Written by Mohammad Ahmed and directed by Nadeem Baig, “Kuch Ankahi” stars 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. Up until now, we have seen Aaliyah and Salman’s love story blossoming in slow motion, but hitting a road bump in the form of Aaliyah’s job with Azfar. In episode 20, Aaliyah (Sajal Aly) is asked by Sehrish to take flowers and a cake to Azfar’s (Sheheryar Munawar) home for his birthday. Aaliyah, on her part, decides to do a little extra and goes slightly overboard with the decorating. Regardless, Aaliyah learns the hard way that one should not overstep or enter someone’s home uninvited when Azfar gets angry at her presence. On his part, Azfar has his reasons for being upset and wanting to be alone.
Azfar has not been an easy character to relate to – or even like. Up until now, he has been a rude, stubborn, arrogant and even unethical man and his behavior towards Aaliyah has come across as a potential workplace harasser. However, in this episode, we finally get to see what’s inside that hard exterior – an injured young boy. This is a man who lost his mother at 7 years old, had a stepmother brought into the fold and was sent away to boarding school while grappling with all these changes. Azfar is resentful, but looking at the way his father treated him when he just needed love and support – can we blame him? Sheheryar Munawar is the sort of actor who can really bring out those “wow” moments (as we saw a few years ago in “Pehli Si Mohabbat”) and he is doing it again. Just with his expressions and the way he emotes with his eyes, we can see how this vulnerable young man with a stoic exterior is starting to confide in Aaliyah, trust Aaliyah and even developing a soft spot for her. And while we’re rooting for Aaliyah and Salman, it’s undeniable that Sheheryar and Sajal share great chemistry as Azfar and Aaliyah.
Unfortunately for Aaliyah, her absence has her family worried sick and they send Salman (Bilal Abbas Khan) to check on her – and he finds her in Azfar’s house alone with him on his birthday. After getting into the car with Salman, Aaliyah demands to be dropped to her office and behaves in an unkind way. This is where the Aaliyah character tends to lose points, honestly. Yes, a woman has a right to her independence and yes, she deserves to be trusted by those who love her – but trust is earned. Would any logical partner blindly trust when the other is doing things with informing or offering any sort of explanation when caught in an awkward position? Had the tables been turned with Salman and Sehrish, wouldn’t Salman be expected to explain himself? Aaliyah’s family is no less as Shammo (Irsa Ghazal) questions Aaliyah and Agha Ji (Mohammed Ahmed) shows his trust and faith in his daughter – but also expresses disappointment in her actions. Aaliyah, as a character, needs to grow up and recognize that compromise, trust and understanding is required in a relationship. It’s interesting, because Aaliyah has always been the “man” of her family, the breadwinner, and in that role, she has also adopted the traits of that breadwinner who does not look at gender roles or expectations. Sajal Aly has really brought this character to life with her confident, strong portrayal, allowing the flaws in Aaliyah to seep out.
In contrast, Salman is the softer one, the one who is willing to bend and apologize, have discussions and accept defeat. Salman is angry with Aaliyah, but the moment he shares with Almas (Annie Zaidi) is really quite sweet as he expresses his anger – but almost immediately tells his mother that he’s not as bad as she believes him to be. The Salman-Almas relationship continues to be a highlight and Bilal Abbas Khan’s expressions and reactions in this episode are spot on, showing the anger, disappointment and kindness interspersed within Salman’s character. Bilal Abbas Khan is such a great actor and he proves it each time.
There are some really cute moments between Sofia (Vaneeza Ahmed) and Tanvi (Babar Ali) in this episode as Tanvi does his best to win over Deepak. Sofia has taken responsibility for Deepak and in this way, Tanvi is also stepping up to play the role of a father figure. This upsets Sofia as she is not yet on board with this marriage, but the way these sequences play out are adorable – and Babar Ali is just so sweet as Tanvi. Vaneeza and Babar are a joy to watch in their roles, but we need so much more of their scenes together.
“Kuch Ankahi” continues to be a gem of a show. There are many tracks, such as Samia and Saif, along with Tanya’s currently missing friend and all of these tracks are enjoyable to watch. Mohammed Ahmed has done a good job of stringing these stories together in a seamless way. There is enough material here for this show to continue for many more weeks and with “Kuch Ankahi” potentially the best thing on television right now, the thought of it ending any time soon is stress-inducing.