What works for “Daraar” is, more than anything, the fact that the story being told is one that a section of South Asian women can relate to. Sure, most South Asian women cannot claim to have been cheated on by their spouse by a cousin or sister – that would really be a terror. But how many women who have experienced unhappy, toxic, dishonest marriages, have faced a situation like this where their gut is telling them something is wrong while their “perfect life” and spouse provide false reassurance? This is the strength of “Daraar” – its ugly relatability. “Daraar” stars Syed Jibran, Amar Khan and Momal Sheikh in lead roles, the story has been written by Misbah Nosheen and directed by Shehrazade Sheikh.
In episode 31, Irha (Amar Khan) is now recovering after her child’s premature birth and a particularly difficult delivery. And while her Chachi is uncharacteristically (and refreshingly) kind and caring, recognizing the difficulty of this time and the enormity of the blessing Irha has been given in the form of a daughter, Sajal (Momal Sheikh) takes complete advantage of this situation. Sajal is a jealous woman, a woman who cannot stomach Irha being at the receiving end of attention from Shaheer (Syed Jibran)….despite the irony here that Sajal is, in fact, the other woman and is stealing her own cousin’s husband. Adding to the mix is now the arrival of Fatima, Irha and Shaheer’s daughter, who Sajal is treating kindly at the moment…..but for how long? Sajal is not one to share, even if it’s sharing a man with his own daughter.
Irha has never been dim though, picking up on negative vibes from Sajal early on and feeling uncomfortable regarding her presence around Shaheer – and yet, Shaheer, as a master manipulator, has eased her doubts every time and, instead, made Irha feel terrible for second-guessing him….the perfect case of gaslighting in a marriage. Fortunately, Irha’s senses are now on hyper-alert and she stumbles upon Shaheer and Sajal in a compromising position shortly after returning from the hospital. And while they (or so they think) successfully cover things up once again, Irha sets out to reclaim her space and is informed by the house help about what has been occurring right under her nose.
Amar Khan and Syed Jibran are wonderful in their roles. As an audience, you can connect with Irha and see Shaheer as the real predator that he is. These two actors deserve strong roles and good shows. Unfortunately, it’s Momal Sheikh as Sajal who is still the weakest link and appears horribly miscast….but we’ve gotten used to it. With Irha now set to confront Shaheer and Sajal, the story is raring to go…..though misery and heartbreak seem destined for Irha. Hopefully Irha will be the strong, confident heroine we know she is capable of being as a character and can ditch her unfaithful husband and move on – while destroying his finances in the process. Shaheer had put much of his property in Irha’s name and, hopefully, this will be a weapon Irha uses successfully against him. “Daraar” has much of the expected melodrama associated with it, but it also has a very strong, interesting story that keeps us, as viewers, hooked.