Hum TV has reunited the writer-director duo of last year’s blockbuster Ramazan drama, Chupke Chupke, to deliver another major Ramazan drama for the channel this year. Titled Hum Tum, this Danish Nawaz directorial and Saima Akram Chaudhry script is a modern take on the classic trope of “opposites attract”.
Cast And Plot
The story revolves around two neighboring households – Aibaks and Sultans. Maha (Sarah Khan), Neha (Ramsha Khan), and Sasha (Anoosheh Rania Khan) are the three troublemaking but brilliant daughters of Professor Qutub-ud-Din Aibak (Adnan Jaffar) and Ulfat (Arjumand Raheem). The three girls are pampered by their grandfather Safi-uf-Din (Muhammad Ahmed) who is a famous TikToker under the name of ‘Daddu Handsome’.
The other household has the brothers Adam (Ahad Raza Mir) and Sarmad (Junaid Khan) living with their well-educated but jobless father Sultan (Farhan Ali Agha) who is addicted to making petty gambles and Haleema (Munazzah Arif), a sweet-tempered lady with a tendency to forget things easily. Haleema’s widowed mother, Tamanna Begum aka Nano (Uzma Beg), also lives in the house who has a marriage bureau and is infamous for having all the matches made under it ending in divorces. The martial arts loving youngest sister Mili (Aina Asif) completes this household.
Tried And Tested Formula
True to Saima Akram Chaudhry’s style, every character has their own unique quirks. The theme of opposites attract has been woven in the character design quite blatantly. For example, Adam is a neat-freak while Neha has a habit of making a mess wherever she goes. Sarmad is a successful chef who can cook any dish with ease while Maha is extremely conscious about her calorie intake. Sarmad is a mere graduate, while Maha prioritizes education above all. Adam is the almost-adopted son of Professor Qutub-ud-Din to the point of him being adored more than Professor’s own daughters, a fact that makes Neha call Adam the bane of her existence.
The polarizing characteristics of the main characters definitely get the audience intrigued regarding how their respective love stories will initiate.
For now, Adam and Neha are involved in a heated rivalry with the two of them losing no chance to annoy the other. Sarmad has a crush on Maha but she, (and everyone but Adam) remains oblivious to the fact. As per the SAC Formula, these equations are bound to change completely with time and the audience is in for a ride to see how that happens.
Likewise, there is no dearth of hilarious zingers uttered by the characters. Every conversation in every scene has an exchange that tickles the audience’s funny bones. Even the comedy in Hum Tum is not cringey or over the top; it is light and suits the sensibilities of the modern world that this show is based in.
The strength of Hum Tum so far is in its characters. Saima Akram Chaudhry has steered away from her signature “cousin marriage” template and has given the story of family friends. However, the most refreshing thing in the show is how it does not indulge in the usual TV friendly gender stereotypes and has characters that actually feel like they belong in the year the drama is based in.
Strong Female Characters
The sisters Maha, Neha, and Sasha do not have the knack of doing any household work but them being unable to cook a gol roti is neither played for jokes nor their most prominent characteristic. The three girls are shown to be more focused on their studies, have their own agency that they refuse to compromise on, and are completely comfortable in their own skins, unaffected by how the world perceives them.
Neha drives around on her Daddu’s vespa and thrashes any person, goon or classmate, that dares to try to harm her family all the while being the best student in the Chemistry department. Maha is shown to have had a nikaah that ended in divorce before the rukhsati could happen but there’s almost no mention of that being her defining trait; she’s too busy pursuing her Psychology degree to care for that. Sasha, being an IT student, is shown to be an expert in computers and specially ID hacking.
Moving Away From Stereotypes
On the other hand, the brothers, Adam and Sarmad, are shown to happily do the so-called “feminine” tasks like cooking and cleaning the house without feeling like their masculinity is threatened. Sarmad spends most of his time in the kitchen, Adam is shown fixing the setting of the couch cushions and flower pots as well as tying up his sister’s hair without throwing any fit about his mardangi. Sarmad is also vocal supporter of the Aibak sisters’ independence which Adam jokes is because of his crush on Maha, but Adam too is shown to support Neha’s action of giving an eve teaser a public thrashing despite his initial disapproval of it.
Even the two grandparents have their own independent lives. Daddu Handsome has a thriving Tiktok career while Nano is passionate about her marriage bureau, despite the matches ending in divorces.
The Weaknesses So Far
Despite an individually great cast, Hum Tum seems to lack the ensemble chemistry that made its predecessor dramas so memorable. In some scenes and exchanges, it seems pretty obvious that the actors are ‘acting’ instead of actually ‘being’ the characters. Ahad Raza Mir specially feels a tad bit unnatural when portraying Adam’s exasperation. Sarah and Ramsha too lack the chemistry one would expect from two sisters to have.
There are some promising sparks within the two couples but so far, there has been no cackling fire in their exchanges that would have the audience rooting for their love story.
Additionally, the lack of any proper OST video released by the channel, that often contains future scenes of the drama to build excitement within the viewers about what’s to come, means the audience is completely in the blind about what kind of story or chemistry to expect from these couples. The comedy, while funny, doesn’t have the laugh-out-loud quality to it as well, probably because the characters this time around are written to break stereotypes instead of playing into them.
Verdict So Far
Regardless, with three episodes in, Hum Tum has great potential to become this year’s biggest Ramazan play for it offers something different and progressive that Pakistani television so desperately needs. Being a light-hearted Ramazan play made to relax the audience, there could not be a better opportunity for this show to give much needed social messages in an easily digestible manner. And who knows? Maybe these Hums and Tums might end up giving a couple of love stories that would have the audience swooning over them in the time to come.