Hadiqa Kiani is the pride of Pakistan in the world of music, however in terms of acting, she’s a relative newcomer. That being said, each time she performs, she leaves the audience wondering why she didn’t take up acting sooner. Hadiqa also selectively chooses her scripts, her name generally associated with stories that have an underlying message. “Hadsa” is her latest, co-starring Alyy Khan, Khaqan Shahnawaz, Romaisa Khan, Ali Dayan, Zhalay Sarhadi, Saleem Mairaj, Juggan Kazim, Fariha Jabeen, Fozia Mushtaq, Aamir Qureshi and Humera Bano in prominent roles. The story has been written by Zanjabeel Asim and directed by Wajahat Rauf.
Airing daily (but for how long exactly?), we are introduced to our lead characters in the first episode. Taskeen (Hadiqa Kiani) is a confident, independent-minded working woman with progressive thoughts. Married to her supportive husband, Ghazanfar Malik, the two are an ideal couple, supporting one another at every turn. They have three kids, two of which are getting married. While Kumail (Khaqan Shahnwaz) is Taskeen’s best friend, Bakhtain (Romaisa Khan) and Taskeen share an angsty mother-daughter relationship. Bakhtain is marrying Waleed, a zamindar type who has studied at Harvard. Waleed’s entire character seems like a glaring flaw somehow. Why would an educated woman like Bakhtain marry a man like Waleed by choice? His chauvinism is not hidden, he is quite open about it. His regressive thoughts are out for all to see and he makes no bones about it. Why would Bakhtain marry such a man and why would her progressive family allow it? This marriage scenario does not make sense, though we can see that Taskeen is a zamindar herself and has property struggles with her brother.
Unfortunately, Taskeen has called for trouble by helping her house help’s daughter who is being abused by her husband. Taskeen does not believe in women tolerating abuse – and rightly so. However, with the exception of her husband, no one else appears to be on her side – including her daughter (which is bizarre). The topic of “Hadsa” is good, a woman striving to live her life with her progressive thoughts, but being held back by society….and later, that society will blame her for a crime in which she has no fault. However, this is not a perfect product so far and this is why. If we’re discussing topics which need to be highlighted to educate, what’s the need of having these intense “gharelu” storylines? The entire environment around Taskeen is oppressive. This is a woman who has been married for easily 24 years (looking at her kids) and has handled her work, her kids, her husband and her household very well. Why do we see her mother-in-law, her sister-in-law and others around her still giving her lip and attitude for something that happened 24 years ago? Why would people still hold her accountable and carry a grudge because Ghazanfar chose to marry her over a relative? Yes, grudges are a part of our reality, but this just seems to be a needless way to push Taskeen into a solo corner of oppression and “zulm” in the future.
Hadiqa Kiani is the highlight of the show, her confidence radiating through her performance. Taskeen in a lovable character. Sure, sometimes her “high horse” appears to be too much, but what she stands for is correct. Even more beautiful is the relationship between Taskeen and Ghazanfar. Aly Khan and Hadiqa Kiani actually share really great chemistry as husband and wife with warm vibes all around. Let’s hope Aly Khan doesn’t go his usual way with wayward roles and remains a supportive husband. The family relationships depicted are quite nice too, barring Bakhtain’s attitude towards her mother, which is an illogical mother-daughter relationship. A mother’s thoughts generally spill onto her daughter, so Bakhtain being this backward does not sit well. Overall, “Hadsa” is an interesting concept with good performances. What remains to be seen is how the story is carried forward – and how long this daily show is expected to carry on?