“Shehnai” is a show that many look at as a “lifeline” of sorts for Pakistani drama viewers – the last of the more light-hearted shows left on-air at present. Written by Radain Shah and directed by Ahmed Bhatti, “Shehnai” has a stellar star cast including Affan Waheed, Ramsha Khan, Javed Sheikh, Nida Mumtaz, Saleem Mairaj, Salma Hassan, Zainab Qayyum, Behroze Sabzwari, Shehryar Zaidi, Javeria Abbasi and many others. What started off as an entertaining, amusing web of lies and deceit in order for two individuals to marry their partners of choice has now turned into…..something else.
In episode 17, we see Hunain now feeding Bakht (Ramsha Khan) lies about his innocence and good intentions, claiming that Meerab (Affan Waheed) manipulated his way to marry Bakht and iced him out of the picture. The entire episode is focused on this farce (with a little side story of bringing Saima and Saiqa back home), beginning with Bakht’s naivety and ending with Meerab’s dim nature in not recording the evidence. Bakht laps up Hunain’s lies, slowly turning against Meerab despite her decision to marry him to make her family happy. On the other end, Meerab catches Hunain with Kafayat (Saleem Mairaj), the two discussing splitting the check Bakht happily handed over to Hunain (to pay for his father’s surgery – another lie). This is where the show is beginning to grow frustrating. Just looking at this scene, for example – this is the age of cell phones, social media and individuals recording everything from street fights to cops making an arrest. Why would Meerab sit idle and watch Hunain and Kafayat interact without pulling out a cell phone? While one may say this is a stretch, it really is not. Today’s generation has their cell phone within reach at all times and is always ready to document evidence, so this sort of flaw in the story is simply not acceptable.
To make matters worse, this entire scenario with Hunain making a reappearance just feels like an attempt to stretch matters now. Instead of wasting time on a nonsensical scenario, the show should be focusing on Meerab and Bakht forming a real bond, putting their past behind them and growing close. Why do our writers and directors believe that we, as viewers, don’t have any interest in watching romance? We absolutely do, in fact, we are starved for it. But instead, we are being treated to another “kabaab mein haddi” post Sameera now in the form of Hunain. The issue is that the Hunain angle is one that could be cleared up within 5 minutes. What reason does Bakht have to trust Hunain over Meerab? Meerab has never lied to Bakht and really, Bakht’s anger towards Meerab has never made any sense, considering the two made their pact before their engagement. Meerab’s loyalty to Sameera should never have been an issue for Bakht, but she’s made it one of ego, now playing victim as if she’s been betrayed by Meerab. What reason would Meerab have to lie to Bakht considering he wanted to marry Sameera at that point anyway? Like I said, it’s nonsensical.
Honestly, at this point, “Shehnai” needs to develop a real storyline or a track that is interesting, because Kafayat plotting to break up Bakht’s marriage no longer makes any sense either. Adding to that, no one in the audience is excited about Hunain’s reappearance, as it doesn’t add anything to Bakht and Meerab’s relationship, which is the entire point of the show. It’s a request to the team of “Shehnai” – please do not torture us any longer with misunderstandings that simply aren’t realistic. You are bringing down the quality of an otherwise entertaining show.