“Qissa Meherbano Ka” stars Mawra Hocane in the lead role, playing a woman who goes through a highly abusive marriage which crosses all limits in today’s episode. Written by Fakhra Jabeen and directed by Iqbal Hussain, the show also stars Ahsan Khan, Zaviyaar Nauman Ejaz, Areej Mohyudin, Khushhal Khan, Zeb Rehman, Mashal Khan and others in prominent roles. While the show did not air lasts week due to an award show, the highly awaited episode 21 aired this week, receiving praise from its audience for a strong performance from its lead character.
In episode 21, Noor (Areej Mohyudin) and Ayaz (Khushhal Khan) get married in a small, sweet ceremony, supported by Mehrab (Zaviyaar Nauman Ejaz) and his family. Now husband and wife (and a very cute couple at that), Ayaz and Noor begin discussing Meherbano. In an odd twist of sentiment, Ayaz is now aware of what Meherbano did for them while Noor now sees her Khala’s actions as a betrayal. Of course, we recognize that Noor will come around after she listens to Ayaz’s theory. While Noor and Ayaz’s pre and post marriage scenes are very cute and it’s great to see how their relationship has progressed, the two lovebirds, who are usually scene-stealers, take a backseat of sorts in this episode with Mawra Hocane stealing the show as Meherbano.
Murad (Ahsan Khan) has entered a scary state of mind after hearing Meherbano’s (Mawra Hocane) conversation on the phone with Mehrab, believing Mehru is having an affair – just as he suspected earlier. So Murad, being the absolutely insane man that he is, decides to douse Mehru with gasoline, ready to set her on fire. One thing is highlighted here and it’s that Mehru has always been a fighter, never being one to just sit down and take abuse lying down. And while repeated marital rape had put her in a horrible frame of mind, the fighter has emerged out of this situation and she thinks quickly, throwing spices in Murad’s eyes before making her escape. Later, she shoots Murad in the leg before taking her son and leaving the house in a frenzy. Mawra Hocane’s performance in this episode is gold. This is a woman who has been through hell within the walls of her marital home, not only at her husband’s hands, but emotional abuse at the hands of his family members as well. Now, she is terrified as she understands exactly how awful this family is and, refusing to leave her innocent son at their mercy, she desperately tracks down Mehran for help. The shivering, the panic, the terror in Mehru’s eyes and demeanor is brilliantly portrayed by Mawra here.
The way this episode has been shot is nothing short of a thriller, leaving the viewer in a state of anxiety as Mehru runs through the streets, breathing only when she’s safely with Mehran. While “Qissa….” had a slow start, it has only been getting better with each episode and Mawra Hocane has really put her all into this role. At the current juncture, we recognize that Murad is now ready to take revenge on Mehru by putting her character through the test and prosecuting her for “murder” – when ironically, he was attempting to kill her only moments before she fought to protect herself. So while Murad is protecting Mehru as well as he can, there is a lot more turmoil in her future. While some say audiences no longer want to watch this kind of misery, this isn’t true. We no longer want to watch flippant misery and abuse – but shows like “Qissa Meherbano Ka” highlight the problems in our society and are depicting women attempting to escape those circumstances and protect their loved ones. Shows like “Qissa Meherbano Ka” are exactly the kind of misery we should be watching – shows that are not only educating, but also passing on a strong message for women to fight for themselves and not let the shackles of marriage chain them down to being victims of abuse.