Naml (review) 11-20

I’m glad that I didn’t start reading naml earlier as the suspense would have killed me.

Zumar and Faris get married and they feel rather awkward stuck together like this although it was an informed decision from both sides. Saadi confronted hashim and oblivious to the hidden pen camera, Hashim confesses to all his crimes. on top of that,  Hashim also informs Saadi how he helped haneen when she was ‘caught’ cheating. once back, Saadi speaks with haneen about the whole issue aggressively but zumar handles the situation intelligently. the whole family gathers on a dinner in honor of the newly weds and while waiting for dinner, they receive a phone call informing them that Saadi has been shot and has been taken to the hospital. shero had shot Saadi under the influence of drugs and Sara (waris’s widow) had witnessed it all but she was too afraid to admit anything. From the hospital, Hashim gets Saadi abducted and shifts him to a safe house in Sri Lanka. The safe house actually belongs to their family friend, Haroon obaid who thinks Saadi can help them as he is a young scientist. On the other hand, from the crime scene, Saadi’s young friend finds a Keychain that he hands over to zumar. the key chain has the pen camera too which haneen and zumar watch together and find out that hashim,and not Faris, is the culprit behind all. in the safe house, Mary takes care of Saadi but dreams of going back to her job at jawahirat’s place. Haroon obaid has a daughter roughly the same age as shero and Saadi who is a hypnotist and finds out that he father has Saadi as a captive. she has a crush on Faris and helps transferring a few things from Faris to Saadi. by the end of 20th episode, Saadi was a free man, zumar has started to like Faris as her husband, Faris has always been in love with zumar and haneen is trying to figure out her aim in life.

Overall, the story is quite captivating and with so much happening in every episode, the reader is hooked. I particularly like how nimra Ahmed has incorporated excerpts from famous writings (the one from Dante’s Inferno was my absolute favorite). also, the way Saadi speaks to Allah while reading the Quran is just awesome. it gives so many important lessons without being preachy. also, Haneen’s gradual transformation is being explained beautifully. however, some things felt completely over the top, like the telephone conversation between Saadi and hashim where hashim asks Saadi if there was a way for redemption. I loved hashim as the bad guy and I want him to be good at being the villain and it would be sad to see such a good character being wasted.

And yes, I hope nimra Ahmed let’s it being turned into a drama serial. hashim has to be Faisal qureshi. hashim has so many shades and Faisal qureshi would be perfect as hashim. as Faris finally had a role to play in the story  we found out a lot about him and that he isn’t sitting idle either. being the introvert, serious person he is, I think of him as someone who would look like hamza Ali Abbasi (with the same husky voice ;))

 

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Naml (1-10) review

Naml has been rather popular lately among people who read urdu novels/stories. I had been avoiding it for the longest time. first of all, the wait for the new episode is too much to bear. secondly, I wanted to read some of the earlier work by nimra Ahmed to know whether it will be something I would enjoy or not.

After  finishing mushaf and jannat key Pattey, a friend suggested to give naml a try and I finally decided to. I have finished reading the first 10 episodes and it hasn’t disappointed at all so far.

Story:

Saadi is a simple young man and has two younger siblings: his evil genius sister haneen and the baby of the family, his little brother Sam. his father died when he was 13 years old in an accident and his mother has worked very hard to bring up the kids. his mother, nudrat, has a brother waris ghazi and a half brother Faris ghazi. waris works for nab and is married to Sara who is a scientist and has two daughters. Faris lives with his uncle, aurangzeb kardar (his mom’s brother) who are very well off. aurangzeb is married to the evil javahir and has two sons: the very handsome and cunning hashim (lawyer) and the spoiled brat naushervan (shero). Saadi has a phuppo, zumar who’s also a lawyer and is also saadi’s best friend. zumar lives with her dad.

Hashim and his mother are involved in some illegal activities behind aurangzeb’s back. waris finds out about it but before waris could take any action, hashim gets him killed by his personal guard, khawar. to protect himself, he plans to set up Faris as the murderer and succeeds by planting evidence in faris’s car. to make it look more believable, he also kills faris’s wife and shoots zumar too. zumar believes that Faris shot him as just minutes before she was shot, she received a fake call from someone who sounded just like and claimed to be Faris. he tells her that he had to kill waris as he was having an affair with his wife and so he will be killing zartasha too and to wipe out all evidences, he will have to kill zumar too. zumar was however shot in a way that she wouldn’t die and would testify against Faris.

Not too long ago, Faris had wished to get married to zumar but zumar got engaged to Hammad. after this accident, Hammad called off his engagement with zumar and Faris went to jail. zumar’s kidneys had been damaged and Saadi donates one of his kidneys to save zumar. Saadi goes to England to study and it’s only 2.5 years later when he returns, he starts trying to get Faris out of jail, in which he succeeds too. Saadi is the only person now who knows hashim is the real murderer but can’t do much because he must find evidence against hashim before taking any action. meanwhile, haneen who is addicted to TV and Internet becomes aurangzeb’s favorite due to her intelligence. as both Saadi and haneen grow closer to aurangzeb, shero becomes more insecure and his hatred towards Saadi grows.

By the end of 10th episode, zumar is now planning to avenge Faris by getting married to him. Haneen has stopped watching TV and using Internet as she has realized that her addiction is getting in her way of using her intellect in a better way. Saadi has some evidence against hashim in files he can’t seem to unlock but haneen doesn’t want to help as she has promised herself not to use computers ever again in her life. so far it seems only Faris is not doing anything at all although he is the one who should be doing the most.

Review

There are lots of characters in the story but they are all related to Saadi in way or the other so it’s not too difficult to keep track after the first episode. also, unlike her previous work, nimra Ahmed’s characterization is much stronger here and none of the characters are half baked. there is enough backstory about everyone to help you understand the psyche of each one of them.

The story is full of emotional drama and although we all know who the bad guy is, it’s very interesting to read how they will actually find out. full marks to nimra Ahmed to have woven the Quranic verses beautifully into the story without making it sound like dars.

Right now I’m really nervous as the last episode ended with the prediction that Saadi might be killed. I think it will be up to haneen then to uncover everything but it will be a little difficult for her not only because of her promise of not using computers again but she also has a crush on hashim.

BTW, I like hashim’s character far more than the one dimensional Faris and all along I have been imagining Faisal qureshi to be playing the role of hashim if its ever turned into a drama serial. I think Faisal qureshi is the only actor who has the skill and the charm to look convincing as hashim and it’s anyway been so long to see him in a really good role.

I will now be reading the 11th episode! are you following naml?

Khuda mera bhi hai (review) episode 1-4

woh Larki sab kuch ker sakti hai, gher nahi basa sakti

before khuda Mera bhi hai started, I knew it’s about an intersex child born in an educated, affluent family and the social pressures associated with the whole scenario. but I was kind of not very enthusiastic about watching it but the dialog above sealed the deal for me. I decided to watch it because this is one sentence that, no matter whether I agree with it or not, I have heard about myself several times. I think all strong, opinionated women in Pakistan have heard this about themselves at some point in time so it didn’t take long for me to relate to the characters in this serial.

The story revolves around mahgul/mahi (aisha khan) and Zain (syed jibran). mahgul is a strong, independent woman who has been brought up by her single mother,  sawera (saba Hameed). she works as a photographer and her boss (Mahmood Aslam) adores her. his wife,  arshi, (irsa ghazal), who herself is very opinionated, does not like mahgul at all. their son has recently returned to Pakistan is quite smitten by mahgul. he falls in love and proposes to her. arshi tries very hard but fails to convince her son and the two get married. soon after, mahi gets pregnant and when the baby is born, to everyone’s shock, it’s an intersex child. arshi convinces Zain to give away the child and sadly Zain agrees.

The story so far is very powerful and all the actors are doing an amazing job. I am hating arshi and it’s only because irsa ghazal has been brilliant as the antagonist. I’m really happy for aisha khan. it’s been long since aisha khan has done such a strong character and she has nailed it from the get go. the only problem is her loud make up, especially in the fourth episode where it would have been better if she didn’t depend on make up so much. she is a beautiful woman and a great actress and the loud make up is not helping in any way. the scene where shoe found out that she has given birth to an intersex child belonged completely to both aisha khan and irsa ghazal. so far, syed jibran has been quite good too but the serial belongs to aisha khan. I don’t even remember the last time she was so good. I have always been a fan of hers but this character will be remembered for a long time.

I must thank the whole team of khuda Mera bhi hai to talk about an issue that we keep brushing under the carpet. Although the last episode made me cry buckets, I’m really happy that we are finally talking about real issues.

One word for the first four episodes : Wow!

Highly recommended

Dil banjara (review) episode 3-4-5

After the first few slow paced episodes, I decided to binge watch dil banjara every 2-3 weeks and now I think it was a rather good decision. the story has moved along a bit and I’m liking it now.

Nida’s father has been able to convince everyone that there would be no harm in sending nida to Nepal for her speech competition. it was very heart warming to see that after initial reservations, Taya Abba not only gave permission, he also gave his blessings to nida. nida has reached Nepal and as its the first time she is traveling alone, she is very nervous and panics easily. here, she bumps into sikander several times and although she tries to avoid him (like a good girl) but she always gets into situations where sikander comes to her rescue. sikander has agreed to get married to shama but deep down inside he knows that he is not in love with her and with the unpredictable nature that he has, he has packed his bags and has gone to Nepal. when he sees nida, he sees a new muse for his pictures and right now he seems to have taken a fancy of the Eastern and very simple nida. Right now, I’m feeling sorry for nida. she has lost her legs and it seems the only person who gives her hope is about to leave her too.

As for acting, Sanam Saeed and the actors playing her family seem to be doing a good job. Sanam Saeed’s scenes with Adnan Malik seem forced and as of now I can’t see any chemistry between them. I still can’t understand why everyone thinks Adnan Malik is an amazing actor. he is strictly ok.

The story is getting interesting now and I’m looking forward to the next episodes.

 

Bin roye (episode 7) review

Ok, so safeer in the drama serial is a bigger coward and liar than he was in the novel. he got his girlfriend pregnant and then disowned his own child!  he had the audacity to emotionally blackmail his girlfriend into getting an abortion!! he is such an a**. I feel sorry for Sonia who will soon be getting married to safeer (and then for saba too who will also be becoming his wife later; apologies for the spoiler).

So in this episode, Saman and irtiza have moved to USA and saba is trying to get back to normalcy. she is torn between her love for her sister and irtiza. on one hand she is very happy for Saman to be happily married (and pregnant) and on the other hand she feels pangs of desire as soon as she sees irtiza.

This episode too belonged completely to Mahira Khan. it won’t be wrong to say that bin roye depends heavily on mahira khan’s star power, her performance and her beauty (sans make up). I was quite happy to see a few scenes of other actors too. finally humayon Saeed got a few scenes too. but I was very disappointed with the dubbing of some of the scenes.

I’m hoping the story will move forward at a faster pace as its become very slow now. but perhaps it’s the calm before the storm…wouldn’t say more so as not to give away the story

Did you watch the latest episode?

 

Bin roye (review) episode 6

Mahira khan! oh yes! Bin Roye is all about Mahira Khan. her beauty and her amazing performance is what Bin Roye makes a treat.

In this episode, Saman got married to Irtiza and although saba had been ‘pretending’ that she has moved on, she hasn’t. all her emotions came out pouring after Saman and irtiza got nikohofied. mahira khan was more than brilliant in that scene. saba’s dadi was there to witness it all but she let her cry her heart out. Saba cursed Saman several times during her outburst and it hurt her dadi. her dadi is like her best friend who knows her deepest, darkest secrets. on the other hand, safeer’s mommy is looking for a rishta for her son and she has saba in her mind. however, safeer himself is in love with a Hindu girl he met while he was studying in USA. safeer, being a coward agrees to get married to saba and does not have guts to leave his girlfriend either. safeer’s mommy has proposed saba via her dadi and her dadi has asked for a little time. meanwhile Saman and irtiza have found happiness in each other and they seem to be enjoying marital bliss.

This episode was all about Mahira Khan as I mentioned before. she not only looks stunning, her performance is on point too. the song was a delight to watch. however, I am not too happy with performances of other actors (except for dadi who is phenomenal). humayon Saeed and armeena Rana khan look good but they hardly have any expressions on their face. when humayon Saeed should be looking intense, you can actually see him smiling. Armeena Rana khan cannot act!! Please someone tell her that all good looking people are not good actors too. The shadi night scene was anything but romantic! And why are saba’s parents and her brother not being given much screen time? I fail to understand that.

Anyway, I am definitely loving it for mahira khan. I never knew she could act so well.

Did you watch the last episode?

Mushaf (overview / review)

So I read one more novel by nimra Ahmed. and this one only because I was recommended this one after my last review.

My verdict: did not like it much. it was good in parts but those parts were not enough for me.

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT

The story: mehmil’s dad died when she was around 10 years old. she now lives with her mom in the house that her father had built but now other family members like her chacha and Taya have taken over their whole house and their factories. she and her mom are treated like servants and they are forced to stay in a room which was used for storage earlier. so she thinks of herself as Cinderella and tries to lure her taya’s son, fawad. it turns out that fawad is a bad guy and sells her off to one of her clients. the client turns out to be an under cover police officer who wanted proof against fawad. mehmil escapes from humayon’s place and ends up in a masjid/Institute for girls. here she meets farishtey. mehmil really likes farishtey and impressed by her Islamic knowledge decides to learn Arabic herself and read the Quran with tafseer herself.

On the other hand, fawad gets arrested for human trafficking and other crimes and mehmil’s family blames her for all this claiming that she was lying and instead she had an affair with humayon. humayon is farishtey’s cousin and as mehmil now studies in farishtey’s Institute, she ends up meeting humayon and starts liking him.

With turn of events, it is revealed that farishtey is mehmil’s half sister and she also helps her get married to humayon. mehmil continues studying the Quran and soon Quran becomes her best friend who helps her in the darkest most difficult times in her life.

I think the intention of the writer was really good but the story was not well woven. the characters were not etched out properly and a lot of things were not explained well. however, I loved how nimra Ahmed showed that Quran talks to you if you want to get guidance. it was also refreshing to read that all people who know or read the Quran are to be trusted as Quran only guides those who seek for it with a pure heart and not those who are doing it for showing off or for some other ulterior motive. I loved reading all those parts where mehmil’s ‘friendship’ with Quran is shown and I hope the writer could have given a few more pages of that.

Have you read this novel?