“Parizaad” continues to move from strength to strength, revealing a new layer of Parizaad each week. There are few shows that amass the kind of appreciation from all corners that “Parizaad” has, winning over drama critics, fans and those who rarely watch Pakistani dramas as well. Starring Ahmed Ali Akbar, Ushna Shah, Yumna Zaidi and others in prominent roles, the story has been written by Hashim Nadeem Khan and directed by Shehzad Kashmiri. Following Parizaad’s journey from a lower-class, neglected young man to a business tycoon, this is a show that has taken many twists and turns. With Parizaad’s stature and wealth, he now faces different, but new challenges.
In episode 22, Annie (Yumna Zaidi) and Parizaad (Ahmed Ali Akbar) bond after their initially brash encounter. After realizing how harshly he judged Annie, Parizaad not only makes it up to her with his usual kindness, but also visits her home and meets her mother. Annie is besotted with Parizaad and the two share lengthy phone conversations which make it clear that there’s an attraction from both sides. Ahmed Ali Akbar is adorable as Parizaad experiences appreciation and, dare we think it, love for the first time from the opposite gender. He enjoys the attention from Annie and while he enjoys her appreciation, he also admires her for who she is – a woman who doesn’t allow her impairment to affect her quality of life. Yumna Zaidi is absolutely adorable and is a natural as Annie. The Ahmed Ali Akbar and Yumna Zaidi pair has always been a hit, but Parizaad and Annie are a different level of sweet.
The best moment of the episode comes in the form of a scene between Naheed (Ushna Shah) and Parizaad. Naheed is now actively pursuing Parizaad, looking for love while her own marriage has left her feeling empty. She is a woman who craves love and attention and while Majid (Ahmed Taha Ghani) has always been her first and true love, the loss of it has left her feeling hopeless and worthless. In what could be called the most beautiful, kind “rejection” ever, Parizaad explains to Naheed that life has moved forward, though he will always hold her in high esteem. He tells her that she remains in his heart and is worth more than all of his wealth – and she should never feel less than anyone. He knows that feeling of rejection and despair and despite being rejected by Naheed himself, he never wants her to feel those emotions. This scene only highlights again how pure-hearted Parizaad is.
Ahmed Ali Akbar is, as always, the heart and soul of the show and shines as Parizaad, winning over each and every viewer with his sincere, restrained performance. Yumna Zaidi is radiant and, as said earlier, she plays Annie with such sincerity and brings out nothing but smiles. Ushna Shah and Tanya Hussain are also wonderful in their roles as Naheed and Kanwal, balancing each other out with two very different personalities. Meanwhile an attack on Parizaad seems to be on the horizon as threats to his life are made almost regularly. Inheriting enemies along with wealth, Parizaad is fighting against time. He seems to have resigned himself to the fact that his days are numbered, but wants to enjoy the time he has left. This is very ominous for fans of “Parizaad,” who wish more than anything to see this lead character, who is so pure of heart, getting his happy ending with a woman who truly loves him. But is this simply wishful thinking? The entire team of Parizaad has done a wonderful job and as the show begins to inch closer to what appears to be a conclusion, it remains to be seen if the drama chooses to stay true to the end of the novel – or treads a different, happier path.