Feroze Khan dramas are always cause for buzz and, adding to that, the fresh Ushna Shah and Feroze Khan pair and we have a recipe for success. While the numbers for “Habs” are good, they are not the sort of numbers we are used to seeing for “bigger,” louder shows that we’ve seen Feroze Khan in before – and yet, this is potentially one of his best characters in recent times. Starring Feroze Khan, Ushna Shah, Saba Faisal, Ayesha Omar, IRsa Ghazal, Javed Sheikh, Hina Rizvi, Imran Aslam and others, the story has been written by Aliya Makhdoom and directed by Musaddiq Malek. This story is down to earth and has been showing a scenario true to life with financial struggles on both sides of the spectrum.
In episode 4, Ayesha (Ushna Shah) continues her job hunt and is relieved when she interviews at Basit’s (Feroze Khan) company and is hired, though her position is conditional. This scene in itself is refreshing as there isn’t ego on either side of the exchange. Basit is in a position of power, but gives Ayesha the space to prove herself and Ayesha is grateful for the opportunity. There isn’t any toxicity here, as we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in Pakistani dramas needlessly. Later, even when Ayesha catches Basit at a bad time and barges into his office to ask for a loan, Basit reprimands her in a way that is fitting of a boss-employee relationship. Of course, this moment is disheartening, as Ayesha had entered to ask for a loan, but now realizes that would be pushing the situation in her current position.
Basit’s troubles continue when Soha (Ayesha Omar) says yes to marriage, but also informs him that she wishes to go abroad to study. Soha’s character is very relatable and when Basit asks her to marry him so he can join her while she studies, Soha’s eyebrows are immediately raised to his possessiveness, and she rebukes him. Basit comes from a broken home and is not particularly trusting of women, so for him this is a real let-down, an eye-opening moment that makes him think her arrogant. However, looking at it from Soha’s perspective, this is an independent woman who wants to marry for companionship – and does not realize Basit has an ulterior motive for the wedding. She genuinely likes him, but does not like his pushiness and his impositions. Again, this is all realistic and these personality clashes certainly happen in reality.
The highlight of the episode is the story surrounding Bano (Dania Anwer) and the loss of her love Talal (Imran Aslam). Watching Bano face rejection from Talal and his mother, realizing her mother’s hand in the destruction of her relationship (and, in her mind, her life) and her attempt to commit suicide is all very difficult to watch. Unfortunately, even watching her mother (played brilliantly by Saba Faisal) mourn her daughter’s actions is not touching, because she continues to think about money over her daughter’s health. This is a mother who is helpless, but she is also unwilling to see the flaws in her own character, forever the victim in her mind. Bano is a young girl who deserves every happiness in the world and she would have been happy with Talal while also able to continue working and providing for her mother – but all of that has been snatched away. Dania Anwer is doing a brilliant job in this role and she has really managed to win over audience sympathies.
Feroze Khan and Ushna Shah are such natural actors and both are doing complete justice to their characters. Ushna Shah has been selecting her roles with a lot of thought and consideration recently. There’s a moment in this episode where Ayesha discovers her mother has sold her medal and Ushna’s expressions depicting Ayesha’s horror, realizing the value of her education in her mother’s eyes, is just brilliant. It’s great to see Feroze Khan taking up softer roles like these that still allow him to tap into complexity. And Basit is definitely a complex character with a lot of inner turmoil that needs to be acknowledged. He is doing a fabulous job and we can’t wait to see how Basit’s personality changes and evolves with Ayesha’s entry into his life. Overall, “Habs” is a pleasure to watch and is one of the top shows on air right now.