Friday, 31 July 2015

without you: chapter 9

"what did we hear?
it was the breath we took when we first met.
listen. it is here."
~~~ harold pinter ~~~

"jaa rahi ho?" his voice was soft, husky, with that grain that was his. only his.

(are you going away?)

she closed her eyes, a rush of blood, crimson, gushing, pounding coursed through her toes, her gut, her head, her ears.

she whirled around.

and looked straight into chocolate brown eyes. glittering.


her entire being went dead cold, then everything seemed to come alive in an instant. a pulsating heat in every pore, her ears were ringing, her head felt woozy, and she couldn't breathe. as though if she did inhale or exhale something might shift, something might change, and she couldn't let that happen. it had to be here just this way. nothing must change.

she knew then in her heart, deep down, she had indeed thought he would die.

she would lose him, no matter how hard she tried, how much she spoke, how much she dressed up and went about a day as though all were normal. through almost two months of the strangest days, she'd kept her head as best she could; gathered every shred, every ounce of courage she had; fought back. yet in a tight little dark core had sat this thought.

he would die. death. that terrible hamesha. forever.

her eyes gazed into his. for the longest moment. ever. she hadn't seen his eyes, chocolatey, melting, velvet brown for so many days. and how they sparkled, a light in them. life in them. alive.

he saw her whirl around. he saw her go cold, he felt her breath cease, holding the moment. he held on to her pallu.

who was she? this ethereal beautiful creature? had he seen her before? where had she come from? far away or near?

he was dragging her up the steps of a temple. the night was unforgiving, fires raged within. her wrist was crushed in his grip, her tears flowed, her crimson lehenga studded with a million sequins gleamed, a scream for help? but who was listening.

as fire and the eternal as witness, and in the presence of the night and the winds that howled, the temple bells that rang out timeless words of union, they stood face to face, eye to eye, a man and a woman; caught in a moment where breath would stop and begin.

he thrust a chain of black beads and a touch of pure gold around her neck. she stood still, unable to fathom the claim of a disdained mangalsutra. you are mine, it seemed to say. dismissive fingers took a pinch of vermillion from a ready platter as if someone knew he would come, he would come looking for this one day. he had to hurt her, he had to make her his. you are mine, said his eyes. you are nothing, said his lips, no one to me, just the signs of a wife, but not her place... cruel fingers marked her with red, a sacred streak of sindoor so false. i am the truth, it seemed to say. she had no words...

she was so lovely, all he wanted to do was fold her in his arms and say, "how could you do this to me?"

he wanted to lift her up in his arms and walk down those stairs, drive her to a midnight pool under the stars and make love to her all night. "don't you know how i feel?" he wanted to ask her as he covered her face with a hundred kisses, ran his fingers through her loosened chestnut brown hair, buried his face in their silken wiles, felt her skin melt at his touch. he wanted to hear her silent permission to undo that dori of her tunic, to run his fingers up her arms leaving a trail of goosebumps, to hear her moan when he gazed at her perfect body then took her in love, in only adoration. to hear her sigh when they reached where they'd been coming to all along. ever since that moment in a bright blue morning pool. and a plunge that took them drowning. all the way to breathless.

that endless moment.

he could feel her quivering body, her eyes were tight shut, her long lashes seemed to carry a tremble, he pressed his lips on them. who are you, have i known you before, have i never not known you?

the sunlight gleamed and winked on the bright blue waters.

a large blue metal monster came hurtling out of nowhere, raucous afternoon sun.

"khushi!" desperation mingled with yearning.


he was sitting up in bed and pulling her pallu hard all at once. she fell almost on him as she lost balance, his arms reached up urgently and pulled her close in a tight hug, tighter still.

he was shaking, breathing hard, she started getting worried... what was happening to him?

"khushi!" a hoarse whisper, "tum theek ho?"

(khushi, are you okay?)

she wondered what he meant.

"that bus... khushi! i pushed you... are you ok, baby... are you ok, my darling? you're ok, aren't you... why do i always hurt you?"

as he spoke almost incoherent in the turbulence of his feelings, he could see a boy turning away leaving a beautiful woman alone in a garden... but she was smiling. when he looked again, the boy was a man... a man he knew. it was him, arnav singh raizada. and he had to get to that girl on that hot afternoon road, he had pushed her.

"khushi! tum chup kyun ho?" he wanted to hear her voice. so long, for so long he hadn't heard her it seemed. only sometimes in a dream, in a drowsy haze, in some place far far away.

(khushi, why are you silent?)

"arnav ji," at last she spoke.

his body eased at the sound of her clear soft yet strong voice. though he held her even closer.

she couldn't believe he was here. sitting up on the bed, holding her, talking. she began to smile. no matter what happened, he was here.

that's all that mattered.

she lifted her hand and touched his hair, soft and thick it was and springy to touch, "arnav ji," she said just enjoying saying his name, knowing for sure, he could hear her. her hand explored his head, then traced the ridge of his earlobe, she loved his ears, she loved what happened to him when she nibbled them lightly.

her hand moved down as she stroked his long lean back, gently, yet possessively. her arnav, and he was here. the tears had to come at some point she knew and now she could feel one squeezing out of the corner of her eye, flowing down the side of her nose as her head rested on his shoulder, then making its way over the bridge to fall on the nape of his neck. first one, then another, and then...

"tum ro rahi ho?" he had felt the warm saline drops.

(you're crying?)

she shook her head, averting her face further so he wouldn't see. he pushed her gently away and looked at her, a finger under her chin lifted her face, warm brown eyes gazed into moist dark hazel ones.

"shh, shh," he soothed her, as he brushed the tears away... "i am here, you are safe..."

she smiled at his words. this was the man she loved. he had been practically killed by a rampaging bus, his ribs were broken, there had been damage to some organs, he had just been in a coma for almost two months, yet the moment he comes to, he is the master of the situation, the man in command. he holds her and assures her, she is safe. he is here. always strong, a man of himmat since he was a boy, always there for those he loved.

oh, arnav singh raizada, i just love you madly, she thought. paagalon ki tarah.

"kya?" he asked, as if he'd heard her thought.


"kuch nahin... arnav ji. sirf yeh, bas," she let her arms go back around him and held him close. the two sat there, quiet, it was enough to know the other was there.

(nothing... arnav ji. only this, that's all.)

but this was not a man known to stay still long. and he'd just been kept captive to this very thing for almost 60 days.

everything in him seemed to want to move, to grab back life, to reclaim dynamism. his limbs wanted to spring out of bed and start doing things, his heart raced with a feeling of freedom, his mind buzzed taking note of all that he'd been away from so long.

matter of habit, his eyes sought out the pool by his room; the ripples, the reflections, his land of thought and reverie. oh it was beautiful to be here... he gave her a little squeeze. and for the first time in a long long time, a smile touched the corner of his lips.

he was here and she was in his arms. he pushed her back again and looked at her once more. she saw his smile, that lopsided asr smile, and felt something lodge in her throat. again that feeling she couldn't breathe. really, khushi kumari gupta, she thought, tu kitni nautanki hai, you're such a drama queen, sanka devi! bua ji is right! but try as she might she couldn't pretend she wasn't completely overcome by the feeling of him.

he was alive. he was here. he was holding her. she reached up and pecked him on his cheek. her reward was that sweet smile, the sweetest smile on earth she could have sworn. her diabetic pati dev, with the purest sweetness in him.

he looked at her and wondered how he'd survived without all this so long? or maybe he'd survived just so he could come back and see her loveliness again, feel her innocence soothe him, cocoon him, make him safe. he groaned as he went right back to holding her.

"aap ko kuchh yaad hai?" she asked softly. not wanting to say the wrong thing.

(do you remember anything?)

"that bus came out of nowhere, khushi, i pushed you... then all i remember is this, you and me. here. come 'ere you," he said as he pulled her back when she moved away a bit to see his face. she subsided back happily, haan, there was a lot of time to talk.

he felt tiredness hit him suddenly, he had to lie down. he slid back with her still locked in his arms, and turned to lie on his side facing her, her chiffon saree swished and the pallu fell across his face. he picked it up instinctively, sensual, silky spiderweb fine weave, he remembered the feel of chiffon on his face that night at the hotel. she had tripped and tumbled into his arms a moment later. there was a song in the air that night he could have sworn.

why did he feel he could hear it here? today? right now? beautiful song rising and wrapping around them?

"maybe her sanka has touched me, my paagal biwi," he thought.

(maybe her craziness has touched me, my mad wife.)

"kya?" she said, her face close to his.


"kuch nahi, yeh!" he kissed her on the mouth. soft quivering yielding lips pressed back against his male demanding touch. how much he'd wanted to do that... and for so long. he wouldn't think of all that now. he would just be here, doing what he wanted to do. kiss this gorgeous woman in his arms. long and slow, and he nibbled a little, she squirmed, he rolled on top of her as he tightened his kiss. no more games. you are mine.

(nothing, this!)

she knew she had to stop him. she so wanted to not. absolutely not. but she knew he was not ready for this. not yet. and besides, she had to tell everyone, the entire family had suffered through these days. and di, oh she had to know. and doctor verma had to be called. how come the nurse hadn't come checking yet?

she broke the kiss slowly, lingering just a bit, then unable to help herself she pecked the scar on his eyelid quickly, he smiled thinking she was playing and began to get back...

but no, she stopped him and said with a sweet smile designed to quickly get him away from the heat a moment ago, "main kaise lag rahi hoon?"

(how am i looking?)

how am i looking? he looked at her astounded, what was she doing? she'd taken advantage of that startled moment and wriggled out from under him, she was sitting up in bed, settling her hair, her saree...


"nahi, arnav ji, aap ko bataana hi hoga... how am i looking?"

(no, arnav ji, you have to tell me... how am i looking?)



"tum bilkul..." he was not going to let her off so easily, he came close and blew on her always errant locks falling over the forehead. she shivered in anticipation. ah, not so easy to play with me, he thought, as he blew ever so lightly once more. "b...b..bilkul...?" she stammered, breath in a mess.

(you're absolutely...)  (a...a..absolutely...?)

"bilkul brazil ki football team jaisi lag rahi ho..." he smiled broadly and turned away.
(you look absolutely like the brazil football team)

"huh? poori team? pehle dilli ki auto rikshaw, ab ek football team? main itni moti hoon kya?" khushi was upset. well not really, but just a bit maybe.

huh? the entire team? first the delhi auto, now a whole team... what, am i that fat?)
asr burst out laughing. and felt a sharp pain instantly.



"kya hua, arnav ji, kya hua?" khushi was at his side in a second. concern laced with fear.

(what happened, arnav ji, what happened?)

"nothing, khushi, just a little pain here," he pointed to his ribs. khushi made him lie down and started calling di on the phone. she was at home but khushi wasn't going to leave him alone.

just then, rahim chacha walked in with some fruit juice for khushi.

"khushi bitiya, juice yahan rakkhoon?" he asked and then realised chhotey saab was awake!

(khushi bitiya, shall i keep the juice here?)

without waiting for her reply he left the room and rushed to tell nani ji, on the way, there was op going to mami ji's room with her diet drink of celery and carrot and green apple.

"om prakash, pata hai, chhotey sab uth gaye..." he beamed.

"om prakash, pata hai, chhotey sab uth gaye..." he beamed.

(om prakash, do you know, chhotey saab is awake!)

"hain? chhotey saab? uth gaye... jai hanuman ji ki" op grinned, all 32 out, and ran to give the news to mami ji. rahim chacha wondered why op started singing "aaj mausam hai suhana..." under his breath. now where had he heard the song before?...

(what! chhotey saab? he's up... thank the great lord hanuman!) (the weather is good today...)

the older man was not as sharp as he used to be when he was a member of the household staff at sheesh mahal. his duties were mainly to look after chhotey saab and anjali bitiya's father, a sort of butler to him. some of those memories he'd never forget. try as he might.


"kya? khushi ji? main abhi aa rahin hoon!" anjali had been making kheer in the kitchen. it was so close to janmashtami. celebration was far from everyone's mind, but anjali didn't have classes today and thought it might be nice to make something chhotey liked and natkhat kanha ji too. she missed her mother today, why she had no idea. as though she was close, very very close. she could almost feel her standing there, smiling at her and chhotey.
(what? khushi ji? i am coming right now!)

she sighed. and her phone rang.

she quickly put a little kheer in a bowl and began to make her way upstairs as fast as she could. the phone rang again.

"miss raizada? doctor verma here," the quiet reassuring baritone of the doctor who'd done all he could to save her brother.

"doctor verma!" she said her voice brimming with joy, "chhotey... i mean arnav... has woken up..."

doctor verma had visited his patient every day for the past two odd weeks, ever since he was moved to shantivan. usually, he'd call miss raizada and find out if the night had gone smoothly, and later after hospital, a quick visit to make sure all was well. he knew it was a waiting game, but he hoped the wait would end soon, for the longer the patient was in coma, the worse the repercussions.

so he was quite prepared to feel a certain sense of satisfaction at hearing arnav singh raizada was awake. what he wasn't prepared for was the surge of happiness he felt at hearing the relief and delight in anjali raizada's voice.

he was taken aback by its force.

"doctor?" anjali was surprised at the silence.

"that's wonderful, miss raizada, i'll be down shortly, " he replied recovering quickly, his voice quite flat in his effort to settle his feelings.

"see you soon..." anjali was too happy to spend too much time wondering about that silence. he was coming, and she was glad to hear that. she went up the stairs...


that evening in sheesh mahal, after asr left abruptly, op came to make sure he had taken everything, that nothing was left behind. what was that pink thing lying under the curtain, he thought? his hawk eyes (and ears) rarely missed anything. he found the pink and brown faux leather purse asr had hurled in frustration. then gone back to delhi, away from the disturbing roiling pain of sheesh mahal... its corridors. away from the girl whose face he didn't want to remember but who refused to leave his mind.

op picked up the purse and took it with him to delhi. he put it in the drawer in chhotey saab's wardrobe.


arnav singh raizada lay back watching his wife making several calls, she seemed so happy.

and yet that afternoon... the image of the bus crashed in on the moment... what was a blue line bus, practically empty, apart from the driver and one other guy, doing in a narrow lane that afternoon? his mind couldn't stop moving. and why was the guy speeding? couldn't he see khushi trying to cross the road? or was it... no... but that's what it was doing... it was picking up speed even though the driver must have noticed her... such a tiny alleyway... it was no accident.

the truth of that moment hit him. he knew why he had to get well quickly and do something about it.

it was no accident.

his face had obviously started showing signs of the thoughts racing through him, khushi put the phone down... di walked into the room with the kheer and a huge smile... khushi spoke before anjali could say anything...

"arnav ji?..."

clear brown eyes looked at her.

then she heard him say, "khushi, it was not an accident... it was that shyam... it was him." teeth clenched, voice almost guttural, with a red hot edge of gussa.


hats off

wrote this light loopy os for a dear friend's birthday. not as dark as asr and khushi's first meeting may have been and who am i to argue with that intensity that colour of deep dark, complete fan as i am of asr and khushi and that pyaar nafrat... but this one i wanted to see them from a lighter place, it celebrated a bday and a friendship... yet i hope i have caught something essentially asr khushi here... thanks for reading. enjoy.

arnav singh raizada was tired.


it had been an endless series of meetings today. nonstop noise. he hated noise. the clients were being tricky, he wished he hadn't flown half way across the world to see them. but there was a chance of a major deal for next year's spring collections and, of course, there was no question of not going after it.

why was traffic always heavy on these roads, he wondered, as he swerved sharply, almost missing the turn di had said he might miss, because even the gps didn't show it always.

his neck muscles felt tense, a headache was on its way in, his back was stiff... coffee, a cup of hot espresso, that's what he needed... not go to some crazy place called heavenly bakery and pick up jalebis.


he grimaced.

here in the middle of miami, he had to go jalebi hunting because di had decided his birthday had to have some nice indian sweets and she had found on the net this confectionery which for some unfathomable reason offered jalebis on the menu; and she had gone to check it out the previous day.

asr raised his eyebrows and shook his head... he didn't celebrate his birthday. he found the whole hoopla around just a day in the year a tad tiresome. unnecessary exuberance and expenditure over something that was pointless...

but di was, well di. his lips stretched a couple of millimetres in what seemed to be a smile, it was barely detectable.

for his elder sister he'd do anything in the world and seen from that perspective this little detour was not so bad. but still, di was pushing it a bit. he was jet lagged and wanted to devote all his time to the deal, not run around after food, that too sweets... he was diabetic and rarely ate the stuff anyway.

the heavenly bake shoppe had passed muster. di had taken nani ji and captain raina along for her qc expedition. approval had been given, success declared... and now here he was.

asr frowned and thrust out his lips, he could understand di dragging nani ji along, even mami ji... but captain raina? since when was his pilot such a connoisseur of indian sweets? and di had just met him only a couple of times... ah well, whatever, he thought... enough of this rubbish... he'd just go get the jalebis and pick up a coffee along the way.

his temples had begun to throb, a big migraine was on its way.

he stopped along the narrow lane with a row of shops and other businesses. colourful signboards announced the names... there was heavenly bake shoppe.

as he swiftly unfastened his seatbelt and leaped out of the car, the rain started.

he was nonplussed. it had been a sunny day and dusk was about to set in, not a cloud in the sky. and now this.

he ran to the shop entrance and walked in pushing open the door with force. a strident clanging of bells greeted him, he turned around startled. what was that!

"kaun? who it is?" a muffled, echoing voice came fast on the heels of the clanging.

asr looked around bewildered... what the... who was that?

he could see shelves of confectionery stacked high with cakes, gateaus, pastries, toffee apples, cup cakes... a couple of tables with red checked tablecloths were on one side with chairs around them, a huge cuckoo clock hung on a wall... asr glared at it...

then he looked around once more, he could see no one. so who had spoken? his brow knitted in a forbidding frown. what sort of a shop was this? not a single soul anywhere... he'd had enough.

he turned to leave just as the echoing voice called out again, "kaun hai? who it is?"

he whirled around to see a party hat appear slowly from behind a counter. it was a bright pink conical cap with frills and trimmings in gold and silver tinsel. the entire thing was unspeakably shiny, he almost winced. 

however he stared at it incredulously.

for it was not vertical and sitting on anyone's head as hats normally do, instead, it was parallel to the floor, horizontal, its tip pointed toward him and it was perched on someone's face.

asr was speechless.

"if you aren't going to talk why you have come to shop?" the hat said bobbing up and down, its voice muffled.

"what the!" asr swore under his breath. his head was splitting.

below the pink hat, he could see some parts of the person's clothes. it was a woman. yeah... and she wore a canary yellow kurta with lots of trimmings in silver gota, lime green pompoms, bunches of them, hung from her short sleeves and near the neckline, which were visible even though she was crouching.

she was definitely not from this part of the world... actually, where was she from! asr's face contorted in irritation.

where did they wear things like that even now... in fact, why did they ever wear such things. his fine sense of fashion was clearly disturbed. he had made his fortune in this line and such a flagrant disregard of it...

well, he'd better get her to serve him and leave, he thought, before his head really blew up.

she was still not quite standing up, though her head was above the counter level.

what was wrong with the woman!

"stop talking through your hat dammit!" asr ground out,

"what nonsense! take that thing off your face! now! i don't have time to waste on this ridiculous game... what sort of a shop is this!"

"kya?? humey nonsense bola?!!" the hat moved about as the speaker shook her head, "chup kar khushi kumari gupta, yeh angrez shaitan se baad mein nipat lena, abhi devilry hai uss pe dhyan de..."
the girl... yes she seemed to be a slim and slight young girl really... muttered under her breath.

(what, called me nonsense!! shut up khushi kumari gupta, now there's devilry to be done, tackle this english devil later!)

then she said loudly, "dekhiye! don't shout... my hands are in jalebi syrup, i can't take off hat... old diabetic customer needs sugar free syrup... what can i do if hat is slipping off just as i start to dip jalebis?"

devilry? asr blinked.

what was this girl going on about! what old diabetic customer? jalebi! suddenly the penny dropped. his anger soared. his nostrils flared. he shot out a hand, and pulled the party hat. hard.


the elastic thread of the hat broke as it fell off.

large, almost tearful, extremely angry hazel eyes stared at him now... unblinking. shades of grey and green milled around dark grey irises.

he noted she was still crouched awkwardly. and now her fine bow shaped lips had begun to quiver.

obviously she had forgotten to take her hands out of the syrup. silly girl.

he smiled at her nastily and said, "i'm arnav singh raizada... i think you have an order for me..."

at that, the girl's eyes began to grow larger and round, her lips made a perfect "o" formation and both her hands came up instantly to cover her mouth.

"hey devi maiyya," the girl squeaked... no squawked, "aap toh buddhe nahin hain!"

(oh mother goddess... you aren't old!)

asr's smile widened, its nastiness increasing.

khushi kumari gupta looked at the haughty stranger on the other side of the counter. he was dressed in a smart grey jacket with a waistcoat in the same fabric below it, he wore a dark charcoal tie, his shirt was steel blue, his trousers perfectly creased. his thick dark hair was brushed back and not a strand was out of place though khushi could see a few drops of rain clung to his hair.

khushi noticed the sharp dip of his hairline at the centre of the forehead... bhairon chacha had just such a dip, but he never wore clothes like this... and nor was he so slim and tall... his lips were definitely not thin and chiselled like this man's and he certainly did not have such clear brown eyes, they had something shiny and reddish in them... like the chocolate cynthia ji made.

hey devi maiyya, worst point of difference... because all of the differences were bad, really bad... but the worst was the fact that the man was not old.

he was young. very young. and very angry.


cynthia ji had promised anjali ji that the jalebis for the diabetes patient would be ready in time. he was one arnav singh raizada and he would come and pick up the sweets himself, it was his birthday after all, anjali ji had smiled gently, taking a bite of jalebi daintily and closing her eyes in appreciation.

"mmm... khushi ji! thank you thank you! i am so glad cynthia here invited you to spend the summer working with her and teach her to make some indian mithais... where is your father's shop in lucknow? you know we go there often, our old house is there, it's a hotel now, and chhotey drops in at least twice a year to check on things... i would love to get some sweets from your shop..." anjali ji talked away cheerfully and khushi wondered why this lady whom she had only just met was telling her so much about their lives.

she liked the lady though, especially her beautiful pale green chanderi saree and matching bangles. she saw people in indian clothes every day, after all, she was staying with bhairon chacha and his wife janaki chachi.

her babu ji's second chacha's son was bhairon chacha, he had come to america years ago and done very well for himself. he sold gujarati farsan, all sorts of snacks and a wide range of suparis from lucknow. really no one could make suparis as good as the ones made in her hometown...

khushi's mind wandered and came back...

haan, she saw sarees and churidars and things every day, but usually all were in polyester or nylon... not very pretty... but anjali ji's saree... it was lovely really.

khushi realised she had missed much of what her enthusiastic customer had been saying...

cynthia ji patted anjali ji on the shoulder and said, "rest assured the birthday boy's jalebis will be fantastic!"

birthday boy? but he was a diabetic, na? khushi frowned, he must be at least fifty, if not sixty. this was an ailment of old people really, poor things.

she smiled and did a namaste to the gracious elderly lady who had come with anjali ji.

"oh khushi ji, that's my nani ji..." anjali said.

nani ji was beautiful, khushi noted and she had the kindest pair of eyes. devi maiyya had such kindly eyes...

and who was the pleasant looking young man who stood respectfully to one side and said not a word? he seemed to be nice.


but now she was looking horror struck at fairly unkind eyes, the owner of which was not at all nice.

khushi didn't realise her sticky fingers had inadvertently covered her mouth and cheeks with syrup. she stood there wondering what she should do next.

"pack the jalebis and give me the bill, and try not to make such personal comments about men you have just met... unless," he paused and tilted his head, looking down at her with a quizzical yet insulting air, "you are the kind of girl who likes getting personal with men you've just set eyes on... that is once you have sussed them out with your shiny party hat!"

he seemed to be laughing at her. yet there was no doubt he meant to insult her.

"aap ki himmat kaise hui..." khushi said indignantly.

(how dare you...)

but before she could finish, he had lunged forward and was grasping her shoulder tightly.

"himmat dikhana toh maine abhi shuru bhi nahin ki..." he said through clenched teeth, "pack the jalebis dammit!"

(i've not even started showing what i can dare...)

his headache had spiraled. he could barely see, it was hurting so much. he closed his eyes as a sharp jolt of pain shot through him.


khushi watched stricken as the man who had been holding her shoulder so mercilessly started to sway and then he let go of her... falling back. stumbling.

if khushi had not jumped up and run around the counter and caught hold of him, he would have passed out on the floor.

she steadied him and tried to keep him standing, but she was no match for his weight, he slid down on the floor anyway, though she managed to let him slide down gently... she made him lean against a counter, half sitting... and went to fetch water... she had to revive her customer.

she sprinkled ice cold water on his face, once, then again... then in a frenzy...

why wasn't he opening his eyes!!

"stop it!" his voice was weak, the words were slurring..." sweet... gimme something sweet..."

"par... you're diabetic... anjali ji..." khushi looked at him flustered, feeling a little useless.

hey devi maiyya, what if something happened to this man and all because of her stupidity. she prayed hard to her dear goddess, promising to give a kilo of jalebis in offering if she made sure arnav singh raizada got up and walked out of the shop, absolutely hearty and healthy... even nasty.

"now!" he commanded. even in that state he sounded dangerous.

khushi leapt up and fetched a jalebi and held it to his lips.

"sugar..." he murmured, "not sugar free... sugar..."

she nodded frantically, her eyes getting darker with concern.

he managed to stir up and took a bite of the jalebi.


the crumbly crunchy dessert she was an expert at making, broke.

she felt a sigh leave her and realised she had been holding her breath.

he chewed slowly on the sweet delicious confection. it tasted good... he could feel his dizziness subside... he reached up for another bite and accidentally her finger slipped into his mouth for an instant.

she started at the moist touch of his lips and tongue and drew back her hand hastily.

he looked at her with eyes suddenly focussing... this time his eyes decided to settle on her slightly parted lips, he noticed she wore a pale pastel pink shade of lipstick, her lips were moist and glistening, there was a childlike tilt to them at the corners and she seemed to be breathing very fast.

he had an insane desire to lean forward and kiss her.

"pack the jalebis and give me your bill!" he said brusquely.

she stood up quickly and started doing just that.

what was that funny feeling she'd had just a moment ago? when he was looking at her, his eyes still not quite sharp, his gaze on her lips... had she wanted to actually lean forward and...

khushi blushed to a beetroot red and quickly keyed in the bill.

when he walked out of the shop she felt suddenly very alone.

he put the jalebis on the seat next to him in the white suv he always drove no matter where he was. his eyes rested on the packet for a moment.

then he called di and said, "i hope you have invited lavanya to the party.."

"chhotey!" squealed di, "since when are you so interested in your birthday party... don't worry, i have invited everybody i should!"

"everybody? you don't know anyone here, di," asr said curtly and put the phone down. he could here di laughing. impossible.


"chhotey! come here!" di called out to asr, there were balloons and streamers up all over the beachfront house they'd rented for the short stay, also fairy lights.


di was unstoppable once she had a thought in her head.

every year they struggled with his birthday, ultimately she threw a party and he walked around stiffly being greeted by everybody and finding it all absolutely stupid.

arnav singh raizada had grown up mostly in new delhi... even after years of education in schools abroad, his accent held onto a trace of his city...


that's how he pronounced stupid and that was the only thing to call this year's party too.

a whole lot of guests milled around. where had di even met them! ah, captain raina had been invited too... he saw di hobble across to welcome him the moment he walked in.

something caught at asr's throat.

he had never seen his sister walk "normally". he had never seen her run. if there were a fire in the room, di would not be able to run out...


maa had said di was about three when it struck and left his sister handicapped forever. her left leg never recovered, between callipers and special shoes, she learned to manage to walk somehow. he wasn't even born then. she was seven years older, now thirty three, in charge of bridal wear and traditional india at ar... still single.

he strode over to di as she greeted captain raina and peered down at her...

"haan, chhotey?" she asked a little surprised.

"aap... theek hain na, di?"

(you're okay, aren't you, di?)

he had been off hand and short with her the entire day.. she hadn't said a thing, just gone about organising the do.

anjali put a hand on her brother's cheek and said with a smile, "of course, i'm fine... chhotey, it's your birthday, i am not just fine, i am happy... okay?"

he looked at her for a moment, shrugged and gave a little smile before walking away.

as she had said "birthday" he'd remembered a pink conical hat talking to him.

he went straight to lavanya and drew her outside onto the stretch of verandah that led to the beach. lavanya was looking splendid in her off the shoulder white evening gown, her dark tan gleamed seductively against the white... her face as always was made up beautifully, her hair was swept up in an elegant french pleat and she carried a single botega evening purse as accessory. no jewellery. of course six inch heels by jimmy choo, her absolute passion.

he decided he had to stop the hat from making any further appearance in his mind. or make any conversation with him.

he began to draw la into his arms, she sailed in willingly, but just as he was about to bend his head and claim her eager lips, he heard a voice mutter, "abhi devilry hai uss pe dhyan de..."

(there's devilry, concentrate on that...)


what could that hat have been talking about... no... not the hat... the girl!

"asr!" la said in a sultry voice, complaining... he realised he had forgotten she was even there while lavanya was clinging to him, her arms around his neck.

he took a deep breath and was about to get back to doing what he was sure he had to when di's "chhotey! come here!" interrupted him.


"have you met khushi ji, chhotey? she's the jalebi maker at cynthia's lovely heavenly bakery... oooh what a find... i must say i am pleased with myself... chhotey, meet cynthia... do you know she's italian american? and she's promised to tell me how to make the pasta so that it's just right... al dente... that's what cynthia said... you know, cynthia, chhotey loves pasta and at home it's always over cooked! come cynthia, let me introduce you to my mami ji and mama ji, and the rest... chhotey... take care of khushi ji, will you?"

both asr and khushi had stood stock still during the introduction, di had not let anyone speak anyway...

now asr managed a brief smile at the good looking american woman anjali said was the owner of heavenly bakery. she was wearing a black evening gown with a flamboyant shawl thrown over her shoulders which had bold red roses splashed across. she wore red, white and black spats on her feet and a bold red necklace with cascading beads around her neck. her eyes were startlingly blue.

"you met khushi this evening, didn't you, mr raizada?!" cynthia a decapri said with a smile. her wise eyes and forever romantic heart had picked on something as the two young people stood without saying a word, just looking at each other.

"uh??!" asr seemed at a loss, then recovering quickly he said, "yes, yes, of course... di.. uhm... i did meet... khushi... at the shop..."

"of course you did!" cynthia laughed and winked, "i had to step out for some medicines, anjali, and that's when your handsome brother came to get his jalebi... did you try it? was it good?" she looked at asr and raised a perfectly arched eyebrow.

di started to drag cynthia away, "uff, that red lipstick looks so good on you, cynthia... i love red lipstick, but it looks horrid on me!" anjali said, pouting.

cynthia laughed and countered, "just a question of finding the right red, my dear... i like shiraz more than chanel i must say," she giggled as anjali handed her a glass of wine.

no one noticed the two women wink at each other before walking up to the guests.


she was wearing a pink and purple concoction now, he noticed.

tight churidaar, short tight kurta, a neatly pleated dupatta lying across her throat and falling over her shoulders, golden gota, pink pompoms. her plait was a bit off centre and really tightly braided... pompoms hung in a cluster near the nape of her neck. she carried a cloth bag in maroon with loads of mirror work, her fingers were clutching the strap tightly while she looked down at her feet and stared hard.

"forgot your hat?" he asked softly.

she instantly looked up as he knew she would. she had felt sort of fluttery when he just now said her name.

the "kh" had sounded like you could touch it. no one said her name like that. not even babu ji. khushi felt tears sting the back of her eyes.

it was a huge house... really beautiful and there were so many people all around. yet she knew no one. only cynthia ji... and anjali ji had whisked her away...

"tum theek ho?" the man asked, his voice was brusque, as before... and again she heard something in it... as before.

(are you alright?)

she looked up and smiled brightly, "haan... don't worry, arnav... ji... you go to birthday party, i will take care... main theek hoon..."

(yes... don't worry, arnav... ji... you go to birthday party, i will take care... i am alright...)

she looked all of ten he thought as she said that, trying to be brave... strong... he looked around at the sophisticated crowd all around, smartly dressed people adept at socialising, very comfortable with having money and enjoying it, completely at home here on this expensive property where one of india's wealthiest young men's elder sister was throwing an indulgent, no... over indulgent, birthday party for her twenty six year old brother.

he took a long breath and put a hand under her elbow, "come!" he said to her beginning to propel her forward, fully expecting her to listen to his command.

she looked into his eyes squarely for a moment. he was startled at how clear her hazel eyes looked.


khushi stood in the verandah looking at the play of moonlight on the ocean surface. it seemed to her like a sheet of glass, endless and boundless, was spread over the earth, holding it in place... and only the moon was allowed to step on it and dance.

jiji would love miami, khushi thought. and again felt a pang of home sickness. cynthia ji had come to lucknow on her first visit to india just a few months ago, said it was a birthday treat her husband had given her, because she believed in her past life she was indian. khushi had no idea about past lives, but she felt cynthia ji was indian even in this life... she was warm,  friendly, felt like family in no time... and oh how she loved indian food.

in fact, it was her love for jalebis at her babu ji's mithai shop and her repeated visits that had brought about their friendship.

later when she had heard that khushi had an uncle in miami, she'd suggested this fantastic idea... why not let khushi come to miami and teach her some of the mithais she was so good at making, for a very handsome fee of course... that way, she'd travel to another part of the world and meet her family there as well... have a completely new experience.

it was what cynthia ji had called a "win-win" situation.

it had been that too. but today, almost a month into her two month stay, khushi was suddenly missing her family.

maybe it was this party... anjali ji, nani ji, mami ji mama ji, such a nice family, and they were in a way from lucknow too... how much anjali ji loved her brother, just like jiji loved her...

she felt a little sob rising and quickly got up to fob it off dashing into a man who had just walked into that part of the verandah.

"hey, lady!" the man's words were slurring... khushi started, there was an unfamiliar smell in the air.

"are you alone, sweetheart?" the man spoke again, now lurching toward her.

khushi panicked... she had never been confronted by a drunk person before... she made to walk past the man... she could hardly see him in the darkness, it was the most secluded spot in the long verandah.

"c'mon, honey... where are you going? huh! come here," she felt a beefy large hand grab her upper arm and she was about to shriek when the hand let her go suddenly... she fell backward against the railing and held it to steady herself.

"don't you dare touch her!" she heard arnav singh raizada's furious voice.

"sorry shorry shorry, didn't realise i was steppin' on toes, man..." the man mumbled picking himself up from the floor where he'd landed when asr gripped him by the collar and hauled him off khushi.

khushi saw arnav singh raizada standing there looking at her and a sense of relief washed over her.

without thinking, she threw herself into his arms and clutched his shoulders tight.

he could feel her slight frame against him, she was breathing hard, her heartbeat hammered against him. his arms lifted of their own accord and went around her, holding her secure and tight.

"it's okay, khushi... you're okay..."

she rested her head against his chest and listened to his heartbeat... he was a complete stranger... he shouted... he said terrible things... and yet, she felt safe here.

hey devi maiyya, raksha karna... maybe she'd had too many jalebis and it had messed up her head.

he was stroking her hair gently and holding her like he had always held her just that way, here by the ocean, by the moon, on this verandah.

maybe he had... who knew... amma said there were many things in the universe that we didn't understand, that we perhaps never will... but that doesn't mean they aren't there, they aren't true.

she felt her nerves settle and then she heard a sound. this was a familiar noise. it was her stomach rumbling.

she was hungry. food... she needed food.

she lifted her head and looked up at him and again words that shouldn't slip out, did... "aap toh buddhe bilkul nahin hain.."

(you are not at all old...)

he looked at the innocent unspoilt face, "so you don't like old men... only young ones..." he had to say it, if not for anything, to see the eyes look shocked, then angry.

she opened her mouth to protest.

this time he didn't stop himself from leaning forward and kissing her.

khushi's eyes grew round, and she told herself sternly, this man was a khadoos bad laad governor and she must move away. but she didn't.

who did he think he was... she would slap him when he had finished kissing her she decided, call him "makkar, kaminey, besharam..." tell him her hero salman khan would give him dhishum dhishum like that and like that and have him flat on the floor...

(lout, cretin, shameless)

yes, she would do all that after he was done with this kiss...

anjali and cynthia hi-fived giddily, now both completely sozzled...

"it was a great plan to let them meet in the shop, cynthia!" said anjali, her words not very crisp, the wine was very potent... "shhhmart of you to shhay you have to buy medishins..."

"but, anjaaahli, i never planned that!!" cynthia said shaking her index finger and head, "no... not me," she took a large gulp of wine.

"i thought they could meet at the shop, but i didn't know i would need to suddenly rush out for medic...cccines... you know. the headache jushtt came from nowhere and i had to go to the drugstore... and jussht then... your brother arrived... how strange! how do you say in hindi, my dear... ajeeb!" cynthia elongated the "a" of this hindi word she'd picked up on her trip to india and made it sound very american.

she was sounding quite inebriated too and
totally happy "and you, my smart indian ladki, were the one who spotted khushi the moment you walked in and decided she was just what your brother needed... niiishe birrrthday gift.. huh! by the way, where is that handsome pilot of yours who can't take his eyes off you..."

anjali blushed and took another sip of the excellent shiraz. and they both continued to shamelessly look at two people on the verandah from behind the long curtains in the living room.


"what's devilry...?" he murmurred against her ear holding her in his arms and swaying slightly to the beat of the music that wafted out and filled the night.

"devilry... huh!" she stopped moving and frowned, then she grinned and said, "dilivry, arnav ji, dilivry... aapko jalebi dilivri karni thi na..."

(delivery, arnav ji, delivery... had to deliver the jalebis to you...)

he realised she had had her hat over her face when she'd said that... and started laughing.

she could see his eyes glinting like pebbles in a stream... and what was that? her heart was beating wildly all of a sudden. this had to be acidity... she must eat.

he pushed back a tendril off her forehead and tucked it behind her ear.

"you look good in a hat," he said, "want to have a coffee with me tomorrow?"

khushi's acidity pelted.



episode rambles


indelibly ipk

sometimes, a rakshas comes and compels you to forget everything and torture yourself by making endless edits. rakshases are great to have around i must say.

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

episode 13 there once was a bimari

i have read here and there and it's a fairly well known fact that barun sobti and sanaya irani were not the first choice for their roles. i look at the absolutely unspeakably good looking man, fresh clean flawless face, perfect body language, anger and sexiness wrapped in equal measure around the most lithe frame ever... i see the girl in tight fitting churidar, her face untouched by any sign of the big city; her innocence, keenness and unchecked gutsiness contrasting with her decidedly strange get up and unreined expressions and i wonder how could anyone else have ever been even considered... but even more importantly, where did they find these two actors? and how did this vibe get created? i have never ever seen a heroine like this or a hero like that in any hindi serial. they are totally physically unlike anything on my tv screen, and they are so naturally their characters, you forget their real names practically. by episode 13, he is asr in my head and she i the totally unabbreviated "khushi kumari gupta hamara poora naam".

a young small town girl, with an extremely sheltered middle class upbringing, adopted after tragedy at a young age, loved deeply by her adoptive family who make all allowances for her strangeness and absolutely treasure her sunny brave and untampered heart, and who has never ever worked in a corporate set up in her life, with all its not too tender and caring side, finds herself in the full brunt of it while she is saddled with a peculiar personal challenge that needs to be resolved.

she owes a large sum of money to a nasty young man, who turns up in her life at the oddest of places and moments; mainly because she has, with her own brand of don't care and certainly don't bow before the arrogance of wealth, promised to throw this money at his face. well, she has dreamed of doing exactly that. yeah, she has started seeing him as i said earlier at the strangest of venues.

arnav singh raizada may not be nice and sweet and gentle, as she always possibly imagined a "good" man should be, and definitely when she's thought of the ideal man as she must have at times, even if subconsciously, not a single trait of the man she meets by chance on a night like none other, would have featured in her list. not even rich and darkly handsome. she might have thought a man should have a decent gentlemanly look, but hot bothering and unsettlingly good looking? no, khushi kumari gupta would not have that on her list.

perhaps that was the whole point. he was nothing like anyone she'd ever met.

in her loquacious world with loads of interfering and closely knit neighbours and acquaintances, apart from family, where a circle of safety surrounds you and comfort is found in a milieu of non threatening characteristics and everyone sort of blends and melds within an idea, even their sharper edges filed to fit in, was there any chance or place for an arnav singh raizada?

maybe that's why she had to go to sheesh mahal, a place most definitely not a part of her life, to meet this man. maybe life had decided it was time she stepped out.

that meeting with the completely unexpected man struck her instantly. of course, his egregious behaviour was one reason he cut through and entered her inner world. but that was not everything. it was also his utterly unfamiliar nature. that individualistic streak, that sense that he definitely didn't blend in. he stood out. and he didn't care who thought what, he was the way he was, take it or leave it.

that difference stuck in her mind. it rankled, it irritated, it made her grit her teeth and want to face a challenge. but it didn't leave her alone and in peace and she couldn't leave it. he kept coming up in conversations, in dreams, and if she met him she couldn't walk away, she chased him the first time and threw this challenge of i'll give you your money the next.

interestingly, he didn't really think of her as much as she of him. he in fact just wanted to get on with his world which he had carefully constructed in a way where he felt he had control, that control which he'd had none of and perhaps craved for on a brutal night when he was a young boy of fourteen.

he instinctively perhaps knew when he set eyes on her that she was trouble, she had made him lose his temper beyond belief. something registered, something possibly niggled. he would do everything to leave that and resume his life the way he wanted it, the way he had set it up.

in his neatly put together life, his sister was his central emotional attachment, his work was his panacea and source of strength... also wealth which is essential for that control, his girl friend was a nice girl of a similar contemporary mindset and he would keep their relationship within a certain  framework he found he could deal with. subconsciously or maybe in a calculated way, he had chosen a girl whom he could control even without asking to. la was the boss with pam and sim and on top of things as such, but when it came to asr, she was willing to even harm herself because she felt that much for him. felt exactly what she may not have examined, but the feeling itself was very powerful.

but back to asr, the only thing a bit out of control really in all of this was a grandmother who, as stubborn as him, had decided the time had come for her grandson to find a life partner and was up to many tricks, accompanied by a goat, to unsettle his life. in this episode we see some totally inescapable and unforgettable asr expressions and grimaces leading off this situation at home.

and that gripping, ignited anger when he thinks lavanya has done something she wasn't meant to... it interfered with his arrangement of life. sent him flowers? some devilishly muddle head making expressions while gripping a phone. phone as instrument of driving women crazy... a thesis can be written on that. the piper had a pipe, asr has a phone, at times just the bluetooth ear piece is enough. (sorry, if it's asr that should be ENOUGH!)

but my favourite from asr this episode was that casual, off hand conversation he had on the phone as he got onto his steed, also fondly called suv. nothing of much significance was said, yet it was totally significant. his very air was that of a tycoon, the tycoon... assured, giving only a fraction of his mind to this call as if he's deep in thought about something far more important, a raging energy about him even as he sits behind a wheel in a stationery car. hard to imagine this is only a not yet twenty seven year old from a not very wealthy background with not an empire he runs.

this call's stated purpose in storytelling was that it would bring him back into ar while khushi is still there... he'd walk past her, neither realising the other was around, an oft used device in many shows yet a nice touch to the story. they are constantly in each other's ambit but out of sight. 

my second most favourite asr moment, that top shot. the owner of a company striding into his domain, not looking left or right... aware he is ruler of all he walks through... no blend, no meld, only asr.

sim says quaking, "asr!"

khushi comes back sharp and quick and totally misunderstanding sim, "asr? yeh kaunsi bimari hai?!"

asr, what sort of disease is that? it was funny and yet it had a basis in fact. this was a disease almost and she'd got it pretty bad. she kept sensing him around her, he never too far from her mind. just the day before, her ears had tingled at the mention of an arnav, a chhotu, she had then seen him in her early morning dream... and in this episode too, she'd instantly take note of his voice... this voice seems familiar she'd say. yes, khushi had a bimari and it's possible name was asr.

the girl who had never worked, had never lived in a big city, who cringed and covered her eyes if she saw women in short skirts or revealing clothes, yet did not balk when that crucial question was asked by an impatient boss to be with a french manicure drying on her pampered nails.

"haan ya na...?"

in a wonderful way of things that same question, those very words will be asked of her in a much much more difficult situation months later, by that man whose voice seems "suni suni si" now. again a terrifying challenge, this time it could take her life.

"haan ya na, chamkili! take it or leave it!" lavanya is peremptory, in a rush, she needs an assistant quickly and certainly not one that can get close to asr behind her back. well, this character in shiny gota is definitely not cool she assesses, not an asr kind of girl, would do perfectly... for now.  her openly calling khushi "chamkili" was a clear sign that she is not considered important enough to be given the respect of her own name even, in fact, ragging her a bit might be fun, because she would never be anything more than an object triggering mirth and a handy assistant one could order around. at this point it wasn't clear how lavanya would handle it when the truth turned out to be somewhat different from her expectations, yet in her handing khushi a pencil in her bossy but not totally unkind way hinted at a girl who may not be who we think she is... 

characters were often interesting in ipk. just look at sim, shades of the janakpuri behenji who is curiously vulnerable before the more brassy pam who is from a non-behen ji delhi addresss likely. the power structures in the la pam sim triangle also well designed and neatly enacted.

khushi gawked. the trio waited. la trying not to show her need.

then she said, "h... hum yeh naukri karenge!" i will do the job.

a character in a sentence.

not backing away, she has a commitment, however flaky her need may seem, but she is going to brave an entirely new planet so that she can get something done. i actually enjoyed the fact that she had this slightly don quixote air and was not always doing everything to save the world and its sasural... she didn't want anyone to belittle her... she had self respect... this one was for herself. nice.

jai devi maiyya ki! and an office full of people, all strangers, all dressed in an unfamiliar way, talking different, quite unfriendly, laughed at her. but she didn't crumble. she set about organising her desk at her karyalay, calling herself "hum" to sim and pam's confusion. we? but she is just one person... nice dialogues coming in from time to time, lovely crafting.

there were computers which she knew nothing much of though hers got a chunari lovingly draped, there were women in skimpy clothes that had her saying shocked yet sassy things, thee were city prices to cups of tea which had her almost shouting... poor girl, how'd she even drink tea here. whatever came her way, she mumbled and talked nonstop about but took in her stride. including that phone call from a man who shouted, whose voice she seemed to have heard before, but who needed to be told off now.

like that bimari man, khushi didn't blend or meld either. in this new milieu, she showed her real core... a curious strength there. a strength to be exactly who she was.

and the way sanaya portrayed her, even in her signature chamak dhamak and bakbak, she was the coolest girl on the screen. casting was brilliant i felt, an essentially metro girl with flowing limbs, a graceful sophisticated demeanour who seemed to have a khushi deep in her somewhere and never let phoney city girl doing small town girl condescension touch her portrayal. 

khushi made her way to manju ji who'd become her champion during the "office track". nani ji kept trying to find her way to la but got stopped again and again, her "kauno love letter toh naahin?" had me grinning, the lady loves romance i had a feeling though she says otherwise. devi maiyya found a place in ar. and an angry young man felt irritated by all sorts of things including the news from home, no idea who had just got employment in his karyalay.


oh and i found another name for my ailment... buddhuram.

a beautiful scene, that sudden noticing of a shiny, most un-ar object on a table while yelling at la. throws him off... he has to ask what's that. it was like there was no question of not noticing her. so different they were from each other... never ever in the normal course of things such people meet and fall in love... or maybe we are wrong. what the.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

incredible attraction and its portrayal... around diwali

couldn't sleep. restless as h. thought might as well watch some ipk... actually, wanted to watch the drive after diwali, and once i started, i couldn't stop. now at 116... when i watch i wait subconsciously i think to reach that point when my heart will feel the graze, then the tug... and my eyes get that fixed stare. i wonder would this feeling just go away one day, like so many feelings do... especially those crushes in school... and if you're made like me, even much later. but for now there is that pressure on the chambers of the heart, a pull at the gut. i don't know if this happens to you. everything is so physical yet not... khushi!... aur yeh bhi yaad rakhna ki main apni kismat khud likhta hoon... wahi karta hoon jo meri marzi hoti hai... lekin jis din aapko yeh pata chalega na, uss din wahan hum nahin honge...uss din kya... aaj se... in fact issi pal se meri zindagi se nikal jao... na tumhari shakal dekhni hai, na tumse koi baat karni hai... aur yeh definitely mere haath mein hai, khushi kumari gupta... 

straight after reading this on blast from the past on india forums, a friend reminded me of "shut up and sit in the car". i had to reply. no time to edit visuals again, racing to catch a feeling.

not telepathy this time, indu, ... i read you and my mind just yearned to see feel thrill to it all again.

shut up and sit in the car.

i almost couldn't breathe. she is talking, he ignores her and walks around after a brusque yet somehow caressing, sit in the car, i'll take you home. she is devastated and smiling, a note of hysteria and she even more beautiful in it. and that eloquent back.


she prattles. her way of entering hell.

he cuts in. his way of commanding it. he must have control even if it's hell, especially because it is so.

toh tum khush ho.

how many ways that dialogue could have been delivered, wonder whose unerring sense of a moment homed in on that.

the divine chaos of attraction and mortals trying to fight it... with that excruciatingly beautiful ferocity and the tumultuous confusion.
attraction. its untrammelled untamed innate nature, its hold, its toss and pitch... took me along. i shut up and sat in the car. 

and now i see you are here too. i know i don't make sense. and am i feeling good about it.

so powerful this whole thing, across the episodes... as you say, that consistency... and oh the beautiful ferocity.

how low can a voice dip to say this is dangerous territory. animal and prowling, a magnificent cat in the night. and his mate.


it doesn't mean a thing.

k.koi matlab nahin hai...

shayad tumhare liye hoga...mere liye uss baat ki... ya tumhari... koi ahmiyat nahin hai.