TV Show Review | Qubool Hai: Fine distinction between modernity and traditionalism

Zee TV launched its first Muslim social drama, ‘Qubool Hai’ with a view to break  the monotony of the stereotypes on air presently. It is a social drama with a mix of both drama and romance. The show explores the lives of three individuals, Zoya, Ayan and Asad who are starkly different from each other and yet their lives are beautifully entwined by the threads of destiny. The serial premiered on 29th October at 9.30 pm. The show attempts to remove certain misconceptions that people have about the Muslim culture. It talks about a culture which is rich and yet misunderstood by many. It highlights the profound impact of varied Muslim influences in our society ranging from rich literature to music to language and art heritage.

Zoya portrayed as a modern, fashionable and a new age girl will be responsible in bridging the differences between families of Asad and Ayaan. She is obedient but listens to her heart at the  end of the day. She respects her culture but at the same time is against blindly following certain rituals.

The episode opens with the protagonist offering namaaz. She is decked up in a bridal dress but there is an air of sadness about her . The girl is Zoya (Surbhi Jyoti) Next scene we are in Nikhat’s house where there is an air of celebration too. Her aunt assures her mother that they have found the right boy for her. Meanwhile Nikhat’s sisters friends have gathered at their residence for the forthcoming engagement function. There is excitement in the air. Making his impressive appearance as he rides down the stairs of the mansion on a bicycle is Ayaan (Rishabh Sinha), Nikhat’s brother. He is portrayed as a flirtatious character and a happy go lucky person without a care in the world. He falls for every pretty face he comes into contact with but is non-committal to any of them. He renders a bollywood number and thereby entertains his sister’s friends who have gathered for the function.

The scene shifts again to Zoya. Her brother in law (Jiju) Anwar has his own misgivings about Zoya’s marriage. He confides in his wife telling her that they maybe taking the wrong step in getting her married.  This is when we realize that Zoya had an upbringing abroad i.e. in New York and has been brought to Bhopal for the marriage.

The marriage ceremony starts with the priest uttering the regular marriage vows to bind Zoya and the groom in matrimony. He asks Zoya the bride the most important question viz. “Qubool Hai?” Inspite of his repeating the phrase three times there is no response from Zoya. All the guests are in anticipation of her reply when to the utter shock of all present, Zoya says “Mujhe Qubool Nahi Hain” and she boldly walks away from the scene to go to her room. The guests are stunned. They demand that Zoya be brought back to complete the formalities of the marriage. But the priest is unbiased and says that she should take the step only if she is willing to go through with the marriage ultimately leaving the decision to her.

Zoya is in tears and her Jiju is in full support of her actions. The groom’s relations come to Zoya’s room to demand for an explanation but are shocked to find that she is not in her room but has fled the house.

A background voice says ‘May Allah give her the strength to accept’ and subsequently we are introduced to our other protagonist Asad(Karan Singh Grover) who is in the company of  blind children .  Strumming on a guitar he too sings a Bollywood number. We see Zoya, Asad and Ayaan all taking their different paths to lead their different lives but it is yet to be seen how their paths will cross and how destiny will bring the three together!

The show marks the return of the small screen’s most wanted heart throb Karan Singh Grover in a lead role as Asad the perfectionist. He is restrained, well mannered thoughtful and has renounced love from his life. His only aim is to be successful in life.

A totally different format but exciting show! The story is set in a Muslim milieu.  ‘Qubool Hai’ is a family saga that will cut across generations. It is a story of a culture which is so rich and yet misunderstood the most. Muslims from all over the world have a long history of making significant contributions to the society. They are diverse in nature, enriched with a rich literature, music and language heritage that has a profound impression on all of us. Zoya an NRI is portrayed as one who embraces the codes of her culture and yet does not get tied down by the extremities that the society tries to impose on her. Her journey from New York where she was brought up to Bhopal for her wedding makes it a unique story and very relatable to the audiences especially the younger generation.  The juxtaposition of modernity alongwith  traditional values will  appeal to the young and old alike. It is noteworthy to comment on the priest’s dialogue which does not put any pressure on Zoya and on the contrary he is of the opinion that she has the prerogative to express her thoughts freely without any external pressure from her family members.

A bold step has been taken where the storyline and plot is concerned. It is new and with a difference. The direction and so also the performances of the actors most of whom are amateurs seemed average. The dialogue delivery was impressive which had a subtle touch of humour especially the scenes at Nikhat’s engagement ceremony. The Bollywood numbers helped to liven up the mood of the show to give it a festive feel. The sets too seemed average and could have been slightly grander given the festive nature of the episode.

It is interesting to watch this show through the lens of a modern outlook which attempts to mirror the changes in the Indian society and brilliantly showcases how these changes are adapted in the Muslim culture as well.

The overall presentation of the show was good, leaving the audience eager to know what will unfold next in Zoya’s life in view of the bold step she has taken in an orthodox community. ‘Qubool Hai’ is a happy, cheerful and lively show that reveals the fine distinction between modernity and traditionalism.” The serial makes interesting viewing and time will tell its success story as the drama folds day after day!

Adgully gives ‘Qubool Hai’   2.5 stars out of 5 stars!

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@adgully

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