“Jindo” arrived with much promise, a show about the plight of women in a patriarchal society where ownership of one’s home, family and even self is all in the hands of the “rulers.” And yet, the women in this show are strong, always ready to fight back and demand their rights. Written by Qurban Ali Rao, “Jindo” has been directed by Anjum Shahzad and stars Humaima Malik, Gohar Rasheed, Nazr Ul Hassan, Hajra Yamin, Saleem Mairaj, Samiya Mumtaz, Malik Raza, Mizna Waqas, Faraaz Ali and many others in an ensemble cast.
“Jindo” isn’t a story for the weak of heart and while the women in the story are as strong as they can be, they have endured their share of grief and hardships – and continue to. In episode 15, Jugni is now married to Hasrat (Gohar Rasheed), though not by choice. Jugni, in her assault, wound up pregnant and to save face and her sister’s reputation – along with what seems to be an ulterior motive -, Jindo (Humaima Malik) and the other ladies agreed on this marriage. Unfortunately, in the haveli, Jugni is simply seen as a vessel for childbirth – and in an ironic twist of faith, Falak (Hajra Yamin) and Jugni are not only pregnant at the same time, but also go into labor at the exact moment. This scene creates tension as Jugni is not in good shape, the only midwife with Falak. We’re also aware that the birth of a girl in this household is seen as a crime. What will be the outcome of this “happy” occasion for the women?
Meanwhile, Fakira (Faraz Ali) continues into his descent of confusion and disillusionment in regards to his “place” in society. The world this family lives in is an odd one, one where a male isn’t necessarily the head of his household and where households are run by external forces – specifically the haveli. With all the tragedy Fakira has seen with his sisters, he has transformed from the carefree, naïve man he once was to a man in search of himself. Faraz Ali is a strong actor who forces the audience to sit up and take notice of his work. Unfortunately, Shano’s (Naeema Naeem Butt) obsession with a now married man was once understandable and interesting, but has become ridiculous at this point. She needs to move on and there isn’t anything endearing about constantly putting a man’s wife in an awkward position.
It’s the women in “Jindo” who are the real stars. These are strong women, strong characters who are able to fight and defend themselves in any way possible. Humaima Malik is the real star, giving an exceptional performance in the title role. This is the sort of character one roots for. Of course, Samiya Mumtaz, Hajra Yamin, Ayesha Gul and all the women do an excellent job as well. But what about the men? Gohar Rasheed, Nazar Ul Hassan and Saleem Mairaj are absolutely brilliant in their roles. Saleem Mairaj is excellent in the role of a man trapped between duty and his empathy towards the village folk he resides with. Of course, Gohar Rasheed is hilariously evil as Hasrat, a man who likes his women and power. Nazar Ul Hassan is brilliant as an old ruler who recognizes his time may be up at the hands of his own son. There’s so much to praise about “Jindo” and the show is technically and visually sound. If there’s a negative, it’s that the show demands subtitles with the difficult language. Otherwise, this is a quality show which isn’t getting the sort of attention it deserves – and should be watched.