Book Review: KAHIN DEEP JALEY, KAHIN DIL By Qaisera Hayat

Alright, so this review is going to be in a very different format. Because the story demands for it.

RIDA’s TRACK

CHARACTERS

Rida

She is the youngest of the family. Having three older brothers has not spoiled her, not one bit. She is sweet, loving and caring.

Khadija

Rida’s mother. As a widow, she has raised her children alone. She is positive, keeps balance and has nurtured a loving family. Her only fear is that nothing should happen to her family. Too bad, mama, cuz the daughter-in-law you have chosen is everything but loving.

Faham

Faham is the eldest son. 

Hatim

Rida’s middle brother. He is emotional, short-tempered and aggressive by nature and is easily influences by others.

Asim

Rida’s youngest brother

Rohail

Rida’s husband. A man with a trust issues who easily gets swayed by trivial things. 

Maa Ji 

Rohail’s mother. She is one of the many unnamed characters of the story. Her on screen persona is always referred to as Maa ji. She has seen good times, but the times have changed and she has adapted to it well. 

Rohail’s Mami & Mama

Shameela

Shameela is Faham’s fiance and picky about every little thing. She is a lazy, selfish, self centered girl. She thinks that people love her because she’s very pretty.

That’s not all. She has a bad temper and a sharp tongue. She is greedy, an obsessive liar and jealous by nature. Nothing I say here can summarize the evil person she is. 

Rehana

Shameela mother, Rida’s khala

Salman

Shameela’s brother

Nafeesa

Nafeesa is Shameela’s cousin sister in law & Salman’s wife. although she never hesitated to bicker and argue with Shameela, something tells me that she has good intentions at heart. Married for five years but no kids.

Rushna

Rida’s best friend

Tauqeer

Rushna’s brother

Najma

Rushna’s mother

The Beginning

Since Shameela’s own brother has never talked to her or been concerned about her, she feels jealous of Rida for the obvious contrast in the way she is treated.
But not poor, unlike drama.

Everytime Shameela meets Faham and family, her hatred and jealousy grows exponentially for Rida. 

Tauqeer texts Rida from Rushna’s phone. Hatim reads this and is curious to know who the person is. It doesn’t go anywhere from there, as Rushna scolds him over phone. Soon, Hatim starts to get rubbish messages from unknown numbers.

Zahra, Khadija’s distant relative had once asked for Rida for her son Farhan who is double the age and has loose character. Khadija had refused the proposal. Now, she fears that it may be Zehra or Farhan.

Shameela and Faham get married. 

Rohail and Maa Ji meet Rida and family in Faham’s friend Khawar’s wedding. Rohail is Khawar’s brother Yawar’s friend.

Khadija accepts Rohail’s proposal because they are good family and she herself is scared and almost sure that someone is set to tarnish Rida’s image.

Rohail doesn’t believe in the institute of marriage as his father had abondoned Maa Ji.
برا سا منہ بنا کر بولا۔

Shameela Is An Evil Person

Faham asks his police friend Haider Ali to investigate the text messages. Just as Khadija expected it was Farhan who ran an internet café and asked random girls to text Hatim about Rida.

Rida gets married. 

Rida finds a medical file about Rohail.

Shameela makes up stories that Rohail doesn’t treat Rida well. It is not entirely false though. Rohail doesn’t trust Rida. She also treats khadija badly, and tells Faham that Zaheda steals things. Faham believes her and questions Zaheda. Zaheda leaves the house even though Khadija trusts her. Someone calls and harasses Faham repeatedly.

Rohail has changed into a different person. Rida visits her family after long time but Rohail doesn’t like it. When he arrives to pick her up, the family is away for ice-cream. Rohail waits in the library, and picks up the poetry book that Tauqeer had gifted Rida. Of course, the letter is still there.

Rida gets pregnant and Rohail who is told that he cannot be a father, sends her home. He meets Najma once and tells her about the letter. Now, Najma knows who the girl was.

Rohail hits Rida. Zareena comes to Khadija’s house to tell them how Rohail treats Rida. Faham gets upset, gets his revolver (everyone has a revolver in this story) and goes out. On the way he feels that he is being followed. Before he knows four masked men shoot him as he also tried to fire. It was Farhan and gang.
Faham dies, Rida’s brothers start doubting her character and Khadija’s behaviour. Shameela has affected everyone.

And, the torture continues

Shameela cannot even stay with her family. She runs out and police takes her into custody. Guess who is police officer? Haider, the same guy who helped investigate the Farhan matter. He calls Hatim and Hatim brings her home. Nafeesa blames that they have an affair. Rehana requests Hatim to marry Shameela.. ufff!

Hatim decides to marries Shameela and Shameela is still arrogant and doesn’t talk properly to Khadija.
Hatim and Asim are not even talking to Rida. Shameela asks for Khadija’s house in haq mahar.

Once Shameela comes back to Khadija’s house, her attitude is downright insulting. It was not any better anyway.

Closure

Khadija knows that bad times are lurking so she talks to Maa ji trying to patch up between her and Rohail.
Broken with repeated humiliation from Rohail and Hatim, she tries to commit suicide.

Salman and Nafeesa force Rehana to sign the papers for selling the house. Rehana is already heart-broken. She passes away, whereas Salman and Nafeesa move out of Pakistan.

She leaves letters for Hatim, Rohail and Tauqeer. They all feel differently. Hatim repents his deeds, so does Rohail. Tauqeer is just upset that he could not do anything for Rida. He wishes that Rida could have contacted him.

And, she dies.

Everyone is upset except Shameela. Hatim and Shameela fight again and Hatim divorces her and throws her out.

She is gang raped and is hospitalized. Haider Ali, the police officer calls Asim. Khadija is still a kind hearted woman and she offers to buy a flat for Shameela and she’d visit her. Asim agrees to pay the expenses.

YUMNA JAMAL’S TRACK

CHARACTERS

Quickly then, let’s meet the characters.

Jamal Ahmed

A rich businessman. He credits all his success to his only daughter Yumna.

Aiman Jamal

Jamal’s wife. Aiman got pregnant three times and delivered twin beautiful boys each time but they didn’t survive for more than a couple of hours. The 4th time, they get lucky. Yumna was born and survived. A girl, and with dark complexion; Aiman could never love her the way a mother is expected to.

Yumna

A bold and spoilt girl. She has dark complexion and is often teased about it. Jamal loves her to death and has major contribution in spoiling her. She is short tempered, likes to drive bikes and cars.

Sadeeda

Aimans sister, Yumna’s aunt, Neha’s mother. On surface, she is nice and tells Aiman to treat Yumna ‘pyar se’ as being strict doesn’t help with kids in their teens. However, when circumstances change, she cannot wait to be rid of Yumna.

Neha

The bride to be. She is only worried about her wedding and all the functions. Others be damned!

Shaheer

Neha’s brother and Yumna’s cousin. No, hold your horses. There is no romance angle between Yumna and Shaheer. He does take her out for shopping, when Sadeeda insists.

Zaheer

Neha’s father

Mohsin Raza

The guy Yumna runs into. He is the bread-earner and the caretaker of his siblings  – Sumaira, Hassan and Ahsan.

Mohsin struggles to make ends meet and continue his studies. He lives next to Sabra. Tayyaba likes him but he falls for Yumna. 

Saleha

Mohsin’s Phupho

Sabra

Mohsin’s neighbour

Tayyaba

Sabra’s daughter. She likes Mohsin, but Mohsin doesn’t reciprocate her feelings.

Azar

A rich spoilt boy. Spoilt doesn’t do justice to his character. He is a beast. His parents don’t get along. His father Azeem has tries every crooked trick to make money. They live in USA. Azar didn’t like living with his grandfather, who was a nice man. Azar, therefore lives in a luxurious apartment. 

Hamna

Yumna’s classmate. Hamna lacks self-confidence because she lives with her uncle aunt and has lost her parents. She is engaged to Omer, her cousin.

Komal Rana

Yumna’s classmate. Yumna, 

Rana Dilawar Hussain

Komal’s father. A rich businessman, a kind soul. He gives shelter and job to Azar.

Jawad, Osama, Farrukh

Azar’s friends. Jawad is the only one a little bit sensible. Osama and Farrukh were just as mean and morally challenged, although not as beastly as Azar.

PLOT SUMMARY

Meeting the Characters

Yumna is driving her car when another car follows her and challenges for a race. By driving too fast, she escapes the morons. But, the traffic police catches her for speeding. Jamal and Aiman are waiting for Yumna, as they have a flight to catch in 4 hours. Yumna doesn’t like being dressed up so she buys the cheapest and weirdest dress for the function, inviting comments from Neha’s friends.

Yumna goes out for a walk on the day of mehendi. She witnesses a man, Mohsin being beaten up. She saves him from the goons, takes him to the hospital and then goes to inform his family. His family, young siblings are more fascinated by her than being worried about Mohsin. Mohsin impresses Yumna the way she has never felt. She has never seen poverty, never seen kids so hungry and fascinated.

The function is canceled, which irks Neha. Yumna’s family is worried and bashes her when she returns. She talks back to Zaheer, and says, “saving a life was more important than this fashion parade.” They fear that Yumna would report the incident to Jamal, but Yumna doesn’t give them much importance. Irritated, she returns to Lahore. Neha, Sadeeda, Zaheer etc are all happy to be rid of her. 

Mohsin clears his exams. Tayyaba gets married and moves to Saudi but she still loves Mohsin. Phupho Haleema husband passed away andbshe comes to live with Mohsin family. Mohsin moves to London for higher studies.

Yumna sees his interview in a magazine and tries to contact him but couldn’t. She goes out to eat lunch with her friends and some boys make fun of her colour and she slaps one of them. She comes back to find out that Amma Basheeraan has passed away.

Yumna’s Journey

Azar, Yumna’s classmate makes fun of her and she kicks him. Hamna, Yumna’s classmate is impressed by her confidence and her martial arts skills. Yumna befriends Hamna.

Humiliated Azar cannot tolerate this. At home, he picks his gun determined to kill Yumna. Friends Jawad usama and Farrukh try to stop, the revolver goes off hitting Azar leg. Azar parents are not educated but father ghaplebaaz made money. Azar rotten kid.

Students nominate Yumna for college election and Azar is the opponent. He and his gang wants to defeat Yumna at all cost. So they bribe people and get busted during the act. Azar is disqualified and expelled from college. Yumna wins the election.

Jamal and Yumna convince the principal to revoke Azar’s expel. Azar is checking his revolver, again۔

Yumna has psychic powers and she saves Jamal from a huge loss. Jamal knows about this and trusts her instincts completely. 

Keeping a Facade

Azar befriends Yumna with a evil plan in mind. Komal Rana is the new student and she is the first one to notice Azar is taking interest in Yumna. Though, initially Yumna resists his advances, she finally falls prey to his charm. Azar tells Yumna that Komal loves him and Yumna started hating Komal.

Yumna constantly dreams about Azar, Hamna and herself. Though the dream worries her, she refuses to accept that Azar may do anything wrong with her or Hamna. 

But, he does. Azar kidnaps Hamna, rapes her. Yumna arrives and Azar insults her, making fun of her colour, again. Yumna wants to save Hamna first, so she leaves.

Azar’s revenge is complete and he moves to America, to live with his parents. Azar lies to Jawad saying he is going to UK. 

Yumna takes Hamna to hospital. Hamna runs to the train track and is reduced to a mess of blood and flesh. Yumna loses her mind Now Yumna’s only mission in life is to avenge Hamna’s suicide. She dreams about her Qaari Sahab and it turns out that it really happened. Hamna’s cousin and fiancé Umer threatens Yumna and wants to know the truth.

Closure

Yumna has a new dream again, discusses it with Jamal and Jamal wants her to act upon it. Yumna goes to village to live with her grandmother.

Azar gets married to a Pakistani American girl Meesha. She has had several affairs in the past. Azar gets angry, hit her and the family flees from there. They meet a terrible end. His father dies under suspicious circumstances, her mother is harassed by people and police alike. Lastly, Malik Shoeb, Azeem’s business partner, kicks Azar out of his house. Azar is angry and attacks a police officer who beats the shit out of him. He’s out on the street.

He runs into a nice man Rana Dilawar Hussain. Rana could see inside Azar and suggests that he seeks forgiveness from people he has caused pain to and from Allah. He also gives him a job.

Jamal sets up a madarsa for Yumna. That was her dream that she’s teaching Arabic to girls in the village.

Azar meets Komal, Rana’s daughter. Komal knows the truth, then Jawad. Azar meets Yumna and Yumna beats him but she sees Hamna and stops. Azar falls in love with her.

Yumna falls sick, loses one kidney and Jamal desperately looks for a volunteer for kidney transplant. No prizes for guessing, that someone volunteers, without money.

No, not Azar… Mohsin Raza. I bet you thought he’s gone.

Both Mohsin and Azar want to marry Yumna. Mohsin loves her, and Azar only wants to rid of his guilt. Yumna is confused who should she choose.

She chooses Mohsin even though his other kidney is failing and may die soon. It irks Azar because he has still not learned the lesson. In a fit of anger and frustration, he shoots himself, leaving his kidneys to Mohsin.

Mohsin and Yumna get married. Finally!

 

REVIEW

I had very serious & very high expectations and hence the disappointment is of equal measure.

1. Good idea, poor execution

I have noticed that post Umera Ahmed’s success, people have started relying on the spiritual aspect a LOT. everyone is trying the same formula. Umera wasnt the first one and she wouldn’t be the last either and I don’t mind reading on the same topic. We need cksntant reminders but

2. Disjoint Stories

Read closely. You will notice that these are two different stories. There is not one single character common. The only thing that brings the two stories together is one last scene when Mohsin and Yumna go to Qabrastan.

I have a question: was it written on the gravestone that she committed suicide and her family didn’t treat her well? I guess we should assume that Yumna knew it because of her pshshic powers. Still, this is still a question.

And, these two are still disjoint stories. If I had read them separately, I would have liked it better. The whole time I was reading and expecting two things.

  • Shameela sudhar jaye
  • Dono kahaniyon mein link ban jaye

Both didn’t happen.

3. Too Much to Handle

Too many things happen too fast. It is a lot of telling as most of the story proceeds as narration and description instead of scenes and dialogues.

New characters come and go without any explanation.

There are plenty of cliff hangers but the climax was almost always Tain Tain Fish.

  • Who’s texting Hatim? Farhan, a totally unrelated guy who we have never met otherwise until now.
  • Who’s calling Faham and harassing? Farhan, because his revenge is still not complete.
  • What is Rohail’s secret? Medical reports that he can never be a father. TROPE. The reports are wrong, mistakenly swapped. TROPE.

Parts Wisdom

  • Allah Ka Qanoon
  • Allah Se Mohabbat
  • Greed and jealousy get you nowhere.

Repetition

  • A lot of English words are used. Urdu could have worked just as well. There are so many examples that if I take the screenshot to cite those, this post will become a novel in itself.
  • A lot of characters talk in “معنی خیز انداز”
    I don’t like that phrase much and not when it is used so frequently.
  • And, there are more

It was 226 pages of pure torture. Especially, since there is no comedy. It is a must, especially in long novels.

This is the longest review I have written. I should have written a story of my own. 

Shabana Mukhtar

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