Have been on a Pakistani serial watching spree these past few days. Just re-watched Dhoop Kinaray, one of the several brilliant dramas that PTV churned out during its Golden Age, and am absolutely gushing forth with its praises again, which is what happens every time I watch it.Everything about this drama is classic. From its novel concept, gripping story line and fabulously well-written dialogues and characters, to its au naturel direction, its brilliant casting, and immediately identifiable soundtrack - the whole is even better than the sum of all its parts.
Let's start with the essentials.
1. Story/script: Thank you Haseena Moin, you wonderful, wonderful woman. One look at Moin's writing credits (Ankahi, Aahat, Tanhaiyaan, Zer Zabar Paish, Dhund, Dhoop Kinaray etc.) and you have but an idea of her creative calibre and mastery over Urdu. *standing ovation*
Focussing on just Dhoop Kinaray for the anon...
An exceptional, convincing and very well-told romantic story between a frothy, lovable, beautiful young medical intern (Zoya) and her much-older, very hot, sullen, no-nonsense, broody, intelligent and totally awesome boss, a pediatrician of some note (Dr Ahmer) . Throw in a smorgasbord of fantastic supporting characters (Baba, Anji, Dr Irfan, Fazeelat, the other interns etc.) and an evil-psycho-hateful-type vamp like you won't believe (Dr Sheena: Yukh thoooo!) and you have all the ingredients that Haseena Moin used to make DK a work of art beyond compare.
Did I mention the pace of this drama? It speeds along from start to finish like that *snaps fingers* and when the story concludes at just the right time, you feel a twinge of regret that it's all ended too soon. THAT'S the mark of a good writer, what?
2. Direction: Directed by Rahat Kazmi's/Dr Ahmer's real-life wife, Saira Kazmi. Was watching a random video off YouTube where she was explaining how she was all about realistic drama and a natural style of story-telling. Hey, Saira, we believe you. Absolutely. Well done, I say.
3. Casting: In terms of casting, I don't think any televised drama has ever since, or ever will, get it this right.
-Rahat Kazmi as Dr Ahmer: Drool factor 10/10;
-Marina Khan as Dr Zoya: Beautiful, fun, innocent and extremely lovable as female protagonist - every young girl wanted to be her;
-Sajid Hasan as Dr Irfan: I want one to go, please... My God, Dr Irfan's hilarious character is everyone's favourite memory of DK;
-Kehkashaan Awaz as the sweet Anji, Zoya's childhood friend and neighbour;
-The acid spewing Dr Sheena, played by Badar Khalil- DIE DIE DIE! Has anyone ever managed to play a character so universally hateful and psyched? Even her unfortunate ABBA hairdo makes you want to scalp her;
-Zoya's adorable father Baba, played by Qazi Wajid. *grin*
-Fazeelat: Zoya's aaya since forever; a loud, abrasive and extremely loving, paan-chewing harridan who is the proverbial coconut - hard on the outside, soft inside.
All the actors were catapulted to superstardom after Dhoop Kinaray, if they weren't established as top-of-the-league already.
Here's a classic bit from Dhoop Kinaray. It's the beginning of the story, we see Dr Ahmer (hubba hubba) leading his interns on rounds, and Dr Zoya goofing up and irking the hell out of him. *flashback to own college gaffes*
4. Soundtrack: DK has an eminently hummable soundtrack. Ghazals by Nayyara Noor, poetry by Faiz Ahmad Faiz. I've been humming the background music stupidly for days now. Even to put my baby nephew to sleep. He's six months old and then some, but he gets it.
Here's a good link to Dhoop Kinaray's soundtrack. It's got MP3s, lyrics, translations and videos.
And now a video of the most grin-inducing romantic bit from the whole series... the bit where the two docs go gallivanting on a field trip and we as audiences pee our pants in anticipation of all the romance that will follow. "HE HOLDS HER HAND!" OMG OMG OMG! This was a very big deal in Pakistani dramas, okay? Ha ha. Lyrics (by Faiz) as follows: .
5. Style Statement: Dhoop Kinaray oozes in sophistication and style, whether it's sartorial or cultural or verbal. Class will tell, is what I always say.
The clothes the characters wear in this series were the height of fashion then. I promise, they were. Our family (and all salwar-kameez wearing folk everywhere I suppose) always used to take the lead from PTV's contemporary dramas in terms of fashion trends. What they wore, we wore. (This is not true anymore. What they wear on PTV nowadays, I could never wear. Too little textile used and full length salwars and sleeves seem to be a thing of the past. But wait! This is neither here nor there.)
And then the depiction of family life, the tehzeeb, the beauty of well-spoken Urdu, the shaairi mixed in with everyday dialogue - most endearing about Pakistani dramas...
Even the hair styles, yes, even them! They were oh-so-cool back then. (Coincidentally, I had Zoya Khan's boy-cut all my girlhood days. Also known as the Princess Diana cut. *blush*)
Anyway. To cut a long story short, Dhoop Kinaray is aces. Those of you who haven't watched, start downloading all episodes from YouTube or just go to the many online sources and buy the original DVD. Absolutely worth it, since it's so cheap. About USD 20 or so.
When I look at the tripe that calls itself 'drama' on channels today (especially Indian tele-serials.... gaaah!...) laughing alone does not satisfy. I need to point AND laugh. Which I do, before changing channels very, very fast.