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Dramas Review

Choti Si Zindagi – An Overview

Choti Si Zindagi – An Overview

Choti Si Zindagi

Produced by Momina Duraid, directed by Shaquille Khan and written by Sarwat Nazir, Choti Si Zindagi airs on HUM TV on Tuesdays at 8pm PST. The promos of this drama got my interest for sure and I do not mean that in a positive way. The cast comprises Shahzad Sheikh, Iqra Aziz and Nimra Khan in the lead roles and since none of them have left a lasting (good) impression on me before, I was not too keen to watch this drama. Until I saw that the writer is Sarwat Nazir. There is something about her dramas and the relationship between the couples that she portrays that interests me so I decided to give this one a go and although the first few episodes, in my opinion did not have me hooked, something about this play made me keep watching and 6 episodes down – despite some glitches, I am glad I did.

Choti Si Zindagi is the tale of two cities (I could not resist and had to be a bit Charles Dickens-ish). A period drama, if you will, set in the 1970s (an assumption for the drama only tells us at the beginning that the story is of ‘some’ years ago), the drama introduces the families of two brothers, one residing in Sahiwal while the other in Multan. Furqan (Tariq Jameel) is the older brother and has four daughters and a son Urwah (Shahzad Sheikh). While his sisters’ names Muzammil and Khurshid seemed a bit more believable as women often had male names back then, the name Urwah for the male lead caught me by surprise. Not only me it appears for he is made fun of later too at university for having a girlish name. We see that Urwah is traveling to the city to begin his education at the university there. While Urwah is portrayed as the obedient, innocent and slightly awkward young man we see the beginnings of revolt when he is not too happy about his father accompanying him all the way to the university. Having been raised in a small town, his personality has however been primarily shaped by his upbringing and his surroundings.

Furqan’s younger brother Irfan (Rashid Farooqi) lives in Multan with his wife (Farah Shah) and I-am-not-sure-how-many- daughters but the oldest is Ameena (Iqra Aziz). Irfan is unwell and is suddenly worried about his daughters and their marriages and is overjoyed when his brother asks for Ameena’s hand for Urwah. Ameena’s character is meant to be that of an immature and carefree young woman but honestly the way it is portrayed has often left me confused. School/college going – okay, immature and not wanting to do any housework –okay but the childish on the border of mentally unstable behaviour that Iqra Aziz has put into her character did not impress me at all. The loud guffaws, the whining, big eyed look – not on.

Anyway, Urwah’s room mate Sohail (Afraz Rasool) takes him under his wing, well not as sweetly as that sounds, but he introduces him to his friends. He misses no opportunity to poke fun at him when they are together though and although we get he is another carefree and polar opposite of Urwah kind of character, I found the escalating laughter every other second, a bit fake. Azra (Nimra Khan) as the rich yet refreshingly unspoilt and non bratty girl finds herself drawn to Urwah. I failed to see what might attract her to him except what she says herself that he is different and respects women something which she values greatly. Urwah is very awkward around her at first but seems to get comfortable as they meet more often.

When news of his engagement to Ameena is broken to him, Urwah balks and rushes home. He goes back with the assurance though that although engaged, his marriage is no time soon. That backfires too when his father’s jasoos, I mean friend in the city spots Urwah with Azra and reports back to him. Furqan feels it is time to get things moving and has Urwah rushing back home under the pretext that he is unwell. Emotional blackmail and the way things were back in that era prevent Urwah from sticking to his refusal and he is wed to Ameena.

Since I am not a very observant person,therefore if there were any slips in attention to detail then they went unnoticed by myself. I did however like the whole feel of the drama which made me feel I was taken back in time a bit. I enjoyed watching the wedding festivities too for they lacked the overly drawn out grandiose presentations and glamour so common in dramas generally, yet drew me in and that was refreshing in itself.

For me, Shahzad Sheikh is perfect as Urwah. His stiff and awkward demeanour, a young man trying to make sense of this new modern world and liking it yet held back by ties back home, indignant over Sohail’s outrage comments, flattered and awe struck by Azra’s attention, wanting to take a stand for himself but giving in to his parent’s wishes – I can not fault his performance. Iqra Aziz, on the other hand, while I appreciate for coming out of her clogs, I mean comfort zone and throwing herself into a different character, tries a bit too hard and has left me cringing at times. If only she could ditch the childish, lower lip jutting out dialogue delivery and the overly loud crying and comments which no matter how immature you may be do not seem fitting for a teenager – I could relate to Ameena more. Nimra Khan’s acting seems effortless although I still find it a bit difficult to see how Azra is attracted to Urwah to the point of wanting to marry him.

It seems Urwah is not ready to give up Azra yet or tell her of his marriage and since he will return to the city to complete his studies, I wonder how things will develop. How soon, if anytime soon at all, will Ameena ‘grow up’ and what will be the chain of events that will get her on that track? Will Urwah give up Azra? While Choti Si Zindagi does not rank up there amongst the dramas that have us hooked from scene to scene, or shock us with controversial, out of the box stories or emotional blockbusters that have us reaching for a tissue – there is something about the drama that lets you sit back and enjoy watching it unfold.

Oh – and this would not be complete without mentioning the OST and the background music that is often played during the episode and makes you want to, well – do this:

What do you all think of the drama so far – would love to hear your thoughts.

Dramas Review

Zun Mureed Episode 1 & 2 Review – Well-Executed

Writer: Amna Mufti
Director: Ahmed Kamran
Produced by: Moomal Entertainment
Schedule: Every Friday at 8pm on HUM

The first two episodes of Zun Mureed laid down solid foundations for whatever is going to happen in the upcoming weeks. The introduction to the characters was detailed as well as clear and both these episodes were fast paced. In both these episodes, the writer and the director’s approach was focused and all the scenes were well-put-together. Although I had my reservations about Nadia Khan since her performance in Aisi Hei Tanhai leaves a lot to be desired but so far her acting has been up to the mark. Omair Rana, Hina Bayat, Shamim Hilali, Aisha Gul, Kashif Mehmood and Khalid Anum always perform well therefore it didn’t come as a surprise at all that they fit perfectly in the roles assigned to them. The performances were natural, the direction was on point and the editing was perfect. I have to admit that the only reason I tuned into this show was because it promised to cover the issue of domestic abuse from a legal perspective and also because it has been written by Amna Mufti which guarantees that the script will be well-researched and meaningful.

The first scene of the opening episode was one of my favorite scenes from both these episodes since it covered a great deal. This scene showed how Tabbasum (Nadia Khan) was struggling alone while her husband Sajjad (Omair Rana) and Bi Jaan’s (Shamim Hilali) son focused entirely on the cricket match. This scene clearly suggested that Bi Jaan was Tabbasum’s responsibility alone although Mariam Apa (Hina Bayat), Bi Jaan’s daughter, claimed to love her mother more than anyone else but there were a lot of times when she wasn’t half as patient as Tabbasum with her mother. The thing I liked about the characters the most was that they were nuanced, while Tabbasum was shown as someone who had a good heart and was dedicated but there were plenty of times when she was shown struggling with her situation. The scenes covering her character were realistic and showed how difficult it was for her to cope with everything yet she didn’t complain because she felt it was her duty to work and to look after the house. Also, while there were times when it seemed like Sajjad couldn’t care less how Tabbasum was coping there were also plenty of scenes in which he acknowledged and appreciated her efforts. The reference to Tabbasum’s share in her late parents assets however suggested that Sajjad is the kind of man who wouldn’t mind living off his wife’s money.

Bi Jaan is an educated woman yet she has a typical mindset. Even after everything Tabbasum did for Bi Jaan, she didn’t get any acknowledgement, something which was shown creatively through the scene in which Bi Jaan writes Mariam and Sajjad’s name alone. Also, just like any other controlling mother in law, Bi Jaan cannot see her son spending quality time with his wife and terms him as zun mureed, even though her own son in law was shown doing exactly what his wife expected from him.

The first episode in particular also showed how Fari, Tabbasum’s sister, was treated by her bhabhi and how things were in their brother’s (Khalid Mehmood) house. The news about Women Protection Bill got different kind of reactions from both these houses and Tabbasum in particular kept on asserting that such laws were made for violent men in low income households. She couldn’t imagine at this point that her husband would some day turn into such a man.

Overall, these two episodes were engaging and executed flawlessly. Although these episodes didn’t have anything brand new to offer but they weren’t clichéd either. I felt an instant connection with all the characters because of the way they were introduced. The script has the kind of clarity that doesn’t leave any questions in your mind and the director has given this script the right kind of treatment.

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Dramas Review

Pukaar Episode 5 Review – Tragic!

Ohkay so, this episode of Pukaar was quite depressing which means the emotions were conveyed perfectly. This entire drama week for me was so heavy, first Aairah’s husband died in Khudgarz, then Tabeer’s husband died in Tabeer & now Samra’s husband died in Pukaar, tauba, talk about monotony, anyways!

Well, Fahad couldn’t win the battle for his life & passed away. The news of his death was obviously tragic & shook every single person associated with him. Samra lost the love of her life, Tashfeen & her husband lost their only son. Samra’s parents obviously couldn’t see their only child suffering that too when she deems herself guilty.

The moment Fahad’s father saw Samra, he made sure to remind her that it was because of her that Fahad didn’t go to the village & now he was fighting for his life. Well, he passed away & first half of the episode was covered in the flashbacks. Samra’s father did try to make a point that because Sultan got Fahad involved in the politics, he directed undue attention towards his son, but then again, why would Sultan pay heed to what Samra’s father said because he was too busy holding Samra responsible for everything!

Well, looks like Fahad’s Daadi is going to take revenge from Samra because Fahad’s family unanimously thinks that Samra is the reason why Fahad died, therefore they will make sure to torture her because other than that, they had no reason to keep Samra at their house as it was way too evident that they weren’t sympathizing with Samra to begin with!

Samra’s parents tried their best to take her with them but Samra wanted to be left alone in Fahad’s house. Poor thing doesn’t know what she will be faced with!

Well, honestly speaking, I wish everyone’s makeup apart from Yumna had been a bit realistic because all the characters; Daadi, Tashfeen & Zamani looked too glamorous to be mourning the death of a family member. I must say Zamani is quite annoying, obviously she is doing what usually servants do to stay in the good books of their masters but then again, the actress playing her role & her overall get up is such an eyesore. I wish we get to see less of her in the upcoming episodes which seems highly unlikely but still we can hope for the best. Yumna Zaidi was spot on with her acting & she succeeded in conveying Samra’s pain. I must say the OST is really nice & it helped in conveying the overall sadness that everyone was going through after losing Fahad. Anyways, please share your thoughts about this episode of Pukaar.

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Dramas Review

Aangan Episode 18 Review – Hilarious!

Ohkay so, like I always say, what an amazing episode of Aangan. Seriously, Kudos to Faiza Iftikhar & the entire team for painting such a realistic & perfect picture of a typical desi wedding which is full of so many hiccups & people who come with their own agendas. I just don’t remember watching a Pakistani drama in such a long time which made me laugh so much & to be honest, Aangan happens to be one such drama that makes me happy. What a perfect entertainment!

So, Zoya Aqdas wedding was in full bloom with the Mehandi function. Shafiq actually came to attend the wedding & surprise everyone but then again, Abba Jee gave him a cold shoulder. Shafiq turned out to be a typical overseas returned desi who completely forgot growing up in this very environment because now he saw the entire wedding & the trouble of arranging it as a nuisance. Shafiq’s constant reminders of ‘mai isi liye Pakistan nahi ata’ were so funny. In stead of using this time to reconnect with his family & curbing his differences with Abba Jee’s, Shafiq continued to play the victim as if he didn’t hurt Abba Jee & he was being wrong in not treating Shafiq with the affection that he was entitled to!

So, Allaudin once again found a reason to be upset about, which was his matching Kurta with Abba Jee. Allaudin just can not come to terms with the fact that he is one of the elders of the family, that he is way too older than Aqdas, the chota damaad of the family & that is why he was keen on wearing that Green Kurta which the youngsters were wearing. I am sure if they had given him the Green Kurta, he would’ve complained that he was being put on the same pedestal as the bachas of the family, lol. Aalu & his issues!

Well, Faseeha came with her Jethani & Nand & they proved that they were those typical aunties who are avoided by every single person of the family because they find problem with every little thing & create issues over tissues. As if bickering with each other wasn’t enough that they started dragging the girls who were singing songs & also raised question over Zaitoon, Anila & Zoya’s age.

Well, Abba Jee’s cousin & childhood friend Bilqees made an apperance too. It seems Abba Jee has a soft corner for Billo that is why he not only made sure to invite her but also went out of his way to make her feel at home by taking care of her comfort. I loved the late night session that Abba Jee & Bilqees had, it was like Billo was the part of Abba Jee’s childhood that wasn’t lost. The way they both recalled old days & all the activities that they used to do was so cute but something that was even better was Zaitoon’s restlessness because she was clearly & rationally jealous. Bilqees’s fight with Aqdas’s aunts was also so very funny, it was like she knew how they had to be responded whereas everyone else on Zoya’s side apart from Anila was being mindful of the fact that they were larki walay so they had to tolerate everything. ‘Kissay di assi Majj churai hai’ has to be my favorite dialogue of this drama so far, lol!!!!

I loved this episode just so much. It is so amazing how watching this wedding takes you down the memory lane & makes you think about the things you might have seen or heard while attending your family weddings too. The way Anila reminded Rubina that she was wearing an old dress was also something that often turns out to be a conversation starter at desi weddings where everyone keenly remembers everyone else’s formal dresses.

I think I now desperately want to see a change in the equation that Zahid & Rubina share, something more, something new, something different please. Oh well, who would’ve thought that Sajjad will tackle Allaudin so intelligently, he just knew that Allu was trying to get some scoop on personal family matter therefore he told him to arrange someone who could take care of dholki, something that would distract him at least for the moment. Asim & Sajjad’s reactions were priceless when they knew they had taken care of Allu the best way possible, lol. I must say, I felt some sort of pity when Anila kept on lying to Allaudin to boost his ego & he immediately agreed to be at the wedding on time because Anila said what he wanted to hear. Allaudin is someone who just wants to be the center of attention, he likes to be praised even for the things he doesn’t do & since this is what Anila did, he seemed happy to be taking a part in Zoya’s wedding.

I must say, the way Faiza Iftikhar has etched out all these characters is amazing. Everyone has a unique but relatable personality & to keep them true to themselves till this stage of the drama is commendable. From Abba Jee to Shaina, every single one of them contributes & makes this drama complete. The way all these actors deliver the dialogues with so much of ease & effortlessness goes to show how they have owned these characters & are literally living them. I must say all the ladies looked so lovely with those beautiful dresses & heavy jewellery. Can’t wait to see more. Please share your thoughts about this hilarious episode of Aangan.

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Dramas Review

Tabeer Episode 3 – Review!

Ohkay so, this episode of Tabeer, though dramatic was really nice. Even though the story has been quite simple & predictable but it does look like the side characters are going to add that much needed flavour in this drama.

So, Tabeer found out about Yasir & her life turned upside down. Tabeer was someone who couldn’t even see Yasir down with a mere fever so for her to endure the painful news of Yasir’s passing was beyond imagination.

Fawad’s mother continued to spew venom against Yasir because she is so self-centered to think beyond herself & even for once show consideration about someone else. Fawad was also deeply affected by Yasir’s demise that is why he not only went to attend the funeral, but also tried to help his family financially.

Yasir’s first cousin Ajju happens to be quite a manipulative person that is why he lied to Fawad & also kept half of the amount he gave for the rituals. I actually thought Ajju’s brother would be a decebt person but even he kept half of the remaining amount as well. I don’t know why but I found that scene emotionally very disturbing when Yasir’s grandmother accepted that measly amount with so much of gratitude, my heart broke for her because while she was mourning the death of her grandson, she had no idea that there were vultures around her who were literally taking advantage of Yasir even after his death!

Ajju & his brother are obviously irresponsible beings who don’t really know how to fend for themselves, therefore they came up with a plan that they’d start living at Yasir’s house, which means they will create more issues for Tabeer & Daadi.

On the other hand, Zarnish contacted Sana, a heart-broken depressed soul who obviously has been rejected by Fawad that is why I think Zarnish contacted her to speak to her. I think Zarnish will request Sana to take care of Fawad after she is no more but then that place will be taken by Tabeer & Sana will be left heart broken once again.

This episode of Tabeer was definitely good. The preview suggested that the trials in the life of Tabeer are far from being over. With Daadi’s demise, Tabeer will be left all alone & not sure how she will be able to deal with Ajju & his family. Looking forward to the next episode. Please share your thoughts.


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