Finally, an episode devoted purely to Kashaf-Zaroon interaction, with very little of their family woes as interruption. This episode took the story forward with a proposal that we could have guessed was coming. Where and who it would come from was a complete surprise though, and it took Kashaf by surprise as much as it did us.
Meanwhile, the moral lesson of the story continued to interweave itself through the drama. Posted in Badin, Kashaf is well endorsed with a lifestyle that she could only have hoped for a year ago. We remember the times when she would walk miles to catch a bus; now she has a car and a driver. She has domestic staff to look after the house and simply put, her government job has provided her with resources. Yet she is scarred. Kashaf carries the emotional baggage of a lifetime of struggle and refuses to credit her current status as a stroke of life. She contemplates how she has had to work for everything while her sister Sidra, for example, found security of marriage to a decent guy without any effort. Kashaf pledges never to marry; she fears that with her luck she’ll end up with someone like her father. She also thinks a lot about Zaroon, pinning him down as “dangerous and self-centred”. I do think the reference to dangerous is in fact the effect he has on her. And no matter what she says, she’s not immune to him.
Nor is he to her but his obsession is becoming more apparent. He is impressed with her values; she insists on being back home before an indecent hour. We know that Zaroon formerly fought with his fiancé on staying out late. It is unclear whether he is still engaged to Asmara or not. What’s clear is that he is increasingly besotted with Kashaf: calling her late at night, arriving early for a meeting, offering to drop her home or take her out for coffee or lunch (she refuses both) etc. The episode may have taken its sweet time to have arrived at this intersection but now that it has, it’s a fun junction. The choice of background music, especially, is quirky with “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” ironically playing for Zaroon instead of Kashaf.
The social message continues. Rafia relays a message of strength to all women who may be left alone with an uphill task of raising children (daughters especially) as a single parent. She shows that women can achieve anything through hard work, dedication and honesty. And we see Murtaza, her estranged husband, returning to spend more time with her, appreciating all the efforts she has put into raising their daughters. He turns his angst and frustration to his current wife, Nigar, and the way she has been neglectful in raising their son, Hammad. The tables are turning and we are left wondering, will he return to Rafia and will she take him back, even if he does.
While comparisons of Zindagi Gulzar Hai with Humsafar continue, one has to comment that ZGH may not have the fan following of Humsafar but the message it send is definitely more valuable. It’s a message of strength for women and holds ZGH higher on moral ground.