A Feroze Khan starrer promises intrigue and “Aye Musht e Khaak” is no less. But is this yet another toxic romance? Directed by Aehsun Talish and written by Maha Malik, “Aye Musht E Khaak” stars Feroze Khan, Sana Javed, Asad Siddiqui, Shabbir Jan, Shahood Alvi, Iffat Omer, Sadaf Ahshan and others. The first two episodes of this drama were fairly unimpressive, but things do pick up this week with episodes 3 and 4.
In episodes 3 & 4, Duaa (Sana Javed) has now agreed to marry Mustajab (Feroze Khan) and the two are seemingly in love. Still, we as an audience know something is not right with Mustajab. But what exactly is wrong? Mustajab wants to get married immediately, which makes Duaa and her family uncomfortable, wondering why he can’t wait patiently. There’s a moment between Duaa and Mustajab (this is such an odd name) that highlights the differences between the two when Mustajab does not understand what “mahram” means. While Duaa laughingly explains it to him, he retorts that he wants to be her “mahram” as soon as possible, so he can touch her. This visibly makes Duaa uncomfortable – and viewers too. While it initially seemed as though Mustajab was using Duaa, getting some sort of revenge on her – things seem different in this episode. He does appear to have feelings for her – but are they of lust? Is it ego? Is it a thought of “ownership”?
There’s a very important scene that takes place between Mustajab and his mother, played by Iffat Omer, as they discuss their lie to Duaa’s family about Mustajab not moving abroad. This is a very telling scene as to why Mustajab is the way he is. His mother explains to him that the families of girls always compromise to get their daughters married and will work hard to ensure Duaa’s marriage is strong. Duaa will compromise, because she is a girl and that is her “job” as a good Pakistani girl. This attitude is why young men in the subcontinent believe they can misbehave with women and treat them like objects – because women are not their equals. They are lesser beings. And this is a thought Mustajab is getting directly from his mother, another female. It’s no wonder then that when Dayaan visits Mustajab and his mother to pass on Duaa’s message to take it slow and not rush the wedding, Mustajab has a snapping moment. He speaks very nastily about Duaa, leaving Dayaan shocked, along with his own mother who tries to rectify things.
The relationship between Duaa and Dayaan has been a weird brother-sister relationship up until now. Siblings don’t behave like this. They do not act like boyfriend-girlfriend and have clear-cut boundaries, which this relationship has not had. However, they bring it back to reality in this episode and it’s wonderful to see Dayaan stand up for his sister and not only advise her to break off this engagement, but also tells his parents that this is not the right person for Duaa. He is level-headed and is looking out for his sister – the way any rational-minded sibling would. But will Mustajab and his mother accept “no” again? And, more importantly, will Duaa? At this point, it appears that Duaa is in love with Mustajab and wants to be his wife. But is she setting herself up for disaster?
What stands out about “Aye Musht E Khaak” is the chemistry Sana Javed and Feroze Khan share, chemistry we’ve seen in past shows like Khaani and Romeo Weds Heer. The scenes they share together as Mustajab and Duaa bring a smile to the face – until we remember that it’s all a ploy on Mustajab’s part. But what exactly is Mustajab’s plan? What is his endgame? And why are we, as an audience, always deprived of sweet, genuine love stories? While seeing Feroze Khan in intense roles is great, this is a man who shares amazing chemistry with most of his co-stars, whether it be Sana, Hania Aamir or Iqra Aziz – and yet, rarely do his characters get a happy ending. Intense romances can also be happy – and this is something our writers need to recognize. Feroze Khan is doing a great job in his role, as usual, though it seemed forced at first. Sana Javed is going a bit overboard with her “sweet” act, lowering her tone to an uncomfortable level, making Duaa unbelievably saintly. “Aye Musht E Khaak” is interesting enough at this point, but there are so many red flags that it’s frustrating to watch Duaa’s family allow their daughter to step into this chaos – and we are all aware that it will be chaos…..to put it lightly. Still, we will have to see how this unfolds.