Zakham by ARY digital is a story of male dominance, ego clashes, chauvinism and family ties. It is a tale of sisterhood, of undying devotion and of psychological domestic abuse. All these varied issues are well entwined in a drama that makes you feel for its characters.
The plot revolves around a household with two elderly parents and their adult kids. The older two are married and the younger two unmarried. The older sister Tehreem is played by Sarwat Gillani who seems very much distressed at the hands of her husband but she does not express her pain in front of her family. In a cruel twist of faith, she dies in childbirth, leaving a newborn baby boy. Her husband Khawar, played by Faisal Qureshi appears extremely heartbroken at his wife’s untimely demise. He mourns her for days, during which his guilty conscience reminds him of the time when he was so cruel and unreasonable with Tehreem. She literally had to walk on eggshells near her husband.
Her baby boy now comes to the hands of her younger sister Takbeer (madiha imam) who loves him like his own. A little before Tehreem’s death, she was engaged to Moosa, played by the very handsome Shahzad Noor who is her best friend’s brother. They both were smitten with each other before engagement and were over the moon with happiness after it.
Unfortunately, after Tehreem’s death, their marriage is delayed and their conversations revolve around her son Ahmed. Takbeer and Moosa plan to keep him with themselves after marriage since she is the only mother he has ever known. Takbeer asks permission from Khawar to take take his son with her when she gets married.
This enrages Khawar so much that he snatches Ahmed and takes him away from Takbeer. She asks her father to stop him and he comes up with the solution that Takbeer should get married to Khawar. He breaks her engagement with Moosa despite her and Farhan’s pleas. Farhan is the youngest of all siblings and very upset at the unfairness of this decision.
Their father, played by Shabbir Jan does not change his decision and Takbeer ends up getting married to Khawar unwillingly.
So far, the drama is very interesting and all the characters are really looking their part, though Shabbir Jan and Madiha Imam stand out among the lot. The story does have a few loopholes but as the relationship between Khawar and Tehreem wasn’t elaborated at all. The only thing that remains clear is Tehreem’s unhappiness. The way Khawar mourned her death also seemed out of place, given his mistreatment towards her in her life. I think the reason for Khawar’s behaviour and his issues will be clarified in later episodes.
Shabbir Jan has been phenomenal in depicting how our society believes in giving everything to the woman except the right to make her own decisions decisions.
Takbeer has also done herself no favours. In her naivety and her love for her sister’s child, she forgot that it’s unrealistic to expect a father to let of his child just like that. She was the one who brought to light this whole issue of taking away Khawar’s son to her husband’s home. That brought upon the decision Shabbir Jan took that will start a new set of difficulties for all of them. The decision per se was not illogical but considering the romantic involvement between Takbeer and Moosa, it was disastrous.
Another unclear lead is how Khawar and her sister for that matter agreed to it, despite being reminded repeatedly of Takbeer’s love for Moosa. Is it just selfishness on the part of Khawar for his son’s sake or some other psychological illness that made him marry her despite such clear indications that she loves someone else dearly.
Takbeer’s mother and bhabi proved totally useless in helping her except shedding a few sorry tears as she was wedded off against her will.
Another very typical character is Khawar’s sister who despite being a woman and knowing her brother’s personality expects his wives to cater to his every whim happily. Her dialogue , HUM TOH KHUSHI SAY AYAY HAIN, YAHAN TOH RONA DHONA CHAL RAHA HAI was so insensitive, as if she couldn’t believe how could a girl not be jumping with joy at being married to her nutcase of a brother.
Takbeer, on the other hand is determined to fight back every violence. The exchange between father and daughter at the end was poignant but both were lost in their own worlds, couldn’t reach out to each other in any way.