by Khadija Mastoor
|Screenplay by||Mustafa Afridi|
|Directed by||Mohammed Ehteshamuddin|
|Narrated by||Mawra Hocane|
|Theme music composer||Naveed Nashad|
|Opening theme||Manwa Sisters|
|Country of origin||Pakistan|
|No. of episodes||27|
|Executive producer||Momina Duraid|
|Production company||MD Productions|
|Original network||Hum TV|
|Original release||20 December 2018 –|
27 June 2019
Aangan (Urdu: آنگن, lit. 'Courtyard') is a Pakistani period drama series based on the award-winning novel of the same name by Khadija Mastoor and originally broadcast on Hum TV. Apart from the initial few episodes, the story set in British India, is narrated by Aaliya who is an ambitious girl and witnesses the stories of relations affected at the time of partition of the Indian Subcontinent, presenting the trials and tribulations as her own family was divided.
The serial was created and produced by Momina Duraid under MD Productions and directed by Mohammed Ehteshamuddin. Based on Mastoor's novel, Mustafa Afridi wrote the screenplay. The serial stars Mawra Hocane as Aaliya, Ahsan Khan as Subhan and Safdar (dual role), Sonya Hussyn as Salma, Sajal Aly as Chammi, Ahad Raza Mir as Jameel, Hira Mani as Tehmina and Rabia Butt as Kusum.
Aangan was highly anticipated, with a huge star cast and a high production budget.It mostly received positive reviews from critics and praise for its cinematography, visuals and performances, especially Aly's performance. It received multiple nominations at the 19th Lux Style Awards, including Best TV Play, Best TV Actress (critics and viewers) for Aly and Best Director.
"The story is set in partitioned India. Khameera Illahi (Zaib Rehman) is a strict and serious matriarch of the haveli, having three sons and two daughters. Muzaffar (Abid Ali), her husband, an unethical man who doesn't care for his family, gets his son from another woman, Israr, to the haveli. Although Khameera lets him stay in the haveli, nobody accepts him in the family. Salma (Sonya Hussyn), the young and beautiful daughter of Khameera, falls in love with a poor man Subhan (Ahsan Khan). When her family opposes the affair, she runs away with Subhan. She passes away after a few days due to TB leaving Subhan and her infant son Safder behind. Subhan leaves his son and goes away. Muzaffar dies, and Mazhar (Omair Rana) takes responsibility for Safder and his sister Najma. When his wife opposes the arrangement, Najma is sent to a boarding school to complete her education. Mazhar and his family keep shifting because of his job.
A few years have passed, and Mazhar's daughters Aaliya (Mawra Hocane) and Tehmina (Hira Mani) have grown up. Tehmina and Safdar (Ahsan Khan) have feelings for each other. Aaliya and Tehmina befriend a Hindu widow, Kusum (Rabia Butt), who lives a lonely life and loves a man named Mohan. Due to the disapproval of Tehmina's mother of Tehmina's and Safder's relationship, her marriage gets fixed to Jameel (Ahad Raza Mir), her cousin. Kusum commits suicide because of Mohan's betrayal. Safdar is not courageous enough to take a stand on his and Tehmina's relationship and leaves a letter for her to get married and move forward in life. Tehmina commits suicide by eating poison. Mazhar gets arrested because he attacked a British officer, and Aaliya and her mother (Madiha Rizvi) move back to Haveli.
Haveli now mainly consists of six people, Khameera, her elder son, Azhar (Mustafa Afridi), who is usually busy in Congress work and the independence movement, his wife (Uzma Beg) and sons-Jameel, who he loathes because he is a jobless poet and Shakeel, Chammi (Sajal Aly), the abandoned daughter of Jafar and Azhar's niece, the old house help, Kareeman and the always neglected Israr.
Jameel keeps flirting with Chammi casually to fulfil the expenses of his education, not aware that she has fallen for him. He stops this after completing his education, and Aaliya comes to Haveli. Jameel starts getting interested in Aaliya while she keeps going away. Aaliya has started dreading love due to her experience with Kusum and Tehmina dying due to heartbreak.
While Chammi gets in touch with a boy in her neighbourhood, Jameel keeps persuading Aaliya even after her constant refusal. Aaliya starts to develop feelings for Jameel, much to Chammi's dismay, who admires Aaliya.
- Mawra Hocane as Aaliya
- Ahad Raza Mir as Jameel; a poet and a politician
- Sajal Aly as Chammi
- Ahsan Khan as Subhan, Safdar (dual role)
- Hira Mani as Tehmina; Aaliya's sister
- Sonya Hussyn as Salma; married to Subhan, Safdar's mother
- Zaib Rehman as Khameera Illahi, the domineering matriarch of the haveli; Salma's mother
- Abid Ali as Muzaffar; Salma's father
- Omair Rana as Mazhar; Salma's brother and Aaliya's father
- Madiha Rizvi as Aaliya's mother
- Mustafa Afridi as Azhar; Salma's brother and Jameel's father
- Uzma Beg as Jameel's mother
- Hassan Noman as Israr; Muzaffar's son
- Shehroz Sabzwari as Dr. Ehsaan
- Rabia Butt as Kusum; a Hindu widow
- Shehryaar Ali as Shakeel
- Shabana Bhatti as Kareeman Bua
- Shehzad Kashmiri
- Ali Rizvi as Mohan; Kusum's love and ex-husband
- Shamayal Tareen as Najma; Salma's sister
- Haleema Bint Fatima as young Najma
- Waseem Manzoor as Zafar; Chammi’s father
- Akbar Islam as Kussum's father
- Khizer Gul
- Alizay Javed
- Mahjabeen Masroor
- Shazia Goher
Background and production
The novel Aangan was written by Khadija Mastoor in 1962, and won the Adamji Literacy Award in the next year. It was also translated into 13 languages, with The Women's Courtyard in English by Daisy Rockwell. While the original novel is set in the 1940s and 1950s, Dawn Images reported in December 2017 that this drama, which is based on that novel, is planned as a three-part series spanning a number of decades and will also feature the story of the 1980s and 2000s as in continuity.
The director Ehteshamuddin told The News in a March 2017 interview, "It was initially thought out as a film but now we're making a play out of it," adding, "We might turn it into a film later." He chose Mustafa Afridi to write the screenplay. Mustafa told Daily Times in a September 2018 interview that it took him a year to "understand the novel and a year and a half to adapt it" as a script. He commented that "all the characters have been defined in" skilled great detail by the author, and he worked hard to "stay true" to the "essence of the novel and its characters" while script-writing. He strongly hoped to "take the story forward from where" Khadija left it, into two sequels.
It is based on the partition of the Indian Subcontinent and the resulting independence of Pakistan. It depicts a Hindustani family that was divided mercilessly before the partition of Pakistan by the unfortunate time incidents. The story also has a political take, including British Raj, All-India Muslim League and Indian National Congress.
In a January 2018 interview, the director praised the simplicity of the novel, "It sheds light on the revolution that women went through in those times", and "Set in an inner courtyard, the story has been told from the perspective of a woman." On 17 October 2017, it was reported that Mawra Hocane had signed up for the project. On 28 March, Dawn Images published an interview with Mawra, in which she revealed she will be playing the protagonist and narrator of the story. The story will be told from her character's perspective, who will be seen romancing three men.
Casting and filming
Principal photography began on 7 November in Wazirabad. Sajal confirmed her shoot on 5 December, while Mawra on 27 December. Other cast in supporting roles include Abid Ali and Zaib Rehman, along with Omair Rana and Uzma Hassan. It was revealed that Ahsan will be playing double roles in the drama, and he will be romancing three women. The first spell was completed in January 2018, and then the second spell was completed in March.
Hira Mani joined the cast in third shooting spell, also as in lead role. On 19 July, it was revealed that Rabia Butt will have a cameo role in the drama and two songs have been picturised on her. Other cast include Madiha Rizvi, Shehzad Kashmiri and Ali Rizvi. The spell took place between June and August 2018 in Karachi. On 26 September, the role of Shehroz Sabzwari was also revealed. The casting was mostly done by Momina Duraid, who reportedly kept delaying the shoots to cast the right actors she wanted, as they were not available before. Khizer Idrees has served as the cinematographer for the drama.
Talking about her family background, Sonya Hussyn shared to The Express Tribune that she thinks she relates "to the world that Aangan is set in"; she revealed her role to be extended special appearance. Mawra Hocane told about her character to The News that they have "been developing" it "every day on set" to ensure "the sort of person Aaliya is". Ahad Raza Mir commented to The News on his character, "he's somebody who is on a journey of what love means, what family bonds mean". Ahsan commented to Something Haute that the "story revolves around the characters played by Mawra, Ahad, Sajal, Sonya, Hira and" himself, adding that they all are "connected to each other in a certain way which is very different". He further told The News that the drama is shot in "a very unique way", like never have been "seen before on Pakistani television". Sajal Aly told Gulf Times that every character "is equally important", having "its own journey", as it "follows multiple beautiful characters" and is "about everyone involved". She added that "it focuses on the partition of a family" as "physical and emotional divide of a country".
The drama marked the second appearance of Ahsan Khan with Sonya Hussyn and with Mawra Hocane after the Haasil (2016), and Ahsan with Sonya after Marasim. It also marked the second collaboration of Ahad Raza Mir with Mawra after Sammi (2017), and with Sajal Aly and Hira Mani after the Yaqeen Ka Safar (2017). It was the fifth collaboration of the director with MD Productions after Aseerzadi (2013), Sadqay Tumhare (2014), Preet Na Kariyo Koi (2015) also starring Ahsan and Hira, and Udaari (2016) while director's third collaboration also with writer after Aseerzadi (2013) and Mohabbat.PK (2017).
Release and distribution
Aangan's first episode was aired on 20 December 2018 while before the series premiere introductional program of the show The Curtain Raiser was aired on 13 December 2018. It aired weekly episode every Thursday at 8:00pm succeeding Duraid's Main Khayal Hoon Kisi Aur Ka. It was aired on Hum Europe in UK, on Hum TV USA in USA and Hum TV Mena in UAE, with same timings and 20 December 2018 being the premier date. All International broadcasting aired the series in accordance with their standard times.
Home media and digital release
After the series premiere, Hum TV announced that the episodes of the serial will not be uploaded on YouTube. Later in April 2020, Mawra Hocane who played the role of Aaliya revealed that Aangan will be released on a digital platform with some editings.
The series received mostly positive reviews from critics with praise towards the performances, visuals and cinematography. Aly's performance received widespread critical acclaim as is regarded as one of her best.
Aangan received positive reviews on its first episode. Reviewing the first episode of the drama, Hareem Zafar wrote to Youlin Magazine that "a promising start" with "visually aesthetic shots of the Haveli, classical music as background score, powerful dialogue delivery and masterful acting skills".
Aly's performance was called inspirational by The News. Maira Kiari of DAWN IMAGES ranked her performance and as the top 6 performances of television in 2019. After the concluding of the serial, Buraq Shabbir of The News International praised Sajal's performance and wrote, "Sajal Aly stole the limelight and overshadowed everyone and everything else surrounding the recently concluded play." While writing for Masala.com, Mahwash Ajaz praised the Aly's character and performance and stating, "Sajal Ali’s ‘Chammi’ is The Heroine Television Needed."
The show was popular in UK where it mostly topped the chart among the Urdu television serials  while the 15th episode of the show took the lead among all the Asian television shows and was watched by 49,200 viewers – peaking at 50,500 viewers according to the exclusive data obtained by BizAsia.
|Soundtrack album by |
The various soundtracks were prepared for the serial. The original soundtrack "Haari Haari" was performed by Farhan Saeed and Naveed Nashad, lyrics were written by Imran Raza while composed by Nashad also. The other soundtracks such as "Bholi Bano" and "Wavella" were played and picturized on a single specific occasion.
|1.||"Dhandora"||Mustafa Afridi||Naveed Nashad||Manwa Sisters (chorus)||1:04|
|2.||"Hari Hari"||Imran Raza||Naveed Nashad||Farhan Saeed & Naveed Nashad||3:04|
|5.||"Bali Banno"||Manwa Sisters||3:15|
|6.||"Nazar Lag Jaye Na"|
|July 8, 2019||Lux Style Awards||Best Original Soundtrack||Farhan Saeed & Naveed Nashad||Nominated|||
|February 7, 2020||Pakistan International Screen Awards||Best Television Director||Mohammed Ehteshamuddin||Nominated|||
|Best Television Actor||Ahad Raza Mir||Nominated|
|Best Television Actress||Sajal Aly||Nominated|
|Best Original Soundtrack||Farhan Saeed and Naved Nashad||Nominated|
|December 31, 2020||Lux Style Awards||Best TV Play||Momina Duraid||Nominated|||
|Best Director||Mohammed Ehteshamuddin||Nominated|
|Best Television Actress- Viewer’s Choice||Sajal Aly||Nominated|
|Best Television Actress- Critics Choice||Nominated|
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