In an era of fast-paced dramas with instant gratification, “Kuch Ankahi” has come along like a throwback to the past Pakistani shows of quality, a story set in present day but riddled with feelings of nostalgia. Written by Mohammad Ahmed and directed by Nadeem Baig, the cast includes Sajal Aly, Bilal Abbas Khan, Mohammad Ahmed, Irsa Ghazal, Mira Sethi, Ali Safina, Qudsia Ali, Vaneeza Ahmed, Babar Ali, Annie Zaidi, Asma Abbas, Adnan Samad Khan and Sheheryar Munawar in pivotal roles.
The best part of episode 17 is the relationship between Agha Ji (Mohammad Ahmed) and Shammo (Irsa Ghazal), which depicts the silly insecurities and fights between married couples. While this pair have been living together happily for decades, the insecurity of a past love, Zeenat, continues to be a sore spot for Shammo who accuses Agha Ji of having an affair after finding an earring in his pocket. The earring winds up being one of Shammo’s own earrings, but the situation does cause a stir – and leaves the audience with a smile on their face. These small moments are what make this family seem like our own.
Tania (Qudsia Ali) and her crew, including Shakeel (Adnan Samad Khan) spend the day shooting for their project and while these scenes are cute enough, the inclusion of Shakeel in this group seems forced. When and how did Shakeel become a photography pro and transform from the property-grabbing, immature man-child to the current Shakeel? It doesn’t fit – and if this is an attempt at throwing Tania and Shakeel together, we’d rather see her with Ali. This is not a slight against Adnan Samad Khan, who is endearing, rather his role just has not been written with the believability necessary for such a transformation.
Of course, Tanvi (Babar Ali) and Sofia (Vaneeza Ahmed) continue to be a winning duo each time they appear on-screen together…..which is simply just not often enough! We’re rooting for this couple with all our heart. While Sofia isn’t mentally there, Tanvi has always had his eyes set on Sofia – and has never really moved on from her. This is a beautiful romance waiting to happen and these two actors are perfect for such a story.
Meanwhile, Agha Ji holds on to his decision to keep the house while Shammo is bowing to the idea – while Aaliyah (Sajal Aly) supports her father in his decision. Aaliyah is a woman who is willing to do anything for her family and cannot see her father bow before anyone. She will work day and night to fulfill her father’s dreams….and that’s exactly what she is doing, which forces her regular encounters with Azfar (Sheheryar Munawar).
The downside of “Kuch Ankahi” at present is the focus on Aaliyah and Azfar. Do we, as viewers, really need to see this relationship develop at all? Don’t we already know endgame is Salman (Bilal Abbas Khan) and Aaliyah – and in that case, shouldn’t that be the relationship to receive more screen time? The Salman and Aaliyah track has been put on the backburner with audiences hoping for at least one interaction between the two characters and often coming up empty-handed. It’s interesting to see the chemistry between Sajal Aly and Sheheryar Munawar, the hit pair of “Aasmanon Par Likha,” however their characters are not ones we can root for to end up together. Azfar is the very definition of a workplace harasser and giving this any scope or importance on Aaliyah’s part makes Salman’s complaints seem valid. Aaliyah agrees that having lunch with Azfar is not in her contract, yet she still happily sits there and spends the time with him instead of objecting. It’s unnerving at this point – justice for Bilal Abbas Khan, who deserves so much more than this despite having a genuinely well-written character (who doesn’t get screen time).
Samia (Mira Sethi) and Saif (Ali Safina) are now growing closer – something which has Shagufta (Uroosa Siddiqui) on edge. How long will Shagufta sit silent? How long before Saif discovers his self worth and removes Shagufta from his life? What’s beautiful about “Kuch Ankahi” is its natural pace, but also its emphasis on human emotion. Saif has done a bad thing – but he’s not a bad person. Aaliyah is working in an environment Salman doesn’t approve of, but her intentions are purely for her family’s happiness. Sofia ran away and caused chaos for her family, but her intentions were only to find her own happiness. These characters are flawed and make flawed decisions, but they’re also lovable and that’s where “Kuch Ankahi” wins. Now if only Aaliyah would spend less time with Azfar and more with Salman, there’d be even more to praise.