With Star Bharat faltering at the GRP sweepstakes, Radhakrishn is the only real saving grace in its FPC. Channel honchos have now turned to the concept of a Muslim social as a possible game-changer.
Originality has never been the buzzword of desi TV, so here they turned to writer Danesh Javed, who has penned the huge-raking Zee TV show, Ishq Subhan Allah, to conjure up a similar tale. So say hello to Sufiyana Pyaar Mera (Prateek Sharma and Danesh Javed co-production).
So far it has been cute, but yes, with some big bloopers. The opening scene itself was a bit disappointing. They could have got a better background set and CG.
Enter the patriarch of the Shah clan, aka Miajaan (Ram Gopal Bajaj), a bearded dignified old gent, who still believes in old values that women must be in purdah.
He has two same-looking granddaughters (Helly Shah) from different sons. One is the traditional Kaynaat (her father is dead), who eschews makeup, saying natural beauty is best. She also buys into the logic that if you take care of your elders, you automatically get a good husband.
Should society not evolve and accept that marriage is not the be-all and end-all of a woman’s life? Here we must add that what the old man says will appeal to conservative Indians across all faith divides.
Helly’s second character is the more modern Saltanat (more about her later).
Miajaan simply chooses Kaynaat over Saltanat for matrimony with a cousin (marriage in family is common in Islam) as the former has more values. The poor girl is not asked, just told.
Cut to Canada, where you have the prospective groom, Zaroon Shah, aka Rajveer Singh, acing the ice hockey rink.
He is told very clearly that he is expected to wed Miajaan’s granddaughter as that would allow him to get his long-desired respect. Here the line that money is enough is similar to Ishq Subhan Allah’s story line.
Zaroon cribs to his Punjabi-speaking Mom, Ghazala (Kashish Duggal Paul) saying I don’t want to marry a very traditional girl. She smartly asks him to just go to India and then turn her down. South Asians there are expected to toe the family line.
Some might suggest that the name Zaroon was deliberately taken from hit Pakistani show, Zindagi Gulzar Hai (dishy Fawad Khan). Nothing wrong in attempting to pull more traction.
We will reserve our comment on Rajveer’s acting as the real emotion humdinger is yet to come (one of the sisters will turn him down during the marriage ceremony). But yes, we have high hopes, given his good outing in Kya Kasoor Tha Amla Ka.
Zaroon mistakes Saltanat for Kaynaat and flips for her, not knowing that she is not his girl till the truth dawns on him a bit later.
We can’t get something — how come Zaroon did not know the name of his to-be wife? And second thing, how come he and his folks did not wonder how a traditional Muslim family is allowing the mingling of husband-wife before marriage?
Also, how can two cousins be look-alikes? This aspect has not been properly explained. We are sure there will be a huge twist regarding this down the road.
Helly is doing a good job of portraying both completely different characters (no mean task switching on and off). The scene where Saltanat stands up to her granddad who repeatedly ticks her off for not covering her head, saying that Islam does not mandate a woman covering up in front of close family is good. She cites verses from the holy books in her argument’s favour. Saltanat represents the modern Muslim woman who while doing her own thing does not cross the line. Although she started to dig Zaroon’s attention at first, but when she comes to knows that he is meant for her sister, keeps her distance.
Helly also does a superb job of getting the Hindustani diction to the T.
The show also covers the Urs and Zaroon standing up for a Hindu wanting to put chadar also reinforcing universal values of Sufism.
Coming to the supporting cast, Siddhaanth Vir Surryavanshi is apt as the selfish father of Zaroon. Here the maker took a dig at partition with the former character lamenting his father’s decision to move to Pakistan back in 1947.
Vishavpreet Kaur as Saltanat’s mom will surely turn vampish as the show chugs ahead. Last but not the least, it would be interesting to see Melanie Nazareth don a positive avatar for a change. She asks daughter Kaynaat not to come out when Zaroon is around, leading to the above confusion.
All said and done, it is a nice family show, whose values do resonate with core audiences in the Hindi heartland.
Prateek Sharma’s LSD Films and Danesh Javed have a good opportunity to get the numbers, thereby get the show talking!! Let’s wait and watch.
We would rate it 2.5/5.