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As Aleezah restlessly waits for Omar’s arrival, long buried memories continue to haunt her. She remembers her earliest conversations with her charismatic cousin – how his direct, disarming manner had unsettled her terribly – and remembers how much she had resented him for effortlessly hijacking the love and attention of her grandparents.

Right around this time, in the thick of her loneliness and alienation, Aleezah’s father had called out of the blue. It had been four years since she had last seen him, so when he invited her to come and visit him in Karachi, she had leapt at the offer. She had left Lahore immediately, full of hope for a deeper connection to her father, a man she had barely known.

But the trip had been a disaster. Her father had barely noticed her. And she had felt completely eclipsed by his new family – a polite but distant wife, their two young boys, and, to Aleezah’s shock, their new baby girl, a stepsister Aleezah hadn’t even known existed.

And the painful surprises didn’t stop there. Aleezah was stunned to learn that her father had been in Karachi for many months before he had called her.  And she was surprised to learn that he was building a new family house and would soon relocate back to Karachi from the Middle East. But the final straw came during a family visit to the new house, when Aleezah discovered something that had utterly broken her heart….


 

Blogger Reshmy Pillai reviews the last episode of Love Lasts Forever:

Taking off from where we left in episode 1 of Love Lasts Forever, in this episode, Aleezah is waiting for her cousin Omar to come back home to Lahore. She and her grandmother receive news that he has had a major tiff with his father, which wasn’t a new thing, and has quit his job as a bureaucrat at the foreign services office. They also know he now intends to join the police force. But Aleezah isn’t worried. She is more than beyond excitement to meet her mysterious and charming cousin.

The episode starts off where episode 1 left us, in Omar Jahangir’s room. Aleezah is getting it cleaned and is taken back to the time when she had met him for the first time, here in the same house. She remembers their bittersweet meetings and the conflicts the two went through. His efforts to comfort her and her insecurities that played the perfect spoilsport. Episode 2 tells us more about Aleezah and the person she has grown into. It also tells us more about her past and why she is this oversensitive, emotional wannabe.

While the first episode gave an impression that Aleezah was living in Australia and is visiting her grandparents, the second episode tells us that she has always been in that mansion in Lahore. It introduces us to the girl who heaps lies over lies to build a make-believe world of happiness, the college-going girl who is so desperate for her father’s attention and to the girl who has started believing that no one really needs her.

The second episode exposes the cold and warm vibes between Omar and Aleezah, and gives us a glimpse into why she is the way she is. While the first episode showed her as a girl irritated with the presence of her cousin and the importance he suddenly seems to garner from their grandparents, this episode helps the reader understand her, and even empathize with her.

Will Omar and Aleezah’s equation go into cold storage with all the cold vibes she has been giving him? How long will it not make a difference to him? He seems to have made a decision when he dropped her at the airport when she was leaving for Karachi to meet her father. Will that decision strain their equation further? Will she share the agony she faced at her father’s place with anyone or will it be another heap of lies?

I can’t wait to read Episode 3 to find out more. And I am going to find out soon enough because the third is already out and I missed it amid all the Diwali festivities!

Reshmy Pillai is a writer, editor and book critic, and founder of The Tales Pensieve, a website dedicated to new writing from India. An ex-healthcare professional, her true passion remains writing historical fiction.

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Umera Ahmad’s Love Lasts Forever is now being serialized on the Juggernaut app here. Watch out for a new episode every Tuesday. 

 

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