“Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay” is a drama with some of the greatest names in the industry associated with it. Written by Umera Ahmed, this drama has been directed by Farooq Rind and stars Mahira Khan and Kubra Khan in lead roles, along with Usman Mukhtar, Haroon Shahid, Laila Wasti, Shamim Hilaly, Ali Tahir and many other talented actors. This is a story based on the complexes that arise in children when they are neglected and impacted by the words and behaviors of the adults around them.
The greatest positive in this script is, as I stated in my review last week, that Mehreen (Mahira Khan) does not allow herself to be a victim. She has not become a victim of her circumstances. Her household is oppressive and stifling for her and she recognizes that it’s not her safe space. That’s why she has adopted her friend’s house as her safe space, a place where she feels comfortable to be herself. She is vibrant in college, taking part in different activities, specifically debate club, which is where she meets Safi, her present romantic interest. This is a girl with a life of her own, struggling to pull herself out of her circumstances and stand on her own two feet, studying while earning through her paintings. It must be said that Haroon Shahid and Mahira Khan share wonderful chemistry (as they did in Verna) and one cannot help rooting for this love story despite recognizing that it won’t come to be. Safi and Mehreen are equals, two intelligent individuals who understand each other.
Mashal (Kubra Khan) continues to stew in her jealousy of Mehreen, unable to come out of her feelings of inferiority. At the sight of Safi, one begins to see the wheels turning in Mashal’s head as she (awkwardly) takes a picture of Mehreen and Safi together. The thoughts that were placed in Mashal’s head as a kid continue to plague her life and have taken on an unhealthy obsession – the desire to be Mehreen. We can see that Mashal has fabricated a version of herself not only to Aswad (Usman Mukhtar), but to her entire family. She has taken Mehreen’s life and has presented it as her own, winning over everyone in the family, including Mehreen’s sisters, and turning everyone off of Mehreen. Mashal uses her words to manipulate situations, feeding stories of Mehreen’s supposed bad behavior to anyone who will listen. It is with these stories that she has won over Aswad (Usman Mukhtar) and diverted his attention from Mehreen onto herself. Mashal and Aswad’s love story appears to be in full swing as he holds her in high regard – but based on lies and misrepresentation. Will the relationship ever find a basis when Mashal can no longer pretend to be Mehreen? Kubra Khan is wonderful in this role and she plays this insecure, manipulative, internally sad character very well.
There are some great scenes with Mahira Khan in this episode. First, the exchange between Mehreen and her mother, Rabia (Laila Wasti) really emphasizes the grief both mother and daughter have endured. Mehreen lost her mother at a time when she needed her the most, watching her enter a marriage and raise two little girls while being left out of this new, happy family unit. On the flip side, Rabia was forced into a marriage and encouraged to build a new world, but has always felt a piece of her is missing, regretting what she has done to Mehreen. Still, it’s difficult to sympathize with Rabia, because many women do go through this in South Asian society and must have the backbone to stand up for their children. Mehreen feels that as she never got what she needed as a child, she doesn’t want to take anything from Rabia as an adult either – which is both understandable and heartbreaking. Naani (Shamim Hilaly) is a representative of so many mothers who think they’re doing what’s best, but ultimately destroy lives. Which brings us to the second stand-out scene, one between Mehreen and Naani where Naani uses Mehreen’s father as yet another taunt. Mehreen has had enough and lashes out at Naani, asking her to spare her dead father with her curses. While Mansoor (Omair Rana) may have been a thief and druggie to the family, for Mehreen he was always a loving father, someone who protected her – protection she now craves. It’s this father-daughter relationship that is the soul of the show at this point, really driving home Mehreen’s inner turmoil, losing the one relationship she could rely on.
Overall, the second episode of “Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay” is a Mahira Khan centric episode – and she shines. Mahira has been missing from television screens for over five years and that absence has been felt. She is a breath of fresh air, proving what an incredible actress she is. Kubra Khan holds her own, though Mashal hasn’t been explored as a character in depth as yet – looking forward to when that happens! Usman Mukhtar is, at present, playing the role of a pawn as Aswad, a pawn firmly in Mashal’s hands. He is a natural actor and sweet enough, but his turn to shine will have to wait. Haroon Shahid also makes an impact as Safi. This show honestly takes Pakistani drama viewers back in time to the “golden days,” when Pakistani writers worked hard on their scripts and production houses didn’t chase TRPs and sacrifice content in that chase. One can only hope the show remains on this path, because so far, it’s brilliant.