The ratings for Hum TV’s “Anaa” must have been at an all-time high with Hamza Ali Abbasi and Naimal Khawar Khan’s wedding having taken place earlier in the day. While the show is (obviously) business as usual, those who have not previously seen the show found themselves watching bits of the episode to catch glimpses of the new bride, who plays Izza and stars opposite Usman Mukhtar as Altamash. The wedding excitement aside, the show progressed in its usual manner, a relaxed, more natural way of storytelling, allowing the viewer to absorb the emotions of each character.
Episode 28 picks up where episode 27 left off with Areesh (Shehzad Sheikh) continuing his flip-flop between Anya (Areeba Shahood) and Daneen (Hania Amir). Altamash (Usman Mukhtar) encourages Anya to leave Areesh and promises that he will do everything in his power to ensure that she keeps her child. Anya agrees and finally confesses to Areesh that she helped Ghazanfar (Shamil Khan) in kidnapping Daneen, leading to her accident. Areesh decides to divorce Anya, but once Daneen finds out, she tells Izza (Naimal Khawar Khan) that she will tell him not to, to stay married to Anya and raise their child together. When Areesh visits her in the hospital, Daneen purposely makes herself sound selfish, declaring that she will be his second wife and slowly inch Anya out of the picture and will raise his child as her own. Areesh, hearing this, becomes worried for both Anya and his child.
Izza and Altamash, despite being in love with one another, find that they bash heads on the topic of Daneen. Altamash, looking out for his sister’s best interests, only sees the worst in Daneen while Izza knows that Daneen is a good soul. Hearing his thoughts on Daneen, Izza fights with him and begins to ignore him. She confides in her parents, who tell her she’s overreacting. She finally tells Altamash that she needs time to assess if they would be good life partners, leaving Altamash agitated and he says, in true Altamash form, that he will be there when she’s ready to apologize to him.
The story arc dealing with Ghazanfar and Nashwa (Javeria Kamran) continues to grate on the nerves. While Ghazanfar is an irritating character, he is played very well by Shamil Khan and, though arrogant and maddening, comes off as believable. On the other hand, Nashwa is a character of a different level. Unfortunately, this episode gives Nashwa a great amount of screen time and depicts Nashwa’s desire for inherting Shamshernagar. Infuriated by Ghazanfar’s ideals and his belief that only Areesh or Areesh’s son can inherit the property, Nashwa begins plotting of her own accord, going so far as to openly call Areesh useless to his face. While this could have been an interesting story, Nashwa is a character that has been unable to register with viewers. Initially having an affair with someone else and forming a deal with Altamash, it’s suddenly her life’s mission to marry him. Add to this Javeria Kamran’s over-the-top portrayal of Nashwa, complete with rolling eyes, exaggerated expressions, theatrical walk, Nashwa is a character that viewers just want off their screens as soon as possible.
While one of the greatest criticisms of “Anaa” has been the unrealistic portrayal of relationships, one wonders whether this is an idealistic, naïve viewpoint. Those who have been in messy relationships that can be described as “complicated” to say the least have been able to understand that the emotions portrayed in “Anaa” are nothing short of realistic. The line between appropriate and inappropriate, right and wrong and even Areesh’s behavior of choosing to NOT choose when caught between two women, because it’s easier to just turn that button of comprehension off – all of these things tend to get blurred when caught in a complicated place where the heart says yes and the mind says no. However, going by the next episode, things are beginning to look like a complicated murder mystery now that Nashwa and her “plans” have become a focal point of the story. The preview for episode 29 does not look promising, but here’s to hoping for the best and, more importantly, hoping a beloved character doesn’t bite the bullet at Nashwa’s doing. Better yet, let’s hope the victim is Nashwa herself.