There isn’t a dictionary with enough words to praise “Parizaad” – and as an audience, we can only hope the show remains this good. Directed by Shehzad Kashmiri, “Parizaad” has been written by Hashim Nadeem. Starring Ahmed Ali Akbar, Ushna Shah, Saboor Aly, Urwa Hocane, Nauman Ijaz and Yumna Zaidi, the supporting cast also includes brilliant names like Adnan Shah Tipu, Paras Masroor, Madiha Rizvi, Raza Ali Abid and others. “Parizaad” has been pulling in viewers not only from within Pakistan, but internationally as well.
Lubna (Mashal Khan) is the latest character to be introduced in episode 7. She is a well-off young woman who meets Parizaad (Ahmed Ali Akbar) at his new university and scolds him for bumping into her. Lubna is an artist of theater and in her quest to put on “Othello” (in Urdu), she stumbles upon Parizaad’s poetry. This is how Lubna and Parizaad connect when he is recruited to write poetry for Lubna’s play. While it’s clear that Lubna is impressed by Parizaad’s talent, Parizaad feels judged and out of place at her party, feeling as though he is being judged not only for his appearance, but also for his background. He is also given an “offer” by one of Lubna’s shady acquaintances, Noman – he asks Parizaad to essentially “perfect” his poems, writing a book of poetry on his behalf. Parizaad rejects this offer, offended by the notion of disrespecting his own poetry this way. And yet, Parizaad carries himself with such dignity and grace through it all, which only makes the audience love him more. It’s heartbreaking watching Parizaad walk home on foot from Lubna’s party, feeling disgraced. But will Parizaad end up taking Noman up on his offer when he realizes the trouble Saeeda is in?
The most disheartening part of episode 7 is seeing how the once gentle and kind-hearted Saleem (Malik Hamid Raza) has now transformed post his financial and judicial troubles. Influenced by his mother – or perhaps he was always this way? -, Saleem is seen railroading Saeeda (Kiran Tabeer) over her brothers unwillingness to help. He goes so far as to threaten to divorce Saeeda if she can’t get the money. Parizaad is witness to this fight and is seen sadly looking at his sister, a sister whom he loves very much. This may end up being the push Parizaad needs to sell his talents to Noman.
It’s genuinely difficult to write about “Parizaad” each week, because honestly, is there anything to “critique”? Ahmed Ali Akbar is simply brilliant and he has put all his energy and effort into playing Parizaad, a character that viewers are immediately able to connect with, bond with and root for. The episode does heavily focus on Mashal Khan’s Lubna, who is sweet enough, but does not leave the sort of impact Naheed and Bubbly left. Mashal Khan is doing a good job though and she fits into the role well. What role will Lubna play in Parizaad’s life in the long-run? Will this be yet another heartbreak to endure? Honestly, “Parizaad” is so beautiful and yet, at the same time, one feels as though we watch the show week after week to see how Parizaad can have his heart broken again.