“Ibn E Hawwa” is a Hum TV drama with a different story, one that focuses on misogyny and the hoops women have to jump through to prove their purity and innocence. Starring Shahzad Sheikh, Aymen Saleem, Hira Mani, Nadia Afgan and others, the story has bee written by Saji Gul and directed by Syed Ahmed Kamran. In recent episodes, we have seen Mahjabeen, played by Hira Mani, expressing a desire to get remarried as she wishes to perform Hajj in her lifetime. Her reason for marriage is surely innocent, but what transpires goes to prove exactly how delicate a woman’s dignity and honor is in South Asian society.
In episode 8, Aaliyah (Aymen Saleem) visits Zahid (Shahzad Sheikh) at work, but realizes immediately that something is wrong. Zahid has fallen prey to his suspicious nature, something which has been instilled in him by his father, and believes Aaliyah to be of loose character. One has to commend Saji Gul for writing a character like Aaliyah. She is a very loving girl, loyal and supportive, but she will also not tolerate nonsense from anyone – Zahid included. Despite loving him, she verbally thrashes him and leaves in anger after seeing his rude behavior. Zahid, on his part, is torn as he has truly developed feelings for Aaliyah; however, again, his level of trust on women is nonexistent, misogyny deeply rooted in his psyche from childhood. The moments between Naila and Shakoor are also cute, though Naila is too innocent for her own good. Why wouldn’t Zahid grab on to a good proposal from a man he knows? This is a frustrating reaction from him, but his father has filled him with so much hatred and that’s visible from his interactions with his mother as well. Is Naila really better off in this household?
The cutest moments in “Ibn E Hawwa” come in the exchanges between Nadia Afgan and Aymen Saleem as Shabratan and Aaliyah. This mother-daughter duo share such a humorous relationship with each other, Aaliyah recognizing her mother’s conniving ways while Shabratan wants to protect her daughter from the manipulative world…..a world she has been forced to be a part of as a single mother. While Shabratan will go to any lengths to get what she wants, she wants to keep her daughter safe – even if that requires plotting against her to remove the man she “loves” from her life.
Meanwhile, Mahjabeen’s (Hira Mani) marriage is broken up with a jolt when Sufi’s wife appears at Sufi and Mahjabeen’s Nikkah, outing Sufi as not only her husband and father of her children, but a man with two more wives as well! This creates chaos of course and Mahjabeen is accused of “trapping” Sufi, not only by his wife, but also by the women Mahjabeen has moved with and helped in society. This depicts just how quickly the world turns on a woman when her image is maligned. Mahjabeen has spent her entire life living one of dignity and in a flash, that dignity is gone. Hira Mani plays roles like this well and this time around is no less. One hopes she will ultimately get more to do than simply cry and be a victim to her circumstances.
What’s most heartbreaking is that Shabratan herself is behind Mahjabeen’s disgrace. What is Shabratan plotting isn’t clear exactly, but her sights are clearly set on Mahjabeen’s money. Will she also be the one to recommend Zahid, hoping to kill two birds with one stone? Unfortunately, the vultures have landed in the form of Mahjabeen’s in-laws, distant relatives of her husband who have arrived not only to slander Mahjabeen, but to ensure they do not lose access to their dead cousin’s wealth. How long will Mahjabeen allow others to yank her chain and be manipulated? We will have to wait and watch, but this is a show that has been handled well and has been moving at a steady pace.