“Habs” stars Feroze Khan and Ushna Shah in lead roles, the story written by Aliya Makhdoom and directed by Musaddiq Malek. In terms of story and presentation, “Habs” is a grounded show, one that shows the bitter truths of life – and yet, it also promises a simple romance between its leads, which gives viewers something to look forward to. “Habs” feels like the return of Pakistani dramas to a simpler, more storyline driven time and it’s a welcome return!
In episode 7, Basit (Feroze Khan) is at the point of desperation in regards to his father’s will, according to which he needs to be married before he can run the business. With business deals falling through and his initial target for marriage, Soha (Ayesha Omer), unwilling to marry him in a rush, Basit’s frustration has begun to spill over. This is visible not only at work, but also in his interactions with his mother, a relationship that is a sore point for Basit. While we, as viewers, can see that Basit’s father begged to be given sole custody, Basit feels his mother abandoned him by leaving his father and resents her for not choosing her family over her own happiness. What’s great about “Habs” is how we can genuinely feel for the characters. While we do not know what Basit’s mother’s situation was and her reason for leaving, we can see how deeply her son’s anger is hurting her. She loves him, but her past actions have put up a wall between the two that she doesn’t understand how to break down. Basit, on his part, has every right to be angry, having grown up motherless. But is his anger misdirected and should he be seeing his mother as the villain?
It’s this anger at his mother that propels Basit to declare that Ayesha (Ushna Shah) is his wife, declaring that the two have had their Nikkah. This leaves his mother shocked, but also thrilled that Basit has finally gotten married and is about to start a happy journey. Ayesha is so burdened with problems and Basit’s declaration is yet another one, leaving her confused and unsure how to proceed. This is difficult for Ayesha, as she finally has some stability due to her job, but now with Basit’s behavior – can she rely on this job? The scenes between Feroze Khan and Ushna Shah are crackling. It’s impressive for two actors to share such intense chemistry despite sharing limited scenes together, that two standing feet apart. Basit and Ayesha’s union is highly anticipated for viewers.
The most heartbreaking part of the episode is Bano’s (Dania Anwer) arrival at Talal’s (Imran Aslam) wedding. Bano has given her all to this relationship and, thanks to her own other, all her dreams have been shattered. Talal is not a bad guy and it’s clear that hurting Bano is hurting him. But how long can a man wait for a woman whose mother will not release her from her grip? Talal has his own difficult circumstances and so it’s tragic to watch this relationship fall apart. But could Bano’s fate have been any different? The women in that household, namely the matriarchs, are toxic and controlling. Qudsia (Saba Faisal) is money-minded, burned by love, and expects her daughters to stand up for her like “sons.” This means she does not want them to leave the home unless it’s financially beneficial to her. Even looking at Bobby (Hina Rizvi), this is a woman who is willing to financially blackmail her own niece just to fulfill her own desires. Honestly, watching Bano’s current state, one wonders if she will ever survive this turmoil and find happiness for herself – but we hope she does. Both Imran Aslam and Dania Anwer break our hearts in this episode.
“Habs” is such a beautiful story in just how realistic it feels. Basit’s riches do not feel unrealistically so and his problems are not irrelevant. He has his struggles, whether they are financial, the loss of a father or the reappearance of a mother who abandoned him. Likewise, Ayesha’s financial struggles are real and they weigh on her like a load of bricks, finances constantly playing a role in her family’s happiness…..or lack of it. Feroze Khan and Ushna Shah are so wonderful in their respective roles and while both have always been great actors, it’s great to see them in quieter characters with subtle performances. “Habs” is a winner!