Each of the previous four Judai episodes had me wiping tears and sighing. Now whether I am getting sentiment in my old age (ooops, did I say old?!) or whether this drama really does tug at your heartstrings – I think I would opt for the latter. And not because I do not want to be called ‘old’. Haha. I was on the fence about this drama initially. It was interesting but just about. Cast good, production values good, OST great – but it did not lure you in. Yet out of curiosity to learn Hassan’s secret and how the characters were in turn related made me watch – until the 9th episode. Then, pure interest took over.
Gaiti’s (Saima) death totally took me by surprise. I had sort of written off the serial to be about the relation between the two widows and their children hence Gaiti’s death and therefore disappearance from the drama was surprising. Mehr has always been shown to be a compassionate woman. After her initial outrage over learning of Hassan’s other wife, her anger begins to dissipate as she uncovers the actual facts that led to the marriage and the nature of the marriage itself. She sees Gaiti and her children are not the gold diggers she may have at one moment imagined them to be or as Haider believes them to be. When Junaid informs her of Gaiti’s death, she does not waste a minute and flies to Lahore to meet Zaryan and Zaina.
Zaryan is awed to meet Mehr but Zaina has always been bitter about Hassan and his other family and wants nothing to do with Mehr. Mehr feels Zaryan and Zaina are the victims in all this and should be given their rightful inheritance which Hasan left them. Also, she feels upset that Gaiti had reached out to her before her death for her childrens’ sake. She wants to help them but Zaryan politely refuses any offers of help and manages to get a job which does not pay well and eventually loses both job and the rented house they lived in.
Zaina has grown closer to Hamza and he proposes to her which she accepts. Hamza has told Haider about his lady lurrrve but he has not seen or met her yet. Haider, Alia and the crickets are up to no good as usual. Haider’s character while selfish is not uncommon where he feels he and Hamza are the only rightful heirs to his father’s wealth. At the times he expresses to Alia he may have been a bit rude to his mother etc, she makes sure to erase any nigglings of doubt in his mind. Sigh. In the latest episode, Hamza who had been kept in the dark about his father’s second marriage also learns the truth and his stance and thoughts are the same as Haider’s until Minahil speaks to him and makes him see everything from Mehr’s point of view.
Not an extraordinary story? Doesn’t have you jumping to catch up on the episodes or decide to watch it next week? I agree. While the story is still different because it focuses on a woman’s quest to do right by her husband’s ‘children’ or ‘responsibilities’ it is the way the whole situation has been dealt with and Samina Peerzada and Imran Aslam’s acting above everyone else’s that makes this drama so interesting. The two wives, saas-bahu plots, two brothers’ ka one love – have all been done to death and this drama throws in its two cents’ worth of the evil bahu and interfering in laws etc too but it offers so much more.
I have never been in awe of an actress as much as I am of Samina Peerzada. She was always an amazing actress but for me she stood out in Durr e Shewar probably because that was around the time I started watching dramas on a more regular basis. But here, I liked her in the initial episodes because it was so nice to see her as a graceful, compassionate woman and then how she reaches out to Zaryan and Zaina after Gaiti’s death. One may wonder does this really happen in real life? Does a woman really care about the children her dead husband chose to take under his protection? But when you look at the whole situation from Mehr’s point of view you see how she has a big heart and accepts that Hassan although was wrong to hide this from her, he did it with good intentions and scrap that, these children are guilty of absolutely nothing. They did not feed off Hassan’s wealth except to meet their needs and education and now with their mother gone and no financial assistance anymore they are truly alone in the world.
Zaryan and Mehr’s conversations were so heartfelt. I really like Zaryan’s character and I love how Imran Aslam has portrayed it. He has just the right amount of pride, gracious to accept Mehr wants to help but wanting to be self sufficient. Yet when the landlord throws them out, I was relieved when he left with Mehr and did not say something silly like ‘we will manage’ when clearly they could not! Zaina comes across as bit of a brat with Mehr but I like how Zaryan chides her each time and we realize that she is like this because she is bitter for she felt Hassan was her father although an absent father and well as long as she does not become an ultra brat or malicious – I can digest her character for now.
Samina Peerzada’s expressions, her mothering instinct, how she would touch Zaryan’s hand or arm and treat him like he were really her own son were so natural and so spot on, I can not praise her enough. It is safe to say that Samina Peerzada and Imran Aslam are the stars of this show and had someone else tried to portray their characters I doubt they would have done justice the way these two have and neither would have Judai seem so interesting to me to watch. Faryal Mahmood as Minahil is surprisingly not annoying in this drama which is such a relief. I am quite fed up with Affan Waheed’s quivering voice in his emotional scenes and although Neelum Munir’s scenes with Imran Aslam are at times touching, she and Affan Waheed together almost put me to sleep. Even the seemingly romantic moment when Hamza proposes to Zaina did not have any impact on me. Thankfully the focus of this drama is not their story nor Haider and his wife rather of Mehr and how she tries to do right by Zaryan and Zaina while at the same time risking being criticized and facing opposition from her own sons.
I hope I am not meant to regret my words later as the drama progresses but at this moment I feel Judai is one of the underrated dramas on air. If the drama continues the pace at which it is now and does not drag out any unnecessary tracks, I am definitely interested to see what happens when Zaryan and Zaina come to Karachi with Mehr – if they do, that is. Haider hates the thought of them and I do not expect him to welcome them with open arms but how will Zaryan’s pride take Haider and Alia’s insults and jibes? How will Mehr manage to do right by all four of them.
Has anyone else been watching Judai and find it as good as I do especially after Gaiti’s death? Would love to hear your thoughts.