“Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay” is an interesting sort of show in the way that the storyline is miserable, the characters are infuriating and yet, the way the show has been presented is so emotional and visually pleasing that its difficult to look away for even a moment. This is the sort of show that lures Pakistani drama viewers in, even though the story itself has an overall toxic feel. Starring Mahira Khan, Kubra Khan, Usman Mukhtar, Huma Nawab, Zainab Qayyum, Ali Tahir, Laila Wasti, Shamim Hilaly, Haroon Shahid and others, the story has been written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Farooq Rind.
In episode 7, we see the extent of the hatred within Mashal (Kubra Khan). While she has always been competitive with Mehreen (Mahira Khan) not only over Aswad (Usman Mukhtar), but simply with anyone associated with Mehreen – as we’ve seen with Mashal’s intrusive, revealing emails to Saffan (Haroon Shahid). Mashal is not a mentally stable girl, but now with her anger towards Saleha (Huma Nawab) and Saleha’s insistence on getting Aswad and Mehreen married, Mashal’s anger has come out ten-fold, prompted by her own mother, Shagufta (Zainab Qayyum). When Shagufta and Mashal invite Aswad over to discuss his “intrusive mother,” Aswad takes deep offense to this attempt at brainwashing him against his mother. But while Shagufta and Mashal say much worse things and, later, suspect he overheard them, Aswad continues to push for Mashal, leading the audience to believe he never heard it. Had he heard her words, Mashal would no longer be an option for Aswad, speaking of taking Aswad away and not allowing her to see him after marriage. Mashal’s jealousy and resentment is towards anyone with plans that go against her own. It’s no surprise then ,that she is boiling over with fury when she discovers Aswad and Mehreen are now engaged.
Mehreen is a fascinating character – one who we, as an audience, love and root for; and yet, she’s also incredibly complex, the sort of girl who has the means to rise above her situation, get out of her horrible home environment – and then self-sabotages by rejecting Safaan and agreeing to marry Aswad, all out of some kind of revenge against Mashal and her family, along with this belief that Mashal will never let her and Safaan remain happy. She is a character who is easy to understand, but as an audience, we simply wish she would distance herself from the toxic people in her life, including her new fiancé, Aswad.
While Saleha and Rabia’s (Laila Wasti) happiness with the engagement of their children is sweet to watch, one can’t help a roll of eyes at how these two women have emotionally blackmailed their children into getting engaged. They are so happy with this decision, which they know neither Aswad nor Mehreen are happy with and it’s plain to see (particularly that ridiculous ring-wearing shot where both look like school children being forced to play dress up). While Saleha’s thought-process may be correct and she may recognize that Mashal is not a woman that should be anywhere near her son, there are better ways to explain this to him than forcing him to marry another woman against his will.
Honestly, it’s the performances that keep “Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay” so engaging, paritculalry those of Mahira Khan, Kubra Khan and Huma Nawab. It has been said that much of the story has been changed from the novel and yes, some parts of that are now becoming apparent with Mehreen’s decision to marry Aswad (as opposed to Mashal shattering her dreams of marrying Safaan – Asfand – in the novel and Mehreen resigning herself to her fate). It’s nice to see a more “empowered” Mehreen on screen, even if her decisions are equally as horrible. It’s also tragic to see how, with Safaan’s rejection, Mehreen has also lost her friend, her greatest supporter, Sarah. Still, one can hope that many more changes have been made to the story overall, avoiding the sheer toxicity that particularly lies with the Aswad character. It will be interesting to see how the story plays out and watching Mahira Khan and Kubra Khan facing off is a treat, though the story overall has not been sitting well for the last couple of weeks.