An excerpt from Elif Shafak’s novel The Gaze goes like this:

“He worked at the post-office for years. For years he licked and sealed the envelopes that elegant ladies didn’t want to touch and hurried gentlemen didn’t deign to close. He believed that envelopes were essential not because of the addresses they bore but because they concealed what had been written. What made a letter a letter was the fact of its being closed, of being hidden from eyes. On the day he committed suicide, he left behind an envelope with its flap open. He put his eyes into it. ‘He went with his eyes open,’ cried those who loved him. They licked the envelope and sealed it in order that he might rest in peace.”

In the 9th episode of mystery series Dhund, a postman named Yaawar (Ali Abbas) comes across a mysterious letter. The address on which it is waiting to be delivered does not exist, which is also confirmed by Nizaami Sahab (Khalid Nizami), a humble man Yaawar consults on the case. However, a very old man called Baray Mian who lived before the area was demolished to be renovated does recall the address and the person to whom the letter is addressed but his Alzheimer’s disease renders him an unauthentic source. As mentioned above, "that envelopes were essential not because of the addresses they bore but because they concealed what had been written….", this letter also holds significance for what it contains inside, but the scrupulous wife (Maira Khan) of the postman does not allow that, for according to her, it is unethical to open the letter. One way of perceiving this excerpt from Shafak’s book, which is open to a lot of interpretations is that the postman probably committed suicide because he was exposed to someone’s privacy, and the fact that he put his eyes inside the envelope and left the envelope open stimulates us to think that his high self-esteem did not allow him to live after being exposed to someone’s confidential matter, even if the task was carried out unintentionally. The postman’s wife might be possessing such a conscientiousness, as a result of which she is not ready to open someone’s letter. However, the not-so-good incidents that start taking place do incline her to think of drowning the envelope. Yaawar’s condition on encountering a figure which is invisible to his wife and which is somehow related to the letter is imperceptible to the wife and both start to have rows.

On the other hand, the fact that the area in which the letter had to be delivered was demolished causes us to look into another novel by Elif Shafak titled The Flea Palace which talks about the eastern attitudes related to the destruction of buildings or places which are held dear. This is what happens in the story when the new government decides to run over an old graveyard in order to execute its new plan.

"When ordered to remove these two sarcophagi, the worker on the bulldozer had to leave work early with an awful pain in his groin……………. On the third day, instead of the worker, his grandfather…..turned up instead. He narrated to whomever he came across spine-tingling stories about the dire fate of those hapless souls who had attempted to plunder the tombs of saints."

The character in Dhund who becomes a victim of such plundering has been played by Saba Hameed who fails to get her letter as a result, and her restlessness begins. Why wasn’t it delivered to her, by whom it was written and what it held inside is revealed through the character of Maria (Maria Wasti), the medium in the series. Sattar (Zeeshan Liaqat) becomes the reason. How he does so will be revealed when the episode will be watched by the viewers.

This episode has been brilliantly directed by Farrukh Faiz and turns out to be the flawless one among all the episodes aired uptil now. It casts some of the best actors like Khalid Nizami, Maira Khan and Saba Hameed. It is good to see the domestic abuser from the serial Zaibunnisa after a long time in the character of Baray Mian. Maria Wasti re-establishes herself as a mature performer through her worried looks. Hassan Ahmad’s tall figure accompanied by a small beard gives him an appealing look, well-suited to his loving and caring character.