We were gearing up for a continuation of the battle between Zaroon and Kashaf instead what we got was Kashaf giving him a cold shoulder. She refuses to budge even when Sir Abrar questions both of them, putting an end, at least on paper, to a flaming rivalry between the two. Hopefully it is just a temporary reprieve since none of us have had a fill of their fireworks yet.
God have mercy, Zaroon gets engaged to Asmara on the condition that they would marry only after two years (buying time perhaps to figure out if he wants to have the cake or eat it). Where we see absolute lack of compatibility with utmost certainty, Zaroon is just starting to mull over the fact that ‘probably’ Asmara is not the right choice for his wife. Both are two full of themselves to even see each other for what they really are. Being engaged to Asmara has turned out to be a wakening call for his intelligence as Zaroon slowly assimilates and analyzes her thoughts, actions, and behavior looking for compatibility. Then again, he is not as smart as he looks if he thinks her good looks more than compensate for their mismatched personalities. When Zaroon’s stance regarding Sara’s marital hiccup becomes clear to Asmara, she suggests he marries Kashaf instead to which he agrees. Both of them have no clue about Kashaf if they believe she would happily and blindly do ji-huzoori to her husband.
While I don’t agree with Zaroon’s point of view that his sister should forego her social life and do exactly as her husbands wants, I do concur on his thoughts regarding feminism and women using it as a launch pad for their misplaced sense of freedom. It is important to find a balance that would work for both parties for a marriage/relationship to be successful. I liked the way Zaroon was fiddling around with his guitar pick; it is such a trivial thing but a natural reflex when one is deep in thought.
This episode belonged to the Murtaza’s twin families. The contrast between his families was glaringly evident from their values, principles, attitudes, and especially how they have brought up their children. Murtaza is furious when he finds out that his son, Hamad has passed in second division scoring only 312. Hamad walks in soon after lying to them about the score. He blames the board just like his mother. People who pass on the blame never introspect to realize where they have gone wrong and there can be no progress without introspection.
Murtaza refers to his daughters as "Rafia ki bachchon ko dekho" as if they are a third person's aulad. Entire sequence with the second family is a hard lesson on parenting. How will a boy respect his father if his own mother thinks so little of her husband and belittles him right in front of her son? Hamad is a case study in bad parenting and second wife an example of what one should not do as a mother. A mother holds in her hands the greatest power, duty and responsibility to mold a child, shape its future; being a mother is the most powerful role in life.
On one of his regular visits to Rafia’s home, Hamad unwittingly gloats about all the material things his father has bestowed upon him since he happens to be his lucky mascot. Hamad is clueless about how he has unintentionally hurt them. This stirs up the pain afresh and the sense of betrayal resurfaces for Rafia and their daughters. In direct contrast to Murtaza’s second family, Shaneela scores high but not enough to gain a scholarship and she rues the fact until Rafia assures her of an education in the University.
Kashaf suggests that Rafia sell all the jewellery meant for Kashaf’s marriage to pay for Shaneela’s further education. When Rafia hesitates, Kashaf assures her by saying, “Taaleem ka zevar se badkar iss duniya mein koi aur zevar nahi hai”. I loved this moment when the oldest daughter takes charge of a situation selflessly in the best interests of the family, a lesson on how a family becomes a close knit one with each other as a support system. The family nok-jhok when Shaneela was packing to go to the University was such a refreshing moment in the Rafia household, a beautiful departure from a usually tension filled atmosphere.
Despite the fact that Kashaf was wee bit taken aback, slightly disappointed even, when she learns of Zaroon’s engagement with Asmara, did anyone notice that Kashaf looked surprisingly pleasanter through out this episode. Predictably she trumps him in the final exams much to Zaroon’s disappointment. The girls going berserk over Zaroon’s engagement, basically calling him an idiot for choosing to spend his entire life with Asmara was a merry inclusion in the script. I cheered especially for the girl in blue who started her rant with, “Maine socha Zaroon intelligent hai….” Wah wah mere mann ki baat cheenlee usne.
On that note, I bid adieu to a slow episode, with a prayer that the next one picks up pace, a lightening strikes and Zaroon realizes his mistake, Asmara dumps him on his head, Kashaf smiles a little more, and that we get to see the clash of the titans again. Alas, if the precap is any indication, we are looking at another slow week. Stay tuned!
PS: As you all know, Zindagi Gulzar Hai is based on a novel by the same name written by Pakistan’s eminent writer Umera Ahmed. The novel is much more intense and in depth than the show and is definitely a must read. For all those interested in reading the book, Dramapakistani in an initiative to make the book more accessible, has translated it to Roman Urdu. You can access the book via this link http://www.dramapakistani.net/zindagi-gulzar-hai-novel-roman-urdu/ - it is a commendable effort by the Dramapakistani team to share rich literature with the world!