“Pardes” is one of those dramas that hasn’t been on the receiving end of praise from every corner, but has consistently been delivering solid content. This is a realistic story about fathers who leave home to earn for their families and how their families are affected back home, including the psychological effects. Starring Affan Waheed, Durr E Fishan, Shaista Lodhi, Sarmad Khoosat, Gohar Rasheed, Sharmeen Ali, Atiqa Odho and others, the story has been written by Sarwat Nazir and directed by Marina Khan.
With the finale of “Pardes” airing next week, the show is moving towards a conclusion – but will it be the conclusion viewers are expecting? In episodes 33 & 34, we see Aiman (Durr E Fishan) back in Pakistan while Ibad (Affan Waheed) has gone abroad for a course. Aiman is unhappy throughout her pregnancy, her worst fears coming alive, the fear of living a life mirroring that of her mother’s. While Rahila (Atiqa Odho) is a supportive mother-in-law and even Rohail and Sheema have softened towards the two, Aiman deeply misses Ibad and worries that she will have the baby alone, without him. Fortunately, Ibad arrives at the hospital to help Aiman through labor and the two spend a couple of blissful days with their newborn child, who they name Ahsan. But Ibad is forced to break the news – good for him, bad for Aiman – that he has been offered a full-time job with a big company. For him, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime, but for Aiman, she sees her life slipping away from her, headed into the same scary place she grew up in. If there’s anything she does not want for her son, it’s to live the same childhood she experienced. There’s little she can do to stop him, as he promises to apply for her and Ahsan’s visa soon.
As time goes on, Aiman’s bitterness grows, particularly as her visa is rejected for a second time and she begins to envision being stuck. The sympathy for Aiman is at a high with little empathy for Ibad at this point. Yes, Ibad always wanted to fulfill his mother’s “dreams,” but those dreams also involved a motive of putting him “above” his half siblings – siblings who have now changed their ways. So why are the dreams the same? Why can’t Ibad live in Pakistan with his wife and child? Aiman made it clear to Ibad before their marriage that she did not want to ever live the life her mother experienced and Ibad understood that – so this is a breach of trust on his part. He now expects Aiman to step in and care for his family, but he can’t even hold true to a promise…..and is doing little to expedite Aiman’s visa – which family visas are certainly a thing.
Of course, Asim (Gohar Rasheed) and Noshi’s (Sharmeen Ali) story is seeing a bitter conclusion. After Nomi’s betrayal, the two have been left abandoned with little to their name and Asim is now in poor health. Again, this is another situation mirroring that of the past – Ahsan’s condition towards the end of his life. Asim now recognizes all the injustices he heaped upon his brother, Zubeidaa , Aiman and Zain and feels sorry for it. It seems as though Asim and Noshi will end up moving back in with Zain and Zubeidaa while the path has been set for Zain’s love story with Zubeidaa’s cousin’s daughter.
“Pardes” started off as a Sarmad Khoosat and Shaista Lodhi show all the way, but over time, Durr E Fishan has done a wonderful job of making it her own. She has enacted Aiman in such a way that the audience truly understands her, her insecurities and her determination to have a different future. Now the question is – will Aiman discover her independence and find a way to live happily despite her husband’s absence? Or will Aiman seek a divorce and choose to live life on her own terms? Either way will not excuse Ibad’s behavior (who has been a nice character – up until now), but as an audience, we would like to see a happy Aiman at the end – whatever that happiness entails.