“Ishqiya” has been a gripping story throughout, following the four main characters and how their lives (unfortunately) become intertwined. While Hamza (Feroze Khan) and Hamna (Ramsha Khan) were once involved, Hamna is now married to Azeem (Gohar Rasheed) while Hamza married Rumi (Hania Amir), Hamna’s sister, in order to get revenge. While the story cannot have been called “light-hearted” overall on any level, episode 22 takes a particularly sad turn after the demise of Siddiqui Sahab (Shabbir Jan), Hamna and Rumi’s father.
Episode 22 does a fabulous job of highlighting how everyone does not and cannot grieve in the same way. At the hospital, Azeem is initially angry at Hamna before realizing what has happened. While Hamna consoles her mother, Rumi takes charge in settling bills and getting the body released. When Azeem tries to step in, Rumi initially shows resistance, unwilling to show weakness to anyone, trying to be strong for her family. Back at home for the funeral, Hamna and her mother sit downstairs with the guests, consoled by Saman (Seemi Pasha) and Azeem’s mother. Azeem takes control of the scene while Hamza tries to console Rumi – but Rumi refuses to come out of her room. Rumi’s behavior is that of someone who blames themselves. “Why wasn’t I there? Why didn’t he confide in me? Why couldn’t I care for him like a son?” These are all thoughts that run through Rumi’s head and she does, ultimately, voice them to her mother. What’s beautiful about the character of Rumi is how, despite her deep grief, she still wants to be the support system for her family. She allows herself one day, locked in her room, to grieve and then, the next morning, she comes out and begins preparing breakfast for Hamna and her mother. As she feeds her mother, she voices her grief and consoles her mother, still maintaining the strong exterior. Hania Amir is simply brilliant in this episode and this final scene is more than just a tear-jerker. It’s a difficult yet beautiful scene, watching how these three women are grieving in entirely different ways – Mrs. Siddiqui (Kinza Malik) openly crying, Rumi putting on a brave front and Hamna sitting in absolute silence. This is the image of a family grieving and the performances are so real, it almost hurts.
Read the previous episode’s review here.
Azeem plays the dutiful son in law, reassuring Mrs. Siddiqui and taking care of the guests, the house and the ladies. When Hamza speaks to him briefly, Azeem is cold and distant but firm, making it clear that he is now the head of the household and will care for these women. Gohar Rasheed stands tall and confident in this role and makes Azeem a highly lovable character. Hamza is still not aware that his truth has been revealed, so he is perplexed by Azeem’s behavior. Episode 23 will be eventful as the previews reveal that Hamna will tell Hamza that the truth is out, leaving only Rumi out of the loop. With Hamza’s heart softening towards Rumi and his feeling seeming real, will this be the end of Hamza’s “revenge”? Will he finally give up on torturing Hamna? That’s something to wait for, but for now, episode 22 may have been a heavy episode, but it boasted of some great performances.