The amount of excitement was detonating when the score of the most-awaited drama serial, Aangan rolled in Thursday night on HUM TV. Because Aangan is perhaps the only drama right now that has the entire nation wrapped around Khadija Mastoor’s novel, including those who haven’t even read it, and yet the idea of their favourite celebrities bringing the characters to life has become centrifugal for the promotion of the show.
So, What does Aangan not have? Apart from a loaded cast with the most sought out actors, a gripping story and a future that we cannot wait to see, did the first episode of Aangan surprise us? Here’s what you need to know!
Aangan begins with reflecting the essence of a pre-partition era that has been long forgotten with a wealthy household that breathes in an atmosphere that hides secrets, pent-up aggression and emotions, silences and heart ache amongst other things of a Muslim family. Amma Jaan (Malkan) played by Zaib Rehman is the head of the family who runs the entire operations to the T whilst sitting in her Aangan with her Munshi (a Hindu cleric on wages, and happy to serve a Muslim family). She’s a hard woman, indifferent, and is secretly miserable. The grim sunlight, dark halls and wordless voices play one of the most integral parts in Aangan because during the pre-partition times, women then, used to spend most of their hours within the confines of these courtyards in their homes as the brutality of those times passed them by. Abid Ali (Malik) plays the unfaithful husband who is openly mocked for his treason, he’s selfish, and has left the order of the house to his strong-headed wife, so his routine is to get dressed up and leave to meet his mistresses.
Amma Jaan has three sons, a daughter and two bahu’s; Mazhar played by Omair Rana is a government officer and the sort of person who worries about the world’s opinions. Out of Amma Jaan’s two bahu’s, it is Mazhar’s wife (Madiha Rizvi) who is Amma Jaan’s favourite, whereas the other bahu (who is married to the son who hasn’t been introduced) is mistreated and an outcast. So, both the bahu’s are a contrasting opposite from their lives to their functions in the household. However, the focus of the first episode is not the disintegrating mood and the set up of this dysfunctional family, but two unavowed lovers, Salma and Subhan.
Sonya Hussyn (Salma) is a rebellious beacon who is irrevocably in love with Ahsan Khan (Subhan), one of the servant’s who comes with the Munshi to unload crops for the house. He is poor, but favoured by Amma Jaan for his hard-work, and is also secretly attracted to Salma like a moth to a flame. However, being a servant boy, Subhan is aware of the consequences and of the class difference between the rich ad the poor, therefore he is shy in pursuing his love. Their first interaction is accompanied by melancholy, a deep baritone and mood set with a classical melody, that creates nothing less than sheer magic. Salma and Subhan, together are like fireworks; subtle but breaking with passion slowly and steadily. But, no love is complete without pain. Subhan is a small side lover who leaves Salma to bear the brunt by her hard mother, Amma Jaan, when she sees these two together secretly romanticising in the Aangan, so she gives Salma a beating and shuns her to her bedroom. But that’s not the end though.
Aangan is a tale as old as time, it’s about the suffering of women, their independence as caretakers, and their wretchedness, so the story of these women from the point of view of an other woman in today’s time brings a fresher perspectives of the past that we have only heard, but have never known. The characters that have been introduced thus far, have brilliantly played out; from the veterans to the ones now, and interestingly none of the lead characters; Aaliyah, Chammi and Jameel have been introduced. But with episode 01, you feel connected to Aangan. From the beginning of the show, with the fundamental interaction of Muslim’s, Hindu and Sikh, Aangan is going to bring religion, culture, faith, love, hate, war, suffering and compromise in a new light for our generation.