It takes a split second for a person to change and that’s exactly what’s happening to Fauzia, second by second. Episode 10 opened with Fauzia Batool, transitioned fully into Kanwal Baloch, replete with big sunglasses, tight western clothes, black nails and an attitude to boot. The cigarette she puffs on and the black coffee she orders are accessories to her new persona. Episode 11 continued yesterday, with Fauzia’s new persona as Kanwal Baloch bringing her more misery than joy.
She is enjoying her new glamorous appearance but her soul is still in the village with her son, and in her personal time she is dreaming of becoming financially strong enough to take custody. Little does she know that her ex-husband has handed him over, legally, to his sister. She gets this rather rude shock when she turns up, unannounced, at Abid’s house to discover that Abid has married Ruby and has given her child up to his sister.
Fauzia is also going through a tough time in the city, which isn’t all bright lights and glamour, as she had expected it to be. She’s going through one exploitative situation after the other. Her struggle began with the head of the ad agency that had imported her from the village to city life. Gauher, the man with obvious sinister intentions, had started sending her out to parties with greasy old men and it’s when he even sent a lecherous, even slimier character to her bedroom, she lost her cool and walked out.
Fauzia found her way to a woman’s hostel, where the living conditions were not so great but she expected a level of security, which again, is where she is left disappointed. The hostel matron is in fact a madam, who appears to be interested in pimping Fauzia out.
This transitional phase in Fauzia Batool/Kanwal Baloch’s life is unsettling. She’s not the same girl who roughed it out in village life; she has seen what a better life looks like in the city. She doesn’t dress the same as she once did but she does draw the line at a gold, shimmery mini skirt she is handed to wear to a party. She wants to sing and dance and act but she is still very conscious of the haram and halal of every situation.
Tragically, “tum jaisi larki,” is a term thrown at her, just because she followed her dreams and left her husband and child, even though she really has done nothing wrong. It’s society’s reaction to girls who dare to dream and stand up for their rights; the way they are stereotyped is really scary. It’s also what will eventually lead her to becoming the stereotype. It is heart breaking.
Once again, Saba Qamar nails the delicacies of this evolving character with exceptional ease. We can’t wait for the episode to see how Fauzia participates in a talent hunt as Kanwal Baloch…