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I was unable to watch the first episode of Khuda Mera Bhi Hai on Saturday evening (blame that on the Elan show) but I managed to catch up on it last night, online. Apparently KMBH got the highest ratings of an opening episode of any Pakistani drama serial ever and I was curious to see what the hype was all about. We all know that the serial deals with society’s response and reaction to transgender children but we also know that the execution of such a taboo subject is imperative to the drama’s success.

Episode One set the premise for all characters, outlining their personalities for the story that will unravel. We saw Mahgul (Aisha Khan) as a headstrong feminist who has no qualms in acting for the rights of women, children and the underprivileged. She is undeterred by society’s expectations of what a woman should or shouldn’t do. Her mother (Saba Hameed) runs an NGO for women and separated from her husband on principal even though she loves him even today. There is Mahi’s boss, who is more fatherly than ‘bossly,’ his wife – who is a social butterfly and dislikes girls like Mahi and their son, Zain, who appears to be charming. Zain may appear to be an emancipated and educated person but we know he’s not all he appears to be when he makes an ungracious comment about not having to eat with the transgender people Mahi is friends with.

This episode of KMBH did pique the interest into watching further but beyond that, what it did more effectively was reinstate Aisha Khan as a strong and competent protagonist rather than the whiny vamp she was relegated to being in Mann Mayal. Khan’s acting is convincing and she steps into Mahi’s shoes with absolute ease. Her look may be a bit overdone for someone who’s on the streets all day (the lipstick and eye shadow did not fade even for a moment) but her wardrobe (by Sania Maskatiya) is spot on. This all adds to the appeal of her character, which will undoubtedly evolve as time and episodes pass.