Book Review: Haalim – Episode #17 (By Nemrah Ahmed)

I don’t generally do episode reviews. I was planning to do a single lengthy review for Haalim. But the current episode, much-hyped episode is out and I am asked to review it. I’m asked by those readers who don’t use social media or internet, except for download Urdu novels.

Nemrah and team were posting about it for a while. The episode was supposed to have a cliffhanger to die for. The episode was also scheduled to be uploaded on September 15, 2018. I didn’t check her page this time, because I knew it wouldn’t be. How do I know? I’m a software engineer and I know that when we say it’s eighty percent done, there is another eighty percent remaining. Don’t do the math, as the saying is only to emphasize the fact that how much work is involved. Writing is no different. If the writer has such huge popularity and high expectations to meet, it becomes further difficult.

The episode is about bringing Talia and Fateh together.

Gotcha. They are not together yet. They are realizing each other’s importance. They are emotionally together. And not just them, Adam, Asra and Hisham have understood that Talia and Fateh are meant to be together.

All the characters have embarked upon a journey to find themselves, and the truth.

Talia was kept in a safe house under the pretext of being in a jail. Ahem. Déjà vu. Then she realizes the game and strikes a deal with prime minister Sufiya Rehman.

When she comes out, her friends have left. The prosecutor Ahmad Nizaam realized that she was speaking the truth and offers to help. He knows a guy much like Talia and he will be able to help Talia in her assignment in Egypt.

Spoiler alert: That man is Jihan Sikandar.

Yes, a crossover between Haalim and JKP – Jannat Kay Pattay.

The readers I know, are not too happy about it, and other readers have noted their disappointment on author’s Facebook page. They asked me to criticize this new twist.

Now that I have conveyed what they felt, I will come to my point of view.

I don’t see the crossover as a problem. A crossover is an element of popular fiction. As a fan of certain characters, I imagined them together in one story. For those who have read Ibn-e-Safi, would remember that people I and requested him to bring Faridi and Imran in one book. He did that quite late in his writing journey and wrote “Zameen Ke Baadal”. The readers weren’t happy as they felt that it didn’t do justice to Imran. It was Faridi’s game. The novel was part of Jasoosi Duniya, and obviously it would tilt towards its own protagonist.

Nemrah did that without us asking. Were we hoping for it? Some of us might have. But let’s be prepared for a divided audience. Some would opine that Jihan is shown as a stronger conman. Some would say the same for Talia.

Personally, being crazy about Jihan (who isn’t) I am delighted to have more of him.

My only problem with this episode was that it is quite intense and their is no humourous relief, except for Datan’s comment for Adam – “aye ronkhi heroine…”. There was no bickering, no tongue-in-cheek comments. Also, the couple, Talia Fateh were treating Ahmad Nizaam quite harshly. A man who has realized his mistake and want to help, should have been considered. But ‘Nemrah ke characters, Nmerah Ki Marzi’.

I feel that this is the longest post and longest review I’ve written. Tired.

Please keep visiting.

Happy reading!

Shabana Mukhtar

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