“Mushk” is a wonderful show that does not seem to be getting the acclaim and applause it deserves. Written by Imran Ashraf and directed by Aehsun Talish, “Mushk” stars Imran Ashraf, Urwa Hocane, Momal Sheikh, Osama Tahir, Zara Tareen, Hassan Ahmed and many others. The story drags viewers into a world that’s set in the present, but retains an old-world charm.
As episode 18 opens, Adam (Imran Ashraf) is seen reminiscing with his sister over how he used to neglect her demands for things and save them for Mehek (Momal Sheikh) instead. Giving those items to his sister, Adam seems remorseful for giving Mehek preference over those who truly loved him, indicating to his sister that something is amiss with Mehek. Greeted by Guddi (Urwa Hocane), Adam shares a moment with her as Guddi recognizes and acknowledges Adam’s grief in the mammoth task he’s about to perform – letting go of the woman he loves. Imran Ashraf and Urwa Hocane’s chemistry is wonderful and their scenes leave viewers rooting for this pair. There’s also a beautiful moment where Munna (Sami Khan) bids farewell to baby Shahmeer, which shows the acting caliber of this young child actor as he brings viewers to tears.
The trio head for a detour when they get a flat tire and fate happens to stop them at a path only fifteen minutes away from Guddi’s home. Guddi looks longingly at the path, prompting Adam to ask if she wishes to visit and then accompanies her inside to meet her mother. Unfortunately, Guddi does not get the welcome she expected and Adam feels his heart softening for her, seeing how unvalued she is by her own blood. Guddi has worked hard for her family, scrounging, stealing and doing things that she didn’t want to, simply to keep her family afloat, keep her sister in school and keep her father’s treatment running. But due to her misdeeds, she has many people after her and has had to live her life on the run. Her mother’s reaction makes it clear that she’s not welcome back home and even though they love her, they do not wish to deal with the problems that come with her arrival. Guddi, wanting for a few moments of her mother’s love, leaves empty-handed, understanding that she’s simply a “cash cow” for her family now. For as long as we’ve seen Guddi up until now, she has always been a strong, secure, confident character, but it’s here that we finally understand and recognize what she has endured for the sake of her family and how vulnerable she is inside. It’s beautiful then to see Adam processing the scene and then treating Guddi with the empathy she deserves and needs in the moment. Urwa Hocane is the scene-stealer of the episode, truly making viewers understand and empathize with Guddi. Imran Ashraf plays a more supporting role in this episode, his Adam providing Guddi with the support she needs, reacting perfectly to the situation.
Shayaan (Osama Tahir) continues to be stuck in his predicament, forced to marry his young cousin. But what makes the situation worse is when his brother-in-law makes it clear that he’s doing all this for Muqaddar Khan (Aehsun Talish) and does not really care about his wife or his children….the very reason why Shayaan is going through with the marriage. The story also does a wonderful job of showing how the young, innocent girl marrying Shayaan is still a child, playing with dolls, as her mother tearfully informs her that she is now getting married herself, so she must give up her toys. Natasha Ali has been performing really well here and it’s heartbreaking (and disgusting) to see a child being forced into a marriage like this, completely naïve towards what’s to come, as her mother begs and hopes for a different outcome.
There’s a shockingly hypocritical moment in the episode as Roshni (Sehar Khan) approaches her father to ask for forgiveness, but he reacts callously, shaming her and throwing her out of the room. What makes this scene so heartbreaking is that it is his fault his daughter ran away with Saqib. Saqib was out to get revenge from Roshni’s father – and knowing this, he still reacts this way, showing that as his condition improves, his disgusting past habits are now returning. Whatever humility he had was all temporary, only connected to his helpless state. This makes the viewer further sympathize with Zulekha (Zara Tareen), understanding why she went to the lengths she did to ensure he remained helpless. As the episode ends, Guddi, Adam and Mehek arrive at Shayaan’s home. It’s clear that Mehek will walk into Shayaan’s Nikkah. But how will this situation play out? Will Mehek leave without making her presence known? Or will she confront Shayaan openly? Knowing Mehek, it will most likely be the former, leaving silently, but it will be interesting to see the other option – especially considering Muqaddar Khan’s oppressive habits. How would he react? One thing is for sure: The Imran Ashraf and Aehsun Talish writer-director duo are doing a great job of keeping viewers hooked!