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The 9th episode of drama serial Khaani may have been slower in comparison to the previous pace of the story but the overwhelming response it has gotten from fans and followers shows no signs of slowing down. The TRPs of this week’s episode hit an outstanding 8.13, according to sources.

Here’s what happened this week: Khaani gets discharged from the hospital and her sister Sara spots Mir Hadi hovering outside when they are leaving. Worried, she shares this detail with Khaani and upon being questioned, Khaani confides in Sara and tells her that Mir Hadi has been following her for the past few weeks. We see the beginning of conflict in Khaani’s feelings about Mir Hadi; she isn’t as vehemently aggressive about him as she earlier was. She’s confused about his obsession with her and doesn’t understand why he’s following her but at the same time she is quite sure that he doesn’t want to harm her. We know that the Stockholm Syndrome does exist and having feelings for your brother’s murderer may also be possible but can a woman actually fall in love with her brother’s murderer. One thinks and hopes not but only time will tell.

Khaani’s parents are slowly adapting to life without their son and with Salman, her father, in a wheelchair. They are visited by his elder brother and his wife, who try to convince Salman to pack up and move to their ancestral home. “I’ll take care of the girls and you’ll all be safe and financially covered,” he argues but the father refuses to disorient his family. I liked the fact that the man has a progressive approach to the situation and prefers not to move as being dependent on his elder brother would be a miserable arrangement for them all. “Times have changed,” he responds when his elder brother accuses him of pushing his daughters to work.

Times have indeed changed and while we see Mir Shah orchestrating his way back into politics, we also see Mir Hadi directing his brattish behavior towards his parents instead of the world at large. This is quite in tune with the boy’s natural behaviour as he may have fallen in love with Khaani but his core nature is proud and rude and he is entitled to getting what he desires. His parent’s refusal to give in to his latest whim is aggravating him.

It’s very difficult to say who is the better actor here; Mahmood Aslam as Mir Shah or Feroze Khan as Mir Hadi. I’d have included Saman Ansari (Sitara, Mir Hadi’s mother) to the list as she is a fantastic actor but then the lack of attention to details around her lets her down. For instance, that bright pink lipstick did not reflect any signs of dismay or depression when she was articulating concern for her son. Her husband keeps asking, “yeh aap ne kya haal banaya hua hai” but truth is that her “haal” is just as fashionable as it is on any other day; infact most people don’t even wear that much makeup on an average day. One would hope that seasoned actors like Saman Ansari would have a say in their character development even if the director – in this case Anjum Shahzad – does overlook things.

As in most plays on TV, Khaani does suffer slight lack of attention to detail, which one hopes directors will polish with time and constructive critique. For example, Khaani’s mother’s eye makeup when she is helping her crippled husband shave, is quite unreal. The fact that they have no hired help, while living in such a huge villa, is also unbelievable. Khaani leaves the hospital with support to walk from her sister; I know for a fact that patients are assisted out on a wheelchair, even after simple procedures. When it comes to TV serials, our stories are great, our dialogues are strong and performances super. A little sophistication in production would be a game changer.

Back to Khaani, we see Mir Hadi with his head in the clouds, dreaming of Khaani and Khaani on cloud nine, dreaming of her secret admirer, who she doesn’t even suspect Hadi to be. And the next episode promises to make up for the slightly slower pace we witnessed this week. What will happen when Khaani witnesses her name tattooed on Mir Hadi’s arm?

  • This review was first published in Instep, Jan 3 2018