By Kanika Rajani
It started with Kasuati Zindagi Kay, or Kuch Toh Log Kahenge which even depicted a love story between an older doctor and his foster father’s grand-daughter. Romantic love stories have been the rage since time memorial. Pavitra Rishta which started as a romance between a couple from two warring families has now turned into more of a family drama. Likewise, Humsafar which stars Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan as its protagonists centers around a couple who are forced to get married, but unlike other serials where a lot of drama ensues, this Pakistani drama has only 23 episodes. Asher is forced to marry his paternal cousin, as his aunt Maimona is terminally ill and is worried about her daughter Khirad’s fate. She requests her brother, Baseerat to get Khirad married. Baseerat, thus decides to get his niece married to his son Asher. However, Asher’s mother had planned to set him up with Sara, his maternal cousin who harboured feelings for Asher for long, but doesn’t confess it to him until it’s too late. Asher reluctantly marries Khirad upon his father’s insistence, but is far from pleased.
Asher and Khirad finally get married in a simple nikaah, but none of them are in a state to accept their marriage. A devastated Khirad is still coming to terms with her mother’s loss, and the fact that this marriage was forced upon her makes it even more awkward as she feels nothing short of a burden. Asher never expected to spend his life with someone who was seemingly his opposite. The show initially portrays him as a modern, young man who complains of barely having a chance to know his prospective wife before he was compelled to marry her.
Humsafar which means companion is about their journey after marriage. The show not only depicts the trials and tribulations they face after marriage, but also successfully depicts their contrasting personalities which later poses more problems for the couple who have barely grown to love and cherish each other. Asher may be educated and modern, but he is also insecure. He has also perhaps unknowingly been depicted as the angry young man, while Khirad is exceptionally affectionate, dignified and independent, she is also too naïve and trusting for her own good. Unlike other Hindi shows which glorify the protagonists, Humsafar does none of that. This Pakistani drama-romance is a breath of fresh air in comparison to its Indian counterparts. Right from the sets to the understated emotions which are gradually heightened only when the script demands, Humsafar will engage you from the word go.
The chemistry between Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan is also one of the reasons why Humsafar is a must watch. Both of them convincingly wow you with their performance. While a lot of newer shows boast of being ‘relatable’, Humsafar’s biggest strength lies in the unspoken love between its lead pair; be it Khirad grappling with her mother’s loss, or Asher’s frustration at his initial failed attempts to communicate with his wife.
Verdict: Worth watching.