The second episode of Rehaai was extremely powerful, yet nauseating at the same time. It begins with Akber (Danish Taimour) worrying about little Kulsoom and telling his parents about the atrocity Chacha disgusting and Vasim Bhai are about to commit. His parents say ‘zulm ki inteha hoti hai’ and are justifiably enraged.
We then see an angry Shamim going to Kulsoom’s father’s house and giving him a peace of her mind in front of his friends. She screams in front of everyone telling them the truth that he sold his daughter. I wanted to strangle him when he tries to defend his despicable actions by saying “be-aulad bhateeje pe rehem agaya tha to beti dedi.” My bloody foot!! Beti pe rehem nahi aya inhe. After she leaves, he of course goes to see Vasim and tells him he was humiliated by his mother in front of his friends and has decided against the marriage. He will also somehow return the money owed. Clearly he knew that if he went to Vasim with this bluff, Vasim would handle it and that’s exactly what happened. Vasim apologizes for his mother’s actions and then goes yells at her. I have never seen such an ill-mannered son ever before! His mother is left questioning her upbringing of her son.
On the Shehnaz front, her sister, instead of supporting her, is bad mouthing her mother-in-law and tells Shehnaz that she should have stopped going to the doctors and hakeems long time ago and went to that peer baba—another huge issue corrupting our society in my opinion. Shehnaz goes home and is rude to her mother in law telling her that she is probably happy about all of this and will probably attend the nikah happily. Shamim is disgusted and reminds Shehnaz that she was only 11 when her parents married her off to Vasim’s father (Adnan Jilani). There is no way she can do that to another little girl and right now her sympathies are with Kulsoom and the priority is to save her. We see the tortured flashbacks of Shamim’s own wedding. The next morning Vasim again tries to convince his mother to go his nikaah with Kulsoom and she again tells him to have mercy on her. He leaves in a rage. At the nikaah we see that Kulsoom has no idea what is and is about to happen to her. She is still calling Vasim ‘Vasim Bhai’ and wonders why Tai Ammi and Apa aren’t there. She happily tells her friends she will be going to live with Tai Ammi now. At home, Shehnaz is crying at her life and Shamin is blaming herself for all of this since she couldn’t stop it.
After the nikaah when Vasim brings Kulsoom home (this is where my nausea began), for that night she is saved by Tai Amma. But the next morning when Shamim goes out to get groceries and Kulsoom is left with Shehnaz, Vasim takes advantage of that. You can see the guilt in even Shehnaz’s eyes of what just happened…and what just happened was nothing less than child rape. Kulsoom is horrified and wants to go back to her father’s house. She has nightmares that night and ends up running back to her father the next morning. Fathers are supposed to protect their daughters, but little does she know that he has no mercy on her and tells to go back to Vasim’s house and apologizes to Vasim about what Kulsoom just did. Tai Amma takes her back to her house after telling her father off again. Episode 2 ends there.
I thought this episode was going to be more horrifying than it actually was (especially after the nikaah). But even with that I could not watch it without getting sick to my stomach. I think this is an extremely powerful drama but I also think it should have been written by a more seasoned and veteran writer. Farhat Ishteaaq is a brilliant writer of romance. It is one thing to make a drama from a novel; it is another to have a novelist write for the big screen, and that too for a subject like this. In what world does an 11 year ask another 11 year ‘kaisa lag raha hai?”? Even if these kids are 12 or 13, I feel like the writer is trying to incorporate the ‘fairy tale’ romance, even if it is for only 3 seconds. Because Kulsoom replies with ‘bohut acha’ without even knowing what is happening. Another thing is all the guests are there and they are happy…no one is saying anything against this atrocity and barbarism. I do realize that in some sectors of the society all of this is very normal, but still those 3 seconds were extremely disturbing for me. The other thing is that Shehnaz is supposed to be going through hell since her husband is marrying a child, for a child. So why are her clothes, hair, and make-up always perfect? Since this is supposed to be based on reality, I don’t think that those who are actually going through this would have the time, money, or mind frame to always be perfectly made up. I definitely think that had a more seasoned writer been approached, all of this would have been thought through. I understand the fascination HUM TV has with Farhat Ishteaaq and Umera Ahmed, but if you are going present such a controversial topic than you need to get people who are capable of telling such stories…especially if they are based on reality.
Acting wise everyone is superb! I see a lot of ‘Nani’ from Sheher-e-Zaat in Samina Peerzada’s character, but I also don’t think anyone else could have done justice to this role the way she did. Saeed and Noman Ejaz have out done themselves. They accomplished the audience comtempt towards them in the first 5 minutes of their scenes. Child star Yashaal is great and Maria Wasti is as always, in her character. ..Powerful performances were given by everyone.
Direction wise this had Mehreen Jabbar written all over it. The extremely well timed flashbacks, the scene and frame changes, everything was brilliant. No one else could have directed this so sensitively and brilliantly.
Till next time…