The immediate pull of “Tumse Kehna Tha” is the title and the accompanying OST, a re-do of Ali Haider’s 90s hit song “Qarar.” The drama stars Azfar Rehman, Kinza Hashmi, Areej Moheyuddin, Nadia Afgan, Laila Zuberi and others. Produced by Momina Duraid productions, it has been written by Jahenzeb Qamar and directed by Fahim Burney. The promos of the show seemed very sweet, light-hearted and like an endearing romance. So how did the first episode pan out? Let’s discuss!
Episode one shows the sweet bond between Rabi (Areej Moheyuddin) and Yusra (Kinza Hashmi). While Rabi is a spoiled, childish, college-going girl, Yusra is the elder responsible sister who works and earns, satisfying her younger sister’s financial demands. Does this sound typical? It isn’t, it’s rather quite a sweet and loving relationship that’s being shown, one that actually feels like a sisterly bond. Both sisters genuinely seem to care for one another. If Yusra cares for Rabi’s finances, Rabi cares for Yusra’s marital future and even helps set up her shaadi.com profile.
Enter Saba Chaudhry (Nadia Afgan), who has been fashioned as a mix of Saima Chaudhry (the Baraat series) and Shahana (Suno Chanda), but with a classy exterior. She is a likable character, a matchmaker who works to bring proposals directly to one’s door (though isn’t this what a “rishtay waali auntie” does anyway?). She promises to bring a good proposal for Yusra. Meanwhile, Rabi bumps into Faris (Azfar Rehman) at the store while buying a gift for her boyfriend Yasir and gets into an argument with Faris – which impresses him somehow. Who are these men and why do they get impressed with childish behavior? Of course, he ends up at Yusra’s house with his mother, thanks to Saba, and seems pleased with Yusra as his future partner. When he steps outside for a moment, he bumps into Rabi, who initially asks why he has followed her home – but then reacts very normally when she realizes he’s there to see Yusra. Rabi, Yusra and Faris are seen sharing a nice, brief moment together.
Unfortunately, the teaser for episode two highlights where the show is headed and, after an enjoyable first episode, it’s rather unfortunate to see. Once again, we will be heading down the path of a man choosing one sister over the other, pitting two sisters against one another. When will writers/producers/directors realize we do not want to watch this toxicity? Also, is Faris so dim that he does not understand how inappropriate his suggestion is? He did not share any sort of relationship with Rabi whatsoever – in fact, when she sees him, she seems very clean-of-heart and immediately accepts him as her to-be brother-in-law.
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The performances are off to a nice start, particularly that of Areej Moheyuddin, Kinza Hashmi and Nadia Afgan, who manage to make their presence felt. Now the show may go on to be a nice show and, again, like earlier stated, the first episode is actually nicely presented and is highly entertaining to watch. But I just want to end this review with a few questions: Is there no other topic to focus on in love stories these days? Is there no other girl on earth except a man’s “saali” to fixate on? Is the sister-sister relationship no longer a sacred, loving bond? Let’s do better, please. We are capable, as an industry, of doing better.