Recently I watched Maska on Netflix and while it is no five-course meal to be enjoyed and savored, it is, much like its title, a simple, nostalgia-fuelled break from our daily routine.
But while Manisha Koirala and Prit Kamani’s mother-son chemistry was definitely adorable, it wasn’t the film’s highlight. At least not for me.
For me, the highlight of the film was listening to Jaaved Jaaferi narrate the nostalgic tale of old cafes and a young man’s confused desires in the city of dreams.
Jaaved Jaaferi plays the role of Rumi’s deceased father, Rustom Irani. While primarily he is the narrator of the film, he also makes sporadic appearances as a figment of Rumi’s imagination.
However, it is the way he narrates the story, with an equal mixture of humor and sincerity, that convinces you to pay attention, even when the film becomes too slow-paced to hook your interest.
Of course, Jaaved Jaaferi is no stranger to narrations. After all, his dubbing was one of the main reasons why every 90s kids eagerly waited for Takeshi’s Castle to air.
And it’s not like Bollywood has not seen a fair share of great narrations – like Amitabh Bachchan’s narration of the greatest cricket match in cinematic history in Lagaan, or when Aamir Khan voiced the idiosyncrasies of humans via Pluto, the dog in Dil Dhadakne Do.
But somehow, the way Jaaved Jaaferi recounted the hopes and dreams of Rumi had me wishing for a similar narration of my life story. Maybe it’s because the things that make up my average but wonderful-to-me life, need the kind of natural warmth that Jaaved Jaaferi doled out in his narrations.
Whatever be the case, I am just glad that Maska allowed Jaaved Jaaferi to once again charm us with his on-screen antics and delightful narration.
All images are from Netflix unless specified otherwise.