Every once in a while, a show comes along which makes the audience think. “Idiot” is one such show. With a simple-minded hero, “Idiot” drives home many points by simply having its hero, Gulzar, vocalize his thoughts. Our world is a simple one, one that should thrive on kindness, uncomplicated thoughts and self-understanding. Instead, we complicate our lives through overthinking, fixating on others to solve our problems and bullying those who think differently. This is the message behind “Idiot,” a show in which Gulzar teaches the audience and the characters around him simply by….speaking. However, can a character like Gulzar realistically survive in our ruthless, corrupt society? Starring Ahmed Ali Akbar, Mansha Pasha, Shamyl Khan, Atiqa Odho, Muhammad Hunbal and others, the story has been written by Kifayat Rodhani and directed by Anjum Shehzad.
In episode 12, Rameen (Mansha Pasha) is heartbroken after Gulzar (Ahmed Ali Akbar) rejects her and retracts the marriage proposal sent by his family. This would be heartbreaking for any girl, particularly after finding out Gulzar is her childhood friend, one she really had a soft corner for. However, once Gulzar explains his mindset, we understand. Gulzar is scared of commitment, because he recognizes that he’s not an easy person to live with. However, alongside that, he also values his friendship and realizes that when friendship changes into love, it becomes complicated. He puts forward a valid point that their relationship was always one of pure friendship and never one of love, so how did love enter the mix? Furthermore, Rameen has just gotten out of an engagement and wanted to discover herself – has she discovered herself? If she hasn’t, which she hasn’t, how is she capable of loving someone else in her confused state? Is she simply looking to Gulzar to be yet another emotional crutch? These thoughts are all absolutely valid, though difficult for Rameen to hear. It’s our belief that if we like someone, we want them to like us back – and if they do, we believe that’s enough for marriage. But what if we barely like ourselves? Can an individual make a good partner if they don’t love themselves? It’s an interesting thought process, one that is simple enough, but we as individuals rarely stop to think about. Do we get into relationships for ourselves or to improve our emotional well-being?
The storyline following Saadat is more harrowing. Saadat has always been a bully, since childhood, and that behavior has continued into adulthood. While he never left an opportunity to bully Guddu, in his present day, he uses his wife and daughter as a punching bag. While Guddu’s method of handling things was to leave home, his wife and daughter are now rebelling in different ways. Saadat is fixated on Rida’s education and this is not wrong. Most parents expect good grades from their children, especially if they claim they are working hard. However, Saadat’s bullying behavior has pushed his daughter away, searching for love outside of the home – since she can’t get it at home from her parents. This has put her in harms way, now engaged to a man at least 30 years her senior. Unfortunately, Saadat has no idea what’s coming his way and the way he has harmed his daughter emotionally. Rather, he is now emotionally abusing his wife, putting her down as a mother and as a wife. This is the sort of character who causes destruction everywhere he goes – and we see this with his encounter with Rameen. Is this an insinuation of more than just bullying? Did Saadat assault Rameen as a child – and if so, is this an indication towards why she suffers from poor mental health?
Ahmed Ali Akbar is the star of this show from start to finish. He’s performing his part brilliantly in this underrated gem of a drama. Shamyl Khan is also excellent as Guddu’s father, a father who tries to do right by his two sons, but realizes he failed to raise one well and failed the other son as a result. “Idiot” is a drama which deserves more applause than what it’s receiving.