Minal Khan and Noor Hassan’s Hasad: How Much Misery Is Too Much Misery?
In Minal Khan’s drama Hasad, each and every scene is doused with a healthy dose of tears
Occasionally, viewers tend to gravitate towards dramatic shows. Sometimes the harsh reality of other shows can get too heavy and weigh on the viewer – and the viewer then sets out to find a silly, dramatic show filled with irritatingly realistic characters that make it their life’s mission to destroy the happiness of another. Oh, do people really watch shows like this with interest? Remember the success of Maat in 2011? Recall the success of the Zara Noor Abbas starrer Khamoshi in 2017? The audience laps shows with crooked characters up, which is why shows like Hassad are made. However, with only 6 episodes on air (3 mega episodes), has Hasad turned too heavy in too small an amount of time?
Hassad focuses on the love story of Naintara (Minal Khan) and Armaan (Shehroze Sabzwari). A happily married couple still in the honeymoon phase of their marriage (having been married for only a year), Naintara and Armaan openly shower each other with love and affection. While this is cause for happiness for the rest of the household, Armaan’s sister-in-law Zareen (Arij Fatyma) is filled with burning jealousy each time she sees them. Married to Farhan (Noor Hassan), Zareen has a kind, soft-hearted husband, but who is more reserved than Armaan and dedicated to his career, leaving Zareen with a lot of free time to obsess over Armaan and Naintara’s relationship. One day, burglars enter the home and, during a scuffle, Armaan is shot and killed on the spot. This leaves the entire family in a state of mourning, but Naintara’s fate takes a nosedive.
Without a family to turn to, Naintara’s fate is sealed as a grieving widow and while one would believe that such circumstances would soften the hearts of others, viewers are presented with a Zareen that willfully wishes death upon Naintara. Zareen robs Naintara of any happiness, manipulating her mother-in-law to restrict Naintara to colorless clothing, stating religion as the reason – a misconception cleared up by Farhan on the show, fortunately. Zareen tortures Naintara in small ways, such as applying burning ointment when Naintara cuts her hand – and then tortures her in truly evil ways, such as plotting with her brother and accusing Naintara of being loose of character. Naintara’s life is truly miserable in a household that once brought her much happiness.
While watching Arij Fatyma, who is playing her first negative role, as Zareen is entertaining and watching her play this character truly brings out the screams and shrieks towards the television screen, one has to wonder – how much is too much? How does a once-loving mother-in-law turn into an absolutely disillusioned, hateful woman towards a girl she once revered as a daughter? How long do viewers have to see every mourning widow lose her senses at the funeral of her husband, having visions of their dead husband and wearing inappropriate clothing due to it? For how long will ARY torture the audience by inflicting them with lengthy images of the janaaza (funeral)? In what world is it logical to see outsiders constantly influencing household matters, ordering family members to do their bidding? Where should writers draw the line?
Referencing Maat, while Saman was a truly awful human being, viewers were given relief with more light-hearted scenes in between Saman’s created chaos. With shows like Hassad, that relief is nowhere to be seen. A potential love story between Naintara and Farhan seems to be on the horizon – but does this story promise happiness and relief? Rather, it will be the cause of more grief and heartache, as he’s married to Zareen. While shows like Hassad are interesting to watch for the drama-factor, shows like this must change the way they are presented in order to provide relief from the constant misery. At some point, viewers will turn away from shows that do not fall into the “social message” OR “entertainment” slot.