Oh my, things are happening again! Thank goodness, I was getting awfully bored with just “let’s learn about this new household”. Time for some movement! (Heer reviews index here)
The main theme of these episodes is “romance”. Okay, sort of the theme. I’m probably not grouping these episodes in the best way I could, but the theme more or less fits with this grouping. We have all kinds of romances happening and, delightfully, no one is objecting to them! I am so sick of the Indian film “romance is wrong just because it is romance” concept. It’s depressing, and also lazy. No one comes up with original conflicts, it’s just blah blah, parents are against it for no particular reason. This show, parents are cool, everyone’s cool, the conflict is going to have to come up from somewhere else.
First the old conflict has to go away, Seemi’s husband has one final blow out fight with his family and leaves, back to the unnamed foreign place where he is working. We do get some interesting backstory on that conflict, it’s Grandma who is gumming up the works. She refuses to the sell the house, which is in her name, and so long as the house is there, the family is staying too. It’s a fun conflict, dramatically speaking, because no one is really in the wrong. Seemi’s husband is working very hard, far away, to support the family. All he wants is for his family to be physically with him. His mother is refusing to sell the house because it is the family home and she is old and doesn’t want to move, she wants her whole family with her. Seemi feels she has to stay with her aging mother-in-law and can’t go to her husband. Seemi’s daughter is in medical school and wants to be a doctor, she can’t drop everything to go live with her father. Yasir wants to make his own way, not just do the family business, and he loves photography. And so each for their own reasons are pulling away from the family. But then Seemi’s husband goes back into the mysterious netherworld from which he came, after one last confrontation with his stubborn mother, and we can move on to ROMANCE!
Hot Asad from the village shows up in the next episode, to take Madiha out for the day. With full enthusiastic support of Grandma, and Seemi. Young man and woman, from slightly different classes and massively different education and money levels, going out all by themselves for a date? Totally not a big deal! Everyone is on board! This is a great thing!
And Madiha and Asad are totally NBD about it too. They walk and talk about when she will return to the village, and she declares she is fearless and demands to know if he loves her and supports her, in response he gives her a ring (not specifically an engagement ring, but kind of an engagement ring). She returns home and doesn’t talk to her aunt and uncle about this, or even her local new “family” of Seemi and Grandma. It’s between her and Asad, none of their business.
At the same time, grumpy daughter has her slow burning love story with her fellow doctor. She and another friend follow him after work and see him picking up gifts, and are sure he has a girlfriend. But then they go to confront him, and it is a birthday party for an orphanage. That’s his secret, he has no mother or father, and therefore is shy about speaking to Grumpy Daughter’s family. Not to worry, Madiha notices Grumpy Daughter is strangely happy and singing, gets the story from her, and promptly turns around and spills the beans to Grandma, who tells Grumpy Daughter not to worry, she doesn’t care, is just happy she is in love. All this culminates in the doctor boyfriend finally telling Grumpy Daughter he wants to marry her, and her encouraging him to come home because no one will care that he is an orphan.
Even Yasir has a family approved romance! His friend is some kind of clothing something? Anyway, a business somehow related to their own and is working with Seemi on it. Seemi clearly approves of and likes her, and she likes Yasir, and he maybe likes her, and everyone is okay about that two. Maybe they will get married, maybe they won’t, it’s cool, young people can sort out their own lives.
You know where young people can’t sort out their own lives? THE VILLAGE!!!! Everything continues to be awful there, Madiha should never go back, it sucks. The Chaudry’s, the nicest people in the village, have tragedy! They are fighting the good fight and have finally convinced Madiha’s uncle to borrow money from them in order to pay back Peji and get him off their backs. They are also trying to reconcile with Chaudry’s estranged sister (whose son runs the sweet shop and is sweet on Naureen, the Chaudry’s daughter), but she will not forgive them. Although she is willing to come to the house and stay while they leave town for a wedding. And then they DIE! That nice older couple!!!! Leaving Hot Asad as the expected heir as the village headman, and their daughter orphaned and miserable with her little romance still secret. Plus Madiha off in the city without anyone to support her if she comes back to the village. This is terrible!
Madiha insists on coming home for the funeral, which is fun because we get to see all the city people shaking their heads and saying variations of “the village sucks! All those people are terrible! Villages are cesspools of idiocy!” I mean, they’re not wrong. And Madiha isn’t even disagreeing with them, just saying she has to go home to make it better. Fun times, we get to see Madiha and Yasir and Asad and Peji and Seemi all in the same frame at once. And Yasir isn’t horrible, but is also very “yes Asad! Be in love with Madiha and get her out of my workout room!” Which is fun, since I have seen a TV show before and am aware that Yasir is going to be end game, and this whole time when he had no interest in her will be super juicy in retrospect.
I am worried about Asad and Madiha though, because Madiha’s aunt is being Evil all over the place again. We also learn this episode that she is maybe Peji’s biological aunt? So, Evil is genetic! Or taking the deeper narrative level, Madiha’s aunt has a soft spot for Peji and resents the way Madiha insults him and rejects him. Anyway, this episode she begins to plant seeds in Asad’s mind that perhaps Chaudry’s sister was trying to force her son on Naureen in order to get the family wealth, and maybe he needs to step up and protect her. At the same time, poor Naureen is crying all over the place about how she is an orphan with no one to love her. Asad is being maneuvered into proposing marriage to the cousin he has always considered as a sister, thereby abandoning Madiha, and breaking up Naureen’s relationship with the nice poor sweet shop cousin who he suspects. And leaving Madiha still free to be taken by Peji. Who continues to hold her uncle’s loan.
Things I liked, everyone agreeing that villages are awful. Madiha being shown embroidering and later taking a contract on spec, her whole plot about wanting to earn money is playing out and not just a background thing. Some really cute scenes between Grandma and Seemi’s mother where they go Grandma versus Grandma against each other. Yasir is not seen in a tank top ever.
Things I didn’t like, I still want a little more motivation for Auntie. Peji has been reduced to occasional scenes of evil laughing, which blunts him a bit as a narrative tool. No one actually talks to Naureen about what she wants and therefore learns that she has a long term nice relationship with her cousin and should marry him.
Things I loved, the commitment to the slow burn on Yasir, not even a hint that he might be jealous in this episode. Asad does NOT walk away from Madiha, not yet at least, she offers to break their not-official engagement and gives him the ring back and he insists she take it. Slow burn again, and also showing him to be a decent person. And in general, I liked how much this show is showing a strong Matriarchy. Grandma and Seemi and Madiha decide together what happens in the house and family, the men are unimportant.