Kashif Nisar’s beautiful canvas and Zafar Mairaj’s stellar writing keeps audiences coming back for more helpings of “Kabli Pulao” week after week. Starring Mohammed Ehtashamuddin and Sabeena Farooq in lead roles, the show also stars Nadia Afgan, Munazzah Arif, Adnan Shah Tipu, Haseeb Khan, Saqib Sameer and others in prominent roles. A unique love story between an older man and younger woman married under unusual circumstances, “Kabli Pulao” is riveting viewing.
Episode 12 serves as a reminder to viewers that while Haji Mushtaq (Ehtashamuddin) is an excellent human being, he’s also just that…..a human being. This is a man who has lived to serve, work and support his family and harbors his own share of insecurities, which reveal themselves this week. While the food stall is not successful, Hajra advises Mushtaq and Barbeena (Sabeena Farooq) to put Barbeena’s face as at the forefront with a catering business run from their home. The idea takes off, but with Barbeena’s face splashed on social media, Barbeena begins receiving inappropriate calls and messages from men. Mushtaq is a kind man, but he’s well-aware that he’s much older than Barbeena and she would be better suited with a younger man – and this begins to creep into his mind, even if temporarily. And while Barbeena and Mushtaq are going through a rough phase, Hajra and Omer are even worse off. Hajra completes her documentary, but Omer has suddenly developed a conscience and encourages her to drop the idea entirely. This results in an argument which clues Barbeena and Mushtaq into what’s happening – and Hajra’s documentary winds up being something else entirely! The tensions felt during these sequences, not only between Mushtaq and Barbeena, but also Omer and Hajra are intense. The meddling on Hajra’s part felt unwarranted, but at the end of the day, Hajra is projecting her own feelings towards her marriage on Mushtaq and Barbeena’s relationship, which was wrong of her. She realizes this herself when she creates the end to her documentary and this wraps up the entire scenario wonderfully, stating how our preconceived notions and cyber bullying can negatively impact the relationships of others. Ehtashamuddin is a star performer, as always, but this time he truly forces the audience to see his vulnerable side, his insecurities and how, despite being a great guy, he can fall prey to the world’s meddling as well. Sabeena Farooq is a natural as Barbeena and her outburst towards Hajra is a stand-out moment, the confusion and hurt coming out as she realizes how her husband is being attacked.
The most heartbreaking part of the episode comes from Ilyaas (Umer Dar) and his master planning. In an effort to bring Mushtaq back to town, he frames and arrests his brother-in-law, Zakir (Haseeb Khan). Zakir is an older man who has seen his share of life and these are his days to relax – instead, this kind-hearted man has been put behind bars and is being mistreated by Ilyaas. Watching him being force-fed green chilies without water is anxiety-inducing and credit goes to both Haseeb Khan and Umer Dar’s performances for making the scene appear to be so real, creating immense compassion for one and severe hostility for the other.
This week’s episode of “Kabli Pulao” is action-packed and takes the audience on a rollercoaster of emotions. Whatever good will Ilyaas found in the hearts of viewers last week has now turned, once again, into disdain and disapproval. From the previews, it seems Zakir will meet his end while in jail and could Shamim ever consider a person to bring so much grief to Mushtaq’s family? This love story will most likely remain one-sided. Adding to the chaos, Baraan is now intertwined with the family and with Barbeena now coming back home, this is sure to create further conflict. “Kabli Pulao” has been an engrossing watch from day one and is not losing its grip.