“Mera Maan Rakhna” is five episodes in and does not have much to offer in terms of new content. Airing on TV One, it immediately reminds viewers of “Main Na Jaanu” and “Jo Tou Chahay” in terms of unnecessary family drama. With a cast comprising of brilliant actors like Sania Saeed, Aly Khan and Wahaj Ali, plus promising newer faces like Saad Qureshi and Sukaina Khan, viewers immediately expect something more out-of-the-box than what “Mera Maan Rakhna” really is. What we’re presented with is a repetitive story of how women are blamed for every mistake while men are let off the hook.
Muqaddas (Maryam Fatima) is in love with Mohid (Wahaj Ali), but is being forced to marry her cousin, Faaris, a boy who is not fit to be her husband. She cannot fight for herself due to her mother’s reputation for having eloped with her father. Muqaddas is a terribly irritating character, but one can’t blame her, because her mother is so timid and fails to protect her children even from their father’s ridiculous decisions, forget the rest of the family. There’s a moment of hope when Momina (Sania Saeed) protests against Sajjad’s (Aly Khan) words, giving him a reality check that she didn’t run away alone and he was equally involved in the situation – if anything, more involved, because she ran away at his convincing. And while Sajjad gives in and agrees in that moment, he reverts back to his old ways rather quickly and continues taunting her for being “ghar se bhaagi hui.” The relationship between Momina and Sajjad is laughable, because it consists of Sajjad insulting Momina for an action he had equal part in, Momina sulking and being passive aggressive and Sajjad then trying to half-heartedly apologize….and the cycle continues. Where are the layers to these characters? What did they like about each other to begin with? Sania Saeed and Aly Khan are both great actors, but what do they really have to do in this show? They are sleepwalking through it.
Shiraaz is yet another admirer of Muqaddas (and her cousin) despite knowing she’s engaged to Faaris, so between Shiraaz, Faaris and Mohid, one would think Muqaddas was the only pretty girl left on earth. Haaris Waheed plays Shiraaz and this is one of those roles he doesn’t even have to put effort into, it comes so naturally for him to play “bad” roles. This is repetitive. Maryam Fatima is also not a particularly good actress. Wahaj Ali always stands out as he is a talented actor, but he is not being used to the best of his capabilities. He deserves better than these jilted lover roles, boys who should easily be able to get the girl they want but, due to random family nonsense, do not. First “Bikhray Moti” and now “Mera Maan Rakhna,” Wahaj can do much better than this, because he IS better than this and is a good actor.
Saad Qureshi and Sukaina Khan usually play troublemakers in shows, but this time around, they are the lovebirds viewers actually want to root for. Asad and Amel are kind-hearted, supportive characters that are looking out for Muqaddas in their own way while also deeply in love with each other despite family opposition. This is the (only) story I’m actually interested in and wish these characters would get some more attention. At present, Muqaddas and Faaris are being pushed into a quick marriage, so there’s sure to be drama in upcoming epsiodes. Overall, “Mera Maan Rakhna” is repetitive and regressive in storyline and isn’t a show that could be recommended.