Disclaimer: For those who hate spoilers or ‘opinion’ read at your own risk!
Ehd E Wafa started off as a story about four friends placed in cadet college. The narrative moved forward branching out and focusing on their lives at individual levels. With the story moving forward the drama became more interesting as it meant now we will get to see different aspects of the lives of all four boys equally (as it had been advertised prior to the airing of the drama). However as the drama has progressed we cannot help but notice the sudden shift in the narrative as it gets skewed towards a select few.
With seven episodes in, we have been introduced to Saad (Ahad Raza Mir) his family, love interest and the career path he is pursuing. The makers have shown his elaborate transition from Cadet college to PMA. The arduous training at the military academy has also been very well depicted in a rather light and entertaining manner. His love story with Dua (Alizeh Shah) is adorable considering the age of their characters. And it seems that we will get to see more of it in coming episodes.
Unlike many dramas which generalize and focus on the contrast between rich and poor, we see a drama like Ehd e Wafa that has created a sense of harmony through its narrative. Moreover it has also allowed the audiences to travel beyond major metropolitan centres like Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. It is heartening to see the diversity being incorporated in the drama by creating characters with such varying backgrounds.
Osman Khalid Butt’s Shahzain has a feudal background. His personality traits and goals are completely different from the other three which makes his character stand out. The love angle being established with Rani is actually very engaging; meanwhile extending the rift between Saad and Shahzain, courtesy the latter’s plans to steal the former’s gal. We can see it wouldn’t actually happen, because of the way he fell for Rani at first glance is a clear indication.
Shariq (played by Wahaj Ali) also hails from a poor family, with a sister working as a nurse to support him through school. We had hoped that we will get to see more about his family, his solo journey through cadet college or at the very least how he suddenly ended up at a newspaper office. Instead, his timeline has taken a sudden jump after complete absence in two consecutive episodes.
After the fight at Saad’s house, Sheheryar (Ahmed Ali Akbar) has become a rarity as well. His story had a potential that makers could have capitalized on. The angle was different and I for one would have liked to see more about Shehryar’s family, the troubles he goes through even after acing his exams. The harsh reality of our society and the ordeals it offers to intelligent yet poor students, when it comes to excelling in career and improving their lifestyle. Episode seven simply reduced this all down to one scene which showed him substituting for his father in marching band while he is ill.
Some may debate Ahad and Osman’s star power is the reason for this shift, but then again Saad’s roommate Gulzar, played by Adnan Samad Khan,is stealing the show with his performance, for which he deserves an applause. He has managed to make waves on social media with his spot on portrayal of a poor village boy. The detailing given to his character makes him extremely relatable. Vaneeza Ahmed is back on screen after ages yet her cool army wife/mom avatar is being loved by audiences as well. So sellability is really not an issue for the drama to be fair.
We cannot help but wonder if the makers forgot about these two or there is something more from their end coming soon. At the moment the jump in their timelines, a forced abrupt scene here and there, is not gelling well with the rest of the narrative.
In initial few episodes, Zara’s Rani didn’t set well with the rest of the story line which was primarily revolving around the young cadets in Murree. Since episode 5, inclusion of Ahmed and Wahaj’s characters in the narrative, seem to have adopted the same pattern. They come and go, without making much sense. Their screen presence has been reduced to bare minimum, which really doesn’t feel quite right.
The drama’s idea about telling the story of four boys was fresh and it got acceptance from the audiences as well. The drama’s narrative managed to create a balance and positivity while doing so as well and didn’t in anyway made it misogynist either. At the same time it was a nice breather from the regular female-centred stereotype infused dramas.
Do you think Wahaj and Ahmed’s presence will be further curtailed as the drama progresses?