As the title suggests, “Tere Ishq Ke Naam” has been, at its heart, a love story. Focusing on Rutba (Hiba Bukhari) and Khursheed’s (Zaviyar Nauman Ejaz) relationship and their path towards realization of love, “Tere Ishq Ke Naam” also highlighted the importance of female education and independence. While the show initially got off to a strong start and remained interesting for the majority of it, the show lost steam immensely after Khursheed’s relocating and Mehr Ali’s (Jamal Shah) death – mostly due to treatment and the inclusion of nonsensical misunderstandings. Starring Hiba Bukhari, Zaviyar Nauman Ejaz, Jamal Shah, Usama Khan, Yashma Gill, Nida Mumtaz, Nadia Afgan, Sajid Shah, Munazzah Arif and others, the story has been written by Maha Malik and directed by Ahmed Bhatti.
In the finale, Khursheed finds Rutba dressed as a bride – but telling off Altamash (Usama Khan) for how he’s used her and her father over the years and attempted to extort them in the name of love. The way this entire scene has been shot is ridiculously odd. Rutba is admitting her love and affection for Khursheed to Altamash and Khursheed is watching with an expression of pleasure and happiness. Suddenly, Khursheed is storming off with Rutba attempting to pacify him. The two play in circles with Khursheed accusing Rutba of being a monster, trying to satisfy her ego with revenge, which she does not jistfy, while Rutba insinuates that Khursheed has married Tazneem……which he does not outright deny, simply throws out “who told you that?” sort of comments. It’s actually a foolish scene, because normal individuals have conversations and clarify their stance. Those in love don’t allow their partners to believe they’ve deceived them and play the “think whatever you want to think” game.
Tazneem, like a proper uninvited guest, arrives in the village where Rutba and her mother-in-law are launching their new school. She, again, offers zero explanation to Rutba for her presence, does not discuss her husband and allows discomfort to creep into Rutba’s entire demeanor. Tazneem has been the most awkward character from start to finish, a character who has been a question mark the entire time – and despite being a “good person,” has allowed herself to be seen as a question mark, putting herself in that position. This continues even here until, suddenly, surprise! Tazneem is married to someone else entirely and this is apparently information neither Khursheed nor Tazneem would discuss like normal people. And so begins Khursheed and Rutba’s happily ever after. This happens with a quick love confession that Rutba has to extract from Khursheed and neither discuss any of the previous misunderstandings.
Of course, Altamash and Azka (Yashma Gill) are even worse. Altamash deceived Azka, verbally abused her, emotionally abused her, treated her like absolute dirt…..and with the presentation of some properties, still in Azka’s name, their life moves on and their story ends. Altamash only mourns the loss of Rutba, but is there anything else for this character? Azka was manipulative, sure, but she got punished in this horrible way by losing her mother and scarring her face permanently (we have to ask if this “punishment” was an acceptable one ethically by the writer). However, Altamash just lost Rutba. He still has all the properties which he acquired through marriage to Azka. Where is his real punishment? Is there any? Again, it boils down to women being punished severely in Pakistani dramas while the men are given a slap on the wrist. This is frustrating to watch.
The performances have been good throughout. Yashma Gill has been excellent in her negative role while Usama Khan has oozed of charisma and charm despite being the antagonist. Hiba Bukhari has grown into such a talented young woman who has really worked on her craft and is a strong performer. Zaviyaar Nauman Ejaz has been endearing in this role. Unfortunately, the writing in the final 1/3 of the show let all these performers down. “Tere Ishq Ke Naam” could have been much more than just a guessing game of relationships. Sure, the school was built in the end and it was great to see Rutba put emphasis on her career, working in the same field as her husband. But the message wound up being more of a footnote in a game of manipulation. “Tere Ishq Ke Naam” had a lot of promise and has been an entertaining watch, but lost its way heavily by the end.