“Bikhray Moti” is a show that has been consistent from episode one. The subject focused on children and how nurturing (or lack of) can affect children, mentally, physically and through outside factors. It’s no surprise then that the subject matter of this show has been heavy. Starring Neelam Muneer, Wahaj Ali, Yasir Nawaz, Samina Ahmed and others, this has been a show with powerful performances, has been written by Edison Idrees and directed by Shahid Shafaat. To say “Bikhray Moti” is an underrated show would be an understatement in itself.
The finale begins where episode 24 left off, repeating some scenes. Gulzar (Wasim Abbas) has been terrible to his wife and children throughout their lives together, but in his old age, he now realizes what loneliness is and has acknowledged his bad behaviors. Shehnaaz (Shaista Jabeen) left Gulzar by choice and, when she returns, she returns to him by choice. She recognizes that he has changed and the two promise to spend the rest of their lives together, enjoying what is left of it. This is an endearing and powerful scene that shows the importance of love, respect and companionship in old age. Wasim Abbas and Shaista Jabeen have both done complete justice to their roles, both characters having a strong graph of growth, bringing these characters to a point of peace.
Zulfi (Yasir Nawaz), for his part, is well aware that Ayeza (Neelam Muneer) can do better than him and is worthy of a strong partner. Thinking back on all the mistakes he has made and how badly he treated Faiza, Zulfi apologizes to Ayeza and promises to be a good husband and father – and yet, it’s admirable that he opens the door for her to leave if that’s what she wants. This is Zulfi’s true moment of redemption. Up until now, Zulfi has shown incredible growth as a character, having the best arc of all the characters on the show. Going from an abusive husband and druggie to a loving father and partner is one that could be unbelievable and most viewers, myself included, did not believe it would ever be possible to root for Zulfi. And yet, the way his character progresses throughout the show and improves himself as a human being is commendable. He does not have an easy transition and it doesn’t happen overnight. There are relapses, blunders, overreactions, jealousy and much more, but Zulfi does, ultimately, come out victorious on the other side, proving to his children (and his wife) that he is capable of being a good man. And when Zulfi finally puts that jealousy aside and gives Ayeza the option to leave is when Zulfi’s transformation feels complete. This is also the moment where Ayeza realizes she is now committed and, as Zulfi falls ill, she realizes more than ever that Zulfi and the children need her and she is bound to this new version of family.
Wahaj Ali has done an incredible job playing Ahad. On the surface, Ahad seems like a “throwaway” character, a character that was once important in Ayeza’s life, but goes on to just be her “ex.” But Ahad does not fit into that stereotypical mold we often see in Pakistani dramas. Ahad has loved Ayeza unconditionally and has been her support system, irrespective of their situations. Even after Ayeza gets married, he continues to love her, asking her to leave Zulfi, promising to care for both her and the kids like their own father would. Ahad’s love for Ayeza is pure, devoted and she has been all he has ever wanted. In a way, Ahad’s love for Ayeza is untainted by the burdens of the world and, while he is a street-smart guy, his love retains a certain innocence – an innocence and naivety Ayeza has lost along the way in life. While Ahad only wants to be with Ayeza and begs and pleads for her to leave her present behind for their future, Ayeza is well aware that the burden of her responsibilities will not allow her to move in that direction. Still, it’s beautiful to see that despite everything, Ahad does not curse Ayeza and understands where she is coming from, wishing only happiness for her in life while his own heart is breaking. Wahaj Ali has turned Ahad into a highly lovable character, one with different shades while still being an all-around great guy.
Neelam Muneer has carried this entire show on her shoulders, being the focal point of the show and the character who is present in the majority of scenes – and she does not let the viewer down for a moment. Ayeza has been a beautiful, independent, progressive-minded woman who does fall victim to society and its demands, but still manages to do things on her own terms. More than anything, it has been great to see how a female character can fight for herself and her loved ones with her voice and intelligence. Idealistically, it would have been great to see progressive thoughts come into play here with Ayeza getting her happy ending with Ahad. But with children involved and an ill Zulfi, would this really have been possible in the real world? The answer is no and so, despite feeling terrible for Ahad, the ending came across as realistic and leaves the viewer feeling satisfied. Of course, one cannot wrap up a review on this show without mentioning the two very talented child actors who play Jaanu and Shehzaadi. Anas Yaseen in particular, playing the role of Jaanu, is a stand-out performer and is a star in the making. It is a point to be noted that “Bikhray Moti” had a run of 25 episodes and not one episode felt like a filler. This is writing done right, so credit must be given to writer Edison Idrees, along with director Shahid Shafaat. Overall, “Bikhray Moti” has emerged as a gem of a show, one absolutely worth watching with a solid story and interesting characters.