“Raqs E Bismil” is a show that has its own fanbase. It’s a show with an interesting story and, most importantly, Imran Ashraf and Sarah Khan’s performances have elevated it to a new level. However, unfortunately, “Raqs E Bismil” has fallen prey to the dreaded “dragging phase” of dramas, the original story having been so far removed from the narrative that it’s now feeling horribly prolonged. Starring Imran Ashraf, Sarah Khan, Anoushay Abbasi, Momin Saqib, Saleem Mairaj, Mehmood Aslam, Nida Mumtaz, Javeria Abbasi, Furqan Qureshi and many others, the story has been written by Hashim Nadeem and directed by Wajahat Rauf.
There’s a point in this story where one begins to wonder where some of these characters get their audacity – and that point has been reached. Pir Qudratullah (Mehmood Aslam) and his friends have grown so “fond” of Zari…..without having any real interaction with her. They found this young woman who has literally just gotten divorced and is serving her iddat now in Pir Qudratullah’s household. The family has grown so attached to Zari/Zohra, it’s almost ridiculous. While Hajra (Nida Mumtaz), Musa’s mother, makes sense as she is knows the truth about Zohra, the fact that Sakina and Khadija (Javeria Abbasi) have grown so close to an overall silent, strange young woman is not really “normal” and feels forced. And then there’s Pir Qudratullah’s intense interest in the young woman and his loud cries over how well-mannered, cultured, humble she is (amongst other praises)……but while this is all very silly, it’s the belief that both he and his associates now have the right to make life decisions for Zohra that is honestly infuriating. These men found a newly divorced young woman unconscious and gave her shelter. Now they are just counting down the days of her iddat so they can begin planning the rest of her life and getting her remarried to Zaheer. But who gave them that right? Do they know Zohra’s background? Do they know what kind of lifestyle she had or is accustomed to? Do they know what kind of life partner she would want? They know absolutely nothing about her and have taken her future into their hands. Why are these men so toxic? Any way this is spun, they have not even spoken to their own wives about this, forget Zohra, so this is yet another power struggle for these men, a way to have control over a young woman….who they don’t even know. If this was not the intention of Hashim Nadeem, his writing has faltered here, because these men seem anything but genuine.
Musa (Imran Ashraf) meets his Taaya, Pir Fazal (Shehzad Malik), in the hospital and discovers that Sitara (Fariya Hassan) has been hospitalized after another broken engagement. Visiting his once-fiancee, Musa tries to cheer Sitara up and instill bravery in her through the words she once said to him. Sitara has always been deeply in love with Musa and doesn’t voice that he’s the reason for her condition, as she has always been supportive of Musa’s happiness. She questions him about Zohra and asks him to continue visiting her when he can.
While the viewer feels for Sitara and can imagine what an odd spot this puts Musa in, a woman so ill in her love for him, these sequences take up half the episode (the other half dedicated to the remaining characters fawning over Zohra) and, quite honestly…….what is the purpose? What purpose did these moments serve? What purpose did it serve for us to watch everyone singing Zohra’s praises? Did anything of consequence or worth actually happen in this episode? If anything, this triggers alarm bells. Is “Raqs E Bismil” ending soon (as it should, with dignity) or will an angle with Musa and Sitara, Zohra and Zaheer now be introduced to the audience, further dragging out the story? There really isn’t anything to praise in this episode. The entire cast is wonderful and their performances are always perfect. But this episode was truly a “filler” episode in the true meaning of the phrase. It would also be wonderful if men would stop trying to make decisions for females in dramas, especially those they don’t even know. This entire sequence put a damper on the episode and provoked intense feelings of agitation.