“Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahin” is easily the best show on television at the moment, not only providing viewers with an interesting story, but also one that’s meaningful. This is a true depiction of what this part of society experiences in their day-to-day lives. Written by Amna Mufi and directed by Kashif Nisar, this drama stars Yumna Zaidi, Wahaj Ali, Noman Ejaz, Samiya Mumtaz, Yasra Rizvi and Noor Ul Hassan in lead roles. This is a drama that is poetic in its misery, beautiful in its tragedy – and yet, despite it all, that glimmer of hope continues to flicker for all its lead characters.
In episode 12, we see Sumbal (Yumna Zaidi) and Sadia run away after Suraiyya (Navid Shahzad) is poisoned. Unfortunately, while it seems this is their moment, racing towards the light, Sumbal makes a terrible mistake – she trusts the local law enforcement, which is working with this human trafficking network. Of course, Ikram (Adnan Shah Tipu) makes his way there and retrieves the girls. The house has fallen under Ikram’s command as Suraiyya is recovering, but it’s evident that this would be the worst case scenario for Ikram to rule this business. Could this be a possibility down the line? And would this be the push for Savera (Yasra Rizvi) and the other girls to finally revolt and make their escape? It does seem as though Sumbal has a friend in Nizami Sahab. Will he ultimately be the one to help Sumbal escape her circumstances? Yumna Zaidi, Navid Shahzad and Yasra Rizvi are all wonderful in this story, as is Adnan Shah Tipu. Every actor is doing a wonderful job. Zulfi (Omair Rana) continues to be a mysterious sort of character and one does have to stop and wonder if Zulfi has much more to do with the actual business than he’s letting on?
Sumbal places several calls to Jamshed, asking him to help her escape from the home the girls are being held in, but is forced to hang up prematurely. Jamshed’s story is one that we all know ends happily as we see him in grown-up form, being played by Wahaj Ali. Jamshed has been through his share of grief and continues to work hard as domestic help for a family – but there’s something so wonderful about knowing there’s a happy ending in sight for this young boy. Jamshed is being mistreated by the lady of the house and even her children take advantage of him, often leaving him in tears, wishing he could live his life like other kids do. Jamshed is education-driven, but has never been given the chance to progress. Now he has a supporter in Noman Ijaz’s character, a kind-hearted man who has begun to question whether it’s legal for him to be working. He approaches Jamshed in this episode, asking him about his background and age, which reassures viewers that it won’t be long before Jamshed is safely out of this house.
Young Naseem’s story is one that has been one of a more uplifting nature in comparison to the other stories – up until now, that is. Naseem’s story has been one of optimism, rising above one’s conditions, aspiring to do something “bigger” in life. Naseem comes rom a middle-class background and while Naseem and her sisters don’t necessarily seem to want for anything financially, it’s the lack of support from the males in their lives that serve as their shackles. Naseem’s greatest dream is to play sports professionally for Pakistan and her current school has been fostering that dream, encouraging not only Naseem, but her classmates as well to play for the school team. However, just as their dreams are beginning to come true with their first match against another school team set to take place, Sherwani (Kashif Mehmood) puts yet anther plan into motion. Naseem’s father, Qazi Sahab (Noor Ul Hassan) is an easily influenced man and he, along with the mother men in the neighborhood, have all fallen under Sherwani’s influence. It seems as though Sherwani is now ready to remarry and has set his sights on one of Qazi Sahab’s young, minor daughters – most likely Naseem. Barging into Qazi’s house, he pushes him to ransack his daughters’ room and Qazi discovers his daughters’ sports equipment and pom-poms, despite Naseem’s mother’s protests (Samiya Mumtaz). Naseem’s mother is Naseem’s true supporter, a woman who has done everything to encourage her daughter’s interests along with pursuing quality education for her girls. She’s a progressive-minded woman trapped with a small-minded man and while she wants the best for her daughters, her husband and the meddling Sherwani threaten to undo all her efforts. Sports are canceled at Naseem’s school for the time-being and Naseem’s future as a sportswoman look bleak. Will she fall prey to Sherwani’s intentions or will she be able to rise above her societal circumstances? Samiya Mumtaz, Noor Ul Hassan and Kashif Mehmood are wonderful in their roles in this track, each bringing their role to life.
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The beauty of “Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi” continues to lie in its heartbreaking realism. These characters were not born into their circumstances, they simply find themselves there and are now fighting against those circumstances, hoping for a better future. Each and every member of the cast is doing a brilliant job in their roles, it becomes difficult to find the words for praise week after week. Despite the grim nature of the stories, hope lurks on the horizon for Sumbal, Jamshed and Naseem. It is possible to overcome tragedy – It’s simply a matter of when?