“Naukar hun mujhe meri auqat mein rehne do, pairon ki jooti ko sarr pe nahi sajaya jata.”
After almost a year of waiting for ‘Aangan,’ the drama finally aired last night, and let me tell you something. The first episode was everything I had dreamed it would be – and a standing ovation is due for Sonya Hussyn (Salma) and Ahsan Khan (Subhan) who have simply outdone themselves. I cried my heart out, not just because of their story, but because of their sparkling acting.
Amma Jaan who is utterly brilliant as the fearless and valiant mother who has innate independence about her – she runs the house herself. Zaib jee’s nuance in expression is fantastic, despite confined to being authoritative. Her husband Abba Mian, played by Abid Ali is unfaithful to her – but it’s clear they have that understanding; we see him leave the house to attend his ‘other’ families.
Sonya plays Amma Jaan’s daughter, Salma who is fearless, intrepid and adventurous – and my goodness Sonya leaves you breathless.
Salma is the girl we all dare to be; someone who doesn’t care for what people think. Sonya has dipped her toes so remarkably well into Salma’s realm, to leave such a profound mark on audiences within the first episode is impressive.
Subhan, played by the versatile Ahsan Khan is the house’s servant, with whom Salma is hopelessly in love with.
Ahsan’s look has been molded perfectly, and his subtlety as the kind, humble and delicate servant is owed entirely to the actor’s phenomenal acting craft. In one scene, we see him softly release a dove into the sky – a fantastic glimpse into his personality.
Subhan returns after an undefined number of days, and Salma catches him in the corner of the house to meet him.
They share the most beautiful dialogues and have heart-wrenching moments of intimacy, where we’re introduced to a deeper insight into their relationship; they grew up together and fell in love. While Salma is carefree, Subhan is naturally terrified, often expressing to her that someone might catch them. He says he is a servant and begs her to let him stay within his limits.
As soon as they part ways, Salma breaks down as she caresses her hand where Subhan held it
She loves him and we realize her only weakness is him – remember, their promise is only sealed when Salma raising her hands for Subhan to hold them. She cannot live without him – and you can’t help who you love; that’s just life. She’s terrified of a life without him.
Later on in the day, while Subhan is running his errands, Salma secretly goes to see him where they talk more about running away together.
She playfully corners him, and while Subhan is still frightened, he subtly expresses his love for her, far more indirectly than Salma – who beautifully expresses her love for him in such an overt manner. She asks him to take her away, and plays with his shawl so beautifully – this is by far my favorite scene. He agrees to take her away but says later. She asks him to promise that he’ll come back – he says yes.
When she asks for his promise, she doesn’t let go of his hand – and that’s when Amma Jaan catches them.
Subhan immediately flees while Salma is thrown into a stable and locked up – and shockingly beaten by her mother. It’s an intense moment and is the most shocking turn of what was a rather slow-paced episode until now.
Salma is unphased – she’s sitting with a pair of scissors in her hands while Subhan’s face is all she sees.
The episode ends with Amma Jaan yearning over her son whom she loved as she held a frame in her hand. While her husband returns, he asks if he can enter the bedroom, to which she responds that he has lost all right to enter.
I can’t wait for next week’s episode!