Farhan Saeed and Hania Amir tend to be more choosy in terms of drama scripts and so, when both actors sign on a show together, it arrives with great expectations. Add to that the remaining cast, including Samina Ahmed, Saba Hameed, Wasim Abbas, Tara Mehmood, Aly Khan and so forth and this appears to be a show worth investing time in. Written by Saira Raza and directed by Qasim Ali Mureed, “Mere Humsafar” promises to be one of ARY’s next hit shows. So how does the first episode fare? Let’s discuss.
As the episode opens, we are introduced to Shah Jahan (Saba Hameed) and Sofia (Tara Mehmood), the two daughters-in-law of the household. Both having married their Phupos sons, they are mistreated horribly by their mother-in-law (Samina Ahmed), a woman who believes her daughters in law are constantly plotting against her to kill her or have her thrown out of the house. Shah Jahan’s living conditions are made worse by her husband Raees (Wasim Abbas) and his bickering, hot-headed demeanor. Shah Jahan has to penny pinch to fulfill the needs of herself and her children, but Raees even spends her savings on his mother unfairly. While Shah Jahan already lives in dire circumstances, matters are made worse with the arrival of Nafees (Aly Khan), the family’s third son. Having lived abroad for years, Nafees married a British woman for citizenship and now, having finally availed it, he has gotten a divorce – but has a child from the union. After marrying for a second time, he cannot keep his daughter, Hala, with him. He is his mother’s son after all and bribes his mother to keep Hala with her by gifting her expensive earrings. While Hala is family, Hala’s arrival has put more of a burden on Shah Jahan, a burden she is not willing to accept.
It’s evident from the get-go that Shah Jahan’s son Hamza will grow up to be Farhan Saeed’s character, while Hala is Hania Amir and with the two growing up under the same roof, they will fall in love. For a first episode, “Mere Humsafar” does manage to make an impact despite being riddled with the typical kitchen politics and saas-bahu bickering. By giving Shah Jahan a solid backstory and painting her living conditions out for the audience within the first episode, it gives Saba Hameed’s character a strong basis for what she will eventually grow into – a bad mother-in-law. Attitudes aren’t always inherent – sometimes they are inherited. And in the case of Shah Jahan, they are passed down as an inheritance from her mother-in-law. One is immediately reminded of “Mirasim,” another Saba Hameed starrer where her character was similarly given a strong backstory for becoming a “bad” mother-in-law. “Marasim” is a show that remains memorable even today. Will “Mere Humsafar” be able to match up? Regardless, the first episode shows much promise.