I HAVE SOME STEAM I NEED TO LET OUT.
Compared to half of you cupcakes who’ve been bawling your eyes out over this show and creeping everyone with your super stalker level fangirling skills lately, I, me and myself had been following it since the very first episode. I was one of the very first Safarians! I called the apple meme thingy before the horde of screaming women descended, in my brain, had been saving it for this. And it breaks my heart that I won’t be able to do that without sounding like a copycat loser. By the Holy Right of Dibs it should have been mine to claim. I would have opened this post with that meme, had been planning it for months. Kabhi kabhi dil chahta hai kisi ka gala daba doon…
Magar khair, choren iss baat ko. I did a post after Yeh Raha Dil ended two months ago and I HAD to do it again now. I never truly realized how extremely LUCKY I was to get to switch to another great show after my absolute favorite one ended. And by switching I mean, paying attention to. It’s ironic how YKS and YRD provoked feelings opposite to their tones. Yeh Raha Dil was a happy, bubbly and feel-good drama but when it ended I was DEVASTATED and couldn’t even. Yaqeen Ka Safar was a sober and serious one but apart from the usual pang of sadness all I felt was absolute satisfaction when I watched the last episode last night.
And just in case you missed it, Zaki’s and Asfandyaar’s old home were one and the same. Let that sink in. Gaiti and Daniyal’s room was Zaki’s room. Matlab, a sign from the Heavens if there ever was one.
You want memes? I’ll give you memes.
Gumaan Kay Baad
Yaqeen Ka Safar
And it was literally a journey of faith for me. I remember seeing the promos and being quite surprised by the fact that Farhat had adapted this story into a play. I had read the book two, maybe three, years ago and while I could clearly recall loving it, the meat of the story, the details all forgotten, I also remembered that it was really short.
So I watched the promos and got to know the cast. Sajjal Ali is an old favorite but I don’t normally watch all of her work. Hira Maani is a new favorite and the same goes for her. Shaz Khan and Ahad Raza Mir I had never seen acting before. I guess, for me, it was mostly about getting to see how they took a book as short as “Woh Yaqeen Ka Neya Safar” and converted it into a drama. From an avid reader’s perspective, adaptations of favorite books are somewhat irresistible. It definitely wasn’t because of the leads, the cast WAS intriguing and fresh but like I said, I didn’t have much reason to believe that I would be blown away.
I think the rest of the fangirls will say LABAIK when I declare that I get attracted to shows because of their male leads. I mean, let’s face it, there are great actresses out there and we love them and all but this is how biology works. So you can probably imagine why, except for discovering novella-to-TV show transformation, I wasn’t too thrilled about seeing it.
I was like, “Hey, look! It’s that new guy with the Abida Parveen hair situation going on. Great.” The dude hadn’t been tried and tested and I really did not like the hair, except when it was tied in a bun. My perseverance was rewarded because LOOK AT THIS SPECIMEN:
Aik baar dekho. Hazaar baar dekho. YE DEKHNE KI CHEEZ HAI ISSE BAAR BAAR DEKHO.
Haye Amee Jee.
And not just this ’cause that came waaay after. He proved himself an exceptional performer in the very first episode. It doesn’t take long to figure out k kon kitne paani main hai. But again, it took some time for me to really get into it.
*Sigh* So, where was I? Yeah, the incredibly fascinating story of how and when and why I started watching Yaqeen Ka Safar (Ma blog, ma keyboard, ma rules). It was Thursday, the day after the first episode aired. Despite my reservations, I liked the look of the promos. I watched the first episode then and I enjoyed it very much. There was so much happiness and fun and sadness and emotion packed into those 40 minutes. I was 51% sold.
Over the next few weeks I faithfully followed the show and found myself more and more intrigued by it. There were a LOT of things of which there was no naam-o-nishaan in the book but I was pleasantly surprised by how perfect the filling-of-the-gaps and even the changes were. The most important thing for me was that the show carried the same essence and ambience the book had, which I LOVED. It’s something I got to see after the second half of the show which is where the book starts. That perfect pur-sukoon and pyaara mahol vibes had been captured perfectly.
THIS IS EXACTLY HOW I PICTURED IT.
Then came Ramazan and I stopped. I don’t know how many episodes had been aired by then. 7? 10? Basically, I had some catching up to do after. Those were the days when Yeh Raha Dil was at its apex. I forgot all about it for two or three weeks. YRD had taken over my life completely. When I finally sat down to watch YKS, I couldn’t stop. Binge-watched all I had missed in a day. BEST MENTAL ABUSE EVER. YAAYYYY.
I was a 100% sold by that time and then some. During the last two months of its run, it became too-hot-to-handle before my very eyes. I saw it thrive and grow popular like a proud mama. YEAH, SUCKERS. I WAS THERE BEFORE IT BECAME MAINSTREAM.
And you know what the best part about this was? I had someone to fangirl with in all Caps, someone to share the experience with instead of bottling it all up and feeling miserable. It sometimes get lonely here in the Shire. This wouldn’t have been the same without you, Kashi. You were legit the only one I discussed this with.
And since we’re on the subject, a big, huge, fat THANK YOU to all the vidders and edit-masters who made those awesome FEEL-filled collages and videos. They made the struggle and pain of waiting easier. I know I keep trying to prove my superiority above the rest but I promise I am only JOKING. We all have our ways to cope. Mine is being fake-petty and rude.
The show has been compared with Humsafar, Asfiya has been compared with the jori of Ashar and Khirad and Ahad Raza Mir has been compared with Fawad Khan. I agree with that. They are different actors, brilliant in their own ways and the comparison has nothing to do with their acting abilities. It’s because YKS reminded us of that time when Humsafar was ruling our hearts and minds. Ashar and Khirad’s romance has been taken to the next level by Asfandyaar and Zubiya and most importantly, Ahad’s “hero” had that magnetism and charm to which we were introduced to in Ashar.
In my lifetime, the foundations of the female fanatics have been utterly SHAKEN only twice: first, when Fawad Khan made us blush and stutter with those eyes of his in Humsafar.
And second, now, when Asfandyaar made us swoon. SLAYED our very EXISTENCE.
PT-HI-D, fellow Khawateen (and-and-I-hope-not Hazraat). Post Traumatic HORMONAL IMBALANCE Disorder.
Before I get to more coherent things, I must talk about something I did in my YRD post as well: the title card of our shows. Here’s the thing. OSTs? We have those down pat. If there’s an exam for composing the best soundtracks for dramas, I am a hundred percent sure we aced that a million years ago. I am not particularly fond of Yaqeen Ka Safar’s song but I have to admit it fits the show’s tone and message BEYOND perfectly and the lyrics are truly beautiful.
Main Tere Waqt Kay Hamraah
Chal Naheen Sakti
Keh Tera Waqt
Mujhe Rond Kar
But I don’t know what happens with the posters of our dramas. The fonts are brilliantly done and the background is top-notch, it’s with the pasting of the characters where they all go horribly wrong. Most of them are exactly the same. Main leads facing opposite directions looking at the camera really seriously boringly. It DEFIES explanation. I want them to get creative, to have a little fun with the images. All they do is either look at the camera and squint or look at the camera and smile. That is the opposite of creative and fun. Consider the poster for Yaqeen Ka Safar, hain jee?!
Font: check. Barren and haunted looking trees: check. WHAT is the rest? The fact that I got used to it is irrelevant. I WANT the people responsible for this stuff to get more concerned and focused on making the title images more innovative and eye-catching. You know, something more dramatic, like the one Humayun Saeed and Mehwish Hayat did for PNJG’s promotions.
And in case you were wondering, this is the illustration for the novella when it was published in the digest, another subject I’ve discussed before, another thing that rankles me.
Now let’s talk about the good stuff, a.k.a EVERYTHING.
Yaqeen Ka Safar is the story of two people: Asfandyaar Ali Khan and Zubiya Khaleel. Two individuals with completely different backgrounds brought together after loss, tragedy and pain. Like I said, the meat of the story is the same but the writer did a phenomenal job of creating depth and backstory where it was needed and provided wonderful and detailed insight into the lives of all the characters.
Book vs Show:
- Zubiya has two brothers Rehan and Irfan in the book instead of just one.
- Her mother isn’t accidentally killed by her father, instead, she dies of some disease.
- Asfandyaar and Zubiya never meet all those years ago.
- Daniyal, Ard Sher Khan in the book, commits suicide after being accused of sexual harassment.
- There is no Noori. I mean, not specifically at least. Her case and Daniyal’s death and essentially everything from Asfand’s past is not in the book.
- Dr. Shehroz and Asifa are an old couple. Like, really old.
- Asfand’s father is dead.
- Saim is the youngest of two siblings. He has a sister named Kashmala and both are teenagers.
- Zubiya doesn’t try to commit suicide in the book.
- In the book, she leaves her home out of her own volition instead of being thrown out.
- Zubiya’s khala ammi and Khajista both die in the book.
Honestly, THIS, this is where I felt that the show did a much, MUCH better job at delivering its message. By making Khajista survive and continue her journey made it all the more powerful and impactful. Truth, courage, bravery, perseverance and justice ALWAYS win, no matter how long it takes, and time passes, whether good or bad. It hit it home in a way the book couldn’t. It’s one of those instances where you love the fact that the book and film/show are different from each other. You take the changes in a stride and enjoy them to the fullest. Maan gaye aapko, Farhat.
Oh, but we’re still not done. There are two differences that I felt were too drastic to ignore.
- Go up and read the first page of the novella. It says that apparently, during Zubiya’s interview, the three doctors were sitting behind a “vasee-o-areez” table. Hain? The table they sat behind in the show was like, one feet long and three feet wide. WOAH.
- And two (and this really turned my world upside-down for a moment) it’s Dr. ShehZOR instead of ShehROZ in the book. I’ve been living a lie.
I know people seem to love those other two. I, frankly, found them unremarkable. They were great in terms of the scenario and character development and all that but the one that hit me with full force was this one:
We don’t give her much credit but she’s the other half of this iconic pair. Zubiya is resilient, she’s brave, she has endured pain and suffering beyond imagining and yet she soldiers on through life. I think this is where the book-Zubiya scores a plus point against drama-Zubiya. She lost both her Khala Ammi AND Khajista within the span of a few minutes but she didn’t try to end her life. And in the context of the book it makes her even stronger when Asfandyaar compares her to his brother. Ard Sher khan was accused of rape, his reputation destroyed and he couldn’t bear to live with that so he took his own life, while Zubiya suffered the same thing with the added weight of the holed-up life she was living but survived.
No matter, though. I love both versions of her and it doesn’t change what a strong and courageous person she is. NO ONE ELSE could have played the part except Sajjal.
The crush of the nation. The heart-stealer. The chocolate hero. Asfand-not-your-yaar Khan. Weeeeell… Mera khayal hai inki shaan main qaseedey parhne lagey to saari raat guzr jayegi. Fawad Khan? Who’s Fawad Khan? All I know is, we have a new favorite and he’s here to stay.
Hira Mani is a BRILLIANT actor, a gem hidden from us all these years but we’re glad she’s been discovered. Gaiti was one of the most loved characters on the show after Asfiya, and rightfully so. Her portrayal was FLAWLESS.
As a character, Daniyal deserves all the praise in the world and so does Shaz Khan for his incredible portrayal. We were all devastated and that was the time we truly wished that he would live.
The supporting cast:
The people who hold a show, a book, a film together. These people have a significant role in making our leads who they are. This how had a stellar supporting cast. Absolutely outstanding. Zubiya’s abbi, whom we loathed then sympathized with then cried over, Sheema, whom we wanted to see smashed into a pulp (kudos to the actress, you did your job), Rehan, whom we all pitied, Asfi’s adorable parents whom we LOVED, Khajista, Bahadur and Rustam! Allah, that pathan stole the show every time. Khajista’s mother-in-law, Dr. Haroon the goofball, Faryal, Noori, Noori’s parents, her little brother, that detestable Urooj Nasir, and those feudal assholes and their bodyguards. Am I missing anyone? DUDE, I LOVED THEM ALL. Okay, probably not those feudal assholes.
If I call them “the mightiest ship that has ever sailed” I would be a hypocrite because I called Hayat and Zaki that the last time. So let’s go with “the most beautiful and root-worthy ship ever to grace the seas”, eh? Boring? Gimme a break, it’s past midnight and I’m getting tired.
THESE TWO, THOUGH. We had been getting tired of how our ships never get the proper treatment. All out grievances of the past two decades have beer eradicated from this Earth. There hasn’t been a pairing more loved, more PERFECT, more romantic than these two.
SADQEY. VAARI. QURBAAN.
I’d like to see anyone top THAT. Mazel Tov.
OH EM KHUDA, this is the difficult part. I reckon it’ll take me another hour.
- I’ll start with Gaiti and Daniyal. Second only to Asfiya, they were so cute and adorable together! It broke our hearts and crushed our souls to see them broken apart. Each and everyone of their scenes is my favorite but perhaps the best among them is the one where Daniyal comes late home and Gaiti tells him that she’ll wear his ring forever to remind her that he’s always with her. *Dil toots*
- When Asfi and his father embrace and share their grief after Daniyal’s death.
- When Zubiya begs for forgiveness from her abbi in the middle of the night and also the “log maaf naheen karte” one.
- That intense and emotionally charged scene where Zubiya fights back.
- When Daniyal dies. Yes, I probably couldn’t see clearly then but it was a great scene.
- When Noori kills those feudal assholes.
- WELP, all Asfiya scenes?
- This one, that truly kick-started the madness if you ask me:
- Check out that literal thook nigalna at the end.
- Slow-mo makes everything SO much better…
- I couldn’t figure out how Zubiya could have gotten an injury serious enough to bleed and warrant a tetanus shot the way she fell and where she fell (at least the book had a plausible reason: she was wearing chooriyan and those bit into her wrist) but this scene sure was sweet as HECK.
- All scenes including, leading to, and after this:
This whole freaking episode was lit.
- “Aap naraaz hain?”
“Main aapse keun naraaz hon gi?!”
- When Asfi teases her in the car for calling him names and also in the cafetaria.
- I just loooooved the hurt on his face when she turned him down.
- A few dozen more scenes I’m forgetting.
- I saved the best one for last.
Interesting story attached to this scene (YES, another one). I made the mistake of not shielding the screen and hiding my feed from my eyes before logging out of Instagram after posting that night. So I caught a glimpse of Zubiya hugging someone. Ae lo ji, phir kya tha! From the first second to the 31st minute I tormented myself by debating just who exactly she would hug. Rehan was wearing black, Asfi was wearing blue. I was convinced it would be Rehan. MAGAR YE KYA. Asfi entered with a black shirt and the rest is history.
Speaking on behalf of my fellow female folk (it’s a great day for alliteration, apparently), we’ve been losing our shit since yesterday over this scene. CAN’T get over it, WON’T get over it. SO much better than a shaadi scene which would’ve been stupid here and is cliched and overrated anyway.
Thandi aah # 34275876592387502985029385209385
Farewell, Yaqeen Ka Safar. It was a pleasure, being a part of you. To the people who brought us this gift, the writer with her beautiful story, the director with his excellent vision, the actors with their incredible performances and the fangirls, vidders, common folk who love khamoshily, I offer you a hug.