TV classic Tanhaiyaan is being re-run on PTV. It’s a sheer delight viewing a truly genuine script being faithfully acted upon.
But at the risk of sounding a cynic, since technology has worked wonders in every realm of the electronic medium and the art of acting has progressed a lot, the first episode of the play made one think about a couple of things. While the great and incomparable Subhani Bayunus and Sultana Zafar were absolutely brilliant as the parents of two girls, Shahnaz Shaikh and Marina Khan, for some odd reason the way the girls spoke their lines and acted, didn’t at all commensurate with the overall feel of the initial episode.
Marina Khan in particular was overdoing her part (she was required to, but did it in a thoroughly amateurish manner) and one of the scenes in which all of them are at the dining table and Sultana Zafar receives a phone call whereby Marina Khan’s meeting with a suitor of Shahnaz Shaikh is revealed, is so dragged and overdone that now when you see it, it feels heavy on the eyes. And the reactions of the two girls… the less said the better.
This is not to suggest that Tanhaiyaan is not as good a play as it’s cracked up to be. It is, by any manner of means. It exposes one aspect of the TV industry: in those days the lack choices made the viewer glued to TV set no matter what.