“Dobara” is a show that has come along and blown away the Pakistani drama audience with its story. This drama revolves around Mehru, played by Hadiqa Kiani, a widow who discovers newfound freedom post her husband’s passing. Alongside Hadiqa Kiani, “Dobara” stars Bilal Abbas Khan, Javed Sheikh, Nauman Ejaz, Sakina Samo, Usama Khan, Nabeel Zuberi, Zoya Nasir, Sabeena Syed and others. The story has been written by Sarwat Nazir and directed by Danish Nawaz. In episode one, Hidayat (Nauman Ejaz) has just passed away and we see Mehru mourning in an odd way. It’s slowly revealed that Hidayat and Mehru’s perfect marriage was not at all what it seemed to be.
In episode 2, viewers are given a window into Mehru and Hidayat’s marriage. Mehru married Hidayat at an age when she was young, spirited and bursting with interests, dreams and desires. And yet, now married to a man twenty years older than her, she found her individuality being squashed, her personality erased. Abuse is not relegated to physically harming another individual. Mehru was forced into a marriage, stripped of any right to make decisions. She was treated like a trophy wife, told that her hobbies were inappropriate, her desire to study and drive a car unacceptable and basically made to be entirely dependent on Hidayat. Furthermore, at a time when she should have been in college, spending time with her friends, Mehru became a mother. While others found Mehru and Hidayat’s relationship to be sweet, doting and “marriage goals,” their marriage was anything but – and it appears as though Hidayat himself recognized this, which is why he, as a peace offering, left his entire wealth to Mehru.
This, of course, opens up a new world of issues. With Hidayat’s sister (Sakina Samo) after Hidayat’s wealth, Mehru proves to be more intelligent than others ever gave her credit for. She immediately asks Zameer (Nabeel Zuberi), her beloved son-in-law, to take charge of their business, not allowing room for foul play. Still, “Phupo” is unrelenting, determined to get a healthy portion of her brother’s wealth. Mehru’s children, for their part, are innocent kids, completely unaware of the true nature of their parents’ relationship. How will they react when the truth is revealed?
Mahir’s (Bilal Abbas Khan) story is equally as interesting, his track shedding light on the plight of children of divorced parents. This is a story that hits home personally, so it certainly leaves its mark. Mahir has been labeled as a thief by his mother (Angeline Malik) due to his stepfather’s constant complaints. But while his mother verbally thrashes him and kicks him out of her life, Mahir does pause for a moment to question if his mother ever asked why he takes the money. The question seems innocent enough at first, but there’s something deeper there. Mahir has constantly been mistreated by his stepmother as well, she going as far as to lock the freezer, fridge and cupboards to block Mahir’s access to food. He is not only made to feel like an outcast in his father’s home, but is also denied basic necessities. It’s true that children of divorce can find themselves caught between two families, especially when both parents move on and start new families. Where does Mahir fit in? Still, Mahir has the support of Naveen (Zoya Nasir), the woman he wishes to marry. But will his joblessness affect that relationship as well?
This is a Bilal Abbas Khan and Hadiqa Kiani show entirely. Thee two actors are performing brilliantly in their roles. Bilal Abbas Khan does a wonderful job enacting the role of Mahir, this young man who harbors deep feelings of abandonment and neglect, but masks it with a goofy, light-hearted exterior. Hadiqa Kiani is wonderful as a mother who has responsibilities of her own, but has discovered that she now has the freedom to truly live her life as she always wanted to. Her marriage was a shackle and that shackle has not only been removed, but has given her a position of financial power as well. It will be interesting to see how Mehru and Mahir come together, as both these characters come with their share of pain. One thing is certain – “Dobara” has quickly pushed itself up to the top dramas bracket within two epsiodes.