“Ibn E Hawa” is Hum TV’s latest release, replacing “Parizaad” on Tuesday nights. Written by Saji Gul and directed by Syed Ahmed Kamran, this drama stars Shehzad Sheikh, Hira Mani, Aymen Saleem, Nadia Afgan, Noman Habib and others. The story of “Ibn E Hawwa” touches upon how a patriarchal society gives birth to misogynistic ideals and how women – and men – suffer due to these thoughts.
In episode 2, we see Zahid (Shehzad Sheikh) hard at work as a tailor. In the previous episode, Zahid save Mehjabeen (Hira Mani) from a robbery, while also being the object of Aliya’s (Aymen Saleem) affection as we are told about how innocent, naïve and “shareef” Zahid is. However, in episode 2, bread crumbs are sprinkled in, indicating the truth of Zahid’s complex inner thoughts. While Zahid’s rejection of female mannequins may seem like a cute, innocent mindset on the outset, it goes to show his deeply rooted negativity towards women. This is further highlighted by his attitude towards Aliya and, later, his indifference towards his own sister, Naila. Naila lives with their Aunt after Zahid’s mother left them after running away with another man. This has left a great impact on Zahid’s father – and, in turn, on Zahid. Of course, the greatest bread crumb arrives in the end of the episode in the form of Zahid’s father upon Naila’s arrival back home. He is furious, unwilling to see a woman step foot in his house. This is the mindset with which Zahid has been raised.
Mehjabeen (Hira Mani) is conducting a family wedding in her home, opening doors to her deceased husband’s relatives. Of course, these relatives are robbing Mehjabeen blind and she, in her kindness, is allowing them to do so. It’s great to see a character like Shabratan (Nadia Afgan), a woman who may have her own reasons for sticking close to Mehjabeen, but she also genuinely seems to care about Mehjabeen and defends her outspokenly to the best of her ability. Still, it’s stomach churning to see Mehjabeen’s husband’s nephew flirting with her and attempting to win her affections right as his own wedding events are taking place.
Hira Mani’s Mehjabeen isn’t a character much different from what we’ve seen before, but we can hope she becomes more interesting as time goes on. Shehzad Sheikh is doing a good job as Zahid so far, downplaying Zahid’s emotions at this point and not letting too much on about his inner feelings – but in a way that feels natural. It’s Nadia Afgan and Aymen Saleem who are making the greatest impact with sweet, fun, light-hearted roles. It’s also nice to see Noman Habib on screen after some time. Overall, “Ibn E Hawwa” is off to an interesting start, though it’s gaining momentum slowly. It’s definitely worth a watch with a promising storyline on the horizon.