Starring Momal Sheikh, Osama Tahir, Imran Ashraf and Urwa Hocane in leading roles, “Mushk” is a show with a storyline and presentation that sets it apart from the rest. Set in a small village, the story manages to retain this old-school feel that is a welcome change. Written by Imran Ashraf and directed by Aehsun Talish, the story follows Mehek (Momal Sheikh) and her return to her village after a stint abroad.
In episode 6, as Adam (Imran Ashraf) stands in shock, believing Guddi (Urwa Hocane) has left with the baby, he is pleasantly surprised when Guddi emerges laughing, teasing him for believing she’d leave so callously. This is another moment that adds layers to the Guddi character, a character that is manipulative and self-serving, but clearly not a bad person at heart. Adam takes the backseat again in this episode, though his law degree is discussed and it’s clear that he comes from a good background. Instead, the focus is shifted onto Guddi’s return to the house (with revenge against Zulekha on her mind) and a new angle that comes across as a surprise.
The truth of Shayaan’s (Osama Tahir) jail companion is revealed and it makes for an intriguing story. When Malik Sahab’s wife (Natasha Ali) stumbles upon the secret jail, she is left speechless to see Sajjad (Sohail Sameer) there. Quite honestly, I was shocked too, because it was difficult to see who the actor was under all that “old” makeup. It is revealed through flashbacks that Malik Sahab’s wife was engaged to Sajjad and the two were hopelessly in love. Malik Sahab had made her believe Sajjad had abandoned her and had Sajjad jailed in order to marry her himself. As the truth of this dawns on her, she grieves under the weight of this knowledge. Will she end up having a hand in Sajjad (and Shayaan’s) ultimate escape? Honestly, this storyline makes for a good angle and one hopes it gets more attention and won’t simply serve as a surface-level plotline.
Mehek is a difficult character to sympathize with. She had the courage to marry in secret and give birth to a child – but now that she’s back in Pakistan, she is mute and unable to defend herself or anyone else around her. She brought Guddi along with her not out of the goodness of her heart, but to buy herself more time to find Shayaan. And yet now, because of her, Guddi is being subjected to all sorts of insults and mistreatment at the hand of Zulekha (Zara Tareen), essentially being treated as a servant (which is not what she signed up for). Guddi needs the money and is helpless in that regard, so she is sticking around for that reason – but this is something “kindhearted” Mehek is taking full advantage of. There’s a moment, after hours of Guddi being put to heavy work by Zulekha, that Guddi asks Mehek to press her feet. Mehek does this, but with an expression of this being beneath her. It’s not beneath Guddi to do the same for Zulekha, but it is beneath Mehak to do so for Guddi? This is where Mehek loses my sympathy completely. She has created a story that causes someone else to suffer for her lies.
Roshni, Zulekha’s daughter, has been carrying on an affair with Saqib (Raza Talish) and while her feelings are sincere, his are certainly not. After the arrest, Roshni receives a call from Saqib who informs her (read: lies to her) that he was mistreated in jail and no longer has a place to live. Roshni calls him to the house at 1 am, saying everyone will be asleep, in order to feed him. Unfortunately for her, Mehek spots Roshni and Saqib and Zulekha rushes out seconds later. Covering for her own daughter, Zulekha tells Dada Ji that a man came to visit Mehek. What’s interesting here is Guddi’s reaction – she is well aware that Mehek is innocent, but does not bat an eyelash or even put a foot forward to help Mehek. Guddi is a frustrating character, but this is also what makes her so appealing. She has good moments, but she also has bad ones and it’s clear that she’s out to get revenge at this point from Zulekha – and she will use Roshni and Saqib’s relationship to her advantage. It’s also revealed in this episode that Zulekha is potentially having an affair with her husband’s doctor.
The highlight of this episode is, without a doubt, the backstory with Sohail Sameer and Natasha Ali. The two actors share a nice chemistry and compliment each other, so it will be great to see them together once again (after Malaal E Yaar). Despite only appearing briefly in the episode, Imran Ashraf makes his presence felt as well, along with Urwa Hocane. It’s surprising how much chemistry Adam and Guddi share despite being very different characters and it’s nice to see them share screen space together. Will Adam bring about a change in Guddi and smooth her rough edges? Imran Ashraf is a talented writer who has brought out a unique story. Most importantly, something seems to happen in every episode that keeps the viewer eagerly waiting for the next and that’s a sign of a talented writer. So far, “Mushk” continues to be on the right track – now if only Mehek would develop a backbone.