From the start, “Agar” has won viewers over with its simplicity and the genuine, natural presentation of its story. Without any scheming or vamp-like characters, “Agar” successfully told the story of four siblings going through their individual struggles. Unfortunately, in recent weeks, that simplicity has taken a slightly upsetting turn. Starring Juggan Kazim, Junaid Khan, Hina Altaf, Maheen Siddiqui, Ahmed Randhawa, Ali Abbas, Hina Bayat and others, the story has been written by Madiha Shahid and directed by Ilyas Kashmiri.
In episode 23, Hooriya (Hina Altaf) continues to pursue Shahwaiz (Junaid Khan) by inserting herself into Pari’s life. While Hooriya’s scheming has begun, her family is unable to see what she’s planning – with the exception of her mother (Hina Bayat). This is a woman who knows her daughter and fears her focus on Shahwaiz rather than her own home. Meanwhile, Chandni (Maheen Siddiqui) does her best to care for Arya at school, but is that enough?
The real focus of this drama, the message that audiences are taking away, is the importance of education. This message is reflected in every aspect of the story, whether we look at the example set by Annie, the way a lack of career has driven Hooriya to her current circumstances/mindset or even how a lack of education has created thoughts like those held by Zainab’s mother. Annie may no longer be around, but she gave back to society by focusing on her career and creating not only an educational institution of quality, but also setting an example for others within her household. Not only is Chandni a reflection of Annie, but Behram has also grown up seeing Annie as a role model and has followed in her footsteps. And while Annie’s mother has always held her children back in their personal lives, it was ultimately Annie’s example that softened her heart and made her realize the importance of work-life balance.
On the flip-side, Hooriya’s life remains entangled with unhappiness due to her own behavior. Hooriya is the opposite of Annie, a young woman who ran away from education and chose marriage instead. Of course, marriage is not a bad choice, but what happens when a doting husband passes away? This is exactly what happened to Hooriya – and unfortunately, Hooriya’s mindset never changed. She continued to run away from education, work and responsibilities towards her own daughter, forcing her family to get her remarried. At present, Hooriya is unhappy with Meheryaar (Ali Abbas), a man she deems to be “beneath her.” In a wicked move that is not unexpected from Hooriya, she has now decided that with Annie gone, Shahwaiz (Junaid Khan) is a better option for her and has taken it upon herself to bond with Arya as a mother.
The current storyline may be interesting and it even fits with the way Hooriya has been written from the beginning. Hina Altaf is doing a wonderful job with her role and is, at present, the real star of this drama. But unfortunately, the real essence of “Agar” has been lost with Annie’s death. This is a family that has already faced tragedy in a big way with Farrukh’s (Usama Khan) death, leaving Hooriya a young widow. With all the struggle Annie faced in life, was death really a tragedy in the cards? Couldn’t Hooriya’s story have continued with Annie’s story continuing to make a positive impact on viewers? “Agar” has succeeded in making some truly genuine points, leaving the audience thinking, all while presenting the story in a light way that did not force the audience to feel bogged down. Annie’s death has changed that. With Annie’s death has come manipulation, a lack of ethics (on Hooriya’s part) and the sort of husband-stealing antics we have seen in other less-loved dramas. This is a genuine bit of advice to writers – please don’t destroy the soul of a show when the show is loved for that very reason. Death does not bring in ratings, it only serves to frustrate the audience.