“Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi” is a show that goes from strength to strength as the episodes progress, telling a story based on the grim reality in our world – and yet, also depicts the path towards positivity and recovery. Starring Sumbal Iqbal, Wahaj Ali, Yasra Rizvi, Omair Rana, Nauman Ijaz, Samiya Mumtaz, Noor Ul Hassan, Kashif Mehmood and others, the story has been written by Amna Mufti and directed by Kashif Nisar. In recent weeks, “Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi” has taken a turn as Sumbal and Savera have escaped their circumstances and reached safety in the city.
Sumbal (Yumna Zaidi), Savera (Yasra Rizvi) and Jimmy (Wahaj Ali) are all worried when Ikram (Adnan Shah Tipu) is seen on the premises. Worried that Ikram will come after the girls, the trio plus Jimmy’s adoptive father (Nauman Ijaz – have we ever heard his character’s name?) try to take safety measures and even discuss going to the media. However, this is soon scrapped as they wonder if this gang controls the media as well. Later, after watching Jimmy shooting his vlog, Sumbal asks him if she can make a video herself to tell her story and put it out for all to hear. Jimmy encourages her, but she decides she wants to visit her village beforehand, believing she will be killed after exposing the gang.
Life isn’t stagnant, it moves along with time and so do places. So it’s not surprising when Jimmy and Sumbal return to their childhood roots and find that their village paths have been replaced with concrete roads, the village that belonged to Rakshi and Jamshed not particularly recognizable. These sequences and moments of bonding between Jamshed and Rakshi are so sweet, the two being taken back in time to a place of innocence. It’s surprising that Jimmy never bothered to return home to check on his mother. Why? Wahaj Ali and Yumna Zaidi are brilliant in these scenes, making it feel as though old friends have been reunited and are taking a trip down memory lane together.
While Qazi (Noor Ul Hassan) and Sherwani (Kashif Mehmood) are making wedding plans for Naseem, Naseem is making her own plans. Naseem has been raised in her oppressive, conservative, close-minded environment for so long, she has learned how to manipulate it to her advantage – and so she does. While out shopping with Sherwani, she asks him to buy her gold, clothing and other things that will be of use to her on her upcoming adventure. She applies for (and receives) her passport to leave for Dubai where a sports camp for cricket-playing girls is conducted. Knowing that cricket is her goal in life, Naseem plans to escape to Dubai before her marriage takes place. While Najma (Samiya Mumtaz) supports her in her decisions, one has to take pause and wonder what will happen when Naseem escapes? Will one of her (much younger) sisters be forced to sit in her place or will this truly be Sherwani’s “defeat”? It’s great to see a ray of hope in this storyline, one that was starting to look grim. Yet, there’s still a part that wonders if Naseem is falling into a trap. Is her camp a legitimate camp? One wants to see the positive in where this story is headed, but seeing the other storylines, it’s hard to wholeheartedly expect happiness.
The most interesting aspect of this episode is Zulfi (Omair Rana), a character who continues to keep the audience on their toes. What is he about? Who is he working for? It’s clear that he has a sister who went missing at the hands of this gang (or maybe one that’s similar), but what is his final desired outcome? Is he still searching for his sister – and who is she? His mother states that she went on a trip to Dubai (which is why the suspicion regarding Naseem arises) and never came back, which means she was old enough to not be Savera (who was a child when she came to Suraiyya). Also, while we hear Zulfi plotting with the gang on how to cover their tracks, at the end of the episode, we hear Zulfi on the phone speaking potentially as an undercover cop? Could this be a possibility? Zulfi is a character viewers haven’t been able to figure out and the mystery around him is slowly dissolving as more becomes known. Omair Rana is the perfect choice for this role.
Overall, “Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi” continues to be one of the more meaningful shows on air. This is a quality project that leaves the audience wanting more each week. How will Sumbal and Jimmy’s trip to the village pan out next week? Will this trip down memory lane unleash new trauma?