It has always been a personal habit to hold off on judging shows too harshly, no matter how much the show many be “asking for it.” “Aye Musht E Khaak,” starring Feroze Khan and Sana Javed in lead roles, focuses on the love story and marriage of two individuals on very different tracks pertaining to religion – one a true believer of Islam and the other an atheist. While the show has been consistently on the melodramatic side in terms of treatment, it started off with a bang, immediately pulling viewers in with its interesting story and “out there” hero. Love it or hate it, “Aye Musht E Khaak” has not been a show to ignore. And yet, once Mustajab set out on his path to get “revenge” from Duaa, many viewers began to see the show as getting off track and falling victim to the dreaded stretching of Geo dramas. Written by Maha Malik and directed by Aehsun Talish, “Aye Musht E Khaak” has been finding its way back in the last few episodes and, with the finale, ends on a high note.
In the finale, Duaa (Sana Javed) and Mustajab (Feroze Khan) come face-to-face with Mustajab begging Duaa to marry Taqi (Danial Afzal Khan), asking Duaa to pray that they can both forget the love they share. Mustajab is bound by his vow to God, the vow he made while begging God to spare Duaa’s life. While his behavior may seem cold, it is taking every bit of restraint for Mustajab to pass this test, turning away the woman he loves more than anything else on earth. Fortunately, this reality is not lost on Taqi and he stops his own wedding, asking Mustajab to take his place. This may seem like a huge sacrifice on Taqi’s part, but what sort of man would want to always live in the shadow of the man his wife truly loves? Taqi and Duaa both deserve better. There’s a beautiful moment after Mustajab breaks down, feeling he is failing his test, where the Maulana Sahab (Shabbir Jan) bestows him with some knowledge. Leading up to this episode, it began to feel as though “Aye Musht E Khaak” was casting Islam in a harsh light, not recognizing that individuals are expected to carry “Deen” and “Dunya” together and many, myself included, feared that Mustajab would forsake the world to live out his life as a religious man. Fortunately, “Aye Musht E Khaak” takes a different turn – the right turn. The Maulana Sahab explains to Mustajab that while God tests us, he also rewards us after such tests – and Mustajab’s greatest reward, his greatest gift, is Duaa. It’s in this realization that Mustajab finally finds peace and, of course, happiness with Duaa. The episode ends in a beautiful moment with Duaa and Mustajab praying together, thanking God for their togetherness.
This show speaks to the brilliance of Feroze Khan’s acting. Many take his acting talent for granted or may overlook it due to personal feelings towards his off-screen persona, but the fact remains that Feroze Khan is a stellar actor. When the show began, Feroze Khan depicted “Bobby” in such a way that it took viewers by surprise – the arrogance, the flamboyance, the narcissism…..and yet, it was so believable that it took the internet by storm with memes. Bobby did not feel like a forced character – he felt like an out-of-control, rebellious, stubborn young man with anger issues. And yet, somewhere down the line, viewers were never really able to pin-point when Bobby became Mustajab – and that journey has been beautiful. When Mustajab finally gets the woman of his dreams, the woman he has loved (and sacrificed) for so long, that look of peace on his face…..that is Feroze Khan’s talent. The audience can feel Mustajab’s relief and happiness from within. This is difficult to pull off, to make the audience go from despising a character to rooting for him, crying with him and feeling for him in the end. And Feroze Khan does pull it off, showing the transformation from the messed up, manipulative “Bobby” to the pure soul he evolves in to.
Sana Javed is great as Duaa. When the show first began, both Duaa and Dayaan (Asad Siddiqui) came across as judgmental individuals who were gatekeepers of religion. However, over time, particularly after Duaa’s divorce, we could see Duaa softening and her beliefs being molded into a softer understanding of religion. However, it is in the moment when Mustajab confesses his reality, his ill intentions after Duaa’s recovery, that both Duaa and Dayaan are redeemed completely. Their understanding behavior and desire to forgive Mustajab’s shortcomings prove that even if we are pure and “good,” there is always room for improvement for us as individuals. And this is where Sana Javed excels as Duaa, in her transformation from a one-track mided individual to one who is well-rounded and empathetic. Asad Siddiqui potentially has found his most likable role in Dayaan, a protective brother who ultimately realizes his sister’s happiness is above his notions of right and wrong.
This story started off on a high and ends on a high note as well, bringing the audience to tears with a beautiful love story. This is surprising, because many felt that Duaa and Mustajab should never be endgame – and somehow, the redemption arc has been so compelling and convincing that we all found ourselves changing our minds, believing in this love story and hoping for these two individuals to find happiness in each other again. Overall, “Aye Musht E Khaak” has been a rollercoaster of a ride – and a thoroughly enjoyable one. It went off course for a bit, losing momentum in the middle, but managed to find its way back. “Aye Musht E Khaak” is not just a love story, but the story of a man finding God through love – and that’s what makes it beautiful.