“Bikhray Moti” follows the plight of neglected children and highlights the importance of proper parenting. Starring Neelum Munir, Wahaj Ali, Yasir Nawaz, Samina Ahmed and others, abuses towards children is the central focus of the show and, for the most part, this drama has managed to portray these scenarios effectively without resorting to cheap tactics and/or shock value. In episode 16, Aiza and Zulfi went to Hyderabad to bring Jaanu home after he was found bound after being assaulted. While Zulfi has been a terror of a character, it’s unfortunate that a terrible incident had to be the trigger for his turning point.
In episode 17, Aiza and Zulfi grapple with their emotions while planning for how to help Jaanu out of his trauma and prepare him to move forward. Unfortunately, Aiza and Zulfi’s grief does not end here and fate has much more in store for them. Upon their arrival home, Aiza notices Shehzaadi’s absence and has a war of words with her mother-in-law (Samina Ahmed) who informs the two that she has married Shehzaadi off in their absence – and refuses to divulge her whereabouts before leaving the house in anger. This is a messy situation, because the parents are now completely unaware as to where their daughter is and Zulfi’s mother is a greedy troublemaker from hell. It’s almost applause-worthy to see Zulfi speak negatively of his mother, realizing how she has betrayed him.
The psychological scars left on Jaanu post-attack are now beginning to manifest in ways that present themselves as hindrances towards living a “normal” life. He fears leaving the house, scared that he will be abandoned. He has lost his trust in those around him and as much as he wants to trust his loved ones, he has built up walls around him. The young actor playing Jaanu has been a star from the start, but in this episode, he excels at depicting Jaanu’s pain, confusion and discomfort, allowing the audience to absorb the situation and the difficulties that lie ahead for Jaanu.
Shehzaadi is now married to her best friend’s father, played by Salim Mairaj, in a cruel twist of fate. Though he appears to be a loving father, the man is not a kind one, armed with a heap of expectations that he throws on Shehzaadi on the first day alone. He makes it clear that while his daughter may have been her friend in the past, he now expects her to treat her like her own daughter, taking on her responsibility – as well as the responsibility of caring for his sick first wife. Shehzaadi’s future looks bleak and it’s miserable to imagine this is her fate in exchange for her grandmother’s greed.
When this show first began, I honestly did not believe there would be any sort of redemption possible for Zulfi. Is it possible to forgive an abusive husband and father? Is it possible to look past all the terrible traits, including pure neglect towards his children, to find good in a character? The answer seemed to be a clear no; however, Zulfi’s character has seen a lot of growth post episode 14. Zulfi has suddenly turned into a character to sympathize with, a character who was put under his mother and brother’s thumb, brainwashed against his own family and talked out of behaving like a good husband/father to Faiza and his children. Now is Zulfi a young 5 year old child? No, he is a grown man and is responsible for his actions, actions which were despicable. But when one acknowledges the terrible behavior and repents, isn’t it possible to forgive? Yasir Nawaz is doing a brilliant job playing Zulfi, showing this character’s transformation in a realistic way without trying to turn him into a “hero” overnight. The question remains though – will Aiza be allowed to find happiness with Ahad (Wahaj Ali), a man who is still hopelessly in love with her and waiting for her, or will she be forced to follow societal (oppressive) rules and find “happiness” with her ex-brother-in-law-now-husband?
Ideally, it would be great to see Aiza break away from Zulfi respectfully to be with Ahad while Zulfi finally becomes the father his children have always deserved. But that may just be asking for too much as a viewer. “Bikhray Moti” is a show that has been heavy to watch but has managed to reel viewers in week after week with believable characters and complex situations. It will be interesting to see how this show plays out ultimately.