“Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay” has been a discussion point from the moment it began until its finale this week. Immediately drawing viewers in with its cast, which includes Mahira Khan, Usman Mukhtar, Kubra Khan, Zainab Qayyum, Huma Nawab, Laila Wasti, Shamim Hilaly, Ali Tahir and others, the subject matter itself is what whisked the audience up into a debate over right vs. wrong, good vs. bad and simply whether this was a story worth being told. As is the case with almost all Umera Ahmed stories, the characters in “Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay” are not flat ones and come with a world of complexes, insecurities, hang ups and so forth which are guiding forces in how they conduct themselves. With Farooq Rind at the helm, the finale soars towards its conclusion in a satisfying way – though maybe just a bit too tidy.
In the finale, one has to say from the onset that this is an emotion and dialogue heavy episode as opposed to action-based ones we are generally used to. IN the previous episode, the audience witnessed the heartfelt, heartbreaking moment between Mashal (Kubra Khan) and Mehreen (Mahira Khan) as the two finally put an end to their decade plus long feud, a feud which had enveloped their entire lives, personalities and attitudes. Unfortunately, peace came at the wrong time, simply too late as Mashal saved Mehreen’s life…..but ultimately became a victim of her own misguided plot. This is what’s important to take away from the finale – this rivalry was never about Aswad (Usman Mukhtar). It was never about two young girls loving the same man. Rather, this was a family rivalry, toxic ideas fed into the minds of girls from a young age, two girls taught to hate each other when all they ever wanted was to be friends. How far can a rivalry take two people? Well, this is exactly what we see with Mashal’s death, a death that goes much deeper than “murder” or “suicide.” While Mashal is not technically seen in the finale, one must take this moment to applaud Kubra Khan’s brilliant performance as Mashal, a character who carries so many emotions within her in any given moment. A character who harbors love, hatred, jealousy, fear and insecurity, emotions which constantly tried to overtake the other, ultimately consuming her entirely, allowing her peace only moments before her death.
Aswad and Mehreen share a heartfelt conversation with Aswad acknowledging his faults, but also telling Mehreen that he cannot heal without her. And while this is almost infuriating to hear, it’s true. Is there any way for Aswad to heal and redeem himself internally without Mehreen’s support? At the same time, while this exchange is certainly very powerful and emotional, one wishes 15 episodes had not been dedicated to the trauma and emotional abuse with at least 5 of those episodes being allotted to Aswad’s redemption. There needed to be a redemption track, many moments where Aswad attempted to “fix” his mistakes, right his wrongs and really just grovel for the atrocities he has committed towards Mehreen. All abuse is not physical and Aswad has emotionally and psychologically abused Mehreen, leading her to a nervous breakdown. This isn’t a small matter and a simple apology with tears does not suffice.
Finally, the scene between Mehreen, Naani (Shamim Hilaly) and Shagufta (Zainab Qayyum) is the one that is the most powerful. As said before, it’s the toxic family environment in which Mashal and Mehreen grew up which fostered their hatred for one another. They were simply children who wanted to be friends and love each other – but hatred was put in their hearts by Shagufta with her endless competition and Naani with her differentiating between the two. Of course, Tahir (Ali Tahir) played a heavy part in it as well and, in this exchange, he gets off too easy, standing in a corner and escaping blame. In all this, it’s the incredible interaction between Zainab Qayyum and Mahira Khan which is most hard-hitting, bringing tears to the eyes – because in the end of it all, it’s all about what could have been. Shagufta could have been more loving, Tahir more understanding, Naani more accepting and all of this could have been avoided entirely. Alas, this family has become a victim of their own behavior and that’s what is most tragic, destroying the lives of their youngest generation in the process.
The finale is carried out rather beautifully, whether it be the performances, the writing, the direction – it’s all applause worthy. And yet, it feels too neat, too clean, too nicely wrapped up. Ultimately, relationships are not that easy. They are hard work and as difficult as it is to break them, it’s even more difficult to repair them. In any “normal” scenario, Mehreen and Aswad would have a world of healing to do before even being able to look at each other again. Forgiveness is certainly possible, but does forgiveness have to equate to togetherness? Can’t Aswad be worthy of being forgiven (which he certainly is, he was as much a victim as the other two) without being worthy of Mehreen’s love? Still, with all the heaviness that has been “Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay,” it is difficult to avoid smiling in the finale, seeing Mehreen and Aswad together, finally at peace and…..happy. “Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay” has been an intense, emotionally torturous ride, but even misery can be beautiful – and even within all the trauma, there has been beauty within this show. It will be missed.