“Jalan” continues on its controversial path. Starring Minal Khan, Emmad Irfani, Areeba Habib, Fahad Sheikh and Hajra Yamin, the show centers around a girl enticing and marrying the husband of her sister. The show has always managed to ruffle feathers, but this week, tragedy befalls one of the central characters. Episode 18 opens with Nisha (Mina Khan) and Afandyar (Emmad Irfani), their negative sides pushed to the point of no return as they are seen discussing Misha’s (Areeba Habib) burned, almost-dead state in a practically flippant way. There is absolutely no chance of redemption for characters that happily plan their honeymoon when Nisha’s sister and Asfandyar’s wife is at her deathbed. In fact, the two not only are void of sympathy, but they also blame Misha for disrupting their happy plans by….attempting to commit suicide. Fortunately, Kinza (Nadia Hussain) brings their mood down as they leave by declaring she’s pulling out her shares in the business and claiming her inheritance in the house and other financial holdings. While Asfand brushes it off temporarily, saying he’ll deal with it later, Nisha is unaware that Kinza holds the majority share in the family’s wealth. It’s clear that Kinza has set the ball rolling on Asfandyar and Nisha’s destruction after all the grief she has seen these two put Misha through.
Episode 18 saw a great tragedy take place, but one that will give the show a push in terms of changing tracks. Viewers see Ahmer (Fahad Sheikh) come to the foreground again (finally!) as he calls Shajeela (Sajida Syed) to inquire about Misha’s (Areeba Habib). He’s shocked when he’s informed that she’s on life support in a bad state. He immediately calls Areej (Hajra Yamin) and Humaira (Maira Khan) to visit the hospital, panicked. When Humaira arrives, she is shocked upon discovering what happened between Asfandyar, Misha and Nisha and informs Ahmer. While Humaira is seen supporting Misha’s parents through their trauma, their pain only deepens. Misha, in her final moments, surrounded by her family, imagines Asfand by her bedside, wishing for his presence even in her final moments. This scene is not only heartbreaking for her family, but also for viewers, seeing how the character of Misha was mistreated and neglected. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to fathom this outcome, because the audience really did have hopes that Misha would make a comeback, move on with her life and go on to find happiness – emerging as a winner in her life, while Nisha would self-destruct. Unfortunately, this is not the path the show chose to follow. Instead, it seems viewers are in for a revenge track.
Ahmer is seen grieving and praying for Misha’s well-being. Ultimately, when he’s informed by Humaira of Misha’s death, one can almost see something snap in his brain. Ahmer will, most likely, be Misha’s retaliation. Ahmer seems set to seek revenge upon both Asfandyar and Nisha. But how will he do that? Will he lure Nisha back into the fold as Asfandyar experiences financial loss? And how will Areej figure into this scenario? At present, Areej is a neglected wife, one who is seen celebrating her birthday entirely alone. She deserves much more, but it’s possible that this track will only deepen her grief for the time being.
Fahad Sheikh owns this episode, taking charge as Ahmer feels the weight of the tragedy, forgiving Misha and her family after realizing what Nisha has done to them all. Ahmer is unable to digest how Nisha not only betrayed him, but also betrayed her own sister. Nadia Hussain has been doing a great job in this role, balancing between playing the shrill, infuriated, loud-in-anger sister versus the loving, supportive, encouraging sister-in-law to Misha and her family. Areeba Habib did well in her role, though it has now come to a close. While Emmad Irfani is performing well, it’s difficult to see him in such a ruthless, uncaring role. Minal Khan’s Nisha is described by everyone from the writer to the director as selfish, compulsive, obsessive and such, but not once has she been described as a sociopath or someone with severe mental health issues. This is the reason it’s difficult to grapple with Nisha as a character and Minal Khan’s performance. The character is unexplained. She is nonsensical. There isn’t a basis for her behavior, it simply hasn’t been laid out. Like so many roles before this one, viewers are expected to swallow such portrayals as “reality” where sisters are void of empathy and emotion at hearing about their sister’s suicide attempt, no feelings of guilt at stealing away a man from a loved one, no reaction at disgracing their family…….I do not know these individuals in real life – and if I do, they are not mentally sound. There were hopes that “Jalan” would be tackling the issue of mental health in an interesting way with an obsession with a brother-in-law; but no, unfortunately, this has just been another story of “sister wants sister’s husband.”
While viewers hoped for a positive ending for Misha, one that would inspire other girls and show impressionable viewers that life does move on after love and/or divorce, the audience will just have to be content with the thought that Nisha and Asfandyar will ultimately be served some sort of punishment. What makes it more root-worthy is that it will come from Ahmer’s end, a man who has been terribly wronged by Nisha.