“Jalan” continues on its course, gaining high TRPs and high viewership for a controversial story. Starring Minal Khan as the highly negative Nisha, a woman out to steal her sister Misha’s husband, “Jalan” is a frustrating watch – and yet, viewers cannot look away. In episode 13, after Nisha’s (Minal Khan) escape from her nikkah, Tanveer (Mohammed Ahmed) has become bedridden in his grief. Of course, what a perfect time for every neighbor and random uncle to make lengthy statements and lectures about virtue, “izzat” and the lack of good values. Throw in dialogues about “dafnaa-ing” (burying) Nisha at birth and we’re on a roll. Sajeela (Sajida Syed) cries while hearing this words, sitting by her ill husband, and viewers cry for having to endure this nonsense when Sajila and Tanveer should’ve hit these men with shoes and asked them to leave immediately. Who are these people that talk loudly and believe they are allowed an opinion on every matter? Also, Mohammed Ahmed’s dialogues in this episode are atrocious. The man throws a pity party for himself for treating his daughters like sons and not seeing any difference – and getting this outcome. This entire sequence Is cringe-worthy and written in poor taste.
Meanwhile, Nisha has taken off in the dead of the night, running away from her nikkah and walks to Asfandyar’s (Emmad Irfani) house. While he’s surprised, he is also so smitten with his sister-in-law that despite the completely unethical nature of the situation, he agrees to keep her in his spare house. Poor, innocent, sheltered Nisha (who just walked miles to Asfand’s house at night) complains that she can’t stay in this house all alone and begins her rant about divorcing Misha (Areeba Habib) and marrying her. So far, this discussion hasn’t come up and I apologize for dragging religion into the scenario, but it appears neither Asfandyar nor Nisha are aware that this event isn’t even possible considering Misha is pregnant – and Nisha cannot be Asfandyar’s second wife, because he cannot marry two sisters. Is this going to be highlighted at all? One has to wonder.
There’s a particularly irritating scene in this episode where Misha is seen defending Asfandyar to Sajila. While Sajila makes her disdain towards Asfand clear, Misha states that Asfandyar is not “like that” and Nisha has led him astray. While one would be hard-pressed to find anyone defending Nisha’s behavior and Nisha certainly did everything in her power to “seduce” Asfand, is Asfand an innocent child? This is the man who is a willing participant in an affair with his sister-in-law, a man who didn’t waste a moment before telling his wife he wanted to stay with Nisha and a man who even pushed and mistreated Misha before she found out she was pregnant. How could Misha even defend such a man? What has Asfand ever done for her to make her believe he’s a good man? In fact, Asfandyar has mistreated Misha enough for her to recognize he’s equally as bad as Nisha. These are two characters that honestly deserve each other and at this point, as a viewer, I am rooting for Asfandyar and Nisha to get married so Nisha can make his life hell.
Areej (Hajra Yamin) and Ahmer’s (Fahad Shaikh) track would be so much more interesting if Areej wasn’t such a push-over. Ahmer has been bullied and pressured into this marriage with Areej and this is a fact Areej is well aware of. Why would any self-respecting girl allow herself to get into this situation? Now the two are married and Ahmer, in true jerk form, refuses to give Areej the rights of a wife. Ahmer, as a character, is becoming unlikable, but it was nice to see further clarification on his behavior in this episode. Ahmer’s mourning is not over losing Nisha, rather it’s the fact that he blames himself for his mother’s death and that grief is something he’s unable to pull himself out of. Still, the relationship between Ahmer and Areej is headed for grim times. Hajra Yamin and Fahad Shaikh are acting well though and share a nice enough chemistry that one enjoys watching them together on-screen.
Fortunately Kinza (Nadia Hussain) makes her return at the end of the episode and it seems she will have a large role to play from this point onward, making her anger towards Nisha clear and refusing to accept her. Again, Asfandyar is beyond redemption so one cannot root for Misha and Asfandyar to be reunited, but it’s nice to see Asfandyar’s sister in Misha’s corner and standing against Nisha. “Jalan” is a show that I have repeatedly called a “train wreck” and I continue to believe that’s what it is. It’s an interesting show, but also very frustrating. With only 13 episodes down, the hopes for more emphasis on Nisha’s mental health is a possibility I’m still holding on to. Overall, “Jalan” continues to keep viewers hooked with an insane storyline where the audience simply wants to see Nisha (and Asfandyar) punished.