Bewafa, Episodes 1 and 2:  Is It Worth Your Time?
TV/Streaming Reviews

Bewafa, Episodes 1 and 2: Is It Worth Your Time?

This Ali Rehman, Naveen Waqar and Ushna Shah show explores the delicate nature of relationships and how behaviour can change them

While initially watching the previews of Bewafa, viewers immediately felt the show would be yet another story of zulm and betrayal for the wife.  A cheating husband, a homewrecker and a wife who is a victim of her miserable fate – an almost immediate write-off, most were found saying “No thank you.”  However, after watching the first episode, it seems like Bewafa may have something interesting to offer after all.  What does it take to make a dedicated partner in a marriage cheat?  Is it a lack of morals, a lack of love, a lack of respect for his wife – what is it?  This is the question that every wronged spouse – or even one that has never been on the receiving end of this situation, but desires to continue on that path – would want the answer to.  But is “Bewafa” a story that could possibly present a realistic viewpoint? 

In episode one, we are introduced to Ahaan (Ali Rehman Khan) and Kinza (Naveen Waqar), a happily married couple celebrating their 6 years of marriage together.  Comfortable in their life and doting on their son, the two don’t have any real problems in their marriage.  But as the show progresses, it becomes apparent to viewers that their marriage has its share of cracks.

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Enter Shireen (Ushna Shah), a girl from a poor background.  With an unmarried older sister, Sharmeen (Maira Khan), at home, Shireen is afraid of ending up like her and is willing to do anything to get out of her circumstances.  A co-worker of Ahaan’s, Shireen develops a crush on him.  On Sharmeen’s urging, Shireen sends Ahaan a message declaring her love for him, despite knowing he is married with a child. 

When Kinza intercepts this voice message, she erupts on Ahaan, accusing him of having an affair and this leads to a blowout in front of her brother and sister-in-law.  The two console both Kinza and Ahaan and try to make them discuss the issue.  The next day, Ahaan lashes out at Shireen, telling her off and making it clear, in no simple terms, that he will never have any sort of relationship with her and she should leave him alone.  Shireen leaves the office in tears, but is later convinced by Sharmeen to continue pursuing Ahaan.  After making up with Kinza and explaining the misunderstanding, Ahaan feels he was too harsh on Shireen and discusses it with his friend at work – who tells him he was absolutely right to react that way.  And yet, Ahaan can’t shake his feelings of guilt….

What’s interesting about the presentation of this show is that the situation seems pretty clear-cut to the viewer in first half of the episode.  Viewers hear Ahaan confiding in Shireen (as a friend), discussing basically the seven-year-itch, a popular term for the belief that happiness in a marriage begins to decline after 7 years.  While he doesn’t use this term, he is seen discussing boredom in a marriage and complaints that become visible after spending so much time together that two people no longer have anything to talk about.  This initially paints a picture of the direction in which the show is headed, as viewers had earlier predicted.  However, as the show continues, it becomes clear that Kinza is not as level-headed as she seems at first.  Kinza has a huge issue with trust, an issue that leads to her consistently, almost on a daily basis, checking her husband’s phone and reading his messages.  While this behavior would make sense if he were cheating, she does this without being given any reason to do so.  She also has a problem with reacting first and thinking later.  And while these issues are not excuses to step out of a marriage, it becomes apparent that Ahaan has been irritated with his wife for some time – and Shireen is using that knowledge to worm her way into his life during a sensitive time. 

Many shows have tried to answer the question of “what makes a man cheat?” in the past, making tall claims of presenting a story that would make people think.  This is a direct jab at Fahad Mustafa’s Dusri Biwi, which simply told yet another gag-worthy, disgust-inducing tale of a man who could not resist the tears of another woman and fell prey to her innocence.  Now it waits to be seen if “Bewafa” treads this predictable, irritating, excuse-ridden path or truly delivers something different in the form of a believable, digestible story that somehow excuses the behavior of all three characters involved.  

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By Sophia Qureshi
Pakistani Drama enthusiast, Bollywood fan, elementary school teacher, writer, reader, photographer, lifelong student and mother