Category Archives: International Shows

International Segment – HUMSAFAR, A Journey you wouldn’t want to miss!

Pakistani Dramas have always given us some of the best memories of our lives related to television. ‘Dhoop Kinare’ and ‘Tanhaiyyan’ are two that instantly come to mind when we think of quality television in terms of substance, execution, and direction.

We once again go beyond borders to introduce to you a drama that will lure you in with its depth, its simplicity, and characters that come alive on screen with the narrative.

Humsafaris a gem of a show that is presently being aired once a week @ 8 pm, Saturdays on Hum TV in Pakistan. It is an adaptation of a famous novel by the same name by Farhat Ishtiaq.

5 Reasons why Humsafar is a must-watch:

1) The Story/Script

Simple, thought provoking, and realistic, the story grips us from the beginning leaving us to ponder on these questions-

Have you ever found yourself torn between your wishes and those of your loved ones?

Do you have a best friend you absolutely adore and cannot do without but are not in love with?

Has a tragedy forced you to succumb to the pressures of life, and not given you a fair chance to live it the way you wanted?

Can you form an everlasting unbreakable bond with the very person you initially did not want in your life?

Lastly, how fragile is that bond you so painstakingly form with that one person you call your life?

How do you deal with these realities and which path do you carve for yourself with your decisions forms the crux of the story.

The story follows the journey of Khirad and Ashar as a couple, who are pressured into marriage due to the untimely death of Khirad’s mother.

Khirad is a self-respecting beautiful young woman living with her Ammi in their humble home at Hyderabad (Pakistan). Her Mamoun, Baseerat, a rich businessman lives in Karachi with his wife, and his son, Ashar.

Ashar is a suave Yale returned well-educated well-mannered gentleman, who manages his father’s business. He has a best friend in Sara, his mother’s niece. Unknown to him, Sara loves Ashar, and wishes to eventually get married to him. With both their mothers approving their union, Sara in her wildest of dreams, could not have imagined the turn the tale would take one day.

Khirad’s mother is soon detected with cancer and calls Baseerat for help. Baseerat brings his sister and niece to Karachi to provide her with the best treatment for cancer. When Khirad’s mother realizes the fatality of the situation, she requests her brother to get Khirad married before she dies. Ridden with guilt at having neglected his sister’s welfare until now, he promptly decides to get Khirad married to his son.

None of them are happy about this union and Sara takes it the hardest having loved Ashar immensely for so long. Ashar on the other hand is shocked at Sara’s revelation, and is torn between his wish to not see his friend heart-broken and his father’s plea for him to get married to Khirad to ease his dying sister’s angst regarding her daughter’s future.

You have to watch the show to see how the story progresses from here on.

2) The Characters:

The lead pair of Humsafar, Khirad and Ashar has author-backed roles. Khirad is someone you will fall in love with. She is shown as an individual who has a strong sense of who she is and what she wants. Ashar is a handsome dude who has his priorities right. Sara is one of the most pivotal characters, strong yet subtle in her manipulations making her an interesting watch.

All the characters in the drama are well etched, each having a role to play in moving the story forward without a hitch.

3) The Cast:

The ensemble cast of Humsafar boasts of some of the talented names in the Pakistani Television Industry.
Fawad Khan as Ashar

Fawad Khan of the blockbuster-hit film, Khuda kay liye, essays the role of Ashar so convincingly, that he IS Ashar. He is tailor-made for the role, and he speaks with his eyes, which is one of his biggest assets.

Mahira Khan as Khirad

Mahira Khan is stunning as Khirad. Her face spells character and leaves an indelible mark on the minds of the viewers and she captures the viewer’s hearts too from her very first frame in Humsafar.

Naveen Waqar as Sara

Naveen Waqar owns the role of Sara to the hilt. She plays it with such honesty that even though she has shades of grey and one wishes to dislike her for her intentions and subtle manipulations, one cant but empathize with her state.

Atiqa Odho, one of the famous personalities in Pakistani television, plays Ashar’s mother.

4) The Direction:

Words would not be enough to extol the way the show has been directed. Sarmad Khoosat has weaved magic without a magic wand. Every scene tells a story and one would not want to miss even a single frame of it. He and his team have proved that a story needs no frills to be told, it just has to be told with honesty, integrity, and dedication to the craft.

An Indian Director’s Take on Humsafar:

Waseem Sabir, is a renowned Director on Indian Television who has directed  shows like Saat Phere, Remix, Maryada and recently Dharampatni on Imagine TV. Waseem not only bonds with his actors but also connects with his characters which helps him to get the best on screen. He also has an eye for details. Rangmunch.TV sincerely thanks Mr. Waseem Sabir for agreeing to write about Humsafar, the show, from the point of view of a Director who has the knowledge and the expertise to do so.

“Firstly, I would like to thank Swati Ghosh for introducing me to Humsafar. 

As Indians, we have known the Pakistani TV industry through shows like Dhoop kinarey, Ankahee, Tanhaiyan, Zeenat and many more. Yes its a limited knowledge, but am sure a lot of us who are hooked on to Indian television wont even know about Pakistani TV because we do not have the access like Pakistan has to our shows, sad but its a fact. 

As a person from the Indian TV industry, we believe in one thing, CONTENT IS KING that means writing plays a very important role in making a TV show. Coming back to Humsafar, when I saw the first episode, I won’t deny the beauty of the heroine got me hooked – the simplicity, nude makeup, and simple styling.

About the show, I would say its a very simple show, simple characters, very basic in short takings and as a maker, all I would say is, that’s the most difficult thing to do – Make a simple Show and hats off to the makers of Humsafar. The characters are so real that you connect with them instantly. It has fantastic sound track. It is an old Ghazal by the renowned Sufi singer, Abida Parveen. The scenes are slow but the story just moves with every scene, so you do not get bored even in a long scene because the layering of the characters gets you involved in every moment. There are many scenes where there is not even a single dialogue for like 3-4 minutes but the moments are beautifully captured. It is a must watch show for everyone. 

I so wish such shows with so much simplicity and closer to realism are made in India.”

5) The Music:

Last but definitely not the least, the background scores that blend in with the scenes and the soul-stirring title track sung by Pakistani singer, Qurat-ul-Ain Balouch sets the tone for a great drama.

Adaavatein theen..

Taghaaful thaa…
Ranjishein thi Magar… Bicharne walay mein sab kuch tha
Bewafai na thi ….
Ke dhoop chaun ka aalam raha
Judai na thi …

This weekly drama on Hum TV, gives you enough palpitations (of the good kind), and recuperating time of one week, before you get ready for another dose of this heart-wrenching saga. The pathos in the story lies in its very own title track that goes …

Woh humsafar thaa magar
uss sey humnawai na thi…
Kay dhoob chaaon ka
aalam raha judai na thi…
woh humsafar tha ….

After the lines of the song have sunk in, you know it’s no one’s fault when it comes to the ways of the heart!

Hope you enjoy watching it as much as we have and we are thrilled to share this awesome show with you all.

You can catch the updates and links on the Humsafar official fb page –

Neeraja Unni
Niharika Vidya Sagar


Terra Nova – Trick or Treat! (Airs Saturdays, 9pm on Star World India)

The brand new Sci-fi drama series, Terra Nova, at the outset, steps into the familiar territory of survival in the dinosaur era, a throwback to Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park of the 90’s. What sets it apart is its focus on familial ties, relationships, and the fact that dinosaurs are not the only dangers the people of Terra Nova face in their bid to survive.
Terra Nova is a first human settlement in an alternative timeline 85 million years in the past when dinosaurs walked the earth. The scientists discovered a rift in the time-space that allows people to travel back in time thereby giving them an opportunity to save humanity by going back to live on questionably a safer earth.
Star World India aired the first episode of Terra Nova on 8th October 2011. For those who have missed it, here is a synopsis:
The Plot so far: The show starts by introducing the Shannon family – Jim & Elisabeth, the parents, and their three children Josh, Maddy, and Zoe – and the world they inhabit in the year 2149, which is on the brink of extinction brought on by dwindling air quality and over population. 
When the law enforcers threaten to take away the youngest one, Zoe from the family (the law being 2 children per couple), Jim assaults a cop and lands up in jail. Few years later with Jim still in the prison, Elisabeth Shannon, a trauma surgeon is invited to live in Terra Nova, along with Maddy and Josh. When she realizes that she would not be allowed to take Jim and Zoe with her, she decides to help Jim escape from the prison.
Jim breaks prison, and gets Zoe too just in time to make it through the portal that lands the Shannon family in Terra Nova. Josh, the 17-year-old son, leaves behind more than the world he lives in, he reluctantly leaves his love behind. They enter a new world as part of the tenth pilgrimage.
Col Nathanial Taylor (Avatar’s Stephan Lang), the first one to inhabit Terra Nova seven years ago, is also responsible for setting up the colony. He runs a tight ship commandeering an army of law-enforcers, doctors, and researchers, to ensure the well-being of the settlers.
While we see the family settling into their new home, we are introduced to carnivorous dinosaurs and the sixers (a faction that opposes the gated community of Terra Nova since the sixth settlement) who threaten their existence on Terra Nova.
Steven Spielberg is one of the many executive producers of Terra Nova. It is one of the most ambitious and expensive projects of Fox network. The series is being filmed in the Scenic Australian Jungles.
Will Terra Nova prove to be treat for the fans with depth in the plot or will it just remain a trick with dinosaurs, familial drama, explorers, mysteries creatures, and time travel thrown in, is yet to be seen. Let us hope it delivers on the promises that a gripping first episode made.

Neeraja Unni

Flying International, First Class!

Castle, NCIS, Burn Notice, Criminal Minds, Bones, CSI, Law & Order, How I met your mother, recent additions Terra Nova, Necessary Roughness, Melissa & Joey, and many many more – the list of International shows is long, with a variety and depth that promises to appease one and all. These international shows are currently showing on a television near you. Switch it on, any time of the day or night and you will most assuredly be sinking into your couch, clutching your remote and wallowing in one or more of these shows. I will bet my hard-earned money you will be returning for more, religiously, every single day, for a date with your favorite shows. I am also willing to bet that most of you reading this already have your list of favorites. 

I have too. My journey through International shows, like many of you, began quite early. I have been hooked onto international shows for as long as I can remember. I welcomed the advent of television into my home in the late ‘80s and discovered it through shows like ‘The Bold and the Beautiful‘ and ‘Santa Barbara‘ in the early 90’s. Don’t blame me!  Options were almost non-existent then 🙂 The Australian show, Neighbours caught my attention too and since then there has been no looking back. 

Who can forget the crackling swordplay of romantic tension between the leads in shows like ‘Moonlighting’ and ‘Remington Steele’ or for that matter, the spooky yet mystifying ‘X Files’? While ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, ‘Home Improvement’, ‘My Family’ and ‘Ally McBeal’ tickled our funny bones and acted as stress busters in our otherwise taxing lives, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, and ‘Angel’ kept us glued to the television sets to experience the world of vampires, demons, and angels.

Reality shows like ‘American Idol’ and ‘So you think you can dance’ introduced me to a culture other than my own and opened up a whole new world right there in my living room. ‘Friends’ enthralled me for ten mesmerizing seasons and even today, it’s re-runs on various channels still holds me captive and that is by no means a small feat!

When I look back, the nostalgia associated with all the shows that have been part of my growing up years is extremely overwhelming. I had connected with each of these shows at different levels; they were instrumental in shaping my outlook towards life. I am still growing up by the way and I still get a lot more than a few laughs, sighs, and some tears from the shows I watch now. 

When the world is fitting in to your computer, it does not come as a surprise that there are those deeply in love and impatient for the next dose of their favourite shows who catch it online. Computer screens become their television and the mouse a remote. There is an exhaustive list of international shows that have been and are still running on our television sets. There is also a world of phenomenal shows that unfortunately have not made it to our Indian screens and we at Rangmunch will endeavour to present them to you so you don’t miss out on Quality television viewing experience.
We need more than one article to reminisce about those gone by and rejoice those we are currently watching. 

I will be here to do just that – to rewind, pause, and play, to create a platform never seen before, a rangmunch, where we can exchange our views, discuss current tracks, drool over a Nathan Fillion or a Gabrielle Anwar to our hearts content, even have a healthy fight as to our likes and dislikes about a show. I’m pretty much throwing open the floor for my fellow international show-enthusiasts. 

Here in Rangmunch, what you want is what you get! 

The content above is solely my view and anyone willing to discuss, analyze, criticize, refute, disagree, or even crucify me over this, are more than welcome to do so by leaving a comment below. Lekin zara pyaar se! 🙂 After all, if you have taken time out to read this, we ARE on the same side – a side that loves watching shows that transcend invisible borders. Therefore, my dear friends drop in a line and set the ball rolling…..

Your new best friend

Neeraja Unni

Posted by on October 13, 2011 in International Shows