Ehd E Wafa, Episode 3: The Story Takes Off
While this Hum Tv and ISPR collaboration has brought in viewers, the show has moved at a slow pace – until now, with the story headed in a new direction
While Ehd E Wafa has been generating a lot of interest and excitement, the story itself has been a slow climb. Depicting college life and the antics of four college friends, the story has been light-hearted with a lot of jokes and character-building scenes. And while “Ehd E Wafa” has seen an immense amount of criticism until now regarding everything from dialogues to casting, the story has now hit a point where everything from dialogues to acting are striking a note in the hearts of the audience.
With episode 3, the friends are seen focusing on Saad (Ahad Raza Mir) and his frozen-in-place love story. It’s revealed that Saad has had a crush on Duaa (Alizeh Shah) for years, spotting her once in an art class and again in a library. However, he has never had the nerve to approach her – much like in episode 2, where Saad was seen shell-shocked when found face-to-face with her. Eager to move this love story along, the boys step in to get things moving. On another (sneaking) night out, the boys are eating ice cream when they spot Duaa and her cousins. When Duaa’s cousin Raheel steps away, Shahzain (Osman Khalid Butt) and Shehryar (Ahmed Ali Akbar) approach Duaa in order to kick-start Saad’s love story and teasingly tell her about Saad’s interest in her. Saad steps in and tries to get Shehryar and Shahzain to leave Duaa alone, but they persist. While Duaa and her cousin do not seem particularly worried about the situation, Raheel arrives and, without asking any questions, attacks Saad. When the police arrive to break up the fight, Shehryar and Shahzain run away. An innocent Shariq is seen enjoying his ice cream when the boys run past, encouraging him to run. Saad and Raheel are taken to the police station where Raheel accuses Saad of eve-teasing his cousin. With the complaint from Duaa’s family (headed by an arrogant Raheel), the families of all four boys are called to the school – foreshadowing that bad things are ahead.
The scenes with the families of each boy, showing their different backgrounds, are both heartwarming and heart wrenching. Saad’s father, Captain Faraz (Faraz Inam), speaks to Saad in private, keeping the discussion short and sweet. Without laying a hand on his son, he asks Saad to look him in the eyes – and spells it out: How would he feel if a man behaved this way on the streets with his sister? This short conversation brings an already upset Saad to tears, realizing the weight of his actions. Ahad Raza Mir is incredible in this scene as Saad, the guilt and embarrassment evident on his face, the pain at his father’s words, the tears freely flowing. He captures the viewer’s sympathy as Saad. On the other hand, Shahzain’s father, played by the brilliant Mohammed Ahmed, has the most entertaining of reactions, breaking into laughter and joy at the idea of his son being suspended. He meets Shahzain and happily asks “mil gayi azaadi tujhe? Ho gaya azaad?” (have you gotten your freedom?) as Shahzain sadly nods yes. Shahzain’s track seems to be the comedic track of the show and it is working on every angle – from his hilarious lines, his father’s reaction and even his upcoming love angle with the laugh-riot Rani.
However, the poorer working class is different. Shehryar’s father is seen to be a musician in a wedding band and his reaction immediately shows his heartbreak as he gets the phone call. While that interaction will be seen next week, Ahmed Ali Akbar has continuously had the most sarcastic, biting lines of the show and has consistently delivered. He is a natural. The final scene of the episode with Shariq is gut-wrenching, watching his sister cry and hit him with grief, crying over lost expectations and the sacrifices made to get him to this school. Wahaj Ali has proved himself to be a brilliant actor in shows like Haiwaan, Gumraah and Dil E Berehem, but he really proves himself in this last scene as Shariq, bringing the audience to tears as they watch him console his sister. The real tragedy here is that Shariq has always tried to keep himself out of trouble and even in this scenario, he was not even involved, but is facing the consequences of friendship.
Zara Noor Abbas is hilarious in her one scene as Rani. Diverting her parents attention from her failed exams, she pulls a twist and excitedly decides she’s going to Lawrence College in Murree. When her parents forbid her, as it’s a boy’s college, she tears up and states “Mujhe rona aa raha hai. Main ro ke aati hoon” (I feel like crying. I’ll cry and come back) before leaving the room, leaving her parents feeling terrible. She happily dances after leaving the room, pleased with her plan. Zara Noor is a natural in such roles and she brings a ray of light to all her scenes in this show so far. Alizeh Shah has not been given the material to perform just yet.
With the upcoming episode, it’s clear that the time of friendship for the SSG gang is over. What can truly be appreciated is the realism of this conflict. In the moment, this act came across as harmless and innocent, an attempt at helping a friend with his love life. However, now with the boys living through the heavy after-effects and life-changing implications of their actions, their friendship has officially soured their hearts against each other. It will be interesting, if not depressing, to see how the SSG part ways, recover and move on with their individual lives. But it must be said that episode 3 has really taken off and given the show what viewers were waiting for regarding content. Saife Hasan and Mustafa Afridi are in full form!
Parting thought: Can we all just mutually agree that Raheel is an idiot?