“Yeh Na Thi Humari Qismat” is the latest daily soap from ARY Digital, replacing “Benaam” (which ironically also starred Noor Hassan). The show stars Noor Hassan, Hira Mani, Aiza Awan and Muneeb Butt in lead roles, supported by Saba Faisal, Khaled Anum, Shehryar Zaidi, Annie Zaidi, Kinza Malik, Salma Hassan and others. Written by Seema Munaf and directed by Syed Ali Raza Usama (who most recently directed “Aakhir Kab Tak”), the story revolves around two sisters with different personalities.
In the first three episodes, we meet Munteha (Hira Mani), a working woman who believes in being practical in life with little room for romance. She’s a “simple” girl who is a great help for her parents at home too while her younger sister, Alishba (Aiza Awan) is a fun-loving, spirited girl who is somewhat irresponsible regarding household chores. Munteha gets engaged to Yasir (Noor Hassan) and while the families are very happy, Yasir proves himself to be a perfect sleazeball as he tells his parents, upon arrival at home, that he likes Alishba more and would rather marry her. The overgrown manchild throws a fit for a girl who barely even spoke to him and refers to him as “Bhai” (brother), essentially behaving as though women are furniture showroom pieces to be selected by him, the buyer. However, when Alishba herself reacts in a horrified fashion when Yasir expresses his interest, he pretends as though he was joking and continues with marriage plans to Munteha.
Meanwhile, Ayaan (Muneeb Butt), Yasir’s cousin, expresses an interest in Alishba as well and the two have a cute banter. On the day of Munteha and Yasir’s wedding, Munteha’s car is stopped by robbers on the way back from the parlor and Munteha winds up in the hospital, along with the driver. The story takes a ridiculous turn here with the family labeling Munteha as characterless for not arriving at the venue from the parlor, jumping to conclusions and not even pausing to wonder where Munteha could possibly be. Since when is “Log kya kahenge?” more important than the safety of one’s own daughter – particularly in loving, supportive families? Suddenly everyone loses their heads and Alishba is roped in to take Munteha’s place. As soon as the Nikkah is over, Munteha walks in where her friend proceeds to explain the situation to a room full of deranged adults. Munteha’s friend is the only logical person in this entire room, wondering why Munteha’s mother keeps referring to Munteha’s “daagh,” making it clear that nothing wrong happened. So Munteha is, in a rush, married off to Ayaan, a man with little work prospects.
Why exactly can’t Munteha just go back home and continue working until a good proposal comes along? Why does the entire room behave as though she’s been ruined even when the truth is explained? Things become even more cringeworthy when the two new brides are taken home and Yasir is beside himself with happiness, telling Alishba that God stepped in to make him marry her…..essentially saying that God had Munteha attacked to please him. Alishba has a solid reaction, basically calling Yasir out on this ridiculous attitude and making it clear that she has never seen him as anything other than her brother-in-law. Meanwhile, Munteha’s life is now set for misery as Ayaan doesn’t like her and, well, you know…….an independent working woman will now be used as a working machine and not……you know……an independent working woman capable of leaving this disgusting relationship and providing for herself. But how would we have a story if a “practical minded, independent working woman” didn’t take on a heavy dose of abuse?
Really, it’s Aiza Awan who is making the strongest impact so far. Her character is very confident and her performance is equally so. She manages to shine in a show full of talented actors showing little talent. Unfortunately, we can forsee the direction in which the show is headed with Alishba “proving” to be a “bad” wife due to her immaturity while Yasir begins to recognize his mistake – ultimately pitting two sisters against one another. “Yeh Na Thi Humari Qismat” cannot possibly be referred to as a “good” show. However, it does have the potential of becoming a guilty pleasure of sorts.