“Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay” has been in the news since its launch eight weeks ago. Starring Mahira Khan and Kubra Khan in lead roles, along with Usman Mukhtar, Huma Nawab, Zainab Qayyum, Laila Wasti, Ali Tahir, Shamim Hilaly and others, this drama has been written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Farooq Rind. Over the weeks, we have seen that Mehreen, played by Mahira Khan, is an all-rounder, but horribly mistreated by her family. On the other end, Mashal, who has been “loved” by her family, has become a victim of her upbringing, suffering in insecurity and low self worth.
In episode 8, the story continues with Aswad and Mehreen’s upcoming marriage, something which throws Mashal into panic, along with her parents. Aswad (Usman Mukhtar) is such a petty character overall. His personality traits are just so unlikable. He is basically a cowardly mama’s boy with an enormous ego. These traits do not fit together nicely at all, creating this young man who cannot think logically, sulks and broods, but also refuses to fight for what he wants. He is so full of ego that he cannot tolerate the idea that Mashal and her family argued with his mother and insinuated that there was a “romance” between himself and Mashal. Mashal’s reaction lines up with the audience reaction – telling someone you would want to marry them is a romance. Not according to Aswad though, who never “promised” Mashal he would marry her, never flirted with her and she simply misunderstood him…..misunderstood his asking her to marry him and showing her the engagement ring he got for her. Usman Mukhtar is doing a great job playing Aswad in that Aswad is coming across as a thoroughly confused, warped, lacking-a-backbone sort of character – and to play a role like this with conviction requires talent.
One of the best sequences this week is one between our leading ladies, Mehreen and Mashal, when Mehreen makes it clear that even if she were marrying Safaan, Mashal would suddenly want Safaan. Mehreen recognizes Mashal’s emotional deficiencies and her resentment towards Mehreen, which is why Mehreen chose to agree to marry Aswad – giving up on the life she really wanted, which was with Safaan. It’s a hard concept to wrap one’s head around, but Mehreen feels Mashal will never allow her to live happily, so she may as well destroy Mashal’s happiness in the process. Their relationship is so complicated – and that’s exactly what makes it so fascinating. Kubra Khan and Mahira Khan are both so talented, their scenes together are a treat to watch.
But it’s Kubra Khan who steals the show this week, the entire episode being a Mashal-centric one with Mashal’s emotions front and center. Yes, Mehreen is the lead and yes, we love her and root for her, but it’s difficult not to feel for Mashal this week. The impact of adult words on children is something that has been well-documented through research – and South Asian society tends to do a number on their youth. From an early age, we are pitted against our cousins, our own friends, our family friends. Whether it’s grades, profession, marriage, there is always someone to be compared to – and these comparisons can have a deep impact on a child. Mashal is an example of the worst-case effect that these comparisons can have. She presents herself as strong on the outside, but inwardly, she is lacking in self-confidence. She does not believe she is worth anything, assuming Mehreen’s personality as her own – hating Mehreen in a way, but why does she hate her? It’s because she admires her and wishes to be like her. This is not to excuse Mashal’s psychopathic traits, but the moment with Mashal cutting Mehreen’s wedding outfit is heartbreaking, showing just how broken Mashal is on the inside.
What’s great about “Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay,” despite how heavy and upsetting it can be, is that the characters are well-written. Even if it’s a cowardly man like Aswad – we know he’s a coward and he is written that way. Huma Nawab’s Saleha is another great character, though one could say she’s at fault for all this with the forced marriage and rejecting Mashal. But at the end of the day, Saleha recognizes who Mashal is, her lies and brainwashing Aswad against Mehreen and, most of all, her desire to separate Saleha from her own son. So while one can acknowledge that Saleha’s methods are wrong, it’s still understandable as to why she refuses to accept Mashal.
“Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay” continues to be a show that keeps its audience on its toes, wondering what will happen next. The preview for next week’s episode promises drama and heartbreak with the episode that will push the story towards movement. What we do take away from episode 8 though is a very important message – pitting children against one another and not allowing them to flourish in their own way almost amounts to abuse and is cruelty.