Ten years into her career and having appeared in almost 30 drama serials, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Ayeza Khan has just delivered the performance of her lifetime as the controversial female protagonist, Mehwish in super-hit drama serial, Mere Paas Tum Ho. It was not an easy role; in fact, was one that several popular actresses had pardoned themselves from doing for the fear of being vilified by their fans. But kudos to Ayeza for not only accepting the role but giving her 100 per cent, albeit at the risk of mass condemnation.
Mehwish was written as a character too ambitious and too shallow to be complacent with just the selfless love of her husband, Danish (Humayun Saeed). She was shown as a woman who wanted more, the good life of luxury, wealth and social standing to the extent that she wouldn’t send her seven-year-old son to school until and unless they could afford the bigger and better school. She’d have no qualms borrowing huge sums to buy jewelry to wear to her best friend’s brother’s wedding. It is this best friend who introduced her to Shahwar Ahmed (Adnan Siddiqui) the man with the wandering eye, a Casanova who wooed her with his charms and wealth.
“I’m fed up of this relationship,” is what she said to her heartbroken husband nights before she decided to part ways and move in with Shahwar. It was a bold step, written with even more gusto as to drive the point home as a knife in the poor man’s heart. Emotionally invested, Pakistan hated her and to avoid the backlash, Ayeza went underground, avoiding public appearances and interviews. It was only this week, at a show held with the cast of MPTH that the beautiful actress came out and openly spoke about her role, for the first time.
“I had never done a negative role of this kind before and I have to say that had this not been Khalil sahab’s story, Ayeza would not have been Mehwish,” she generously gave credit to the writer, Khalilur Rehman Qamar.
Director of the hit series, Nadeem Baig then spoke in her honour. “Ayeza was one daring girl. She understood the character and that it was not the kind of character people expected from her. This perhaps was the beauty of its success. People had mostly seen her as a simple, innocent girl.”
What may have appeared as simply a negative character actually evolved and got a life of its own by the ninth episode, when Mehwish took off to Islamabad with Shahwar and shared a hotel room with him while being married to Danish. That episode, the hotel scene and the pink nighty she wore as she sat on his bed became the turning point; the story became explosive. That’s when even Ayeza realized, she said, that the drama had become so big. And then, after living with him for several months, the day Mehwish and Shahwar were getting married, his wife Maham (Savera Nadeem) made a comeback and delivered the unforgettable slap. Of course, a lot happened in between – that ‘do takkay ki aurat’ dialogue became the hottest topic in town – but then the slap surpassed it all.
How did Ayeza feel about that slap and the humiliation that followed?
“As soon as I came to know about the slap, I started anticipating it. I felt it was well-deserved as I saw it in third person. I felt people watching the drama deserved to see this slap and that Mehwish really deserved it. It was also a turning point in Mehwish’s life so was very important. It was very easy for me to perform that scene. I actually always see Mehwish as Mehwish, not as me performing the role of Mehwish.”
Did she now feel afraid of being stereotyped as a negative character?
“I was not scared of the character and I’m not afraid of being typecast. I take each character, one at a time, and once I have finished, I move on. I don’t think an actor should be scared of the characters they portray,” she said with a smile.
Mere Paas Tum Ho, with one double-episode left, has the country anticipating the end, which will most likely be tragic. The cast has hinted at high emotions and tears but then these could be publicity stunts. We’ll have to wait another week to find out.