Book Review | Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay | Umera Ahmed


Mishal is a beautiful girl. Everyone loves her. Brought up in an elite household with everything she can wish for, you think, she has everything she ever wants, but does she?
On the other hand is Mishal’s cousin Mehreen; a girl who is not-so-pretty and has a disturbing background. Everyone’s annoyed by her bad behavior and ill-mannered ways.
Living in the same house, these two girls go head-to-head. And in the middle of these two is caught Aswad, a handsome young guy, who is their cousin and who is also madly in love with Mishal, and hates Mehreen.
All three of them think they have their lives perfectly planned out for themselves but can this much hate and competition really end up in something good?
In Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay (English: When Were We Ever Truthful), the extent to which the imperfections and flaws of parents haunt their offspring in an eastern society is highlighted. Children belonging to dysfunctional families are always judged in the shadow of their parents.
It is a collection of three stories; Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay, Band Kiwaron Ke Aagey and Halal-e-Jurrat. It appeared in episodic form in Kiran digest from August 1998 to November 1998.

About Author

Umera Ahmed is one of the most widely-read and popular Urdu fiction novelist and screenplay writer of this era. She completed her Masters in English Literature from Murray College, Sialkot.
Later she became an English language lecturer for the students of O and A levels at Army Public College, Sialkot. However she left the job a few years back in order to devote her full attention to writing.
She began her writing career in 1998 at a quite young age. Her initial stories were published in monthly urdu digests and later came out in the form of books. She has written about 16 books , comprising of complete novels and compilations of short stories. However it was her novel “Peer-e-Kaamil (S.A.W.W)” which became her identity.

Why am I reviewing Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay?

I was binging YouTube as I do and guess what it recommended?

Teaser of upcoming hum TV drama Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay starring Mahira Khan as Mehreen Mansoor and Kubra Khan as Mashal.

Say what now?

But wait… Why am I getting so hyper? It’s established the screen adaptations mostly suck. I hate when they butcher the story for screen. They pick only a handful of characters to take the story forward. In doing so, the essence of the story is inevitably lost.

But I shouldn’t be worried about this one. I didn’t like this story in the first place. Don’t get me wrong. I admire Umera’s writing style and her stories just as much as any other Urdu genre fiction reading girl. I may have a bone to pick with a few over the top stories but I generally like her stories.

Except for this one.

Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay Plot Summary & Review

Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay is a story of a love triangle of sorts. Mehreen Mansoor, Mashal and Aswad. They’re cousins and childhood friend, but the elders’ politics spoils their relationship.
Mehreen comes from a troubled family. Her father Mansoor works for the government but is an alcoholic. Needless to say that even though Rabiea keeps it hidden, she isn’t happy with her marriage and her husband. Mansoor, however, loves his daughter. Mehreen and Mansoor share a good bond. 
Aswad has lost his father, but Saleha has raised him well. Saleha and Rabeya are sisters, and in turn Aswad and Mehreen are cousins and good friends. 
Mashal is Tahir and Shagufta’s daughter. Tahir is Saleha and Rabeya’s brother, and Shagufta is the typical bhabhi who can’t see anything good happening to her nands. While Mashal is friends with Mehreen, it’s Shagufta’s constant rant against Mehreen, Rabeya and Saleha that turns Mashal into a grey character. Scratch that. She’s pure evil.
And then there is Nano- Mehreen’s maternal grandmother and Mashal’s paternal grandmother. After Rabeya and Mansoor are separated, Rabeya remarries, leaving Mehreen to Nano and Shagufta and Tahir. Things don’t go well, as one might expect. Mehreen spends a tough childhood.
The hatred between Mehreen and Mashal grows as the grow older. Mashal always tries to bring down Mehreen in front of Aswad and Aswad blindly trusts her. Even though Saleha tells Aswad just how nice Mehreen is, he doesn’t trust his own mother and instead trusts Mashal. Go, figure!
It’s Saleha’s insistence, however, that Aswad ends up marrying Mehreen. He isn’t happy about it, and he has no qualms to torture Mehreen for coming between him and Mashal.

Then, after very dramatic twists and turns that we know Umera for, we learn that Mashal was lying all along.
Mehreen is the heroine. She is the brilliant and outstanding student with excellent curricular and extra curricular record. She never lied, she never talked back, she was exemplary.
And Mashal was jealous of her. So was Shagufta, of Rabeya and Saleha. Like mother, like daughter.
Mashal is the villain of this story and Aswad is a bigger one because he blindly believes everything that Mashal says. By the time he realize the truth, Mehreen has already lost her mind.
For real!
Then, Aswad is left to regret his deeds. Too little, too late.
Can I spoil the ending of Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay for you?
Mashal dies, Mehreen loses her mind, and Aswad is drowned in a well of regrets.
I’m not joking.
Where is my happily ever after?

I’m a sucker for escapist fiction. I have enough troubles around me. I don’t need to read a book to weep and sob and cry like a baby. If I wanted heartache, I would just read literature and be pretentious, right?

Would I be watching the drama?

Probably not. Because firstly, I don’t really like the story.

Secondly, the casting… Mehreen Mansoor wasn’t the most beautiful girl as you can read in the description above. She has a pleasant personality but she isn’t gorgeous. Mahira Khan is one the most beautiful actresses of Pakistan (I don’t necessarily agree with that opinion). She was cast as Falak Naaz in Shehr-e-zaat who was epitome of beauty and grace. Now, are we to believe that the same person is mehreen Mansoor? Not gonna happen.

Thirdly, Farooq Rind is going to direct the drama. I have seen his work in Pyar Ke Sadqay and I still have some bad memories about that drama. I mean it started on such a fun note and ended up being about an incestuous attachment and unnecessary drama. Let’s just say I don’t trust his direction. A good director can elevate even a poorly written story. For instance, Danish Nawaz can do make my stories shine if they are ever adapted for screen.

Lastly, I feel, and this is just me, Mahira doesn’t have the range of emotions that Mehreen’s character demands. I find her voice annoying, her acting repetitive and methodic and boring, and she isn’t even that beautiful. But that’s just me and I am not going to watch or review the drama. A story I didn’t like with the cast that I don’t like and a director I don’t like. I can’t watch the drama only for Osman Mukhtar, can I? Who, by the way, is aptly cast.

Watch it, don’t watch it, it’s up to you.

Have you read this book? What do you think of the story? I will meet you in another review.
Shabana Mukhtar


17 Comments Add yours

  1. I will, but yeah, time is a constraint. I’m also watching shehnai but it has become repetitive now. The first few episodes were good. I like Rafey more than the lead characters.

  2. liza says:

    some scenes are melodramatic but i think that’s every show now lol but the only thing i care about is the plot and character development and this show has it all !! and did i mention the ost ? so so soooo good !! give it a try if you have time 🙂

  3. Array says:

    i don’t know if you’re interested, but i would love your review on ishq zahe naseeb (that’s if you watched it) or malaal e yaar

    1. I’ve watched neither. the premise of Ishq Zah-e-Naseeb didn’t interest me, not did Malal-e-yaar’s cast. But I will give it a two-episode try for you 🙂

    2. Will you be watching Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay? Did you like the teasers?

      1. liza says:

        yes yes !! primarily because i love mahira khan (after humsafar ofc) and the music score of the drama really intrigued me so definitely gonna watch. i think hun tv is releasing very good dramas this month ; paarizad, laapata (most excited about this cuz ayeza fking khan) and HKKST !! and oof currently i’m simultaneously watching i think 8 dramas ? shehnai, yaar na bichray (starting was great but now it’s bakwas but if i commit to smth i don’t stop so sigh), ishq hai, paarizad, o rangreza, dunk (cuz bilal abbas), ishq zahe naseeb, dhoop ki deewar

        and i’ve recently finished do bol (omfg THE OST IS SO DAMN GOOD AND THE LEADS AHHH AFFAN N HIRA), churails (loved this !! boss bitches in action), PKS (i lowkey loved it), malaal e yaar (story was repetitive but the two leads were SO GOOD +ost was so damn good n tbh just watched for the ost) yeah that’s about it 🙂

      2. Woah! I think its only Parizaad for me 🙂 I have heard good things about Do Bol… Is it melodramatic?

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