Television plays a vital role in influencing the mindset of the society. The medium of daily soap is a staple source for mass viewing. It is more like a daily addiction offering a variety of emotions to fetch viewership and ratings. Unfortunately, the format has been a victim of monotonous due to the extreme depiction of regressive content. Catfights, unethical behavior, violence, extramarital affairs and the list goes on. Viewers aspire and look up to actors as their inspiration, so watching them in such space may hurt them.
ARY Digital’s recent 7 PM outing ‘Baby Baji’ offers masaledar entertainment wrapped with positive messaging for daily life. The daily soap has OTT moments in abundance but has lasting solutions for the problems. ‘Baby Baji’ is directed by Tehseen Khan, written by Mansoor Ahmed Khan and features veteran actor Samina Ahmed as the protagonist.
Baby Baji: The Premise
The story of the enterprise is very simple, Baby Baji (Samina Ahmed) has four sons Jamal (Saud Qasmi), Naseer (Hassan Ahmed), Wasif (Junaid Jamshaid) Waleed (Fazal Hussain). Jamal and Naseer are married to Azra (Javeria Saud) and Asma (Sunita Marshal). Azra and Asma are classic examples of chalak vs bholi bahu. The family is headed by Siddique (Munwar Saeed) who runs a shoe store. Azra is the problematic person in the family, she can’t digest her food if she doesn’t fights with any member of the family. Her motto is to get rid of the joint family system and she goes all out to achieve this. On the contrary, Asma is the caring one, her husband Naseer isn’t happy with her as he wanted to marry someone else.
Baby Baji is undoubtedly the sole reason why this product works big time. Full marks to the writer for creating this character that uses resilience to cope with situations and emerge victorious. Baby Baji is like a Pandaan wherein the family stays united. She takes care of the condiments like Siddique (paan ka patta), Asma (gulkand), Naseer (clove), Waleed (meethi supari) and even Azra (kathaa – tambacco). She is clear about her moral and cultural values and the balance between the good and bad is evident.
Promoting Family Values
‘Baby Baji’ showcases the true essence of a family. It is heartwarming to see the close bond, how they support each other and obey the final decisions of their elders. The friendship between Waleed and Naseer is a major highlight. It’s good to see how they support each other in tough situations. The little joys that add value in relationships like eating dinner together, playing ludo, the dance rehearsal and dholak session at Wasif’s wedding. The caring Asma who is ready to do good for others. The importance of caring neighbors who support Baby Baji through thick and thin. There’s a sequence in particular where Siddique drives his wife to meet their relatives. In between they eat at the roadside and indulge in sweet conversations. The scene is shot very well and the old-age romance is depicted very aesthetically.
Several OTT Moments
‘Baby Baji’ is laced with several OTT situations majorly featuring Azra who locks horns with everyone, crosses the line and becomes irritating. On one hand, it is realistic to see women repeating their apparel, but the 24/7 pristine look eliminates the feel. Asma’s character in some places comes across as too naïve. She’s a devoted woman but avoids speaking the truth in several situations. Why? Naseer’s character is entirely one-tone and tedious. We don’t relate to it much as there isn’t a back story about his past relationship. Baby Baji is an old-school woman from a middle-class setup. She wasn’t happy to see Waleed talking to his finance before the wedding, therefore it looks odd on her part that she never objected to the proper dance rehearsals at the wedding.
The soap rests on Samina Ahmed’s shoulders and she does complete justice to a meaty part. She wins hearts with her supreme acting chops and well-written character. Ditto for Munwar Saeed, it’s good to see him after a long time, this pair should certainly win the Best Jodi award next season. Javeria Saud is on top of her game, she goes all guns blazing making us hate Azra. Sunita Marshal is good as the catalyst. Fazal Hussain is the surprise package, his act is so natural and enjoyable. Junaid Jamshaid Niazi needs acting classes. He fails to emote where required and many times his dialogue delivery isn’t clear. Saud is okay and doesn’t get much screen time. Hassan Ahmed is a big disappointment. He seems lost in almost every situation.
Summing it up
Watching ‘Baby Baji’ is a sweet and sour experience. The daily soap has become a guilty pleasure, love it or hate it, but you can’t ignore it. The progressive messaging and Samina Ahmed’s towering performance should not be missed.