“Aakhir Kab Tak” has been enjoying a successful run, winning praise from all corners for its important storyline while also keeping the “feel” of the story optimistic. Despite focusing on sexual assault and female oppression within middleclass households, this is a show which has led its female leads down a road of hope, each girl finding her version of happiness – and yet, things are now taking a turn for the grim once again in Fajar’s life. Starring Ushna Shah, Srha Asghar, Adeel Hussain, Haroon Shahid, Azfar Rehman, Javeria Abbasi, Shahood Alvi and Gul E Rana, the story has been written by Radain Shah and directed by Syed Ali Raza Usama.
In episode 24, Fajar (Srha Asghar) receives the shock of her life when she discovers Saim’s (Haroon Shahid) childhood friend Zulfi is none other than her attacker, Professor Zafar (Azfar Rehman). Saim is unable to understand Fajar’s sudden reaction, no longer the perky, happy woman she was gradually becoming and once again retreating into silence and fear. To make matters worse, while Zafar initially appears to worry about exposure, he gets over it quickly and returns to harass Fajar at every corner yet again, making her feel unsafe in her own home.
There’s honestly a lot to unpack with this storyline, most importantly Saim’s sister’s reaction to Zafar. She is a strong, independent young lady and knows how to protect herself, brushing off Zafar at every turn, ensuring that he is never alone with her – which leads the audience to wonder whether she has ever been his victim? Will Saim’s sister be the support system Fajar needs? On the other side of town, Bushra is getting married, happy and content with life after everything she had endured at Zafar’s hands – and on her wedding day, she receives a call from Zafar, threatening her to meet him. This is a moment that leaves an impact. Regardless of the part Bushra had to play in Fajar’s assault, Bushra has always been a victim herself and was only protecting herself. Now realizing that she will never be free of Zafar and will never truly be able to experience happiness, Bushra attempts suicide on her wedding day. Fortunately she survives, which will be an important piece of moving the story forward.
Enter Nasir (Adeel Hussain), who arrives at the hospital to investigate the suicide where he cutely bumps into Noor (Ushna Shah). The two have a sweet exchange before he gets down to business, trying to understand Bushra’s reason for wanting to end her life. Nasir is an intelligent man and it’s only a matter of time before he puts two and two together – or will Ushna spot Zafar and connect the pieces for Nasir? Amidst all of this, Noor and Nasir get married and are overjoyed at spending the rest of their lives together. Their wedding night and the next morning scenes are beautifully written, showing the happiness both Nasir and Noor are experiencing at finally being together. Noor has been through a lot in her life, on the receiving end of her own share of grief, and she finally has a supportive partner, something she never believed possible. It’s wonderful to see the smile on her face and it’s the journey to this moment that has made it so worthwhile. Ushna Shah and Adeel Hussain are simply wonderful in this episode.
The entire cast is, once again, doing a great job in their roles. This episode belongs to Adeel Hussain and Ushna Shah as Noor and Nasir find happiness. Both act so well and keep things natural. Srha Asghar is great too, but really, it’s Azfar Rehman who shines as the evil, moral less Zafar. While Zafar’s return is terrible for Fajar, something has certainly changed for the better now. First, Fajar is now the sister-in-law of a police officer – and looking at the preview, Zafar is only intimidating with women he can blackmail. He is scared senseless of the police! Second, Fajar now has a loving, supportive husband and a solid support system not only at home, but with her in-laws. And third, Saim’s sister could potentially be Fajar’s back-up. While Fajar was alone and timid in the past, she no longer lives that life anymore. Her life has changed. She has changed. Will she trust in her present and herself enough to confide in Saim, Noor and Nasir? Time will only tell, but the story has come to an interesting point – we can only hope the channel does not choose to drag it out.