“Khwaab Nagar Ki Shehzadi” is a show that airs four days a week on ARY Digital. Starring Mekaal Zulfiqar, Mashal Khan, Anmol Baloch, Alyy Khan, Sajida Syed and several others, it has been written by Ali Moeen and Rehana Aftab and directed by Syed Ramish Rizvi. “Khwaab Nagar Ki Shehzadi” is a show that one could call a train wreck, a show that wreaks havoc on the mind and tests the patience of the viewer – and yet, it’s an addiction, something that leaves its audience wondering “What could possibly happen next?”
As of the latest episode, Sehar (Anmoml Baloch) is now expecting a child, leaving Saim (Mekaal Zulfiqar) unable to divorce her. The pregnancy aside, does Saim even want to divorce Seher? Saim is the show’s most despicable character, a man who didn’t bat an eyelash cheating on his own wife and now, when he had the opportunity to correct things, he continues to protect Sehar and humiliates Meera (Mashal Khan), a wife he claims to love. Now both wives are living under the same roof with Saim, both expecting babies and at absolute odds with one another.
Some stories are so over-the-top, one cannot imagine such a thing happening in real life. And yet, these stories are taken from incidents that have actually occurred. What sort of man marries the household help? Can this really happen? The answer is yes – and that’s what makes such shows so infuriating to watch and yet, one feels compelled to see it through to the end. I’ve abandoned “Khwaab Nagar Ki Shehzadi” on several occasions, only to pick it right back up and catch up on missed episodes. Is this a particularly good show? Not necessarily. This is a show that would fall into the “guilty pleasure” category, one that isn’t particularly action-packed and has too many episodes considering the storyline. There are moments that are so ridiculous, one cannot even believe they’ve been written into the show. What sort of business deals are dropped because the boss married his maid? What sort of school expels a student because their father married a maid? That’s right, no one does this. This is not an ethical practice and the personal lives of parents are not dragged into school matters unless it’s directly affecting school performance.
And yet, the characters played by Mashal Khan, Aly Khan and several of the external family members are quite likable. Mashal Khan shines as Meera, a woman who is caught in a truly terrible place and while she has been brought down by her husband and her household maid, she struggles to maintain her dignity and the upper hand. She’s a working woman, a woman who knows her own worth and what she deserves. What’s wonderful is how the entire family, both Meera’s and Saim’s, rally around Meera and give her their unconditional support. What Saim has done is so terrible and is affecting them all in many ways. One has to wonder what compelled Mekaal Zulfiqar to sign this role, a role that’s so unlikable that it’s difficult to find any soft spot for Saim. And still, this show continues to bring its viewers back for more in the hopes that Meera ultimately finds her strength and manages to gain the upper hand, putting both Saim and Seher in their place in the end.