After a very long time, I came across a drama that I found both intriguing and intelligent. Airing every Saturday on Hum Sitaray, directed by Kashif Nisar, written by Sameera Hameed, Dooriyan was an absolute delight that I looked forward to watching week after week. This 21 episode saga seamlessly moved the narrative from past to present and showcased the journey of the three main protagonists. Daniyal (Faisal Rehman) was married to Sana (Iffat Omat). Daniyal hailed from a modest background and was highly disciplined but fell for his exact opposite. Sana belonged to a higher social standing and was a pampered princess. Her family bragged shamelessly about their wealth and mocked Daniyal for his ways. Sana didn’t shy away from partaking in their discussions even at the expense of straining her relationship with Daniyal. They had a son, Faizan and Sana spent days at a stretch ignoring her home. Daniyal tried in vain to bring about a change in Sana. He grew increasingly frustrated with her stubbornness and lack of appreciation for his efforts. Sana took zero interest in her home, her son or her husband. She spent money like there’s no tomorrow and routinely depended on her brothers to fulfil her material desires. Overtime, their differences crept in and the cracks in their marriage started to become evident. It didn’t help that Sana blurted out the intricate details of her life in front of her mother (Samina Ahmed) and brothers who egged her on and only added further strain on an already tumultuous relationship.
Apart from Daniyal and Sana, the third protagonist was Huma (Sabreen Hisbani) who was married to a good for nothing man, Abbas (Kashif Mehmood). Abbas felt it beneath him to work. Ironically, he found nothing wrong with having his wife work while juggle her home and two daughters. Huma struggled to make ends meet but maintained her home and children in a dignified manner despite her lack of necessities. Huma stared to work at Daniyal’s office and over a span of 8 years, they developed trust and began sharing their day-to-day happenings. Daniyal was shocked to find out that Abbas was not only a womanizer and gambler but also abused his wife. He stood by her and comforted her not only with words but with finances too at a time when Huma was completely helpless. Although he hoped things would get better for her, he realized Abbas was at the point of no return. He encouraged Huma to take a stand for the sake of her daughters and even spent his own money to pay off Abbas to ensure Abbas doesn’t defame Huma in court in an attempt to take his daughters away. Huma who tried her best to conceal these embarrassing details from Daniyal, took offence when Daniyal proposed to her but later on felt indebted to him and agreed.
Sana, who was suspicious all along finally demanded a khula. Daniyal tried his best to convince her that their marriage was wrecked years ago by Sana’s own negligence but he was still willing to stay married for the sake of their son or at the very least, he wanted to continue financially supporting them. Sana’s ego got the better of her and she expedited to file for a divorce without considering the repercussions on her son and filled his mind with hatred for Daniyal. Years passed and Daniyal raised Huma’s two daughters as his own and had a new one but longed for his son. Huma proved to be an excellent wife and companion but she never replaced the love he had for Sana. Sana grew into a bitter and cold woman who lived with her mother and brother but was treated like a liability and had to struggle for her basic needs. Faizan grew up to be a reflection of his father and stood by his mother although deep down he missed his father. As fate would have it, Faizan found himself in a compromising position and had to turn to his father after years apart. Daniyal hoped his son would run to him with open arms but realized that his son was harbouring hatred as a result of feeling neglected. Daniyal managed to mend fences with his son and do right by Sana in the only way he could- by providing them with a home they could call their own.
One of the biggest wins of this drama was the execution of the narrative and how it didn’t try to influence the audience in any which way. I continually struggled with my feelings as none of the characters were black or white but each had shades of grey and depth which gave them a unique personality. Initially, Sana came across as a negative character but after her divorce, I empathized with her since she proved to be an excellent and selfless mother who fought tooth and nail to provide the best for her son. She stayed single for the sake of her only son and didn’t once falter. Daniyal seemed sincere initially but I didn’t approve of his decision to take a second wife – he was selfish and paid the price by being separated from his son. Huma was the proverbial mazloom aurat but she persevered through many a storms. I felt she married Daniyal for her own selfish reasons but given her situation, I could see why she did what she did. I also liked the contrast between Sana’s mother and Huma’s mother. Sana’s mother filled her head with negativity against Daniyal which influenced her relationship and Huma’s mother was a pillar of support which is why Huma managed to stay married all those years and had the strength to accept Daniyal’s proposal. Overall, Dooriyan was brilliantly scripted, sharply directed and flawlessly acted which made it a very good watch. I’m not sure how it fared since it didn’t air on one of the big three channels but I look forward to tuning in to Hum Sitaray and hope they will continue providing us with quality entertainment.