‘Aakhri Station’ drew to a close yesterday and honestly, we are pretty sad it’s over. This last episode was particularly insightful and also heartwarming towards the end- the perfect end to a brilliant mini-series.
This episode started as a continuation of Shumaila’s story. What ‘Aakhri Station’ did so incredibly was to break stereotypes. For example, with Shumaila, her husband Amjad was very insecure and abusive, he saw his wife as an object he owned. It was refreshing to see his mother stand in opposition to his behavior.
We usually see ‘blind love’ play up when we talk about mother-son relationships but this mother knew that her son was in the wrong.
Shumaila’s story culminated with her husband attacking with acid. Her mother in law hates her son for the action and vowes to help her get treated and even help her divorce her husband.
The view then changes to Sanam Saeed’s character, Tehmina, who takes the narrative voice. She begins to reflect on all the ladies in her train cart. At one point she says ‘Hum sab jalay way hai, koi baahir se aur koi andar se’. It was after this that we delve into Tehmina’s character a bit further.
Turns out that where we left her in a previous episode was not where her story ended. Her reasons for being on the train were not as we had anticipated.
We flashback to her house, but it’s a few years passed since we last saw her. She had another child but she was still mentally disturbed. Her husband makes her promise to seek professional help and this move starts her recovery process.
As she keeps going to her therapist she gets better and now her family is complete. In one scene her husband suggests that she should write about her journey so far, but she wants to include different worldviews in this novel of hers. Her husband tells her to travel more, and thus she is on the train.
Low and behold, the train finally stops at Karachi and the women all hug each other and disembark. As they leave, we see them all wearing bangles, each a vibrant color, representing their sisterhood and their optimism of a better future.
The show moves a year ahead, we see Yasmeen and her daughter enter a bookstore. As she walks through the bookshop, she sees Tehmina, signing copies of her book. The ladies meet and this is where we learn how each of the ladies in the cart faired over the year.
Farzana works as a principal in a private school and Yasmeen is employed as an aaya in the same place. Shabana is able to find a loan and starts up a cloth business out of her village, alongside with her husband, and is able to find economic prosperity. Gulmina fights her ex-mother in law for custody of her son and finally wins him back. She also took classes to become a Lady Health Worker and runs the local health center as well as helping families with family planning. Rafia is getting treatment for her HIV and finally, Shumaila got further treatment and a divorce from her abusive husband. She works at a ladies parlor and got remarried to a man who works at the same parlor’s men section.
After this interaction, Tehmina takes the narrative voice again. She talks about how wherever she’s traveled for her novels since her first, she’s only heard of the horrors women have to endure. She ends with a beautiful wish for the future, a future where women don’t have to tell stories of horror, but rather meet each other happily, with their lives full of joy and contentment. She wishes for a future where women can laugh openly and not have to worry about their lives falling apart.
It is truly sad to see ‘Aakhri Station’ end. The show challenged so much of what happens in our society- the blatant misogyny and the patriarchal set up that puts women a step below men always.
The show held mirror up for all of us and the society we live in. Each episode tackled women in different positions, different classes and different backgrounds being systemically put down and destroyed by those around them- especially the men.