“Qissa Meherbano Ka” did not air this week, episode four being put on hold for the Hum TV awards. Personally having missed episode three, this allowed for a catch-up. Starring Mawra Hocane, Zaviyaar Nauman Ejaz, Areej Mohyuddin, Mohammad Ahmed, Ahsan Khan, Mashal Khan, Zeb Rehman and others, the story has been written by Fakhra Jabeen and directed by Iqbal Hussain. Episode 3 focuses mostly on Meherbano (Mawra Hocane) and Mehran’s (Zaviyaar Nauman Ejaz) non-existent relationship due to Meherbano’s marriage to her marriage to Murad (Ahsan Khan). Much of the episode revolves around Mehru and Mehraab’s to-be-or-not-to-be union. Noor (Areej Mohyuddin) is their greatest supporter and one just has to hope and pray that she remains this loyal to the duo – but knowing dramas, the story can be only a step away from turning Noor against her own Khala for Mehraab….which would be a really sick twist. Still, we can hope for the best. At present, Noor is a lovable character and it’s great to see how she encourages Mehru to move on with her life.
What’s difficult to digest is this heavy presentation of how “divorced” women are seen in society and this is presented through the scorn that Meherbano faces. But why? Meherbano was married off to her husband and never left her home, because her brother and sister-in-law divorced before that could happen. Anyone with a mind would know first that Meherbano is “pure” and never lived with her husband (not that this should be a problem either). And second, her present situation is not her fault, rather it’s her father’s – or her brother’s, from the viewpoint of society. So what exactly is Mehran’s mother’s problem with Meherbano? The only logical issue here is that Meherbano would need to get a divorce before moving forward, but there isn’t anything to object to with Meherbano herself. Her hatred for Meherbano is not only uncalled for, but her behavior is downright nasty. When characters like this are presented on-screen, we have to pause and wonder how such a woman raised such a kind, pure-hearted man like Mehran.
We also see bits of Murad, who is money-minded and wants a get-rich-quick scenario to fall into his lap. Will he marry for money? He clearly does not think much of his first marriage and so, Mehru’s existence would be irrelevant to him. Khushal Khan also makes his debut this week, though it’s still unclear what role he will have to play. “Qissa Meherbano Ka” should have been a runaway hit, but the pace lets it down. It’s sluggish in parts and the unnecessary melodrama (particularly from Mehraab’s mother) leaves a sour taste in one’s mouth. That being said, it’s Mawra Hocane, Zaviyaar Nauman Ejaz, Areej Mohyuddin and Mohammad Ahmed who are the stars of this show, each giving their best through their performances. It will be interesting to see how the story progresses post Ahsan Khan’s arrival on the scene – assuming he isn’t a character that will be whitewashed down the line. As an audience, we have had quite enough of that!