Ohkay so, written by Umera Ahmed, directed by Farooq Rind & produced by Nina Kashif & Momina Duraid Productions; Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is based on the widely-read novel of Umera Ahmed. This also happens to be the drama that marks the return of Mahira Khan on television after years & after watching the very first episode, I can already see why the big names decided to associate themselves with this project.
Characters, Introduction & The Story So Far
The first episode of Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay established the equations that all the main characters share with each other. The most common theme of the story is the involvement of three cousins & how their lives have been intertwined. The direction was pure Farooq Rind fashion with a lot of slow-mo’s, OST & loud background music, however, the way it unfolded & ended definitely makes me look forward to it. First & foremost, I will definitely appreciate the attention to detail with which the characters & their looks were designed. I could immediately see the similarities in the features because of which the kids were picked to portray the young age of the characters. Also, all of the parents & the grandmother looked young in those scenes & the moment Shamim Hilali showed up after the time-lapse, it was beautiful how her character had aged, even the difference in the body language made it obvious. The credit goes to the actors as well as their stylists who made sure to do justice to this aspect of the time & age difference.
The theme that was established in this entire episode was how the events & surroundings affect children & contribute towards their character building. I liked how it was implied that regular & casual conversations that parents deem normal, end up being a lot more damaging than they think. Everything that happened in Mehreen’s life when she was young was enough to shape her character but Mashal who seemingly has had a normal childhood turned out this way only because of the undue comparisons & behind-the-door conversations she heard from her mother. It was interestingly shown how on the surface people tend to put up an act to make it look like everything is normal & fine but the reality is quite opposite.
Mehreen’s (Mahira Khan) parents Rabia (Laila Wasti) & Mansoor (Omair Rana) led a normal life until Mansoor got involved in illegal activities & developed alcoholism. It showed that before Rabia figured everything out, she had an ideal life with her husband earning well & her Mehreen being the ideal child. Mehreen happened to be everyone’s favorite which obviously led Shagufta to draw unnecessary comparisons between her & Mashal. This comparison only stemmed from her own insecurities & complexes but instead of addressing it the way she should have, she found it easier to just give words to her negative feelings, without thinking about the consequences & how she was causing a dent in her child’s self-esteem.
Mashal (Kubra Khan) is Shagufta (Zainab Qayyum) & Tahir’s (Ali Tahir) only daughter. She happened to be that child who not only listened to what her parents talked about but also spoke about it because it was something absolutely normal for her. She was exposed to such negative thoughts, mindset & conversations that without even realizing it, she imbibed it in her personality. Aswad (Usman Mukhtar) happens to be the son of Tahir & Rabia’s sister Saleha (Huma Nawab). Saleha lived in Kuwait & now it seems she has moved to Pakistan after her husband’s passing & Aswad is working abroad.
The first episode established the equation between all the characters. I will however say that for a grandmother (Shamim Hilali) to say ‘bhar mai jaye Mehreen’ sounded a little unrealistic because no matter what happens, in such situations, people are the most concerned about kids. I found this dialogue problematic & unrealistic in this regard because in general, this family was shown to be loving towards Mehreen & also the kind of family that had high regard towards all the members. It was also suggested that maybe Mehreen’s mother re-married that is why her grandmother informed her that Rabia will be coming with her daughters. All the actors played their parts well but in some of the scenes, their acting seemed a bit caricaturish & a bit exaggerated. Aswad has grown into a decent & charming man, but he also made it obvious that he too has some personality issues & his father seems to have been contributed to it. It was nice to see how each & every character seemed so layered in the very first episode because this mostly happens as the drama progresses but in Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay the director made sure to establish it right from the beginning.
The interactions between Mehreen & Mashal were enough to show the kind of sour relationship they both have. Mashal doesn’t like Mehreen & Mehreen not only knows that but reciprocates it as well. I kind of feel bad for Mashal because she wouldn’t have turned out this way if her mother hadn’t done what she did when she was a child. Mehreen has her own baggage, especially because she saw how her parents’ marriage fell apart & then how her father passed away all miserable & helpless. She shared a beautiful bond with her father though & that explains why she still dreams about him.
A Solid Beginning
The very first episode of Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay was definitely well directed & laid a solid foundation for the rest of the story to unfold. I can already see this drama is going to have its fair share of slow-mo’s with loud music echoing in the background. However, I will say that the OST is beautifully composed & sung, plus it is easy on the ears, so here’s to hoping that it is not going to be overused to become a buzzkill. The entire supporting cast gave solid performances & it was only because of them the first few scenes which were necessary to hold the attention for the rest of the episode ended up being so engaging. The child artists perfectly fit the characters & my favorite out of them all was the young child who played Shabo, her expressions were on point & I am glad that Kaif Ghaznavi is playing her too. I, however, wish Shabo wasn’t this problematic but let’s see how she will contribute to the story, but then again, it is understandable because she too was a young child when she became Shagufta’s helper, therefore she can’t help being this way.
Shamim Hilali, Huma Nawab, Ali Tahir, Zainab Qayyum & Laila Wasti were brilliant. I am glad that Usman Mukhtar is getting to play a character who is not so uptight & reserved. His body language in the scene where he was on a call with his mother showed that he has become a lot more comfortable in front of the camera. It also adds more mystery to his character that maybe Aswad only puts up such an act to hide what he actually is feeling or going through. There was not a lot of coverage given to Mashal but Kubra Khan definitely fits the character well. Mahira Khan’s performance was impressive as Mehreen. She added little nuances to her performance which I enjoyed seeing, like being totally easy around her friend but becoming awkward the moment she spotted Mashal approaching her. I think it makes Mehreen a lot more believable & real because she shows anger, she also makes her frustrations visible & doesn’t hold back in letting others know too. It was a thoroughly enjoyable & engaging first episode, let’s see how everything unfolds. Please share your thoughts about the first episode of Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay.