“Mohabbat Dagh Ki Soorat” is a show that follows Sanaan and Shijrat, two young individuals who are married in Nikkah. Their lives are turned upside down when the two share an intimate moment and Shijrat winds up pregnant. Since then, their relationship has faced adversity and turmoil – from both the outside world and within. Starring Sami Khan, Neelam Muneer, Syed Jibran, Sunita Marshall, Kinza Malik, Humeira Bano and others, the story has been written by Saira Raza and directed by Zeeshan Ahmed.
In episode 33, Sanaan (Sami Khan) returns home heartbroken after witnessing Bilal (Daniyal Afzal Khan) proposing to Shijrat (Neelam Muneer). While Shijrat tried to brush it off as “nothing,” Sanaan is aware that his relationship with Shijrat is moving well beyond repair – and he doesn’t understand why. Meanwhile, Narmeen attempts to take advantage of the situation by answering Sanaan’s phone and telling Shijrat off – but is caught by Sanaan. While Narmeen is a horribly manipulative, irritating character, her actions are appreciated this one time, because it forces Shijrat to think. Shijrat claims to truly love Sanaan, but simply does not want to get “married” (wake up, writers, she is married). However, she has mistreated him at every step, treating him like a criminal for a joint act. Narmeen’s actions have stirred jealousy within Shijrat, which is something we, as viewers, can appreciate. Along with this, Bilal’s proposal has pushed Shijrat up against a wall, realizing she needs to take action quickly to shut Bilal’s feelings down. And so, in a haphazard way, Shijrat agrees to have her rukhsati with Sanaan.
This should feel like a happy moment, but honestly, it does not. It’s rare that a female lead angers the audience to this point, but Shijrat (Neelam Munir) has reached the point where many viewers now believe she deserves to be left alone, wallowing in the realization of what she has done to the relationships in her life, choosing ego and self-image over love. There are some great moments between Shijrat and Bilal where Shijrat talks big, declaring that a husband is someone you choose and she has chosen Sanaan…..but with Sanaan, even after agreeing to marry him, she is short and distant. She even refuses to choose her own clothing colors, behaving as though she has been bullied into this decision. It’s not easy to watch a lead spiral like this, losing respect for not only disrespecting her husband, but also abandoning her own child, all for the sake of her image to the outside world.
In all of this, it’s Sami Khan who stands out the most, giving the best performance as the lovable, complex, kind Sanaan. While this story is all over the place, Sanaan has been a consistent, dependable character and is the reason the show has continued to be worthwhile. Neelam Muneer is doing a great job performing, but her character is infuriating. Daniyal Afzal Khan is likable in his stint as Bilal. In all of this, one wonders why Syed Jibran took his role, a role that has little scope or meaning other than being angry at all times. His track with Sunita is interesting enough, but they get little scope – and it’s infuriating watching Sanaan’s sister control Shijrat and Sanaan’s child, even stopping Shijrat’s family from meeting the baby. These backwards concepts of the man’s family having the “upper hand” need to be squashed and Pakistani dramas should do a better job of doing exactly that – not promoting it through scenes like this.
Honestly, Mohabbat Dagh Ki Soorat is a show that’s difficult to assess or critique at this point (other than bashing Shijrat as a character), because it’s not clear what the overall message is just yet. Is this show trying to shed light on “Nikkah” and how that ceremony itself is the marriage? If this is the case and this is made clear by the end of the show, showing that Shijrat (and her family) has mistreated her relationships for no reason, it’s a commendable effort. However, if it’s to drive home a different, more dramatic point then it would be a different situation entirely. We will have to wait and see how it unfolds.