“Aye Musht E Khaak” has been winning audiences over with its unique storytelling. While the treatment of this Feroze Khan and Sana Javed starrer is slightly over the top and has become meme-worthy material, the storyline at the heart of it all is a strong one. What happens when two people with completely different wavelengths on religion, values and family are thrown together in marriage? The story has been written by Maha Malik and the drama directed by Aehsun Talish. If there’s anything we’ve learned about the male lead of “Aye Musht E Khaak” at this point, it’s that Mustajab (Feroze Khan) is a young man who is very self-centered, self-absorbed and has a temper. This is a young man who has been raised without a father and so, with that, he carries many issues with him. Add to that, he’s a man who has never actively learned about religion and doesn’t hold cultural values close either. He’s essentially the exact opposite of the woman he is now married to – Duaa (Sana Javed). Still, the two have been struggling to find a balance and understand each other….until the arrival of Shiza (Nimra Khan).
In episode 11, Mustajab has now decided to remain in Pakistan to keep Duaa and Shiza apart, but Shiza refuses to leave. She is yet another desperate character who cannot take no for an answer and wants a man to be with her against his will. Why is this becoming such a theme within Pakistani dramas? Women do not beg men to be with them, especially supposedly modern women from America who are successful. This is where the writing goes haywire a bit as they continue to play on “Americans are bad” tropes, with Shiza even throwing in a quip about how she’s Christian, so living together isn’t a problem for her. This isn’t the only problem with Shiza. Shiza is clearly dependent on Mustajab’s finances, so why isn’t she back in America doing what she should be doing…..working? She definitely does not have the freedom or the finances to fly across the ocean to chase a guy. That plane ticket also costs money, by the way. Can we stop with the stalker American girl cliché, please?
Of course, Mustajab, instead of going home and telling Duaa the truth, allows himself to be blackmailed and in order to cover up one lie, has to continuously lie. Things reach a head when Dayan (Asad Siddiqui) spots Mustajab and Shiza together and speaks to Shiza in detail about her past with his brother-in-law. Mustajab and Dayan get into a heated fight, leading to an exchange of words and fists, which is interrupted by Duaa. While Mustajab doesn’t tell Duaa the clear reason for the fight, he asks her to trust him and then flies to America. Meanwhile, Shakeela (Iffat Omer) accidentally lets it slip that Duaa shouldn’t let another girl in Mustajab’s past bother her.
This is a high-drama episode for many reasons. First, Mustajab is allowing himself to be blackmailed which is, as previously mentioned, ridiculous. If he would be honest with his wife, this dance of having to lie and cover up would be over. Instead, he’s not only sneaking around behind her back, he’s also physically and verbally assaulting her brother! Mustajab is a thoroughly toxic character and what makes him so fascinating is that he clearly wants his marriage to Duaa to work. He is committed. Every once in a while, Duaa and Mustajab share some really sweet moments (for example, at their wedding party) and it reminds the audience that these are two people who are newlyweds in love. But Mustajab doesn’t really recognize what love is or that it requires honesty. The way he tries to manipulate Duaa against her brother and instead of coming clean at that moment, instead takes one hundred promises from her to “only listen to him” speaks volumes that he is spinning out of control emotionally.
Feroze Khan is the heart and soul of this show, honestly. While Sana Javed is doing a good enough job playing her role of “good girl,” it’s Mustajab that is the well-layered, complicated character in this story. And while Mustajab a.k.a. “Bobby” has his silly, laughable moments, he also has these intense, angry moments that reveal just how conflicted (and again, toxic) he is – and with a lesser actor than Feroze Khan, this role would not have made the same impact. Overall, “Aye Musht E Khaak” continues to be that show which brings its audience back each week with two episodes a week simply not being enough.