Monthly Archives: October 2014
It’s 6am, I’ve been up all night studying, and I feel like writing.
(This is a review about Mausam. Don’t worry, I tried not to spoil too much).
The girl in the feature image that’s smiling/smirking (up-and-coming actress Hareem Farroq) actually looks like the evil girl, I realized just now. But actually she’s the “good” one. THe other one (actress YUmna Zaidi, wonderfully talented) is the trouble-maker. And in the middle of course is Ahsan Khan, who give strength to the drama that makes up for weaknesses.
Yesterday I watched the last episode of Mausam. Which is funny because I didn’t watch the whole drama. And I may have spelt it wrong in the post somewhere. I just watched I think the last 3 episodes, as well as bits from the middle of the series, and I knew exactly what was going on (i.e. who I’m supposed to feel bad for, who’s the evil one, who the drama is subliminally shipping). Excuse my spelling by the ways, as I don’t feel academic right now. Anyways, with most dramas you can do what I just described: watch key episodes, and then just skip to the end. It was more of a coincidence that I did this right now though. I saw my grandma watching the episodes one day, and was just curious so I continued from where she left off.
Just look at this guy’s face. You have to feel sorry for him. He was so pulling on everyone’s heartstrings during the drama, and I can’t imagine how anyone didn’t totally root for him to succeed.
(yes, I was mostly intrigued by Ahsan Khan. He’s got that ‘tharap’ and that ‘umph’ in his acting which really makes it believable, and you just look at his face and already you feel sorry for him. I don’t think he could ever play an evil guy).
I really enjoyed the last episode. It’s the only episode I watched ALL of, without skipping. Pakistani dramas have a lot of blank and useless zoom in/zoom out/useless emphasis on face scenes, but in the last episode I enjoyed most of the scenes and tried to “feel” them. It wasn’t a race to see how much I didn’t have to see. It was more of an appreciation of what I was seeing.
If you’re watching a Pakistani drama to feel good, be warned: you’re in the wrong place. Pakistani dramas will make you feel like shit. Then they’ll make you feel good for about a minute in the very last episode.
Take Mausam for example. It has 20 epsiodes of deception, depression, evil people winning, and at the very end in the last episode, the part you’re supposed to feel good about, lasts literally 3 minutes. That’s it. That’s all you get, folks.
In my opinion, that’s viewer abuse. Can’t I at least have HALF an episode of all the good things happening to those who deserve it? Why only two minutes? Why are you forcing me to use my imagination? That’s not why I watched this. That’s not what I didn’t pay for. I can use my imagination for SOME things (y’know what I mean?), but c’mon, show at least some considerable length of happy things happening.
I get it, though. Most of the people watching are Pakistan-born Pakistanis who wanna get it over with. They’ve got a “kaam-mukao” philosophy: show me what I gotta see, show me the facts, the cold, hard facts. Get it over with. THey’re not really ones to savour the moment (except when it comes to the useless zoom ins, for some reason). They’ll savour the moment I guess but not the plot. Like I can totally imagine my parents telling me a long story of a couple trying to get married. They’ll tell me all the issues, hurdles, feelings of tragedy and sadness. It’ll last an hour. ANd then, at the end, after the last horrible thing:
“… so then, she recovered from the sickness, and the boy decided he couldn’t live without her, and he stood up to his mom. Tho bas bachay, phir shaadi ho geyi, aur kia.—And then, they just got married, and that’s the story.”
Where. Is. The. Joy?
THe climax is so short-lived!!!
You kinda sprinkle it onto me for a moment and then we’re supposed to make an entire dessert out of it.
But some dramas are meant to depress you. THey’re not supposed to make you feel good. They’re supposed to make you frown when you even hear their name. Take the Pakistani film “Bol”. If you’ve watched it, you probably just cringed. THat’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. EMotionally powerful and packed, and really speaks culturally to these issues in Pakistan that get hidden into the shadows and ignored. It really explored some of the darker side of things, and I LOVED it. If there’s only one Pakistani production I could watch, it would be Bol (which means speak in Urdu/Hindi/Punjabi).
Anyways, back to Mausam. I get it: Pakistani dramas are designed to convey the core lessons, almost moreso than just the entertainment. A lot of the Pakistani people are entertained by dramas that actively teach lessons to the viewer, not just dramas offering dragged on emotions, whether they are good or bad. It’s opposite to HOllywood and Bollywood in many ways, since these industries are focused solely on entertainment and mind-numbing visuals etc. A lot of Hollywood movies are a pure waste of time and you can’t learn anything practical from there. They’re literally pure entertainment. It won’t make a difference in your life if you watch it or not. But Pakistani dramas can make a difference.
I especially think Pakistani dramas are important for us kids who were NOT born in Pakistan, and who are interested in learning about the culture and society in Pakistan, the subtleties and mannerisms. These are all especially helpful if you’re maintaining a close connection to the country, in the sense that the people around you are from there, like relatives etc. If you’re completely white washed and never want to even think of Pakistan or Pakistani people, then watching the dramas is not much good for you. You won’t learn much that’ll help you in the Western world. But if you plan on embracing the desi within, get a healthy dose of quality dramas. They’ll teach you a lot of those things you never knew growing up in this “bhola”, socially unclever and personal and not–generally-community-focused Western world.
Back to Mausam—
I can’t say much about what it was like throughout, since I didn’t watch it, but the end was excellent. The plot tied up adequately, as far as I know. THe burning issues are addressed. I loved it and thoroughly enjoyed it and might even watch it again.
The lessons are many and valuable: Communicate how you feel, don’t ignore your feelings, careful about what you sacrifice. Keep tabs on the people you care about by using a large and reliable network, not just a few people who have freaking already proved unreliable in the past. Watch out for gold-diggers. Watch out for those cousins who stab your back in ways you never expected.
The biggest lesson in this drama, I believe, was about open communication. If you have feelings for someone, find a reliable way to communicate with them. In the Pakistani society, where it’s not always possible to talk face to face, find a mid-person you can trust, someone who is unbiased and reliable and morally upright. SOmeone who can have your best interest at heart and can keep your confidentiality, to whatever degree possible by desi people.
If you’re looking for a good plot, Mausam will deliver. I sense that it did lack motive and personality on part of some characters. Hashir for example is retarded. He is just unbelievably dumb and easy to fool. So gullible. He believes exactly what he hears, from the most unreliable people.
Hareem Farooq was pretty cool.
Her acting was too much like Kristen Stewart, with the one look and all. It was bearable but it would’ve been nicer if she showed a wider range of facial expressions and body language. Her personality was believable, I guess. Again, maybe there were scenes where her acting really flourished. I didn’t watch most of the episodes so I may be missing some key acting scenes.Overall though I have to say that I loved her. I might sound abrupt because I’m reviewing the post and adding in my overall feelings, but I really enjoyed HAreem in this drama, more than Ahsan Khan maybe.
YUmna Zaidi, who played Shazia, was amazing.
Her acting was spot-on. She has a real talent in acting, and was the most believable. I kinda get that she was overdone and obvious at some times, but I let it slide. This isn’t hollyoood. Pakistani dramas have a lot of obvious cues in the acting and hints so that all the viewers can catch on easily. I don’t mind it too much. But yeah Yumna was a joy to watch as well. Ahsan Khan had some spotlight rivals in this one!!
Pretty much everyone else was quite good, too.
Based solely on what I saw, I would give Mausam a high rating. For acting, I would give it a 9 out of 10. For story, 7 out of 10. For suspence in the final epsiodes, 10 out of 10. Overall I would give it around an 8.5 out of 10 ( though certain parts really were a full 10).
I think Ahsan Khan really added the main flavour and emotional style to the drama. Obviously, being a more experienced actor, that’s expected of him. Laila Majnu or something was the only drama in which I didn’t enjoy his presence much. I think in that case I just didn’t like the overall drama itself, either. Mere Qatil Mere Dildar was also kinda a flop as far as he was concerned. Like his acting was satisfactory but the drama didn’t really have much of a personality. On terms of what he brings to the screen, this is one of the better pieces. I remember watching in Dil, Dard, Dhuan as well. It’s a horrible drama. Don’t waste your time. His acting was okay but I just mean the drama itself is just absolutely stupid and unbelievable.
Another thought on my short-lived climax complaint for Mausam: I don’t mind it as much, now that I thnk of it. If I was emotionally invested in all of the 20 episodes, I would’ve been more pissed off that the payout was so short, and it would take me longer to get over it. I’m used to the HOllywood feel-good, pure sugar and entertainment fests. Hollywood kinda ruined my tastes but I’m recovering as I find worthy entertainment. I was never a huge hollywood movies person but growing up that’s all I watched and that was the format I was most familiar with. THere was bollywood too, which classically was more valuable, but modern bollywood is pure TRASH GARBAGE GAND BAQWAS. yOU can literally walk away in the middle of a bollywood movie, come back during the end, and know exactly what’s happening. It’s designed for desi people, obviously, with the convinience for those who like to multitask or have short attention spans.
So, I’m okay with the short-lived climax now, for Mausam. I see the artistic value and moral value that lay in the rest of the drama. In Mausam, the feel-good part is supposed to be a residual feeling you’re left to explore and enjoy, and it’s supposed to be more of a cap on the end of the story, vs. a visual feast that’s spelt out for you. They really do NOT show the details you would want to see. They just show you a quick QUICK summary and glance, that “yeah now it’s all okay and good”. You can fill in the blanks yourself. And in a way, isn’t that good? Because, the last thing I need is an Indian drama that’s zooming in on everyone’s face, with blaring and overdone music, trying to force the emotion onto me for an insanely unnecessary amount of time. So there is value in subtlety, I learned today. No value in overt explusion like Indian dramas, but there is a value in the subtle, the suggestive, and the blanks that you’re inspired to fill in.
IN Mausam, I enjoyed the visuals and the music score. The last episode has a nice scene with Hashir looking all depressed, staring at a photo of Suman. I kinda liked the emotional resonance of that scene and how it came together. IT could’ve been horribly cheezy and cleche, as I would’ve normally expected, but I enjoyed it for some reason. As for why it’s called Mausam, can someone explain? It’s touched upon in the absolute last minute of the last episode in an enlightening way but there’s room for more. I think it refers to the changing weather or mausam of the heart and of lifes situations.
I’ve recently made the switch to deodorant. Deodorant just gets rid of the smell of your sweat, whereas antiperspirant prevents you from sweating in the first place. Antiperspirant has been linked to cancer, since it clogs your pores by creating a blockage of waste and synthetic materials. When I made the switch to a natural deodorant, I realized for the first time what I actually smell like, lol. The first deodorant I tried was GEODEO, which I bought from Wal-Mart. It was the tropical breeze one or something, with the pink markings. It really sucked at preventing odor, but the thing is, I think it was excellent for detox, which is listed as one of its benefits. I think I stank so bad because it was detoxing all the clogged pores due to years of antiperspirant use. If you’re switching to deodorants, I recommend you try GEODEO or a detox variety for at least two months, and then switch to a better brand deodorant. Currently, I’m using TOMS LEMONGRASS NATURAL DEODORANT.
(UPDATE: this masks YOUR odour really well, but I’m not a fan of the lemon grass smell AT ALL. Will not repurchase this particular scent). I really like the smell of the stick, but it smells a bit different once it mixes with my sweat and isn’t as pleasant anymore. It still works well though and keeps odor at bay, though if you sweat heavily you will have to re-apply after two or three hours. (UPDATE: I didn’t get used to smelling like freaking grass. Smells great on the stick but again once the physiological process begins you smell like muddy earthy crap).
Sweating is a natural function of the human body which serves to detoxify and regulate the temperature of your body. If you prevent any part of your body from sweating, you are blocking an essential function and this will eventually lead to some negative side effects. Before I started using deodorant, I noticed that if I skipped showering for a few days (hey, it happens during finals), and just reapplied deodorant instead, I would get a tender soreness under my armpit, as if there was a lump there. I think it may have been a backed up lymphatic sack; it was unable to secrete sweat and I hadn’t showered to clear it out either, so it was essentially choking. But now, this never happens with my natural deodorant. Even if I skip the showers, my underarms never swell or feel tender anymore, since they can still sweat and expel waste.
It’s really worth looking into buying a natural deodorant. On days where you absolutely do not want to sweat, try antiperspirant and then switch back to the natural deodorant. Try to eliminate dependence on antiperspirant because it’s unnatural and blocks an important function of your body.
After I’m done with the Tom stick, I’ll be switching to some other natural deodorant. Maybe a different scent of the same brand. I didn’t have any averse reactions and the quality of the stick is great.