It wouldn’t be unfair to say that “Khaie” is the most riveting piece of entertainment currently on Pakistani television. This is an action-packed show full of negative characters and a female lead navigating her way through her new environment as she seeks to carry out her own vendetta. When Zamda (Durr E Fishan Saleem) and her family return to their ancestral village, tragedy strikes when a past family animosity claims the lives of her father and brothers – on her wedding day. Now forcibly married to Chanaar Khan (Faysal Quraishi), Zamda seeks to destroy her enemies within their own home. Written by Saqlain Abbas and directed by Syed Wajahat Hussain, “Khaie” stars Faysal Qureshi, Durr E Fishan Saleem, Khalid Butt, Uzma Hassan, Laila Wasti, Osama Tahir, Shamyl Khan, Shuja Asad, Mah E Nur Haider and others in prominent roles.
Episode 14 comes on the tail of an emotionally heavy, anxiety-inducing episode 13. Barlas (Shuja Asad) has spent the night preparing for his own death, a death to take place at the hands of Badshah Khan (Javed Jamal). The moment between Channar Khan and Barlas is beautiful, an emotional goodbye between father and son sharing their last hug. The problem with human nature is that the more we learn about others and their lives, the more connected and attached we become. We are well aware of what Durrab Khan (Khalid Butt) and Channar Khan have done to Zamda’s entire family – and many other families – purely out of cruelty and a desire for power. We are supporting Zamda in her desire for revenge. As an audience, we are on her side – and yet, it’s so difficult to not feel emotionally connected to Durrab Khan’s family after getting to know them over the past several weeks. We mourn what’s coming for Barlas, our heart breaks for Channar Khan’s loss, we feel for Gul Wareen’s (Uzma Hassan) pain…and yet, we also want this family to be punished for what they’ve put Zamda through.
Zamda, a once spirited, educated, progressive young girl has now become consumed in her quest for revenge, no longer caring who gets caught in the crossfire. She still has humanity left in her, but whenever she feels herself softening and her resolve wavering, she thinks back to the moment when she saw her father and brothers lose their lives at the hands of Channar Khan and Durrab Khan – and her desire for revenge is refueled. Durr E Fishan Saleem has done such an excellent job in her role and with her performance. She is delivering as the sweet-faced young woman with a burning desire for revenge, manipulating others for her own purpose. But while Zamda set out to destroy two lives with one stone, her well-thought-out plan…..fails.
In a stress-filled, anxiety-ridden episode, we watch Barlas stand tall, ready for his execution when Gul Wareen emerges, demanding Apana (Mah E Nur Haider) is also punished as severely for her part to play – falling in love with Barlas. Apana steps forward to admit her love for Barlas, on Zamda’s instruction – but what Zamda did not plan for is the sincerity of Barlas’ love for Apana. Barlas wins our hearts today as he protects his love, despite being a cold-blooded killer. Barlas quickly steps forward and declares that his love has been one-sided and Apana did not play any part in it, wanting to keep Apana safe. And then, as everyone prepares for Badshah Khan to pull the trigger and fire the fatal shot……he fires in the air.
This is an interesting turn of events for many reasons. First, this is a master stroke by Durrab Khan – and Khalid Butt is brilliant in this moment. He ensures that Gul Wareen and Apana’s presence pushes in that final nail in Badshah Khan’s heart, knowing that he will falter with all this pressure from the women in the family – and he does. Second, it’s not surprising and it’s actually good writing for Badshah Khan to have made this move. He is an outsider and while he’s aware of his family’s ways, he has been living away and is a more “polished” man. He would be “softer” than the rest of his family….and while shooting, his heart and hands both betray him. It’s a well executed moment, one which leaves us all – and even Channar Khan – wondering……now what?
Furthermore, how long will it take for Zamda’s name to be taken by Apana or Barlas? They will certainly remember her advice – and it may come back to haunt her and cast suspicion her way. Unfortunately while Apana and Barlas living may be a win for the Durrab Khan family, it’s a huge loss for Zamda’s revenge. What will happen next? There’s so much to praise in today’s episode, it would be difficult to pin down who to praise. First and foremost, the writer-director duo of Saqlain Abbas and Syed Wajahat Hussain deserve a round of applause. Their work has simply been astounding in the last two episodes. Of course, Shuja Asad has “owned” the last two episodes with Barlas walking to the gallows with his head held up high. This actor has a bright future ahead of him. Faysal Quraishi is brilliant as the father who is unable to openly express his pain at the thought of losing his son while Uzma Hassan shatters our hearts with her cries for her son’s life. Khalid Butt as the head of the family watching his inner circle turn on each other is brilliant, a man torn between sense of “justice” and “family.” Hina Bayat Khan, Mah E Nur Haider, Laila Wasti, Shamyl Khan….each and every actor has played their part beautifully. At this point, we’re just left wondering what the next step will be for this family, for Zamda and for justice. Regardless, “Khaie” has its audience in a chokehold, eagerly waiting for each episode.