“Yunhi” has Pakistani drama audiences hooked with its old-school charm interlaced with a modern romance between an eastern boy and a western girl. Starring Bilal Ashraf and Maya Ali in lead roles, “Yunhi” also stars Behroze Sabzwari, Deepak Perwani, Uzma Beg, Tazeen Hussain, Tahira Imam, Khaqan Shahnawaz, Laiba Khurram, Manzoor Qureshi, Maha Hassan and others. “Yunhi” has been written by Sarwat Nazir and directed by Ehtashamuddin. While “Yunhi” has been in a great phase, last week’s episode left viewers disappointed and complaining about entering the lagging phase. Fortunately, with episode 31, the story moves forward in a new direction once again.
In episode 31 of “Yunhi,” the preparations for Iqbal (Tazeen Hussain) and Zulfi’s (Mujtaba Ali) marriage continue and while the atmosphere in the house is festive, relationships have soured. Daniyal (Khaqan Shahnawaz) has been hit hard by Suraiyya’s (Maha Hassan) words and, after a conversation with Dawood, apologizes for his attitude. Daniyal has been severely misguided and parts of his personality are not redeemable, but the beautiful thing about blood relationships is that forgiveness is always around the corner. Khaqan Shahnawaz has done a really great job of portraying Daniyal and making him such a realistically grey character.
At present, Dawood (Bilal Ashraf) is adamant against Kim (Maya Ali) meeting George and having discussed it twice with her, Dawood expects Kim to listen out of love. Dawood’s conversation with Daniyal does not indicate that Dawood is “done” with his marriage or fed up of Kim’s actions. Rather, it appears to be more so about Kim herself recognizing the error of her ways and respecting – and loving – Dawood enough to respect his wishes by choice. He does not want to inflict his opinions on her nor does he want to change who she is as a person. However, some cultural norms are ones of respect between a husband and wife and Dawood wants – and expects – Kim to understand that on her own. Unfortunately – Kim is Kim and she does what she promises….which is meet George.
Kim herself does realize her mistake during the meeting itself and leaves early, but unfortunately, it’s too late. She finds Dawood ready with a decision, saying if they cannot be on the same page and love one another enough to bend, is the relationship meant to be? Dawood has given Kim her “desired” freedom, but wants her to stay until Iqbal and Zulfi’s wedding before going back. But will this time period force Kim to recognize her own faults?
Kim, on her part, is not a flawless character. She has never been a flawless character. She is full of flaws, despite the fact that she has brought so much positive change to the household. However, the reality check Dawood has given Kim is an important one to bring her down to earth. Cultural clashes aside, meeting and spending time with an ex-boyfriend is a no-go area for most cultures – and that includes Americans. What Kim did to Dawood was disrespectful to both him and their marriage and it’s high time Kim understands that – which she appears to be learning.
Yet, we can’t completely blame Kim. Kim is a young girl who lost her mother at an impressionable age. Things that girls learn from their mothers are things Kim was never taught – such as social and cultural norms. The scene between Razia (Tahira Imam) and Kim is absolutely beautiful, the highlight of the episode. Watching Kim missing her mother while grappling with Dawood’s behavior and turning to Razia for comfort is a moment we thought we’d never see, but it’s a scene that leaves the audience cheering. That beautiful shift from “Razia” to “Amma” is so natural in that moment, it leaves both Razia and Kim surprised, but adds a new layer to their relationship. With that one word, Razia’s entire heart melts and she accepts Kim as her daughter. Unfortunately, now that everyone has accepted Kim as part of their family, including Daniyal, Kim has only one person to pacify…….her own husband.
“Yunhi” has now entered an important phase. Up until now, Dawood has been the one working at their marriage, working to win over his wife and working to teach through example. He has protected Kim at every turn and given her love openly. It’s now time for Kim to reciprocate and give back. Dawood now needs to feel and recognize Kim’s love for him – love which she hasn’t really verbalized or shown the way he has. Maya Ali and Bilal Ashraf have been performing their roles so beautifully, it’s easy to fall in love with Kim and Dawood – and we’ll now look forward to watching this love story grow stronger in the final episodes.