Joined: 05 June 2006
Significance of Fire in QH
"Love is the Fire of Life; it either consumes or purifies"
I am back with my weekend post. With no new episodes to discuss on the weekend, my hands still itch to write about this show that I have invested considerable time and energy.
One of the central themes of this show is fire. Fire is an integral part- both literally and symbolically. Fire is represented by both positive and negative emotions. At one end of the spectrum, the fire destroys but at the other end, it purifies and cleanses.
The significance of fire was established quite early in the show when Zoya woke up from a nightmare and revealed her scar on her right arm. We knew that there was a fire when she was still a young child and she probably lost her mother in that fire.
Then came the doll factory mystery; the fire that destroyed that factory and had far reaching consequences on the lives of all the main characters of this story.
We also saw Asad lighting candles in the Dargah after he saw Zoya for the first time- a sign of love and peace.
Here are some examples of how fire (real or symbolic) has affected the different characters:
ASAD: The lead male protagonist has been on fire since his first scene on screen. Fire for him represents that burning emotion; the anger and bitterness that has resulted from being abandoned by his father at an early age. That fire continues to simmer and consume him daily. We haven't seen any signs of this fire dying. To this date, the very mention of his father's name or his appearance kindles the flames inside him. He rages like wild fire, burning himself and anyone around him in that process.
Isn't it an irony that the day Rashid lit the fire to the doll factory; he ignited the flame inside his ten-year old son's heart also? Today, Asad is ready to testify against his father because this fire has blinded him from being rational and open-minded.
Another fire that has started consuming Asad is his relationship with the new girl in town, Zoya. From lighting candles in the dargah after he first saw her- a sign of peace, spirituality and happiness- she has managed to light a fire that he has always been wary or oblivious about. Her fiery temperament coupled with her innocence and attractive looks have turned his world upside down. She has lit a fire that he is so desperate to put out. His passion for her has made him angrier and bitterer. He is trying his best to fight this fire but in that process, the flames have become stronger and fiercer. That's what we are witnessing now. Not only are they consuming him (his extra cold behavior, rude words are a result of this fire) but have also started burning the woman who is responsible for this fire. Zoya is feeling the heat. Her tears are not enough to cool this blaze. In fact, we are seeing sparks of jealousy in a woman who has always been selfless and unaware of her own feelings. If the fire continues to rage, we will probably see Zoya runaway as this scorching heat becomes unbearable for her.
Another aspect of fire as I mentioned is purification, or agnipareeksha or baptism by fire. The fires that have been ignited by Rashid and Zoya, will finally be contained when Asad goes through this very painful process of purification. Once he crosses this fire, Asad will be a new man. A man, who will be at peace with himself and his choices. It's then he would be willing to accept the love of his life and understand his father. Not only Asad, but both Rashid and Zoya have to pass through this purification process before they can unite with Asad. This purification process would be a painful journey for all- the characters and the audience.
ZOYA: The protagonist who has been most directly affected by the fire will probably have the toughest journey of all. Fire has been a constant companion in her life. Her dreams, her life and her body have all been scarred by a fire that happened 17/20 years ago (I am not sure about the dates as they have mentioned both.) It's this fire that has forced her to leave her loved ones in the US and move to Bhopal, into a stranger's house, even if temporarily. She won't find peace till she has learnt the details of this accident that happened years ago. Her quest to find her identity is so overpowering that she is willing to suffer humiliation and abandonment by the people who she has learnt to love and respect.
Just like Asad, another fire has been lit inside her that she, unlike Asad (at the moment) has been quite oblivious to. Tanveer's entry has worked like the gushing wind that has a tendency to spread rather than blow out the fire. Jealousy, one of the most basic human emotions, is like fire. It can spread faster than a forest fire and consume a person completely. Such is the case with Zoya right now. She doesn't realize, but Tanveer has made her insecure. In that process, she has forgotten her main mission in India, even stopped thinking. Under normal circumstances, Zoya would have put all her energy into finding the doll or gotten suspicious about Billo, the maid. Instead, the fire lit by Tanveer has started burning Zoya and I fear, will make it unbearable for Zoya to stay at the Khan home for too long.
Zoya has to go through this agnipariksha too. This might come in the form of a marriage to man she doesn't love, live in a hostile environment with people like Razia and Siddiqui, possibly suffer the wrath of another jealous lover (Humeira) and separation from the man she actually loves. If she finds her father and finds out the truth about her mother's murder, that will only add to her woes. Will she burn in these fires or will she emerge victorious once again but with scars (a failed marriage?)- her scarred arm from the fire in her childhood could be symbolic of this reality.
OTHER CHARACTERS: I won't elaborate on the other characters in detail here.
Suffice it to say that all of them need to go through these all consuming and purification processes through the fire.
Dilshaad has been going through this agnipariksha for the past 17 years. I am sure she will emerge victorious one day and unite with the love of her life. She has simmered in the flames of his love for years and one day, will succeed in uniting with Rashid once again.
Rashid- the man who started the fire has probably burnt in it more than anyone else. It's an irony that he lit a fire to protect his family, but the fire has separated him from them for the past 17 years. We don't know the details but as we find out, we will know why he had to go through this ordeal and burn his bridges with the people whom he loved the most.
Ayaan- His agnipariksha has just started. Although he has simmered in anger because of his father's apparent spinelessness, his discord with his brother is going to be the biggest test of his life. He will have to cross this fire all alone, without his brother holding his hand. At the other end, he will emerge a man but only after having survived the flames of the fire that has already been lit around him.
Razia: The woman responsible for all the fires, directly or indirectly will one day, in my opinion, burn to death from the deadliest of fires. That would be poetic justice and a befitting end to the all the fires in this story.
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