It’s like he was a paragon of virtue; unswayed by anything dark.
There are very few characters I truly feel for in Pakistani dramas. Watching ‘Yakeen Ka Safar,’ I was immediately drawn to Daniyal, played by Shazli Khan. The drama started off on a dark note, with trembling strings of a woman gang-raped and out to seek justice and revenge, with Daniyal at the kernel as the lawyer determined to fight malversation. There were many things about Daniyal I felt incredibly heavy for. Here are just a few reasons why I truly took to him so wholeheartedly.
Daniyal’s warmth and overtly calm demeanor were both outstanding. Even in the direst of circumstances, he remained tranquil at most, the softer of the two brothers (Asfandyar being both mischeivous and outspoken, starkly different to Daniyal). Daniyal was honey, and his marriage to Gaiti seemed like a match made in heaven because she was just as pure, just as delicate and just as floral as he was. She understood perfectly what her life would be like, and she took it with admirable stride (their honeymoon was cut short because of Daniyal’s pressing work).
However, over time, Daniyal’s relationship with his wife Gaiti became strained at the crux of his investigation, as he began submerging himself deeper into his case, drowning days and nights on end. But it was his work, and his passion to win it was overshadowed by a facade his family constructed over him; and despite demons looming on all fronts, Daniyal never dragged his restlessness back home. He never let out his frustration on her, often at most ushering her calmly off to the side or simply walking away.
Despite altercations with his father brewing after continuous threats made against him and his family, Daniyal remained determined to fight this case. And win it. As days progressed, you could see it beginning to get to him too – Daniyal’s energy lagged, he quickly became emotionally unavailable but he was always sure to protect his household. He’d barely tell Gaiti anything, only to protect her, however at one point it did feel like the line between him protecting her and him shutting her out became blurred; the stress of it all, and what with his newly-appointed secretary, Daniyal was only human – and there was a slight moment he was about to slip.
It’s not that he didn’t love Gaiti. He loved her more than life itself, but his work at most got the best of him, and you could call him the rather typical ‘introvert,’ not being one to express himself so openly (even to those he holds dear). He was always so pensive, so achingly caring and so genuine it broke my heart every time I saw him on-screen. He cared so ardently and so deeply for those in his case, it’s almost like he began mirroring their heartbreaks and troubles – you could see it in his eyes. Their pain became his pain, but tantamount to that pain was an unfading determination. It’s like he was a paragon of virtue; unswayed by anything dark.
His death was disturbing, uncomfortable but at the same time, I think we all saw it coming. What was most striking was the fact that Daniyal knew what he was getting into; a tangled mess drenched in poison – but he walked in valiantly, not looking back. It was his death that ultimately soaked the drama its premise, as the story floated on his demise. He was so much more than just a lawyer. His character hit home for his aching integrity, and honestly, I haven’t felt so attached to a fictional character in a very, very long time.