In the wave of melodrama and saas-bahu politics, it’s realism that tends to stand out on Pakistani television – and at times, that sense of realism can be too hard-hitting. Enter “Kuch Ankahi,” a show that depicts many cruel realities of life, yet manages to do so in a way that’s breezy, thought-provoking and engaging. “Kuch Ankahi” isn’t a fast-paced show, rather it’s a slow burner, a show that has been gradually building up storylines and setting its characters on the track towards their destination. Starring Sajal Aly, Bilal Abbas Khan, Mira Sethi, Mohammed Ahmed, Irsa Ghazal, Vaneeza Ahmed, Babar Ali, Adnan Samad Khan, Sheheryar Munawar, Asma Abbas, Ali Safina, Qudsia Ali and others, the show has been written by Mohammed Ahmed and directed by Nadeem Baig.
In episode 14, the show finally moves towards Aaliyah (Sajal Ali) and Salman’s (Bilal Abbas Khan) romance. While Salman’s feelings have been transparent all along and he has been vocal about his feelings for Aaliyah to her face, she has been more hesitant in reciprocating. Aaliyah has always been the breadwinner of her family, a woman who knows how to handle herself and the world – and yet, Salman brings out a softness in her that she never really knew she had. After Aaliyah accepts Azfar’s (Sheheryar Munawar) job offer, Salman is disappointed in how quickly Aaliyah is willing to bend her principles and, for the first time, is visibly angry with Aaliyah. On the flip side, Aaliyah is simply doing what’s best for her family and, at a time when she really needs someone to talk to, Salman has abandoned her. While the audience has seen the relationship building, Aaliyah hasn’t realized just how much she has come to rely on Salman and his advice. And while she doesn’t see it just yet, her behavior and care indicates exactly how she feels about Salman. It is refreshing to see the narrative switch focus and dedicate over 50% to this couple, a pair that has deserved focus from the beginning. Sajal Aly and Bilal Abbas Khan share such warm, sweet chemistry in the perfect boy and girl next door (or, rather, within the same household) romance and are winning our hearts with their performances. Of course, Almas (Annie Zaidi), Salman’s mother, is the ultimate matchmaker, a woman who not only sees her son’s desires, but also takes up for Sofia, who she can see is confused. This is the sweet character who will put this family back together.
Despite all their family drama and internal politics, it’s wonderful to see how the entire family comes together to support Deepak in his education. Sofia (Vaneeza Ahmed) and Agha Ji (Mohammed Ahmed) may be at “war” technically, but when it comes down to things that matter, they do stand together – and this is really sweet to see. Vaneeza Ahmed deserves a round of applause for her performance as Sofia verbally lets herself loose on Mina’s husband (Saqib Sameer), explaining that she will not allow him to exploit Mina and Deepak for his own financial gain.
The rest of the episode focuses briefly on the other storylnes. Sofia and Tanvi’s (Babar Ali) feud continues – and it is so endearing watching Babar Ali in this light-hearted, comedic role. He is performing exceptionally well. Shakeel (Adnan Samad Khan) focuses his attention on Tania (Qudsia Ali) in order to inherit the family property through marriage and it’s great to see that Tania is a wise, educated young woman who can see right through his scheming. Both these actors are so talented and though their storyline isn’t particularly meaningful or receiving much attention, these are the moments that make us laugh. Samiya (Mira Sethi) continues to fight her mother-in-law’s attempts to swindle money from Agha Ji. However, it’s great to see that Samiya is learning to stick up for herself and does not give in to these demands. She may be quiet and meek, but she is sticking to her principles and Mira Sethi is playing this role convincingly.
Honestly, there’s little to criticize about “Kuch Ankahi” other than the fact that we just want these storylines to be given proper focus. The entire cast is doing such a commendable job, convincing us that they are truly their characters – and we want to see more. What happens with too many characters is that it’s difficult to balance out the attention given to characters – and this has been happening with “Kuch Ankahi” since episode one itself. Fortunately, now that Samiya’s wedding drama is over, the other characters are now receiving their fair share of attention. Let’s hope it continues this way!