“What a beautiful accident!”
With those four words, Nauman Ijaz just stole the show. Our cheery Imran Bhatti sahib keeps up his spirits and the lookout for new-and pretty-desis to befriend. That scene was priceless and Bhatti sahib owned it even if he was spinning the oldest line in the book.
All however, is not well on the home front and so it wasn’t our dear Jamshed, but his mamu who has the green card via marriage plan. It’s is hard to imagine any other possibility given the fractious nature of their relationship. She bulldozes him all the time and treats him with scant respect and her kids follow suit.
True to form however, Bhatti sahib takes his responsibilities seriously except when he is fraternizing (ha! not quite) with Salma. Salma, for her part is trying to rake in the cash by working the graveyard shift – what else would you call 8:30 am at a salon?! Perhaps it’s just that Aamina Sheikh is too damn pretty, but something about her conveys a very calm persona to her supposedly harried and worked to the bone working gal.
Even if the dialogues and those plain Jane shirts try to convince you otherwise, something is amiss here. Though bonus points for Nazia Hassan soundtrack!
And perhaps in time the Salma- Imran track will work better but the Rizwan-Michelle track is going smooth I have to say. They share an easy camaraderie – thodi khatti thodi meethi and Vasay Chaudhary’s dialogues about muft ki cooking, pyar ka jaal, katal and kabza play up that underlying romantic interest though that Rizwan does seem to be breathing down her neck a bit, no?
Also minus points for the slip up on Bombay! Choose a side Ok?
There are other germs of ideas here – Michelle paying her desi staff a lesser rate than the legal norm, Hira beauty parlour undercutting their prices which hint at the lives of working desis in America, which I’m definitely looking forward to seeing that explored more.
Also the no man’s visa land of ‘in process’ and ‘clearance’, often euphemisms for security and background checks which are the bane of every desi’s immigration experience especially Muslim men in the post 9/11 era, is hinted at through Adeel’s visibly drooped shoulders and slight frustration at the process. Though was that Mehreen Jabbar’s voice herself on the other side?
Jamshed, is stuck in limbo and constantly dreaming of his brighter and better future. No doubt being at the mercies of his relatives have him longing for escape. Even his loving Nani and her protective gaze and loving parathas can only go so far.
A bit slow placed and focused on setting up the characters, all of whom have rich back stories, its nice to have that insight into what makes them tick, or holds them back.
All in all, in the words of Imran Bhatti (or should we say Vasay Chaudhary?) Impressive hai, bohut zyada impressive hai…
MM (aka A musing Muslim)