As Zindagi Gulzar Hai theme song played at the conclusion and appearance of credits, I stood in front of my TV screen for good minute and thought of all the angry words I could use to describe the episode as my mind was buzzing with them. Then I remembered my nano ami’s golden words that janay waloon ko hamesha achay lafzoon say yaad rakhtai hain chahi who jaisay bhi hoon (one should remember those who are departing with fond words, even if we didn’t learn to become fond of them). So lets try to give our friend Zindagi Gulzar Hai (ZGH), who we have stuck with for a long time, a friend who has given us much to loathe, yet ponder upon, a proper goodbye along with much needed advice.
Zindagi abhi khatam nahin huii baas farq yeh hai kay meri dairy main Allah say shikway kum hogay hain. Main nay un cheezoon pay raazi hona seekh liya hai jo woh mujhey deta hai aur un cheezon ki talaash chohr di hai jo lahasil hain
As a viewer I am relieved that we finally heard these phrases coming from Kashaf’s mouth. She needed to arrive at this stage and all it took was one person who she despised to make her believe that she could indeed look at the rose or the thorns surrounding it. Let me state, I was glad that Kashaf took the ability, buried her pride and opened to tell Zaroon that she indeed loved him, something he could not even believe he would hear especially when he wiped a tear of his eyes while listening to her phone call. It is easier to see why Kashaf might love Zaroon but this episode really did made me question about what did Zaroon find to love in Kashaf, her character? Her intelligence? Her middle class values? The fact that she is a house wife and a working women who handles both at the same time? I wish we had seen one last reflection from both Kashaf and Zaroon as to why and how they have affected each other since the birth of their children and how do they view each other now.
However, the episode stayed true to Kashaf and Zaroon’s underlying relationship where everything was always swept under the carpet and real issues like Kashaf’s securities, Zaroon’s ever growing hypocrisies etc was all buried over beautiful romantic scenes (now with addition of twins). It was a relief to see them finally being happy and declare their undying love for each other…apparently I am concluding its fine for Zaroon to go and meet Asmara while Osama will chill with Kashaf and the twins?
One of the biggest strengths of Zindagi Gulzar Hai was director Sultana Apa’s ability to squeeze the best out of her actors in almost ever scene. If Zindagi Gulzar Hai was only looked at from individual scenes, it would win an Oscar hands down for perfect acting of main cast and brilliant use of camera angles to setup the stage for each scene. Fawad Khan was perfect as he gave range of emotions and the scene in episode 16 where he calls everyone due to not being able to talk to Kashaf will be forever entrenched in my brain. To me the biggest surprise quiet honestly have been three actresses. Sanam Saeed truly stood out and outshone Fawad Khan in some scenes as well. She matched him equally and the chemistry between them was fiery. That is what I would describe as well-matched actors put together to enthrall us. Another surprise was that Ayesha Omar can indeed act and Mansha Pasha found herself as my new favorite actress to watch out for! Zindagi Gulzar Hai is indeed a powerhouse full of talent and no stone was left unturned in choosing the best. For me personally if I need to hire someone to come up with unforgettable dialogues, Umera Ahmad would win the competition any day. Such memorable and beautiful words she weaves but I wish the overall story had been paid much more attension to rather then the individual dialogues in case of ZGH. Same could be said about directors grip on narrative or the editing department.
I remembered in the very first review I described the arrival of Zindagi Gulzar Hai in a friends words who analogized it as the pompous occasion of a barat with all the dhoom dhamaka except the baraat forgets to bring the dulaha with them in all the frenzy. That was one of the biggest problems with Zindagi Gulzar Hai: The Hype. It increased a lot of expectations of viewers like me, who expected for once a social drama written by prolific writer, a veteran director, and a stellar cast to create a well constructed theme and message especially with regards to women empowerment, the emotional burden of neglect due to being born in a certain gender and the power of education with regards to women. Not to mention how important it is for us to thank god for his blessings and be thankful to him for giving us this life- a journey from shikwa to shukar. Sadly the drama should never have been promoted in such a way because none of the themes gelled together or were cohesive enough to drive a point home. Kashaf despite all of her education and independence was still a prisoner to her insecurities that overshadowed everything. She is hardly a role model for any girl. Also it does not certainly helps a cause to squeeze last few lines and call it shukar without ever showing how one got to that point. Let us remember that the last 25.75 episodes were all on shikwa. As a media arts student I am well aquatinted with the pain of director to dramatize certain aspects of a narrative, especially one that is written in more of a philosophical format and is reflective of a social situation. Usually the showing part in terms of visualizing these narrative is then limited to very dramatic scenes and then to lead the story along, what occurs between scenes can be told by “telling” so the story can make progress. Here it is the director job to control the balance between showing and telling. The underlying problem with Zindagi Gulzar Hai has been mainly the imbalance that became so apparent. One example I am going to use from a previous review was the ever going conflict between Kashaf and Zaroon: We had one showing scene between Kashaf and Zaroon in episode four which was only less than a minute long where Kashaf makes a very personal attack during a class argument. We never had any other confrontation. Yet, every time, in past next 3 episodes, everyone is talking about how Kashaf gives Zaroon a headache or how Zaroon is losing arguments in class e.g. “Us nay har waqt dayd inch ki masjid bana rakhi hai…usay superiority complex hai, inferiority complex nahi “ This blah blah or this “telling” is useless to me as a viewer because I never really saw any dramatic action or “showing” which lead me to believe that there was any confrontation between the two characters. Certainly this imbalance between showing and telling has really flattened otherwise what could have been a very crisp and dramatic narrative. As many viewers and commentators pointed out that there was also a severe lack of proper timeline and unbalanced placement of scenes. The drama could have been very well done only if most of the scenes had been placed at the right time, at the right pace and all the background noise and useless repetition had been cut off.
Zindagi Gulzar Hai has not been an easy drama to review or critique at times. My sincere thanks and love to Sadaf and Roh for covering for me (when I was extremely busy & unavailable) and helping me when I was stuck. Thanks once to Faraz as well who did a review to cover both Sadaf and I. To all the commentators, viewers and those bold enough to energize all the discussions, and those who stuck with this safar till the end, thank you for making things gulzar here. It has been lovely to know you all (old and new) for past 26 weeks and believe me the drama is no fun without all your witty, honest and extremely insightful comments. I learned so much from all of you and I hope to see you all for new Umera Ahmad’s drama Kankar (starting Fahad Mustafa, Sanam Balooch & Mohib Mirza) as well as Fawad Khan’s new drama Numm (also starting Sania Saeed and VJ Kanza).
Numm Promo can be find here:
Poll Results: Who Won? Team Kashaf or Team Zaroon?
Out of almost combined 2000 votes per week on average till the very end:
51% were on team Kashaf
49% were on team Zaroon.
I am sure we can draw pretty clear conclusion from this. Faraz rigged the poll and added all votes for Zaroon right?… I am just kidding. Surprisingly in the last few weeks I was thinking that Team Z will win by large margin. However stats tell us otherwise!
So doston? App ki kiya zindagi gulzar hai?