Scenes of male dominance and female submission are as old as the hills and grist for the metaphoric mill in every other drama so why do I find Rudaba and Bashar so disturbing?
There were a lot of Bashar and Rudaba scenes this week, mostly carried by the brilliant Faysal Qureshi who gave each monologue a world of meaning and depth. A confused, desperately sad prisoner of his past; in the space of a minute he tells Rudaba how much she disgusts him and then how beautiful her hands are. I want to say poor Bashar but he is such a vindictive sort that my sympathy for him cannot last long. From this week’s episodes it seems Bashar may well be in love with Rudaba but would hate to admit to such a weakness. By the end of episode 27 it seems as if Bashar the lion looked remarkably like Bashar the lamb , even telling his sister to leave Rudaba alone and “forgiving “ Rudaba on his father’s barsi .
So poor Rudaba is tortured in every way possible, given a room in the servant quarters, emotionally brow beaten and worst of all forced to eat fish while everyone else gets kebabs. Now don’t laugh it was cruel at the time .There is no timeline so I cannot judge exactly how long this psychological torment lasted but all humour aside, I found all that “bolo Bashar I love you” incredibly disturbing . Full credit to Ushna for that at least .So here is my quandary with Ms Shah: her incredible chemistry with Faysal Qureshi and sheer screen presence is what is keeping me tuned to this show every week despite its flaws but at the same time she has not brought the complexity and nuance that Rudaba’s character required. Sometimes she gets it perfect : the scene where Bashar asks Rudaba exactly how close she was to Bulund and she finally defends herself, or when Bashar asks her to “dabbao’ his head in a drunken stupor but then there are so many other scenes where she misses mark.
For me the most fascinating thing this week was Rudaba’s explanation. Bulund was her fiancé, so she was duty bound to love him. Now Bashar is her husband so she is duty bound to take anything he chooses to dish out and sit in a room till dawn saying “Bashar I love you”. Her very obedience and virtue have been turned against her. Her brother has all but abandoned her to whims of fate and her father is dead. She has no one, but hopefully at some point she will remember she has herself. The day she stops trying to please people to gain self-worth she might find her strength and dignity.
The episodes are well edited and the story is moving at a good pace. Bar the ridiculous ‘piano playing Bashar’ sequences, this week’s episodes were riveting. The other weak points in the serial are Bashar’s awful sisters. Maheen Rizvi bad acting (there is simply no other explanation for it )has turned her character into a cartoon and at least provides a good laugh now and then. Tayaba is the one who is really annoying the heck out of me. Is she really this blind or suffering from short term memory loss? Bashar is well……Bashar but Tayaba knows precisely what she did yet still thinks Rudaba and Bulund are bad people?
On a parting note I wonder what Bulund is quietly cooking up ...?
written by SADAF