Are we ready to have ASHK in our lives?
By Fatima Manzoor Ellahi
Ashk’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition):
Today if you hear Sarmad Khosat or Fawad Afzal khan’s name you would instantly connect it with Humsafar. An epic serial that not only created history in terms of its earnings but also made a special place in the viewer’s hearts for years to come. Humsafar earned such amazing success which every artist wants to experience once in his/her life time.
Ever since Humsafar ended, viewers have been waiting for Fawad’s next appearance, they have been eagerly, enthusiastically awaiting Sarmad’s next master piece and then Ashk’s (formally known as Bandhan) buzz created a fuss among viewers.
Sometimes expectation level does play a significant role in every serial’s success or failure. This proved right for Mata-e-Jaan, that was meant to be another huge hit because of Farhat Ishtiaq but it simply failed to grab the same level of attention. Humsafar did raise the bar for all directors, even for Sarmad himself and his team. So it’s obvious if we as viewers are expecting something extraordinary from Sarmad / Fawad and it won’t be wrong to call them ASHK’s USP.
Before coming on air, ASHK already created a buzz , people waited for drama stills and promos and when it came on-air on 12th June it received some decent trps.
Let’s get into Ashk’s storyline now:
Ashk explores many forms of love. It presents a father’s love for his daughters, it shows a sister’s concern towards her elder sister, who has been more than a sister to her and it discovers a person’s quest for his soul mate. As the show opens we meet Rohail Hayaat who is an economist by profession and resides in Turkey with his mom. His Mother Kulsum (played by Semi Raheel) being a single parent brought her son up with dignity and grace but through the hardships of her life she got her brother’s ( Mansoor) support. Rohail fully acknowledges this and that is the reason he agreed to marry his cousin Mehrunissah (Played by Resham), just to keep his mother’s promise that she made to Mansoor. Rohail being an obedient son agrees to marry a girl who is older than him, though he already got his miss perfect Madiha (Played by Mehreen Raheel) but he preferred to go with his mom’s choice.
Back home Kulsum have a brother Mansoor, who is a retired army major and just like Kulsum he has single handedly broughtup his 2 daughters Mehrunissah and Zebunissah. Mehru who is the elder one and after her mother’s death she took care of everything in her father and sister’s lives. Mansoor’s only concern is to get Mehru married to a deserving guy who understands Mehru’s ideologies. Mehru is a reserve, quite and introvert kind of girl where as Zebu is vivacious and extrovert by nature.
Pros and Cones:
Well, Lets start with concept. A story of a boy/ girl searching their miss perfect/mr right sound familiar na? I know we have become used to watching such tales, then what’s Ashk offering to lure its audience?
So far Ashk’s beauty lies in its skilled direction, the locations have been selected aptly. Instead of showing village setup they actually shot this play in village and that really enhanced the beauty of the scenes, even their outdoor shoot abroad was genuinely shot in turkey. The camera work was amazing in few scenes, special mention to the train arrival scene and Fawad’s scene with Resham on the terrace in 2nd episode.
If we talk about cast then Ashk is having a mix of talent, where we got to watch some veteran actors like Shafqat cheema, Semi Raheel and Resham, we also have Neelam Muneer who needs a big hit in her career at this point and Ashk can be that one big hit, then we have Mehreen Raheel who has already proven her talent in a show like Dastaan and that too opposite Fawad. It will be interesting to watch how the story unfolds and how their characters shape-up. It will be too early to criticize their acting capabilities after just 2 episodes but so far I have failed to understand Shafqat’s presence in this show. He is capable of a lot more, then why has he agreed to do such a minor character. Let’s see if his character turns interesting in coming episodes with the entry of some other characters played by Suhail Sameer, Mohsin Gilani, Aurangzeb Laghari, Tipu Sharif, Imran Bukhari, & Zamurud Khan.
As it’s a 7th sky production and like any high budget drama this show got one of the best teams. They have one of the most experienced writers Zafar Mairaj, the title track is done by music maestro Waqar Ali and unexpectedly sung by one of the most melodious voice of pakistan Sajjad Ali.
Geo Tv is on airing this show and I don’t know whether it’s Ashk’s strength or a weakness. I have always felt that their shows are highly influenced by across boarder daily soaps, from their loud background score to their over melodramatic acting and don’t forget to add similar dressing style. Everything looks imitative that you never get an impression of watching a Pakistani drama.
Let’s just hope Ashk appeals the audiences and lives up to the expectations.
Read more by Fatima here