“Raqs E Bismil” has been winning viewers over with its tale of tortured, separated lovers unable to unite. Starring Imran Ashraf and Sarah Khan in lead roles, the two have been stealing hearts as Musa and Zohra, two individuals from vastly different backgrounds, which keeps them apart. These two brilliant actors are supported by a talented cast including Momin Saqib, Anoushay Abbasi, Furqan Qureshi, Zara Sheikh, Saleem Mairaj, Mehmood Aslam, Javeria Abbasi, Nida Mumtaz, Gul E Rana and others. Written by Hashim Nadeem and directed by Wajahat Rauf, “Raqs E Bismil” has been gaining momentum in the past few episodes – but takes an unlikable turn in episode 20.
In episode 20, we see Musa (Imran Abbas) and Zohra (Sarah Khan) meet in an incredibly sweet, powerful scene where Zohra finally admits her love for Musa, a declaration that’s bittersweet. It’s exactly what Musa has always wanted to hear, knowing that his love for Zohra is not simply one way – and yet, it’s tainted by the idea that the two can never be together and this is, essentially, their final meeting. The two part on a good note, realizing they are heading back to their separate worlds, but with the knowledge of a mutual love for each other. Unfortunately for Zohra, Shehryar (Furqan Qureshi) is under immense pressure from his family to divorce Zohra and, in his absence, she is served the divorce papers. To make matters worse, she is also informed that Shehryar’s first wife will be arriving at the house soon and Zohra must vacate the premises. Left without a marriage and a home, Zohra sets out into the streets, deep in thought over what her next move will be. Zohra’s situation is a perfect example of how society can be judgemental and look down on others based on their backgrounds. Zohra has been a good human being, a “good girl,” a girl who has remained pious and dedicated to her husband. All she wanted from her husband was respect and that’s exactly what she did not receive, treated like a call girl, a woman to show off to other men, paraded around like a prized possession without any love or protection. Now that Shehryar is done with her, she has been thrown out, discarded, leaving her with the reputation of yet another woman from “her background” who has not been able to make a marriage work. Zohra is well aware of how this divorce will impact her reputation and family and it’s a tragedy for her, as she genuinely tried to make her marriage work.
Musa returns back to his life, working for Laila (Zara Sheikh). Leila asks Musa to call off his men in jail, those who have been harassing Tauqeer on a daily basis, as she still has a soft spot for him – and even asks for his release. He certainly doesn’t deserve this compassion, but it’s difficult to let go of relationships even when they have been terrible and this is evident in the case of Laila and Tauqeer. Shortly after this moment, Musa receives a phone call from Chanda, Zohra’s friend, informing him that Zohra has gone missing and Musa rushes to the “kotha” to meet with Zohra’s family. Unknown to them, Zohra has been struck by a car, ironically by a friend of Tauqeer, and is being kept by him and his wife for financial reasons. What exactly they hope to accomplish is unknown.
The angle with Tauqeer’s friend and his wife is downright ridiculous and puts a damper on an otherwise meaningful and generally flawless show. This feels as a way to drag out the storyline, because logically, these characters don’t have any real connection to Zohra and, if anything, this man should want to be kept far away from this kind of drama after escaping the trouble with Tauqeer. Overall, this episode isn’t the greatest, Zohra’s divorce being the only occurrence of substance (as we’d already seen Musa and Zohra’s confession in the last episode). However, there are some high points and those are the scenes between Sakina (Anoushay Abbasi) and Isa (Momin Saqib). While the two have decided to stay together, Isa is having a hard time forgiving Sakina, as she has shattered his trust. Sakina now realizes what she was chasing was futile and what she always wanted was a loving husband, which she has in Isa – and regrets what she has done to him. These two actors share such wonderful chemistry, it’s a treat to watch their scenes. It is Imran Ashraf, Sarah Khan, Momin Saqib and Anoushay Abbasi who elevate the quality of this show with their performances and one can’t help wishing the focus would remain on them and focus less on the unnecessary characters we’re seeing in abundance these days. It seems like this story will continue through next week with Zohra trapped with this plotting duo, unfortunately.