“Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay” came with high expectations due to its brilliant cast, writer and director team. With three episodes down, this is a drama with one episode better than the last, leaving the audience hoping the show continues at this pace. Starring Mahira Khan, Kubra Khan, Usman Mukhtar, Haroon Shahid, Zainab Qayyum, Laila Wasti, Shamim Hilaly, Ali Tahir and others, the story has been written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Farooq Rind.
In episode 3, the story continues to follow Mehreen (Mahira Khan) and her difficult journey through life. Mehreen is incredibly talented and well-rounded and this only further turns Mashal (Kubra Khan) against her. Her mother Shagufta (Zainab Qayyum) has never grown out of this need to compare Mashal and Mehreen, even now when Mehreen is emotionally isolated. Mashal is in a constant state of inferiority and seems to have never outgrown her childish behavior – as we see in this episode when she releases Mehreen’s bird (or did she kill it?). Much of Mashal’s behavior stems entirely from jealousy – and other than Aswad, who Mashal has now successfully “stolen,” Mehreen continues to give Mashal reasons to be jealous. After Mehreen wins a poster competition that makes it to television (why does such a competition exist?), Mashal is heard repeating Mehreen’s acceptance speech, which gives the audience (and Shabbo) an inkling of just how imbalanced and delusional Mashal has become in her obsession with Mehreen. Kubra Khan’s performance is excellent, portraying Mashal in a way that both makes the viewer despise her while also feeling sorry for her on a level. The moment when Mashal reads Mehreen’s journal is a powerful one, seeing her battle her emotions and trying to keep her composure – before lashing out by sending a picture of cigarettes “belonging to Mehreen” to Aswad.
Mashal has beaten it into Aswad’s (Usman Mukhtar) head that Mehreen is a terrible person. What’s surprising is that Aswad never calls Mashal out on her obsession – how can two people talk every night and spend their conversations either discussing Mehreen or Mashal’s “talents” (which don’t exist)? Mashal is not stable, but what is Aswad’s excuse? He has completely immersed himself into hating Mehreen. For those who haven’t read the novel, the plus point of Usman Mukhtar’s Aswad is that he’s better fleshed out than he is in written format. In the novel, the story is told from Aswad’s point of view – and his views are beyond judgmental. So while Aswad remains much of the same, unnecessarily angry and judgmental towards Mehreen, his character doesn’t come across as the negative Nancy, self-righteous, pompous jerk he is in the novel. Rather, Aswad is exactly how he has been since childhood – passionately loyal to the one individual he has “chosen” and passionately hateful towards the object of his contempt. While Mehreen used to be the former, she is now the latter. Is Aswad a full-fledged jerk? Absolutely, but it’s expected.
Mahira Khan is the star of the show and Mehreen is such a well-written, lovable character despite her emotional health being a mess. There are some beautiful scenes between Mehreen and her Phupo (Huma Nawab) which depict the extent of their bonding. Phupo has not only mentally accepted Mehreen as her daughter-in-law, but she is also Mehreen’s only confidant in the family. While at Saleha Phupo’s house, Mehreen answers Aswad’s call – and Aswad confronts Mehreen on her “bad behavior,” which deeply hurts Mehreen. Mahira Khan’s acting in this moment and those following is simply incredible. From the call with Aswad to her argument with Naani (Shamim Hilaly) over “trapping” Aswad and, finally, the last scene, Mahira just proves why she is so highly regarded as an actress.
Mehreen’s frantic phone call to Safaan (Haroon Shahid) after realizing her inhaler is missing is beautiful in many ways. One, it shows how much Safaan loves her that as soon as he realizes she is in trouble, he barrels out the door to her aid. Their relationship really is a beautiful one and viewers cannot help rooting for this love story that will most likely never amount to anything. Second, Mehreen’s call to Safaan shows how isolated Mehreen is, without any real confidant or anyone to call for help in her own family. Really, the writing behind the female characters and the performances are on a different level. This is what’s lifting “Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay” above the competition in terms of quality. This is a must-watch.