Show Title: P.O.W. Bandi Yuddh Ke
Channel: Star Plus
Timings: Monday To Friday 10:30 pm
Based on the Israeli television show, Hatufim, P.O.W. Bandi Yuddh Ke is about two Indian soldiers who have escaped Pakistani captivity and have returned to their homeland after 17 years. However, their brave escape seems less of a miracle and more of a plan as the two men seem to be hiding something. Let’s have a look at the first episode and see what is its first impression.
P.O.W. Bandi Yuddh Ke Review (2016)
In JAK LI Base Camp, an army man is talking to a woman on the phone who is nagging him to be home on time since everyone is waiting for him. Before he can say anything, the woman hangs up. Exasperated, he sighs saying that this time things might elevate to a divorce. A soldier comes with some paper informing him about suspicious human activity near the border. The army senior looks frustrated and tells him to confirm it, unlike last time where they found a wild pig instead of humans.
Meanwhile, in Mendhar Sector, LOC, India, a group of army men have spotted two infiltrators. Vinod informs his senior about the infiltration. The senior orders him to capture the two men instead of killing them. Vinod follows the orders and gives a command to his men to wound the infiltrators and capture them alive. Suddenly we see a cross-border firing. The Pakistani army too seems to be firing at the two infiltrators. Vinod finds this weird and informs his senior about this, who firmly tells him to follow orders and capture the two men. We then see the two infiltrators struggling to get through the barbwires when one of them is shot in the thigh by the Indian army. The other man rushes to his aid when lights flash on and the Indian army men command them to surrender. One of the infiltrator raises his arms in surrender. The army men command him to strip. Just then, we see someone tell the senior that they have found ‘something’.
Cut to, in the village Kishanganj, Punjab Harleen (Amrita Puri) rides her tractor to a prayer meeting where her family is waiting for her. At the prayer meeting, a man tells her father-in-law to send his eldest son to take prasad as a blessing for their agricultural equipment. Harleen’s father-in-law says that his daughter-in-law Harleen is like his son and that she will take the prasad on behalf of the family. Harleen walks towards the place of pooja when her nephew reminds her of the kirpan (dagger). She places her kirpan near the place of pooja and breaks a coconut chanting Wahe Guruji Ka Khalsa Wahe Guruji Ki Fateh (an auspicious greeting Sikhs use before commencing any good work).
Cut to, a police station in Saket, New Delhi, a lady police officer is asking a young girl i.e. Shaira her personal details, while she gets the answers from an inspector sitting across who seems to have detained the girl just three days ago and is aware of her details. The girl walks over to her friend and puts a bet that her family will be the first to come to her rescue. And just then the inspector informs them that her family is her. And she wins the bet.
At home, Nazneen (Sandhya Mridul) is pacing furiously because her daughter, Shaira hasn’t come home yet and isn’t even answering her phone. Shaira tries to tiptoe inside the house when Nazneen catches her and reprimands her for being late. Shaira makes up some lousy reason for being late when her brother opens the door and finds their chacha (paternal uncle) standing outside. Nazneen chastises Salim for spoiling her daughter. Her son Ayaan says that he better start calling Salim ‘abbu’ (dad) so that there is no more tension in the house. Nazneen stops him from saying anything further and sends Shaira and Ayaan to bed. Salim tells Nazneen that whatever Ayaan just said was his perspective and warmly places his hands over her shoulders. But Nazneen’s eyes instantly dart towards her wedding picture where she is smiling with her husband, Imaan. She tells Salim that she feels like a pendulum swinging between two sides. He tells her that there shouldn’t be a choice between the past and the future and that she should now move on.
We then see someone typing details of a jawan (army officer) named Sartaj Singh. At the National Security Council (NSC), New Delhi, the two captured infiltrators undergo several medical tests that prove their identity. The two men are believed to be former Indian army officers.
In Punjab, Harleen is celebrating Diwali with her family when a girl takes her to the rooftop and clicks her picture on a mobile phone. Her father-in-law tells her she has been living this way for the past 17 years and it is time she gets married. We see her relatives feed details on a matrimonial site.
Cut to, Salim’s mother (also Nazneen’s mother-in-law) asks Nazneen and Salim if they wish to get married. She holds a card written by Shaira requesting her to allow Salim chacha to marry their mother. She sternly asks Salim and Nazneen if they truly intend to marry each other to which Salim gives his consent but Nazneen is tight-lipped.
Cut to, Harleen refuses to re-marry and tries to convince her father-in-law that she is happy the way she is right now and doesn’t need to get married. Her relative filling her personal details on the website ask her if she is single, divorced or a widow to which she doesn’t have an answer.
Cut to, Nazneen’s mother-in-law tells her that she isn’t a widow and that her son Imaan is not dead but missing-in-action (MIA) to which Shaira says that her father has been MIA for the past 17 years and that its time her mum moves on and lives her life. Nazneen contemplates and finally relents to her children’s wishes agreeing to the marriage.
Cut to, Harleen puts the same question before her father-in-law asking if she married or a widow. He has no answer to her question and she says that instead of marriage she wishes to study further and get her M.com degree.
At Nazneen’s house, Salim receives a call from NSC informing him that about the two infiltrators captured in a cross firing incident and the phone slips from his hand.
In Sainik School, Kapurthala, Vikram Singh (Manish Chaudhari) is giving a lecture in a class when he spots two familiar men standing at the class door. The two men inform him about the infiltrators captured at the border. We then see what actually happened at the border. One of the two infiltrators raises his hands in surrender and screams that they are Indians while the other injured man yells ‘Don’t shoot’. The infiltrator strips and the Indian soldier informs his senior that they have found ‘something’. The two men with Vikram tell him that the captured men are prisoners of war who were captured by the Pakistani army in the 1999 Kargil war. One is an air force officer while the other is a Sikh regiment jawan (soldier). They tell Vikram that this is big news and that the government wants him to give a statement to the media.
At the press conference, he tells the media that two officers declared MIA in the Kargil war have managed to escape Pakistan’s black camp and are now safe in India. He says that the army was given a covert task to safely retrieve these two men and that the army has successful completed their task. The air force and the army have verified the identity of the two soldiers and their names are Squadron Leader Imaan Khan (Satyadeep Mishra) and Naik Subhedar Sartaj Singh (Purab Kohli). He tells the media that the families of the two men have been informed and that they will be meeting them soon.
At the NSC, Imaan and Sartaj are reunited with their families after 17 long years. As the men leave with their respective families, Vikram Singh looks suspiciously at the two men. When asked, Vikram tells his friend that it is surprising that two men escape through Pakistani borders after 17 years, and despite Pakistani army launching fire against them they escape unhurt and that the only bullet that hits them is fired by the Indian army. He says that all this looks suspicious and planned. His friend tells him that his old age has made him cynical to which Vikram replies that 17 years is a long time and a lot can change in that time including Indian soldiers. He feels that maybe these two men haven’t escaped and that may be they have been sent here.
Imaan and Sartaj are waving at the media when Imaan passes a chit with his number on it to Sartaj and tells him not to tell anything to anyone. Sartaj assures him that there will be no mistake and bids him goodbye.
First Episode First Impression (FEFI)
Wow! What did I just see? Did Star Plus actually follow its Nayi Soch tagline and get a completely new show on television? Oh yes, it did. It just put forth an AMAZING episode that blew me away. I had high expectations of this show considering it plot, cast, and producers. And I am so glad that its first episode surpassed all my expectations. The music, the acting, and the screenplay were extremely compelling. This is Amrita Puri’s first appearance on the small screen and she looks too adorable as the devoted young wife of a missing soldier. It is so good to see Sandhya Mridul back on small screen after so long. Her strong voice and expressive face will easily convince you of the role she plays. The first episode dealt with the current situation of each of the four central characters and it was such a classy act.
My only complaint is with the show’s time slot. Why is it telecast so late at 10:30 pm? I agree the show may not have mass appeal and may not become popular with the rural crowd but I say give it a chance. It shows tremendous potential to amaze and interest both urban and rural audiences. This show deserves a better time slot.
What looked nice?
The cast and the storyline. The show boasts of good actors like Sandhya Mridul, Amrita Puri and Purab Kohli and gauging by the first episode I am sure they will do a good job throughout its run. Though the show is the Indian version of an Israeli drama and it is very relatable considering the current tension across India and Pakistan borders. The drama generates a lot of curiosity as we have been hearing about frequent instances of infiltrations and cross-border tension and the show couldn’t have been launched at a better time. The show’s production value is good and looks visually appealing.
What did not look nice?
The scene where the two men reunite with their families was done very subtly. It is a little weird that Nazneen and Imaan hug each other only after they are done watching Sartaj reunite with his wife and family. Nazneen is seeing her husband after 17 long years, why will she be distracted by anybody else when such an important person has returned to her? I found that scene slightly hard to digest. Maybe the director wanted a mellow reunion but as a viewer, I felt that such a big scene could have been done more dramatically.
I have been yearning to watch something totally different on Indian television and P.O.W. Bandhi Yuddh Ke looks like an answer to that. The power-packed first episode impressed me a 100%. If you too have been dying to watch something different and intriguing then do go for this one. This show deserves attention and viewership.
In case you missed the first episode then watch it here on HotStar.