“Habs” has been winning viewers over not only with its lead pair’s chemistry, but also with the subtle way the content has been presented and its realistic, relatable characters. Starring Feroze Khan and Ushna Shah in lead roles, Saba Faisal, Hina Rizvi, Imran Aslam, Janice Tessa and others. The story has been written by Aliya Makhdoom and directed by Musaddiq Malek, both earning praise from the audience each week with their work.
Unfortunately, with episode 18, “Habs” finally hits that questionable point where the story and the characters within the story begin behaving in a way that does not sit well with viewers. Episode 18 revolves around Zoya’s (Janice Tessa) escape and the chaos that she leaves behind. Qudsia (Saba Faisal) is hysterical, wondering how her daughter could have deceived her like this while also worrying about Zoya’s to-be in-laws, as Zoya has taken all the jewelry and clothing gifted by them. Each family member reacts in a different way, but it’s Bobby’s (Hina Rizvi) reaction that leaves the greatest impact. As she attempts to calm Qudsia down, she asks what she would have lost had she simply let Zoya marry the man of her choice to begin with. She laments her own situation and points fingers at Qudsia for stopping her wedding years earlier, stating she stands behind Zoya for finding her own happiness. The concept of “right” and “wrong” rests on a wafer thin thread and while Qudsia believes Zoya has “ruined” the family, Bobby believes she has set herself free.
Where the problem with the episode comes in is within Aisha’s (Ushna Shah) reaction. In our culture, the word “emotional affair” is unheard of considering “affair” in itself is a dirty word. However, when her family is experiencing the worst moment, Aisha chooses to call Fahad (Musaddiq Malek) and seeks his help – all while keeping Basit (Feroze Khan) in the dark. However, Basit has already caught on to Aisha’s lies and slowly begins to catch multiple lies all at once, painting Aisha in a very poor light. Meanwhile, in an attempt to cover up Aisha’s lies, Bano also….lies. Looking at the situation, does Basit have any reason to trust Aisha? She is looking him in the eye and lying to him – and he is aware of it. This concept that is often pushed in our dramas of women lying to “protect” either their marriage or their family’s reputation or whatever other weak excuse honestly sends as bad a message as toxic relationships do. Strength of character and strength in relationships comes from honesty, but if your partner is lying to you……you will not trust them. Aisha is confiding in her husband’s best friend and seeking him for emotional comfort and support instead of telling her husband, her partner, what is happening at home. If Aisha continues on this path, she is essentially having an emotional affair with Fahad while married to Basit. This genuinely does not paint Aisha in a good light as a character and she should not be surprised in upcoming episodes when Basit no longer trusts her.
Overall, “Habs” continues to be an engaging watch. However, our lead heroines need to be a bit more intelligent, especially a woman like Aisha who has been so level-headed up until now. Why would she falter in this regard? Ushna Shah and Feroze Khan continue to be the heart and soul of “Habs,” but Hina Rizvi and Janice Tessa steal the show this week as Zoya embarks on a new journey in her life, choosing to step away from her family environment while Bobby looks back at her own past and hopes for Zoya’s happy future. The beauty of “Habs” lies in the relationships and the realistic depiction of those relationships, as relationships are essentially very fragile.