“Mushk” is different from other shows in that it doesn’t strive to convey a social message (which is also great) nor does it tell a regressive, cliched story. It firmly balances the line between both, simply telling a good story in an entertaining manner, which is exactly what viewers want from a show at times. The storytelling by Imran Ashraf and direction by Aehsun Talish are the real winners on this show and they have managed to extract the best from their performers as well. Starring Imran Ashraf, Urwa Hocane, Momal Sheikh and Osama Tahir in lead roles, the show follows several different characters with connected paths.
In episode 16, Imran Ashraf’s Adam is still caught with Roshni (Sehar Khan). When Adam helps their accomplice free, believing she will set them loose, she instead chooses to run off and save her own skin. However, she surprises both when she returns with the “Maalkin’s” jewelry, money and Adam’s gun. In true hero style, Adam helps the girls (and himself) escape, battling guards on the way out and dodging bullets. The way this scene was shot is very 80s Bollywood, but thank goodness they chose to keep it realistic by only having Adam deal with two guards rather than multiple ones targeting him. Imran Ashraf has taken a very different role with Adam in everything from appearance to demeanor and it’s really suiting him. Driving back home, Adam makes Roshni aware of her mistake and Roshni is ashamed, scared of facing everyone back home – especially Zulekha.
The star of this episode is Zara Tareen as Zulekha. Zulekha tears up hearing of her daughter’s return, relieved and happy that her daughter is safe and is returning home. Mehak (Momal Sheikh) wins her over by giving her this good news and she agrees with Mehak that no one should say anything to Roshni and just be grateful that she has been found. Up until now, we have seen Zulekha as a hard, rigid woman who is dominating, manipulative and only looks out for her own well-being and those immediately connected to her. In episode 15, her grief for Roshni had no bounds and it was clear that all concepts of “izzat” and betrayal had been tossed aside, replaced by fear and heartbreak for her daughter. Again, Zulekha has never been an evil woman; rather, her circumstances have turned her into the woman she is today. Abused and neglected, she finally learned how to fight. Unfortunately, while it seems like Zulekha’s hard exterior may be softening now with Roshni’s return, bad days seem to be in store for Zulekha once again at the hands of her once-abusive husband (Hassan Ahmed).
Guddi (Urwa Hocane) has it out for Zulekha and has been playing quite the game to get revenge on her. Helping Roshni run away was Guddi’s first plan of action and she was enthusiastic at having succeeded – though Guddi isn’t evil and it’s clear that she wasn’t aware Roshni was in a brothel. Second, she has been working on bringing Dr. Rana (Raja Haider) to her side through flirtation – in return, he has been listening to Guddi’s instructions and helping Zulekha’s husband return to his good health. This will prove disastrous for Zulekha, particularly with Guddi whispering words in his ears and inciting him against Zulekha. But Guddi isn’t only up to mischief at all times. Guddi has become aware of her feelings for Adam and does not make any attempts to hide it, conveying so much to Adam over the phone – though Adam makes it clear that he believes she’s “matlabi” and does not do anything without a self-serving reason. Will Guddi be able to win Adam over? Urwa Hocane is doing a great job as Guddi and her chemistry with Imran Ashraf is surprisingly very good – and this is when the two aren’t even sharing a frame.
Of course, Shayaan (Osama Tahir) is now set to marry his young cousin, though her mother (Natasha Ali) seems as though she may revolt before this can happen. “Mushk” continues to go from strength to strength. Episode 16 wasn’t particularly eventful other than Adam and Roshni making their escape. The emphasis was placed more on the emotional fallout at home as the family awaits Roshni and Adam’s return. Still, each episode builds up the story further and makes the wait for next week even more difficult.