Credit for all pictures go to their uploaders.
I recently finished rewatching an old Pakistani Drama called Dhoop Kinare (At the Edge of Sunlight) which originally aired in 1987. The drama starred Rahat Kazmi as Dr Ahmer Ansari. It also starred Marina Khan as Dr Zoya Ali Khan, a new doctor who comes to work in Dr Ansari’s children’s hospital, and the two gradually fall in love. If anyone has ever read Betty Neel’s books, you can kind of get an idea of the story of Dhoop Kinare. It was refreshing to watch that story play out on the screen.
The drama also starred Sajid Hassan (Dr Irfan) and Badar Khalil (Dr Sheena) as other doctors in the hospital. Dr Sheena was the second female lead, who was desperately in pursuit of Dr Ahmer. Qazi Wajid played Zoya’s beloved father. Kehsishan Awan plays Anjij, Zoya’s best friend. There were also a whole host of other veteran actors rounding out the cast.
The drama starts with Dr Ahmer living with his foster father, a man who took him in and treated him as his own when he was a young orphan child. When his foster father passes away, Ahmer finds out that the man has left their home to his actual granddaughter, the child of a daughter who passed away a long time ago. His foster father felt guilty for the fact that he abandoned his daughter when he decided to go live in the jungle. He hopes that giving the granddaughter his home will atone for his mistakes. Dr Ahmer is heartbroken by this seeming rejection by the man he considered his father, and begins to distrust everyone around him. He begins to distrust love.
Dr Zoya Ali Khan is a young happy go lucky girl. She lives in a home, adored by her father, pampered by a treasured servant Fazeelat (aka Fussy), and living next door to her best friend. The only problem is that her father is forcing her to become a doctor because of her deceased mother’s dream. Zoya buckles under the parental guilt and graduates in medicine. She then discovers that her long-lost grandfather has left her a home. While she is thoroughly confused, she goes to check out the home and accidentally encounters Dr Ahmer who is still living there. While the two don’t exactly meet face to face, that is their first meeting.
Zoya begins working at the hospital. She quickly makes friends there, including Dr Irfan, a fun loving doctor who tends to flirt with all of the lady doctors, although he is slightly afraid of Dr Sheena, a close friend of Dr Ahmer’s. Zoya begins working with Dr Ahmer, and slowly becomes serious about medicine. While he is a strict teacher, he also helps her to realize the importance of the work they do. He expects more from her, and she begins to expect more from herself as a doctor, and a careerwoman who’s doing more than just making her father happy.
Zoya begins to have feelings for Dr Ahmer. The more she learns about him, the more she realizes that she respects and even loves him. Dr Sheena puts Zoya down, messes with her by making her look incompetent, and asserts that Dr Ahmer is hers. One day, Zoya breaks and fights back, admitting that she does like Dr Ahmer, and that is her business. Dr Ahmer overhears. The two grow closer, as they practice medicine; he comes to her home and meets her father. Ahmer, at his friend’s urging, decides to open his heart to Zoya.
One day, Zoya’s father is defrauded out of a lot of money, and ends up being on the hook for the money taken out in a loan. Zoya decides to sell her home to pay off the money when her father has a heart attack.
Dr Ahmer, who has spent all of this time trying to get his home back, is overjoyed by the news of the prospective sale, still unknowing that Zoya is the seller. He immediately takes Zoya to the home, and tells her about how he lost his home and hates the girl who took his home away from him. Zoya is shocked by Ahmer’s revelation and confesses that she is the hated granddaughter.
Ahmer backs off from Zoya in shock, and, no matter how many times Zoya attempts to reach him, he has closed his heart once more. She decides to respect his feelings and back off. Once Ahmer discovers that Zoya needs to sell the house, he goes through with the sale and buys the property. Zoya refuses to look at Ahmer during the sale, and then resigns from her job soon after. When Ahmer demands her reasons for resigning, she tells him to leave.
Ahmer leaves the property to Zoya and then plans on leaving the country. When Zoya hears about his planned departure, she goes after him one more time. She is unable to catch him.
But when she goes to “their” home, she meets Ahmer there. And the two reunite, presumably to live happily ever after.
Dhoop Kinare is a classic tale and was fun drama to watch once more. This is what a good Pakistani drama used to be. There wasn’t a lot of melodrama in the show itself, but there were deep emotions.
We met two solid people with a lifetime of disappointments or happiness behind them. And the story then takes them to different points in their life where they can fall in love with the other. The change more so in Dr Ahmer than Zoya, because she didn’t have that distrust in love to overcome. I believed in these characters’ motivations, and even understood when Dr Ahmer moved back when he realized that Zoya was that girl. I believed in their love because of the slow burn of it, and that is something that is usually missing in current dramas and their stories of insta-love. These two were building a relationship and a life, and the viewer knew they would live happily ever after together even after we left them.
I also liked the other characters on the show. The romance between Anji and Dr Irfan, and the parents who loved their daughters were all part of this universe. Dr Sheena seemed a one note wonder, who went through betrayal when she gave up and married someone else, but in the end she stayed the same, happy that Dr Zoya wouldn’t get Ahmer either. But every drama has its annoying second lead, and this was ours.
The acting was superb, and everyone did a great job with their characters.
The music was not that great, but didn’t interfere with the viewing experience either.
It is a drama that aired in 1987 so the styles are definitely dated. If you watch it, go in expecting short hair on women, big hair overall, and men wearing colorful suits with the suit sleeves pushed up the arm, etc.
I really enjoyed the drama, and stick by my initial rating of 10/10. The drama is available on Youtube with English subtitles if anyone wants to check it out.