Why I love Bilqees Kaur

Published: June 27, 2012

Bilqees Kaur is a hardworking mother who fears that her children will repeat her mistakes. PHOTO: SCREENSHOT

The excitement and hype created by “Humsafar” still hasn’t ebbed despite the fact that the last episode aired a couple of months ago. What got us all Humsafar-ing was the beauty of the script, the flawless performances, the impeccable storyline and the mesmerising star power.

Can any other Pakistani drama compete with the hype that “Humsafar” created?

I think “Bilqees Kaur” is a drama serial that has the ability to match the bar set by “Humsafar”.

Let’s analyse!

Bilqees Kaur is actually the name of the woman played by Bushra Ansari. This drama also stars Syra Yousuf, Ahsan Khan, Sadia Imam, Saleem Sheikh and others.

“Bilqees Kaur” is a drama about a Sikh woman who has run away from home with a Muslim man, Iqbal Bhatti ─ played by Khalid Ahmed – and has settled in America. She has four rebellious children who are Punjabi Americans, and two daughters-in-law who she isn’t a huge fan of.

The TV serial features the ever-so-stylish and talented Bushra Ansari as Bilqees Kaur, nicknamed Billo. She has been brilliant throughout her career. Bushra Ansari always encapsulates the essence of the character whenever she performs, be it in the drama”Bijlee“, or “Dolly Ki Aye Gi Baraat”. When Ansari performs, she performs effortlessly and almost seems to forget herself, so immersed is she in the character she is playing.

I must commend Ansari on her fluent and thick Punjabi accent. I think she could fool anyone in to thinking that she is really a Sikh from Punjab, such is her skill.

The modern Ansari who appears on talk shows is well groomed and cultured while Bilqees Kaur is a tough and simple woman, who eventually admits her mistakes and regrets what she has done in her past. She is a very dominating mother who is not comfortable with her children doing things the way they want to. Her ego overshadows everyone else’s decisions at home as she goes by the “my house, my rules” principle.

An interesting twist to the tale is that in spite of her attempts to keep her children under control, her daughter runs away with a boy just as she did many years ago.

Sadia Imam (Peno), on the other hand, is shown to be a suppressed character who is pressured by her dominating mother-in-law, Bilqees. She once used to be a girl with dreams and hopes but is now a silenced woman with shattered ambitions. Her husband does not support her at all and she is just living her life as it comes without any expectations.

From the beginning of her career, Imam has been an skilled actress. Her fans have not seen her on TV a lot lately and are, no doubt, enjoying her on screen performance.

Syra Yousuf (Soha) and Ahsan Khan (Sultan) play the roles of the daughter-in-law and son of Bilqees respectively. The sour mother-in-law is seen giving Soha a hard time. Soha has shifted from Pakistan to America with her husband and is having trouble adapting to the unexpected environment of his disorganised home.

While Syra and Ahsan look good as a couple, they have failed to produce satisfactory on-screen chemistry. Well, I guess the bar was set high with Ashar and Khirad – still, they just don’t gel as a couple.

All in all, “Bilqees Kaur” is a lively and entertaining drama. Where serials based on romance typically dominate the Pakistani drama scene, this one sets itself apart by showing viewers a much more realistic side of life; a working mother who is using the stick approach to prevent her children from making the same mistakes as she did. I believe that it is a good blend for a TV screen hit.

I am excitedly looking forward to see how this series unfolds. I’m sure it will be shocking and I’m hoping that the  aspect of reality of the drama will be maintained.

Read more by Kinza here.

Kinza.Tahir

Kinza Tahir

The author is currently pursing studies in Media Sciences.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • ayesha azeem

    Bushra Ansari is an EPIC actress,EPIC…Recommend

  • megamind

    beauty of script and impeccable storyline of humsafar.r u seriousRecommend

  • nayab

    R U SERIOUS ??? balqees kaur cant beat humsaffer…. this dramma’s story line is not strong at all and most impotently start cast makes a big difference!!Recommend

  • http://www.shafiqpenworks.blogspot.com Shafiq

    Some important pointers!

    1 – If you really want to check out how sikhnis (Sikh women) speak then watch any Punjabi movie of Kiran Khair.
    2 – The script of Bilqees Kaur (not the storyline – but the script) is really bad, technically! Dialogues are mishmash, at least those who know Punjabi will agree…
    3 – Humsafar and BK are two totally different scripts, set-ups and characterizations. No point of comparing them.

    I used to admire Bushra Ansari back in old days, may be her Epic-”ness” ended in late 90′s. and The “Ayegi Baraat – Series” is the most cheapest way people can portray Punjabis..

    Disclaimer!
    I am not a Punjabi – but i regard every language and culture.
    I was thinking about to write a critical article on BK after watching the first episode! I was expecting much from the Drama! Why does Bushra Ansari has to Ghhusairoo-fy her Comic thingi in every drama which she gets these days? Recommend

  • Ordinary Villager

    Somebody please review the drama “Sirat e Mustakeem” aired on Express Entertainment as well. After Hamsafar it is the best drama so far for my family.
    You can watch existing episodes of this drama here and this drama is the best in my view.
    http://www.awazfun.pk/drama/home/428/Sirat-E-MustaqimRecommend

  • Sami Malik

    @Shafiq: Mr Shafiq i speak Punjabi and for your information Punjabi is not a homogenous language. Bushra Ansari speaks in Faisalabadi accent and she is brilliant in it. Also Pakistani Punjabi accent is different from Indian Punjab so they dont want to imitate them. Many people have poor knowledge and that is why they comment like that. Punjabi have many dielects and there is no such dielect as Sikh dielect. The Sikhs of Hasan Abdal speak differently than Indian Sikhs. So my friend your observation is wrong here.Recommend

  • http://www.shafiqpenworks.blogspot.com Shafiq

    @Sami You yourself answered what I meant! :)Recommend

  • n00r

    I agree the story is a bit too slow and not as gripping as Humsafar, but I think all actors are doing great so far, I do have some reservations on the way Farhan Ali Agha (depicted as Billos brother) speaks punjabi he says his dialogues like a pathan trying to speak Punjabi, in all the scenes with Bushra Ansari he is outright dominated by her… Farhan is a seasoned artist but I guess it would be better if he switched roles with Saleem Sheikh, that would really saved him the trouble to speak Punjabi. But thumbs up to Bushra Ansari I only watch the show because of her
    @ shafiq , you have no idea how well Bushra depicts a typical sikh accent I came across some Sikhs lately and was amazed at the similarity.
    Other then the accent, the acting is decent by the entire cast, it is not a romantic drama rather it is closer to life, a more engaging story could have really captivated the audience. I think another reason could be that average Pakistanis cannot relate to household with dictator mothers and spoiled kids, or for that matter they dont understand the problems of raising kids in a foreign land where all the freedom is given to the kids. Recommend

  • SHA

    you have talked about the efforts of each actor playing hard on this tv drama, whereas, this effort does not guarantee the success of this drama. I personally couldn’t find bilqis kor interesting at all, which lack consistency, thrill and basis need “story,” as compare to Humsafar,, Recommend

  • najaf

    other then Bushra Ansari acting though at times over the top ,BK script is very weak with lot of flaws. I wished the writer and the director had done some research in order to present the factual things under the US laws and regulations so the serial look more credible , flaw # 1 i am living in usa for 25 years now and never in my life i have seen american born pakistani children speaking such a good urdu and punjabi and without any accent. kashif mehmood BK elder son is the way he is speaking punjabi as it looks he is living in lahore instead of newyork , second flaw is the whole serial is based on kamran jallani BK son in law in pakistan desire to come in USA , so since kamran jalini wife BK daughter is american born all he has to do is asking his mother in law for american visa all he has to do is take his wife Nadia Afgan to american embassy so he can get the visa in 6 to 9 months but instead he is arranging a WATA SATTA WEDDING for his brother in law, third flaw is ahasan khan getting married and bring his wife to usa within 3 days that is impossible this can never happen , would writer or director care to explain how this happen. Recommend

  • Raj

    In Bollywood, SAROJ Khan, PARVATI Kahn are big names.Recommend

  • http://www.shafiqpenworks.blogspot.com Shafiq

    @Najaf!
    This is what detailing is and most of the readers of this article are definitely not aware of these minute things! The reason why i pointed out script and dialogues is just because of the same fact!
    1 – those who live in UK / US since childhood have a totally different style of speaking! Can you differentiate between the accents of Saleem Shaikh and Ahsan Khan? They both were supposed to have different upbringing (Schooling and neighborhood) and I am sure we are sound enough to understand the impact of locality where we are raised.
    2 – Did I say Bushra Ansari is a Bad actor? Nopes! What i meant to say was, she is becoming Type Casted! {Just Like Nana Patekar and SRK are good actors (well can be at some point of times) but they are Type actors…. please don’t quote 5 different roles of each out of 60+ movies}

    @Noor!
    I have lived 2.5 years in South-hall where I came across many Sikh Aunties! and none of them to my knowledge speak in such tone! And yes! most of them were settled there since Partition!

    Anyways! I dont think It matters if you criticize as the Drama is made and thats the best they could have offered!

    Recommendation! Watch out for “Landa Bazaar” / “Chandpur ka Chandu” and “Boota From Tooba Taikh Singh” if you really want to see the Class of Dialogues, Detailing of Characterizations and Story!Recommend

  • Tahir Saeed

    lets comments comming are interesting to read with these people commenting on cultures which are created in decades so we call it history .really enjoying comments to readRecommend

  • x

    Bushra Ansari is outstanding, the way she copies accents, styles of speaking common to a particular place, the way she molds herself in the character is amazing, really big fan and loving the drama. I liked hamsafar but in hindsight, it was a bit stereotypical and cheesy, bilquis kaur is powerful, different and totally original. Recommend

  • blithe

    @najaf:
    stop splitting hairs.

    It’s orginal and much beter than cheesy humsafar Recommend

  • http://dramapakistani.net Faraz

    @Ordinary Villager:
    We review Sirat E Mustaqeem Every week on our website.. you can check it over there

    http://www.dramapakistani.net/category/exptv/stm/

    Regards

    FarazRecommend

  • najaf

    Blithe , i am not splitting hairs all i am saying is these are professional actors ,writers and directors working for productions houses and TV channels , they are suppose to do research and present the facts. The writer of this serial got paid 10 to 15 lakhs rupees depending upon # of episodes and director got paid somewhere between 5 to 8 lakhs and then production house making profit of somewhere between 40 to 60 lakhs and then channels making money from advertising. See these channels and productions houses are taking us viewers for granted by showing all the crapy, not true poorly written and directed serial ,if we dont say anything they will keep on doing the same.. If you look at it the whole concept, the base of this serial BK is false, editing is very bad , you can not show me not a one person in whole America who is born and raised in USA and speak like BK kids. They are lot of flaws if you want i can name them for you in this serial BK. and last thing if you think the writer of this article wrote this piece because she like the serial NO she wrote this article because she was told to write and was paid off.Recommend

  • waqas