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22 Jun

Is Dr Haris’ entry in Sabaat everything you were hoping for?

Finally, in the twelfth episode of drama serial Sabaat, that aired yesterday (Sunday, June 21), Usman Mukhtar made his much-awaited entry as Dr Haris. Around 18 minutes into the episode, seated in his psychiatrist chair in his somewhat impersonal office, he looks up and says a casual ‘Hello Miraal’ to our psychotic heroine who is going from a case of bad behavior and entitlement issues to serious sociopath tendencies. The good thing is that her friend recognizes her need for professional help and pushes her to get therapy.

In true Miraal Mode, she launches an offensive on Dr Haris and his profession, degrading him to making “muft kai paisay”, basically saying that psychiatrists make a lot of money by listening to peoples’ stories, answering questions with more questions and then bullshitting their way through sessions. She’s not a believer. An important dialogue is when she says that she shouldn’t have come to him and that she’s strong enough to find a solution for her own problems. He responds with a meaningful, ‘It’s not necessarily just weak people who have mental health problems…” And then two minutes into their session, he sends her off, saying she should go home and take her time and return when and if she feels she can trust him.

Uh, what just happened there? It usually does take a couple of sessions of awkward silence before a patient begins to trust the doctor enough to open up. A good doctor knows how to keep his patient engaged.



Anyway, Miraal does return for her second session, and their conversation reinforces what we had been suspecting all along. Her hallucinations of Mariam Bee (naani) are a manifestation of her own imagination and fears. That everything will deteriorate and rot away is her personal paranoia, which is reinforced in the way she plucks away every white hair she sees.

Okay but what about Dr Haris? He does give solid advice in the second session but the actor’s highly anticipated entry ends up being rather underwhelming. One understands the understated aura of the situation but still, his first impression needed to be smarter and more impactful.

The bigger problem will arise in the next episode, as we see in the promo, when Dr Haris apparently confesses to his colleague that he has fallen in love with his patient. That’s not only highly unethical but also counterproductive to the whole mental health scenario. Let’s see where the writer is going with this but it could be the anti-climax no one was hoping for.


Aamna Haider Isani

The author is Editor-in-Chief at Something Haute as well as Editor at Instep, The News. Full time writer, critic with a love for words and an intolerance for typos.