Zindagi Gulzar hai- The Novel and the drama!

What we see is what we believe, but did you know that the script of your favorite drama serial ‘Zindagi Gulzar hai’ is somewhat pretty different than what is shown on screen? If you have read the novel, you might be getting what I am talking about. It was only yesterday that I started reading Umera Ahmed’s ‘Zindagi Gulzar Hai’ and amazingly, I am done with the entire novel just in a single night.

This novel has a privilege of being the first novel of the writer which she wrote just to improve her writing, without even knowing that a writer lives within her. The novel is based on a different theme where there is no narrator and the story moves on in a direct form. It is Kashaf’s diary and Zaroon’s too (and not a laptop), that reveals the story. The story starts with Kashaf’s part where she enters her college.

Highlighting the differences that have twisted the story further, it was amusing to find that according to the novel, Kashaf’s father, Murtaza never married twice and had two sons and four daughters from his first wife, that is, Kashaf’s mother. On the other side, even Sara is not the only sibling Zaroon has, in fact, he has a brother too. Although these changes are minute enough to be neglected because when it comes to picturing a novel as a drama, some extra characters are always cut down. This is common when we see a product from Umera Ahmed’s and Momal Production’s collaboration. I have also read other novels like ‘Humsafar’ and ‘Shehr-e-Zaat’ and such changes are as normal as can be. Even Ashar of Humsafar had three sisters which never have to happen in the drama.

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The Novel revolves around Kashaf’s miseries and the hard work she does to reach to a designation as big as a CSP officer. Even Zaroon’s character is dissimilar to what is shown on screen. Now that they will be married in the next episode, the story will have a twist and Zaroon’s other side would be seen if it goes according to the script. The two of them start landing up in fights, where Zaroon suspects Kashaf for not loving him but her brother-in-law, (husband of her sister Asma, who doesn’t exists in the drama). They both also had two sons and the story goes 9 years ahead when Zaroon again meets Asmara. However, according to the OST shown, the drama doesn’t hold any symbol of story taking this turn.

Keeping all other differences hidden for now, I would really recommend this novel as a read up. It is always interesting to relate what we read with what we see. ‘Zindagi Gulzar Hai’ is surely one of the most special novels been written by Umera Ahmed, though I still couldn’t compare the essence of her magnificent novel ‘Peer-e-Kamil’ with this one.

Share your views about the novel, and also mention the changes if I missed any.

Best Wishes

Nida Zaidi


My name is Shozib Ali. I have done Bachelors in Media Sciences. Currently Working as an administrator and content writer for reviewit.

  • The brother in law in the novel is the cousin in the drama. That taya ka beta who forced his father (taya g) to attend Asma's wedding. The novel is more realistic, we are seeing more ideal characters in the drama.

  • peer e kamil is the the best …. i wish that never turned out in a drama form otherwise it will lose its originality … peer e kamil is the best literature i have ever read

      • Hi am from India. Love the Pak plays. Watch them on YouTube. Am watching ZGH and wait keenly for the next episode. Have watched meri zaat Zara…….number of times and now this, ofcourse besides so many other plays. Is the novel you ppl talking in Urdu or English? Would Luv to read it. Any other good dramas on line?

        • hi Renu, good to know that our dramas r getting popular among u people, its an advantage of understanding same langauge:) u can read this novel on another website I cant give u full name here but its dramapakistani I think dot net , there its roman urdu version is present. if u liked Humsafar then u would like this new drama Dil e Muztar. from past u will find Qaid E TAnhai just amazing. u can check old drama section of Dramasonline.com .

          • Hi Aasim thanks a lot for your reply. I have watched Qaida e tanahi and like so said it was indeed v good. Am watching Dil e Muztar, so far there are on three episodes online. Frankly speaking I tend to fall in love with most of your actors. Lol. Can't decide who is better. Anyways where can I read peer e Kamal in English and what does it mean? Thanks again.

          • go on umeraahmed official page on face book there u can get all links and u can ask all about her work. mmm peer e kaamil means the perfect mentor , I dont know if u r a muslim or not, sadly u willnot much get the story if u r not muslim, or u will have to make some search for some terms. but its her best book indeed. hahha@ falling in love with our actors, yes its true they r really good and much credit goes to directors too.

          • these days Silvatain is also worth watching and Mera naseeb and Bari aapa from same writer r also good:)

          • Hi Omais thanks a lot for your reply. I have watched Qaida e tanahi and like so said it was indeed v good. Am watching Dil e Muztar also.

    • all u guys are true on your own side but agar dekha jae to as a director or a drama maker apko viewers ki pasand ko bhi dekhna parta hai… other wise viewers ka bhi intrest khatam ho jata hai… abi ye drama jaisa bhi ja rha hai dekhne walon k lye best hai… agar drama ko as it is novel ke story ke tarah he copy kia jae to result ye bhi ho sakta hai jaisa k hit drama 'MAAT' ke ending mein hua which was quiet wrong and totally dismatched with the viewers choice… to thora bht compromise kna he parta hai to buildup intrest of viewers…

    • 100/10 write sana,,i really agree bcz it will lose its moral an oll that which we understand and learn..i always praying that it never turned in adrama,,so thanks sana that u go wd my opinon..

  • Zaroon suspects kashaf and that leads to kashaf leaving the house,but zaroon brings her back after few days. I have seen a scene in OST where kashaf is standing holding letters in her hand and i think these are the letters which zaroon will show her once he will bring her back.
    honestly i think there is nothing much that happens in the novel after the two get married. it all about their happily married life and zaroon living a satisfied life with Kashaf and kids. i think Drama is actually more interesting than the novel.

    • I totally agree with you lala! I have read the novel also and I think drama is going better than the novel so far. The changes are making drama more interesting.

    • which letters u are talking abt?? i hav read the novel but cannot recall any letters..as far as i remember neither kashaf nor zaroon wrote any letters …they used to write diaries
      ……..plz reply….i m soooooooo confused???

      • in Novel….some 1 propose to kashaf b4 shadi n express it thro letters…zaroon found them n gets possessive about her even this thing gets him angry …kashaf leaves home….

      • Iam elia, from indonesia, first I watched this drama because of its has english subtiltles , so I followed, wooooow so lovely story, and I also waiting next episode where kashap crying hold her picture wedding and standing alonewith a letter in her hand

  • i haven't read the novel but in drama i feel something is missing instead of having all the elements to make it a superhit …….. but i read humsafar & man-o- salwa which i don't like as a drama so i stop my self not to read ZGH it b/c i unable so see it with comparision & wht i can say for PEER-E-KAMIL it not only lost its essence but also lost its readers too . if unfortunately it is dramatised.neverthe less watch ZGH (one of the good drama ) shown on our t.v.

  • hey Nida i m a big fan of Pakistani dramas and novels specially after watching humsafar and dastaan, sheher e zaat. i m enjoying ZGH VERY MUCH . BUT I WANT TO READ THE NOVEL TOO.UNFORTUNATELY I CANT READ URDU . CAN I GET A ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE NOVEL ANY WHR… PLZZ HELP ME

    • no.. i m from bangladesh… unfortunately we dont get to see pakistani channels here.. i have to see it online… sometyms sites r blocked….but still i dont miss a single episode no matter what!! :)thank u very much nida and ashi

  • nice work!
    m enjoying drama more than i enjoyed novel…. u highlighted many differences rightly… i read this novel 5 years back… few differences that i still remember r there was no depiction of sara's married life at all in novel. kashaf's siblings were all very careless about their studies and earning and kashaf used to wonder why they are so careless and how she will manage it all alone. kashaf was an average student as far as i remember she told zaroon after marriage that she always wanted to copy his assignment in uni. however, in drama they have shown it the other way round. and one thing i always wonder is that why zaroon stopped receiving those letters after he told kashaf about them. and why there was no mention of the source and reason of those letters anywhere in the story afterwards.

  • hey Butt I Like ZINDGI GULZAAR HAI wao………………nyc
    and zaorron and kashaf ……..amazing ..

  • written words can never be depicted as beautifully. i beleive all the novels are better when compared to their own versions of television dramas, no matter how glamourous.

  • ek or cheez b bht hilit he novel me… or wo he universty lif me zarron ka kashaf ko thapar….. phir jiska badla kashaf baad m leti he zaroon se … after 7 yrs jub wo us se milny usk ofic aata he…

    • Yes Seemab, I was wondering that when did he slapped her in the drama? Its really cruel part which was thankfully not shown on screen else Zaroon would have lose his half of the marks!

  • Novel n Drama dono hi Bhtttttttttt Achay hain…..koi baat nahi agar change kiya hai tu….q k changing bht achi hai jo dramay main ki gayien hain….warna tu humaray kuch directors jese mehreen jabbar achay khasay novel ko sad bana detien hain or samajhtien hain k bht kamal kiya hai main ne…..ZGH jitni bhi changings ki hain wo sari bht achien hain no bad ending …

  • like mano-salwa and lahaasil is dramatized very good, I guess peer-e-kaamil will be even more good….I hope it will get dramatized….i will love it

  • So I'm guessing the brother in law in the novel is gonna be osama since zaroon has seen him and kashaf together which makes a good basis for him suspecting kashaf when he finds out he proposed her!! I wonder if they'll keep the letter part!

  • Drama can be different from Novel but I think,its going excellent. Large number of characters in d drama make a Khichrri so its good that there are limited characters to understand the story.
    PLUS, what needs to shown 9 years later meet asma abla bla bla?
    People wana see a happy ending of a drama a happy married life so whats going on is going and it fulfill the expectations of the viewers.

  • ASAK, i love ZGH! it's an awesome drama. I used to watch a lot of urdu dramas earlier, but then with a busy schedule at work and home, lost interest..then i heard abt Humsafar, and watched that after years…loved it!now i am just hooked on! also watched Shehr-e-zaat, and Meri zaart zarra-e…
    I hope ZGH lives upto everyone's expectations,so far, it's going great…and i hope it ends well too.
    all actors are awesome!
    p.s : i started reading the novel too, but i found the drama more interesting!

  • According to a news Peer-i-Kaamil is not allowed to be dramatized because it is related to wrong faiths of a typical religion. If they dramatize it they have to change the story altogether. This altogether change will ruin the Novel.

  • I read this novel 6 month before drama started.It touch my heart and still very fresh in my mind.Drama is also very super.

  • I read this novel first published in the digest , at that time I thought the umera Ahmed best , I love Umer bail, n peer e kamel, I read all his novel in digest monthly, living wid the characters……….Aks is the latest


    • I agree with u … Kashaf ki ammi ki soch ki waja se meri soch badli hy mai.b kashaf ki tarha bagair sunay dekhy faisly krti thi or phr khud hi nuksan hota tha i realize wht i've done… Now mai ab soch samjg k fasla krti ho
      Thank u kashaf ki mumma

  • I'm a bit comfused that what will be the turning point in their lives as we are shown Kashaf crying holding her wedding picture in the OST. Anxiously waiting for it!! And what I think is that if the cast was not so special meaning that if the cast didnot feature Fawad Khan, Sanam Saeed and Samina Peerzada etc so the drama won't be going so tremendous and people might not show much interest in the drama. The story and the acting skills of all actors and actoresses are awesome!

  • zgh was the 1st writing of umera ahmad… she wrote it to make her writing improve in teenage… her frnd encoureg her to publish it n then she published it in a women digest… aftrwards it came in a shape of novel n now its taking the shape of a drama… she said abt hr novel that "i know that there r many things missing in my writing. i will improve it during writing the drama's story.."
    these r the true words of umera ahmad in hr interview

  • wow…i just wanted to appreciate all the comments that have educated me about the actual story present in the written form. thanks all of you. i also highly appreciate you all helping indian viewers about the roman english source of novel. i am also tempted to read peer-e-kamil after reading your comments.

  • realyyy zgh wz 1 of the mst popular drama .but sum changes r dare. dare i read noor comment dat zarun died at the end and bla bla……………………it wz totally wrong. becoz i read the novel and it wz so interesting…………ammmmmmmmm and at the end kashaf and zarun had 2 sons and they gone to america..

  • salam all the team of zindagi gulzar hey
    i wana read this novel
    i like this story

  • Hi, I am from India and I loved the serials Humsafar and ZGH. I think I am in love with Fawad Khan. He is just too cute. lol I read the story of Dastann but since it is so sad decided to leave it. Please suggest some more good ones. I don't like them too sad

    • if u have time, watch the drama serials, (1) Maat, (2) mery khawab resa resa, (3), Jo challey to jaan sy guzar gay

  • Nothing out if the ordinary. im just tired of the endless fights and misunderstandings between the two, like com on move in you boring love birds! seen better things than this for SURE!!!

  • Nice drama i am enjoying it alot i am excited to see the last episode what will happen then

  • I HATE THIS NOVEL AND DRAMA.So much bore scenes.For hours just one scene had pasted.UFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sultana G!Ayesi direction pehle nhi dekhi.Scene ke sath music bhi match nhi kerta.

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