“Parizaad” has been more than a show – it has been the journey of its title character, a young man who faces obstacles in life at every turn due to the way he is perceived based on his appearance. At least this is the premise, though quite honestly, appearance could have been replaced with just his lower socioeconomic status or his extreme humility, showing that “nice guys finish last” rather than focusing on colorism. Still, despite it all, “Parizaad” has been praised unanimously by Pakistani drama viewers. Starring Ahmed Ali Akbar in the title role, the show also stars Yumna Zaidi, Ushna Shah, Saboor Aly, Mashal Khan, Noman Ejaz, Urwa Hocane and many others in prominent roles. Written by Hashim Nadeem Khan and directed by Shehzad Kashmiri, “Parizaad” has recently jumped into a new track, focusing on Parizaad’s life post financial success.
In episode 21, we can see that Parizaad (Ahmed Ali Akbar) is beginning to grow more comfortable with his status, but continues to use his power for good. Whether it’s helping his employees or paying for a child’s education, Parizaad has not forgotten where he has come from and the circumstances that hindered his path to education. Still, Parizaad has inherited more than just Behroze Karim’s estate – he has also inherited his enemies, as he is informed that his life is in danger. Meanwhile, Naheed (Ushna Shah) continues to pursue Parizaad in an odd way, stating that she won’t leave Majid or her children, but essentially still wants the attention from Parizaad. While seeming uncouth, this is not an unusual emotion. Naheed was once a woman who was the desire of every man in her neighborhood – and now, she’s just a wife, that too a neglected one. She years for the love and attention she felt from Parizaad. Still, her attempts appear to be futile, as her sister Komal is not really interested in assisting Naheed in this notion. Adding to that, Parizaad has his sights set elsewhere lately.
With the arrival of RJ Annie (Yumna Zaidi) in his life, Parizaad’s life begins to turn around – as well as the current track. Annie’s arrival infuses a cute feel into the show, bringing a smile not only to Parizaad’s face, but also the faces of viewers. Annie is besotted with the idea of keeping in regular touch with her favorite poet, Parizaad, and not only asks him for his private number, but also makes full use of having that personal access. She calls him at home and at work, always apologizing for interrupting him, but unapologetic about doing so all the same. Hum TV recognizes that they have a hit pair on their hands and they utilize Ahmed and Yumna’s chemistry and fan following to the fullest, even using the “Yeh Raha Dil” soundtrack in the background, another hit show of Ahmed and Yumna’s. The highlight of the episode is when Annie asks Parizaad to make his sculpture and Parizaad, forever conscious of his appearance, lashes out, accusing her of mocking him. When Annie comes to apologize, Parizaad again lashes out and asks her to leave – before realizing she is visually impaired. This is an emotional moment and has been executed so beautifully, it brings the audience to tears (of happiness). Both Ahmed Ali Akbar and Yumna Zaidi have outdone themselves and, honestly, they didn’t have to work too hard – their chemistry does most of the work for them.
The threat to Parizaad’s life looms ominously as viewers cannot help but remember Afzal from “Pyarey Afzal” and the ruthless way in which the team dashed hearts with Afzal’s death due to the underworld. Will Parizaad meet with a similar fate? Will Parizaad’s love story with Annie never truly get the chance it deserves due to his “inheritance”? And if so, is that really necessary? What is the point of showing such a kind character finally finding happiness if he doesn’t actually get it? Still, this is jumping to conclusions, so we will have to see how the story plays out from here on out. But episode 21 of “Parizaad” is an excellent one!