So I umm-ed and aah-ed and almost sat down to write the review then changed my mind – and then came back to my laptop and here I am. Most of the dramas I have reviewed till date have been fairly seedhay saadhay and for those of you who have been following Tere Chah Mein you may understand where I am coming from when I say that though this drama has ‘strange’ (strange being a mild and safe word) events unfolding one after the other – it has captured my interest. Whether the story is controversial, religiously,morally or ethically wrong or right is something I do not wish to get into. The way the story is told and the sequence of events and how each character is etched out and the way their minds work is what has interested me in the first place. The unpredictable twists and fast pace of the drama also contribute to Tere Chah Mein being a show I find myself tuning into each week.
Produced by Big Bang Entertainment, directed by Aabis Raza and written by Samina Ejaz, Teri Chah Mein airs on ARY Digital every Wednesday at 8pm. Teri Chah Mein is the story of two brothers and their families. The older brother played by Salman Shahid is married to a younger woman Mehwish (Maria Wasti) and the couple have two children Zara (Saboor Ali) and Kashif ( Asim Azhar). The younger brother Chacha is played by Shakeel and he is married to Chachi Ami (Shaheen Khan) and they have two sons, Faisal (Farhan Saeed) and Tahir (Fahad Sheikh). Although Mehwish does not seem to be an overly doting wife, yet we are given the impression that she is content with her lot in life and has a fairly good relationship with her husband. She is a lecturer at a university and spends her days juggling work, her children and home. The two brothers and their families share cordial relations and we learn that Zara is engaged to Faisal. As the bachpan ki mangnis go as portrayed in our dramas, Zara is in love with Faisal who in turn is friendly with her but is uneasy about the growing talks of finalizing a date for their marriage. He finds ways to speak to Mehwish and finally gets the chance to tell her that he can not marry Zara – for he has feelings for Mehwish instead.
Mehwish’s husband overhears this outburst and suffers a fatal heart attack. Faisal tries to speak to Mehwish at numerous occasions but she seemingly wants to have nothing to do with him. He finally corners her and I am not sure how this seemed to work like a magic wand but he clears himself by saying that he said to her that he wishes to marry someone ‘like’ her and not her but now with her husband out of the picture – he would like to marry her. Mehwish seems to fall into a state of trance and during that trance goes ahead with the nikkah to Faisal. She feels torn between guilt and wonder and regret and horror – or does she? I am not sure what she feels really once the nikkah has taken place except that she stresses nobody must know of their relationship just yet.
Faisal’s father soon comes across the nikkah nama and takes Faisal to task and when the whole story is being revealed, Kashif overhears the entire conversation. Kashif has shown to be a very emotional being from the beginning of the drama – overly emotional and true to form, rushes home and confronts his mother and while threatening to kill her, turns the gun on himself and shoots himself. So few episodes down and Mehwish loses her husband and then her son. Zara collapses and stays at her Chacha’s house till she beings to recover. She returns to her parents’ home and is initially cold but she seems to transform saying she has accepted things as they are and wishes to move on and is nice to Faisal and Mehwish. A peek into her thoughts enlightens us – she plans to ‘care’ for Faisal so as to make her mother jealous. And that is her plan of revenge so far. Well!
You know, when I sat tapping away at the laptop furiously, my husband out of curiosity asked me – a new drama review? And when I told him the storyline his response was – Are you serious?! The story narrated sounds outrageous and the story on screen is not any less outrageous. What Mehwish faces is constant backlash from everyone – family, work, society. Interestingly with the exception of his parents, nobody seems to have taken Faisal to task or treated him to any jibes and taunts. I saw a poster of this drama asking whether love is ‘qaid’ by age and I am not sure what message this drama is trying to give if any.
There are so many arguments being presented by the main characters and then the side ones and then the general public in this drama and that come up in our minds that it is difficult to channel down each thought and viewpoint but here goes:
Mehwish was married to an older man against her wishes. She was emotionally blackmailed and pushed into a marriage which she saw through without demanding much else in life for herself. So, when given the chance to remarry and have her chance at love – is she wrong to go ahead with it? That would be Faisal and Mehwish’s argument.
Mehwish married a younger man and that too the man who was engaged to her very own daughter. Ouch! Tasteless, shameless, selfish etc . Mehwish is a mother – how could she put her own happiness before her daughter’s? – Chacha,Chachi, Zara and the general public’s argument.
Live and let live – Faisal and Mehwish.
Not when you trod over other relations in the process. Duniya kia kahay gee? – The Others.
Even though society frowns upon it, but marriage to a younger man is not as alarming as it is made to appear it is. There have been many instances, when a woman is widowed she is often married off to her dead husband’s brother. I have to admit this twist of marrying the dead husband’s brother’s SON threw me but out of curiosity I wonder what really the age difference is between Mehwish and Faisal for we are given the impression she is married to a much older man at a very young age. I am trying very hard not to be judgemental and pass any personal sentences here, LOL – but I can not refrain from saying that while Mehwish is justified in remarrying, choosing to marry the very man who was engaged to her daughter and related to her made me a bit queasy. As for Mehwish, I am not sure how I feel about her character and I mean this aside from her choice to marry Faisal. She comes across as a confident mature woman in the beginning, so then the way she went ahead with the nikkah was a bit unconvincing. Also, her attitude with Zara is confusing. Surely, to make your daughter accept her ex fiancé as her step father she needs more than yelling at to behave and be slapped? The conversation Mehwish had with Zara in the car where she explained her feelings did not seem to have any impact either. Maria Wasti is a great actress but I am unable to actually put my finger on whether it is Mehwish’s character that lacks a certain depth or Maria’s acting that makes it seem that she is a woman who is not as passionate about her relationships or as affected by what has happened so far. She has happily accepted Zara’s change in stance – so far. Farhan Saeed in Udaari and now in Teri Chah Mein has made me sit up and take notice for I find he has acted remarkably well in both serials.
Once I started watching this drama and then also looked up the name of the writer, producer etc I was a bit taken aback to find it had more strikes against it than I had imagined. In my book at least.
(a) Big Bang production. That name makes most of us uneasy and understandably so.
(b) Sameena Ejaz. The name sounded familiar and upon some research I found she has given us dramas such as Adhoori Aurat, Zinda Dargour, Doosri Aurat – need I go on?
(c) Big Bang & Sameena Ejaz – the most recent product of this duo was Be Qasoor. Ahem.
(d) Saboor Ali. After Bhai I had thought never again, no more screeching, hair strewn, tiny framed Saboor Ali being pushed around on screen for me. Yet here I am. Although there was plenty of screaming in the earlier episodes, I hope this is the end of it and a vengeful Saboor Ali has more to offer.
(e) Shaheen Khan. The helpless, perpetual woebegone expression plastered on her face actress has been on my screen far too many times.
Yet! In spite of all this, I just finished watching the latest episode last night. On the flip side, given the pace of the drama so far I am curious to see what further twists unfold. When Kashif died I had thought the rest of the drama would focus on how Mehwish faces this and her relationship with Faisal. But with Zara’s plan of action and next week’s promo showing Mehwish has caught on to Zara’s plan and is having her own tantrums, I can only hope that this play remains what it is to me right now – entertaining and interesting and does not begin to drag. I would like to mention that the director’s latest work Tum Yaad Aye was a treat to watch and this drama seems alright so far except please – can we do away with the ghostlike images hiding behind curtains or behind doors and eavesdropping on conversations which lead to drastic and even fatal turn of events! I personally like the OST too but then I do like most of Farhan Saeed’s songs!
How many of you have been following this drama and would you be interested in weekly/ fortnightly reviews? What do you make of it so far – would love to hear your thoughts.