YAQEEN KA SAFAR: A Tale of Many Thematic ‘Journeys’

By Zehra Zaidi
October 21, 2017

Readers’ Ramblings

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Despite the fact that 27 episodes have already rolled out, the audience is always left wanting more !!! YKS is undisputedly, the most treasured and eagerly awaited serial on air these days. The beauty of this drama is that it involves its audience in emotionally investing themselves in the journeys of all its characters and not just the leads. It is religiously followed because of the romantic high it delivers but to leave it at that superficial level would be an injustice to the skillful weaving of the writer’s (Farhat Ishtiaq) thoughtfully crafted script, strong characters, amazing acting, sensitive editing and an elegant and subtle directional style. The magical feast of the senses also deserves a special thanks with the serial being shot in the breathtakingly scenic and calming Neelam Valley. 

All in all, one of the best dramas in recent telly history-A must-watch!

The Journey of Belief…in oneself, in others, in God. 

The Journey of Life...giving you second chances. Can you ever heal completely after ‘the kill’ and come out stronger after having felt dead ?

The Journey of Rediscovery...of your self-confidence, faith, trust, happiness and peace…after being completely shattered by betrayal from the ones closest to you. 

The Journey of Self-Healing

It’s not just poetic justice that the title of this serial in Urdu-‘Safar’ (journey) rhymes with the english word ‘Suffer’!!! Post-suffering and surviving the rejection, heartbreak, loneliness, helplessness and despair, the characters try to condition themselves to ‘exist’ with sanity and gratitude, but will they truly ever ‘live’ with joy encompassing their spirits ? The drama then projects the power of self-healing that lies in forgiveness which is the key to strength, wisdom and freedom; unshackled from a painful past.   

The journey of kindness…this drama unfurls, with beauty and grace-an overwhelming positivity that envelops the negativity and channels the bitterness of the lead characters into mending other broken souls and fixing their lives instead. As Asfi-wise beyond his years, says to his mom: ‘People are not bad, times are.’ 

The journey of the devil’s advocates…the fate of the negative characters like Rab Nawaz & Co, the male family members of Noori’s rapists, the conniving secretary who falsely ‘cried rape’, or Khajista’s predicament after being sold as a child bride to a much older and cruel man; brings a sense of justice and moral compensation for the recklessly evil, in a world where some people are ‘Children of a Lesser God’ and some lives more equal than others.

The journey of ‘The Could-be’s‘…Dr Haroon. He brings a breath of fresh air and radiates happiness around himself even in the morbid confines of the hospital. No one can tell that he perpetually lives with the pain of having lost his beloved wife to an accident.

The ex-Feryal,…too selfish and self-centered for her own good. She ends up pushing her self-destruct button- resulting in a failed marriage after ditching Asfi and losing his true love forever.

The journey of Love…the A-Z (Asfi to Zoobia) Bible of Love ❤️

YKS unfolds as a journey of finding true love and a soul mate at the right time and place in life, without necessarily trying to ‘find’ love or searching for a life partner; instead, Love finds them. They are magnetically drawn to each other, initially unaware of the attraction, too scared and scarred to tread that path ever again. But it just happens because ‘it’s meant to be, as they are made for each other’. The portrayal is so charming and endearing: the way he tilts his head, averts his eyes and sneaks furtive glances at his love interest, even blushing at her reaction when he admits feeling jealous towards Dr H. It is his sheer honesty of emotion, his undramatic and realistic acting skills that have every woman swooning over him. Ahad, in his interview with FUCHSIA reveals that his favourite Dr. Asfi dialogue from the serial is: ‘Sometimes, I wish that this journey would never end’.

The journey of ‘It’s Complicated’… pain, forgiveness, justice and karma


Asfi belongs to the upper crust of society-cultured, accomplished, educated and liberal. It’s not the affluence and privilege which brings class to this family, rather, their integrity and respectability stems from their steely resolve to uphold their high values and principles of morality, justice and humanity.

Barrister Usman, his dad (Farhan Agha) is a highly renowned and respected lawyer-intelligent and sophisticated.

His mom is lovable and adorably protective of her brood. Her fake medically induced ‘bahanas’ at matchmaking are just too sweet! (A film-maker in her own right, Sabiha Sumar has donned the actor’s cap for the first time, endearing herself to the audiences)

Barrister Daaniyal, his big bro, his hero, (Shaz Khan of Moor and Dobara Phir Se fame) was framed for alleged rape and subsequently murdered, (to make it appear like suicide), for valiantly and selflessly fighting a big-wig in order to gain justice for a poor rape victim. His righteousness and journey of justice along with his good looks had the viewers eating out of his hands!

His sis-in-law, Geti (Hira Salman) is loyal, loving, sincere, sensible and a very tender, young widow, who repeatedly refuses to remarry. 

This was the family that lived happily-ever-before Daniyal was mercilessly assassinated.


The nickname lovingly coined by his mom and adopted by his near and dear ones, including all his fans who have taken to using this endearment as their birth right! Dr. Asfandiyar is a kind, fun-loving, sensitive and caring family guy. His personality, as reflected by his appearance and demeanor, undergoes a complete transformation when the love of his life, his cousin, Feryal, ditches him and his family callously, at their most vulnerable and needy time. He is a deep thinking and sensitive man and is revealed to have evolved beyond even his own family’s comprehensions. His most lethal and,(ironically) hurtful statement is when he sincerely responds to Feryal’s query about still being in love with her by saying that:

‘It is a ‘galat-fahmi’ to assume that I haven’t gotten married because I am still in love with you …I don’t want to hurt you but I have absolutely no feelings for you, not love, not hate…just nothing’!!!

I had forgiven you when you didn’t even ask for forgiveness but we are not made for each other. I pray for you to find someone who loves you, looks after you and keeps you happy… but that someone is not me”. 

Game over Feryal! He has truly moved on!


Dr Zoobia hails from a very conservative middle class family of well-to-do shopkeepers.

Her dad-‘The Big Bad Wolf’, was a control freak with serious anger management issues! He eventually realizes the circumstances that led to his daughter’s ruin and much belatedly, graduates into being a true father figure, while plagued by his own haunting remorse of being a horrid family man. 

Her mom; herself victimized by a highly suspicious, complex and controlling husband was nonetheless her children’s shield during her life.

Her bhabi is basically a witch with a ‘B’-chalaak, shallow, greedy, insecure and extremely selfish. She will stoop to any low for her own gain but ends up paying for the evil games she plays.

Z’s ‘Big Bro’ on the contrary, is no hero-an incompetent weakling, submissive and easy to manipulate. But Karma eventually unleashes upon him, relentless and menacing demons of guilt, and he wonders about his sister. The petty man he always was, has morphed into a bitter, revengeful and restless soul.


Dr Z. is a perfect example of how good people sometimes make bad decisions. And it honestly doesn’t transform them into evil beings. However, it does reduce them to an unforgivable and shameful existence. Hers was not such an easy, uncomplicated life. Intrinsically lovely, bubbly, trusting and also very sensitive; her controlling and mistrusting dad makes her life lonely and hellish especially after her mother’s accidental death at his hands! She lost not only her mom, but her best friend. Traumatized, isolated and insecure, wrenched from her safe and happy cocoon, she craved for some TLC-a kind word, a comforting hug, a listening ear, a protector, a sincere friend. But instead, she faced an emotional void and so she falls prey to the only voice of ‘love(?)’ Used (and almost abused) by a slick-talking university student and rescued back, unknowingly, by Prince Charming aka Dr Asfi (!!!). Zoobia was rejected and discarded, shunned and banished hatefully by all family and friends except her khala. 

Completely crushed, after her life is pulverized into the soft sand of inconsequential, meaningless existence, Zoobia clenches her fists very tightly to prevent life from slipping through her fingers. She fights back with her soul for she has no strength left in her mind and body-but in vain.  She complains to her dad in despair that ‘Why is it that even though, God Forgives, people never do’? Once bitten, twice shy-Zoobia continuously steels herself against trusting any male or being drawn towards them, as per her deceased mom’s advice. She cannot risk loving and losing again, rejected and broken by yet another trusted one and still harbors a deep-rooted guilt and feeling of ‘not being good-enough’, especially for Asfi and his impeccable family. Dr Z. has certainly endured more than her fair share of retribution for her ‘immorality’ but she eventually emerges out of the storm that wreaked havoc in her life-as a calm, strong, mature and wise ‘rock’ for the people who accept and befriend her. 

The journey of Happily-Ever-After...the director has hit the jackpot by casting Sajal and Ahad. Their chemistry is just brilliant. Their romance is subtle, understated, restrained and refined. Their silent declaration of love by his single question to Z and her non-denial to …. ‘Is it because of Feryal’?, is priceless !!!

Sajal and Ahad have honed their acting prowess with naturally instinctive facial expressions and body language, baring their souls through their eyes, secretly stolen glances, barely-there compliments, carefully concealed undercurrents, hard to ignore vibes-old school romance at its best! We hardly see that anymore and this relationship is sprinkling magic dust all over the love-struck viewers who just can’t get enough of the couple.

Sajal Ali is a well-known and highly respected actress but newbie, Ahad Raza Mir is truly a gem of a find despite his third- generation pedigree in this industry. 

His grandfather, Raza Mir, was one of the founding directors of the Pakistani film industry and his dad, Asif Raza Mir is an accomplished actor. He has studied film and performed Theatre in Canada but has forayed very recently on the Pakistani telly with his debut as Salaar in Sammi. He has proved his mettle independently, sans media connections, with his superb acting skills. He is able to portray a range of emotive expressions, from anger to comprehension, from confidence to embarrassment, from tenderness to vulnerability. Ahad has totally nailed Asfi’s character with panache. His stellar performance and effortless acting skills reflect a maturity mirrored exclusively by experienced actors. 

The journey of dreams, inspirations and old school romance...slowly and surely, the charming beauty and subtlety of this ‘reel-life’ romance is now a receding dream or figment of imagination in ‘real-life’- identified more by the older, mature couples and not by (most of) the current younger lot. The romance in the lives of young couples today has been eclipsed by myriad distractions, impatience and need for instant gratification. In their mad rush to attain their goals and reach their destination at the soonest, they forget or just don’t have the luxury of time to smell the flowers and the ocean; to enjoy the sounds of life all around them; to soak in the colors of the sunrise and sunset, soothing greens and bubbling streams; to feel the rain and the rainbows, to embrace their lofty dreams and tender emotions. Unfortunately, ‘true romance’ in today’s world has devolved into another tick-the-box in the to-do list. Been there, done that. No time to hold hands, to gaze upon their beloved and to cherish the beauty of their journey together. Unlike Asfi, it’s their destination that beckons, not their journey……



About Zehra Zaidi

Zehra holds a Masters degree in Economics. Presently, she lives in Singapore with her family. ZZ wishes that: We took more chances, learnt more, did more, and gave back more. We have two lives, she says. The one we are living and the one we plan & dream of. The second one starts the moment we realize that we actually have only ONE life! So dream big, love, laugh, live your life to the fullest and enjoy the richness of your life experiences... It's not like you're getting out of this place alive! ZZ lives by the rule that one should: Never underestimate the power of desserts and caffeine fixes... coffee shots and cup-a- cha's! Whatever works for you...and of course, hugs are the best ! Zehra is an avid drama watcher and is pictured here with her 'bestie'.

  • Afshan Khokher

    Well done Zehra Zaidi… a very well written analysis and you are successful in aptly describing the aspects of life, I think which must be the intention of the writer to show…. indeed a perfect piece of writing …… keep it up Zehra we will be anxiously waiting for you to share your thoughts more!

    • Muneezeh Khan

      Congratulations Zehra ! this is such a powerful piece of work …. situations , characters and words containing sensory descriptions for the readers to absorb, think and analyse in their own lives . Hope to see more of your work , soon ❤️

  • Muneezeh Khan

    Congratulations Zehra ! this is such a powerful piece of work …. situations , characters and words containing sensory descriptions for the readers to absorb, think and analyse in their own lives . Hope to see more of your work , soon ❤️

  • Deenish Fatima

    Fabulous ZZ….this is such an in depth review and is spot on. Enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed watching YKS. You have analysed each aspect and conveyed the message behind the drama with great accuracy and given the reader lots to ponder on. Hope you will be writing/reviewing more often!