Bhola, played by the spectacular Imran Ashraf has been one of the most indecipherable characters in Pakistani dramas. He’s so layered, with an accentuating outpour of almost every human emotion you can think of. The drama has become so deeply embedded in my tender-heart, I feel like I’m a part of the family. There are moments I absolutely despise his presence, and then when he goes off on his usual escapades I start trembling in fear for him.
His mental health has been very carefully articulated within the show with impressive poise, despite a few issues I have with the way they’ve addressed the topic in general (a separate piece I shall be writing later). However, as the show reaches its eighteenth episode, it’s maintained its plotline brilliantly, and while there are countless Bhola moments I cherish, here are 11 of the most emphatic ones that left me reeling in mixed emotion.
1. Bhola loves his new dhulan Noori so much, he can’t tolerate a word said against her and gets violent (VIOLENCE IS NEVER THE ANSWER AND IS UNACCEPTABLE).
I wished he could control himself, but this outburst was significant to me because while I condemn him resorting to physical abuse – it unravelled to Noori just how lamentable Bhola’s condition is. In this way, I’m hoping she can understand him more. She begs him not to love him in this manner because everyone in the family will think she’s pressurizing him into doing all this – but she takes charge of the relationship in a bold manner – threatening him that if he continues to behave in this way, then she’ll leave forever.
2. Bhola going off on a tangent about how he spoke to his mother that he can’t wait until his dhulan Noori has children with him.
Bhola is an idealist, but his words plunge Noori into abject misery because she doesn’t want this life. However, the way Bhola is all the more unfiltered when he’s talking about things that most of us think of – you know, things like family and relationships; essentially life – it makes me adore him.
3. When Bhola showed Noori that he cut his nails for her after she told him off and sings for her.
We’d do just about anything for love, and Bhola’s unconditional adoration for Noori has become a quest for him to continually prove to her how much he loves her. Everything Noori’s asked him not to do, he’s abided by and he lists it all in a tirade before suddenly saying in a deplorable manner that still she isn’t happy; his observant nature sometimes slips all of us by.
4. When Bhola sneaks off to buy toys for his non-existent children, but when Noori gets upset he agrees to hide them.
Noori still cannot fathom that she’s married to Bhola and his unflagging, childlike nature about how he wants children one day triggers her; especially when he still isn’t aware of how children are born – he asks her when she’s going to the hospital because that’s his understanding of where children come from (that she’ll just go to the hospital and come back with children). Yet it’s painful to watch when he suddenly has a change in mood and echoes constantly that Noori will never love their children – a moment that makes you feel so much in such a short amount of time.
5. When Bhola asks Noori why she stays away from him. Noori has no response.
6. While an ecstatic Bhola twirls around the room in a dupatta, while his dhulan is in utter distress.
The scene is an oxymoron of sorts because while I feel so delighted that Bhola just can’t contain his compliments around Noori, I feel an aching when I see Noori’s face as he dances around. I’m left wondering what I would do had I been Noori.
7. When Bhola thinks his mother left his dhulan in the jungle.
Bhola’s mother has patience like I’ve never known; she is constantly belittled by her son, called a daayan at one point – yet she is resolute in making sure her relationship with her son is never frayed. She loves him so much, and their lighter moments when they’re both giggling is endearing. She’s the only one who knows him.
8. When Bhola insists Noori eat something, and when she screams back he starts fumbling and crying.
He repeatedly says “dhak dhak dhak dhak” as he describes his heart pounding and says that he’s frightened. In this situation, it’s hard to define who is wrong and who is right, but Noori still doesn’t understand Bhola or his dubious mood swings. He suffers from an extremity of a mental disability that must take tremendous understanding to tolerate.
9. Bhola’s sickening friends who question whether or not his dhulan is “paagal” like he is.
Bhola sees the world in an entirely different light, and is far too naive to notice who is on his side and who isn’t; his so-called ‘friends’ mock him (either out of jealousy or pure sin) about getting married and implied in this scene that only someone of Bhola’s nature could marry him – triggering him into one of his worst outbursts. I truly felt nothing but compassi0n for him at this moment. Anyone would be hurt, and I know it would hurt me profoundly if someone disparaged me.
10. When he asks his mother for a gold chain for his crush of the time, Mumtaaz begum.
What astounds me more is the fact that his mother knows about it and still doesn’t tell him off; her love for him is the epitome of a mother’s love. She cares for him so much it really is heart-wrenching – she’s on her own and she’s a single mother who is doing the best she can.
11. Komal, who loves Bhola so much and promises him she’ll take him out for fun in this beautiful little moment.
Komal is so young, yet her maturity is laudable; she takes in all that is Bhola and always listens to his random speeches where he usually ends up detailing every aspect of what he’s feeling or what he wants to do. It’s like a montage of what goes through my head, the only difference is I don’t think out loud!
He truly has been written in such a way that I feel for him, hate him at times and fall for him in a very twisted cage of knots in my tummy.
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