“Jeevan Nagar” is a show about small-town living – but only on the surface. If you begin analyzing “Jeevan Nagar” and its many themes, this is a show with a strong story, many social messages and even a statement on politics. In recent weeks, “Jeevan Nagar” had slowed down, but with the last two episodes, it’s back on track, headed in an exciting direction. “Jeevan Nagar” stars Sohail Ahmed, Rabia Butt, Noor Ul Hassan, Kashif Mehmood, Atif Syed, Saqib Sameer, Khalid Butt, Tahira Imam, Kinza Malik, Amna Malick and others. The story has been written by Awais Ahmed and directed by Kashif Nisar.
Babu’s (Syed Atif) return bring along a sigh of relief. While Babbar Shah’s absence is sorely missed, Babu is a character we hold strong expectations from to return sanity back to Jeevan Nagar. Babu is one character we can trust to remain loyal to Babbar Shah. Babu’s tactics of sound torture are somehow humorous and we’re rooting for him. Syed Atif is doing a great job in this role! Baggay has also always been loyal, but he has yet to understand what’s happening with Babbar Shah and Billay (Saqib Sameer). Honestly though, has anyone really seen through Laali’s (Sohail Ahmed) act?
There’s so much tragedy in Jeevan Nagar these days, but episode 21 offers small glimmers of hope. Hanif (Khalid Malik) is not only mourning the loss of the “treasure” – all thanks to “Babbar Shah,” but also the potential loss of his property. In this dark moment, his daughter drops a revelation that she had “saved” some of the treasure before it was taken away. This is a small win, one that may not be entirely honest, but……if that treasure belonged to anyone, it belonged to Hanif. On the other end, Munni (Rabia Butt) is ready to pack up and leave the city when Chotu convinces her to stay and fight against the city’s common enemy – Babbar Shah. The man who Munni once loved is no more, just a puppet in Billay’s hands. Munni and Chotu concoct a plan, adding known names to a whatsapp group and sharing messages regarding Babbar Shah in it, essentially bringing about a modern-day revolution.
While the absence of Babbar Shah has truly been a thorn in the side of viewers, making “Jeevan Nagar” feel almost hopeless in recent weeks, the story has taken a turn in terms of feel with episodes 20 & 21. Riddled with corruption, what world does “Jeevan Nagar,” a small fictional town, currently resemble? It resembles the world we live in, one where supposed leaders do not utilize their powers, allowing themselves to be controlled by others for monetary or personal benefit. Meanwhile, the common man looks to these leaders to help – and are left disappointed. “Jeevan Nagar” could represent the subcontinent during partition, the way the British created divisions and turned brother against brother. “Jeevan Nagar” could also represent the current state of Pakistan with Laali playing the part of Pakistan’s leaders and Billay playing a “higher” international power. Billay has turned Naikas against Magairays with the Hamsanis taking sides, Jeevan Nagar split on the basis of caste, religion and social standing. When one delves into the psyche of the writing, “Jeevan Nagar” is truly a social commentary with some meaningful writing.
Sohail Ahmed is the heart and soul of the show, whether as Babbar Shah (who we so dearly miss) or Laali. However, credit must be given to Saqib Sameer. Despite playing the show’s most hated character, he’s playing his double role so convincingly and playing both characters differently from one another. Atif Syed, Khalid Malik and Rabia Butt are all doing an excellent job as well. The preview for episode 22 looks excellent with the story moving forward in a big way. Are things as they seem or are we, as the audience, in for a big shock? Regardless, despite a slight slump, “Jeevan Nagar” has now picked up in a big way!