“Pardes” tells the story of immigrants, those workers who leave their families behind to live comfortable lifestyles while they work in foreign countries alone. Starring Sarmad Khoosat, Shaista Lodhi, Durr E Fishan, Affan Waheed, Gohar Rasheed, Sharmeen Khan, Atiqa Odho and many others, “Pardes” has been written by Sarwat Nazir and directed by Marina Khan. Recently, we have seen the show take a leap with the focus moving onto Ahsan and Zubeidaa’s children and how their life choices have deeply impacted them.
Episodes 17 & 18 focuses on Ahsan’s (Sarmad Khoosat) deteriorating health. With the doctors declaring that Ahsan has approximately one month to live, this has Ahsan wanting to see Aiman (Durr E Fishan) married as soon as possible. Everything appears to be running smoothly with Aiman and Salman’s (Hammad Shoaib) engagement and the audience even finds themselves silently cheering for Salman, as he genuinely seems like a kind individual who will take care of Aiman after marriage. Nabila has also realized her faults and wishes to make things right for her brother, her demeanor softening (though her husband continues to play villain). However, a speed breaker in the marriage arrives when Salman announces that he has a job in Dubai lined up and will be leaving soon. Aiman is a young girl with deep emotional scars. She lost her father (physically) at a young age and grew up without his presence due to his chase for “a better life.” She wants nothing to do with the foreign experience or that “better” life. She breaks off the engagement, saying she will never marry a man who wants to live abroad. This causes Ahsan to fall ill and land up in the hospital once again. Realizing her father’s dream is to see her married, Aiman makes a spontaneous decision.
Meanwhile, Ibad (Affan Waheed) steps in and plays hero for Aiman when he finds Zain unconscious due to drug use. Zain is an absolute mess and Ibad takes him home, allowing him the time to recover before visiting his father. Of course, this creates problems for Ibad too, as his step-siblings and mother are not happy seeing a young man in this state in their home. However, Ibad makes it clear that he will do anything for Aiman. It’s not surprising then that when Aiman calls Ibad asking him to marry her, he jumps on the idea, convincing his mother to visit the hospital with him to ask for her hand. Ibad’s mother has been through her share of trauma in life too and this is not the right time for marriage for Ibad in her mind. She isn’t trying to be unsupportive, but she simply wants her child to work hard, become successful and then marry when the time is right. She isn’t happy about this forced hand – will this become a problem for Aiman in the long run?
It’s a point to note that the pull of “Pardes” has always been Sarmad Khoosat’s performance. Post-leap, even Zubeidaa (Shaista Lodhi) has taken a real backseat in terms of story with Ahsan and Aiman now taking center stage as a father-daughter duo. But with Ahsan’s health on the edge, hinting at his impending death, will the show continue to have that “pull” after Ahsan’s departure from the canvas? “Pardes” is not an easy watch, but it has some wonderful performances and tells a realistic story that keeps the audience coming back for more.