I think at this point in the story Humsafar as a serial had gotten so popular that it had become a national obsession. There were series of great cartoons about it from around episode 12 and a lot of people who hadn’t seen it from the first episode had managed to catch up or at least grabbed enough of the story to be thoroughly involved. Everyone was rooting for Asher and Khirad to get back together and in this episode they did. Despite their constant “yeh sirf Waqti Samjhota hai”, Khirad’s attempts at nonchalance and Asher’s sniping subconsciously it was all over. Sarmad Khoosat presented tableaux after beautiful tableaux of the three of them in very normal family situations which should have been horribly uncomfortable but instead flowed as smoothly as a stream of silk through an expert’s hand. There were no voice over’s needed to explain the character’s feelings their expressions and judicious use of the unforgettable OST was enough.
At the hospital we see how Asher is taking care of everything and Khirad finally has someone to share this heavy burden with. The strain a child’s illness can put on a family is huge and to carry it alone even more so .In their relief they forget to observe the distances and formalities their anger had placed between them. Despite Khirad’s appearance of strength the audience is shown her desperate loneliness when Asher takes Hareem away to read a book. I loved Mahirah in this role and that scene amongst so many was heartbreaking. Instead of breaking down though she begins to pray because that spiritual strength is what got her through such difficult times. Khirad is not the mazloom aurat which so many half-baked criticisms of Humsafar are based on, she is a strong woman who does not fall at Asher’s feet (Damn !!) asking for justice or even accuse him of letting her down. She is working to support herself and Hareem and is planning ahead for a future without Asher.
Asher’s confusion is plain to see, since he has come to doubt the image he had formed of Khirad he expects to see the lying, conniving individual he has formed in his imagination to explain the situation. He asks Hareem who told her to always tell the truth, he expects Khirad to be angry and retaliate to his taunts; he expects a reaction from her which just isn’t forthcoming. His frustration, physical
and emotional is so well captured scene after scene.When he pushes Khirad against the wall because he had to lie to his mother, again when Hareem asks for a brother. This was the famous “set the screen on fire chemistry” that had us all hooked. The visit of the Canadian friends encapsulates their situation perfectly. The visiting friends who have no clue what happened in the last Four and a half years, apart from a little formality can see no distance between Asher and Khirad. Despite their superficial denial both Asher and Khirad are happier than they have been in a long time. Asher is even trying to give up smoking.
Meanwhile Sara has not given up on Asher, she knows him so well she immediately picks up on the change in his behavior. What a confrontation scene between her and “the family” in the restaurant. Asher standing up and literally threatening Sara at the implied insult to his daughter certainly made the audience’s day and we were all left waiting breathlessly for the secrets to unfold.
One thing I must mention despite my long review was the sheer self-centered complacency of the Sara, Zarina and Khizar. I found the clinical ,casual way Zarina and Sara discuss what Khizar has done and how they assess his character disturbing .It was as if Khirad was not even human and what had happened to her had little or no importance in their eyes .