“Agar” has continued to impress Pakistani drama audiences seeking something different from saas-bahu dramas and even romantic stories. “Agar” has put the focus on how individuals are affected by societal and familial pressure and how that pressure shapes their decisions and, in turn, life experiences. Starring Juggan Kazim, Hina Altaf, Maheen Siddiqui, Hina Bayat, Hira Soomro, Junaid Khan, Ali Abbas, Ismat Zaidi, Ahmed Randhawa and others, the story has been written by Madiha Shahid and directed by Ilyas Kashmiri.
In episode 19, the story focuses on two couples – Annie (Juggan Kazim) and Shahwaiz (Junaid Khan) and Meheryar (Ali Abbas) and Hooriya (Hina Altaf). While Annie and Hooriya are sisters, their love stories have played out in a drastically different way. Annie suffered through her youth, always working and earning, living a lonely existence. Now, life has finally fallen into place for her and her patience has brought happiness into her life not only in the form of Shahwaiz and their daughter, but also another baby. It’s heartwarming to see Annie’s happiness after she has experienced so much grief. Despite that, society continues to taunt Annie over her seemingly inappropriate actions and lies. But at the end of the day, should we care what people who do not have a direct impact on our lives think about us? This is the wall Annie is trying to break down for herself while embracing her own happiness. Juggan Kazim and Junaid Khan work so well together, their bond as Annie and Shahwaiz is lovable.
On the flip-side, Hooriya has reached her saturation point with Meheryar. Meheryar is a kind-hearted man, but does not match Hooriya’s opinion of what a husband should be. Hooriya and Meheryar argue and Hooriya demands to go home. However, when her brother and mother arrive, she is in for a rude shock. When her brother tells her the problem is in her head, we silently agree with him that Hooriya has created her own situation. Unfortunately, Hooriya has made matters worse by picking fights and turning both her husband and mother-in-law against her in a house she is now “stuck” in, as her family refuses to take her home. She is very fortunate to have a husband like Meheryar, who loves her and sympathizes with her despite it all and still wants to make their marriage work.
“Agar” does a great job of putting forth the plight of a widow. It’s not easy for anyone to accept another man into their lives, especially when the first husband was as doting and loving as Farrukh (Usama Khan). To top it off, Hooriya is essentially pushed into this marriage, almost against her will, and has not emotionally or mentally recovered from Farrukh’s death. And yet, this tale is presented with a different message. Unfortunately, Hooriya had another option, options provided to her by her family. Hooriya could have chosen to study and complete her education, so she could provide for herself and live independently. She was also given the opportunity to simply help around the house with housework and care for her child on her own. However, neither of these options were palatable for the spoiled, immature Hooriya. So she has been married off. While we feel for Hooriya deeply in this episode, particularly due to Hina Altaf’s performance, which cuts through our hearts, it’s hard to entirely side with Hooriya. Hooriya is, in fact, wrong. What this episode highlights, more than anything, is that if Hooriya had been educated, she would not have had to endure any of this. This is a strong message and one that’s incredibly important. It’s important for all women to be independent and have something to fall back on of their own in case life does not work out the way they imagined – and “Agar” is doing a great job driving home that point.
Hina Altaf is, of course, the star performer of this episode. She is absolutely wonderful as Hooriya, even if Hooriya herself isn’t wonderful as a human being. If there’s a negative in “Agar,” it’s what appears to be coming up. Is it necessary to drag on a show like “Agar” down a nonsensical path? Shahwaiz’s fiancée seems to be making a return to the canvas, a completely nonsensical character taking the story down a completely nonsensical path. She was never important to Shahwaiz, so why this angle? Here’s hoping “Agar” does not suffer due to shoddy writing in the last few episodes when it has, up until now, been nearly perfect.