With just a few episodes left for Khaani to conclude, the story is gearing up for a strong ending, evident in this week’s episode. The story may have dragged for several episodes but picked up last week and reached a riveting climax when Khaani (Sana Javed) surrenders to an obstinate and unapologetic Mir Hadi (Feroze Khan) after he has kidnapped her.
Episode 20 begins with Mir Hadi’s journey to Khaani, whose location he has discovered, thanks to Ali his best friend. While Ali is Hadi’s confidante and right-hand man, the ever-loyal Mitthal – also on the trip with them – is the voice of reason and when he suggests they break their journey and rest for the night, Hadi listens. One feels this is the beginning of the change; Mir Hadi would not have allowed anything to stand between him and his goal a year ago. An untimely car breakdown causes another 7-hour delay and one sees them approach their destination by sundown.
The final destination is Khaani’s home, where preparations for a big wedding are underway. The house is being decorated with garlands and lights; there are song and dance and festivity and nothing to suggest that the Khan family has been financially struggling for the past one year. That’s okay though, everything is possible when there’s a wedding in the house. A brief moment is offered to Saarim’s memory as Khaani – standing on her bedroom balcony – sees (rather hallucinates) him in the mist below. She tells her mother that Saarim visits her and they have a moment of melancholic reminiscence.
Things are just as emotional in Arham’s house, where preparations are in full swing and the family is excited to welcome Khaani into the household. Arham (Mohammad Mubarak Ali) may be unimpressive as an actor but Qavi Khan and Seemi Pasha, as his grandfather and mother, more than make up for it. They are effortless as they oscillate between memories of Arham’s first (deceased) wife and the happiness that they anticipate now. It’s a touching scene.
But now for the climax
Mir Hadi sneaks into the house just as he overhears taya jaan talking on the phone, saying that they’re just leaving. Hadi finds the essential and perfectly positioned tree to climb into a balcony that just happens to lead to Khaani’s room, obviously. It’s an extremely predictable scene but is intriguing nonetheless. Mir Hadi is hurt and shocked to see Khaani dressed as a bride (he’s still living with the delusion that she’ll accept him and love him) and for once, Khaani’s vacant expression fits the stunned and shell-shocked look that she needs to have at the moment. Mir Hadi kidnaps her, though it’s unclear how he manages to a) carry her down the tree or b) drag her down the tree or then why she doesn’t make a noise.
They end up somewhere where Mir Hadi has called a maulvi and he tells her she’ll be his wife in no time. What follows – Khaani’s monologue – has to be the single most (and perhaps only) scene in which she justifies her titular role. She pulls off her dupatta and tells him that he can force his power on her but can never win her love; that he does not even know what love his. This scene also confirms what a mature actor Feroze Khan has grown to become as his expressions shift from anger to vulnerability, hurt and resignation all at the same time. Surprisingly, for all the fanfare that his character has earned, one does not feel sorry for Mir Hadi (which is also FK’s success) and is relieved when he retracts. Her words have the desired effect and he lets go of her arm that he is tightly holding. We know, at this point, that the story has reached game-point and Mir Hadi has lost. She holds her unfazed gaze, even as tears stream down down her face, while Mir Hadi moves away, confused and lost for probably the first time in his life.
Back at Khaani’s house, her family finds the ominous letter that Mir Hadi has left behind and they go into shock and expected distress. The episode ends.
There can be only two ways that the drama serial will end, in probably two or three more episodes. Either Mir Hadi will live on with memories of Khaani, resigned to fate and mournful for the rest of his life, or he will surrender to the police and confess his sin. Apparently, the story does twist a little more when he gets back home but we’ll have to wait and see what happens there.