First of all thanks to Zee for bringing us stories from beyond the border. Zee Zindagi is telecasting the TV shows from Pakistan. All I can say the social setup in both the neighboring countries is almost the same as we share a common history. Same patriarchal mindset where woman has to work really hard to prove her worth. It is shown in our TV shows also but the difference I found after watching Zindagi Gulzar Hai is that there the female characters are shown strong in every true and real sense.
This is a story about a girl Kashaf (played by Sanam Saeed), a lower middle class girl who grows up in a typical patriarchal environment where her father has left her mother Rafia and 2 sisters and married another woman only because her mother failed to give him a male child. Rafia is educated and loves her daughters very much. She works as teacher and faces every trouble to make her daughters strong and independent without any help from her husband. She sends Kashaf to University despite facing strong opposition from family. All such circumstances make Kashaf emotionless towards men. As usual she considers all men chauvinist, egoistic, who consider women as least important creation and just want a wife who can bear a boy and stay at home.
One the other hand comes Zaroon (played by Fawad Afzal Khan) who belongs to an elite class. Brought up with all the facilities and luxuries he is caring, loving, protective and friendly (with women). Yes he too is a bit chauvinist (ok a little more but you can’t stop loving him at any cost ;-)). But as they say there is nothing called a perfect life. We see Zaroon’s family has typical feministic mother and sister who consider their ego as their asset and thus a compromising father who believes in keeping family together.
Now all those moments of 2 opposite characters meeting in college and going through a series of ego clashes and verbal spats goes on but in a limited manner (nothing OTT in this show). But you will love it too as their debates are very cute.
College ends and life brings them together after a year or two in same job. Meanwhile Zaroon gets engaged to his childhood friend and breaks up too. After working together he realizes that Kashaf is the kind of girl he is looking for as his wife. Kashaf doesn’t believes in marriage for obvious reasons but a moment of care and consideration shown by Zaroon makes her say Kabool Hai for Nikaah with him. I must say the marriage sequence is so gracefully shown and also their conversation on wedding night.
Now every married life goes through trouble so does their married life goes. But they break up and they make up with very cute debates. The story ends on a happy note with Kashaf, Zaroon and their twin daughters (YES DAUGHTERS): ….. And they lived happily ever after….
Kashaf leading a tough life doesn’t have smiling moments until she gets married to Zaroon. Zaroon’s childlike exuberance actually changes Kashaf and we can see her smile, chuckle blush post marriage only. Not everyone can understand the mental turmoil that Kashaf underwent. Its so obvious of her to be emotionless towards men and concept of marriage.
“Agar yeh khush kismati hai toh meri kyun hai; aur agar yeh ek jhoota khwaab hai toh main kyun dekh rahi hoon”
By the way both our leads write diary and their soliloquies are worth hearing. I am in awe of the dialogues of this show. Every thought of leads played in background as they write diary is meaningful and seems like story of our own life at some or the other point of time. Kashaf needed a man like Zaroon in her life who is responsible and shield like to her and Zaroon needed an independent yet a home maker woman. Thus ‘Ram Milayi Jodi’.
The simplicity of this show is its TRP. Unlike our desi shows where there is trouble (always hypothetical) for female lead there are realistic troubles that we can see women facing around us. No vamps, No unnecessary and irritating Zoom ins to each face in the scene, No loud ‘Dhoom tananana’ Back ground music but only sweet soft strings and flute. Sewing a button on to a husband’s shirt is probably the most common scene we can watch in a TV show but here even this scene was effective due to the simplicity. On a lighter note, this show also pays tribute to desi Chai. Every episode has multiple gupshup scenes over chai ka cup. Infact Chai plays important role in Zaroon and Kashaf’s wedding too. Hehe 😉 😀
Where Zaroon openly flirts and praises his wife, Kashaf never comes out of her self created wall. But thanks to her trusted diary we come to know how much she actually loves Zaroon, his care, him being protective (and not chauvinist). When Kashaf confesses her love for Zaroon to her beloved diary in my personal favorite Episode 20:
”Main tumse yeh kaise kahoon ki mujhe tumhari kaunsi baat achchi nahi lagti….
Apne ird gird tumhara ghoomna,
meri wajood se nahi hatne Tumhari gehri bolti nazren,
tumhari har waqt ki tavajjum,
tumhara jaan chidakne wala har andaaz,
har baar jab tum mere maa baap ke liye aitaraman khade ho jaate ho, to mai tumhare samne jhukne lagti hoon.
Aur kya kuch nahi …jo mujhe tumhare saamne moam nahi karta…
ek chote se ghar ke is pankhe wale kamre mein tumhari yeh gehri neend,
mineral water bottle ko doondne ke bajaay nalke ka paani pee lena, hand wash chhodke ek saste sabun se haat dho lena…”
Their cute conversations over phone:
Tum bolo mai sun rahi hu…. “
Zaroon and Kashaf are two broken but beautiful souls trying to heal each other. Being a girl I can understand Kashaf’s pain but at the same time the way Zaroon cares for her as a shield I won’t mind him being a bit (only a little bit) chauvinist. There isn’t a moment where you feel that their romance has gone over the top or it is looking fake.
This story made me believe that every person we meet in life has a purpose, to heal you, to make you strong, simply hold your hand or act as your protector. You never know when and how that person might mean world to you. Extreme feminism or male chauvinism is of no use as at the end of the day we need a partner to share our feelings with. No wonder how our life goes through troubled path of misunderstandings, fear, ego and all such emotions but we have a partner who walks with us is enough to lead a perfect life.
If you are looking for a really nice real story with brilliant acting and cast then ZIndagi Gulzar hai is not to be missed. Infact after my write up on Devon ke Dev Mahadev, this show has inspired me to write about it. You can feel that both Kashaf and Zaroon are correct at their places. The dialogues and sweet Urdu accent adds to the beauty and flow (and girls will fall for Zaroon).
Special mention to director Sultana Siddiqui and writer Umera Ahmed for providing us with a show that is probably one of the best I have seen. This show has changed a lot of concepts in me and forced me to ponder on many issues. And the title track sung by Hadiqa Kiani is one of soulful and meaningful track.
The life of the show Fawad and Sanam, I have no words to describe your flawless act. Zaroon and Kashaf are real for me. They are not fictional. All thanks to you. Also praises for the actors playing roles of family members of our lead couple particularly Kashaf’s mother played by Samina Peerzada. I felt that she is the strongest realistic female character on TV I have seen in recent times.
Summing up I would like to say this story will always stay with me.
‘Khamoshi ki bhi awaaz hoti hai!’