Drama Review | Mann Mayal | Cast, Characters, and Review

Yep, it’s time to review Mann Mayal.

Mann Mayal is HUM TV Drama Serial that was released aeons ago. The series centers on the lives of Manahil and Salahuddin who fall in love with each other, but due to their social class differences Salahuddin refuses to marry Manahil. She then lives in an abusive marriage, while Salahuddin succeeds in his ambitions. After three year they fall for each other once again.

This drama is directed by Haseeb Hassan, written by Samira Fazal and produced by MD Productions.

Before we begin

It’s an old drama. I knew about it when it was released.

I’ve been watching Pakistani content on YouTube for ages. I even watched the hum awards where Mann Mayal was nominated in every category, and they also won in most of those categories. Every time the nomination came up, QB’s soulful voice hummed “Tere naal kyu laaiyaaN ankhiyaN”. What an OST!


I didn’t want to watch the drama.

I never felt like watching the drama.


One simple reason… Maya Ali!

I have seen her in “LadoaN MeiN Palee” as Laraib and as Meenu in “Meri Jaan Hai Tu” with Ayesa Khan and Ahsan Khan. I was not impressed. On the contrary, I was annoyed. She had limited range and expressions. I didn’t like her acting. 

Oh, and the drama’s trailers didn’t give a feel-good vibe.

I liked Hamza Ali Abbasi, and I still do. He’s handsome, he’s talented and he has a good voice.

I don’t have anything against Gauhar Rasheed (he plays Meekael) or Ayesha Khan(Jeena). It just didn’t excite me.

Todsy, I read the premise.

And I don’t like it.

Why am I watching it then?

Because… Why not?

I want to see a little bit of Hamza. Okhay?

Let’s look at the cast and the characters. Although, at this point, the whole Pakistani content watching audience must already know the cast.

Cast & Characters

Salahuddin & Family

Hamza Ali Abbasi as Salahuddin Shahid

The lead hero. He’s ambitious, he’s good looking and he’s a bit strict, but only on the surface. He’s like a walnut, tough on the outside, soft and yummy on the inside. Haha!

Manahil & Family

Maya Ali as Manahil Javed/ “Mannu”

The protagonist, the girl who gets to cry the most. Isn’t that the very definition of the “protagonist” in most pakistani dramas? Things are changing, though.

Saba Hameed as 

Manahil’s mother

Naeem Tahir as Javed

Manahil’s Father

Lubna Aslam as Saliha

Manahil’s Aunt

Hajra Khan 

Minahil’s aunt, Javed’s sister


Gohar Rasheed as Mikaeel Shahaab

Mannu’s abusive gambler husband

Ayesha Khan as Jeena

Salahuddin’s colleague who likes him

Saleem Mairaj as Jameel

Salahuddin’s assistant

Shehryar Zaidi as Shahid

Salahuddin’s Father

Ismat Zaidi as Durdana

Salahuddin’s and Rabiya”Biya” mother

 Aiman Khan as Rabiya/Biya

Salahuddin’s Sister & Mannu’s best friend

Mehmood Aslam as Shahaab

Manahil’s late father-in-law 

Laila Zuberi as Rahila

Manahil’s late mother-in-law 

Vasay Chaudhry as Ifti

 Arjumand Rahim as Cookie

Talat Hussain as Rehman

Ifti’s father

Faizan Haque

Mikaeel’s friend

Haris Waheed

Mikaeel’s gambling partner

Plot Summary

Mann Mayal depicts the story of Manahil and Salahuddin. The two families live in Sukkur, and are neighbours. It’s a typical setting – Manahil is best friend with Rabiya, Salahuddin’s sister.

Salahuddin has a thing for Manahil but he shields his feelings owing to the class difference between the two families. He is ambitious for higher studies and a higher position in society, and he is working hard.

Manahil also likes Salahuddin, but she’s a shy girl who can never admit to her feelings. She isn’t good at studies, though. Javed asks Salahuddin to tutor Mannu as she has failed the exams again. And we see romance in the air.

When it comes to take a big bold step, Mannu runs to Salahuddin’s house, but he refuses to marry Manahil because he stupidly thinks that Mannu’s family will reject him due to the differences  in their social status.

Manahil’s parents accept the proposal of Mikaeel, who is a gambler. They don’t know it, of course. Manahil ends up in an abusive relationship whereas Salahuddin moves to Karachi to work at his friend Ifti’s firm. He becomes to close to Ifti’s father ailing Rehman .

Rehman passes away leaving his property to Salahuddin much to the dismay of Ifti and Cookie.

One-year leap

Salahuddin becomes a successful businessman while Manahil becomes a mother of a baby boy. Mikaeel’s behaviour becomes worse towards Manahil and their child.

Three-years leap

Salahuddin hires a new employee Jeena . She secretly falls in love with him, and starts to intervene in his life by cooking for him and preparing his clothes.

Manahil now has a boy and a newborn girl. Shahaab and Rahila pass away in an accident. Mikaeel is back to his gambling wats and cuts off tied from Manahil.

Then, Manahil and Salahuddin come across each other, again. Salahuddin realizes that one self-concious decision has ruined Mannu’s life. He is still deep in love with her. He pursues Mannu again. This time, however, it’s Manahil’s turn to reject her.


We see Maya walking in the lanes with her face covered with a beautiful black chador and a lantern in her hand. She runs into Salahuddin who’s looking at her with a stern face.


What’s she doing so late? One might wonder. She’s there to see her best friend Rabiya. 

And then we meet the two families one after the other. 

The first thing that struck me while I was taking notes about the first episode was-what’s their obsession with the name Mannu? There is one scene in which Manny learns about Rabiya’s results and marches back to her home, Rabiya closely following her saying, “Mannu, meri baat to suno!” 

She says Mannu at least fifty times in the whole scene. I almost wanted to stop watching the drama.

Let’s also mention the last scene. Both Salahuddin and 

The drama has too much of drama and very little of romance and comedy. But, when there’s romance, it’s GOOD. I’m biased towards Hamza, so I like him as Salahuddin, but let’s just say he isn’t as impressive.

There’s too much of rona dhona. That was one of the reasons I didn’t watch this drama earlier. I mean… Pain in real-life, pain in reel-life. It gets too much, no?

A little commentary about performances

It was a nice love story unnecessarily tangled with drama and tragedy. I still stand by my earlier statement. Maya Ali couldn’t act at the time. She has improved a lot in recent years, but in this one, she’s just as annoying as Laraib and Meenu were. 

I don’t want to say this, but the same applies to Hamza as well. His acting is awkward and repetitive in places, although he does look handsome in most frames. In some scenes, I felt that he was slouching. Why? I mean… Look at him as Qalb-e-Momin in Alif, and Salahuddin in Mann Mayal, you will see the difference. 

Let’s just say that the actors evolve with time.

Others, like Lubna Arif and Saleem Mairaj (also part of Alif, incidentally), Saba Hameed, Shahryar and Ismat Zaidi are phenomenal and natural as always. 

So long! Like really long, huh? Unlike the stories I write – super short and funny and breezy. You can read them on Amazon.

Shabana Mukhtar


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