Fans of classic Pakistani dramas have been swooning over “Jaan E Jahan” with its innocent romance, kind-hearted male lead and an interesting good vs. evil narrative. Our male lead, Shehram, has suffered a lot after his father’s death – and doesn’t even realize the abuse he has been suffering. Drugged by Kishwar, his stepmother, Shehram has been made to be kept away from the living world – until Mahnoor’s entry into his life. The story isn’t necessarily one that’s unique or unheard of, but it is just the kind of story that makes the audience want to root for its positive lead characters and the direction and cinematography has turned it into a visual delight as well. Starring Hamza Ali Abbasi, Ayeza Khan, Asif Raza Mir, Noor Ul Hassan, Savera Nadeem, Haris Waheed, Raza Talish, Srha Asghar, Emmad Irfani, Maryam Nafees, Nawal Saeed, Kinza Malik and Zainab Qayyum, the story is written by Rida Bilal and directed by Qasim Ali Mureed.
In episode 15, we saw how Shehram (Hamza Ali Abbasi) set aside his ego (though let’s be honest – he doesn’t have an ego at all) and pleaded with Mahnoor (Ayeza Khan) to return back to the school. In his request, he unexpectedly confessed his feelings for Mahnoor and while neither has necessarily acknowledged his words, the confession has propelled their relationship forward in the most beautiful of ways. In episode 16, Kishwar (Savera Nadeem), seeing how upbeat and work-driven Shehram has become, decides to do away with the drugging plan, as it’s clearly not working. She has become fixated on this idea that Mahnoor is her rival, the one she has been warned about – but ironically does not give even a thought to Zeenat (Maryam Nafees), the young woman living under her roof and already working against her. Zeenat, on her part, has become completely disillusioned with Kishwar, realizing she has no plans to marry Shehram to Zeenat. Kishwar has done a lot for Zeenat, but Zeenat is realizing just how wicked her aunt can be. What will be interesting to see is what Zeenat does with this information – will she turn into a negative character or will she take her mistrust of Kishwar and use it for Shehram’s benefit? Meanwhile, Abdul (Raza Talish) and Aaliyah (Srha Asghar) are bonding, a romance which could bring out some surprising reactions.
Shehram, on his part, is completely focused on the school and his school teacher, Mahnoor. Watching the two happily opening their school together is a great moment and yet, unknown to Shehram, Mahnoor also has another admirer in Taimoor (Emmad Irfani). On paper, Taimoor may actually be better for Mahnoor, as he comes from a similar family background and has a more grounded family. What’s great about “Jaan E Jahan” and its writing (credit to Rida Bilal) is that the characters are all human. Taimoor easily could have become a third wheel, irritating character and yet, he’s not. If anything, we find ourselves hoping he becomes a good friend to Mahnoor and Shehram and…potentially finds a partner in Zeenat? There’s also an interesting moment where Taimoor complains of stomach pains, which makes us wonder if Taimoor’s illness is serious. Emmad Irfani is always such a likable actor and he’s great as Taimoor as well.
But of course, it’s Hamza Ali Abbasi and Ayeza Khan who have stolen the show and our hearts this week. This is intimacy at its best in a Pakistani drama. The Mahnoor and Shehram relationship is pure and innocent and the two have yet to admit their feelings to themselves, forget to others – and yet, they are more emotionally attached than they have admitted. Their romance shows in their actions and their attitudes towards one another. Shehram spends the night in his car, guarding Mahnoor’s house after a robber is spotted in the area while Mahnoor talks to Shehram all night in an attempt to cure his insomnia. It’s this caring for one another which makes the Shehram-Mahnoor romance so root-worthy. Of course, Ayeza Khan and Hamza Ali Abbasi’s performances (and beauty) have completely won us over.
Along with the lead duo, credit must be given to the brilliant Savera Nadeem as Kishwar, a woman consumed by her insecurities and anger. “Jaan E Jahan” has been delivering excellent episodes in the last two weeks, but it almost makes us worry. How long will this happiness and romance last before Kishwar, who is already plotting, throws in another wrench in Shehram’s life? Shehram has now also stepped up to Tabraiz (Haaris Waheed) and this will obviously amp up Kishwar’s anger further. What will the coming weeks bring? That’s not clear yet, but we’re loving what we’ve been watching so far! “Jaan E Jahan” is a clear winner.