This second episode of Sar-e-Rah was just as engaging, empowering, fast-paced, and visually pleasing as the first one. The writer managed to get his message across with the utmost ease and precision throughout this episode. I must say that even though I knew that the writer was going to tell other people’s stories through Rania, the focus on Muzna’s (Sunita Marshall) story was the surprise element for me. I was expecting Rania’s story to stay central but it seems as if we will be watching her story from her professional life’s perspective and not the personal one. I must say that I missed watching Rania’s interactions with her family but I do understand why the writer thought it was more important to shift the focus to Muzna. It is the only way that he can tell different stories in a single episode.
This episode opened with Rania and Muzna’s first interaction. Rania went from judging Muzna to trusting her and liking her as the story progressed. By the end of this episode Muzna and Rania were not just friends but also partners in a way. I loved how quickly Rania changed her opinion about this woman she barely knew but was open-minded enough to give her the benefit of doubt. Even though this was Muzna’s story for me Rania’s character stood out in this episode as well. It is such a well-etched-out character; she isn’t overly bold, not ‘too’ kind but considerate enough, and most importantly she comes across as a positive person who does not believe in stereotypes at all. Saba Qamar nailed this character yet again in this episode and her on-screen chemistry with Sunita Marshall made their interactions even more wholesome. Sunita Marshall is an exceptional performer who adds grace to every character she plays therefore she was the perfect choice for playing this role. It was however not too pleasant watching Mikaal Zulfiqar play yet another character that he has played so many times before. He has been playing the toxic husband who always fails to make his marriages work for the longest time!
Through Muzna’s story, the writer highlighted an issue that is not the subject matter of Pakistani dramas often; everyone wants a doctor bahu but most people expect these bahus to leave their profession and use their knowledge only for the benefit of the family they are married into! The family which chooses to marry their son to this doctor bahu because of her degree and education dictates to her as if she has no wisdom or mind of her own. Also, the writer showed how flawed the concept is that qualified people should only work if they needed money. Muzna’s character was that of an educated, polished, and intelligent young woman who forgets what she is capable of because of the way she is treated by her mother-in-law in particular. Apart from that, her husband lets her bear the brunt instead of telling his mother the truth. This was such a good way of showing how toxicity and mental abuse is accepted as a norm by many women such as Muzna who can easily step out and build a life of their own. It also went to show the kind of exploitation such women are subjected to by the so-called ‘khandani’ families they are married into. Even though the husband was clearly the one at fault, he had an ‘ally’ in his mother and I could totally see him getting married a second time just to prove that there was nothing wrong with him.
Through this story, the writer also showed how adoption is looked down upon in our society. The episode as a whole also showed the judgmental attitude of society and how most often even women such as Muzna are forced to do something they don’t want to because of the pressures. Even though Muzna did not want to give that baby away, she did try to do it. Later on, she took a decision she could have taken earlier but was not in the right mental state to do so. The scene at the mall in which that auntie tells Muzna off truly resonated with me! It is so true that most of us are constantly judging others and expecting their actions to match our own perceptions, thoughts, and experiences.
I really liked the scene in which Muzna leaves the baby with Rania when she goes to get milk for her. Rania doubts Muzna, and wonders if she was going to get into trouble for helping her but still continues believing in her. This showed that Rania was not ‘perfect’, she was completely capable of doubting someone as well but she did not instantly pass judgment or make a decision. If Rania did not decide to help Muzna, things could have been so different for her.
There were some aspects of this episode that made me question Muzna’s decision in the beginning. Why couldn’t she talk to her husband about this beforehand? Can a married woman legally adopt without the consent of her spouse? If she had decided to adopt this baby, why was she not more ‘prepared’ for it. I think that these are some of the angles in this particular track that needed a little more explanation. However, the way this track was used to raise so many big and small issues was definitely on point. Rania’s reactions throughout this episode revealed more about her personality and character. It is always refreshing watching a drama showing women supporting each other. Rania continues to be the star of the show; Saba Qamar owns this character and she clearly enjoyed performing it. Tonight’s episode of Sar-e-Rah belonged to all those doctor bahus who have so much to offer yet they somehow forget their own potential.
This was another empowering story shown brilliantly on-screen. The concept and the execution have been brilliant. I am looking forward to the next story. The outdoor scenes had to be the best aspect of the execution. Unlike many other dramas, you don’t feel ‘suffocated’ while watching Sar-e-Rah because the director has dared to use a large canvas as opposed to limiting himself. I am so glad that Sar-e-Rah is getting the attention it deserves because the first episode did not take off immediately but this one already has an impressive number of views. Also, I am wondering why this drama is airing at 9 pm because it definitely deserves the primetime slot. Am I the only one who missed Rania’s interactions with her family in this episode? Do share your take on this episode.