by HIRA SANGI
Nothing can beat the spell that seasoned actors cast while performing in a well scripted and executed drama. Just as you step out of the euphoria you start to realize that no matter how talented younger actors are, they can never beat the experience these artists have accumulated by working hard over the years. Since acting and performing arts schools just recently opened up in Pakistan, we have very few trained performers and the majority of newcomers we see on television don't bother getting professional training. There is also the notion among many people that acting comes naturally; while in born talent might be a reality you cannot deny that even the brightest of diamonds needs polishing. So we only see younger actors performing better over time as they train themselves and learn with hands on experience only.
Recently I got a taste of some fine acting by Sameena Pirzada and Sajid Hassan in the drama 'Jannat Say Nikaali Hui Aurat'. The story is quite an interesting one and the onscreen couple's acting was flawlessly convincing. The plot revolves around a couple who after spending a large portion of their lives together start taking each other for granted. Their level of comfort together takes a different turn when suddenly they see the world changing around them. Their sons live separately and visit their parents very rarely; an act that saddens the aged couple a lot. That coupled with the realization that they will soon be retiring from their jobs adds to their inhibitions. One of their petty quarrels turns ugly and Sajid Hassan divorces his wife on the spot.
What's next to follow would definitely be interesting. Life is not easy for a woman who is uprooted specially in her middle ages. The protagonist has immense confidence in her sons too which will shatter soon and life would prove to be even tougher. The cast included Mohib Mirza and Mishi Khan along with others who will appear in the upcoming episodes.
'Jannat Say Nikaali Hui Aurat' is produced and directed by the team that brought us the hit 'Thori Si Wafa Chahiyay' (TSWC) hence there are unmistakable similarities in the two dramas. Sajid Hassan was a corrupt government officer in TSWC, he plays the opposite, an extremely honest income tax officer who would not compromise his morals no matter what. He plays the same upright, stubborn person who abuses his powers as a man by exercising his right to annul a marriage with no regard for his wifes lifelong struggles. Although the drama was worth watching and kept me glued to my television screen, there was no denying the sense of déjà vu as memories from TSWC came flooding back. 'Jannat Say Nikali Hui Aurat' seems eerily like the Amitabh Bachchan starrer 'Baaghban' as well. This drama however is worth following because of the fine choice of actors and a touching storyline. After a very long time, the graceful and ever beautiful Sameena Pirzada is getting her fair share on the television screen; Sajid Hassan too is at his best while Mohib Mirza plays the spoiled selfish son very convincingly.
Although the current trend that seems to work with audience are love stories complete with a vamp in full makeup, a deeply touching drama is making its way among the best this season. 'Sanjha' moves around a topic guaranteed to engross viewers, since taboos in society make excellent plots for movies and television plays, this one is getting the recognition it aimed at. Reshams character is the exact
opposite of what she played in 'Man-o-Salwa' but from what I have seen, she is doing a pretty convincing job of playing the part of a Madame, purchasing young vulnerable girls from dealers and then turning them into sex workers. 'Sanjha' seems to finally be settling in her new life in the brothel and has even succeeded in gaining a few admirers despite her dark complexion and lack of experience. Fahad Mustafa, who plays a doctor whose mother wishes to write a book about the life and plight of these women has also been wooed in by the young girl. Mean while Sanjha's sister has travelled from Tharparkar to Karachi in search of her lost sister. Persistent as she is, she faces one obstacle after the other and now faces the hardships of the city without having a clue about where her sister is. The background score for this drama further accentuates the feelings and you are left mesmerized! It will be interesting to see how this young girls life is carved out for her. Prostitution is a dirty profession and has dealers who have a lot at stake. Resham will surely not let go of her girls easily while Sanjha craves to go back to her family.
Moving on towards lighter shows, a new sitcom titled 'Shadi Mubarak' will be going on air soon. This stars Aijaz Aslam, Aiza Khan, Sami Khan, Mawra Hussain, Ghazala Jawaid, Khwaja Akmal and others. As its name suggests, this too is a story about life before and after tying the knot with a humerous twist to it. Ayeza Khan is seen in a completely different avatar and it seems she will be playing a geeky young girl in this one. Aijaz Aslam too has compromised on doing comedy ever since his sitcom with Faisal Qureshi, 'Main Aur Tu' became a hit. Since then, we have seen 'Kis Din Mera Viyah Howay Ga' and now he is back with an eerily similar 'Shadi Mubarak'. With the sad state of sitcoms in the country, I am keeping my fingers crossed for this one.
Speaking of weddings, the morning shows are again at their race with the recurring 'Shadi Weeks'. The purpose they claim is to educate people about the trends in weddings these days; keeping them abreast with the latest in designer wedding set ups, dresses and more. I fail to understand why this is the only topic that seems to be getting attention by the morning mafia. Nida Yasir is celebrating a wedding week on her show 'Good Morning Pakistan' while Fahad Mustafa and Kiran both are having their share of fun on 'Jago Pakistan Jago'. In a recent episode Nida Yasir had invited a fashion designer couple to her show who brought along their dresses with them. These dresses ranged from twenty five thousand to a few lac rupees. Now how many of Nida's viewers would be able to afford one of these designer 'joras'? How many people would be able to afford décor by a celebrity event planner on their weddings? Such shows only add to the trend of pomp and show in Pakistani weddings. If anything, such shows will only cause more frustration within society.
I, for one would never want to watch loud gaudy weddings first thing in the morning and am pretty sure that there must definitely be others like me who are fed up of the similar patterns of morning shows. Who said you needed a masala morning show to engross audience, it is time for a television channel to step up and change the face of these heavily made up mornings in our country!