“Mein Hari Piya” stars Sami Khan, Hira Mani, Sumbal Iqbal and Marina Khan, has been written by Qaisra Hayat and directed by Badar Mehmood. When “Mein Hari Piya” first began, this was a story of a happily married couple, Sarah (Hira Mani) and Fawad (Sami Khan), but lacking only one thing in their marriage – a child. Enter Farwa (Sumbal Iqbal), Sarah’s childhood friend, a young woman from a lower class with a stifling home background. Farwa isn’t that “stereotypical” second lead, the scheming friend who wants to break her friend’s home and steal her husband. This is a young woman who respects her friend’s marriage, but also wishes she could have happiness like that too – you know, a normal woman with normal dreams. Unfortunately, where “Mein Hari Piya” went horribly wrong was precisely when they decided to take this “normal” girl and turn her into a scheming, stealing, lying, murderous psychopath.
By episode 62, Sarah has finally had a child of her own and this is burning Farwa up inside. She is furious – no one can rise “above her” or her son, Saad…..not even Asad, a two day old baby. Farwa has done everything under the son from accusing Sarah of infidelity, attempting to force Sarah’s miscarriage by poisoning her food and now, in her latest of grand gestures, she tries to suffocate baby Asad to death. Let’s just pause here. Yes, given, Farwa comes from a lesser background and yes, she always wanted companionship – but what would drive a seemingly normal woman to go to this extent? This isn’t good writing about the state of mental health. It’s simply making the “other wife” go crazy in order to create masala in a story. This could have been a fascinating window into the life of a man with two wives and how the two women dealt with their tricky situation – one childless, the other loveless. But instead, it has become a story about “innocent, sweet” Sarah and “conspiring, evil” Farwa.
Coming back to Farwa attempting to suffocate Asad, Sarah walks into the room, which causes Farwa to toss the pillow away, which hits Saad. He falls down and is knocked unconscious…..with a pillow…..hitting him lightly…..in the face. While evil Farwa once again tries to blame Saad’s injury on Sarah, Fawad sees through it all. At the hospital, Saad is diagnosed with epilepsy as the “doctor” berates the couple with what’s “wrong” with their child and the lifelong difficulties their child will face due to this incurable disease. Honestly, what sort of doctors are these in Pakistani dramas? What self-respecting doctor would give bad news like this and offer zero words of encouragement? Of course, Fawad then immediately tells Farwa that this is her punishment for what she has done to Sarah. Wait just a minute here – let’s make it clear that Fawad doesn’t know anything about Farwa trying to poison Sarah (because Sarah is so dim and sacrificing that she didn’t tell him) nor does he know that Farwa was in the room trying to murder Asad. So his making this declaration is not only absurd, it’s unfair. Why is a child the tool for “punishment” in this scenario? A child is innocent, so why would anyone declare to a scared mother that her child is her punishment from God?This makes it seem as though individuals with any illness or disability are being punished for the sins of their parents – which couldn’t be further from the truth. In trying to make Farwa out to be the biggest witch possible, Sarah and Fawad are looking like judgmental, self loving saints who cannot see the damage they themselves have brought upon Farwa. Oh but wait, sorry, Farwa is bad and has been written to be “bad,” so we must maintain this.
With the finale of “Mein Hari Piya” airing tomorrow, it’s unlikely that there will be a follow-up review to this – unless something particularly triggering happens in tomorrow’s episode. “Mein Hari Piya” has not really been a guilty pleasure – there hasn’t been anything enjoyable about this show. Honestly, the highlight of the show has been Hamza Sohail as Saud, the most balanced, likable character on the show. The rest has been highly forgettable.