“Dil Na Umeed Tou Nahin” continues to earn praise from Pakistani drama viewers as it tells a story that’s different from all others and dares to tackle difficult subjects. The show 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. The show focuses on several important issues such as human trafficking, poverty, child abuse and dowry.
In episode 4, Sumbal (Yumna Zaidi) and Savera (Yasra Rizvi) continue their discussions over Ramsha’s disappearance and the unfairness of it all as Sumbal is unable to shake her feeling of dread and anger at Ramsha being sent with the abusive Pasha. There’s an eerie moment in this episode where Ramsha’s body is brought back as the household weeps over her death. The loudest of these mourners is “Auntie” as she loudly screams, cries dry tears and makes a slip of tongue over Ramsha’s heart attack before her body has even been examined. When called out by Sumbal, Sumbal is taken away screaming. The sweet Doctor Sahab quickly nods his approval, declaring the cause of death to be a heart attack. Savera tries to calm Sumbal, telling her to silence herself or she will be silenced just like Ramsha. Sumbal makes a telling comment about how all these people are involved, even Zulfi (Omair Rana), who only appears to be kind, but must also be a monster – because only monsters visit this place.
What’s jolting about this scene is that it highlights the abnormal lives Sumbal and Savera are living. Up until now, viewers have seen them being pampered, being treated kindly by Auntie and all her associates. Dr. Sahab seems incredibly sweet at the beginning of the episode, sharing a hearty laugh with Sumbal and allowing her to play with her phone. But this cute moment also has a dark shadow cast over it. Sumbal is unaware of how phones work in this day and age because Auntie does not allow them to have phones – or even much communication with the outside world. And while Dr. Sahab may seem sweet, kind-hearted and helpful, it becomes clear at the end of the episode that he’s Auntie’s accomplice in covering up the deaths of these young women. And as mentioned in previous reviews, while Zulfi may seem like someone loving and caring towards Sumbal (and Savera), he is also part of the larger picture. He works with Auntie and shares a bond with her, so he is complicit in the atrocities that surround these women.
Little Jamshed and Allah Raakhi’s story continues to move forward as well and it’s an interesting one, especially since, as viewers, we are aware that these are the past stories of Sumbal and Jamshed (Wahaj Ali). As Jamshed struggles financially – and receives beatings from his mother (Nadia Afgan) because of it, an emotional burden that should never be placed on a child -, he plots to run away with his friends. Unfortunately while sitting with Jamshed’s bad-charactered friends, Allah Raakhi slips and tells them where her father keeps the money they just got on loan for Saadia’s wedding. It’s sweet to see Jamshed’s protective nature as he interjects and chases her away before she can say more. But it’s too late and Allah Raakhi has spilled it all! This will not bode well for her family. These two child actors are so sweet, it’s wonderful to watch them on screen. There’s a moment where Saadia tells Allah Raakhi about her dreams, her desires to leave their village for something bigger and better. Her dreams include clothes, jewelry, perfume and cute things like red socks – small dreams that seem so big to her in her present condition. And it’s interesting to see that Sumbal now has all of these things, but she is miserable, wishing for the days where she had a goat (“tomato”) and was free in her small village.
The story with Naheed and Samiya Mumtaz’s character is confusing only because it’s not clear where they fit into the other storylines. And yet this story is important, because it highlights how society sees women and the importance of their education – which isn’t seen as important at all in many places. The attitudes of the men show how young girls have their wings clipped due to notions of “decency” and what’s appropriate or not. How many skeletons do these men hide in their own closets when speaking of decency?
It’s difficult to pin-point the best performances in such a show. Whether it’s Yumna Zaidi’s performance as the rebellious Sumbal, Yasra Rizvi’s performance as the confident yet obedient Savera or even Samiya Mumtaz’s performance as a mother who wants the best for her daughter, each and every actor is putting forth their best – including the young child performers! With Sumbal losing her mind in her present circumstances, it’s seen that she will attempt to run away in the next episode. Will she succeed? What is in store for all these characters in the next episode? We will have to wait to see, but it’s difficult to wait each week for such a great show.