Zahid Ahmed’s big character reveal finally took place on Ishq Zahe Naseeb.
The absolutely nail-biting fourth episode of Ishq Zahe Naseeb was packed with moments that broke my heart and had me at the edge of my bed in anticipation. As a disclaimer, I will assert that I don’t follow a lot of Pakistani dramas regularly – in fact, I think this is the first drama that I’m legitimately watching with the hope of reaching completion. I was hooked on to the show ever since I saw the promo – it seemed like a unique concept. Even the OST is a brilliantly crafted song that has made its way into my playlist.
Anyway, a large chunk of the show revolves around Zahid Ahmed and his character – Sameer.
There’s a dark secret that Sameer seems to be hiding, and while the audience waited anxiously for the big reveal, we got a taste of it in this episode.
However, I’ll walk you through the highlights of the episode, building up to the reveal in question.
The episode begins with a wistful Kashif looking at his sleeping sisters, perhaps fully realizing the immensity of his responsibilities.
His sister comes in to ask him what’s been bothering him, to which he denies being troubled.
The siblings reminisce the time their father was alive, with the words “kaash” lingering on Kashif’s lips, a distant gaze adorning his visage.
We are then taken to Gauhar’s household, where the need for her to pick up her sister Bushra’s job is being discussed. Her brother asserts that the final decision will be her fiancé Jehangir’s, which doesn’t sit well with his wife.
Consequently, she calls Jehangir to persuade him into believing he can win over Gauhar by letting her work and refraining from imposing restrictions for now.
Meanwhile, Gauhar fondly thinks back to the time she met Kashif.
Kashif, pressed by the need to fund his sister’s rukhsati, applies for a loan that is not being approved. He is persuaded into taking up a new job that might help the process.
On the other hand, Gauhar’s engagement takes place alongside her sister’s wedding – a heartbreaking affair where one can’t help but feel sympathetic towards her.
In fact, one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the episode is when Gauhar rushes into Bushra’s arms, knowing her sole confidant is leaving as well.
We’re also introduced to a new character – a short-tempered woman who is Kashif’s new boss’s daughter.
Finally, we see Sameer, who is informed that his mother’s governess has left and they need someone to fill in for her. His employee suggests they keep Gauhar around after Bushra passes on her CV. Sameer reluctantly agrees.
Consequently, Gauhar receives her appointment letter.
The next few scenes transport us into the past – a past that the audience of Ishq Zahe Naseeb is intrigued by, for it contains secrets that we’re all itching to uncover. As the lights dim and nighttime is depicted, our anticipation heightens, for there is an imminent reveal on the narrative’s horizon.
We see Zoya walk into Sameer’s room at nighttime – a time that is sacred to him.
And then…it happens.
Sameer rises slowly from his seat, as if under a trance.
He turns around – decked in makeup, mischief-filled darts shooting out of his eyes…
…as he assesses Zoya, as if he’s meeting her for the first time.
As this dissociated, feminine version of the character converses with Zoya, chiding her for invading Sameer’s privacy, Zoya pleads him to quit the act, taking his name several times.
He corrects her, calling himself Sameera.
Zoya flees the room…
…with Sameera pacing behind her, with an intimidatingly beautiful and haunting gait that spells trouble for Zoya.
I will commend Zahid Ahmed’s acting here. From the makeup, to his captivating expressions and changed demeanor, and to the way Sameera walks – nothing is caricatured or over the top – it is both convincing and strikingly eerie. Zahid manages to slip out of Sameer’s persona and slip into Sameera’s vastly different character with seemingly effortless ease – a true testament to his command over his craft as a performer.
The scene cuts off at a point in the narrative that we’re all trying to comprehend and unearth – what happened to Zoya, and how?
All of a sudden, Sameer is shaken from the rabbit hole of time that he’s fallen into, only to be informed that the new candidate has arrived.
In an exciting moment that definitely leaves the audience wanting more, Sameer and Gauhar finally cross paths.
As someone who’s been keeping up with show since it started, I can already tell that the story has picked up immensely. The show has only become more exciting, for there are many loose ends now that we’re hoping are tied up masterfully. Another thing I’ve picked up on is how well the OST compliments each scene – it’s never unneeded and is a noticeable and welcome addition to the sound design that accompanies the scenes.
The acting in this particular episode was brilliant. From Sami Khan’s vivid execution of helplessness, to Sonya Hussain’s heartwrenching embrace with her sister, to Zahid Ahmed’s exceptional portrayal of Sameera – the episode was jam-packed with gems the audience would remain hooked on to.
Let’s see what next week brings to the table.
Cover image via MD Productions, Moomal Entertainment