Zindagi aik bohat bara masla hai, itna bara masla kay is ko haal kartay kartay insaan khatam hoo jata hai …
Zindagi kiya khoobsorat cheez hai, har din naya, surprises, achievements, ups and downs …
Will Kashaf ever reach the equilibrium point to understanding that zindagi waqiya hi khoobsorat cheez hai and that ham saab ki zindagi gulzar ho sakti, baas apni apni perception ki baat hai? Can a pessimist and a Platonist converge together to make life gulzar for themselves?
And so we begin the journey to Zindagi Gulzar Hai…
A few weeks ago, after the first round of letdown when Zindagi Gulzar Hai (ZGH) was not aired, my friend commented on the hype building to its first episode with morning shows and constant bombardment of promos by summing it up in these words:
“the hype was soo immense and itnay dhool bajay bajaee gayee kay kay end result was that baraat dulha hi lanaa bhool gai”
So the grand wedding of the year became a mellow affair and all the pathakay became thanday thus in the last two weeks. Chaphar to phati wi hai of constant drama bombardments but asal cheez jo girni ti chapar main who aye hi nahi : ( At that time, I was quiet upset, zindagi did not seem so gulzar BUT I for one am really glad that this did happened because I watched this episode without any expectations and I am glad that every single thing exceeded was done beyond my anticipation, both as a viewer and as a critic. Back last year when I first heard that ZGH was going to be made into a drama, I was quiet excited, not because Fawad Khan was going to be playing Zaroon or the fact that our evergreen Sultana Apa was directing again but because of how I thought it would be finally nice to see a simple story of coming to terms with challenges and struggles of living from two people who perceive life in very different terms. Since I am also a fresh out of school undergrad, I have seen Kashafs, been Kashaf, been Zaroon, met Zaroons (live with 6 of them too) I felt that finally I would be able to relate to something on screen other then rooti dhoti aurat and ‘talaq hai, talaq hai, talaq hai.”
I wasn’t anticipating too much to happen either, other than introduction of characters but one thing that I am finally glad to see how much maturity has been instilled into a story that just seemed colloquial on paper. Zaroon and Kashaf might have been just some 2D characters and story was quiet rushed, without much depth. The concept of the story itself was fascinating however, its great to show boys vs girls story, from their perspectives how life unfolds and how each gender reflects their own thoughts on life. On screen, Zaroon and Kashaf become people around us, they become us and that is the beauty of ZGH. The editing of the drama was slick, the lighting was great and the direction was up to par and it seemed quite obvious that Sultana Apa had put her soul in the drama. There was nothing plot wise that happened, but there is so much to talk about, so much to breathe in visually and in concept that I am finding it hard to place it in words. And yes I do have criticisms, big ones as well.
Kashaf is the pessimist and her bitter thoughts about life’s struggle in a lower middle class society didn’t need much voice as the scene of her families conversation over “bijli ka bil” provided us with enough insight. I always felt that Kashaf on paper was to a large extent an extension of Fiza’s character in Daam (written by Umera and played brilliantly by Sanam): A father who leaves his family to get remarried only for sons (kiya jahaliyat hai hamari society ki), doest provides much financial support or emotional support for Kashaf Living in a house full of struggle, her every day is a battle with life itself. Why shouldn’t she be insecure of men and their promises when one man who is closest to you, who brings you in the world leaves you pendulous and discards you as a person just because you are born a female? I found it quiet amusing as Kashaf wondered that had to change two buses and I giggled because honey, even in first world taking public transit is a constant struggle..par koi na. What I love about Kashaf is how practical she is, her pessimism aside, I am glad she has not become aloof that no prince that will come and sweep her off her feet. She herself will stand up on her two feet, not only for herself but also for her family. Partly, her motivation and her strength stem through her mother’s (beautifully portrayed by Samina Pirzada) optimism and hope for a better tomorrow, both for her daughters and for their sanity. She reminds me a little of my nanoo who has seen so much constant struggle through life but she never lost her faith and kept in intact just because her theory was that when one person in the house is hopeful, it’s a beacon of light that warms cold and dark hearts. The pasha sisters have been appropriately cast and their interaction and everyday conversations provide are more relatable, thank god we have been spared the maat effect of jealous sisters…After today’s episode, I think Sanam has silenced her critics that she is talented enough to pull herself and stand apart in a powerhouse of actors surrounding her. On my screen, she looked quite beautiful actually and it was hard to come to terms with the fact that she is an “aam shakal ki larki”.
And now to Zaroon! Mere dil ko chain agaya hai. I have taken a sigh of relief. Watching Zaroon on screen, I would never ever think it’s played by the same person that thrilled us with his filmy dialogues as Ashar. I am glad that Fawad Khan (FK) took this role and he never looks too old to play a 22 year old college student (although I have to wonder, itnay heavy dailouges 22 year old larkay nahi boltay) :P . He is the optimist, his only struggle in life are understanding women (well duh, if you have asmara for a girlfriend) and their mentality. I do agree with Zaroon though that what is a life without some struggle, some challenge? If there is no struggle towards something, no passion, how do you measure your success or achievements? Zaroon could be called, spoiled, brat, typical Pakistani mard mentality but beneath this layer he is a good person at heart. It is also obvious to the viewer that he is a by-product of parents who are together (unlike Kashafs) but their approach to raising their kids is where constant conflicts come and like most marriages it’s a compromise, a BIG FAT COMPROMISE.
My favourite scene today had to be with Zaroon and Sara because I felt like I was watching a reoccurrence of last night’s episodic scene in my house where my car as usual won’t start and a dinner table fight over which one of my brothers will drop me off and wait should I add my parents constant bantering to my brothers, “parhtay nahi hain, koi guitar kamray main baja raha hai, koi basketball khayll rahaa, koi apni video games kay saath laga wa hai, zindagi kay saaath kuch kar loo.” Now how many of us can relate to that! Weather one belongs to an upper class elite family, middle, or lower class family, the constant sibling and parent bantering NEVER stop. So all in all the dialogues between the siblings were quiet witty and FK and Ayesha Omar have great chemistry together.
The scenes that were quiet clichéd and I could just snooze through them were those of Asmara and Zaroon. The madiha-rohail effect and quiet honestly I am sick of this forced “girl-boy” friendship, it looks fake on screen to be quite honest or maybe I have watched FK and MR enough times together to leave me with any impact whatsoever. Also, while I understand that it’s great to visually differentiate differences between different classes on the screen (e.g. a duppata clad middle class girl and tank top wearing upper class elite chic) and paint this picture in people’s mind to establish the plot and characters, I would say this that our producers, the art directors and costume providers really need to find a common ground and balance this out! Not every upper class elite families are that outgoing or wear skanky dresses like the ones shown in dramas and neither every middle class girl is dupata clad either… I could go on about this point but I am a little sick of this stereotype as are probably others! Also, the fact that while FK might have been spared to be typecasted, other actors and actress have not escaped the same fate: Mehreen Raheel, Hina, Javaid etc. *sigh* we need new mommy daddys and another girl friend for Fawad!
Did the first episode live up to my expectations: Yes it did :D
Team Kashaf or Team Zaroon?
So after today’s episode, whose team are you on? Team Kashaf or team zaroon? Lets have a Boys vs Girls contest. Who will win their argument at the end? Team Kashaf or Team Zaroon. If you are commenting please indicate at the end, you are on team Kashaf or Team Zaroon and if you are just a lurking viewer, you can still give your input by voting in the pole below.
What did you guys like about today’s episode? Any highlights? Any scenes that stood out? Any criticisms? Did it live up to your expectation?