This is such a great show! It’s like Humsafar or Zindagi Gulzar Hai, only stuff happens quickly and people wear bright colors. So, not at all like them. (full index of reviews here)
Let’s see if I can quickly define actual plot, before leaping off into discussion of what I liked and didn’t like. Our heroine Madiha Imam lives in a village with her aunt and uncle. Her uncle indulges her and believes in her, her aunt is more cautious and worried she will get in trouble. Madiha has established a textile center for the women of the village (just a room where they can work and she brings in materials and then takes them away to sell) and is teaching them self-respect and how to earn money and all kinds of good things. She encourages her friend not to get married to a man 20 years older than her, and another woman to leave her husband who beats her and takes her money for drugs. The men go to the village head about this, but he supports our heroine, and so do some of the other men of the village who point out that if they were better husbands, they wouldn’t have problems.
Big Scary Drug Dealer “Paji” confronts the heroine, but she just tosses her braid and flirts a little and distracts him, ends up getting him to help her clean the woman’s center. Problem seemingly solved, until the end of the episode when he learns her work is affecting his drug profits, since the husbands can no longer steal the women’s money for drugs. Dun dun dun!
Meanwhile, other slow burning plot, Madiha is “friends” with Asad Siddiqui, the very smart and handsome and tall nephew of the village chief. He has been raised in his household with the chief’s daughter, Madiha’s friend who is studying for medical school entrance exams so she can become a doctor and then come home and run a clinic for the village. Madiha clearly has a thing for him, and he possibly with her. BUT! The villagers are talking about his closeness with the chief’s daughter, since they aren’t really siblings. And now he has to take the chief’s daughter to town with him over night for her exam. Dun dun dun!
Oh, and someone has a gun. I’m telling you, a lot happens!
My guesses for next few episodes, Asad is going to end up having to marry his cousin for the family honor leaving Madiha heartbroken. And also “Paji” is going to continue scheming against her and eventually drive her out of the village.
Stuff I liked, Madiha is outspoken and smart but not educated. She curses when trying to figure out the age of her friend’s fiance because she can’t do 20 plus 19 and is angry that she didn’t have more schooling. That’s a great message, that you can make a difference without being educated. She is running that textile center and bringing the women into it just on charm and confidence and raw determination, no need to go to the city for a big degree to do it. She’s not an outsider lady bountiful either, she grew up in the village and suffered the same lack of schooling and opportunities as the other women, just had the inner strength to pull things together and try to make change.
I liked that the men weren’t all evil, but instead were half against her and half for her. And the ones that were against her, were only for their selfish reasons. The only men objecting are the ones who were abusers, addicts, generally bad people. The “good” husbands have no problem with what Mithila is doing, and the village chief in particular thinks it is a good idea.
Things I didn’t like as much, that we have to have a romance for the heroine instead of just showing her focused on her work for now. That her uncle keeps warning her she is going too far too fast and clearly will be proven right at some point. That the village chief is so much richer and his family so much more educated than the rest of the village and, so far, no one seems to have a problem with that.
Thinks I LOVED: the heroine’s clothes! All bright bright Salwars that jump out at you and show her fearlessness. Also, her hair! Village girl braid, but she flips it around like a weapon.
And secondly, love the “feminism on the ground” message! This is how it happens, one smart teenager who finds a way to change a few things in her village, that makes a difference. Micro, not macro.
Okay, first episode done! You should watch it too and tell me what you liked and didn’t like and LOVED.