A figment of imagination

June 26, 2022

Wehem, the Pakistani drama series released on June 22, has an interesting story so far

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ehem premiered on June 22 to over 1.3 million views so far. Written by Imran Nazir and directed by Adnan Wai Qureshi, it stars two newcomers, Zaviyar Noaman Ejaz and Kinza Hashmi in lead roles.

The premiere started off with an old woman (played by Shamim Halali) wailing and praying for her son’s safe return from abroad. It is easy for viewers to feel sorry for her, as she actually sees her son return. She screams for the children to come meet their father, but when they arrive, he disappears. It is at this point that the viewers realise that the woman is hallucinating. As the boy (played by Adnan Gulzar) whom she only refers to as a lay palak (adopted) points out that there is no one there, she goes on a tirade blaming him and her daughter in law Rukhsana (played by Sawera Nadeem) for her unhappiness. Her bitterness towards her adopted and orphaned grandson, and her daughter in law Rukhsana, makes her an unlikeable character.

It soon becomes apparent that Rukhsana and her brother in law have some conflict, as she is very terse with him when he visits. She quickly shuts down his request of having her son Junaid (played by Zaviyar Noaman Ejaz) tutor his daughter Eshal (played by Kinza Hashmi). The cause of conflict is revealed later.

Meanwhile, Eshal and Junaid seem to be in a budding romantic relationship. They hope to marry each other despite their parents’ cold relationship. Rukhsana blames Eshal’s father for her husband’s disappearance, as the brothers had gone abroad together but her husband then disappeared never to be heard from again. However, the brother in law is surprisingly self aware and apologetic about his brother’s disappearance. This is a refreshing change from the usual womanising, backstabbing brother in laws in many Pakistani dramas.

The theme of wehem (a figment of imagination) is peppered throughout the episode. Whether it is the mother in law’s hallucination about her son, or the food being too spicy, there is definitely something strange afoot.

Although Eshal and Junaid are meant to be the main characters, Sawera Nadeem as Rukhsana steals the show. It is revealed that following her husband’s disappearance, she did not rely on anyone for financial support, and chose to stand on her own feet instead. She has raised her son in the best way possible and taught him important values. She also treats an orphaned child that she has adopted the same as her own son. Her nightmarish mother in law constantly berates him and her. Her character has interesting layers and depth, through having to survive as a single parent and being abandoned by her spouse, all while her monstrous mother in law is putting her down and insulting her. However, she seems to have some ominous attributes lurking beneath a perfect exterior.

The theme of wehem (figment of imagination) is peppered throughout the episode. Whether it is the mother in law’s hallucination of her son, or the food being too spicy, there is always something strange afoot.

Although Zaviyar and Kinza are the shiny, young attractions in Wehem, they are outdone by Sawera Nadeem and Shamim Halali. This is not to say that their performances are lacking. In fact they are good and convincing characters. However, both Sawera and Shamim manage to elicit very strong emotions in viewers. It is easy to root for Sawera’s character because of everything that she has been through, and it is easy to detest Shamim’s character due to her poisonous attitude and how she treats the people around her. Both are marks of seasoned, excellent actors who can deliver performances that closely mimic real life behaviours.

Overall, Wehem had a good showing in its first episode. With believable performances, strong characters and an undercurrent of mystery, it is a recommended watch.


The author is a fashion graduate.



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