Episode 9 of Zakham was slow but amazing in the small details that were shown. It had a very accurate picture of domestic abuse which does not kill a woman or break her bones but breaks her spirit in a number of ways. There are these little things liks pretending to be nice to her when someone else is around and a bully otherwise, cutting off her support system, doubting her valid reasons like illness for fake excuses, putting work load on her in a way that she has to bear it and then reprimanding her for not doing it with a happy face. These are the exact things that happen to crush a wife’s morale and self esteem and consumes her in hidden ways, so much so that one day she wakes up and her own reflection is a stranger to her. Such are the ways Khawar is shown oppressing Takbeer and retrospectively, as she remembers now, demolaralising Tehreem as well.
The scene where this episode started was all too familiar, Takbeer and Ahmed absent for a genuine reason, Khawar’s head spinning like a maniac that she has gone with Musa and then Khawar pretending he is relieved when he finds Takbeer is alright while he is seething inside. This time, however, Sultan took a good step in taking Takbeer away for sometime, though Khawar was soon there to make sure she is back again. His alter ego was once making him feel bad about mistreating Tehreem but now it is back to taunt him for not being a man enough to doubt Takbeer’s every step and give her a hard time about it. It once seemed like a guilty conscience speaking, but now it is more of a crazy sneaky man. Even Khawar’s alter ego is unsure of what it really wants from Khawar.
I may sound like a broken cord but nine episodes have gone by and we do not really know how and why Khawar is like this. The writer seems to have confused an insecure and childish man with a two face calculating one. Hence, Khawar swings between one and the other depending on the scene. He was mean enough to expect Takbeer to cook a multi course dinner for his sister’s family without any consideration for her health and then changed the word Shaitaan to shararti for Ahmed for Tehreem’s sake. That shows him just as an immature person hungry for attention, and then when he suspects her for having an affair with Musa, he behaves like a lunatic who is hallucinating. Then again, when he pretends to be so nice in front of Takbeer’s family and changes his tone to a vile one as soon as they are out of ear shot is like a very calculating and controlling husband who knows exactly what he is doing to oppress his wife. The effect all this is having on Takbeer, however is shown with a lot of clarity. She is confused, exhausted, sensitive and tearful as any women would be under these circumstances.
Ther was not much in the episode regarding moving forward of the story. The story seems stuck where it did after Takbeer and Khawar’s marriage. Musa is shown going abroad, so he won’t be around to badger Takbeer for some more time. Rest is all the same, with all the characters with the same state of minds. Her parents are softening towards Takbeer but still do not question Khawar in anything he does. Like they can question him about the absence of a maid in the house, despite Khawar earning so well. Why can’t there by anyone to help Takbeer take care of household chores when he is certainly capable of paying them? Why cannot Takbeer go out of the house to fulfill her basic needs? Is she a house prisoner that she is or unable to go out and buy a carton of formula for Ahmed when it’s finished? If Khawar’s work at office is so important that he cannot leave it for grocery shopping, why does he not let Takbeer have the independence of doing it? Maybe it is because they, themselves are of the mindset that women need to be kept at their place; requesting, re requesting and then waiting for that request to be processed, even when they need small usable things. That is why Takbeer’s father was so against the idea of a working woman. Work brings financial independence and that is almost the only thing a woman needs to stand up for her rights. So they want to nip it in the bud by not allowing any working women to enter their household. That is just so sad.
Keep watching and commenting please.