“Sar E Rah” is a short miniseries starring Saba Qamar in the lead role. Directed by Ahmed Bhatti and written by Adeel Razzaq, the show also stars Sunita Marshall, Saboor Ali, Muneeb Butt, Hareem Farooq, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Saba Faisal, Sania Saeed and others in supporting roles. The theme of every episode is to show how, in fleeting, daily encounters, how Rania grows as an individual. She is a fighting spirit and has fought to become her family’s sole provider – but more than anything, she is also learning how to be a good human being and a helpful member of society. Rania is strong, but she’s also empathetic and through her eyes, we are taken on a journey through the struggles of individuals judged based on their gender.
In episode 4, Rania (Saba Qamar) meets Sarang (Muneeb Butt), a transgender who has just passed his CSS exam. On his way to success after years of struggle, he wants to share it with the one person who has always held his hand and supported him every step of the way – his father. Unfortunately, his father is now at the end of his life and Sarang is left grappling with the idea of living without that support system. Sarang is a fascinating, beautiful character. This young man has been taunted daily by his stepmother (Javeria Saud) and younger brother, always made to feel like a burden on society, destined to beg and dance for money. It’s his father, played by Nabeel Zafar, who has been his guiding light in life, the most important influence towards his success.
The most beautiful aspect of this episode is the father-son relationship between Sarang and his father. Nabeel Zafar has given his heart and soul to this performance and truly depicts his characters emotions through his expressions. This is a man who recognizes that his child will face many difficulties in life and wants to ensure that he’s standing on his own two feet, able to support himself in a position of power when ultimately left alone after his passing. This is a father who openly discusses the situation with his son and supports him, saying whatever he wants to be, he will always be his son. This is the kind of love and support every child wants, but particularly those struggling against societal constraints and ideas.
Muneeb Butt has always been an underrated actor. Even in a mediocre show, he has had the ability to elevate the quality and make it watchable with his performance. Here, in “Sar E Rah,” a quality show focused on important issues, he once again shines with a meaningful character. Sarang looks up to his father and not only wants to follow in his footsteps as a person, but also wants to make him proud. The moment when Sarang loses his father without being able to fulfill his dream of riding in his car while smoking a cigarette is heartbreaking. Muneeb Butt’s performance brings us to tears.
“Sar E Rah” is a journey, one that offers something new each week while keeping the audience connected to the base story, the story of Rania. While this episode is a great one, the final moments, as with every episode, sets us up for Rania’s next encounter. At the end of the episode, Rania almost runs into a car and we are introduced to Hareem Farooq’s character. It’s not clear what story we will be presented with next week, but “Sar E Rah” is doing a wonderful job of presenting these stories based on sensitive topics. We want more shows like this!