Ruswai Episode 26: Sameera Fights for Warda as Hamza Abandons His Marriage
Sana Javed’s “Ruswai” continues to move away from its initial message, instead of focusing on Mina Tariq and Osama Tahir’s characters and their marital troubles
In episode 26, as the focus continues to be on “revenge” for the treatment meted out to Sameera by Salman’s family, Warda (Mina Tariq) faces the consequences of her brother’s actions when the family prepares for Hamza’s (Osama Tahir) arrival. Assuming he’s coming to take her home, Warda’s family receives the shock of their lives when Zakiya (Seemi Raheel) and Hamza inform them that Hamza is getting re-married. Hamza also makes it clear that he wants his child and will take him when the time is right. Warda is seen going down a spiral of severe depression coupled with possibly postpartum depression while Hamza and Zakiya continue to fight Sameera (Sana Javed) on their decision. Sameera sends her own maid to help Warda with the baby through all this, but when Warda hits rock bottom and ends up in the hospital, Hamza deceptively takes the baby home. Salman (Mekaal Zulfiqar) is also seen turning a leaf as he cares for his nephew and realizes Pinky’s (Sharmin Ali) persona is not what he expected – and even praises Sameera’s character, which further irks Pinky.
Unfortunately, this show was touted as the story of a rape victim’s fight for justice. Now, we’ve obviously let go of hope that the story will continue to focus on Sameera as a rape victim turned rape survivor. She may be a survivor and while Sana Javed is acting extremely well, Sameera as a character is not being given the scope she should be given – considering she’s the lead role. That being said, the scenes that she is in are nice to watch. It’s great to see how Sameera is no longer bitter and now that she’s happy in her life, she’s attempting to help Warda through her problems and scolding her own family, though she’s losing that battle. It’s also great to see that while Dr. Feroze (Adnan Jaffar) is sincere in his affections for Sameera and the audience would love to see these two together, Sameera’s rejection of him is very realistic and smart. She is unwilling to get herself into another marriage where the family does not approve or support her in her decisions to move forward. She knows what she wants now and is unwilling to compromise herself for the sake of just another relationship.
The show was also touted as a show with a hero that viewers would love and support, a man who would represent what South Asian men should be. Is this what South Asian men should be? Like Hamza? Either this story has been altered along the way to suit audience taste (who is this audience?) or the show has been altered to give Mina Tariq more screen time. Which one is it? Because if Hamza is Rubina Ashraf’s idea of the ideal son, brother and husband, she is very confused.
Hamza has gone from being a very likable, strong character to being the absolute worst, a man that is exactly what a man should not be – judgmental, weak and selfish, a man who cannot be loyal to both his wife and his sister at the same time. This isn’t Osama Tahir’s fault, as he’s been acting brilliantly from the beginning, but it is the fault of whoever has been in charge of this story. It’s simply not digestible anymore. Is Salma (Irsa Ghazal) deserving of some sort of punishment? Yes, of course, but is that punishment dependent upon the punishment of her daughter? While Sameera’s pain deserves to be acknowledged, does that pain have to be felt by Salma’s own daughter in order to understand? This is a mentality I’ve always hated and I hate to see it played out here as well. We did not sign up to watch a show about “Watta Satta” and that’s exactly what we are getting.
While this was not a terrible episode and had really strong moments of acting, particularly by Sana Javed and Mina Tariq – even Irsa Ghazal had some good moments in this episode -, the episode overall just fell into a trap of turning Hamza into a stereotypical, cliched Mama’s boy hero who listens to everything his family says without using an iota of the intelligence he once had. This episode was interesting, but very frustrating.