It is when the duped guy leaves Pakistan in Haseena Moin’s 1991 drama serial Kohar that we find Marina Khan listening to Mirza Rafi Sauda’s ghazal Jo guzri mujh pe, mat uss se kaho, composed by Arshad Mehmood and sung by Tina Sani. It can be said that the whole scene is an exhibition of the talents of five great people.

Haseena Moin is the dramatist who was the first one to write her own script for Pakistan Television, prior to which the scripts were based on the stories of novels. Although in the scene mentioned above, there are no dialogues, but the title of the drama serial itself has much to say regarding the writer’s command over her language. Kohar is an Urdu word for fog. The word dhund could also have been used, which is another simple word used to refer to mist. But kohar has something in it that allows us to associate our very subjective sentiments with the weather: a wetness resembling the coldness of the world, or a prickly sensation giving pain like the vicissitudes of life. The choice of the word for the title is very apt-like the feelings of the protagonist who is a neglected girl whose purpose of existence seems to be lost in the mist.

The second talented person is Marina Khan, whose blockbuster drama serials such as Tanhaiyaan and Dhoop Kinare belong to that era of Pakistan Television in which the correct pronunciation of Urdu language was a matter of great seriousness. Following are some of her dialogues from Kohar and Dhoop Kinare:

“Gham ki majboori yeh hai ke woh baat nahi kar sakta. Goonga hai. Warna gham ki baat khushi ki baat se ziada khoobsurat hoti hai.”

“Jin logon ko hum aasmanon pe bitha dete hain, who jab munh ke bal zameen par girte hain tou chot humein khud lagti hai.”

Let’s come to Mirza Rafi Sauda. His ghazal which we find Marina listening to discusses what we in modern times call “forgetting and moving on…”. The eighteenth century poet says:

Jo guzri mujhpe, mat us se kaho

Hua so hua

The credit goes to the director M. Zaheer Khan for choosing a ghazal that can express in words the catastrophe taking place inside Marina Khan’s heart, who if superficially looked at, is to be blamed for betraying the guy by lying to him that she has a twin sister with an inclination towards arts and literature, and then acting like a misanthrope. If we cast a sympathizing look at her, we find out that she herself loses a person whom she adored by deceiving him. We pity her for letting go of her happiness owing to her own follies, for the mistake she commits without foreseeing the consequences. We get acquainted with what the guy suffers through when he throws the following words in anger:

“Aap ne jis tarha mere khwaabon ko tora hai, iss ki bari qeemat chukaani pare gi aapko. Zameen aur aasman ke darmiyan kaheen panaah nahi mile gi apko. Sukoon nahi mile ga. Mohabbat nahi mile gi. Mohabbat ki itni be-hurmati karne wale sari umar pachtaate hain.”

Khan stays silent. It is Mirza Rafi Sauda who voices her by saying “jo guzri mujhpe, mat us se kaho…”, for she has no one to share her feelings with. Let’s not ignore Arshad Mehmood here. When it comes to the composition of poetry written in highly sophisticated language, Arshad Mehmood presents himself as the best person at it. Be it Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s poems Raat youn dil mein teri, Mera dard naghma-e-be-sada, Bahaar Aayi, or Iftikhar Arif’s Abhi kuch din lagainge, Arshad Mehmood has composed all of them in a manner no one else could have done. When we read the verses Gulshan-e-yaad mein gar aaj dam-e-baad-e-saba, phir se chaahe ke gul afshaan ho tou ho jaane do, we scarcely think of it in the form of a symphony, but Arshad Mehmood does it very easily. He shows his talent equally in Sauda’s ghazal. Tina Sani gives her voice to it, and leaves no stone unturned to rip our hearts apart. Her stress on the words Mat us se kaho, gives such a painful effect to it, as if the singer wholly feels what the poet feels, or what the character feels. Both the poetry and composition are such that they can bewitch the listeners.

Kahe hain sun ke meri sarguzasht who be-rehm

Yeh kaun zikr hai jaane bhi do, hua so hua

Pahunch chukka haisar-e-zakhm dil talak yaaro

Koi seeyo koi marhamkaro, hua so hua

Thus, we can say that it is in this one scene that we find the talents of five great artists who must be commended for propagating excellent Urdu language. Be it speaking the language, turning it into a melody and then singing it, all forms of art are present, and each one executed in the best possible manner.