“Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi” is a story presented by the Kashf Foundation, one that focuses on human trafficking and resilience in human beings, the ability to pick themselves up and begin anew. What’s refreshing about this show is that despite the grim experiences of its characters, it also provides a ray of hope, the promise of a future. Starring Yumna Zaidi, Wahaj Ali, Yasra Rizvi, Omair Rana, Nauman Ijaz, Samiya Mumtaz, Noor Ul Hassan and others, the story has been written by Amna Mufti and directed by Kashif Nisar.
In episode 21, Sumbal (Yumna Zaidi) and Jamshed (Wahaj Ali) have both arrived back home, grappling with the reality of their families. After all this time, they finally realize that their family life is now a closed book, something which existed in the past but no longer exists. Sumbal’s words to Savera when discussing her father are heartbreaking – how can one feel after “meeting” their father in a grave? How can one question a dead individual about their actions? Is there any closure? Still, if there’s any positive to come out of this situation, it’s that Jamshed and Sumbal have realized their “home” is in each other. Their “safe place” is together – and that’s as natural and realistic as a relationship can get. Wahaj Ali and Yumna Zaidi are both brilliant in this episode, as always. Yumna shines in her scene with Yasra Rizvi as she discusses her meeting with her father. Wahaj Ali is not only wonderful in his scenes with Yumna Zaidi as he comforts her and shows her hope for their future together, but also in his scene with Nauman Ijaz when he asks him to return the donation.
The highlight of the episode this week are the scenes between Naseem and Zulfi. After being caught by Zulfi at the office, Zulfi takes Naseem to the station and questions her before feeling sympathy for her plight – and being reminded of his own sister. This is where things become confusing. Zulfi calls Nauman Ijaz’s character and the two discuss Jamshed’s hesitancy towards the situation (taking donations??) before Zulfi decides to take Naseem to his own home. Here, it appears he will introduce her to his mother as…..his sister. What is Zulfi up to? Is this a ploy to keep Naseem safe and away from prying eyes? Or is there still potential for Zulfi to be on the wrong side of things? His conversation with “the boss” still arouses feelings of discomfort. Somehow, there is faith that Zulfi is one of the “good guys” and both he and Nauman Ijaz’s character are involved in a large-scale scheme to rescue victims of human trafficking. Omair Rana is a stand-out performer this week, really stealing the show in his scenes. Zulfi is not only a mysterious character, but he’s also a very endearing one, one that has the audience rooting for him despite being involved with a murky business. Also, someone please put out the name of the actress playing Naseem, because she is absolutely brilliant and a natural in these scenes. She performs well with Omair Rana and the two share nice chemistry.
Back at home, Najma (Samiya Mumtaz) and Qazi (Noor Ul Hassan) frantically “search” for Naseem. Najma and her daughters are quite the actresses, neither giving up Naseem’s whereabouts or giving any indication that they were aware of anything. If anything, her youngest sister throws the entire story for a spin when she insinuates that Sherwani (Kashif Mehmood) may have murdered Naseem. Najma and her daughters know that their only way out of this situation is to ensure they aren’t implicated in Naseem’s escape – and so they do everything in their power to cover their tracks. Samiya Mumtaz and Noor ul Hassan show their power as actors, both giving a great performance as two parents bickering over the disappearance of their child. Credit to the two younger actresses playing Naseem’s sisters who also play their roles convincingly.
Overall, “Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi” is brilliant as always this week. Amna Mufti’s writing goes from strength to strength and is well supported by Kashif Nisar’s direction. There isn’t any question about the content, it’s always a show worth watching. However, in recent episodes, the story has really picked up and now each episode ends leaving the audience wanting more. With the reveal regarding Nauman Ijaz’s character and Zulfi’s connection, how will this “friendship” play out? Are there more surprises in store? What will be Naseem’s place in Zulfi’s house? These are all things we will have to continue watching to find out.