“Pardes” has been a story that has consistently been winning the hearts of viewers with its (heavy) tale of the sacrifices women make when they are left behind when their husbands work abroad. This story has focused on Zubeidaa and Ahsan up until now, brilliantly played by Sarmad Khoosat and Shaista Lodhi. However now with Ahsan’s demise, the narrative has shifted to their daughter, Aiman, and the scars she holds due to a childhood without her father. Starring Sarmad Khoosat, Shaista Lodhi, Durr E Fishan, Affan Waheed, Gohar Rasheed, Sharmeen Ali and others, Pardes has been written by Sarwat Nazir and directed by Marina Khan.
In episodes 21 & 22, as Aiman (Durr e Fishan) and Ibad (Affan Waheed) arrive back home after having a traumatic night with a robbery and Zain in the hospital. However, as always, Aiman’s family reacts in an illogical manner and an ugly confrontation ensues with Asim (Gohar Rasheed) and Noshi (Sharmeen Ali) attacking the two at the door and Asim raising his hand to Aiman. Fortunately, Ibad is a stand-up man and will not tolerate his wife to be treated this way. He declares that he will take Aiman home the next day. Their Nikkah is quickly arranged and Aiman moves out. There’s a great moment where Aiman declares that she does not need Zubeidaa’s (Shaista Lodhi) as she has never taken a stand for her family before, always sacrificing her husband and children for her in-laws. While Zubeidaa has been tortured for a long time, things would have been different if she had actually taken a stand against the family and held her own, protecting her own children. However, she instead chose to be a sacrificial lamb and allowed her children to fall apart in the process (and left her husband alone to fall ill). So it’s not difficult to understand where Aiman is coming from. She loves her mother and wants to protect her, but feels a though her departure will be better for her mother’s sanity overall.
Unfortunately, Ibad’s family has their own share of problems. His mother (Atiqa Odho) was her husband’s second wife and puts up with taunts from her stepchildren regularly. Ibad’s decision to marry Aiman in a rush puts her, once again, on the receiving end. She also has always had great dreams for her son and so she puts forth a condition for Aiman living in the house – Ibad will complete his studies and get a good job before the two can live in the same bedroom. While this seems unfair to the duo, one can generally understand where his mother is coming from. This isn’t a “bad” woman or an unfair mother-in-law. She is just a woman who has endured a lot and has a lot of expectations from her son, expectations which she does not want to see demolished due to a rushed wedding. This also sets the stage for some really cute scenes between Aiman and Ibad, their living situation creating the need for the two to put in extra effort for romance.
Affan Waheed and Atiqa Odho are the stars of this episode. Of course, Durr E Fishan is a natural, but it’s Affan Waheed’s Ibad who truly steps up as the “hero” in this episode and makes the best decision for his wife. Atiqa Odho’s character is another who manages to make an impact and Atiqa does a great job performing. She is a strong woman who has had to endure a lot in life and with Ibad’s marriage, she finds herself in a sticky situation once again. Overall, “Pardes” continues to be a strong story, though one wasn’t entirely sure how it would unfold post Sarmad Khoosat’s exit.