Jugnu - Definite Features

Not unlike Babar Ali, it’s been years since Saleem Sheikh did a truly meaningful role in a serial. His career has been full of characters that have been one of the cogs of the machine, like the role of an insensitive and cruel husband to an exploited wife in Darr See Jati Hai Sila. But, that’s what it was. A cog!

With his seniority, not unlike Babar Ali, he has little to show for it. May be, his face doesn’t have the sensitive creases that would make him emote brilliantly. He had already reached the top of his career in PTV serial, Dukh Sukh. He did that in the Nineties. That’s where he remains to this day.

That changes with Jugnu, another PTV serial.

Despite its supernatural setting, Jugnu proves that Saleem Sheikh has moved on. He is the centerpiece of the serial, and has done a sensitive job. He plays a man, who moves from one place to other, from one village to other, and exposes the evils of the society. In the end, when he catches the culprit of the evil, he doesn’t act as judge and the executioner, but appeals to the culprit by showing to him what is waiting for him in the future frame. This, inevitably, wakes up the culprit, and he is cured. It brings to my mind an American series of the Seventies, titled Then Came Bronson. It was about a man, who is always travelling on a Harley-Davidson, till he reaches a country or a village. He stays there for a week or so, and when he leaves, he has cured the troubles of the village.