“Shehnai” started off with a bang. A romantic comedy with a fabulous ensemble cast, a fun story and an energetic OST, it had the makings of a show to remember. Unfortunately, as the story progressed, the narrative took a turn for the implausible. An unlikable female lead character, annoying side-characters and the suspension of logic all came together to create an unlikable tale. Starring Affan Waheed, Ramsha Khan, Hammad Shoaib, Javed Sheikh, Nida Mumtaz, Behroze Sabzwari, Zainab Qayyum, Saleem Mairaj, Salma Hassan and many others, the show has been written by Radian Shah and directed by Ahmed Bhatti.
In episode 25, the wedding preparations are in full swing – as they have been for the past three months. This is the longest wedding we have ever witnessed in a Pakistani drama, especially considering these characters have all come from out of town. Do they not have jobs or classes to attend? While Bakht (Ramsha Khan) and Hunain (Hammad Shoaib) are still planning on running away on the Mehndi night, Bakht is beginning to have second thoughts. The thought of leaving her happy family behind and breaking their hearts is not easy for her – and adding to that, the feelings she once had for Meerab (Affan Waheed) are burrowing their way back in…..not that it ever made sense for those feelings to have disappeared, but that’s a different discussion. There is a moment that’s supposed to be amusing, one would suppose, but feels “off.” Tooba (Salma Hassan) runs around trying to relay the information that Hunain is a bad guy. However, hearing this, Munni (Javeria Abbasi) threatens Tooba into silence, because she likes Hunain’s father. The reason this is upsetting is that Munni has been a good character and while she is definitely lonely, would she really be so desperate as to accept a crooked man and destroy her niece in the process? The other reason this is disturbing is that Bakht is also aware of Munni’s interest in Hunain’s father and is knowingly encouraging it – while grappling with her own conscience about what to do. For her part, Salma Hassan is very cute as Tooba and it’s so cute watching Tooba and Kifayat (Saleem Mairaj) in a happy place.
The highlight of the episode are Bakht’s cousins and their happy endings. It’s sweet to see Rafay and Beenish getting engaged, along with Saima and Ahsan. These couples have had a more sincere love story than Bakht and Meerab, unfortunately, which makes them much more interesting to watch. Bakht’s confusion is something that should’ve been cleared up with a simple conversation with Meerab weeks ago. While yes, she is angry with him and yes, Meerab has this ridiculous notion of wanting Bakht to come to him of her own accord……Meerab has been there for Bakht through everything and if he would actually sit her down and have a clear conversation regarding Hunain’s words on their first meeting, this situation never would have gotten to this point. This is honestly one of Affan Waheed’s best performances and he is lovable as Meerab. It’s just a disappointment that Bakht wasn’t as well-written a character and that the actual relationship between Bakht and Meerab was never properly given attention. With the finale airing next week, it feels like a missed opportunity.