Every now and then Pakistani dramas touch upon topics of social issues which highlight societal ills. The latest to do so is Bikhray Moti starring Neelam Muneer, Wahaj Ali, Yasir Nawaz, Samina Ahmed and Nausheen Shah. The drama, which airs on ARY Digital aims to highlight domestic and child abuse and exploitation. It is raw, unfiltered in a few places and honest which is why it makes a depressing watch.
Bikhray Moti is centred on Ayeza (Neelam Munir), the daughter of an abusive and misogynistic father (Waseem Abbas) who believes daughters to be a burden. He is ruthless and egotistical and doesn’t appear to care much about the women of his house. Ayeza’s elder sister Faiza (Nausheen Shah) is married to Zulfi (Yasir Nawaz), who is lafanga (useless person). Faiza and Zulfi have three children together and are expecting a fourth but due to Faiza’s weakness and years of abuse, she is unable to give birth to the child and passes away in the process. Before dying, she entrusts Ayeza to take care of her children and save them from their father, who will also not hesitate to use them for his gains. Ayeza vows to become independent and financially stable so that she can take care of them and fulfil the promise she made to her sister.
After Faiza’s death, Zulfi takes his children back home much to Ayeza’s protests and hands them over to his mother (Samina Ahmed) because he can’t be bothered to take care of them. The children’s grandmother sends her elder grandson Jaanu to Hyderabad to work at Zulfi’s brother’s shop and decides to sell her teenage granddaughter Shehzadi to an older man in marriage.
On the other hand, Ahad (Wahaj Ali) is Ayeza’s childhood friend and neighbour who she loves very much and wants to get married to. He is the son of a maulvi sahab and wants to become an actor much to his father’s disapproval. Ahad also loves Ayeza and is willing to go any length for her. Wahaj has done a fantastic job as Ahad: he is soft-spoken, warm and gives a very measured performance which deserves an applause.
Ahad and Ayeza plan to run away and get married. However, before that can happen, Zulfi’s manipulative brother and Ayeza’s father plot to trick Ayeza into marrying Zulfi. While the earlier episodes have been slow-paced, the latest one (Episode 9) was packed with action, masala and a lot of slaps to get the momentum going. Ayeza’s father abhors her defiant and independent nature and despite knowing Zulfi is useless, insists on getting his daughter married to him to teach her a lesson. Over the course of his career, Waseem Abbas has perfected the role of a heartless father and his performance as Ayeza’s father is no less.
Given that the central theme of the drama is domestic and child abuse, there is a lot of it in the drama, in graphic detail. The honesty with which it is presented is a true reflection of society and is bound to shake you up, especially given how cases of child abuse have been on the rise in the past couple of years.
While the lead actors have given solid performances, it is the child actors who stand out in the drama especially Jaanu. They have delivered brilliant performances and are so convincing that you end up feeling every emotion with them.
Bikharay Moti is not everyone’s piece of cake and takes a lot of courage to watch. Written by Edison Idrees and directed by Shahid Shafaat, it every Tuesday at 8pm on ARY Digital.