Directed by Ajitpal Singh, Tabbar is a brilliant drama that is hard to break down into moments, because of how brilliantly the story has been crafted and how intelligently the different story arcs are interwoven with each other.
And yet, these moments from the show were hard to forget:
Major spoilers ahead.
1. The opening scene, when you see a distraught Omkar Singh and his wife cremate a body.
A shocking opening scene shows Omkar Singh and his wife traveling through the fields to cremate a body. The scene isn't gory or violent but it stays with you because of the intrinsic sense of suspense - you are immediately intrigued about who the person could be. And, Omkar Singh's anguished reply to his wife's wailing over how they'll be judged by God is one of the rare profound dialogues from the show. "Je Rabb hota toh humare saath yeh sab hota ke?"
2. When Happy shoots Maheep.
When Maheep Sodhi threatens Happy's brother and mother, Happy hunts for his father's gun to use in self-defense. But ends up shooting and killing Maheep for real. At first glance, the moment appears to be the beginning of the end. But as the series moves forward, you realize that it's not that one event, alone, that sets things in motion.
3. When Omkar Singh dances to his own tune.
Everything about this scene is exceptional - from the song that plays in the background to the way the scene is shot, to Pavan Malhotra's dance. It feels surreal - seeing a man dance to his own tune, after being tortured for answers. But at the same time, Pavan Malhotra makes it feel relatable - he is literally drinking and dancing his misery away, or at the very least, attempting to. And while our miseries may differ, we've all been there.
4. When Happy confesses to his father that he is no longer studying for Civil Services.
Happy's parents could not be more proud of him for pursuing Civil Services and even risk their own lives to save his future. But when Happy admits to having quit Civil Services, you can see the disbelief, shock, and disappointment on Omkar's face. Equally heartbreaking is the guilt that strikes Happy because he is aware of how much his family sacrificed for him. It is at that moment that he also admits to having known Maheep was carrying drugs and stealing his bag, just so he could make quick money. It's a significant moment because it shifts the focus to make it clear that shooting Maheep may have been the catalyst, but things were set in motion far earlier. It is also a subtle attack on the culture of forcing your children to live your dreams - something far too common with Indian parents. A special mention to Gagan Arora for matching Pavan Malhotra's brilliant act in this scene.
5. When Omkar Singh and his sons are caught by Ajit Sodhi.
After a series of twists and turns and some seriously narrow escapes from death, you believe things are finally turning around for Omkar Singh and his sons when they collude with Pankaj Ahuja. But right at the last moment, they are betrayed by Ahuja and handed over to Sodhi, literally. The whole scenario, from realizing they might just be dead, to being saved, thanks to Tegi's on-the-feet thinking, is just one of the many moments that make this an excellent edge-of-your-seat thriller.
6. When Sargun's guilt takes over, and she has a mental break down.
Right from the start, it's clear that Sargun finds it the most difficult to come to terms with their actions (when, in fact, she was the first one to attack Maheep in order to save Tegi). Slowly, from experiencing minor hallucinations that are a reflection of her distraught psyche, she goes to experiencing a complete and utter breakdown after they kill their nephew to save their son. It's a stark reminder of the guilt that is common to Shakespearean antiheroes, and Supriya Pathak's depiction of it is nothing short of fabulous.
7. When Omkar Singh kills his wife to protect his sons.
There is no excuse for their actions, but by the end of the show, you are completely invested in seeing Omkar and his family survive the ordeal. And it appears that they might just do that - but for Sargun, whose guilt and subsequent mental breakdown makes her a loose end, one that Omkar knows can prove fatal. And so he does the unimaginable and kills her. The shocking end is even more pronounced when you see the flashback about how their love story started or the moment when Pavan Malhotra, as Omkar, lets out an anguished scream that gives you goosebumps. It's the moment that leaves you pondering - how far would you go for your family?
All images are screenshots from the series, streaming on SonyLIV.