The previous episode had ended on a suspenseful note, and it had seemed like the narrative was beginning to take some kind of a coherent shape. Sadly though, that one well-done scene had flattered to deceive. Rather than building on the momentum generated by the cliffhanger, the story continued along in the same hiccuping manner. In terms of events it moved pretty fast, but when it came to clarifying and explaining characters’ motivations this latest installment left me as confused as I had been last week. Apart from Sanam’s entry, that too with the punch line given away in the promos, I was sorely disappointed yet again.
Beginning with Mahmud, I’m not quite sure what to make of this guy. Though he claims to have remarried for Mina, he let it slip today that he had married Atiqa for his sake. Many a times during the episode Mina seemed more of an afterthought, and that too in terms of how she was making life difficult for him, Atiqa and her kids. Sending her away to a boarding school therefore was more about Mahmud keeping his sukoon rather than out of any concern for his only daughter. The way he happily welcomes Atiqa in his office and hands over his business affairs to her says a lot about their loving relationship – this is by no means a marriage of convenience.
As for Mina, though she is presented as an OTT weirdo, who seems to derive pleasure out of torturing others around her, I have to say I empathize with her. In many ways she is right… her life did turn upside down the minute Atiqa and her children stepped in uninvited to her house. What surprises me is that apart from her dad, and the less said about him the better, there is complete lack of any other kind of family support system, a daadi, naani, an old family caretaker, to help her through this very tough period in her life. To give her credit, Atiqa is shown as well-meaning and honest in her attempts to win her over, nonetheless if seen from the child’s perspective the step-mother and siblings are her enemies, and this belief shapes her ugly attitude towards them. Atiqa does attempt to reason with Mahmud, to keep Mina home, but once the decision is made we hear no more from her. In fact we barely see any concern from her as she happily sets about creating a comfortable life for herself, both in Mahmud’s office and his house. As was apparent from Sanam’s entry, Mina never came home even during her vacations. What kind of parents let a child stay away for so long?
The boarding school where Mina is banished to, has to be one of the most ill-chosen, under-equipped places in the world to send a child as mentally disturbed as Mina. The warden and the principal are completely incompetent when it comes to dealing with an emotionally needy child like Mina. In fact I would say the boarding school environment, teachers students do much more harm to Mina’s psyche than could have happened at home. I had hoped that we would get more of an insight today as to how and why Mina turned into such a dark child after her mother’s death, but sadly got no answers. All we got was a constant reinforcement, in so many ways, of how evil Mina was. All I can say is that even as I cringed at Mina’s nasty tricks, I could not but feel for her as I watched Mahmud play happy families, with his loving wife and other two “normal” children, with nary a concern for the “problem” child he had conveniently banished from home – so much for the “loving and concerned” dad!
The episode concluded with a time leap and we saw Sanam making her much -awaited entry. The older Mina seems to be a hardened version of the younger, still somewhat contrite, child. All traces of softness are now completely erased as the story will now focus on a Mina who now has several years’ worth of pent up resentment which will manifest itself in a variety of ways. Given the predictability of what will happen, I will probably watch this one for Sanam Saeed and see how she and the director Aabis Raza add interest to what is now a very black character.
Written by SZ~