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Zindagi Gulzar Hai Episode 2 – A Complete Package.

“Aik din mei ami ko buhat se jootay le kur dun gi…buhat qeemeti jootay!”

As Kashaf enters the university to see if her name is on the merit list or not, the only thing that weighs on her mind is that whether her mother got her slipper repaired or not and if not how did she manage to make it to the college. The love that the mother and daughter share is simply awe-inspiring. I loved every second of their interaction on-screen. So, we finally know the history behind the “churail awal” dialogue! The merit list scene was superbly done. Zaroon’s over-confidence and Kashaf’s lack of confidence was shown perfectly through Zaroon’s dialogues and Kashaf’s thoughts. While, Zaroon expects nothing less than this that his name should be on top of the list, Kashaf considers him a “nashukra” (the dialogue really made me laugh). Zaroon remarks “churail awal pe aye hai” and Kashaf is not the one to let go of such a remark easily even if it was uttered as a joke. It was great to see a smile on Kashaf’s face, Sanam Saeed’s expressions were simply flawless and she portrayed Kashaf’s pride and surprise in a very apt manner.

Kashaf celebrates in the best way possible with her family but it was plain to see that her mother could only be fully content if her husband could be a part of the “festivities”. Unfortunately, Kashaf’s father’s reaction to the news (even if it was “provoked” by his second wife) was perfect example of the double standards that exist in our society. No one takes a step forward to help Kashaf and her mother but everyone in the family is quick to hold them accountable. Kashaf’s father is someone who is completely oblivious of his responsibilities towards his family but still does not think twice before acting as the head of the family. He does not have an ounce of respect for his wife or daughters but still believes that these women are responsible for maintaining the family honor. Another typical mindset that exists in our society is that most of the people believe that girls should not be highly educated because their education is of no use to them or the family since at the end of the day they have to run the house. It is a great achievement for someone who comes from such a family to make it as far as Kashaf did and hopefully she will prove to be an inspiration for many girls like her who are watching this drama. We need more strong willed, practical girls as role models in our dramas. Of course Kashaf’s constant grumbling is not at all inspiring but it gives a realistic touch to the character. But I must also add that Kashaf would not have made it this far without the support from her mother and sisters. She is also very determined and would do anything to help her mother with the finances. She dreams of relieving her mother of her financial duties and a life in which she does not have to depend on any male whether it be a brother, father or son but she wants to stand on her own two feet…way to go Kashaf.  I must appreciate Samina Peerzada for opting for characters that are so inspiring. Even after everything that Rafia has gone through in life, she is still so positive and calm. Even though she respects her husband and loves him too but at the same time she does not think twice before telling him that his daughters cannot depend on him and would want to be like their mother.

I must say that I really liked Zaroon’s confidence in today’s episode, the way he brags about how he applied in only one university and is so sure that so many girls are dying to have him in their life. Kashaf’s thoughts about rich people as she enters the university and the way she worries about what she is going to wear and how her make up must have vanished by the time she got to the university, added another realistic touch to her character. These small details make such a big difference in the overall feel of the play and make the characters seem more like people from real life.

Zaroon is dead against women who like to dominate men because he feels that some women (like her mother and sister) do it on purpose, in order to feel good about themselves. Or maybe it is just because he is a very typical male who believes that women should play second fiddle to men. According to Zaroon, “Chauvinist hona aurat ka ghulam honay se buhat behtr hai”. Kashaf, on the other hand does not have a high opinion of men at all, although her mother keeps on telling her that not all men are the same But Kashaf insists she wants neither phool nor kaantay but “behtr nahi kachay raastay pe chlatay jayen”…another beautiful dialogue, I must say. So, basically their views about the opposite gender come from what they have seen around them.

Last but not the least the last scene was also one of the many brilliant scenes in today’s episode. In my opinion Kashaf’s reaction to Zaroon saying “hi” to her could not have been more in line with her character. Here is a girl whose mother gave her a long lecture about how she was the first girl in the family who was going to study with men and also she does not have a very high opinion of men in general, so even if she had not heard the churail conversation her reaction still would have been somewhat the same! I have to say that I felt for poor Zaroon, he most certainly did not deserve that!

This was a perfect second episode and I enjoyed every second of it. Kudos to the entire team of Zindagi Gulzar hai, from the writer to the director, producer, actors, camera man and everyone else who put in their honest effort to bring us such wholesome entertainment. I am eagerly looking forward to the next installment.

Fatima Awan.