Sang-i-Mah made its much awaited debut on Sunday. The hype surrounding the series did not disappoint
Sang-i-Mah, the follow-up to Sang-i-Mar Mar aired on Sunday. Starring Noman Ijaz, Zaviyar, Atif Aslam, Hania Aamir, Kubra Khan, Omair Rana, Sania Saeed and Samiya Mumtaz, the show had a strong start. With many looking forward to Atif Aslam’s acting debut, viewers were left pleased with his performance. After the hype generated by an A-list cast, soundtrack and intriguing trailers, the premier was worth the wait.
Sang-i-Mah is meant to be a story that juxtaposes love and revenge, as per its description on Youtube. Directed by Saife Hasan, written by Mustafa Afridi and produced by Momina Duraid Productions, the production attempts to do something different from the ordinary.
The story revolves around a tribal family, whose ideologies and loyalties override love and individuality. While the overall premise may seem familiar, the tackling of social issues and strong performances by the cast have garnered widespread praise.
The episode begins with Mastaan Singh, played by Omair Rana, praying at a gurdwara in Nankana Sahib, showcasing a sliver of diversity that is mostly often absent from our TV shows. His character has spent the past 20 years looking for contentment and redemption, while the love of his life waits for him to return. Not much else is revealed about the character. Despite having very little details, Omair Rana portrays the character’s anguish and emotional self flagellation very well. While the viewers have yet to find out why this man is torturing himself, the actor’s performance is convincing and moving.
The story moves onto Zarghuna and Gul Meena, played by Sania Saeed and Hania Amir respectively, as they try to navigate life as women in a man’s world. Complications begin to arise as Gul Meena is in love with Hikmat, played by Zaviyar. Being the son of Haji Marjaan Khan and Zarsanga, played by Noman Ijaz and Samiya Mumtaz, respectively, he has to conduct himself in line with his parents’ values.
Zarghuna and Zarsanga are revealed to be sisters. However, due to an age-old rivalry between their families, they cannot allow Hikmat and Gul Meena to pursue their relationship.
The story attempts to showcase the now outlawed practice of Ghag, which is a tribal ritual where a man shoots bullets in front of a woman’s home to mark her as his future wife. Anyone who chooses to pursue this woman after the declaration of Ghag does so at their own peril, and often to their detriment.
The story attempts to showcase the now outlawed practice of Ghag, which is a tribal ritual where a man shoots bullets in front of a woman’s home to mark her as his future wife. Anyone who chooses to pursue this woman after the declaration of Ghag does so at their own peril, and often to their detriment. As Gul Meena and Hikmat are pressured to end their relationship by their families, Hikmat stands his ground even if it means committing Ghag.
Zarghuna’s character is shown to be strong and self-sufficient. She handles her affairs herslf, rides horses and owns a firearm. She lives life on her own terms, much to Gul Meena’s chagrin as their independence breaks cultural norms and causes offence to their community, making it less likely for the Haji to accept her as his daughter in law.
Aitf Aslam makes his acting debut as Hilmand, who is Haji Marjaan Khan’s eldest son who is always in contention with his father. His performance exceeds expectations, as he portrays the melancholic circumstances of his existence very well. He does not want to return home to his family only to be sucked up into their politics. He wants to live his own life with his chosen family whom he calls friends.
The Sang-i-Mah premier primarily focuses on the issue of Ghag, and how it is still prevalent despite legislation against it. Zarsanga expresses her disgust for this practice by suggesting punishment that will make an example out of those who see women as property. Little does she know, that her own son is considering committing Ghag if he does not get to marry Gul Meena.
While the family of central characters goes about their business, Shehrzaad, played by Kubra Khan, is introduced. She is a journalist who wants to research and highlight the practice of Ghag by visiting tribal areas.
For the first episode, Sang-i-Mah featured a strong, intriguing storyline with convincing characterisation by a stellar cast consisting of veteran as well as debut actors. It has introduced the viewers to a diverse range of characters, piquing their interest, and proved to be a fantastic start to a much awaited series.
The author is staff member