The eleventh episode of Zakham has taken the story a little bit forward on one end and a lot backward at the other. All of our hopes from Takbeer’s father and brother were dashed badly. They were only considerate and thoughtful for a brief moment and now they are back to their lame, unreasonable chauvinist selves.
The episode started well with Takbeer breathing a little free in anticipation of getting rid of Khawar. She even consoled her mother about not worrying that the stigma of divorce will be attached to her. Only an abused wife like her can understand that living daily life with such a husband is much worse than the stigma of divorce. It did not however went as anticipated. Khawar put up a brilliant performance of remorse, regret and tears and convinced Ikram and Sultan that he is utterly sorry for his words. Then his cunning sister gave hints that it was still Takbeer’s fault after all. She gave clues like comparing other men to your husband and a man’s possessiveness to eventually prove that Takbeer is equally if not more at fault than Khawar. It had quite the desired effect, since the two men of Takbeer’s family looked very subdued and embarrassed at that mention. Even after everything, they are so egoistic that they could not snub Khawar’s sister that Takbeer had no fault in any of it and that she had never even mentioned Musa by herself. It was Khawar who is so obsessed with Musa and his whereabouts.
Madiha Imam was again brilliant in all her expressions and dailogues. Her anguish was so genuine when she saw Khawar with her father and brother and her fear so palpable when they asked her to go back. Her father was a nuisance and absolutely beyond logic when he tried to say things to her that you had a story before marriage and that you should have apologised to Khawar for Musa’s arrival on her marriage. He should have spoken loud and clear; Khawar will always be superior because he is a man and your husband and hence we will support him. The pain in Takbeer’s eyes, the betrayal in her heart was so aptly express by Madiha Imam’s body language that she steals the show every time she has a scene.
Faisal Qureshi might not be acting so bad but the role given to him is so confusing that it does not leave much room for performance. Today, Khawar’s mental illness had not raised its head. Rather, his every move was strategic till his alter ego appeared. If this is the writer’s way of showing mental illness, it is not doing much to enlighten the viewers. In another play Rasm e Duniya, another character Harib played by Sami Khan also has the same issues more or less. But, the mental illness is so well executed that you cannot help but feel for the abuser, because it is made very clear that he cannot help himself and his vulnerability is equally exposed as his cruelty. The subtle balance between the two is what makes such characters endearing. Khawar’s character, on the other hand does not extract any sympathy. There is nothing helpless about Khawar, even when he was holding hands together to ask forgiveness.
There was a twist in the serial when Ahmed is diagnosed with a heart defect. That was such a terrible moment for Khawar, Takbeer and Farhan since they were in the doctor’s office together. This angle of the story is totally unexpected and how this falls into the grand scheme of things will be made clear in the next episode, I think. Khawar has started blaming Takbeer that because she was upset and depressed while caring for Ahmed, a hole has been found in the baby’s heart. Just when you believe Khawar cannot stoop any lower, he will show you there is still long way to go down.
Let us see how the next episode unfolds…