Kabli Pulao Review: A Tale of Orchestrated Love Beyond Borders

Kabli Pulao first episode

This humble viewer shares a similar experience as her fellow audience; Kabli Pulao takes you back in the PTV era reminiscing the golden age of Pakistani dramas

One of Green Entertainment’s new ventures, Kabli Pulao, is an unconventional love story between two characters that have managed to get the viewers rooting for them after the first episode. The drama captured a variety of emotions and left the audience awe-struck after the nearly forty-minute episode, leaving us wanting for more.

Helmed by the maestro Kashif Nisar and penned by Zafar Mairaj, Kabli Pulao garnered popularity even before its release due to its soulful OST sung by none other than Rahat Fateh Ali Khan-which received a total of 100+ million views across all digital platforms.

Following the pattern, the drama’s first episode received an overwhelming response. Here is why:

Unwrapping the secret behind the name Kabli Pulao:

Kashif Nisar has once again delivered his magic, and the audience can’t deny his apt skills to teleport the audience to the world he has created. While taking us to Mardan, the episode begins with answering the question most viewers would have asked…what is the drama named Kabli Pulao?

Well, as established in the drama, it is an Afghani delicacy that was initially exclusive to the upper-class and aristocracy. Hence, establishing the link between the title, plot, and the drama.

Narrating the untold stories of refugees:

How often do we see the topic of refugees as a nucleus of a conversation? Most of us will be oblivious to the number of refugees that abide in Pakistan, unaware of their stories, considering them as a nuisance.

This drama tells the tale of these misrepresented group, without adopting a preachy tone-which most of our dramas fail to do so.

A well knitted plot with characters that had us hooked:

The plot is onerous to encapsulate in a few sentences…readers bear with us. (Spoilers ahead)

Haji Muhstaq (Mohammed Ehteshamuddin) played by is a selfless man who has devoted his life to the service of Allah and Islam. A cloth merchant, hailing from a well to do background, Haji got orphaned at the age of 10 after which he spent his life serving his family-helping his mother with her tailoring chores and distributing all his assets to his siblings and ended up marrying them.

Enters an Afghan refugee Abdullah who pleads his case to Haji, explaining how his widowed sister will only marry a man who pays for the medical treatment of his brother’s leg injury. Haji, without a second thought, gives the money to Abdullah without any intention of marrying his sister.

Things take an expected turn when Abdullah and her sister Barbeena (played by Sabeena Farooq) come to the doorstep of Haji, pleading him to marry her. Haji gives in, after much resistance, following the haunting flashbacks of his mother in a similar situation.

An unorthodox choice of lead pair that is nowhere seen in Pakistani dramas:

Following a love story between an Afghan, widowed girl who came to Pakistan for refuge and a middle-aged man is something that we have never, I repeat, never seen in any of our dramas before. This is indeed a risky combination, especially when being made for an audience who is tuned in to watching standard plot and characters.

But how well will the makers and the lead actors able to pull it off remains to be seen.

A strong cast with substantial roles:

The review wouldn’t be completed without mentioning the acting of Mohammed Ehteshamuddin who did a convincing job as Haji Mushtaq, making the audience connect with his character in an instance.

While the first dialogue of Sabeena Farooq was after twenty-eight-minutes of the first episode and we saw her expressions in the very last second of the drama, she has risen our hopes from her character, and it is very likely that she will live up to the expectations.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that the writer did not portray Haji Mushtaq’s family as selfish, greedy, and vulturous villains who only want money from him, but instead value their brother’s sacrifices. All actors did a job well done in establishing the plot including Umer Dar, Nadia Afghan, Saqib Sameer, Adnan Shah Tipu, Mahin Kafeel among others.

A series of questions

At the risk of repeating myself, the plot has us hooked due to the lead pair and substantial questions, that has arisen our curiosity after watching the first episode. First off, why was Barbeena adamant to marry Haji when she could marry someone younger than her? Why did Haji’s mother work as a tailor when they had enough land to support the family, especially considering that they belonged from a conservative family? Why didn’t Haji marry in all these years?

We hope the makers will be able to justify all this.

Our Verdict

Credit goes where it is due; the makers brought together an anomalous story that doesn’t align with the traditional check list followed for producing a drama with lead actors in roles never seen before. They made a risky investment, but it is safe to say that with the first episode in, the risk seems worth it as of now.


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