Humsafar: some scores are never settled

Well I got a male friend of mine from NYC hooked to ‘Humsafar’ finally! He finally gave in to his feminine side. Whereas we all have been criticising Khirad’s miss goody-two-shoes character (that includes me), my friend said the only problem with Khirad is her communication skills. Had she communicated everything to Ashar, things would not have turned out the way they were. He asked me today why when Ashar was ready to talk to her and forgive her while sitting near the shore, she chose to remain silent?

I think I understood Khirad perfectly well for the first time. In matters of the heart, words hardly have any place – one doesn’t expect verbal communication after spending a certain time with each other. The person she loved and thought understood her the most doubted her character – it left her lifeless. It wasn’t even the character, being a girl with an utmost self-respect that her mother and father emphasized on so much, how could Ashar doubt she would even let another man become a part of her existence. It was already hard for her to make that space for Ashar, in the process killing her pride by marrying someone much richer and educated than her, how he could make her feel even lower than that. She was already low in her own eyes due to the circumstantial marriage; it was almost like Ashar had done “ihsaan” on her. Any girl with a little bit of ego and self-respect would think that way and not go after a man like Ashar despite the love.

She cried and pleaded over the misunderstanding but was Ashar ready to listen to her? No. He chose to hate her and kick her out of his life as his male ego had been hurt. She then gave up – her love turned into indifference and her faith in God strengthened. She wished to face Ashar on “roz-e-hashr” in the court of God, rather than in the court of people. When she said “in sab zaalimon mein sab se bare zaalim tum the” – it emphasized how she expected him to trust her and he didn’t. There is no forgiveness for that and so “Jab tak mein tumhein maaf nahin karoon gi, mera Allah bhi tumhein maaf nahin kare ga”. She didn’t need to prove her innocence she thought, if he loves her and knew her, he would have trusted her even then. Could she forgive him for the lost time, could she forgive him for the 4 years, could she forgive him for not being there by her side on her child’s birth, could she forgive him for doubting her loyalty to him, could she forgive him for the character assassinations? No. So she will remain silent until he reaches a self-realization. The guilt must one day kill him.

She was silent because the truth was that she didn’t need to be forgiven, rather Ashar should have been asking for her forgiveness. She probably thought Ashar was doing this to keep his daughter with him and so the bigger person that she was, she decided to leave Hareem with her father who could give her a better life – she had no ego but was very objective with the future of her daughter. She now didn’t care about anything but her daughter. She was at peace inside. She didn’t need proving. If anyone needed to prove anything it was Ashar, if anyone had to reach self-realization of the wrong they had done, it was Ashar. It wasn’t his mother, it wasn’t Sara, it wasn’t Khizer – it was Ashar.

If after reading pages and pages of books on a certain topic day and day out, you’re unable to understand it, interpret it or translate it – it isn’t anyone else at fault – its either the reader’s fault or the writers – but mostly the readers’ fault for not understanding the text. Almost like saying God gave you the Quran, it is your fault if you don’t read it and even more at fault if you don’t understand it and even worse after understanding it, you chose to ignore it. Here Khirad was the book, Ashar read her and then chose to ignore his understanding of her.

All in all, if Khirad goes back to Ashar, it will be a slap on every woman’s self-respect. If she goes back as Hareem’s mother, that is fine but she should never go back as his wife. Some scores can never be settled.

By Sana Hameed Baba

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