The drama inches ahead in this episode, leaving us a little frustrated with the pace but also giving us more time to ponder upon the message that must infiltrate our minds more than the obsession with the Kashaf-Zaroon love story. One of the cast members, someone I bumped into several weeks ago, confirmed that they would get married (we already know that, right?) and added that there would be no predictable romance. Kashaf and Zaroon will not stop quarreling. Perfect. Now all we have to do is wait. Meanwhile…
“We were not inflicted with miseries by society but by our own father.”
Kashaf, who has been posted somewhere in Interior Sindh, sums up her inability to forgive her father. She says she cannot, especially not until he himself reaches out to her and has this conversation that she has had umpteen times with her mother. Truth be told, this conversation does outrun its effect in this episode and we feel all too happy to see Rafia seated at the dining table, helping herself to a hearty meal. It’s a relief to see her smiling instead of burrow-browed. The best and most awaited scene (at the end of the episode) is of course the “cute-meet” when Kashaf walks into her supervisor’s office, with Zaroon present as her foreign office coordinator. Finally, the parallels come to an end and cross paths.
But the play is about parallels on so many different levels and the director does a great job in drawing them out delicately. We have observed differences in the Kashaf/Zaroon households and women and now we see the difference in relationships. While Ghazala is adamant that her daughter should stick to her liberal guns, even if it means divorce, Rafia wants Kashaf to forgive and mend ways with her father, even if it means overcoming a lifetime of disappointment.
Zindagi Gulzar Hai has posed a very interesting discussion on the definition of liberal and conservative. Zaroon and his family are liberals but their relationships are falling apart primarily because of the women. His sister Sara refuses to compromise and accepts divorce rather than flexibility. His mother supports her decision and fails to see the love and decency Farhan is consistently extending to Sara. Zaroon, having the same issues with his fiancé Asmara, confesses to his dad that he would never want his wife to be anything like his mama or sister. In other words, he already believes that Asmara is not the girl for him. In a freak Freudian slip, he also tells his friend Usama that someone like Kashaf would be much more suitable.
Technically, the play is shot with a very character-central angle. Because of the fact that it is about human dealings, emotions and relations, it remains focused on the people and rarely does the camera wander. College scenes in the initial episodes did portray the school in a beautiful light but recently, in the last two episodes especially, there is hardly any outdoor shooting and all we see is the characters and their emotions. The director has a tendency to blur out backgrounds, which is an effective way of ensuring those emotions come across effectively.
This episode edges towards its end by placing Kashaf and Zaroon very firmly in the picture. And next week’s promo leaves us with Kashaf pondering over the good fortune of finding stability and a husband without putting in any effort. I have the feeling she’s not talking about herself, though it may have been cut to appear that she is. This plot is just about to thicken…can’t wait for the next episode!