between "kya filmi scene hai yaar" and "mehzbaan say mehmaan ka safar", I can sum this (un)holy triad as a road frequently traveled in our cinematic journeys.
The good thing about reviewing three episodes together is that it gives you (much needed) clarity. One can see odds and ends otherwise missed week-to-week. What I saw in these three episodes was the need for tighter editing because episode nine and ten could be clubbed together. The story would have moved quicker, faster, and left us (the audience) wanting: "Yeh dil mangay more" (too bad Bashar isn't a drink of Pepsi!).
In a nut shell, Rudaba and Buland fight and make-up, Rudaba finally lashes out at the Despicable Me Duo (aka Tayyaba and Bashar), Bashar succeeds in firmly re-enforcing doubts in Buland's head, and Rudaba is on her way to mazloomiyat or so it seems. Kya hua? Too much to handle, array abhi to kahani start hui hai.
We begin with Buland being more a jerk to his fiancé, Rudaba. What surprises me is that this is the guy who promised to uphold and honour the commitment his father made on his behalf. Was this end of your patience, Buland, because as an audience you're really trying ours. Do you see us giving up? At least not momentarily.
Tayyaba being all-over creepy was a bit shocking. I can see Bashar doing this (for some reason not that it justifies it!) but Tayyaba, I don't know, it just seems wrong-wrong-wrong! How far will this woman stoop for a maangni, mehndi, and a man? She was creepier than Bashar, mind you - teasing Rudaba by clinging on to Buland, watching films together, calling him incessantly, showing up unannounced, annnnnnd making pudina-wala nimbu paani for him! Seriously?
Events in episode nine took a firm segue into the splitting Buland-Rudaba track. With jealousy firmly on the rise in all fards of this topsy-turvy house (no, not Pari she's perhaps the only sane one around!).
With Rudaba's cutting her hand open on a piece of Baccarat crystal (aur kya hoga?) events are quickly set into motion that our lovers hoped/prayed/wished against. As Bashar drives Rudaba to the hospital, I cannot help but wonder why must they go down this path, but hey, as dramaland's favourite villain aka Khizer from Humsafar says: "All's fair in love and war."
If this is battle then lines are firmly drawn. Buland can't stand Bashar anywhere near Rudaba, our bhooli feels the same way yet Bashar Bhai gets his cake and eats it too!
In a series of events leading to the climactic "Main tumhe chood kar ja raja hoon" scene, Rudaba comes to Mr. Bakhtiar's residence (in the dead of night!) to return her maangni ki angoothi not as Rudaba but as Tayyaba's elder sister's nand. ::insert eye roll here::
Accused of "emotionally blackmailing" her man-to-be she quickly retreats back to her pinjara, a la Maison Momin.
What I find rather interesting is if Rudaba's allowed to go unaccompanied, unattended, ek-dum tanha and akelay to return her ring then why the fuss when she's there at 9:30 especially when Buland took permission to take her with him? Last time I checked an engaged couple have a right to privacy.
Although I'm not sure Buland's iradas were as nek as I think they might be. There are only two times when a house is lit up with candles and one of them involves praying, which Buland obviously didn't have in mind. So, to add a pinch of salt to their rendezvous, I was surprised that Rudaba didn't pick up on BB's intentions. Thanks to Sahira though, talk about opportune timing, she quickly comes to her senses.
Here, I'll momentarily dive into psychoanalysing Rudaba. She's not a bad girl, definitely not the Donna Summer kind, she's charming, sweet, and overall plain nice, which makes her an easy target or shall I say "sitting duck" for people to manipulate and take advantage of. No, no, khawateen aur hazrat be under no illusions, every single person in this series be it Adil, Buland, or Bashar has at some point used Rudaba's innocence against her. Sadly, for you Rudaba there's no way out.
Now, coming to the actress, Ushna Shah surprises me. There are moments when I think she's perfectly cast and then there are others when I find her lacking (for lack of a better word). And I guess there's something about playing innocent that only Khirad could pull off, and as much as I like you Ms. Shah (after all you're a Canuck!) Khirad you ain't.
Toot, toot, beep, beep!
Talking about bad, I absolutely loved how Rudaba FINALLY stood up for herself. Thank you GEO, aap jug, jug geo! Seeing her put Tayyaba and Buland in their place if only for a few, fleeting moments made me go: "Yeh dil mangay more!"
Alas, for you, Lady R, and for us that happiness was short-lived. Bashar schemes his way out of Rudaba's bedroom or was it bathroom in a scene that can only be pat-down filmi. Bye-Bye Buland, hello Bashar Bhai! Who knew "Bahi hoga tera baap" would be this literal an interpretation?
To chidko namak on this zakham, Bashar pops on over to be Tayyaba's himayti. With the deed done, words can only do so much, yet Bashar's words hold up better than Rudaba's. Why? Buland miyan aap apni manghaytar ki nahi lekin kisi awaara gunday ki baatein maan lain gay? Aisa kyun? It's not like you haven't been around the block. Nor does Rudaba constantly need to a testimonial. Are we six years old? Grow up and grow a pair, Buland, my advice to you.
Somewhere in Basharland, Adil and Sahira are on a world tour, from NYC to London Town, whatever happened to Toronto - I guess we're just not as appealing. Those ninety crores are one lucky makhluq not only do they get to travel the world they also have Yasir Mazhar managing them. Oh the joy!
Finally, here's tidbit for GEO TV. Don't run two episodes a week, you'll ruin the pace and momentum of this series. It's filmi, it's good, and taken in the right dosage like a cup of aged apple cider (I'm keeping it halal y'all!) it's perfect entertainment. Don't ruin a (reasonably) good thing.
Until next week,
Shaba Khair aur Rab Rakha
P.S. That saanp is symbolic of Bashar Bhai's character. Let's hope that's the only thing it symbolises!
Update: Due to popular appeal this post appeared on HIP Pakistan.