The complications in the lives of the main characters increase tenfold in episode 9 as the brilliant acting and engaging storyline really shines through. The episode picks up where it left off in the last episode amidst the crumbling marriage of Ashar (Haroon Shahid) and Neha (Naveen Waqar). It must be said that the portrayal of a disillusioned couple by these two characters is always the highlight of the series and extremely convincing to watch.
Ashar starts off by still denying the obvious rift between the two, and becomes prey to suspicion and lashing out as a way to cope. On the other hand, Neha remains firm with her demand for a divorce, having already planned her future without Ashar. This angers Ashar even further, and he finally reaches a breaking point when his colleagues in his workplace find out about the divorce as well.
Now that it finally dawns upon him, Ashar resorts to placing all the blame on Neha. Their clash reaches a crescendo when they try to break the news to their children and end up fighting again. It is frustrating as an audience to see these two never being on the same page, and the way Ashar behaves childishly also shows how ignorant he is. However, Haroon Shahid and Naveen Waqar play these characters powerfully and there is never a scene in which they don’t hold the audience’s undivided attention. So even though the characters themselves might be extremely flawed, the actors make them the crowning aspect of the drama.
On the other side, Arsal (Ahmed Ali) is shown to become increasingly exasperated by his father (Abid Ali) and Hareem (Ainee Jafree). While his father continues pressuring him and putting him down every chance he gets, Hareem under the instructions of her manipulative mother stops talking to Arsal. With all of this piled on him at once, it is no wonder that Arsal’s patience thins out. It was disappointing to see that the one source of actual trouble for Arsal and Hareem, in the form of Arsal’s cousin (Arij Mohyuddin), did not really make a strong impression even after several scenes.
Arsal and Hareem’s other problems seem extremely hollow as well, and merely a result of them being easily influenced by external sources. The way Arsal’s relationship with his father is shown, though, is exceptionally well done. The subtle signs of abuse are always present in his father’s conversations with him, and it is also not shoved into our faces the way it usually is in dramas. Instead, it is hidden beneath the everyday interactions of the characters, and revealed by the way it interferes with Arsal’s own personality and his relationships with others.
Episode 9 really geared us up for the climax that we are all waiting for. But it seems as if the calm before the storm just might overshadow the storm itself in the quality of the writing and the directing. Tajdeed e Wafa has really exceeded expectations in a lot of ways, but we cannot wait to be blown away even more by the long-awaited climax of the drama.