Thursday, 31 December 2015


episodes 279/280 of plots and plotters

the most significant thing about these two episodes is, i really remember nothing.

except for maybe this.

honestly, nothing made a scratch or dent or scribble in the mind.

this could be because now i know the whole kidnap story is pointless and inept plot construction. when i thought there was a story here, i did find khushi throwing herself into doing even what gives her the creeps to get her arnav ji back, interesting.

she uses the word "ghin" again and again while speaking of shyam... and later she told him he has no idea to what extent she can go for arnav ji... kis hadd talk gir sakte hain... how much i can fall, is i think what she says.

and in that the writers wrap up this sub plot idea neatly... but alas the main action has no meaning, so all this is pointless. made me think of the witness for the prosecution by agatha christie, where the wife does all sorts of things to save her husband, including dressing up as an old woman and making her own testimony seem unreliable, when the lawyer asks her if she'd done all this because so sure her husband was not the murderer, she replies, no, it was because she knew he was.

but here, forget a smashing twist, even the basic linear tale was not there...

and a confounding mystery.

how can those who had written telepathy for 278 and teri meri for 277, even begin to write janpath pendant pen drive bilge in the very next episode.

and really, now that rhea has brought in chip and dale... why were nk and khushi doing that loud act at the poolside. don't they know that place is meant for subtle, sheer romance... fairylights, almost kisses, hamari dhadkane, throwing out of bride, divine hurlings of i hate you, hum bhi aap se nafrat karte hain, even crick in the neck and a checkout by forum girls of colour of underwear.

no no this is not the place to be discussing jiju's, ugh i hate this jiju thing, plans. and suddenly khushi starts talking about asking the right questions. how that would lead them to finding out his whereabouts. really?

"jab humey in sab sawalon ke jawab mil jaayenge toh who jawab humey arnav ji ke paas le jayga," sounds very interesting as though many questions will be answered... well, they won't. this is a whole lot of meaningless talk to keep the audience hooked.

did not work... because the most important sawal had not been asked...

dear audience, are you fools?

it was just assumed we were.

really bad episode... lots of hamming.

to add ipk style to a supposedly tense episode, some crazy funnies were added... payal, akash and buaji got caught in the chameli tel and eye making tactics of ensnaring your man. i did giggle, but not for long.

nani was worried about her grandson. at last, someone was saying something is strange about the man not coming back.

a lot of tense eyes swiveling around and giving me a headache later, shyam decided to have a rude conversation with rocky and tell him to send gifts to asr's home from asr. why must he sound so crass and almost careless. one rather funny thing though, kidnappers are getting fed up... they were not paid to work for so many days, the idea was to finish off the guy... not keep him alive, tolerate his ways, take care of his diabetes... oh the everyday problems of hoods and those they call boss.

one more thing, shyam, asr is in scotland according to the fam. i don't think you get in chandni chowk the things scotland is known for... watching this nonsense is making me want to have a couple of quick shots of a typically scottish thing.

however, since star plus, 4 lions and all writers have decided we are indeed not too affected by grey cells, rocky does some shopping in daryaganj or wherever, puts it in a cardboard carton and sends it off to shantivan... direct from scotland.

actually harry potter is from there, maybe the story could do with some help from wizards and witches. or perhaps we could get another scottish gentleman and his wife over, since clearly a murder is in the making. i speak of mr and mrs macbeth. oh all the hubble and bubble and toil and trouble of kidnap... but, dear people, what's the plot.

never mind... a gorgeous man, now looking extremely tired in a room stacked with cartons and dust and forever shamelessly naked bulbs, has rushed around madly for a pen, he will write a note on a restaurant bill to his wife telling her he is close to this place.

being the only one with some serious grey cells here and with a complete lack of love for hamming and melodrama, he gets straight to the point... can't write his name, must write something the kidnapper won't get, but the wife will. so what should he write...

feel like yelling at writer. you had to find some way to do that cutesie pie laad governor love note thing, to help khushi and nk reach the hideout. couldn't you find anything to exploit other than nani's love? and she should have been asking this question a few times before, then it might have made some sense also.

all along there's a feeling that the story is being constantly pushed around, changes at will, practically every day.

and that khushi in red all over shyam in his lust, was nauseating.


kidnap episodes
episode rambles

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

episode 278 a conversation in hamesha

he said it simply, as though he spoke to someone right beside him, or someone right within him. there was no melodrama, nothing unusual in the way he asked, "khushi, sun sakti ho mujhe?"

and you didn't wonder at all when she raised her head in response, obviously she had heard. exactly as you knew she would, exactly as he knew she would. she perhaps wondered for a second if she'd heard right... almost as if understanding that he asked, "can you hear me?" but it was rhetorical in nature. of course, she could hear him.

i have a feeling this poised, completely calm and undramatised layout of the sequence made this conversation which was anything but usual, memorable, believable, beautiful and one of the best pieces of acting and writing and direction i have ever seen. telepathy or a real conversation between lovers, from its very beginning that first time i saw it, was extraordinary and like a gift from someone far away. i saw it on 19 june in 2012, a day that means much to me.

arnav singh raizada's voice sounded tired, it had been many days in captivity and he had intensely ached for her... she had come to him in a dream like space, he could feel her touch on him almost, he looked around wildly when he became conscious again of his dark and harsh cell, he called out "khushi!" a note of despair in his voice, troubled.

notes of kyun dard hai itna could be heard, portraying a state of mind... his... hers.

she heard him, sitting by their poolside miles away, she forlorn and lost, missing him, worried sick for him, almost on the verge of offering herself to the devil, just so she can reach him, in that state she stood where many things had happened between them and sent him her feelings of love... and then he called.

how could she not hear and go frantic. was he calling her? did he need her? then seeing she was alone here still, and knowing that the reality was what it was, she sat by the water and laid her head back, closing her eyes, thinking of him, her pain close to her breath.

when he knew she was not there, for she could not be, he put his head down on his folded arms. was he despondent? defeated?

and then in a clear reflection of that very first time they had met, she closed her eyes, even as he raised his head and opened his. a gust of wind rose and began to wrap two worlds together.

he looked around as if sensing something, maybe by now he knew when they were in sync, that pata chal jata hai thing. then with complete faith, believing this is possible, the one who always searched for rational veracity and validation opted for vishwas and took that essential leap of faith to ask... can you hear me?

the voice had balance and grace in it, there was control. this was not a desperate call, his reason was keenly functioning at the moment. his dimaag had not taken leave, it was routing the message of his heart his dil with maximum focus, there was an objective, a target... he meant to reach it.

and she smiled and said in reply... "hamesha!"

always, i can always here you
.had the conversation ended just there itself, it would have filled one with wonder, but they had a proper chat after this, a heart to heart, where two people told each other some things they simply needed to.

he knew where she might be, even in his grim surroundings, thought of her brought the light of stars.
"tum taarey dekh rahi ho na?" you are looking at the stars, aren't you, he asked.

"aapke aur hamare amma babu ji ko dekh rahi hoon," she replied she was looking at their parents.

in her pale yellow anarkali with wide gota border, her hair open, a glossy lipstick on slightly plumped up lips as though she had been crying, her body language fluid and graceful, she looked lovely, even more than usual, as if dressed for her man, waiting in the moonlight just for him.

along with remarkable acting there was direction that was sensitive and measured, an deep understanding of the emotion of this moment. in talash, which i saw a few months ago, kareena kapoor portrays the role of a girl who is always amidst us, yet not. she is really the spirit of a girl who is visible only to the male protagonist. this is revealed at the end. yet right through, kareena's performance and the details a director and the cinematographer added managed to create a sort of "separate" space for her within the frame.

here too, i felt, that sense of "otherness" being created, another space. one which not everyone can go to. perhaps that "kahin aur ek jagah" which ranjha had spoken of. they were both shown mainly in profile shots. they spoke sitting by themselves with voices turned slightly inward, a sense of reverie and reminiscence in their tone. she looked lovely, his eyes glittered. their words flowed and it was as if both could not only hear but also see the other.

"hamare parents ko..." our parents, he said. the dialogue writers as always gave him asr's words perfectly.

she responded to that... he had never said such a thing before.

he had to confide in her while marveling at the state of things, a faint smile on his face,"tumhe pata hai agar yeh baat mujhe kissine ek sal pahle kahi hoti, toh main usspe vishwas nahin karta..." if someone had said this to him a year back of course he wouldn't have believed it.

she smiled... yeah, she knows that.

"lekin aaj... ab mujhe lagta hai ki yeh baat sach hai..." but now, it seems to him that this is true. a simple direct statement. once asr gets something, he gets it and he sees no need to hide it or fight it or demur in any way. when his heart beat for her and he connected khushi's name to it, he accepted something his sister had gone on about and he had merrily pooh poohed.

now this about the stars. like truly strong people he is not essentially rigid though it may seem like that.
now this being a normal chat, khushi had to tell her husband, hey this is not about true and false, i told you this was about belief, "
humne aapse tab bhi kaha tha na baat sach ya jhoot ki nahin hai, baat vishwas ki hai."

she has had to hold onto this vishwas ever since she was a child, and today more than ever she needs this vishwas. how beautifully is this telepathic communication placed. just when she needs it most, he tells her i have belief in your belief... beautiful writing. they could have written anything they liked for this conversation and it would have made us sit up. but this is about somewhere khushi and asr coming together in a bond of vishwas.

the kind of bond you need to vanquish evil.

"ek atoot vishwas..." an utter belief, unbreakable, said khushi... felt as though she really needed it now.

you made me believe in this belief, he said, laughing a bit, arnav singh raizada does not believe in such things, they seem most flaky to him... but yet, that first time when he had cried for his mother alone and she had joined him to console him and tell him about her parents becoming stars, even then he had asked, can my mother see me? does she like what she sees.

we all forget when we see this stylish young man how ruthlessly his life has been shaken and turned upside down. inside him a child still wanting the love of a mother, a place of peace and solace. he had needed to have this faith and life sent him a girl who was all about that.

"tumne mujhe iss vishwas pe vishwas dilwaya..." then with a break in his voice and a smile, his submission to a feeling, a person, "yeh kya kar diya, khushi tumne mere saath..."

what is this you did with me, khushi. to allow someone in so much, to accept their importance in your existence, to submit to and embrace that feeling... ah love, what it does to us.

and then one day you are practically in each other... in moments of difficulty and despair, even when you are miles and more apart, all you have to do is quieten all the noise within and without, open your heart and

just talk.

"itni koshish ki, maine itni zyada koshish ki tumse nafrat kar sakoon,"
how hard he has tried to hate her... she listens intently, heaving, feeling the pain of that nafrat that perhaps she feared was what he would give her...

par main tumse nafrat kar hi nahin paya, mera khudka dil meri baat hi nahin maanta," but no, he couldn't hate her, his own heart wouldn't listen to him. he sounded almost shocked, imagine not listening to asr.

again in this rare moment we enter the crux of ipk... nafrat, mohabbat. the hate that would keep them apart seems to have been defeated by a love where even distance can't keep them apart.

she confesses, with a pout that too, now easing into this conversation, believing he is just here somewhere, that she had tried hard too, but failed, because her heart too would not yield, "aur humne kitni koshish
ki apse pyaar na karne ke liye. lekin hamare dilne bhi hamari baat nahin maani."

hey... hey... hey hey, the song of love will not stay quiet now.

he smiles... she feels things...

he rests back against the wall, reminiscing how whenever he was near her, he wanted to go away, yet the moment he did, he longed to be with her.
"lekin jaise hi tumse door jaata hoon... hamesha tumhare paas aane ka khayal rahta hai."

she opens her eyes. and now comes his ultimate realisation...

"i don't need anything else, khushi... i don't need anything."

all he needs is her... not even love. just khushi.

i have to just stay quiet and feel the beauty of this one sentence and the way it was said and heard.

so very real is this character. barun made asr say each and every word, not barun sobti the man who has loved a girl for years and is married to her... he seemed to rediscover the feeling of love as asr would experience it.

sanaya irani reached right into khushi and found her feelings, touched it with a little bit of sanka and a young girl's vulnerability and spoke into the night. she was almost 30 at the time, into a long term relationship, certainly no girl of 20 in love for the first time.

the loving wife companion mate consoled her lover who is in difficulty, who yearns for her, who is so far away... a maternal instinct almost to soothe, to make feel better.

"aap paas raho ya door par ho toh hamare saath hi na... yeh dooriyan hamare rishtey ko kamzore nahin bana sakti, kyunki hum ek doosre ko sun sakte hain, mehsoos kar saktey hain," near or far, you are always with me... distance can't weaken our relationship, because we can hear each other, feel each other...

he listened to her words. he smiled, strains of rabba vey floated up.

"ek doosre se baate kar sakte hain... abhi bhi hum baat hi toh kar rahe hain na?" we can talk to each other... that's what we are doing right now, aren't we?
she asked, a childlike fey note in her voice, almost wanting him to say, yes, yes we are, this is real... i am here.
you are with me, and very soon i will bring you back, she said... her face fell a bit, she missed him so much...a little tearful.

"yeh hamara vada hai, arnav ji," this is my promise to you, she averred.

there was a sad loneliness in the air. she put her hand on her heart... a million memories of dhadkane, saansey and dhakdhak went through my thoughts... on this planet, in this existence, their tie is established in the heartbeat, in the purest place in us perhaps, our sanctum sanctorum.

the heartbeats could be heard, and no though it's all sound effects and that too not the most sophisticated sort, it does not sound corny, it almost reassures.

piano notes came in, familiar, on their way to love.

and she asked him what he had started the whole conversation with, about being able to hear... you knew you were nearing the end of telepathy... nafrat had come, so had vishwas... now it was time for dhadkane. 

"aap sun sakte hain... hamare dil ki dhdkan..." you can hear my heart beats, can't you? she asked

he listened carefully...there it was... right in him...

a smile and "haan", yes, he said. she looked up.

"hamesha..." a completely asr short crisp sure hamesha. always.

5:05 said the counter. five minutes of scaling barriers, touching a place beyond and knowing yes, out there, somewhere, that other plane exists.

can human beings communicate in this manner? there was much noise the next day on the forum about this scene. i have no idea how i'd have reacted if it had not been executed with this smooth glissading tenor. i do believe that when you truly love and your heart is clean and selfless, your touch eternity... or so it feels like. it is a hard to explain feeling, but yes, if you can hear another's heart... you connect to yet another dimension of reality... or surreality if you like.

from the beginning ipk has touched on connection and something more than the here and the now. many love stories have done that, question is which ones did so convincingly. and beautifully in its own specific way. so you were touched and you felt its deeper recesses, sensed a universal story there.

have to say, when asr and khushi spoke like that it felt as though that's exactly what really happened.
the rest of the episode saw khushi take the plunge and go even deeper into luring shyam. while i found it creepy to see this whole thing, if i were in khushi's place i'd do anything to save arnav ji too... plus the writers were hugely stuck i think and decided to bring in an element of illicit yearnings and their bearing on things to keep the audience there, perhaps repulsed but yet fascinated. often repulsive things have that ability to make us want to look.

nk as friend and "sakha" urged khushi to think of what's to be done next and not get emotional.

in a weird parallel and perhaps to keep the episode balanced with a bit of humour we had payal fretting about party and bua ji telling her to come over so they can plan the way forward.

and anjali saw khushi standing right by her husband with a spoon of kheer in her hand, about to feed him, gave khushi a cool look too, yet later, none of all this would she recall later...

fifteen minutes passed by, the mind stayed talking and listing to the first five minutes. somewhere in it was hamesha.


kidnap episodes
episode rambles

episode 277 may i have this dance

sometimes a thing is so perfect i just sit back and watch astounded, a happiness spreading. i still remember the first time i saw this teri meri sequence. i had no idea that was about to happen... asr was sitting with his back against a wall, despair etched across his visage and loneliness, when suddenly he seemed to go right into himself and then this appartion like thing rose from within and walked out.

i had of course seen such things in movies and somehow asr doing that was just not in any way asr. by now the lack of barun had started taking its toll and i think i was ready to throw up my hands and do a dramatic shrug to denote this episode to was a goner... when i noticed a crazy weird wonder yearning something in his eyes and the white linen shirt... billowing... also there were fairy lights.

think my post the next day said, he has stolen that shirt from my cupboard since i am a white linen lover and often in my floaty white shirts.
he looked like a sailor who had spotted a mermaid while lost at sea and scatterbrained from too much sun.

i went looking for my piece on crooner and here is what i'd written to honeypriya, i feel exactly that even now:

hope you did read my note on the extra-logical space i roam with ipk.

this story pulls me somewhere else, makes me want to flow with it. you are right, its storyteller is different, touched by something way outside the normal span of television narratives. great writers often speak of how a character comes to life and leads the teller, has that happened with the story of ipk? does it call its writers to frontiers unknown and they follow finding the right path through sheer instinct and extreme skill?

i didn't see a dream there. i saw that flowing of two inseparables toward each other. she stood there on the spot where such dreams had started, a payal clasped on, and thought of him intensely. he lifted his head and left his body without volition as though he'd heard something and looked and there she was, in the colours of the surf, the waves, the ocean, the sky, and he in his pearlescent white went and merged with her. that perfectly poised streak of red on her forehead and the dance of ebb and flow told the tale of a man who longed for his mate, his patni, and a woman who grew from a girl to a woman only after he made a mark in her life. the words cascaded in perfect meaning and time stopped meaning anything. only three and a half minutes?

i floated with them for hours. they were in my room last night, i counted my loose white linen shirts, had he taken one of them?

i am so with you on this neo-surreal heightening of the story. it is precisely that. the linking of dreams from her nightmare amid thorns with its scattered pearls, payal, key. we have been touching those clues in reality, in surreality. and why surreality seems not at all absurd is because those who have loved know it isn't.

beyond the oceans, beyond the skies, where galaxies swim in endless seas, love takes you there and says, come meet. to flow into the vast embrace of this emotion you have to give hard reality a slip from time to time, for that's where the emotion lives, nurtures, grows; sometimes so much it becomes a story, a story we want to hear again and again. and feel in our lives.

for a while now, ever since the initial attraction between two people started to change colour and enter their beings, till love has found utterance in faraq padta hai and saansey ruk jaygi, we've been to extra real spaces with them. the dreams, the reveries, the hut with its magical trove of required things. i am spellbound by this daring stretch of imagination. grateful that someone was willing to take that risk.

(i have taken out a part i no longer feel the same about... shall chat about it at the end.)

sanaya looked beautiful yesterday. and i don't mean just physically. the girl growing up into a woman that i first witnessed on that walk from anjali's room to arnav and her room straight after his i love you, the one who fearlessly walked into her dream with him, extending her hand and silencing his remorse, she has grown even more into the woman who is his patni, in bangla a lovely word, stree. yes priya, i agree as yet an innocent wife, beautiful isn't it. oh she was definitely there with him today, and even after he returned to the cell and sat down, she took a moment before walking away slowly.

his "khushi!" bridged surreal and the three dimensions that bind us. as she spun around, desperation in her eyes, she was a wife who can hear the call as she lands back in reality and their meeting is over for the moment.

hitchcock comes to mind sometimes when i look at the kidnap and the planning and plotting. all of this is just red herring, mcguffin, the real story is that pyaar. and of course, sanaya, is classic hitchcock leading lady, cool on the outside, smouldering within. so we had read way back in college. didi ki saut they might have wanted to call it but iss pyaar ko kya naam doon? wanted to get written. so happy the writers didn't resist.

this is what i scribbled and edited as i watched the scene this time.

a girl stands waiting by the water thinking of the one she loves... classic lover's demeanour and pose, a lost air, bereft... viraha. she is radha, she is heer, she is khushi by their poolside and he isn't there. what use is the balcony to juliet if romeo isn't going to climb to it... what use is the poolside to khushi if arnav ji won't bully her here and make her walk backward in terror, in desire, or kiss her, or slip on that payal.

the stars shine up there... i think of you... payal, make me wear that payal again... brush the lock off my forehead, touch my face, love me... hold my dupatta in your hand draw me close... kiss me... i miss you... 

yet, he is not that far away, he can feel you thinking, he lifts his head, a baffling despair...

and from deep in him, a part does rise... that which nothing can shackle, nor harm, nor burn... na hannyate, it cannot be destroyed...

within us, the eternal part that is really truly us...

and before him she floats, also arisen... never to be held down or tied... she seeks him and he is here. he yearns for her and look, there she is.

this is the story of a love that perhaps should not be told, just felt. and danced to.

what might have been ridiculous... two actors never failed to make sublime.

the wind came swishing like the breath of the universe, saansey... and wrapped space in its dream...

among hard naked bulbs, fairy lights gleamed... in a hard, heartless space filled with cartons and odd wooden furniture, ladders, ropes and remarkably unpretty things, the essence of two people met and merged and made love and everything was, in direct contrast to what was all around, absolutely beautiful. 

it was a set and yet it was not... 

a girl in white with trimmings of prussian blue stood with an air that said she was sad, she missed him, where was he...

a white shirt billowed, here, i was here all the time... sand and surf and oceans met, pearls dropped through the mingling...

where are you? i am here... your and mine, mine and your... our story of love is difficult...

why do you smile at me, girl in flying dupatta, always there you're always there, the touch of your dupatta near my bosom, my chest...

how her dupatta always knew how to find him... unerringly from that day at the mazar and so many times later... and when a dupatta flew from his hand, it had known where to land... where to find her.

the wind rises and calls the lovers to prayer, to belief, for this is a temple surely, a place sacred and precious and pure... (so those sham temple bells were perhaps perfectly placed here, who knows.)

walk, i will walk to you, lover, crossing barriers that i have carefully nurtured and held my world steady with... walls of reason, impenetrable, insurmountable, but see i walk through it now and over it... for the wind does call...

and i will come to you like a wave, the ocean or am i just a sad lonely girl by the water, missing my lover...  yet here i am, come to you... reason? was there ever a need for that, did my heart ever grasp one, i was here even when reason said i oughtn't be.

teri meri meri teri
prem kahani hai mushkil...
do lavzon mein yeh bayan na ho paye

ek doojey se hue jooda jab ek dooje ke liye bane...

lovers meet and unite... feel and touch each other... turn and flow without any shame, any taboo, skin invites the feel of love, skin awakens and reaches... the flesh is as much a part of our essential selves, and our identity too.

his arm reached out when she reached him and he touched her lower back with a sense of right, possessive, he jerked her close to him, slamming against her skin. she stayed there straining against him, her body arched...

the first time they danced to these words together, they both longed yet didn't know how to say it even to themselves... yet before everyone their desire did assert itself and take them away to a world where no one but they were present... there was an escape from the three dimensional even then.

now they both know what they seek, and their yearning gathers force creating a world where indeed no one but just the two of them embrace, circle, hold and possess and speak of love without saying a word... in a parallel realm. and the song plays.

he held her face in his hands not quite believing it was indeed she. and she was gone. he felt lost, but then she came running to him and held him tight... she told him she couldn't live without him perhaps. he turned and grasped her in the most tender and yet sensual embrace...
tumse dil jo lagaya toh jahan maine paya...

kyun khuda tuney aisa mujhe khab a dikhaya jab haqiqat mein use todna tha...

he smiled at her as he sang... why such dreams must be shown if they are only to be broken.

the walls returned and the naked bulb, he was alone. but "khushi!" he said out loud as though calling out to someone not too far away... and she did hear him.

she did. every time.


however the first time i saw this episode, i had written some things which i no longer view the same way... at that point i had not seen the whole show and was still brimming with hope. i wrote:

"anjali got an obvious and clear moment to start getting curious. nice opening.

shyam at the poolside, i rather enjoyed, again great writing, there was his desire to be everything he isn't namely, asr. that's the feeling i got. if only a poolside and a chair and a few billion rupees is all it took to make an asr."

yes, anjali could have grown into a really interesting character, had they stuck to an idea and progressed it. she saw khushi and shyam together a couple of times, even noticed it, yet later these were not even referred to.

and no, this time when i saw shyam at the poolside, i just wanted to haul him up and throw him out. but it was a clever way of telling us just how badly he wanted to be as big and on top of things as his saaley saab. so he sat on asr's chair at asr's poolside and planned to swipe asr's money, property and yes, asr's wife.

might have been great, but again, weak melodramatic dialogues and loud direction and acting.

one last thought: there were two palats by khushi in the episode. one to shyam and the other to asr... i wonder again was this mirroring thing done deliberately or it was just a coincidence.


kidnap episodes
episode rambles

episodes 273 - 276 players and lovers

disjointed for some reason and utterly flat episodes. no peaks, no troughs, a bland plain where some supposedly interesting angles were introduced but somehow failed to capture interest. though, yes, that khushi getting ready to play the game her way and engage shyam using his weakness, herself, might have, just might have, been terrifically exciting, but again, something was dull... and really if this is the bid, you either go all the way, or not at all.

my take is that at least. the need to constantly show how concerned khushi was about her having to be near shyam, to establish to the viewer that she is such an achchi ladki, i feel weakened the character. at least in the execution of her worry and revulsion.

if we are to say, she is warrior like now, eye only on her aim... of course, this is focused on in many ways in our epics and somewhere we understand its implications... then khushi ought to be almost ruthless in this pursuit... and if for any reason i want to see khushi trying to grapple with this decision, completely repulsed by the cretin she must befriend and his horrific touch, then it must be her own way... with the requisite sanka.. sorry, that is how i see her character... her switch to jalebi, to talking silly, gives her a break... from this really difficult world... so suddenly to make her mundane and mopey... nahiiin. i protest.

when a perfect stranger whom she had never set eyes on before, incarcerated her, interrogated her, was vicious in his words and completely egregious in action ripping her dori... almost an assault on her sexually at one level, and thanks to which her sister's marriage didn't go through, she got up in the middle of the night and fried jalebi.

we did not think that was weird... we thought this was this girl... khushi started taking shape in our heads. and no, she had no reason to believe he was actually a decent guy, just the opposite. there was a poignancy in her action... funny it may seem but we knew how broken she is, how rotten she felt, and somewhere that man's unbelievable assault was ringing in her. but we saw a fighter too.

i missed that girl in this so called great plot development.

episode 273
khushi ponders whether shyam might be the culprit. lovely scene of her pacing and wondering, hair flying around, given to the moment. she finds out his blood group is o negative, but i wonder can one really give a q-tip soaked in blood and determine blood type. if one can, no problem, but if one can't... why this silliness?

she took care of her sister in law, sounding stern. anjali told us how this reminded her of chhotey. then that comparison between her husband and brother, both being so similar in matters concerning her health.

i always found that mirroring of shyam and asr interesting. both were self made, both individualistic, sharp, men who wanted to lead their lives their own way... yet they were absolute opposites essentially.

she finally accepted it must be shyam... and then did a fairly impetuous thing. i am not sure that was like her. of course, it was the most obvious way to show nk finding out about the kidnap. decently done scene, though a tad obvious.

i like nk's character... his straightforwardness has power in it and speaks again of a personality... this character can evolve in lovely ways i used to think, wonder what he'd be like in love... real heartbreak type love.

he asks if indeed what she says is the truth. i liked the natural dialogues and that energetic nanhe ji thing, the innocence. akshay dogra has said later i think he was a bit upset that karan g was brought in to be khushi's friend in the search for asr. i have to say, i agree with the writers in seeing a better match between kkg and nanhe ji. also that sliiight touch of a man woman thing, given that once nk wanted to go with her on a tareekh adds to this whole thing, plus nk always felt more alive and fun and somehow strong as compared to akash. again my take.

episode 274

at last nk accepts jeeju dear really is the baddie.

"baat arnavji ki hai nanhe ji... hum usse..." it's about arnav ji, khushi lets slip her feelings for her husband before her friend.

nk will of course be like krishna, the friend of draupadi in her hour of trouble. he will protect her when her character is questioned. he will stand by her no matter what... and he will say his piece fearlessly... completely above soap shenanigans of slow motion and extra close ups and stuff... nk is the ultimate normal guy. unheard of in indian soap i think. which is why i have always found him rare. and karan g a pretty neat actor.

of course, he has to say,
"filler mat kijiye!"  in stead of "fikar mat kijiye!" nice touch there... this was yet another filler episode and some writer just had to crack a joke.
there raksha puja the next day... for suraksha, safety, and of course it's in asr's name... and of course, if you have to spy around in the enemy's room the only way this can be achieved if you are in ipk is that a havan has to be on at that moment for you to be able to sneak away.

how many times have we seen a havan as a means of establishing something that has nothing to do with the havan? tiring.

and what was that "spying" scene of the detective jodi peering into the room at the door? so no one could see them?

anjali looked so happy and full of hope for her baby, which unethical absolutely useless writer/producer/whoever decided the child had to die? for the longest time i had hoped, ipk would do a soap on me and bring the baby back later. some ridiculous tale of how a nurse took the eight month old child, or even shyam had the child kept alive to use later or whatever. i'd have bought any story. alas.

suddenly an attempt at humour with "hp wahan guzar gaya..." hp has died there instead of "tapak gaya."

the most exaggerated and unreal search for the key to shyam's attache case. a filler in the middle of the week, it was 13 june, wednesday. i must have been irritated that i stayed up till midnight to watch this.

episode 275

a lot of sk travels talk and a boarding pass and passport are found in shyam's 1970s style brief case.

mami was refreshingly weird, and to ward off kidnappers' black magic, suggested wearing nimboo mirchi instead of earrings. i giggled at the senseless nonsense, it was better than things that seemingly made sense.

in order to stop shyam from going to his room and discovering nk, khushi grabs and holds shyam's hand...huh?

the look on shyam's face, ugh.

she comes to get 2 lakh rupees from di, shyam intrigued... the trap shyam game starts. i am giggling at the doh lakh, what a tycoon would casually spend on a bag, one which hasn't even seen. so cute.

episode 276

entrapment is on.

khushi will ensnare shyam and make hi believe she hates asr. there was certain energy to the episode, sanaya was good, shyam overacted.

"sach sunna hai na... toh suniya... kyunki humein sab kuch chahiye, unka paisa, unki ghar, unka business, sab kuch..." she wants everything and that is the truth.

"ek ek tukda!" she wants

"kyun..." why? gobsmacked is our shyam at this new khushi ji.

khushi says she hates both the men.. him and asr. she seeks revenge.

thankfully shyam took a while to swallow this hindi movie story.

suddenly shyam is slapping people in a godown... and the man is there.

i sat up and stared. felt like i was in tune with this alien show again.

someone kicks a box away.. man in white vest, black track pants. it is thursday...

he prowls... uff.

quick hands try to fix a phone... a worry, something sad about him... he needs to be home..

first word... "khushi..."

the phone rings, she picks it up and starts to say hello, but then she stops... she senses it is him.

a wrap of wind around the two lovers. that mehsoos of each other. an endless moment of just knowing you are there.

the hair flies. he stops too, a little intimate pause in a life overlaid with too much reality.

hey hey, hey hey hey, their song is playing. all the signs that say asr khushi love are here and on a day she has decided to trap shyam using herself.

she holds the phone in both hands, as if she holds him, as if she clings to a reality she so badly needs instead of this nightmare they are in.

he is almost sobbing... their is such pain in his expression, as though he is beside himself with an emotion. just a few minutes ago he was dejected, angry, then frantically working to make a phone work... and then his first call, not to anyone else... just khushi.

in the darkness as if he finally saw the purest beam of light and knew once and for all what it was that mattered that he did give a damn about.

i miss the magnificent man in suit and utter command who had found her in the dark one night before rakhi and yelled and screamed and thrown her out of his home. even then he had felt things he couldn't control and worse still, couldn't identify, even now. only now, he doesn't even wish to control it and he has finally identified it.

i love the simplicity of this man once he has given himself to this love.

he starts, "khu..." she too says, "arnav ji!" their words touch and enmesh.

suddenly she is practical... where are you?

she wants to tell him who is behind all this.

but khushi stop stop! please. what he wants to say must be said first.

"nahin pehle mujhe baat karni hai... jo maine kehna hai woh aur bhi zaroori hai..." he apologises for hurting her...

i think, yes, this is the first time they are meeting after the night in the hut... even if on the phone. so that is why he was close to tears, he has hurt her.

it was only barun's heartfelt emotion which made the scene work for me, because i really did not understand the hit on the head bit... the asr i know would never do that. hitting someone on the head can have the most horrendous repercussions...

"you know i will never be able to forgive myself..." he avers. i felt sorry for the man. really.

in the meantime, we realise, this is a trap laid by shyam... the cat and mouse game. he wants to know if khushi will tell him about the call. some truly bad direction and terrible overacting by shyam. i wish they had kept him subtle and nuanced. so wish they had.

there's talk of the sounds asr hears and khushi can too over the phone... train, bells of a temple. why am i thinking of yaadon ki baraat?

she tells her husband everything but he hears nothing. a little predictable this bit, but something quite stunning in the sudden pull out on asr's face in half shadow. that look in his eyes. how barun understands his character in a situation. laudable really. 


kidnap episodes
episode rambles

episode 272 a villain and a goddess

it wasn't easy getting here to write my thoughts. despite the rather stirring scenes that opened the episode, the emptiness echoing in me seems to override everything.

this time round i know where all this is headed. which is actually... nowhere. this is extreme timepass while everyone waits for barun to be able to give more time. that was really the pity of the whole thing... if that wild violence and beating up of a man led to a story told well, we might have hit classic drama... i recall seeing the untouchables while in my twenties... blood erupting across the screen, spraying on walls, bodies letting go of life and slumpin, gory, terrible. i remember the godfather and its violence. i must have been 15 or 16 when i saw it... but all of that made perfect sense. stayed logged in the memory cells as, ah that was some movie. so good.

here... it all came to naught. pity is really that. because the actor and the henchman were actually pretty neat. better than many, these henchies, geography teacher like rotund boy included.

then there was the elaborate "reveal" of the boss. ah it is shyam. oh it is shyam. really, it is shyam?

much melodrama to get him out of the dark into light as we are brought into it too. first the hand and bracelet of course... oh, i know that... the felt the first time i'd seeen this i think i'd had a sinking feeling of disappointment. making a villain is no easy task...especially the filmi type villainiya shyam finally was moulded to.

yaadon ki baraat. dharmendra in black. ajit is white. i know and everyone else around that ajit is shakal... the man a boy had seen killing his parents. today the boy is all grown up but he remembers the man wore shoes of different sizes. then at the right moment, the man we all loved to mimic... ajit... his legs go up onto the desk at and the different sizes are instantly noticed by the hero... the truth hits dharmendra hard.

it was quite a scene really... smooth, filmy, unreal yet exciting, and this despite not having several six pack torsos onscreen.  in fact, i think the hero wore a wig, the villain certainly did. while amjad's brother imtiaz khan looked slithery in orange...

if you'd like to see the scene, it's here on vimeo:
that shoe reveal is in my memory for years and i think the concept was perhaps gypped from an angreji phillum. somehow the blue turquoise bracelet, also kept alive from the first day we met shyam, just doesn't do it. nor does the rather apt dhaiya ho, also with us since day one of shyam. and that i think is mainly to do with the writing, also directing from a distance and acting that is losing touch.

so yeah, seven odd unnecessary minutes. all of it could have been done in a couple. and who reads a will standing out on the road then loudly wonders about how to kill off someone. surely this is not the clever dude, man in black kidnapper? and what's that rocking chair doing there? now which movie was that filched from? psycho? was there a little joke there and a deep prayer to the movie greats to save this shyam this sham this show?

also what happened to the clause about accidental death then? thank g not too many lawyers were ipk fans. one profession and idea too often profaned here. i will never forget asr saying khushi is his legally wedded wife and that meaning nothing to no one. also if legally wedded, would have been nice if they established it somewhere before the show ended.

anyway... asr's beautiful arms, wanting to reach, to do damage, to unmask the offender, very touching. noticed the whole episode was shown through a lot of hand and arm shots... then there were the feet of khushi... and a head coming to close to the boss's feet.

there were two things that sort of did make an impression. one was the little drama three women in brown suits put up for a girl who missed her suited booted man. little did these ladies realise that now she yearns for him in his vest... she sees him crossing the boundary and walking toward her with only desire, pretty naked, in his eyes... or she sees herself running to him in a filthy godown, throwing herself on his blue shirt chest... yeah he had left in a suit, but alas...

very loving scene by three good actresses. and this family love, which managed to stay not nauseating despite it being a hindi soap, where for quite a while effort was made to build individual characters, not even very predictable ones, and the vibe the actors shared was so good, often gave ipk a great place to escape to when everything was off.

along with khushi i lost myself in the sweetness of it. sometimes fam does do weird stuff to make a loved one happy. here they were really bizarre in brown, but oh i did think of the hot one, especially on the morning he walked down the gh verandah looking at her. maybe that was the intention back of director's mind.

and did you notice, anjali spoke of rain? last year's rain. oooph. she remembered two scenes, the khushi sneezing one did not look right... and pity, khushi did not have a flashback of a man rushing out of nowhere and catching her and spinning away taking her to safety. holding her... it seemed for an eternity... like he'd never let her go.

but even without the flashback, the heart swelled and sighed. ah rain. really, chhotey shuts all windows and sleeps with ac on at high? why is he so d real... why?

the other scene was the patch up with dm. i am not much for mixing religion with entertainment. and so often is it used to make you buy some idea or manipulate you. but the concept of ishta devata, your personal god, or rather your personal take on the eternal is i think quite prevalent in hindu thought. i know too little to comment. but i have had mine, and i still do... and this is a private and personal matter.

to that extent, the way khushi's relationship with dm was handled, i really enjoyed it. yeah, there was a bit of the unreal chunari floating thing, but that is fine with me, a bit of flight is always okay in creative things... and really i too have looked for signs, so if khushi reads them... who am i to make fun of her.

but mainly it was her relationship with dm that i really enjoyed and thought was central to khushi's personality... helped us see and read her and connect with her too. an orphan girl always chirpy, trying to make things better. that was her strong and revealed side. but surely there was vulnerability inside? a feeling that no one was really her '"own"? a fear even and trepidation? surely she quaked and felt tremors inside, just sometimes?

this is an orphan girl's very deep relationship, made of her own free will, the only the only relationship perhaps, beside with asr, where she has and happily exercises "huq." her right.

right from day one it is there... she is not scared of dm, never fears dm will desert her. she owns and loves and possesess dm. she feeds her what she wants to, chats with her about everything, requests her to show signs, loves her and wants her love. reaches always for her blessings. and then when her whole world crumbles and she has no one to turn to, she goes to her... dm with her unmoving idol, unblinking eyes...

and she fights with dm.

all her anger, all her frustration... all her hurt... every bit of helplessness... and pain sadness confusion fury, with all of it, she goes to the one over whom she has eternal right.

her god.

her dm.

and raves and rants.

and says, go, won't talk to you... katti.

but now, now that such difficulty is upon her... now that the man who tormented her and whose tormenting she d rather live with than the love of another... now that he is in such terrible trouble... and her heart is breaking, her mind ripping at the memory of the state she saw him.. again.. she can go to no one...

but she can go to the one.

the one who is always hers.

whom she can rave and rant at and love and cajole and who will be there no matter what.

her devi maiyya.

khushi's going to see her, straight after the overwhelming moments with her family wearing suits and her heart immersed in missing him, wanting to get him out of the hell he is in, was significant and poignant.

i liked the way the director showed her hesitation with the halting feet. and i did like the way khushi slipped back into her chatty conversing style with dm... and though she did not do too much of drama, she told dm how badly she needed her man. that the same one who had taken her away from dm, brings her back.. don't let him suffer. let me.

for whatever reason... i do think some people actually talk like that and are as desperate to make the one they love feel okay, make them safe.

sanaya was for a few moments again the khushi i knew. i had really liked her raging at devi maiyya the night of suffocating terror and hurt.
khushi had to show her feelings on something... someone... and she had not been turned into achhi bahu yet, so she could do the anger so beautifully. so need to sweeten the whole thing. thank dm.
and today too she slipped back into her relationship with the ease only the deepest of relationships allow... that say, no need to explain, i need you too... and yes, i like the thought that the divine needs to be told your thoughts, your mind... omniscient is the divine but i as human have been given the ability to have free will, that can be exercised only if i can state what it is that i want in the first place.

and when the chunari came via the purohit i was happy for khushi. she needed something today.


and that only her divine one could give.

it was like a master within had reach out and given direction.

perhaps there is a master like that within all of us. and i hope we all find that one within.

can i please hit shyam sham shambles on his snout and please what's with the hairstyle. uff such a waste of an opportunity to create a full masala villain. every hero needs one really. asr deserved better. and that down there was a ridiculous scene... even when i realised director wants me to connect it to the blood that had fallen on shyam's shoe, didn't make me feel better... at all.


kidnap episodes
episode rambles


episode 271 call home my warrior

it is of utmost importance to realize that the warrior's approach should be simple-minded sometimes, very simple and straightforward. that makes it very beautiful: you having nothing up your sleeve; therefore a sense of genuineness comes through. that is decency.
~~~chogyam trungpa~~~

there was something obscene and real about rocky, the character and also his actor. a thoughtless brutality in him. the idea of flinging chilli powder into his eyes was not a bad one i thought, though the scene felt a bit flat.

what i did enjoy though, was manorama's anger. her need to come flying back to give him a few thwacks with a ladle or whatever. how dare he touch her arnav bitwa. i have been thinking these past few days that the other really good actor in ipk was utkarsha naik... she got her character and knew instinctively how to give mami ji dimension without messing with the exaggerated caricature sketch... something really thrilling about good acting, for me at least. can even make me completely forget bad or mediocre writing. that sense of connection, it brings me in front of the screen...

manorama comes, unlike the raizadas, from a tougher world, survival is key here, you must learn the art... she is a feisty nasty survivor... very difficult to take down really. and just as asr has a funny soft corner for this strange crass woman, so does she for her formidable nephew in law, never mind that he is more successful than her akash bitwa... in fact that success itself she perhaps is even more attracted to and awed by. lovely relationship there between manorama and arnav bitwa.

khushi clings to mami ji after mami saves her, "shukriya, mami ji," she knows rocky was quite capable of pulling that trigger. manorama has just saved her life. a bond is being established between the two bahus of the raizadas... and when i saw it the first time since i had no idea of what was to come, i thoroughly enjoyed this growth of  a new friendship between two unlikely candidates. felt real and yes, very ipk. remember that little dhak dhak between bedi ji and bua ji? i even enjoyed manorama struggling to remain crusty and calling her phattee sari... she likes being her weird self and does not want to seem

kidnapper said, "dammit"?!!!

what, he watches ipk, is it?

next thing i know there is shyam in silhouette... he looked so familiar, but as i have mentioned elsewhere, i kept thinking he is the stooge, the real baddie was another one... perhaps a sheesh mahal man.

having decoded more than what mr holmes would have from a restaurant bill, the detectives arrive at yet another warehouse sort of place.

and then suddenly, bits of filthy vest and a man with hands tied behind his back, black pants...


asr is in a godown like space, teetering, lost...trying to feel the room, read it despite that blindfold. 

he falls against a high stool, he kicks it... there's still plenty fight in him.

what have they done to him...asr... i am horrified really, it was so painful to watch these scenes... i wanted to laugh it off and say, "yaar, this is a silly serial, relax..." i could not. not even on my nth view.

the raw, screaming shots, the harsh heartless air, a lean man, wiry and determined with a cruel blindfold and hands flicked behind him, bound.seemed the director had suddenly found focus and joy again.

he is trying to assess the space. he is trying to kick open a door... "yaaa!" he yells as he summons all his strength to tell his foe he is not down. not yet. never.

suddenly... "boss agaye", the boss is here, off screen.

shyam arrives, shots in silhouette all through. he sits on a rocking chair. why this added drama? there is talk of the two women and how the girl just wouldn't let go.

asr hears this on the other side of the door. he feels things, and in that state barun emotes asr's need, his desperate fear that khushi might be in danger...

a quiet voice in him, a voice that so wants to see khushi safe, so wants to never let any harm come to her... this is the man who dragged her up the temple steps, this is the man who threw himself in the way of danger for her... everything really for her...

"nahin khushi, tumhe yahan nahin ana chahiye, i really i really hope tum yahan nahin pahunchi ho..." no khushi you should not come here... i really really hope you haven't reached here... lovely take... the mind is still asr... cool, edge of anger... just love.

"main nahin chahta tum wapas kissi musibat mein phas jaao... no khushi no," i don't want you to get into trouble again.

he is fearful for her... he can't stop worrying.

and as the thoughts come, a sensation... that gust of wind...

she feels it too sitting somewhere outside...

the sensing... corny yes, but he convinces me, so does she...

"mami ji, humara dil kah raha ki arnav ji yahin kahin hain..." mami ji, my heart says arnav ji is somewhere here. and rabba vey fills the air. was it a ridiculous rabba vey? i don't know. i liked it... i think they can sense each other... people who care deeply can. and there was something poignant and beautiful really in the connection they felt, in a man with his eyes closed but his heart all seeing, a girl with fear choking her but her heart strong and in love.

why is shyam pointing at people and getting all melodramatic? suddenly he is hyped up and like a villain from amasala movie, the "boss"... what he would be the next shakal, mugambo, or what gabbar... abhaas actually mentioned joker once i think. shyam wishes.

in the mean time, the man is going nuts kicking the door. he wants to get these guys riled... i love this reading of asr. he is not one to sit quietly, fearing detection, death... he rages, he defies, he demands acknowledgement, he plans, he fights back.

"bilkul teda hai yeh," absolutely not straight is he, complains rocky. yes. teda... that's what he is.

she wears a teda choti showing her tedaness... and he is teda incarnate... so rocky, try as you might that "dammit" won't make you him. you are too straight and predictable.

four vicious large men walk in to take on the thin, fearless one. they draw him into a fight... the egregious uncouthness of the whole thing. his hands are tied, he can't see. and they surround him, baiting.

asr moves beautifully, sensing, slicing the air with his hands and legs, scoring... a ballet like feel to the sequence. a harsh ballet though.. again i think of jason bourne and his memories of fighting blindfolded... che sah, the words that whisper in him... a blurred memory, like an echo around these scenes...

we have seen many sides of asr... the tycoon, the arrogant ruthless businessman, the loving brother, the hurting son, the rebel, the heartless one, the man in command, the irate husband, the atheist, the intelligent manipulator, the mate, the lover... it was now another side coming into focus... the warrior.

physically and in the mind, he is a warrior.  and among the most magnificent of them.

i found the treatment almost like big screen movies and that vest was so so filthy and the man absolutely into the role... magnificent, i couldn't help but think... and i really felt terrible watching him suffer, then elated when he scored... the asr music played of course and i did sort of smile.

but finally it was time to get down to business, the quarry had been played with enough. it was time for chloroform and knockout...

then three men carried the beautiful warrior out and a rabba ve had to raise its wail as he is taken away. and like the payal... the blindfold fell..

watching him being taken away, his wife almost lost her mind... a terrible moment. it was also a beautiful one... she loved him, keeping sane in that state was not possible, they were taking her arnav ji away, so even though her mind noted the warnings from mami ji, her instincts would not be curbed, she rushed after the disappearing van yelling at the top of her voice, "arnav ji! arnav ji..." her life was in that can, nothing else mattered.

move swift as the wind and closely-formed as the wood. attack like the fire and be still as the mountain.
~~~ sun tzu, the art of war~~~

when he came to, he was sprawled on a sofa. again instinct, he balled his fist, ready to fight... he was in danger he seemed to know... nice direction, that fist. he woke up, looked around, mind ticking, he stood up and searched, a crack in the door showed him a posse of men outside... what eh couldn't see was shyam in black in an elaborate set up designed to hide him giving instructions with his hands... not speaking. so he does fear saaley saab... he knows asr is quite capable of figuring out who he is... you know shyam, you are right to fear his mind... it's the writers that decided otherwise... and so despite coming that close to you, he did not recognise you.

the first time i saw 271 i loved the dramatic fight... not the one at the end, the blindfolded one... but later when i realised kidnap had no meaning, somehow all this violence seemed meaningless and self indulgent. and no, it did not bring in trp.

i like it when it goes all dark in ipk, darkness is a repeated motif here... often the most important truths come to light in the dark or soon after the it is dispelled. a sense of dhoop chaon, chiaroscuro with marked contrast between light and shade in it. 

kidnap episodes
episode rambles