With “Parizaad,” “Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay,” “Aakhir Kab Tak,” “Laapata” and now “Qissa Meherbano Ka,” Hum TV, which lagged behind ARY and Geo last year, finds themselves riding high with the best line-up of shows at present. Post-Sabaat, a lot of expectations ride on Mawra Hocane, who has emerged as a strong performer since. Adding to the excitement is the male cast, specifically Ahsan Khan and the inclusion of Zaviyar Nauman Ejaz, the son of actor Nauman Ejaz, who is making his debut with this drama. Areej Mohyudin, Mashal Khan, Khusshal Khan, Mohammad Ahmed and Zeb Rehman also play important roles in this drama, which has been written by Fakhra Jabeen and directed by Iqbal Hussain.
In episode one, we are introduced to Meherbano (Mawra Hocane), who is an obedient, sweet girl who lives life exactly as she is told. In contrast, her niece Noor (Areej Mohyudin) dreams of a better life, is outspoken and shares a humorous relationship with their Abu (Mohammad Ahmed) – who is Meherbano’s father and Noor’s grandfather. The relationship between Noor and her grandfather is actually the most entertaining one on the show so far, being far from the stereotypical one we are used to seeing. Noor is loud, vocal with her disapproval while also managing to share a cute relationship with the elder man. Noor pushes Meherbano towards Mehran (Zaviyar Nauman Ejaz), their neighbor who is visibly interesting in marrying Meherbano. However, Meherbano has a past that controls her present, as she is a woman stuck in the no-mans land of marriages – she is neither single nor is she married, as she has been abandoned by her husband. The marriage also appears to have been one of force, one that took place as a means to save the family name.
The treatment is fresh, but the base storyline certainly has a bit of a “Sammi” hangover – which is fine if the story treads a different path, though it is odd that Mawra would sign a show so similar to one she has already been in. Still, Mawra Hocane’s performance is as sweet and natural as ever. Areej Mohyudin has been proving herself as an actress for some time and stands out as Noor. But the highlight of episode one is Zaviyar Nauman Ejaz, who makes a strong impression. He has every bit of his father’s charm, but with added sincerity. There’s a likable quality about him and he appears to be a well-rounded actor – a star in the making! Next week will see the introduction of Ahsan Khan’s character, which will cast more light on the story. So far, this show has potential. We will have to wait and watch as the story plays out.