Some shows are action-packed, full of angst, tragedy and drama. “Agar” has never been that show, telling the story of a family and their trials and tribulations in a serene, natural manner – and winning the hearts of the audience in the process. While “Agar” has not been the show to garner millions of views each week, it has maintained a steady stream of viewers coming back each week to watch this emotional tale focused on four siblings. Starring Juggan Kazim, Junaid Khan, Hina Altaf, Usama Khan, Ali Abbas, Maheen Siddiqui, Hina Bayat, Ahmed Randhawa, Hira Soomro, Ismat Zaidi and others, the story has been written by Madiha Shahid and directed by Ilyas Kashmiri. The finale winds up with the same calmness the story has maintained from the start and leaves us with a smile on our face.
In the finale, Chandni (Maheen Siddiqui) feels the pressure with everyone from Behram (Ahmed Randhawa), her mother (Hina Bayat) and Hooriya (Hina Altaf) advising her to marry Shahwaiz (Junaid Khan). However, Chandni is not convinced. She recognizes that Shahwaiz is not only still hopelessly in love with her sister, but is also much older than she is in age. Does a relationship of respect need to turn into one of marriage?
Shahwaiz proves himself to be one of the best male characters we’ve seen on screen in a Pakistani drama in recent years. Junaid Khan has played this character with just the right amount of sincerity and softness. Shahwaiz is caught between his love for Annie and fulfilling her dying wishes. While he initially does pursue Chandni, there’s a beautiful line where Shahwaiz states that the wishes of the dead die along with them and we must respect the wishes of the living. Shahwaiz is aware that Chandni does not wish to marry him and he plays a large hand in ensuring Chandni marries a man of her own age. In a nice, unexpected surprise, Chandni winds up marrying a man her age (in a special appearance by Raeed Alam) with the support of Shahwaiz and her entire family.
If there’s a flaw in the finale, it’s the entire arc surrounding Hooriya (Hina Altaf). Hina Altaf has performed so well in this entire drama and has painted quite the picture of Hooriya with her portrayal – immature, irresponsible, scheming and manipulative. However, suddenly all of Hooriya’s actions are whitewashed and she reunites with Meheryaar (Ali Abbas) as if nothing happened. Hooriya’s actions were not small misunderstandings or mistakes. She was purposely dishonest and cruel. Somehow the writers manage to turn this around and paint Meheryaar as the responsible party. Why? Should he have continued to put up with Hooriya’s behavior? Why are all the characters in this show behaving as though Meheryaar corrected his ways when, in fact, it’s quite the opposite? Throughout this drama, there has been a very clear, straightforward end for Hooriya. A character this immature who is living in la-la land needed to have a more practical ending, one which involved being left alone, forced to get a job and raise her daughter as a strong, educated, independent young lady. This would have been the ideal end for Hooriya, an ending that would truly teach a lesson to young women who do not focus on their education and, instead, wait for prince charming. Instead, Hooriya’s entire story arc is a missed opportunity. There isn’t any point in the story where we feel the switch has flipped for Hooriya and she has learned her lesson. She proposes to Shahwaiz, she’s rejected, she goes back to Meheryaar and is suddenly a changed person. Hooriya’s story did not feel logical. Hooriya is just…..married.
With this ending, “Agar” does a great job of ending a cycle within this family. Yes, Annie had always carried the burden of the family and fulfilled their wishes, crushing her own dreams in the process. Due to this action of hers, her family feels immense guilt after her death, particularly due to Shahwaiz and Arya. However, while they do pressure Chandni for a while, Chandni is not forced to settle. Why would a young, single woman choose to marry her sister’s widower simply because her sister raised her? Chandni has free will and it’s admirable that her family ends the cycle of placing the burden on their family members, allowing Chandni to make the best decision for herself. The entire cast has done an excellent job in their roles. “Agar” has told a strong story of love, resilience, strength and, most of all, family bonds. “Agar” has not been a perfect show, but it certainly has been a beautiful one with some truly sweet characters and situations which resonated with the audience. “Agar” has been a memorable journey.