“Habs” is a fan favorite, not only drawing in viewers due to its stellar lead pair, Feroze Khan and Ushna Shah, but also because of its depiction of reality. The scenarios in “Habs” are down to earth and realistic…..sometimes almost painfully so, particularly when dealing with Aisha’s family. And now, with thirteen episodes down, the story is truly beginning to take off as Basit and Aisha explore the realities of marriage and the complexities of emotions that are involved in making a marriage work. Along with the lead, the show also stars Saba Faisal, , Irsa Ghazal, Hina Rizvi, Javed Sheikh, Imran Aslam and others. The story has been written by Aliya Makhdoom and directed by Musaddiq Malek. Musaddiq Malek, in particular, has been winning praise due to his commendable efforts as director.
Episode 13 is a two-parter, most likely due to a new episode not airing last week, and it comes as a pleasant surprise to viewers with double the movement in story. In the first part, we can see Aisha (Ushna Shah) growing increasingly frustrated in her marriage to Basit (Feroze Khan), who is more than just a little emotionally distant. While Basit is kind in behavior, he refuses to allow Aisha to work, which hurts her self-respect. Adding to this is Basit’s constant claim that housework is not her responsibility, leaving Aisha feeling like a showpiece….a showpiece that one doesn’t even want to show off, considering Basit is also a no-show when Fahad (Musaddiq Malek) invites the couple out for dinner. This episode does a great job showing the silent build-up within Aisha, the anger, the discomfort, the resentment, and the feeling of being unwanted.
All of this eventually boils over in the second part of the episode when Aisha, in a moment of confrontation and frustration, asks Basit to divorce her since the purpose for which he got married has been fulfilled. Aisha is right in her place, wondering what her place is in this marriage when her husband doesn’t want anything to do with her – even sleeping in a different room. However, while Basit may be emotionally distant, he has been deeply hurt by his parents’ divorce – and this is his breaking point, raising his hand to Aisha at the suggestion of divorce. And while it’s a moment of anger and Basit does not actually strike Aisha, the movement is enough for Aisha to step back and walk away from the situation. After this point, we can see that Basit recognizes how he has messed up, in his own way, and attempts to make amends…..though somehow worsening things by ruining Zoya’s (Janice Tessa) proposal.
There are several points here that make “Habs” work as a show. First, while Basit and Aisha may be on different levels background-wise, Aisha refuses to be seen as “less.” She wants to retain her individuality, continue to support her family and be more than just a rich man’s wife. Meanwhile, Basit is not a bad person and he is not trying to be unkind, but has his own viewpoint. It’s this clash and rubbing together of rough edges that is causing friction between the two – and while it’s an uncomfortable situation for the two characters, it’s enjoyable to watch. This is, of course, made even better with Feroze Khan and Ushna Shah’s chemistry, which is due to both actors’ experience and acting ability while also being a fresh pairing. The moments between Aisha and Basit are moments where viewers cannot take their eyes off the screen and that’s high praise.
Of course, it’s the presentation that also works for “Habs,” along with the story. It has been a while since Pakistani drama audiences have had a story so deeply rooted in day-to-day life. Aisha’s family background and their struggles are relatable and even Basit’s life is not one that is unbelievable. He is rich, sure, but not in a way that is out of the realm of believability. The writing is excellent and everything from the direction, presentation, production values….it’s all appealing to the eyes while still being subtle. There is a lot to praise about “Habs,” but there isn’t any greater praise than simply saying “Habs” is a must-watch.