The title of the show is rather lame, does not leave much to the imagination and after watching today’s episode I would say that the characters and the story is very well spelled out to. It is not the kind of play where there can be many different interpretations to the story. All is very obvious…Saim is the unreasonable, disgruntled husband. Haleema is the silent victim who bears pain with pleasure, does all that is expected of her and more and will always have a smile on her face for her husband, in laws and whoever happens to visit the house! A little too good to be true for my taste. Zunaira is the other woman to whom her husband actually wanted to marry and now he has her to have a heart-to-heart. I don’t mean to sound over critical but the fact is that I am a wee bit disappointed. Or maybe it is just that Durr-e-Shehwar has set the standard so high that another story about a woman being ill-treated by her husband (if not in-laws) has to have some substance, otherwise it won’t click right away. I know I should not be comparing this show with another but I can’t help it, call it instinct! Anyway, the show has some gifted people behind it, Faiza Iftikhar is the writer of this play and she has a lot to her credit, Fahim Burney, the Director is very good with what he does. The leading cast with Saba Qamar and Junaid Khan is interesting enough. But somehow I am finding it difficult to accept Saba Qamar in her present character maybe because it is totally opposite to the role she played in Maat or it may be because I personally feel that Saba Qamar fits better in negative roles, and I don’t mean it in a bad way. I think she does negative roles very well. Certainly, some compromises have been made where casting is concerned, the actor playing the brother and the one playing the boyfriend are rather mediocre and that kills half of the fun of the show. There is so much competition nowadays and the viewers are spoiled, compromising on the cast is not an option.
The first episode of the show was dedicated to introducing the viewers to the main characters in the play or more to ensuring that we know very well who is good and who is evil!! The play opened with showing Haleema as the perfect round the clock wife and daughter in law. She is someone who gets up early in the morning, says her prayers and there is no stopping her after that!!! While her mother in law is all praise for her, her husband Saim looks down upon her. Saim is a foreign qualified doctor (surgeon) whose marriage to Haleema was totally arranged by his mother to which he protested also but like the father in Mata-e-Jaan the mother won’t hear of it because she felt she was doing what was best for her son. Yet another play which shows how parents who force their choices on their children ruin their lives forever, especially where there is a total mismatch and there is no room for reconciliation.
Saim thinks very highly of himself and has a very low opinion of his wife. He never wanted to marry a girl like Haleema, and seven years of marriage has not changed his mind. He insults Haleema whenever he gets a chance or more like whenever the two are around each other! The scene where Haleema and her mother in law are busy hosting a Milad and on the other side Saim is listening to loud music in his car on the way to work basically showed that the two are poles apart. So did the breakfast and dinner scenes and practically all other scenes with the two of them in them. Haleema has been raised by his uncle that explains Saim wanting to marry Shumaila, as was shown in the promos, so she is not really her sister. When he meets his ‘happily divorced’ friend Zunaira he does not take very long to open up to her and this may just be the start of something more than just friendship. Shumaila, Haleema’s cousin/sister on the other hand is completely Haleema’s opposite, too many opposites in this play I would say….. People are either too good or too bad. I personally don’t enjoy shows that are too predictable or don’t have much to say except the obvious, and this play may just be one of those plays. I can’t say I enjoyed the first episode a lot but it is too early to judge the play as good or bad so I will definitely be giving it a chance. I remember Mata-e-Jaan was not an instant hit with me but once it grew on me I was totally hooked to it so you never know!!! Here is hoping there is more to the story than what appears to be.
Author: Fatima Awan.