Episode 31 was all hell and damnation through & through. Salahuddin drinks poison while Mannu weeps, weeps and weeps.
Out of the top 10 topics trending on Twitter Monday evening, 9 referred to the MQM and unrest in Karachi and 1 was #MannMayal. Producers would certainly be happy (and will be smiling their way to the bank) because Mann Mayal has been topping the charts but that just goes to show how convoluted we are as human beings. It also proves what a sadistic and depressed group of people the writer and producers are. There is nothing about this story that credits it with the kind of following it has amassed. If the sole intention of MM makers was to depress an already miserable nation then they needn’t have bothered; news channels do a good enough job. That said I have to confess that Karachi’s cityscape on Monday was entertaining compared to an episode of this play.
Episode 31 was all hell and damnation through and through and Mannu, that miserable mess of a woman (why haven’t Girls at Dhabas protested this portrayal yet?), finally described her character, in her own words, in one word: manhoos. Yeh hum nahin keh rahey. Unfortunately, while her manhoosiat makes sense, the episode did not.
Salahuddin drinks the juice prepared by Jeena and collapses after a sip or two. We’ve watched enough Indian films to know that heroes don’t die after a sip or two of poisoned beverage so what kind of hero is this? Need we even ask? After 30 episodes of being an indecisive wimp, he confesses to drinking poisoned juice to get closer to Mannu. Heroes aren’t supposed to be suicidal either. And then when we feel he is out of danger he has a cardiac arrest and slips into coma.
So, Salahuddin knew the juice was poisoned. Mannu knew. Jameel knew and the whole entourage of servants (locked up by Jeena) knew and yet she manages to not only poison the juice but run away from the crime scene. Where is Jeena, we demand to know! We were hoping that we’d have the pleasure of seeing her suffer when justice was delivered but she absconds, unscathed. If the writer leaves this loose end then we’ll hate on her a bit more. Closure is what we get with Mikail – did we even care? – who is given a chance to apologize to everyone, clean his slate and then die.
In the heat of the moment Mannu confesses her undying love for Salahuddin but he, obviously shocked at the idea, has a cardiac arrest. She blames herself and decides that she is manhoos as everyone near her suffers. So, in a Katrina Kaif moment (Jab Tak Hai Jaan) she vows to go away if God spares Sallu’s life. What she should have done is downed the rest of the poison and spared all of us more misery.
Why are we still watching Mann Mayal if we find it so frustrating, you may wonder? Well, it’s the classic car crash syndrome; you just can’t look away.