“Pehchaan” has been a beautiful journey, the journey of a woman finding her independence and searching for her identity after her marriage (seemingly) collapses. Starring Hiba Bukhari and Syed Jibran in lead roles, they are supported by Mirza Zain Baig, Qavi Khan, Huma Nawab, Nadia Khan, Nadia Hussain and others. The story has been written by Rubina Kabir Khan and directed by Asad Jabal.
Something has to be said for “short” shows. “Pehchaan” ends at 26 episodes, giving itself just enough time to flesh out Sharmeen’s journey from downtrodden wife to independent entrepreneur while Adnan’s past story with Kehkashan is fleshed out for the audience, finally showing us the cause for Sharmeen’s unhappiness. With Adnan now genuinely sorry for how he has treated Sharmeen and disgusted with himself for ever giving Kehkashan importance, he is seen groveling for Sharmeen’s return in his life. Meanwhile, Sharmeen struggles with herself, as she genuinely loves and cares for Adnan – but cannot compromise on her self-respect. The pace of the finale leaves us, as an audience, satisfied and smiling with the effective way the show wraps up.
Sharmeen did not give in easily and Adnan was forced to earn back her love, trust and respect. This was the highlight of the show, pushing forward the thought that the burden of upholding a marriage does not fall on the woman’s shoulders entirely. A man is equally responsible for working on a marriage and ensuring his partner is happy – and this is where “Pehchaan” has truly succeeded. Adnan recognizes his mistakes, works hard to earn Sharmeen’s forgiveness and earns his place back in her life. Syed Jibran truly deserves a round of applause for his performance as Adnan. He easily could have made Adnan come across as villainous, but he takes a different route. While “flashback” Adnan certainly comes across as a harsh, unkind individual, present-day Adnan is kind, unwavering in his love for his children and driven in his plight to get Sharmeen back, never allowing anger to get in the way. It’s Syed Jibran’s dialogues as Adnan that truly carry the show across the finish line with the finale as Adnan not only owns his mistakes and declares his love for his wife, but also encourages Aziz (Mirza Zain Baig) to avoid repeating his mistakes.
It’s the impact Sharmeen’s situation has on her loved ones that is particularly impressive. Beginning with Aziz, he never becomes the forlorn, demanding lover. Aziz was never on the receiving end of Sharmeen’s love and even now, realizing she has finally found her happiness with Adnan, he is happy for her. He chooses to move on and get married, recognizing that in order to have a bright future, he must make peace with his past. Most impressive is how Sharmeen’s sister, Hina, is affected. While Sharmeen has her happy ending, Sharmeen’s strength gives Hina the courage to demand a divorce from her toxic, abusive, lying husband. This is an applause-worthy moment. Likewise, Phupo (Nadia Khan) finally finds her financial and emotional peace when Sharmeen hands over the (now successful) business to her and encourages her to find happiness within herself and her financial freedom. Nadia Khan has been perfectly cast as Phupo and has truly shown her growth as an actress.
Overall, the finale of “Pehchaan” is a positive one that leaves the audience feeling uplifted. This is specifically because it’s shown that it takes two to make a marriage work. The greatest takeaway from the story is that women should build their own identity and recognize their own worth – and that sense of value and respect from a partner is what contributes to a healthy, happy marriage. Syed Jibran and Hiba Bukhari have done a wonderful job throughout the show, but in the finale, they truly win hearts. If you missed watching this gem of a show, it is highly recommended!