This had to be my favorite episode of Sar-e-Rah even though the first two episodes completely won me over as well but this one was special in so many ways. With this episode, the writer did not only manage to tell another relevant story but he also broke the pattern with which the stories have been taken forward till now. Hareem Farooq’s screen presence and performance were exceptional. I felt she was the only guest actor in the series till now whose energy and presence matched Saba Qamar’s. This latest episode highlighted issues that most women face on daily basis and most of them have unfortunately been accepted as ‘normal’ because of the reason given by the taxi driver who harassed Maryam. The instant comradeship between these two women was the highlight of this episode. Hareem Farooq and Saba Qamar’s on-screen chemistry as well as their performances made their scenes even more enjoyable. I also felt that Saba Qamar was at her best in this latest episode. She looked tired and weary in the beginning and warmed up gradually to her new customer. Some of the dialogues also caught my attention because they were in line with the realities of our social fabric.
When I watched the promo of this episode, I thought the reason why Maryam looked ‘that way’ at Rania was that she was perhaps someone who knew her already. The actual reason however was far more interesting. I found Maryam’s amazement and her excitement perfectly enacted on-screen by Hareem Farooq. It also came as such a pleasant surprise because Maryam was genuinely happy to sit in the front seat of a taxi without the fear of being harassed! With this opening scene, the writer set the tone right for whatever was coming ahead. This was such an intelligent way of showing how some things which are ‘normal’ and standard practice for men can be such a rarity for a woman.
There has been a lot of debate in Pakistan lately about women claiming public spaces because in our society men can easily roam around freely but women most often do not have such security. Therefore, very often the daughters and wives are expected to stay indoors because it is ‘safer’ to do so. Maryam was shown as someone who was not going to let this mindset win. The fact that her mother played such an important role in giving her this confidence also resonated with me. It is always a pleasure watching ‘secure’ men and women in dramas. Maryam was definitely such a woman who invited Rania to her house, gave her work opportunity without making it come across as a favor, and was in awe of Rania’s courage to take up an unconventional job. At the same time watching Rania gain more confidence in all these weeks and also focusing on the monetary aspect of her job gave the viewers an insight into how much she had matured.
Maryam’s character was the perfect depiction of a go-getter with a positive personality. We definitely do not get to watch such female characters in our dramas since most on-screen women are often either too good to be true or they are the vamps. The male representation in this episode was also balanced; all the male characters were not shown as opportunists. Some of them were professional enough to give Maryam the credit she deserved based on her abilities. As someone who studied and worked in a male-dominated environment, there was so much about this character and its journey which I found relatable! Women who want to achieve something without using any shortcuts have to try extra hard and that particular aspect of a working women’s journey was depicted faultlessly in this episode.
This episode covered the stories of two women from completely different backgrounds but with problems that were similar. This was an intelligent way of showing how women often fight the same battles irrespective of their financial status, education, and nature of work. Some of the dialogues in this episode were hilarious, especially those covering Maryam’s frustrations. Some of the scenes and conversations were penned down and executed brilliantly, especially the ones that focused on Maryam and Rania.
In my opinion, Sar-e-Rah is aptly delivering what it promised and it is doing so with clarity because each episode covers a specific issue. This is a brilliant idea which should be taken up by other production houses as well. I am looking forward to the next episode of Sar-e-Rah more than ever because I am certain Maryam and Rania together will be a force to reckon with.
Do share your views about this episode.