“Chalawa” is the only currently-running “horror” story on television. “Chalawa” focuses on the legends and folklore we’ve heard growing up in South Asian society, which allows the audience to connect with it on a level. This story is engaging and each episode builds upon the last. Starring Naveen Waqar, Samina Ahmed, Naveed Raza, Ali Ansari and Noor Khan, “Chalawa” has been written by Shahid Nizami and directed by Najaf Bilgrami. In the last episode, we saw Savera grow up and Noor Khan and Ali Ansari take over the “grown up” roles of Savera and Sarnaash.
Episode 10 begins with Savera (Noor Khan) spotting Harib (Ali Ansari) in her backyard next to the swing, but he’s gone in the next moment. This leaves Savera wondering if Harib is what he seems to be. Later, it’s revealed to the audience that Harib is a generally happy, good-natured man, but something takes over his body, not only transforming his personality into one of anger, but also rendering him unconscious at times. When his mother finds him in a trance, writing in Hindi, she has Savera called to take a look. Savera is shocked when she sees Harib, the man she has been growing close to over the last few days, and it doesn’t take any time for Harib to begin speaking to her – as Sarnaash.
Sarnaash has been freed from Professor Hamdani (Adnan Jaffar), who is still searching for him. Savera declares her love for Sarnaash and the two share a strangely “romantic” moment, which leaves the viewer feeling mildly disturbed considering Sarnaash has technically taken over Harib’s body. This feels like a betrayal of another being considering Harib would obviously like to live his own life and this is essentially possession, which Savera is “supporting.”
In all this, Savera and Mahnoor’s (Naveen Waqar) relationship has never recovered after the “possession.” Savera blames Mahnoor for Saraansh’s disappearance. On the other end, Mahnoor explains to Savera that her father, Aamir, could also communicate with Jinns and spirts and it is this very talent that ended up taking his life when the spirits came back to attack him. Savera’s cousin Sarosh is interested in Savera and while Sarosh is adamant about marrying Savera, his mother is set against it considering she knows Savera performs exorcisms. Sarosh is fairly meddlesome, considering he knows Savera likes Harib. But who is the viewer supposed to root for, considering Savera and “Harib” (Saraansh) are in a pretty strange love story.
Professor Hamdani returns at the end of the episode, meeting with Mahnoor and telling her that her family is in danger. Of course, that danger could potentially be coming from him, since we do not know what exactly his endgame is and Gulkand has warned Mahnoor several times and continues to do so. “Chalawa” manages to be refreshingly different and is, so far, telling a believable story (as far as the supernatural goes). Ali Ansari deserves some applause here, because this role was clearly made for him. He fits in here perfectly, along with Adnan Jaffar. Naveen Waqar and Noor Khan are performing well. Overall, “Chalawa” is an eerily enjoyable experience.