Published in TheNewsBlog >> http://blogs.thenews.com.pk/blogs/2012/03/06/farewell-humsafar-with-a-style/
It was destined that I had to watch it. Yes nothing but destiny could do that, knowing how averse to dramas I am. Overwhelmed with the real life political and social dramas that go around us, fiction has never touched my heart.
However, the imaginative FAREWELL TO HUMSAFAR potluck party called by a group of friends, with an invitation page on Facebook, was too attractive to refuse. I made it clear that I do not watch, knowing very well how much of emotional investment there is in the serial by all and sundry. The reply I got was: “No problems, it will be fun, but no asking questions during the episode.”
My daughter, a Humsafar fan herself, had warned me enough times.“Don’t you pass any derogatory comments on the drama.” On the way she briefed me with the story, so that I did not make a fool of myself, which she probably thought that I already was.
Two hours after the episode had been relayed in Pakistan, we were sitting facing the idiot box, with all techie girls busy streaming the HD episode on you tube.
As it began, almost at the spur of the moment I blurted: “Is this Asher?”
And all, almost a dozen and half heads turned with shock towards me. I knew I had announced my idiocy.
He was the only character I actually knew. How and why, is pretty interesting.
A few weeks ago I saw a status of my daughter on Facebook:
There were 64 ‘likes’ on it.
My heart almost missed a beat, wondering if this isn’t any cricketer, or any friend of hers I know, who is he? And then, 64 of her friends already know about him. How could she keep her friendly Mom so oblivious to this Asher in her life? It was then that I learnt about Humsafar, with a sigh of relief.
In barely less than ten minutes of watching, I could guess what the story was, minus the unnecessary details. It was a typical Mills & Boons in Urdu. My guess was later confirmed by the fact that the novel was first published in Khawateen Digest in several parts.
It even had the Starplus touch in its dialogues especially when Asher tell his mother, “So how do I know if I am also my father’s son?” in reply to his mother’s remarks “How can you say that is your child? How do we know where all had she been?”
It was a love story with all the essential desi elements- marriage by parental pressure, wicked mother in law’s conspiracy against daughter in law, an all loving, all sacrificing wife and finally a happy ending. And not to miss the other women in the extended family and another cousin, in love with the boy, all hell bent to make the marriage fail. As the end approached, all the puzzles fell in the right place, with the child finally proving to be the reuniting factor. So very filmi !
Half way through what really intrigued me : ‘Was it this boy, Asher, so manipulable, ( first by his emotional father into a marriage to a cousin, and then by a possessive mother who managed to kick his wife out of his life), is to whom my daughter and 64 other friends giving their hearts out to?
Thank my stars, this wasn’t a real Asher!
Luckily, my second silly question was interrupted by some head in the dark room, with, “You’re just allowed to take breaths, no talking please.”
There is no denial that the serial swept Pakistani women with age, class, and even location on the globe NO BAR.
Perhaps every woman saw a part of herself in Khirad- a woman who despite being strong, intelligent and with self respect bows down to other’s dictations in the major decision of her life, and then invests all her heart, mind and soul into that marriage. And once a mother, she resets her priorities.
I particularly liked how she did not beg proving her innocence and chose not to explain how ‘cleanly’ she spent the 4 years away from her husband, despite being blatantly questioned of her character by the ‘social worker’ mother in law. Indeed, to be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.
I recollected having once overheard my daughter joking to her brother “No matter how much Ammi is a woman’s rights advocate, she is going to be a harsh mother in law.” Now I knew who she had in her mind, when she said this.
Having said all that, it was a pleasure to know that amidst all the real life tragic dramas of Maya Khans or Waheeda Shahs, the 52% of Pakistan had some respite and diversion with a love story that had a happy ending.
May Asher, Khirad live happily ever after…