“Dil Na Umeed To Nahin” may be heavy viewing, focusing on realistic, serious issues, but it’s not only essential viewing, it’s also presented in a way that makes it enjoyable to watch – if enjoyable could be the right word. Presented by the Kashf Foundation, “Dil Na Umeed To Nahin” has been written by Amna Mufi, directed by Kashif Nisar and stars Yumna Zaidi, Wahaj Ali, Noman Ejaz, Samiya Mumtaz, Yasra Rizvi and Noor Ul Hassan in lead roles. Last we saw, Sumbal has desperately been dreaming of a different life for herself and has become fixated on the arrival of another young girl, unwilling to see her relive Sumbal’s own experiences.
In episode 11, Sumbal (Yumna Zaidi), Savera (Yasra Rizvi) and young Sadia are taken to a party by Adnan Shah Tipu’s character, Akram. Up until now, Akram has been seen as a heartless enforcer, almost a security guard put in place to keep the girls in check. And yet, in this episode, we see that Akram appears to have a soft side for Savera. But do not be fooled; soft spot or not, Akram is an animal, trained to treat these women as property, a means for financial gain – and Adnan Shah Tipu is doing an incredible job in this role. Once at the party, Sumbal realizes what’s about to happen to Sadia as she’s been drugged in a bedroom upstairs and chooses that moment to make her escape, taking the young girl and making a run for it – only to wind up in Zulfi’s (Omair Rana) car. Zulfi is a complex character, as it’s not clear where he stands. But Zulfi seems to be kind-hearted and while he’s shocked to find the girls in his car, he does his best to get them past the barriers to safety. Unfortunately, Akram finds them in his car and when the girls make their escape, Akram shoots Sadia in the leg. One would think this is the end of such plans for Sumbal and Sadia, but there’s a surprising twist – someone poisons Madam’s (Navid Shahzad) tea and while the entire household is frantic in helping her, Sumbal and Sadia make their second escape attempt of the night. Who spiked the tea? There are two main suspects (for viewers) – Zulfi, still upholding his promise to help, or Savera, finally taking pity on her friend.
Coming to Jamshed, we see a grown up Jamshed (Wahaj Ali) reminiscing about his past life. Little Jamshed continues to work as domesticated help and his boss is rather demanding. The real tragedy of his situation is felt when the woman’s own two children arrive home, two boys around Jamshed’s age, and are smothered with love by their mother and taken into the house – as she calls to Jamshed to get the boys bags from the car. The boys initially seem to consider Jamshed a friend of sorts, talking to him and getting to know him – but these boys come from different backgrounds and think less of Jamshed, as their parents see him as less, so it’s revealed that the boys use Jamshed to do their homework for them. It’s heartbreaking to see Jamshed’s circumstances, as Jamshed appeared to be happier even in jail than at present. How many kids suffer through this reality? There are so many children who work in households as the household help, watching the kids of the house living their childhood, a life these other children can only dream of as they spend their own childhood working.
Fortunately, there’s a savior in sight for Jamshed, a neighbor who spots Jamshed through his window and is seen placing a phone call, requesting information on how to save this young boy from his fate. We already know Noman Ejaz’s character winds up being Jamshed’s father-figure, so the light can now be seen at the end of the tunnel. The little boy playing Jamshed genuinely deserves applause for how well he’s acting. He has won viewers over with his performance.
Little Naheed’s story continues as she and her team prepare for their tournaments against other schools, her mother and sisters helping at home, hidden from her father. Unfortunately, men like Sherwani Sahab are a danger to society. Filling Naheed’s father’s (Noor Ul Hassan) head with ideas of domesticating his daughters and pulling them out of school and protesting against the literature they read (fairy tales), he has no problem implying that he would love to remarry again – insinuating that he would like to marry a young girl rather than a widow or divorcee. This is a character that makes the skin crawl and one has to wonder what Naheed’s fate will be. Will she be able to achieve her dreams or will she be forced into life as a child bride?
There isn’t one single performance in “Dil Na Umeed To Nahin” to praise. Each and every actor is doing a brilliant job, whether it’s Yumna Zaidi, Yasra Rizvi, Adnan Tipu Shah, Omair Rana, Savera Nadeem, Navin Shahzad and especially the child actors. While many complain about the lack of production quality, the content more than makes up for it and this drama is classified as essential viewing. The next episode seems to show that Akram is the one who poisoned Madam, in hopes to take over the “kotha” himself. Knowing his nature, this will be a dangerous situation for the woman.