“Prem Gali” is a show that comes like a breath of fresh air for Pakistani drama viewers. Written and directed by Faiza Iftikhar and written by Qasim Ali Mureed, the team that gave us “Aangan,” this duo creates magic once again. Starring Farhan Saeed, Sohai Ali Abro, Saba Hameed, Qavi Khan, Wasim Abbas, Uzma Hassan and many other talented actors, this drama tells the story of a small neighborhood and their internal problems. While the story isn’t action-packed, it’s one that allows the viewer to bond with the character and manages to leave a lasting impact at the end of each episode.
Episode 10 begins with Hamza’s (Farhan Saeed) “matchmaking business” being exposed to his family by Haseena (Farah Shah). His family flies into a rage, though for different reasons. While Hatim (Wasim Abbas) questions Hamza for running a business behind his back, Dada Ji (Qavi Khan) scolds Hamza for matchmaking for others when he himself is single. The men decide, after Hamza sweetly manipulates them, to take Hamza’s proposal over for Joya (Sohai Ali Abro). Hatim informs Shireen (Saba Hameed), in a rather hilarious scene, that he and his father will be coming over later that evening. While Shireen is initially confused, Rahat (Shamim Hilaly) puts it in Shireen’s head that Hamza is the best option for Joya. Both families happily meet and seem set on getting the two married – but then, somehow, the neighborhood gets involved.
For his part, Luqman (Farhat Abdullah) believes that he’s looking out for Joya when he notices her chatting on her phone during her lesson and tells Hamza that he can’t marry her as she loves someone else. Hamza struggles to keep his Chacha quiet, but Luqman is so distraught over his own misery that he refuses to allow Hamza to “destroy” Joya’s life by marrying her against her will. It’s interesting that Hamza is unable to tell his family that he likes Joya, because they seem like a happy, supportive family in the sense that they would happily accept any woman into the household. Haseena a character that’s difficult to figure out, because while she has been loving and supportive in the past and Joya’s family has gone out to help her in her time of need, she goes out of her way to inform Hatim and Dada Ji of Joya’s family background and warns them off of allowing Hamza to marry Joya. With Haseena’s interference and Luqman’s insistence on Joya loving someone else, Hamza finally declares that he is the man Joya was talking to. It remains to be seen how his family reacts to this news next week, but again, would there be any real reason for his family to be against this union?
Haseena and other neighborhood women also drop in to talk to Mussarat (Uzma Hassan) and Rahat about Hamza’s family and their “family curse.” While Rahat is in full favor of Hamza and Joya’s marriage, Mussarat flies into her state of worry and informs Shireen. Shireen makes a great point at the end of the episode. While Mussarat tries to sway her against marrying Joya into Hamza’s family, Shireen states that it would be foolish of them to judge Hamza for being from a household of single men when others judge Joya for the same reason, for being from a family of divorcees. Shireen wins the hearts of the audience – and Joya – with this dialogue and it shows that she does not have a heart of steel after all, but only wants the best for her daughter. Still, it’s difficult to ignore the noise from the outside world and that has already begun to come into play and will come to the forefront in the next episode.
The greatest thing about this episode of “Prem Gali” is that it shows how relationships and thoughts fall prey to the opinions of others. While Shireen is only too happy to get Joya married to Hamza, her mind begins to waver when Tau and others begin planting ideas into her and Musarrat’s heads about the women in Hamza’s family being cursed. It’s very frustrating to see this wavering, because these women have been through so much in their marriages and because of their divorces, they have heard so much nonsense from others. Hamza’s family has been labeled “cursed” and, as a family of men, they have always felt isolated from the world because they don’t have any females in the household. So shouldn’t both these families throw aside these notions of gossip and caring about what others say? While we’d like to think so, realistically these households may just care even more than the common man. Why? Because they would not want their children to go through what they themselves have experienced. They want the best for their children. For Shireen, that means not marrying her daughter into a household where women die early on. For Hamza’s family, it means not marrying their son into a family where women have a “tradition” of getting divorced. Really, the takeaway of this episode is that not everyone around an individual (or family) always has their best interests at heart. While the neighborhood folk may have good intentions (and some not), their opinions have only muddled the scenario.
“Prem Gali” is a show that, despite its heavy scenarios, still manages to make the viewer laugh throughout the episode. This is an artform, the ability to tell an important story, discussing societal biases and still managing to keep the feel light-hearted. One does not feel bogged down after watching an episode of “Prem Gali,” rather the show leaves the viewer wanting more. Each and every member of the cast has done a wonderful job, but Shamim Hilaly, Qavi Khan and Wasim Abbas have been stealing the show for the past two episodes with their hilarious lines. One can only hope this show continues on this path to the end.