There are some shows that bring in ratings week after week due to the absolute insanity of the storyline. “Jalan” has been that show since day one, making viewers sit up and take notice of this action-packed, toxic tale of two sisters. Written by Sidra Seher Imran and directed by Aabis Raza, “Jalan” stars Minal Khan, Emmad Irfani, Fahad Sheikh and Hajra Yamin in lead roles. In the last episode, we saw that Asfandyar and Nisha have split, causing Nisha to leave the house and return……home?
In episode 29, Humaira (Maira Khan) is speaking to Sajeela (Sajida Syed) about moving to Lahore with her, Ahmer and Areej – and getting her to the point of being convinced -, when the duo have an unexpected intruder. Nisha barges into the house and when Sajeela, the owner of the home, asks her to leave, Nisha bluntly says the house does not belong to her, but belongs to her father. There are characters that are made for the “love to hate” category – but Nisha is not one of those characters. Nisha is actually a pain to watch and one simply wants to reach into the screen and throw her out of a window. There must be a limit to delusion and Nisha, as a character, has surpassed that level. She can no longer be humored as “selfish” or “spoiled.” While I’ve been screaming about mental illness from the get-go (because Nisha has not been written as a normal character), that is an angle that has been brushed off and neglected from the start. But at the point that Nisha is now at, there’s a limit to what the audience will accept as “selfish.” To even call Nisha’s behavior as narcissism would be a stretch, because her problems are much more than simply being self-obsessed and unempathetic. She does not have any sense. She left this home by choice and was disowned by both parents – and has now come back, because, well, she has nowhere else to go! As a viewer, I can only say that I desperately wish Nisha’s character had been given a better “backbone” – something that would lend credibility to her behavior and rationalize why she is this way. But this is simply much more than just “parenting gone wrong” (which is what we’ve heard from the team). Yes, the parents messed up by not setting Nisha straight and protecting Misha as the two grew up, but this is simply not a spoiled child. She is a sociopath.
Now under the same roof as Ahmer (Fahad Sheikh), Nisha has focused her sights on him once again, paying no heed to Areej’s (Hajra Yamin) existence. For her, she does not matter and is simply another thorn that needs to be removed. Nisha didn’t spare her own sister, so why would Areej be a problem? Areej is still in a place of insecurity, only recently having found love in her marriage and so the relationship is very fragile. Nisha’s entry is creating havoc once again with Areej feeling insecure and scared that Nisha will steal her husband away. Fortunately, Ahmer is honest with his wife and tries his best to reassure her that he loves only her and there isn’t any space in his life for a woman like Nisha. But who will tell Nisha that? Nisha does not even seem disturbed by Ahmer’s flat-out rejection and it only makes her more determined to get Ahmer back in her life. Again, Nisha is far past the delusional point and does not understand that she cannot get a man who holds her responsible for everything bad that happened in his life – but she will try! Fahad Sheikh and Hajra Yamin continue to be the highlight of the show, their relationship coming across as natural and realistic. It isn’t easy to overcome past complaints and problems that quickly and their relationship, so it’s nice to see an authentic relationship progression.
Overall, the episodes are beginning to drag and is there really an ending that would satisfy viewers? Misha is dead, as well as their father, so the damage has been done. Asfandyar (Emmad Irfani) is now feeling terrible for his choices, but they were his choices. Nisha did not hold a gun to his head, he made the choice not only to cheat on his wife, but to verbally abuse her, mistreat her, push her and even declare that he wants her to have an abortion. This does make his accusation towards Nisha for having an abortion all the more laughable, because what hypocrisy! There isn’t really any defending Nisha, but Asfandyar was her partner in crime and he cannot whitewash himself for that. Realistically, Ahmer and Areej’s love story is what’s keeping the story moving.