“Chalawa” has managed to keep Pakistani drama audiences hooked with its story focusing on legends we’ve heard growing up, both culturally and religiously. The story follows Mahnoor, a mother with a “Chalawa” following her daughter, Savera, from birth. Now that Savera has grown up, things have intensified in their lives. 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 romantically involved with the chalawa while also being pursued by her cousin Sarosh.
Episode 13 of “Chalawa” is straightforward and doesn’t really pull any punches. The show has taken on a bizarre love story angle. The episode plays out like any typical Pakistani drama with a woman being chased by multiple suitors who don’t understand the concept of her consent. So at this point, not only is Sarnaash, the “chalawa” in love with Savera (Noor Khan), but her cousin Sarosh is also vying for her attention in an obnoxiously obsessive way. And to add to the pot, Savera herself has now fallen for Harib (his actual, true self minus Chalawa possession) – which is, of course, making both the “chalawa” and Sarosh insanely jealous. Further complicating matters, Sarosh is now on-and-off possessed by an entirely different chalawa as well, controlled and taking orders from Professor Hamdani (Adnan Jaffar).
Fortunately, amidst all this chaos, Gulkand, the gatekeeper, continues to faithfully watch over Savera and her family. Despite all of Professor Hamdani’s attempts, neither he nor (possessed) Sarosh are able to pass through to harm Savera. However, unfortunately, Sarosh being part of Savera’s family does work in their benefit and Sarosh makes it to Savera’s bedroom, madly searching for something before being interrupted by Savera herself. One would think with all of Savera’s powers, she would be able to sense that something is terribly wrong with Sarosh, the issue first and foremost being his presence in her bedroom – which wouldn’t be appropriate under any circumstance, possessed or not. The positive aspects of the episode revolve entirely around Harib and Savera’s relationship. Despite being stalked by the chalawa, who is visibly jealous, Savera manages to share some sweet, light-hearted moments with Harib and it’s nice to see this usually deadpan character crack a smile and live life like a normal university student. Ali Ansari is actually very lovable as Harib – but how long will Harib remain supportive? Will he stand by Savera and accept her with all her (supernatural) baggage?
“Chalawa” has, overall, taken on a very odd story. What initially really stood out as a refreshingly different “spooky” story has now turned into a love story sprinkled with the supernatural. The question one is left with is that it seemed clear to viewers that Savera and the “chalawa” were romantically linked – were they not? Savera is now acting as though he was only her “dost,” which is simply not true with the amount of obsession there. One really does wish the emphasis would switch back to Naveen Waqar and Samina Ahmed’s characters, as these ladies really held up the story with their acting and dedication. Ali Ansari is also doing well as both Harib and the chalawa, but the rest of the “newer” cast is ineffective. Hopefully the story will pick up in upcoming episodes.