“Mushk” continues to be the best show on television. Starring Imran Ashraf, Urwa Hocane, Momal Sheikh and Osama Tahir in lead roles, this drama has been written by Imran Ashraf and directed by Aehsun Talish. Last we saw, Guddi, Mehek and Adam walked into Shayaan’s Nikkah and left disappointed. Episode 20 is entirely dialogue-based rather than focusing on action, but this works in its favor, as at present, the characters are all grappling with and coming to terms with their emotions regarding different situations. There are three main tracks in this episode in particular, which include Mehek (and Munna), Adam and Guddi and last, but not least, Shayaan.
Having returned from witnessing Shayaan’s marriage, Mehek is distant, silent and emotionally withdrawn – even from her own child, Shahmeer. Munna (Sami Khan) runs into the room, wondering why Mehek cannot hear the cries of her child, but realizes how troubled Mehek is after seeing her standing listlessly at the window. This scene brings the viewer to tears as Munna questions Mehek about Shahmeer’s reunion with his father, bringing out Munna’s own heartbreak at being unable to meet his deceased parents, tearing up as he declares himself an orphan. He questions why Shahmeer’s father didn’t embrace him even once and leaves the room in tears when Mehek kindly tells him that Shahmeer’s father should also be considered deceased. The weight of this scene sits heavy on the heart as one realizes how much grief Munna carries inside, always smiling and ready to serve those he works for, but internally wondering why his parents left him and why he deserved this fate. Viewers have seen Sami Khan as a talented kid in comedy roles, but in the role of Munna, he is proving himself to be a bundle of talent, exceling in these heavy, emotional scenes. Momal Sheikh does a wonderful job as Mehek this week, Mehek finally beginning to grapple with the weight of her helplessness. Momal Sheikh admitted recently that Mehek is a weak character and it’s true. Mehek may be educated, but she’s afraid of confrontation and she acts on impulse. Her marriage to Shayaan was an impulse, something to reassure herself of her relationship. Her hiring of Guddi was an impulse, something to save her image. And now that Mehek has realized (a misunderstanding) that Shayaan has betrayed her, she is now forced to face her actions – and the life that awaits her in the future. Her silence and quiet words are powerful and Momal Sheikh does a wonderful job.
The second story, of course, focuses on Shayaan (Osama Tahir) himself, a man who is now married to a child and is trying to come to terms with his own reality. He is disgusted with himself, but at the same time, he also realizes that he now wields power over Muqaddar Khan (Aehsun Talish). The circumstances have flipped and even Muqaddar Khan realizes that he’s now in a weaker position as his daughter’s happiness now rests in Shayaan’s hands. And despite this knowledge, Shayaan is not a grinning cat, rather he is repulsed at himself, at the situation that he’s now in. Like Mehek, Shayaan is also very innocent and not particularly a go-getter. He used all his energy in his attempts to escape and he had accepted his fate quietly in the end – but will things remain this way? Or will Shayaan’s confidence and power grow in his new role as Muqaddar Khan’s son-in-law? Osama Tahir is brilliant in this episode as Shayaan struggles with the new life that lay ahead of him, mourning about the past and future all at once. Osama Tahir is an actor who deserves more credit.
Of course, last but not least, we come to Adam (Imran Ashraf) and Guddi (Urwa Hocane). The trio set out to help Mehek reunite with Shayaan, but while the journey was unsuccessful for Mehek, Adam and Guddi gained something positive out of this journey. Guddi realized her own worth with her family members, which not only saddened her, but humbled her in a way. Seeing her grief, Adam has realized that the woman he finds irritating has actually been through a lot to become the person she is today. Adam and Guddi are two characters who seem very different at first, but as one begins to analyze, Adam and Guddi have both lived their lives according to the wishes of others. Adam is an inherent people-pleaser, always doing what will make others happy and not thinking about his own desires. While Guddi seems harsh on the outside, she is the same. Circumstances forced her to work hard for her family and live a life away from them in order to earn, but her choices brought her nothing but personal grief and hardship. The sequences between Guddi and Adam are beautiful in how natural, realistic and sweet they are. These scenes do not feel forced, rather they show how the duo now have a newfound appreciation for the other and Adam has visibly softened towards Guddi – and even realized the value of her feelings. Finally realizing that Mehek’s path is different from his, he has allowed his heart to begin to heal – and it’s clear that he has feelings for Guddi and is now allowing himself to not only feel those emotions, but enjoy his time with her. These scenes bring a huge smile to the face and one finds themselves desperately rooting for these two characters to find happiness with each other. Imran Ashraf and Urwa Hocane do a wonderful job and their chemistry radiates off the screen.
Episode 20 can be called the strongest in terms of content and performances. The show has taken off with Adam and Guddi’s love story, along with setting Shayaan and Mehek on a new path. How will both these characters deal with their new circumstances? Is a reunion in the cards any time soon? And what about Zulekha (Zara Tareen), who now has to face the wrath of her once-again-mobile-and-still-abusive husband? What sets “Mushk” apart is how each individual story is interesting in itself, but together, these stories weave a gripping narrative that leaves the viewer wanting more.