By Sophia Qureshi
One would not be far off to say that “Pyar Ke Sadqay” may be the best show on Pakistani television at present. The show has an interesting story, an incredible star cast, great dialogues and a beautiful background score. However, that being said, there’s nothing more disappointing than seeing a brilliant show heading down the tried, tested and beaten path and turning into a story Pakistani drama viewers have seen time and time again. While “Pyar Ke Sadqay” started off incredibly novel, at this point, it has turned into yet another “Dusri Biwi” story.
With episode 20, viewers see Abdullah (Bilal Abbas Khan) still brooding over the greatest issue of his life. No, not his abusive stepfather who is trying to steal his inheritance and his wife – silly, that would be too obvious. The greatest problem in Abdullah’s wife is, of course, the two women in his life. While Mahjabeen (Yumna Zaidi) is his wife, the newly divorced Shanzay (Yashma Gill) is now also waiting eagerly to be his wife. Shanzay has not wasted even a moment, has not given herself a second to grieve….”Iddat”? What’s that? She has made the decision to divorce Isa and has jumped into a relationship and promise of marriage with Abdullah the very next day and is now happily planning their next step. Shanzay started off as a character with a lot of self-respect and this is why she came across as relatable and likable. However now, even if we think about her bad experiences, there’s no logical reason for Shanzay to be chasing after Abdullah like this. She interferes with his work schedule (“Meeting cancel kar do”), claims ownership over Abdullah and puts Mahjabeen down. Shanzay rejected Abdullah of her own accord (and rightly so), so this is not really Mahjabeen’s problem if Shanzay is getting divorced – but clearly, it will be.
Fortunately, Abdullah still has a conscience and understands that he’s doing something wrong. Munshi Ji (Malik Raza) visits Abdullah and Abdullah puts his mind at ease by promising never to leave Mahjabeen’s side. Malik Raza gives a powerful performance here, showing the vulnerability of a father that worries for his daughter’s marriage. And while Abdullah brought out anger in the previous episode, viewers really see the wheels in his head turning in this episode as Abdullah struggles with his conscious. Bilal Abbas Khan hits the nail on the head this time and portrays Abdullah in a way that viewers can almost read his mind. Another power duo is that of Malik Raza and Omair Rana as Munshi Ji and Sarwar. With Sarwar fighting for his selfish desires and Munshi Ji fighting for his daughter’s happiness and security, the two are at war as Sarwar gloatingly reminds Munshi Ji that his daughter’s happiness lies in Sarwar’s hands.
Abdullah, on the other hand, becomes more clear in his feelings towards Mahjabeen and the two characters share several sweet moments. Abdullah does finally throw Shanzay to the curb, telling her that he cannot marry her and loves Mahjabeen. While this scene is adorable to viewers, Shanzay is angry for being strung along – forget that she forced herself on him – and tells Abdullah to stay away from her. Abdullah, on his part, happily obliges and heads back home to Mahjabeen, a weight off his shoulders. Yumna Zaidi and Bilal Abbas Khan share wonderful chemistry together and their romantic scenes bring a smile to the face. We want more!
At the end of the day, Sarwar is a villainous enough character and a mental battle between Sarwar, Abdullah and Mahjabeen should have been enough to carry the show through the end. Unfortunately, this Shanzay angle has taken over our screens and we see Omair Rana on screen for only a few minutes in each episode. With such a strong villain and incredible actor, it’s ludicrous to sideline Sarwar like this for yet another double-marriage angle. Viewers do not care to see Abdullah sandwiched between two women, we want to see him caught in between his love (Mahjabeen) and his loyalty to his stepfather. For those who have seen the Bollywood movie “Beta,” I want to see Mahjabeen pulling a Madhuri and exposing Sarwar for Abdullah’s well-being. Special mention to Gul E Rana in this episode for some fairly hilarious lines. Omair Rana and Gul E Rana share great chemistry as mother and son.
Abdullah isn’t a confident character and that’s what makes it easy to sway him, to cause him to doubt his own decisions. That’s why though Abdullah has cast aside Shanzay and has confessed his loyalty to Mahjabeen, he will be seen once again promising Shanzay to marry her. Sarwar has Abdullah’s ear and will take advantage of that until the moment Abdullah begins to stand up for himself. But when will that moment arrive? Hopefully sooner than later. For now, episode 20 provided some much-needed relief after the previous two episodes.
Sophia Qureshi is a Pakistani tv show commentator and a Bollywood buff based in the United States. Follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/SophiaAQ