The number thirteenth might be unlucky for some but in case of Saraab it has proved to be lucky for both Asfand Yar and Hoorain. They finally got together after a struggle of twelve episodes but it wouldn’t have been an interesting journey without director Mohsin Talat’s perfect execution of Edison Idrees Masih’s intense script. Every actor from the lead to the senior most, from the one who appeared on the screen to the one who didn’t, manages to do justice to their character with flawless performance, and makes you wonder what will happen in the coming episodes, now that the leading pair has gotten married.
After the two families meet, Asfand Yar’s parents (Sajid Shah and Kinza Malik) agree to take Hoorain (Sonya Hussyn) with them after realizing that her life might be in danger at her parents’ place. They ask Asfand Yar (Sami Khan) to arrange for a moulvi but the action takes place after their Nikaah. While they were having their very first moments as man and wife, Hoorain showed the first signs of schizophrenia as she asks Asfand Yar to get her mehndi urgently she can complete the design on her hand. As soon as he gets her a makeshift pen to finish the design, she forgets who he was and asks him what he was doing in the room, alone with her.
Moments later when she regains her memory and asks for forgiveness, Asfand Yar goes out to take a call and while he was possibly talking to Saqib (Shafqat Khan), she hallucinates the other Asfand Yar first inviting and then taking her out for a walk. When Asfand Yar and his parents find out that she is missing, he and his father go out to search for her, and after looking everywhere, Asfand Yar finds her in the local park. While his mother (Kinza Malik) was comforting his father (Sajid Shah) who seemed unwell after the search, he complains of a headache and in the next instant collapses on the chair.
This episode clearly belongs to two actors and Sami Khan isn’t one of them, for a change. You have Sonya Hussyn as Hoorain who gives the audience 'chills' with her change in behavior, whereas her subtle expressions from being a happy girl to a shocked one, and her ability to talk to a ‘hallucination’ who isn’t visible to anyone else is too engaging. It is she who opens the main gate to go out, not the hallucinated Asfand Yar (intelligent screenplay, I must say!) and walks on the road as if her hubby is with her, when he clearly isn’t. Then there is Sajid Shah who manages to shine as Asfand Yar’s father; it was his character who decides to take away his niece and get her married to his son late in the night, and when she goes missing, joins his son in the search despite being late in the night. The scene where he collapses afterward wasn’t done in a typical manner either and he laid the platform of the collapse before actually doing so, shocking the audience with his performance.
And yes, while Sami Khan matched both Sonya Hussyn and his on-screen father with flawless performance, it is the hallucinated one who wins the battle here. He is more romantic than the real one, and that’s because he is a figment of her imagination. The scene where he is thinking about the 'mehndi replacement' shows that he has a thinking mind, and if he ever turns director, he would become a good one. Kinza Malik as Asfand Yar’s mother has a huge role to play from here on, since it will all come down to her if something goes wrong. After all, she is not just the mother-in-law of Hoorain but also her aunt (both Mami and Phupo) and believes that her son couldn’t have done anything wrong because he is her son. One must mention that Shafqat Khan, Ghana Ali, Nazish Jahangir, and Mohsin Ejaz had just one or two scenes in the episode but they impress in their limited time and helped the story move forward.
First of all, the million-dollar question: Who was calling Asfand Yar on his wedding night and why he was taking the call when he knew that there was something wrong with his wife? The scene in which the hallucinated Asfand Yar coerces the bride to go out for a walk is intelligently done, but the one that finds its place in the OST video – where two Asfand Yars can be seen together in one frame – would have been more impactful. Also, why nobody saw Hoorain leave the house when everyone was awake and discussing the situation they were in, doesn't sit in well with at least one viewer - me!
Then there was the strange case of the dog, who was barking at Sonya Hussyn’s character but never appeared in the same frame. It was more like a shot borrowed from another place and inserted to make it look as if the dog was barking at her, when in fact there was no dog. And finally, if Hoorain’s and Asfand Yar’s parents were brothers and sisters, why was there such a stark difference between their attitudes? Hoorain’s parents (Aurangzeb Leghari and Farida Shabbir) seemed like people belonging to the last century (1900s) whereas Asfand Yar’s (Sajid Shah and Kinza Malik) seemed modern when compared to them. However, the latter should be criticized for not upgrading themselves with Careem or Uber application as they decided to take a girl from her home to theirs on foot, even if it was one street away.
The Verdict – Saraab reaches the crucial 'Picture Abhi Baqi Hai' moment
Every other drama that has a happy ending usually ends with the marriage of the leading man and the leading lady but Saraab continues to be different. At the end of the thirteenth episode, the hero and the heroine are married, and the story has just begun. What will happen now that they are married, how Asfand Yar will be able to cope up with Hoorain’s illness, what will happen to his father who might have suffered a heart attack and what would Hoorain’s eldest sister do after she finds out that her chance of survival at her in-laws has vanished. Intelligent scripting, careful direction, and amazing performances has so far steered Saraab in the right direction; had it been a film, we would have reached the intermission, with the more interesting second half just about to start!