“Sabaat,” starring Mawra Hocane, Ameer Gilani, Sarah Khan and Usman Mukhtar in lead roles, has been a strong show with an interesting storyline. In recent weeks though, there have been inconsistencies with a couple of the characters and even the show’s beloved couple, Hassan and Anaya, have been going through marital troubles.
In episode 21, Hassan (Ameer Gilani) and Anaya (Mawra Hocane) continue to grow apart and things reach an uncomfortable point for Anaya when Hassan forgets her birthday. She clarifies that she’s not upset over him forgetting, but over his nonchalant reaction to forgetting. Hassan’s self-confidence has reached a low and while it’s not clear if the writers are addressing this, but Hassan’s behavior is clearly depression. His confidence has been wiped out, his anger is at a high and he’s unable to communicate his thoughts to Anaya, thoughts of his lack of self-worth. Hassan finally gets into an argument with Yasir Qureshi at work, brought on by Yasir’s workplace girlfriend – let’s call her Samreen, as I’m unsure of her name. When Samreen antagonizes Hassan, Hassan quits out of anger and makes it clear to Yasir Qureshi that he’s fed up of this job. Yasir is quite upset and lashes out at Samreen. This is a strange scene, because while it depicts a reality of how certain girls want to make their identity in the workplace and the scene has the potential to be meaningful, Samreen is too small of a character to receive the amount of attention she receives in this episode – that too, played by a very weak actress.
Hassan’s decision is supported by Anaya, who does her best to be a supportive wife. Ameer Gilani and Mawra Hocane are doing a great job portraying the utterly broken emotions between this couple at present, a couple that deeply loves each other but both are simply unable to communicate well with one another and move beyond the barrier that has been built up between them. Viewers really feel for Hassan and Anaya both in the scene when Hassan tells Anaya to leave him if she ever feels unhappy with him. Both characters are in very different positions, so despite living together and being each other’s support, they are emotionally not on the same page, neither able to understand the other (though Anaya tries her best). At present, Hassan has made the right decision to leave his position, but Atif, the snake friend from hell, continues to pester him to return. While it’s clear what Atif’s goal is, it would be illogical for Hassan to return to a job that made him so miserable and one can only hope the story does not head back in that direction. Atif is a character that viewers want to be tossed aside, left with nothing in the end, such is the careless treatment of his friendship with Hassan from his end. Working with Miraal, Atif does not even care what he’s putting Hassan through – and for what? A job with Miraal? It’s awful and the character is beyond unlikable – and one can only wonder what Hassan even likes about him?
Miraal (Sarah Khan) and Dr. Haaris (Usman Mukhtar) have become the angle of the show that has become frustrating to watch. Dr. Haaris after hearing a weak declaration from a friend as to how marriage should be, decides to give in to Miraal’s demands and quit his job. Unknown to Miraal, Haaris hasn’t actually quit his job, but simply put in a 30 day leave, hoping he can convince Miraal before then. This entire track is not being handled well. Dr. Haaris makes a good point that he has never lived with family, so he is unaware how that life works and yes, this does explain his confusion and decision to continue working on his marriage, because he thinks he may be adjusting poorly. Normally, this could be a good justification, but Dr. Haaris is a psychiatrist and should, therefore, know better. Dr. Haaris has also spent much of his life on his own and should then be street smart, but this is not what is being depicted. Since the beginning of the show, viewers have seen how unstable Miraal can be, how with the simple flip of a switch, she can be set off. How then have Miraal and Haaris been married for so long now and Haaris still be unaware of Miraal’s deep personality flaws? He seems to simply think his wife is a possessive, argumentative woman, but as a psychiatrist, he should be able to assess that her problems are much deeper than that. The writing here is disappointing and one does wish a story with so much potential and depth would have been handled better.
Overall, “Sabaat” is still a good show, but it has lost steam and the current track is dragging. There’s a lot of scope with the story of “Sabaat” in both tracks, but while Hassan and Anaya’s story is being given a decent amount of attention, Dr. Haaris and Miraal’s story is fairly disappointing. The past few episodes have been slow, so one can only hope the proceedings pick up soon.