“Ishqiya”is a show that’s carried on the shoulders of its talented cast, specifically Hania Amir, Feroze Khan, Gohar Rasheed and Ramsha Khan. We’ve seen how Hamza (Feroze Khan) and Hamna’s (Ramsha Khan) failed relationship has now created havoc in their married lives with Rumi (Hania Amir) and Azeem (Gohar Rasheed) respectively. In episode 24, Hamna informs Hamza that his tactics no longer scare her and he can no longer intimidate her, because she has already told Azeem the truth. At this point, Hamza’s entire game has been tossed upside down. Now that Azeem is aware of Hamza and Hamna’s past, the tables have turned and Hamza is now the one living in fear of being exposed. Azeem makes it clear that he will not tolerate Hamza around his wife and says it’s now his mission to expose Hamza’s actions to Rumi in order to protect her. Unfortunately, as gallant and sweet as this may sound and has been up until now, Azeem’s behavior in this episode takes an irritating turn. Is he genuinely trying to protect the family or is this ego stepping in? Azeem makes a comment about Hamna’s “kirdaar” (character) and what people will say when they find out about her past – and this is where it’s difficult not to yell “Oh come on!” at the television screen. Given, Hamna has handled the entire situation terribly and I’ve said it as a broken record that Hamna is the reason this entire situation has been created – and her behavior here isn’t any different. At a time when she should be jumping into overdrive to make amends with Azeem, she continues her silent act. Is Hamna a character deserving of forgiveness? Not necessarily, but where does her “kirdaar” come into play here exactly? Was that necessary? And somehow that one line does manage to change the audience perception of Azeem as he’s had plenty of time to wrap his head around the situation. One would expect an honest discussion at this point and not this blame-and-shame moment.
The timing here is rich, because Hamza has only just realized his own feelings for Rumi and genuinely wants to make his marriage work. But does he really deserve that? That’s a different discussion altogether, but what does not sit well is how arrogant Hamza continues to be. When confronted by both Hamna and Azeem and told that he’s at the risk of being exposed, Hamza does not even break eye contact nor does he show any shame towards his actions. Hamza may have realized he wants to commit to Rumi, but he is unapologetic in his attitude towards Hamna. While he does tell Hamna to stay out of his business while he stays out of hers, this is a way of protecting himself and there isn’t any remorse involved. This makes it difficult to root for Hamza and Rumi, despite the fact that Rumi has now come back home and has made her place in Hamza’s heart as a loving, doting wife. Rumi makes it clear that she’s lost the relation that meant the most to her (her father) and will not lose the relationship now most important to her (Hamza). Rumi’s love is so pure and innocent, it’s upsetting to see how everyone else in her life has played with her emotions to this extent.
The performances in this episode weren’t particularly great and felt repetitive this time around. Hania Amir shines as always, showing different layers to Rumi each week and this week is no different. Hamza has now lost his “control” over Hamna, but with Hamza now wanting to commit to his wife and with Rumi also expecting a baby, will Azeem expose Hamza? Will Azeem forgive Hamna or will he forgive her dishonesty and move on? Do Hamna and Hamza deserve forgiveness? This last question is probably the most important one. The “crime” is not a crime as having a relationship is not something out of the ordinary – but the plotting and the severe dishonesty is what got these two flawed individuals into this mess. Now how will they get out of it?