One thing is clear about “Jalan”: This is a show that does not let up on the drama. Each episode brings its share of chaos with it and now after three episodes, the intensity seems like it’s set to increase. Starring Minal Khan, Areeba Habib, Emmad Irfani and Fahad Sheikh in the lead roles, “Jalan” airs on ARY and depicts some truly dysfunctional relationships. Minal Khan’s Nisha takes extreme steps in the name of jealousy – but will ARY step out of its comfort zone to truly do something different with “Jalan” or will this be yet another story of jealous sisters? Will “Jalan” acknowledge the mental imbalance within Nisha and impart some knowledge upon viewers regarding mental health? So far, this track is not clear, but what is clear is that there’s a problem with Nisha’s way of thinking.
In episode 3, Misha (Areeba Habib) and Asfandyar (Emmad Irfani) are now married and blissfully so. There is a genuine affection and respect between this couple and that shines through. Asfandyar’s sister (Nadya Hussain) heads back home after the wedding and the two are now left alone – which has left the door open for Nisha’s interference. While Asfandyar senses something is amiss with his wife’s sister, he does not realize to what extent. He does, however, try to keep his distance from Nisha and not involve himself in anything having to do with her. But for how long? It’s clear that Nisha will begin cozying up to her brother-in-law soon enough and drive a wedge between Asfandyar and Misha to get what she wants – which is Asfandyar.
On the other end, Ahmer (Fahad Sheikh) is growing more concerned with Nisha’s behavior and interest in Afandyar. Sensing that Nisha is pulling away after a particularly nasty argument, Ahmer approaches his family and demands that his marriage to Nisha happen within the week. When the family sits down to plan the wedding, Nisha angrily storms in and rejects the idea, stating she won’t marry Ahmer. Her father (Mohammad Ahmed) openly declares that she will marry Ahmer and that’s his final decision. Later, Ahmer and Nisha fight again and Ahmer declares that he will make sure Nisha marries him.
The pressure surrounding Nisha and Ahmer’s marriage comes across as ridiculous. Putting aside Nisha’s interest in Afandyar (which no one knows about barring Ahmer, who has his suspicions), what good can come out of a “love marriage” that a girl is no longer interested in. Nisha is a “different” kind of character, to put it kindly. She is not domesticated nor is she career-driven. She is not particularly respectful towards her elders and she openly disrespects her own parents. So everything else aside, why would Ahmer’s family want to carry this relationship forward? Why would Nisha’s parents want to inflict their daughter on someone else? Most importantly, why would Ahmer WANT Nisha after all this? Nisha has begun gaslighting Ahmer, making him feel inadequate and causing him to doubt his own actions. Now that being said, Ahmer also takes a turn for the worst in this episode, bullying Nisha and creating family pressure to force her to marry him despite her refusal. This entire scenario is a recipe for disaster.
Overall, Minal Khan’s performance is the highlight of the show so far as she’s doing a great job playing this highly unlikable, unfathomable, unstable character. Will Emmad Irfani’s Asfandyar eventually give in to Nisha’s advances? Will he stray? Or will the show tread a road less traveled and explore a stalking storyline? Personally, I’m hoping for the latter.