‘Shehnai’ kicks off with solid performances and a great script

When the promos of ‘Shehnai’ initially went on air, it felt like a whiff of fresh air as we got to see a new on-screen pairing of Affan Waheed and Ramsha Khan, being one of the major reasons for luring viewers. With soapy melodramatic material prevailing on our screens, a romantic – comedy theme provides a much-needed break from the typical. Having Raidan Shah as the writer and Ahmed Bhatti of Ghisi Piti Mohabbat and Kaisa Hai Naseeban as the director, the drama features Affan and Ramsha as well as stars like Samina Ahmed, Javed Sheikh, Behroze Sabazwari, Salma Zaffar, Zainab Qayoom(ZQ), and many others. ‘Shehnai’ has taken off with a double episode on ARY Digital, but does it meet our expectations? Let’s analyse.

Episode 1

As the episode started, we were introduced to Qasr-e-Naz, a household headed by Absar (Javed Sheikh). Like all parents, Absar wants his daughter Bakht (Ramsha Khan) to get married into a good family and to a “good boy” which according to him was his friend’s son Meerab (Affan Waheed). However, there are complications. Bakht is in love with Hunain and Meerab is committed to Samreen. Bakht has a track record of rejecting proposals but she isn’t sure to repeat the same as Meerab was once a friend.

The other prominent members of the family such as the bhabi Maleeha (Zainab Qayyum), the nands Tooba and Munni (Salma Zafar and Javeria Abbasi), and damaad Kafeel (Saleem Mairaj) are busy complaining and speculating that Bakht will surely repeat history. The entire house is preparing and waiting for Meerab’s family to arrive for dinner, but guess what? Meerab leaves the venue at the last minute to save Samreen who calls him and threatens to kill herself. 

Episode 2

The episode begins with havoc because dulha bhaga gaya (the groom ran away). Meerab’s parents are embarrassed and Bakht is one happy girl. Amidst this tense situation, Maleeha adds fuel to the fire as she convinces Tooba to seek Bakht’s proposal for her son. Samreen, who is all set to get engaged, gives Meerab a final ultimatum to sort things out between them, or else she will choose to commit suicide but won’t marry anyone else. Meerab finally reaches Bakht’s house and they get engaged after which Bakht plans to run away. In a secret meet-up on the rooftop, Bakht clearly refuses to marry Meerab, and of course, he is jubilant to know that. The episode concludes as they both decide to fool their families by calling off their engagement in the future through mutual understanding. 

What to expect

‘Shehnai’ is a well-crafted product that has all the right ingredients to entertain. It’s got the right pace along with solid performances backed with a great script; the USPs  required to keep the viewers hooked. Ramsha Khan is effortless as the free-spirited girl and comes across as a more mature performer with every project she’s part of. The chemistry between the lead actors is yet to be explored. The rest of the cast fit their characters very well and provide great humor and laughter at regular intervals. 

The drama does have some bits that left us wanting more. The entire sequence of ‘Dulha Bhag Gaya’ somehow defied logic and seemed dragged with every character giving illogical reasons. Also, I wonder what was the brief given to Salma Zafar as she was over-expressive in many of her scenes. That being said, it’s a great start to an exciting and colourful journey filled with romance, comedy, and emotions. It would be interesting to see how ‘Shehnai’ maintains the pace in the upcoming episodes.  


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