Sarmad Khoosat and Samiya Mumtaz coming together are reason enough for any theatre buff to book their seat in front row, but it is still an added pleasure when there are other elements and actors in the play that are equally good.

Jhaanjar Di Paawan Jhankaar, a comedy play named after Noor Jehan’s famous song and starring Sarmad and Samiya along with Zain Afzal and Iman Shahid, delighted the audiences around Pakistan, as the show toured in different cities.

To give you a quick summary of the plot, Hamza (Afzal) and Zaman (Khoosat) are neighbours; both have strong and extremely likeable personalities that are in complete contrast to one another. The former is a blind young man who is disciplined, organised, sure of what he wants to do in life, has an optimistic outlook, but most of all, wants to break free from the clutches of his over possessive mother. The latter is an easy-going, carefree divorcée and a struggling actor. The two become fast friends, and enters Mrs. Sohail. Hamza’s mother is disappointed in his choice of friends and disapproves strongly of Zaman. What ensues is a struggle between the characters. His mother wants Hamza to return home while he insists that he is capable of being on his own. She thinks Zaman is a bad influence on Hamza and will not stick with him, leaving him heartbroken, but Zaman wants her to realise that Hamza is the hero of his own story and doesn’t need him, her or anyone else. Hamza wants Zaman to stop running from commitment and face the possibility of being in a healthy happy relationship.

The audience sees Iman only briefly towards the end as the director of the film Zaman is acting in. She does a decent job in the space that she is allowed, albeit very little. Samiya is excellent as a control freak brown mother we are all too familiar with. The play banks heavily on the chemistry between Sarmad and Zain and of them with Samiya.

Well-directed by Sarmad and Kanwal Khoosat, and written by Saeed Rahman and Fatima Maan, the play had plenty to offer, to laugh at and think about. The oudience feels like a part of the group hanging out with the two friends, and cries with Zain at his adorable helplessness. Sarmad’s spontaneity is undeniably matchless; he walks around in heels so high he could make every girl envy of his newly-found talent. And not just that, he even dances on an entire song in them! Guess which one? Jhaanjar Di Pawaan Jhankaar, of course.

Don’t get confused; in his upcoming film, Zaman plays a fan obsessed with Anjuman (the actress the original song was picturised on) and would put on heels, anklets and dance on her songs. – Sidra S. Khan