“Mere Ban Jao” has been a critic favorite since its first episode due to its different storyline, one that’s relevant to the youth today. Social media and its use in relationships with millennials and generation Z has been high – and that includes video chatting and sharing of personal videos. However, what happens if videos are shared between two committed partners….and one winds up breaking mutual trust by releasing those videos? The basis of “Mere Ban Jao” is great, but has been losing its grip in the last couple of episodes.
In episode 10, Azmia (Kinza Hashmi) is still visibly unsettled by Fardeen’s (Azfar Rehman) behavior, even though the family is relieved to have found a “loophole.” With their marriage once again on the cards, Azmia is initially happy with the solution – until Fardeen forces her to apologize to him in front of the entire family. Azmia feels horribly degraded by this, particularly because Fardeen is the one who divorced her. Rather than apologizing to her, Azmia is forced to grovel and beg for forgiveness….and this does not sit well with her. Fortunately, it doesn’t sit well with her brother either, who is shaken by Fardeen’s behavior, but not enough to push his hand and break the relationship. Azmia’s mother is a piece of work and continues to push her daughter into what would eventually turn into an abusive marriage, as does her sister-in-law. Both women think they’re doing what’s best for her, but they are setting her up for failure.
But what comes next is where the story takes an incredibly ridiculous, unfathomable turn. Azmia, on the wedding day, leaves the house to escape the marriage. Azmia is a very silly character and it’s not clear what exactly she was trying to do here, however, once she realizes her mistake and the chaos has already been created at home, she goes back home……and runs away seeing the police there. Why would she leave and create further commotion? Why wouldn’t she just stroll in and say she had a moment of panic? Azmia makes matters even worse by calling Zaki (Zahid Ahmed) and is then spotted in a restaurant with him.
At this point, we can sense where the story is going from a mile away. Azmia will now be forced to marry Zaki, a tailor, to protect the family’s image. Meanwhile, Zaki’s own family will make Azmia’s life miserable as Zaki had only just gotten engaged. And, of course, Fardeen will release those inappropriate videos to further complicate Azmia’s life. The problem is that this storyline had a backbone on its own without this forced marriage angle. To argue further, was there really any need to create the class divide between Zaki and Azmia? Couldn’t Zaki just be a family friend, relative or classmate? This scenario simply makes the show feel unnatural. The performances in “Mere Ban Jao” are good, but the story has lost its way at this point. It will take some work to make this digestible.