Zindagi Gulzar Hai Our new Humsafar ?
Watching the soundtrack of upcoming serial Zindagi Gulzar Hai seems like Humsafar is back. The publicity, the hype, the Fawad Khan... everything is the same. The only difference is with Humsafar, the creators didn't even realise it will become a phenomenon, but with Zindagi Gulzar Hai (ZGH), they know very well what a drama serial can do.
Recently, the whole cast along with the director-producer of the play were invited on a morning show. Before that, I couldn't compare the two plays. The promos of ZGH highlighted similarities between the two plays. But during that morning show, the host claimed that ZGH would be even bigger than Humsafar. Honestly? I still wouldn't bet on it, but after watching the video to the soundtrack by Hadiqa Kiyani, the similarities became clearer to me. It was like watching Humsafar's clips with Sanam Saeed.
The soundtrack, 'Zindagi Khaak Na Thi', by Hadiqa Kiyani is by no means 'Woh Humsafar Tha', but is good enough to capture your attention. The title track of the play is by Ali Zafar, who is lending his voice to a television soundtrack for the first time. The song, somehow, doesn't really suit the title, and Hadiqa's ‘Zindagi Khaak Na Thi’ seems more apt somehow. No wonder they released its video first and are playing this soundtrack for the promotion of the play. Coming to the video, the romantic scenes between Sanam Saeed and Fawad Khan are very similar to Humsafar's dreamy moments that took everyone's breath away and left the young girls drooling over Fawad. Well, that is sure going to happen yet again with ZGH. The long walks on the beach, stargazing at night, sharing a light happy moment... our perfect formula for romance.
So, what is the exact story? If you are like me, you will be connecting the dots after every promo, trying to make your own story. There is one scene in which Fawad Khan is getting engaged to Mehreen Raheal and another in which Sanam Saeed is getting married to Fawad... do you see the triangle - the-quite-similar-to-Humsafar triangle? I would still like to believe that it will be an entirely different story with an extremely dissimilar execution, but I just can't resist comparing.
All this hoopla is for a number of reasons. First and foremost: Fawad Khan. Though we all just had Humsafar, we want more of him - the same lovesick, handsome, rich and extremely fairytale-appropriate hero. Mahirah Khan had an equal share in the Humsafar fan club, Sanam Saeed won't be far behind, either.
Secondly, it is an Umera Ahmed story. Now, this is one name that has come out of women's digests and made the television screens colourful and TV lounges fill up again. With the success of Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan, she has not looked back once, and keeps attracting big directors and producers towards her stories.
Then, it has Sultana Siddiqui donning the director's cap after 11 years. This, I believe, is an extremely important factor in the publicity of the play. It's like a Yash Chopra movie; everyone waits for it and everyone will watch it even if they read bad reviews about it. Sultana Siddiqui has that effect on the TV audiences of Pakistan. People want to know how she did it after years of hiatus and what made her choose the script. As she puts it, “It was a promise I made to Umera, that I will direct one of her stories. ZGH had a very strong message in it so I chose this to fulfil my promise.”
We all know Fawad Khan and Sanam Saeed are playing the main leads, but there are a lot of others who will share the screen, and hopefully, the success of the play too. Javed Sheikh, Samina Peerzada, Hina Khwaja Bayat, Mehreen Raheal, Waseem Abbas and new actor Shehreyar Munawar will be seen playing important characters in the play. Where Samina Peerzada, Waseem Abbas, Mehreen Raheal and Shehreyar Munawar are seen in a couple of the promos, Javed Sheikh and Hina Khwaja are missing from them completely, save for the OST, maybe.
ZGH was all set to hit screens on Friday. In fact, the cast repeatedly appeared on the channel every break to count the hours and ask the audience to tune into the much awaited show. Sadly, due to the cable operators' strike, the play's first episode has been postponed to November 30. It must be a last moment decision as there was no such news even a day before ZGH was to go on air. That means we will have to wait for another two weeks, approximately, and make do with its promos for now.
I haven't read the novel. I hadn't read Humsafar or Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan for that matter, but there is one thing for sure, we are drawing long lost TV audiences back to the screen. And it has also given us our romantic hero of today - Fawad Khan. The last actor to enjoy this status was Humayun Saeed; someone who would be so convincingly romantic on screen that you will fall in love with him through the airwaves. Fawad Khan truly fits our image of 'prince charming on a beautiful horse'. And, it's evident that he is all set to cast that spell again with ZGH. All we have to see is whether Sanam is able to fill those Cinderella shoes left by Mahirah Khan or not. For that, we still have nearly two more weeks to go. Fingers crossed.
Also check The Story and Detail of Zindagi Gulzar Hai