Deconstructing Kashaf in Zindagi Gulzar Hai

Sanam Saeed as the scowling Kashaf and Fawad Khan as the arrogant moralistic Zaroon

Sanam Saeed as the scowling Kashaf and Fawad Khan as the arrogant moralistic Zaroon

 

Channel: HUM

 

Timings: Every Friday at 8 pm

 

First broadcast on: October 19, 2012

 

Cast: Sanam Saeed as Kashaf and Fawad Khan as Zaroon

 

Writer: Umera Ahmed

 

Director: Sultana Siddiqui

 

I am one of those fortunate beings who occasionally get a chance to indulge in a healthy intellectual discussion at my workplace. So last week I got a chance to do so in which we discussed Kashaf in Zindagi Gulzar Hai, the latest Umera Ahmed’s offering, that centers around the struggles of a lower middle-class brainy girl neglected by her father overcoming life’s obstacles to make it to a business school on scholarship and ends up marrying her batchmate, Zaroon whom she has detested while they were studying together.

 

One of the most illogical things in Kashaf’s narrative according to a colleague was that throughout the serial Kashaf is shown to hate Zaroon for reasons ranging from his arrogance to his Casanova-like behavior but suddenly in an episode that shows Zaroon formally proposing to Kashaf in their teacher-mentor’s library, a servant while serving tea is about to accidentally drop the hot liquid on Kashaf when Zaroon flashes his hand in the midst scalding his ‘pretty’ hand. Lo and behold Kashaf in just that trivial moment does a 360-degree turnaround in her feeling towards him! As my colleague put it how can you change your feelings towards someone so quickly when if such things do occur then it happens over a gradual period of time. Episode upon episode were shown developing the hatred but in just one scene the feelings were overturned!

 

However my other colleague had a more profound insight. She quoted Pride and Prejudice in which Mr Collins who intends to marry Elizabeth Bennett is turned down by Elizabeth, to which Mr Collins says that when a woman says no she actually means yes and all she needs is little more convincing. In other words a woman’s No indicates that a woman is unsure and not meant to be taken seriously. The novel which came out in early 19th century was prescient as this mistaken belief is propagated even today and when the likes of Umera Ahmed does it then it is even more disturbing. This is a very dangerous idea that should not be propagated especially in a culture where men’s advances or proposals are rejected and they don’t get the message that the woman is really not interested in them. But will then go on to torment her or in worst case scenario even rape her. A Bangladeshi woman in 2011 experienced something similar and had to take drastic measures. Here is the link to the story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13594762

 

Another objection that I raised about the tea proposal scene was that Kashaf infers that Zaroon will ‘protect’ her from life’s dangers. Here is a girl who has been brought up by her hardworking government school-teacher mother virtually single handedly, her father a bare presence in her life, and when she has achieved academic and professional success, she says needs protection! This country is replete with examples of strong successful women who have made it without men. Look closely and you will find several examples of women, single, divorced, widowed, living with their families who run their households, take sound financial decisions, financially support their families even if there are men in their households, who have a sizable presence in the professional fields, making marital decisions etc. The list is endless in how women are coming up/come up in every sphere of life. Such women for sure do NOT need protection they can take care not of themselves but also others.

 

If only Umera Ahmed could portray such realistic female characters….

 

 

 

 

7th most romantic scene-Dastaan

Before Fawad Khan’s sizzling romancing skills came to full bloom in Humsafar (he will be also displaying those skills from November 16 onwards in Umera Ahmed’s new serial Zindagi Gulzar Hai) he first showcased them in the partition serial Dastaan, based on popular Urdu fiction writer Razia Butt’s novel.

 

As Hasan he quietly courts the reluctant Bano, played by Sanam Baloch. Dressed in white malmal kurta pajama he walks up to a brass water urn to wash his hands, but Bano informs him that the urn is empty. So like a dutiful kaneez/slavegirl, she pours water from an intricately etched silver jug while the badshah/king washes his hands. She asks him where was he all this time and he answers, “But I was only away for three days.” She asks him a couple of other irrelevant questions, irritated he tells her that do you want me to tell you want you really want to know. His beautiful young khala Suraiyya calls out to him and Bano hides behind a pillar.

 

He walks up to Suraiyya, Saba Qamar looking lovely in the traditional gota wala gharara, and tells her that he missed her a lot and her love has wrecked his nights. Suraiyya brushes him off, “you should say these things to your wife to be.” He laughs that laugh that drove girls nuts in Humsafar. Bano smiles away knowing that Hasan has said all these sweet things about her. Ah good ol-pre-Partition romance. Well-produced and well acted, this was Hum TV’s most successful serial of 2010.

When Pakistani singers became actors – Fawad Khan and Fakhr-e-Alam

Fawad Khan, the actor, hit the jackpot when his recently concluded serial Humsafar became an unprecedented hit. According to Hum TV insiders its average rating was 9.2, a humungous number by TV standards. But it seems that some of his fans are unaware that he is primarily a singer and was associated with the band EP. Here we look at other Pakistani singers who ventured into acting be it TV or films.

https://i0.wp.com/www.pakistanimusic.com/images/sub/artistes/fakharealam_malang.jpg

Fakhr-e-Alam in Very Good Duniya Very Bad Loag:

Motor-mouthed, witty and the charming Fakhr-e-Alam was known to the public initial years as the Bhangra Pao guy, a song that was hailed as the first Punjabi rap song. He appeared in 2 films Very Good Duniya Very Bad Loag and No Paisa No Problem. Although the films did nothing to take of his film career but he seemed to be having fun while performing the roles in the films which you can observe in the two links uploaded below one is a film promo and one is a masquerade song. Great fun overall!

youtube link to promo of Very Good Duniya Very Bad Loag:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1sMVIrKurc

youtube link to Hai Raat Badi Madhosh, song in No Paisa No Problem:

When Pakistani singers became actors – Fawad Khan and Arif Lohar

 

Fawad Khan, the actor, hit the jackpot when his recently concluded serial Humsafar became an unprecedented hit. According to Hum TV insiders its average rating was 9.2, a humungous number by TV standards. But it seems that some of his fans are unaware that he is primarily a singer and was associated with the band EP. Here we look at other Pakistani singers who ventured into acting be it TV or films.

https://i2.wp.com/www.dailytimes.com.pk/images/2012/03/01/20120301_14.jpg

Arif Lohar in Musulman:

Arif Lohar, the super-talented Punjabi folk singer and for those disconnected Pakistanis yes he is the same dude who sang Ek Chambay Di Booti with Meesha Shafi in Coke Studio, has also had his shares of experiments in Pakistani films. In Musulman he is mostly a happy-go-lucky sardar who loves to sing. A role right up his alley.

youtube link to song Jhumka featuring Arif Lohar in film Musulman:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFbdFr6O-AM

Arif Lohar in Zindagi

Here Lohar is a poor musician trying to get a break in the unknown big city.

youtube link to a scene from Zindagi:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCf1wYTFdLo&feature=related

When Pakistani singers became actors – Fawad Khan and Ali Haider

https://i0.wp.com/i46.tinypic.com/ap9x7b.jpg

Fawad Khan, the actor, hit the jackpot when his recently concluded serial Humsafar became an unprecedented hit. According to Hum TV insiders its average rating was 9.2, a humungous number by TV standards. But it seems that some of his fans are unaware that he is primarily a singer and was associated with the band EP. Here we look at other Pakistani singers who ventured into acting be it TV or films.

https://i1.wp.com/www.friendskorner.com/forum/photopost/data/500/tumsekehna.jpg

Ali Haider in Tum Se Kehna Tha:

This is back when Ali Haider’s album Qarar was all the rage and Marina Khan’s goofy antics on-screen were bearable. These two came together for this drama serial based on the Sandra Bullock cutesy movie “While you were sleeping” and directed by Sahira Kazmi. A light-hearted serial that wasn’t trying too hard, Haider’s acting is pretty decent. Besides these two there was Farhan Ali Agha (he is in a coma in the entire serial), Salma Kanwal (a stage actress who was struggling to make into TV and is now seen in Yeh Zindagi and Kash mein Teri Beti Na Hoti), Manzoor Qureshi (a handsome leading actor back in the 1960s but now seen in fatherly roles such as Mora Piya), Badar Khalil (does she need any intro) and Seemi Pasha (then one of the top models).

youtube links to Tum Se Kehna Tha:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doAjRiDNRXg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17u1f5ItkDE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opIMhq-tvG4&feature=related

Ali Haider in Chand Sa Mukhda

Writer: Tahira Wasti

Director: Iqbal Ansari

Cast: Tahira Wasti, Shahood Alvi and Urooj Niaz

A light-hearted romantic play with lots of Ali Haider music and starring the majestic gold-haired matriarch Tahira Wasti, who recently passed away.

youtube links to Chand Sa Mukhda:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLWFLS_4VnA&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAdgA2AJSM4&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWs1hXCYTH8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FjTYSdrCMQ&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xICch0wMPCw&feature=related

 Where is Ali Haider now:

Ali Haider has renounced pop music and is now singing only devotional and religious songs like Junaid Jamshed, Najam Sheraz, Shiraz Uppal etc.

https://tvnama.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/front.jpg?w=286

A Married Woman Accused of Infidelity as Shown in Humsafar is a Serious Issue

Ayesha Khan



Samiya Mumtaz, Sarwat Gillani, Adnan Siddiqui


Mahira Khan, Fawad Khan and Naveen Waqar
Cast: Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Naveen Waqar, 
Behroze Sabzwari,
Hina Bayat Khan, Atiqa Odho and Noorul Hassan

Writer: Farhat Ishtiaq 

Director: Sarmad Khoosat 

Broadcasting channel: Hum TV

Telecast times: Every Saturday at 8 p.m.

First telecast: September 24, 2011

 

Episode 11 of Humsafar was quite dramatic. With the mother-in-law Farida (Atiqa Odho) conniving with Khizer (Noorul Hassan) to be in a ‘questionable state’ with her ‘lowly’ daughter-in-law Khirad (Mahira Khan) so that it looks to her son Ashar (Fawad Khan) that his wife Khirad has been having an affair behind his back, Farida succeeds in driving her son permanently away from his wife. Although Humsafar is the third TV drama that I have watched so far in the last two years, about a woman falsely accused of infidelity/adultery, the other two being Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishaan (Geo-2010) and Meray Charagar (ARY Digital-2011), the fact of the matter is that in Pakistan husbands regularly bring false charges of adultery against their wives for various reasons. Mostly it is because the wives have had enough of domestic violence inflicted on them by their husbands and in-laws and have decided to leave them. This upsets their ego and they get back at their wives by putting a false tuhmat on them. Another reason is that husbands wanted to get rid of their older wives and desire to marry younger women. Perceiving the older wife to create obstacles to his new desires, the husband quite easily accuses her of having an affair.

 

This is not hearsay since all this has been extensively reported by the press and documented by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Often in small towns and villages, women are accused of adultery with no recourse but to turn to their panchayat for justice who more often than not rules against them. For instance on January 29, 2009 in Malisi, a woman X was accused of adultery and the local panchayat pronounced that she be locked up in a room and her hair should be chopped off. Even her daughter had to undergo a similar punishment. Often they are simply killed in the name of ‘honour’, with no chance given to them to share their side of the story.

 

Falsely accusing a woman of adultery is not restricted to Pakistan. It brings to mind a book penned by a French-Iranian journalist, The Stoning of Soraya M. Set in the 1980s, the book documented the true story of a 35-year-old woman Soraya who was married to an abusive man for more than a decade and bore him nine kids. He decided to have a younger wife and for which he accuses his long-time wife of infidelity. A tribunal is called in the remote Iranian village to look into the matter, where the entire community accuses Soraya of infidelity. Distressingly, her two sons were also part of the tribunal that falsely accused Soraya of the crime. Despite lack of proof, she is stoned to death by a mob.

 

However there is good news and that too in our country where all you get to here is the opposite. As reported by Express Tribune, a parliamentary panel asked the law ministry on Wednesday to fine-tune a women’s rights bill introduced in 2008 in order to protect women from Qazf (false allegations of adultery). Moved by Kashmala Tariq of PMLQ the bill aims to facilitate women who are subjected to rape under the Offence of Qazf (Enforcement of Hadd) Ordinance, 1979 or are unable to get cases registered against offenders because of accusations of Qazf. The bill seeks to provide rape and Qazf victims with direct access to court. The proposed amendment aims to add sections to the ordinance stating that “the trial of cases under this Ordinance shall be completed within four months”. It also adds that media should be prohibited from publicising proceedings without express permission from the court and also, “if the person against whom the offence of Qazf is committed or a complainant is a pauper, the court shall provide him a lawyer on state expense.”

 

HUMSAFAR – A cinematic story



Cast: Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Naveen Waqar, Behroze Sabzwari, 
Hina Bayat Khan, Atiqa Odho and Noorul Hassan
Writer: Farhat Ishtiaq 
Director: Sarmad Khoosat 
Broadcasting channel: Hum TV

Telecast times: Every Saturday at 8 p.m.

First telecast: September 24, 2011

I just wish that some of our TV directors would have the courage to 
abandon their small screen jobs and take on the silver screen. 
Many dramas, telefilms, long plays that are currently being shown 
are canvases for their cinematic ambitions. Fearful of the plunge, 
they are doing themselves and the audience great injustice for not 
exploring the medium. When films like Bhai Log, Bol and Love Mein Ghum
can be shown in cinemas and earn good profits for the filmmakers, 
TV directors should have faith in the audience to turn up at cinema 
houses and respond to their ventures. Take for instance Humsafar. 

With a successful title song, a fresh and sizzling lead pair, 
sound supporting cast, well-written dialogues and a gripping plot, 
it has all the ingredients to make it into a super-duper hit. 
In fact, it is a massive hit on the small screen although only 
eight episodes have been shown so far and it is competing with 
other absorbing dramas on other channels such as Maiyee Ne on ARY 
digital and Meray Charagar on Geo. 

Its success can be gauged by the fact that so far Humsafar has 23,764 Facebook likes, 
on Paktvforums over 37,000 people viewed its eighth episode, 
and over 1 lakh viewed its title song Woh Humsafar Tha 
Magar Ussay Humnawaiee Na Thee by 
Qurutul Ain Baloch/QB. And I haven’t even checked out other online forums where it must be getting seen or its title song 
was downloaded. Of course, there are minor glitches to the story, 
which come across more glaring when, watching it on TV but were 
it made for the cinema then one would have just disregarded it and 
enjoyed the movie as a whole. Sarmad, I hope you are reading this….