Mira Sethi was the best part in Silvatein

Channel: ARY Digital

First broadcast on: February 7, 2013

Cast: Aamina Sheikh as Zeb, Adeel Hussain as Rayyan, Mira Sethi as Natasha, Daniyal Raheel as Bilal or Chotu, Rabia Noreen as Ammi, Mohammed Ahmed as Abbu, Vasay Chaudhry as Meekal, Maheen Rizvi as Muneeze

Writer: Samira Fazal

Director: Shehrezad Sheikh

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Sameera Fazal’s last offering Bari Aapa was about the tense relationship between two sisters Zubaida (Savera Nadeem) and Firdous (Arjumand Raheem). Both sisters are married and have grown children yet they never outgrow their sibling rivalry of childhood and it turns into full-blown adult rivalry leading to serious consequences for their families.

Silvatein, is Sameera Fazal’s latest drama serial touching upon the same theme about two sisters whose childhood sibling rivalry turns into adult rivalry except the only difference here is they both end up marrying two brothers and now as bhabhi devrani they both have to negotiate their identity and space in their new household with the younger one Natasha being the more insecure and paranoid for she is married to the less financially off brother Bilal. The older sister Zeb is married to Rayan, a divorcee with a son, who has a flourishing business in the US and as the older brother is regarded highly by his family. Inadvertently Zeb’s position is relatively stronger.

In Bari Aapa Firdous’s son is interested in marrying her older sister Zubaida’s daughter but Firdous will have none of it and this leads to confrontation between the two sisters. The narrative also delved into the roles of their husbands and their part in the rivalries which made the viewing of the drama gripping along with outstanding acting by Savera, Arjumand Raheem, Nouman Ejaz.

In Silvatein the conflict between the two sisters draw their husbands with each having to back their wives to maintain peace in their household.

Even though the theme was familiar, the treatment of the drama serial was fresh in terms of subtlety, complexity of characters and natural performances. More importantly, it steered clear from stereotypes, The couples had good chemistry especially Zeb and Rayan but that is also because Adeel and Aamina Sheikh have previously worked together in Daam as brother-sister duo and in Mora Piya as a couple. Mira Sethi, daughter of journalist and Aapas Ki Baat host Najam Sethi and Jugnu Mohsin, editor of Friday times and GT, as Natasha is a revelation. As a neurotic, insecure, reckless sister she completely owned her character and for a debut this was one hell of a confident performance.

Silavatein raised interesting questions. For instance should a person change completely after marriage. This torments Rayan who feels that his wife Zeb has changed way beyond recognition that he wants the old Zeb, the one he met before marriage who according to him was lively, loud and talkative. He feels that this new person is doing things for him that is not genuine and hence feels cheated. Zeb counteracts by saying that it is normal for people to change after marriage and one couldn’t help but agree with this myth or notion or whatever you may call it as one has been conditioned especially a woman has been conditioned to believe that after marriage she has to change.

Even Bilal changes into a quiet, unquestioning husband to Natasha in order to maintain harmony in their relationship. However, this does not bother Natasha as she wants Bilal to be an unquestioning spouse.

Another point raised in the serial was not having children in order to save or prolong a marriage. This again is brought up between Rayan and Zeb who have a complicated relationship. This 24-episode which dragged out a little bit in the end, and had some interesting characters disappear suddenly (Muneeze, the phuppo and Mikaal), was otherwise a better offering.

Memorable Pakistani TV drama characters of 2012

The year 2012 showcased more or less hundreds of Pakistani dramas and soaps and only a handful were worth watching and that was mostly due to veteran actors who were outstandingly authentic or delightful in their roles. Here is my list of memorable TV characters of 2012.

1.     Savera Nadeem as Zubaida in Badi Aapa (Hum) – In a cliched role of the first wife, Savera skillfully plays Zubaida who is a complex person. She is neurotic, dominating, sensitive, cunning, naïve, overall a very well written character.  And not to forget her mousey husband is played by the top-notch actor Nauman Ejaz.

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2.     Hina Dilpazeer Khan as Mummy in Quddusi Saheb Ki Bewa (ARY) – With dental prosthetics, a flying saucer hairdo, gorgeous silk saris, Hina transforms herself as Mummy, a caricature of Madam Bahar, the veteran Pakistani film actress who mostly played vampy mothers of moderen vamps in the glorious days of Lollywood. Mummy spends her free time swigging from the bottle and playing rummy with her equally awara moderen friends, the character is a hoot.

3.     Hina Dilpazeer Khan as Shakooran in Quddusi Saheb Ki Bewa (ARY) – Hina is delightful as the snobbish Urdu-speaking matriarch of a household comprising three daughters that earn for the family and a son relegated to kitchen affairs. The muhavaras/idioms/proverbs that shower from her mouth are matchless.

4.     Badar Khalil as Aqeela Khala in Quddusi Saheb Ki Bewa (ARY) – Baddo is wonderful as the stinky abaya-clad kleptomaniac rishta karanay vali khala.

5.     Waqar Hussain as Wadood Ahmed in Quddusi Saheb Ki Bewah (ARY) – What a brother! What a character! What naiveness! You have to see this serial to understand what I am trying to convey.

wadood quddusi

6.     Nadia Jamil as Shandana in Durr-e-Shahwar (Hum) – Shandana is a working woman, a mother and a wife and whose long-standing marriage is falling apart. It was good to see Nadia Jamil back on the screen after a long gap for she capably brought out the frustration and sadness of her character.

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7.     Sania Saeed as Mehru in Zard Mausam (Hum) – Sania essayed the grey role of a bitter mother with great restraint employing subtle facial expressions. Only a skilled actor is able to pull of such a challenging role.

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8.     Sajil as Neeli in Mohabbat Jaye Bhad Main (Hum) – Written by Faseeh Bari Khan, Neeli is a loud mouth, brash, flirtatious schoolgirl have an affair right under the nose of her philandering father.

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9.     Faisal Quraishi as Rafique in Sabz Pari Laal Kabootar (Geo) – Even though Faisal Quraishi has become a permanent fixture in the drama scene yet no one can accuse him of not doing his job well. In this particular heart-wrenching and realistic production he is outstanding as a drug-addicted rickshaw driver whose addiction destroys his family.

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10. Nimra Bucha as Sakina in Sabz Pari Laal Kabootar (Geo) – The wife of rickshaw driver who abandons her and their children due to his drug addiction.

11.  Bushra Ansari as Bilqees Kaur in Bilquees Kaur (Hum) – As the dominating Punjabi matriarch running a dhaba in New Yarak, Bushra Ansari outshone everyone in Bilquis Kaur.

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12.  Salahuddin Tunio as Master Saeen Dino in Diya Jalaye Rakhna (Geo) – This soap has the veteran actor play the role of Master Saeen Dino responsible for bringing education especially to girls in a small village in Sindh.

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13.  Sabeen Hisbani in Emaan (Express) – As the bhabhi who is learning English to impress her brother-in-law’s newly arrived American wife, Sabeen is hilarious in this character.