“Kabhi kabhi dil chahta hai ke raasta khatam na ho” – Asfandyar to Zubia as he drives her home
Love these days is loud, monumental and splattered with a confetti of color by a sprawled paintbrush. It’s messy, unkempt and often lacking the grandness of time and patience. When I first started ‘Yakeen Ka Safar,’ it was like a proliferating drug, oozing into my veins. The riveting storyline centered around the lack of law within our judicial system, with an honest man Daniyal fighting for the rights of a voiceless woman who was raped. After he is ruthlessly shot and killed after goons temper with his case, his family – parents Usman and Lubna and younger brother Asfandyar are left broken – and this is the pinnacle of the drama where we see how death reshuffles one’s bones. While Daniyal’s parents move to the North, the once frivolous and carefree Asfandyar leaves to pursue his medical education. Parallel to this story is the tale of Zubia, a girl of humble background whose mother is brutally killed by her abusive father and tries to adjust to life without the one who was her backbone.
While Daniyal’s parents move to the North, Asfandyar leaves to pursue his medical education. Parallel to this story is the tale of Zubia, a girl of humble background whose mother is brutally killed by her abusive father and tries to adjust to life without the one who was her backbone.
Our focus lies on Asfandyar and Zubia, two souls who have been woven together from a love that is both pure and real
Asfandyar and Zubia have a standstill romance. While each episode brimmed me with anticipation that they might just cross paths, a chance encounter pops up; Zubia is lured by a boy to his home, where she merely escapes rape thanks to Asfandyar who is her savior. It’s a brief and rather meager stumble and is the last time they meet. While the story is slow (and let’s not forget realistic) progression, Zubia and Asfandyar’s story isn’t done.
Both individuals suffer similar fates, with misfortune a wary friend
Zubia is tormented by the death of her mother and has a turbulent relationship with her emotionally-absent father. Her conservative home holds her bound from little liberation, however, after the incident of almost-rape, Zubia is left alienated by friends and at one point her own brother – yet her father protects her at a steady distance. She’s tainted goods and is projected as such in the city. This changes an already hushed Zubia to crawl deeper back into her shell, with her guard scraping into her sky. Asfandyar is a changed man after the death of his brother. He grows a thick skin and over time becomes cold and hollow, in particular after his fiancée leaves him to mourn alone (she was god awful).
Asfandyar and Zubia both equally live a life of solitude
They’re suffocating and abandoning all hope of delving deeper to heal themselves. Zubia’s release is after her ailed father passes away. We see her breakdown for the first time for him, and it’s wrenching to witness. They were never close, yet he loved her in his own rather twisted way – and Zubia taking care of him was her way of seeking redemption. Death changes all of us, as it does for Asfandyar, who runs away.
Forward five years to fate colliding both aching wanderers together
Asfandyar returns to his parents in the North to build a hospital for the poor. Zubia too has been studying medicine and enrolls in the same hospital as a fresh graduate. The time is nigh, with the two at long last coming together. While Zubia still radiates a certain kindness with everyone she meets, Asfandyar is bitter, irritable and stiff. From the moment he interviews Zubia, he has reservations about her lack of experience, and constantly belittles her at every opportunity after hiring her.
Neither recognizes each other and how could they – the circumstance was hardly a walk in the park
It’s only when Zubia befriends Asfandyar’s sister-in-law, the warm Gaiti when she realizes that Asfandyar was the same boy who saved her. It’s an incident that unfortunately haunts Zubia even five years on. Hushed rumors reach her hospital, where she overhears various coworkers discuss how Zubia is ‘loose.’ And while Asfandyar continues to call her out every chance he gets, Zubia’s world feels like it’s collapsing in on her, yet something magnificent starts happening; as the two start to spend more time together, we see a love that is all too real.
Now, this is where I discuss the crispness of their love story
Comments around the tedious storyline kept popping up with little regard for what the writers aimed for. It was all deliberately done because love really isn’t a fairytale. It’s a stark opposite; painful, lost within tender moments and aching. A medical camp hosted by the hospital springs up a time for Asfandyar and Zubia to unravel themselves. It’s the first time we see Asfandyar let out a rather loving smile, (something that suits him very nicely) and starts opening up to Zubia after he suddenly sees her in a different light. He’s taken aback by her kindness and softness with everyone, and at this point we see Asfandyar conflicted. The next day he’s distant at work, but as soon as he’s home he’s inquiring about Zubia to Gaiti.
Asfandyar is haunted by Zubia’s voice as he falls more and more in love with her, while Zubia too begins to unconsciously think about him
Their love essentially grows its sturdy roots through gentle interactions, stolen glances and very very short bursts of bumping into each other. While Zubia remains solidly the same around Asfandyar, it’s Asfandyar who childishly fluctuates in manner. He’s constantly mean as he vents his confusion out on her. It’s love, but he can’t seem to fathom it in the slightest – and neither can Zubia.
Yet while Zubia tries to fight off her feelings, Asfandyar warmly embraces them once he’s knocked into his senses that what he feels is actually adoration and nothing fleeting
Their story is glorious really, it’s imperfect, bittersweet and the crest of flawed humanness. It really isn’t a surprise that they’re both falling for each other; they’re both plucked from the same stars. The reservations about which they both indirectly begin to step closer to each other is breathtaking. They remain cautious naturally because they’re carrying shattered souls. Asfandyar starts striding out with his mushrooming admiration and does not hesitate at any moment to confess how he feels for Zubia. Zubia remains a little armored still but is an open book when it comes to how she too feels for Asfandyar.
The feelings are profound, potent and heavy
You can feel it as you watch the two talk. It’s like they’re hurting to drop all and embrace. Yet their love remains old-fashioned, spectacularly orthodox and shy. He begins to fumble around her, and we’re finally treated to fluttering snippets of both finally being able to surface after years of drowning. They’re showering stardust on me, and I savor every time Zubia and Asfandyar so much as look at one another – I can feel the moment of clarity they both exude through the screen. It’s exhilarating, it really is. At long last two oddballs, rather recluses come together. Who knew Pakistani television was so enthralling!
What are your thoughts on Asfandyar and Zubia and their budding romance?