I did the first two episodes one at a time, but now I am just plowing through. So much happens, and yet also nothing. And somehow now that we have left the village, it all feels a little less important. Anyway, rich people got PROBLEMS! That’s the theme of these episodes. (Heer reviews index here)
There is a grand old tradition of “pure of heart poor person moves in with wealthy household and opens their minds and fixes them.” Everything from Bawarchi to My Man Godfrey to An Old-Fashioned Girl. It’s very socialist, the rich people are innately flawed due to their wealth and need to learn to appreciate other values. Now that our heroine has fled her village and been taken into the city household of her rich mentor, we get that in spades.
Seemi Pasha is the rich mentor. She is well-intentioned and sincere, but also a little impulsive. She takes Mahida home with her without really thinking through how it will work, including where Mahida will stay. Their guest room is currently her son Yasir Ali Khan’s work out space. And her mother-in-law is a bit stubborn and doesn’t approve of Mahida leaving her village. And her medical student daughter is just generally grumpy about things. Everything is happy when they drive away from the village, and then she calls home and reality intervenes as everyone complains to her about Mahida.
The son is, of course, the photographer who took Mahida’s photo in the village and she spat buttermilk on his car in revenge. He doesn’t like giving up his room, especially to her. The daughter is moderately friendly, but also aware of how Mahida will shake up their already shakey household. The grandmother is 100% against her.
Naturally, Mahida’s warm lovingness is going to win them all over! Not by being sweet and humble, but being confident and pushy and flinging her braid around. She puts up movie posters in Yasir’s room after chasing him out, she talks back to Grandma and insists on making her watch music videos and letting Mahid massage her head so she can relax. She even bonds a little with the grumpy daughter once she learns to respect her special diet for Grandma. Seemi Pasha, who originally brought her into the household, is a bit lost at all she is doing.
These episodes do the work to get her tucked in firmly. She bonds with Grandma culminating in planning a special birthday party for her. She and Yasir still hate each other and have a war of practical jokes, but tolerate each other too. Seemi still loves and respects her as she has all along. And she and grumpy daughter have some nice conversations. And then, DUN DUN DUN! Father comes home!
Mahida is now firmly in the household, that’s no longer at issue, the new problem is for her to fix all their problems. Father has been working overseas building up their business (which supports this luxury lifestyle) and wants his family to come join him. While they want him to stop working and come home. It’s unspoken except by Grandma who yells at him for leaving her, and grumpy daughter who sweetly asks him to come home. And Yasir, the son, is refusing to join the family business because he would rather pursue his dream of photography. It’s all a mess. Plus Grandma isn’t following her diabetic diet and medical student grumpy daughter has a little flirtation going with a co-worker that no one at home seems to know about (he takes the blame for her giving the wrong medication to a patient, it’s super cute).
This whole section culminates in Mahida’s aunt and uncle showing up to take her home to the village. When she first arrived, no one wanted her, especially Grandma. Now it is Grandma who speaks up for her and smells something fishy with aunt and uncle and makes sure Mahida has the option of staying. Lovely! She has officially become a member of the household. And, at the same time, Grandma arranges for her to have the garage space to use to start up a handicrafts center in the city, she is really settling in.
But meanwhile, back in the village, things are happening! First, we get confirmation that Chaudry’s rich med student daughter is in a relationship with her estranged cousin (the cousin thing isn’t an issue, because Pakistan, but the estranged part is). Second, handsome Asad Siddiqui, Chaudry’s other nephew/adopted son and heir, is talking on the phone and smiling a lot with Mahida in the city. And his aunt/adopted mother wants to arrange their marriage already and get Mahida home again. So the Chaudry’s continue to be awesome, and I await the devastating thing that will make the Mahida/Asad marriage not happen after all.
It might be that her aunt and uncle have started to make a deal with evil Peji for him to marry Mahida. Her uncle is still officially resisting, but her aunt is pushing for it hard. Peji’s threats and pressure are why they came to the city to get her, but they lied to her about it.
Mahida is in the city and firmly established in this new household and on the way to fixing things (getting Father to come home and stay home, probably helping grumpy med student daughter with her romance, and continuing to fight/flirt with son. She’s already cheered up Grandma!). But in the village with have this odd love triangle/power struggle going with lowdown drug dealer and money lender Peji trying to overthrough noble Chaudry and Mahida as the unknowing pawn between them. Plus the secret romance between cousins. And Mahida’s best friend with the broken engagement hasn’t been seen for a while, but that plot is still burbling away.
Okay, things I liked! Mahida has no fear of this wealthy household, just settles in and talks back. Mahida and Yasir, who are clearly end game, don’t fall in love at first sight, in fact he is the only person in the household to still be resisting her. Grandma smelling a rat when aunt and uncle come and scaring them off with her Grandma-ness.
Things I loved, Mahida insists on working, either cleaning the house, or being given space to start her own center, because she wants to earn money for herself in order to feel fulfilled. The Chaudry’s having no class hang ups about their son marrying Mahida, she is clearly the best young woman in the village to their minds.
Things I didn’t like, I hate the “middle-aged estranged couple” trope because it almost always ends up being the mother’s fault and it looks like it is going there here too. And Yasir has a girlfriend/friend who is clearly going to be written off at some point although she seems perfectly nice for now, why are we even wasting time with this woman. And finally, Yasir’s costuming. Half the time it is fine “rich kid casual”, but half the time it veers into “rich kid gym casual” and no one needs that.