“Kaisi Teri Khudgarzi” stars Danish Taimoor, Durr E Fishan, Nauman Ejaz, Atiqa Odho, Shahood Alvi and Laila Wasti in pivotal roles in a story written by Radain Shah and directed by Ahmed Bhatti. The story is an intriguing one, one about obsessive “love,” a man infatuated with a young woman at first sight, pursuing her against her will and even threatening physical harm to her family in order to “get” her. This is the tale of an overgrown brat, a young man who does not know how to take “no” for an answer, who decides to get married to the object of his “affection” – whether she likes it or not.
In episode 8, Shamsher (Danish Taimoor) is busy with wedding preparations, balancing his family’s protests along with Akram’s (Shahood Alvi) unhappiness. As the day approaches, Mehak (Durr E Fishan) feels a sense of impending death as Shamsher celebrates his arriving happiness. It’s interesting to see the different reactions – for Mehak, this is a marriage that robs her of her happiness, her freedom, her future and family while for Shamsher, this is a happy moment where he’s getting exactly what he wants. In a twist of events, Dilawar (Nauman Ejaz) has it arranged on the day of the wedding for his men to attack Mehak’s car as she’s back from the parlor – and set the car on fire. In a tearful scene, both Shamsher and Akram arrive at the scene, both in tears, distraught as Akram blames Shamsher for destroying his daughter’s life and, essentially, killing her. Meanwhile, Shamsher is visibly shaken by Mehak being snatched away from him, the woman he “loves.”
It’s clear that Mehak will survive this and has somehow managed to escape this fire – which will work out in her benefit to get away from Shamsher…at least for a little while. Watching the episode and the verbal exchange between Mehak and Shamsher, the writer’s purpose seems fairly straightforward – one cannot expect love to emerge out of force. “Kaisi Teri Khudgarzi” is doing a great job of putting this idea forward, presenting Shamsher as this creepy, angry, hostile, violent man who gets kicks out of scaring others – specifically the family of the woman he supposedly loves. What’s troubling is how the audience is reacting to the story. One look at the comments on YouTube and one would think this was an intense love story with a bond between Shamsher and Mehak worth rooting for – and this is not the case. Why is it then that the audience feels as though the two should end up together? This is where the show becomes problematic – and one can’t even blame the show (at this point), rather it’s the fault of the audience.
We have to stop and wonder, had Shamsher been played by a different actor, would the point have been more effective? Danish Taimoor is so good looking that many find themselves wondering “Why wouldn’t Mehak like Shamsher?” – but that’s besides the point, because Shamsher is a stalker, harasser and abuser. And yet, while another actor could have been brought in, would he have been as effective an actor as Danish is? Because at the end of the day, all else aside, Danish Taimoor is the highlight of the show with his intense, insane performance and is driving home Shamsher’s madness. Will “Kaisi Teri Khudgarzi” wind up heading in the direction of “Khaani”? “Khaani” was also a brilliant show that treaded forward carefully and with sensitivity, always making it clear that the anti-hero was exactly that – an anti-hero. And yet, somehow, it got a “bad” label due to its audiences rooting for Mir Hadi (played by Feroze Khan) and Khaani (played by Sana Javed) due to Feroze Khan’s charisma. “Kaisi Teri Khudgarzi” appears to be heading in the same direction with viewers rooting for Shamsher, despite Shamsher being presented as a completely ruthless, terrible character.
How the show proceeds from here is so important, because that is the message the viewer will be left with. Shamsher could earn redemption, sure, but that does not mean he should earn Mehak’s love – and if he does, it could turn into a very problematic show.