“Aulaad” stars Mohammad Ahmed, Marina Khan, Hassan Niazi, Furqan Qureshi, Nabeel Zubairi and Sunita Marshal in lead roles. The story has been written by Syed Ameer Ali Shah and directed by Aabis Raza. At the onset, “Aulaad” reminds viewers of similar stories that have been told in the past, most specifically the Bollywood film “Baghban.” One is also taken back to the Nadeem and Bushra Ansari starrer “Meray Apnay,” which aired on ARY back in 2014, a show which was heavily inspired by “Baghban,” but managed to create an even more bleak, miserable story of it. Fortunately, “Aulaad” doesn’t appear to be imitating anything we’ve seen in the past and is attempting to tell a sincere story about how parents work their entire lives to care for their children – and then are treated like a burden in return. While the story follows the same path, the treatment is entirely different. But does that make the show a winner?
Episode 1 introduces viewers to a the family, comprised of a set of elderly parents, their three sons, two daughter-in-laws and their two daughters. The names of these characters have not set in yet, so we’ll be discussing them by actor names this time around. One would love to say this is a happy, smiling joint family unit, but the heaviness hits viewers immediately in the form of Khurram (Hassan Niazi), the predominant breadwinner of the family and resident scrooge. Khurram has loud, spirited discussions with his sweet, loving wife Afreen (Sunita Marshal) (who deserves a better husband than Khurram) over how he is the only one pulling his weight and is being treated like a money machine. This statement certainly doesn’t seem to be true with Mohammad Ahmed’s elderly character still working and Furqan Qureshi’s character also pitching in. The greatest red flags on the show are Khurram himself, Furqan Qureshi’s nagging, lazy wife Urwa and Nabeel Zuberi’s love interest, who declares that she cannot marry him unless he signs over his father’s house as haq mehr. The only thing I want to say about Nabeel Zuberi’s character is that any self-respecting man would understand that a house is an individual’s life savings and planning and he himself does not have any right to the house (let alone his wife) – especially considering he has four other siblings. The conversation should have ended there, but alas, this character will be the one to get the family into real trouble.
Khurram’s anger continues to spill over when his son is injured after an episode with Khurram’s mentally unwell sister, Moni. All love and affection aside, why does Moni threaten suicide when she’s not allowed to play a game? Khurram is furious and comes back home, bickering with Afreen again about how everyone is focused on Moni and have not asked about his son. Fed up, Mohammad Ahmed and Marina Khan’s characters confront Khurram and the exchange does not end well. The father throws the son out, declaring he can take care of his family without Khurram’s help.
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Quite honestly, drama viewers picking up “Aulaad” will have to brace themselves to see a lot of misery, as the show has taken quite a heavy turn from the star itself. Viewers are aware that Mohammad Ahmed’s character is unable to take on financial responsibility all on his own without Khurram, so rough times are definitely in store for the rest, especially with Furqan Qureshi’s character having to step up – and his selfish wife posing as a barrier. The performances by Mohammad Ahmed and Marina Khan are the highlight so far, but it’s difficult to see parents being mistreated by their own children, so it remains to be seen how well the show itself fares. The greatest plus point? The use of “Jhoola” by Rahim Shah as the OST!