“Pyar Ke Sadqay” has been a viewer favorite from the beginning, telling the story of Mehjabeen (Yumna Zaidi) and Abdullah (Bilal Abbas Khan), two innocent characters surrounded by the ugliness of the world. While the show is a love story at the base, it is much more than that, focusing on the complexity of relationships and how those relationships can affect the emotional and mental well-being of individuals. Starring Yumna Zaid, Bilal Abbas Khan, Atiqa Odho, Omair Rana, Srha Asghar, Sharmeen Ali, Malik Raza and Salma Hassan, the show is directed by Farooq Rind and written by Zanjabeel Asim Shah.
While the show started off strong, it did hit a rough patch once Abdullah began his affair with Shanzay (Yashma Gill), leaving the audience frustrated with Abdullah and irritated with Shanzay for going after a married man. Despite weeks of criticism over the misery with only Srha Asghar’s character, Washma, holding the show together, “Pyar Ke Sadqay” made the pain and grief worthwhile in the 2nd last episode when Mansoora, brilliantly played by Atiqa Odho, finally began working through her suspicions towards Sarwar (Omair Rana). With Sarwar exposed and Munshi Ji’s (Malik Raza) name cleared, the finale focuses on consequences and forgiveness. While shows usually end in an unsatisfying way, “Pyar Ke Sadqay” does its best to not only wrap up all loose ends, but also brings the story to a close in a way that brings the story full circle.
In the finale, we see Mansoora and Abdullah take it upon themselves to rectify their mistakes. Mansoora asks her children for forgiveness and Washma, Abdullah and Mansoora paint a picture of a happy, content family. When Abdullah decides he won’t leave Mehjabeen, he fights with Shanzay after she attacks Mehjabeen’s character and the two part ways. Later, when he visits Mehjabeen to apologize, he comes face to face with Sarwar. This is a great scene as one, it brings Mehjabeen and Abdullah together to fight off Sarwar, strengthening their bond and two, Mehjabeen vocalizes her hatred for Sarwar, making him realize for the first time that the woman he “loves” cannot stand him. While Sarwar finds himself in jail for his crimes, Abdullah and Mehjabeen get their much-deserved happily ever after.
The star of the show, surprisingly, ended up being Mansoora. Mansoora is a character that started off great and then gradually become frustrating to watch, because her decision to trust Sarwar created havoc in so many lives, including her own. Mansoora let down her own children, Munshi Ji, Mehjabeen and many others all because she refused to remove the rose-colored glasses regarding Sarwar. Despite all the frustration, Mansoora has had the greatest character arc on this show. She has been written as a complex, layered character, one who is inherently kind and good, but has fallen victim to her own insecurities and has never really found herself in a good, loving relationship. Because of this, she clings on to Sarwar, clinging to the idea of love and happiness. It’s a applause-worthy moment when Mansoora finally throws Sarwar to the curb and emphasizes the importance of self-love and learning to accept and value herself, because this is something Mansoora has never been able to do. Mansoora did get off track and, at one point, it felt like there was no room for redemption – but she bounced back as a hero and, in the end, she is the character that stands out the most (for me personally). Atiqa Odho deserves a round of applause.
Mehjabeen and Abdullah’s relationship took a turn for the murky as the show got in its final stages and viewers began questioning if they really wanted the two to reunite. Did Abdullah really deserve Mehjabeen and did Mehjabeen deserve to go back into the household responsible for her father’s death? All these questions aside, the way their relationship has been handled in the finale is simply perfect. These are two characters who have always shared a relationship of sorts, even before marriage, and the finale forces viewers to see past the pain and grief and are reminded of that camaraderie. Abdullah and Mehjabeen aren’t automatically thrown into these intense love scenes, rather their affection for each other is balanced with their irritation towards each other, making viewers laugh and keeping their relationship natural. The final scene is not only hilarious, but also proves that writers do listen to audience feedback, having incorporated Abdullah’s lens-less glasses into the plotline. For the first time in possibly years, the finale of a show has left me, as a viewer, grinning from ear to ear. Bilal Abbas Khan and Yumna Zaidi have both given performances that will be remembered for a long time and Abdullah and Mehjabeen are two characters that are not only memorable, but are also characters that will be sorely missed. Yashma Gill has done a great job with Shanzay, despite Shanzay being a horribly frustrating character. While she was initially written as a strong woman with clear-cut opinions, that all went downhill after her she left Esa. Fortunately, the finale does make Shanzay’s reasons clear, wanting the upper hand with Abdullah the way Esa tried to control her. But Shanzay’s willingness to marry someone who clearly did not want to abandon his first wife does not make sense. Still, Yashma Gill breathed life into this character and gave a good performance.
The entire ensemble cast has done a great job, particularly Omair Rana as Sarwar. Sarwar is an “epic” villainous role, one that stands out and, at the risk of sounding repetitive, has multiple layers. Sure, Sarwar is a bad guy – and that cannot be argued – but why is Sarwar a bad guy? There’s so much to his story, whether it be materialistic desire, ruthlessness, a drive to pull himself out from unfavorable conditions, abusive behavior towards his stepchildren…..and yet there’s a young man hidden in there, a young man who never had the opportunity to live a “normal” life, have the love story he wanted and fulfill his own dreams. Sarwar never relents and truly feels sorry for what he has done, believing himself to be the eternal victim in situations he has created himself. There’s no reason to feel sorry for Sarwar, but thanks to Omair Rana’s performance, we can see how Sarwar thinks and he is a believable character. Special mention has to be given to Gul E Rana, who is the perfect scene partner for Omair Rana and the two are just brilliant together. Srha Asghar has been a revelation as Washma, giving her best performance yet in a lovable role. Sharmeen Ali provided great support. Malik Raza and Salma Hassan gave perfect performances as Mehjabeen’s parents, joining Yumna Zaidi in creating a sweet, supportive, innocent family unit.
Overall, “Pyar Ke Sadqay” is a winner. The show hit some low points, particularly in the latter part of the show with the episodes dragging on for a bit too long, the misery hitting new levels after Munshi Ji’s demise. And yet, the show managed to pick itself right back up in the last 3 episodes and has ended on a high note. Thank you to the cast for giving viewers strong performances in such a wonderful show. This is a drama that will be remembered as one of the best of 2020 and Abdullah and Mehjabeen will be missed.