Following the lives of seven women who are seemingly trying to escape their circumstances and end up in the same train bogey, Aakhri Station has proven to be a gripping drama which brings to light the various forms of abuse women face.
Highlighting domestic abuse, the third episode also looks at abuse, but in a different context. While the first two episodes showed a rural, lower economic set-up, this one shows a modern day urban couple. Since before their marriage it is clear that Sajjad has issues, he is not able to take jokes, and detests his mother and brother for no apparent reason. While one first thinks that he is uptight, it eventually becomes clear that he also suffers from an intense superiority complex. He is constantly belittling his wife; calling her dark, unattractive and useless. Sajjad is also unable to handle anyone praising his better half, be it his mother or his friends, as he is under the impression that he is too good for her.
Farzana (Malika Zafar), the wife, is constantly trying to make excuses, despite warnings from her friend; she apologizes for things that aren’t her fault, she keeps quiet about his derogatory remarks and she tries her best to make things work. Things get intense when the two are about to have a baby, and Sajjad demands that it better be ‘fair and good-looking like him, not like his wife.’ Even when the baby is born, Sajjad is over-possessive and even more controlling – if that’s possible. The last straw falls when he shows up at his wife’s meeting and drags her home, accusing her of being with another man. Farzana finally responds to his anger and is then beaten up mercilessly.
Among the many important factors the show highlights, this episode aptly shows how even the most educated women fall into the trap of emotional abuse. Despite being financially stable and educated, Farzana never fights back. She admits to her co-travelers that she was under the delusion that her love and care can break the barriers of ‘hurt’ that are causing her husband to be abusive; a mindset many victims of abuse hold. It should also be taken into account that Sajjad’s state of mind doesn’t seem normal, he is on the verge of psychosis as is evident from his episodes of anger and harsh comments. However, no one from his family considers that what he needs is therapy or counseling, showing how these forms of mental health are so vastly ignored resulting in domestic abuse.
Well-executed attention to detail is what makes the Aakhri Station an intricate exploration of abuse; a topic that yearns for this kind of exposure. One must also give a special mention to Irfan Khoosat, who as the voice of reason is essential to the narrative. His viewpoint on domestic violence and how it should never be tolerated contributes to making Aakhri Station a great watch.