While “Jalan” has always toed a line, this Minal Khan, Emmad Irfani and Areeba Habib show has managed to rake in TRPs each week. Written by Sidra Sehar Imran and directed by Aabis Raza, “Jalan” has been a hot topic of discussion since its premiere episode. However, as the weeks have passed, the “point” of the show has been lost on viewers. Pakistani drama fans like to know in which direction their shows are ultimately heading and “Jalan” is one that seems to be taking a questionable turn.
In episode 15, Nisha has begun to show signs of jealousy regarding Asfandyar now that Misha has given birth to a baby boy. While Asfandyar has been very vocal and uncaring about the child in the past (so much so that he even suggested an abortion and shoved Misha to the ground during her pregnancy), it’s clear (and so typical) that the idea of having a male heir, his own son, is one that has registered with him. He suddenly finds himself thinking about the child, wanting to meet him and hold him – but Nisha is unwilling to allow it. She makes it clear that the child will not be welcome in Asfandyar’s life, because she is unwilling to accept any part of Misha in their home. Asfandyar has only recently made his choice and it’s already seeming as though he’s sick of Nisha’s unstable behavior. How will he live the rest of his life with her? Not that there’s any sympathy for Asfandyar as he’s the man who abandoned his wife and child by choice, destroyed his family and chose to marry said unstable woman.
Misha’s mother advises her to keep her child away from Asfandyar, but Misha does not listen and chases Asfandyar in the streets, being brushed off by both Asfandyar and Nisha. Misha is unable to let go of her marriage and believes the baby can somehow bring her (unworthy) husband back to her. Misha’s behavior and dialogues highlight just how disturbed Nisha and Asfandyar’s situation has made her, indicating that she may be having suicidal thoughts as she discusses her son’s future life not only without Asfandyar, but also without Misha. Seeing her behavior, it’s frustrating to see her mother brush off her words without understanding the pain behind them. At this point, one would run to a psychiatrist, but that’s clearly not what’s happening. Looking at the preview, Asfandyar and Nisha’s marriage will push Misha over the edge and towards a step that, quite honestly, no one wants to see.
Areej (Hajra Yamin) and Ahmer (Fahad Sheikh) continue to take the backseat with only 1-2 scenes dedicated to their (lack of) relationship development. Ahmer shows complete disregard for a gift given to him by Areej while Areej, back home, continues to mold herself to Ahmer’s likes and dislikes. The way the show is going, one wonders why these two talented actors agreed to do a show where there’s no scope for their characters? There’s a lot of potential with their roles and their character graphs, but when they aren’t receiving screen time and the show is already at episode 16, this is a disservice to their talent.
What is the message being put forth by “Jalan” exactly? Can good people not emerge as winners? It’s often said that “the best revenge is happiness.” And yet while “Jalan” has the perfect foundation to take this message and present positivity, that doesn’t appear to be the intent. At this point, it seems as though Misha is set to attempt suicide. Will she survive this attempt and reconstruct her life? Or will viewers be subjected to more misery? And honestly, without the silver lining of a happy ending for Misha and Ahmer respectively, what would the point of this show even be? We are ready for positive characters, confident and strong characters now. Enough with the misery.