Monday, 20 July 2015

episode 9 and a thought

while watching the episode this morning, it struck me that this was really khushi's episode, wasn't it? it was all about the girl who had walked into a house by mistake and gotten left behind in the bakri ka kamra, while bakri (also known as evil sorcerer who can change the side entrance to his room into a bathroom and make swimming pools and rooms and other things fly, especially dupattas) was not around.
yes, that bundle which i couldn't figure out, wrapped in shiny tissue, was perhaps a metaphor for her... a bundle of all sorts of mad fun things and a bit of sadness, plenty love and cheer, extreme darti hai par karti hai, inimitable sanka, a willingness to be good no matter what and believe the best of people, fanciful imagination, a girl with many facets almost all endearing (though she could be stubborn as h too and sometimes unthinking) and one with dreams, even if it were of a laad governor who had to be vanquished with derisively flung cold hard cash.

this was her episode and sanaya was absolutely wonderful. have i ever seen such a host of expressions on any face and not felt it was overacting? khushi went through many emotions today. and i was with her all the way. when she heard "arnav" and instantly felt something but then that awareness found a comic outlet in her lovely gesture as she made another mistake and thought chhotey was this little boy, chhotu... i grinned. her why are my ears ringing with that awkward expression was classic. she was a fey creature. not really a perfect fit in a big city among the wealthy and yet she did fit... 

her biggest mistake perhaps today was thinking mami was the "serbhaaant" and that would take the story on another course. again and again khushi will resolve to pay laad governor for something or the other, but it will never happen anywhere except in her dreams. i wondered why that happened, why she would never succeed at making money...

anyway, the thing was, this episode was all khushi.
we even saw a sadder side to her story. her constantly trenchant and not nice at all buaji. picking on her... reminding her of her adopted, not quite our own, status... voice softening at "payaliya" and face reflecting only distaste when it came to "parameswari". yet khushi was loving, even when she felt a little hurt, i felt for her when bua ji didn't even give her two grains of sugar in her wide open mouth... she was kept out of the family circle almost with that simple denial...

happens. and somehow i had a feeling this martinet would show another side to her as we went along, her tough love would come out. families are complex places, the straightforward sweet relationships we often think exist, hardly ever do... aunts who talk mean to you may actually love you a lot too. khushi had a water off duck's back attitude with her bua ji, thanks also to her father's candid conversations with her about such things and khushi's generally upbeat attitude.

poor girl even philosophised over a ber eating session as to her rotten pick in life... but then her best ber, her khatta meetha sister, made her agree, nah, life wasn't so bad.
she ended her day with a wish on an eyelash for "saree ki deal, bua ka gussa aur hamari naukri." so khushi called a deal a deal. 

next morning came the call that brought news of a job.
the entire episode was about a girl.

the guy was really hardly there. arnav singh raizada in episode 9 of ipk was fairly incidental. gosh, i hope he didn't hear me, because i can't even imagine saying such a thing about asr.

yet, apart from being bakri and chhotu, he had three short appearances. in one he just looked at a bundle of clothes in a certain way and then walked out of the room at the right moment so he wouldn't see uss ladki.

next he was at the dining table, one look and three sentences i think... a brother teasing his sister, one he dotes on... a businessman briskly leaving the table to get into work. this time he was id ka chand in his nani's arch comment about him never being around.

and right at the end... he was dream man laad governor. again a couple of sentences and a look at a girl.
episode 9. trps are hardly in. story is being established... and the leading man is barely there.
in fact, there were not many episodes in ipk which were mainly asr... yes he was there for longer periods in several episodes much later... but even when he had scant screen time, could we ever forget him or overlook him? he said little. his actions were brisk and matter of fact. he was not at all easy to like and he was totally individualistic... apart, not exactly friendly, not even believing in god. and yet...
got me thinking about something a friend on the forum, momma 1128, had mentioned. was this really supposed to be the story of a girl? a lovely young innocent small town girl who found love with a man very different from her?
and did barun sobti by the sorcery of his stunning good looks and the sheer force of his abundant and impossible talent just turn it into the story of arnav singh raizada and the search for his heart? khushi became almost a medium of exploring him... 

i recall barun saying in an interview that like many stories on our screens ipk is really the story of a man. but actually, while that is true of the big screen, it is not so of our television since the advent of cable and the new media era.
tv is about the girls, the female lead, heroines who save the planet and the parivaar... parvati, tulsi, prerna, akshara, sandhya... anandi. it's about a girl and her parivaar, parampara. she very much melded with that... seemingly individualistic, though not really (i think the only exception is dr simran of astitwa).

but iss pyaar ko became the love story of arnav sigh raizada and khushi kumari gupta in the truest sense thanks to the incredible chemistry between the bakri and the potli. and it presented perhaps the only really stunning male protagonist my tv has ever seen. actually, why tv? asr is asr, no matter where and which screen. 

iss pyaar ko was initially called vaidehi... definitely the story of a girl... a fairly sacrificial one i get the feeling. thank g for sanaya irani and barun sobti whose fabulous acting and extraordinary vibe took us far away from that rona dhona achhi ladki bahu beti come let's all weep together comfort zone of indian television.

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