Zakham has started coming on two back to back days from last week. So, here we are with its twelfth episode, which was quite a mixture of controversies and contradictions, with no solution in sight. The friction between Khawar and Takbeer got entangled with Ahmed’s disease yesterday and this episode continued on the same pattern.
The most unlikeable character in the whole play is Khawar’s sister Khalida. First, when she got to know about Ahmed’s heart condition, she was extremely nonchalant about it, repeating that it’s the norm for doctors to create diseases and associate them with kids. In her next scene, she was all weepy and super concerned about Ahmed, to the extent that her husband had to console her to stop crying, and the way she keeps reminding her brother that he is not Takbeer’s son, conveniently ignoring the fact that she sacrificed the love of her life for this baby, is just so mean of her. This woman is certainly up to no good.
The episode showed Khawar extremely concerned about Ahmed and while his worries seem legitimate, it is hard to sympathise with a man who is crying for his ailing infant in one scene, and cribbing nonsense about his wife to his sister in the next. The way Khawar physically manhandles Takbeer is simply abhorrent and absolutely intolerable, even to watch. He wanted to sleep with Ahmed, so he physically pushed his wife out of the room and when he came home later and found Ahmed alone and crying and Takbeer absent, his behaviour was certainly not normal. Any concerned father would atleast carry the child with him, rather than leave him crying and act like Sherlock Holmes for his missing wife. I also dislike the way him and his sister think it is perfectly fine to put all responsibility of raising Ahmed on Takbeer, but keep all rights about him to themselves. She is being a mother to Ahmed, while being treated like a babysitter by Khawar.
Finally Takbeer’s brother noted the bruises on her hands from Khawar’s roughness and thankfully, got angry on it. When their father saw her arm, even he was shocked enough to ask Takbeer to pack up all her and Ahmed’s stuff to come with them. Shabbir Jan was phenomenal in today’s episode. Maybe he is a father himself, so that is why he was so natural in feeling desolate and hurt on seeing her daughter abused at her husband’s hands, because he performed that scene straight from the heart. He was superb as a macho orthodox father who is very strict apparently, but in his heart, he still holds his little girl very close. Madiha Imam was her usual fabulous self, acting so naturally and flawlessly that you cannot help but follow the story through Takbeer’s eyes. Whoever casted her and whoever is styling her is also doing an amazing job. Her indifference with her looks and hair and makeup is perfectly in sync with her character. She is abused, misunderstood and uncertain of her future, so thankfully they have not shown all that in perfectly applied nail polish and false eyelashes. That looks very unnatural. Also, when she comes back to her parents’ home, her lean frame, porcelain skin and fragile outlook really justified her parents’ outrage and grief that their delicate daughter is being treated so harshly.
Ahmed’s story line is quite confusing because they showed us the opinion of doctor who gave them all sorts of hope for his prognosis but that did not do much to relieve their anxiety about him. Why show a doctor say everything will be fine without medicine and surgery, when the family is going to keep on treating it like a fatal disease in the later scenes.
Stay tuned to find out what the future holds for Khawar and Takbeer and their families.