Monday, 31 August 2015

not cut out for love: chapter 18

he woke up suddenly, disoriented.

what was it he had heard himself say as he sat up with a jolt? a touch of that word lingered on his vocal chords, his throat. it seemed to reverberate in him. a funny ache somewhere.


had he said khushi? arnav singh raizada frowned even as he felt a niggling discomfort overtake him.

he flung off the light quilt he preferred to use with vehemence, and stood up, grabbing reality, pushing aside that feeling. his frown deepened, he pursed his lips and waited a couple of moments before heading to the bathroom.

by the time he was knotting his fine silk charcoal tie with swift and precise fingers, he had taken a decision.

the most important thing at the moment was to find out what was missing in blooms in agung and he needed to get into that completely. there was no room for distractions. no time to be whiled away. no... no time for these disorienting feelings. none.

he would go to the office, plan schedules and assign duties for the next two weeks and then do what absolutely needed to be done.

he would go to bali.


he finished knotting the tie and shrugged on his jacket with a feeling of satisfaction. 

he knew exactly what he had to do... everything was under control. his to be precise.

he looked into the mirror, a quick appraising glance, and started walking out of his room. a sharp ray of light reflecting off the pool's shimmering surface caught his eye, blinding him for a second. he blinked and looked out, his sight clearing slowly. how bright water looked in the sunlight, as if denying there ever was night or darkness... or stars.

asr grimaced. what was he thinking! stars... oh really. he left the room and headed downstairs.


"kahey, akas bitwa... whats hab i ebher dones that you giving me thees sock, thees bayd nooj, she is coming phrom the lucknows aal the way to dilli to put nooj on you, understanding??? it is nooj... phansee ka nooj... my only son... and thees is what you gibes me!!! middil kilass, not gori, not rich, no makeupiya... hello hi bye bye, aap dekhiye ji, what your son doing... i want to die... no hello hi, only die...)

(why, akash, what have i ever done that you're giving me this shock. this bad news, she has come all the way from lucknow to delhi to put a noose on you, understand? it's a noose... a noose to hang you... my only son... and this is what you give me!!! middle class, not fair, not rich, no make up... hello hi bye bye, you see, what your son is doing... i want to die... no hello hi, only die...)

mami ji was wailing at the dining table and asr could hear her voice gaining volume and velocity as he came lithely down the stairs.

her voice came to a pause, "meeehhh meehhh" said lakshmi.

next thing, mami ji came hurtling out of the dining area and with a cry of "no one!!! no one eej respectiyaing me in thees house!" she went toward her room crying copious tears.

(no one!!! no one respects me in this house!)

asr reached the table to find the rest of the family sitting there looking stunned.

now what had happened. what had upset everyone? what "nooj" was mami ji going on about. phansee ka nooj?

then he remembered what khushi had said last night, oh yes, akash it seemed had asked payal to marry him. 


his lips curled in a tight grim smile.

what was wrong with akash. but if akash thought that's what he wanted, what was the problem, why was it such a big deal.

"good morning, everyone, what's the matter akash, what happened to mami?" he said crisply, sitting down reaching for his toast and sugar free jam.

"hari prakash, please get chhotey's coffee!" said nani ji and looked at her grandson, eyes really worried, "akash bitwa was trying to tell his mother that he wants to marry that nice girl who came that day... khushi bitiya's sister... and your mami..." nani sounded troubled.

he didn't like that look on his grandmother's face. he turned to akash, "what's the matter, akash? do you really want to marry payal?"

akash nodded miserably. mama ji patted his shoulder, obviously ready to be harangued by his wife for not taking her side on an important matter such as this. he knew what her reaction would be if he mentioned love or the look of joy on akash's face when he spoke of payal. mama ji was also pretty sure there was no point in reminding his wife that if akash's father could marry the woman he wanted to, and not bother about her social status because he loved her, why not akash. that would mean the end of peace and sleep and peacetime privileges for months he was sure.

di, beautifully dressed in her diaphanous beige maheshwari saree with perfectly matched bangles, a simple necklace, light make up and bright red bindi, reached across and stroked akash's cheek.

only jija ji looked completely relaxed. asr wondered why and tried not to think of what khushi had said... why was he thinking of khushi?!! and whatever she had said, dammit!

"ok! if that's the case akash, you have to make sure that mami is with you on this deal!" he said eyebrow cocked and sharp look in eye.

"deal?!" akash looked at his cousin foggily through his glasses.

"yeah, well marriage, whatever!" his voice was peremptory. di shrugged, there went her chhotey reducing everything to a transaction, she looked at her husband imploringly, who smiled at her indulgently and said nothing.

"nani! don't worry, it will all work out, you relax, ok?" asr looked keenly into his grandmother's eyes. they twinkled back at him, absolutely trusting.

"aap ko payal ji pasand hai, nani?" anjali asked in a lilting voice. chhotey's declaration that all will be well seemed to bring some calm around the table, and anjali loved the idea of her cousin getting married, akash bhai was like a brother to her and he was such a sweet young man, he deserved the best ever.

(do you like payal ji, nani?)

"bitiya, i have seen her only once," nani ji said, then she smiled, "but there is a simple sweetness in her, and a fearless direct gaze... yes, i did like her... akash bitwa, why don't you invite her home this evening for dinner, with her lovely sister... you know, your assistant, khushi bitiya? i think we all need to get to know her a bit better..."

before she could finish, asr had put his mug down with a little bang, got up and without finishing the food on his plate, started to walk away.

"chhotey! won't you finish breakfast?!" nani ji said, startled.

"bahut kaam hai!" he offered, cryptic and clearly in no mood to discuss, as he left.

(have lots of work!)


"khushi!" payal called out to her sister as she was about to get into the auto.

"kya, jiji!! aap bhi na, why are you calling me as i am about to leave... not auspicious, you know, na?" khushi ran out of the auto rickshaw and sat on the steps of the verandah for an instant to allay all inauspiciousness.
(what, jiji! i tell you!... why are you calling me as i am about to leave... not auspicious, you know, don't you?)

payal stuck out her tongue and held her ears in apology, "sorry! i just wanted to say, akash ji called and invited us over to their place for dinner..." khushi sat there immobile, looking up at the sky. she wondered why there were no stars up there... last night he had sat like this on the steps of the...

"khushi!" payal said a little loudly, "why aren't you saying anything... the dinner..."

"dinner?!! again! jiji, bua ji will be so mad at me if for three three nights i don't eat at home, have you thought of that? as it is she is always tense about me and you... and i don't know... and i don't think at night i want to meet..." khushi was suddenly gripped by a fear, her heartbeats raced, dhak dhak dhak dhak.

she jumped up and raced into the auto...

payal looked at her mystified. what was wrong with khushi now!

bua ji had been watching this scene from the doorway. she realised it was time to talk to her brother and his wife. hai re nand kissore, what were these girls up to... and what was this new thing of eating dinner all the time. what happened to eating golgappas or drinking fanta cococola with friends! so many dinners, was it even good for health! she shook her head in confusion, swung her long plait over her shoulder and went inside.


he was driving to work when suddenly the anguish hit him point blank. his eyes shut involuntarily, the pain ricocheting inside.

why did people believe in such ridiculous things. love. marriage. he sneered and shook his head, his eyes shot with despair.

sheer utter despair. he needed to stop the car. he needed to get out. he needed to breathe.

he stood outside in the open air, leaning against his suv.

"why am i thinking of such things today? and why do i feel this whole thing... this thing is just not right..." the creases on his forehead grew deeper as the feeling overwhelmed him, his jaw hardened, he could barely breathe. he knew he had to get a hold of himself.

his mother had suffered too much, his father had cared too little, and then one fine day, it was all over. love, marriage, nothing meant anything. it was all over.

maa shot herself the day di was to get married. they said pita ji shot himself too. he winced as he remembered the gunshots.

love... marriage... that was all it really meant.

then had come the betrayal by chacha ji, pita ji's only sibling. asr gritted his teeth at the memory of that day. a fourteen year old boy had had to become aware, there was no place for anything but cold hard reality in this world. to be wealthy was important if you wanted to survive, money was real... money mattered. money could not be pushed around.

asr leaned back against the car and looked at the bright morning sky, squinting up at the sun. big huge fuming ball of fire, blaze. he breathed in deeply.

in a way he was almost grateful to chacha ji for being the cheat he was. it gave him strength somehow, that betrayal. made him determined and strong. otherwise, how would he have survived the passing away of maa.

why was it hurting so much today, though? why did he feel so disarmed all of a sudden. so vulnerable.

he drew himself up to his full height slowly, telling himself, this was just a feeling, it would pass. he just needed to concentrate on work.

as he got into the car, he looked up one last time. at the refulgent sun, the star at the centre of our solar system.


asr reached ar and went straight to jean pierre's room. they sat and planned the coming fortnight. work had to progress smoothly, asr hated leaving things till the last minute. no matter how creative a job, order and pace were important.

"ahhnav, ees it imperative? you 'ave to go to bali today itself?" jp was a little taken aback by asr's announcement that he was going away.

"yeah!" came the taciturn reply.

jean pierre took the hint. the owner of ar industries was in no mood to answer questions.

once done, asr went to his office and sat down. he opened his laptop and started to work, he did not look at the door leading to the adjoining office.

lavanya walked in and found him engrossed in work. she cleared her throat to draw his attention. he looked up distracted.

"yes, lavanya?" he sounded tired.

"asr, jp says you are going to bali..." lavanya replied.

"uh huh!"

"alone, asr?" lavanya sounded perplexed.

"yes, lavanya..." he started to scan his laptop again.

lavanya realised there was no point in trying to pry more out of him, anyway asr knew the timelines, she was sure he had worked things out. she turned to leave.

"lavanya!" his voice was authoritative yet gentle.

she spun around, "yes, asr?!"

he sat and looked at her for a long moment, then gave a half smile, lavanya felt she saw something a little broken, defenceless in him. it was hard for her not to go right then to him and hold him, but she stood where she was.

"thank you," he said.

she wondered why she thought she heard him say goodbye.

"for what, asr?" she asked quietly.

"for taking me just as i am," again that half smile flitted by.

lavanya knew then yes, indeed this was goodbye, tears seemed to find their way to her eyes, her nose.


khushi had not seen him since the morning. she wished she could make herself feel a little less restless.

she went looking for kareena ji, hoping she would give her some work to take her mind off things. akash ji had also not come in today, he would be late he had said.

for some reason this morning as she left home, she had felt like taking devi maiyya along with her, so she had slipped her pretty idol into her large cloth bag and brought her to work.

now devi maiyya sat by her computer, her red chunari fluttering slightly in the draught from the central airconditioning vent.

"devi maiyya, hum abhi aate hain," said khushi when she left the room.

(devi maiyya, i'll just be back.)


it was past lunch time, when at last asr looked up from his laptop and turned his head slightly to look at the door to the office on the other side.



why was he thinking of her suddenly.

he saw soft hazel eyes looking back at him, they seemed to say something.

asr pursed his lips. ridiculous. she was not here. her eyes were not here. period.

he glared at his laptop. he had to finish a heck of a lot of things before he went to the airport at four. where was his mind? he struggled for a few more minutes. then he got up and strode to her room.

he knocked sharply and opened the door. but the room was empty. where was she? the emptiness rushed in filling him up. he felt anger rising, cutting through the choking emptiness. where the hell was she! didn't she know she was supposed to be here when he needed her?! what if there was work... how could she just skive off?

he marched into the room to check if her computer was on, had she come in at all?

her computer was on. his breathing got a little easier. but what was this? he frowned at the idol of devi maiyya. seriously? she had brought along her goddess to the office? even di wouldn't go that far in her craziness about god and praying, yeah whenever she came, she did a little aarti, but thankfully it stopped at that.

he saw she had kept some jalebis and a beautifully wrapped chocolate in front of the idol. chocolate for the goddess... he could almost see khushi gleefully offering it to her, talking nonstop of course.

despite himself he began to smile, eyes getting browner, molten.

"dekhiye, devi maiyya, jon piye ji ne chocolate diya, ab kareena ji ne aap ke liye kya bheja hai, yeh peda, unki amma abhi madras se laaye hain!! aapne kabhi madrasi mithai nahin khaya na..." khushi prattled as she walked in.

(look, devi maiyya, jon piye ji gave the chocolate, now see what kareena ji has given for you, this peda, her mother has just brought it from madras... you have never had sweets from madras...)

she looked up smiling happily and saw him standing there looking sternly at her. her eyes widened, her mouth formed a perfect "o", the madrasi mithai fell from her hand.

he wanted to rush to her, pull her into his arms and kiss her tender trembling lips. passionately, wildly, without restraint. he wanted to feel her responding to him, kissing back, nibbling gently, moaning, pressing herself against him, her arms creeping up along his chest to go right round his neck, pulling his head down.

she stood almost statue like at the door.

the air in the room went still.

her eyes searched his face. he looked angry, but what was that other thing in his eyes. did she imagine it or was he looking vulnerable.

he saw her eyes search his face. he so wanted her, he so needed her... he...

he stopped his thoughts short. and sought calm in a familiar friend, anger.

"what the hell were you doing? do i pay you to run around collecting sweets for your, your..." the anger made him grit his teeth, "your idol made of mud!"

she was shocked at the harshness in his voice, she almost fell back as the blast of his ire hit her.

"idol made of mud?!! how dare you..." she began to fight back.

"how dare i? don't you ever... ever... speak to me like that... understand?" he was livid.

"don't understand!" she said angry and fuming, "make me understand... why can't i speak when you can, you can... " her breathing was uneven, shallow, a huge tear formed and started to roll down her cheek.

he swore under his breath, turned curtly and walked out of the room.


at 4.30pm sharp, captain raina took off for bali. asr sat working at his laptop. miss rao got ready to make several cups of black coffee.

when the plane had reached cruising height, he called aman, "aman, i have spoken to the detective agency, make sure no one knows they are working for me."

"yes, sir," replied aman, "anything else, sir?"

he wished he could say, "yes, tell miss gupta to pack her bags and be ready, captain raina will pick her up first thing tomorrow morning..."

"no, aman," he said and disconnected the phone.


akash came to pick payal and khushi up. khushi was delighted to see the way the two of them looked at each other... she had decided not to brood over the incident that afternoon, that man was awful but she couldn't get him out of her mind... oh well, she would just let all that be this evening. it was akash ji and jiji's first sort of... date... yes, date... with his family. she, khushi kumari gupta, would simply enjoy herself and be happy for her sister.

"ufff!" she thought, "just like the hero and heroine of a film, a sweet gentle love story... no shouting no screaming, no laad governor, in this picture!" she hadn't realised but her teeth were clenched, her lips had thinned, "only sweet innocent love,
like prem and suman in salman ji's first film. hayeee, hey devi maiyya, keep them always happy!"

they reached rm and khushi braced herself to meet the unpredictable man who had turned her world a little, no a lot, crazy. then she heard anjali ji say, "chhotey bhi na! did he have to leave for bali today itself!"

a vast emptiness seemed to rush in and fill khushi.


episode 195 love blooms

in episode 18, a sister had told a brother, "
dekhna jab tumhari zindagi main woh aayegi na, tumhe pata bhi nahin chalega aur woh tumhari zindagi ban jaaygi."

you'll see when she comes into your life, without your even knowing, she'll become your life.
and two sisters had had a fanciful exchange lying on their backs in their bed. the younger one had chimed, "jiji, kyon na hum aise ladko ko dhoonde jo bhai ho, phir hum hamesha saath rahenge."

jiji, why don't we find boys who are brothers, that way we shall always be together.

her sister had laughed and then had come a crack of thunder.

"khushi, tumse shadi toh koi pagal he karega..."

khushi, only a mad person will marry you.

the scenes came back to me as 195 opened on flowers in red and white, suhag raat. the girl indeed had come into that brother's life and without his knowing become his heartbeat, his life. the sisters had found two boys who were brothers. they would never be apart. and seems the man who married khushi was indeed a mad man... it was time for the crack of thunder. and it would come. sudden, sharp, scary.

fresh white rajanigandha and blood red rose filled the frame, the mind... they suggested things about love and union and nuptials, their fragrance wafted on the poignance of the hour... we knew khushi and asr should have had just such a beautiful suhag raat, but that was not to be.

the flowers seemed to illuminate the story. red and white. passion and innocence. the two most powerful essences of the night.

if there was only passion and any less innocence, for me it would have been impossible to cross this night and stay on. khushi was of course utterly and obviously innocent in all this chaos. but really just as innocent of heart was the man who was acting like a mad man. arnav singh raizada had an untainted innocence within, nothing convoluted, murky or base. 

the baseness belonged to shyam. only him. and with this he blighted two people's lives, two pristine ones. maybe he envied this very cleanness, maybe that's why the shining untouched beauty of khushi had attracted him so.

that time she had turned back and looked at him... perhaps the most evocative and ethereal palat of hers, he'd sensed that keynote innocence maybe and his essentially fallen soul had yearned for that purity...

ever since then his games had been unleashed to catch her and tether her to him somehow. tonight he crushed rose petals in anguish, agonised she was not to be his, and he stood there helplessly setting up her suhag raat bed.

he lingered after his wife left and who knows it could e the reason why we came to the crack of thunder.

asr saw him standing there as he came to the room. he hadn't expected this. did it rile his fury, his seething passion again? and made him completely lose it? 

for a second after he shut the door and turned and saw her sitting on the flower bedecked bed, he seemed nonplussed, a riff of desire coming over him, but then quickly that was gone, even as she got up, also shedding the image of expectant bride her sister in law had organised her into. how carefully anjali spread out her lehenga to look all pretty and perfect. almost macabre that moment had been. the violence of the wedding versus the slow setting up of the rasam of wedding night, replete with sister in law gently ushering in the bride and making her comfortable.. every ritual must be observed. 

had shyam not been there staring at khushi, would asr have said through gritted teeth he couldn't bear the thought of spending six months with her in the same room, that it suffocated him... it was disgusting. strong word. instantly angered her, she who was in a terrible state emotionally and feeling not at all like the happy bride waiting for her bridegroom.

she raged at him, then why... why...
phir kyon ki shadi humare saath... why did you marry me. kyon kar rahein apne saath aisa... why are you doing this to yourself?

it was good to hear sanaya's voice, even if it was raw, strained and scratchy.

kyon de rahein apne aap ko taqleef, aur saath aapke hume bhi? why are you hurting yourself and me?

she didn't want to stay in the room with him either.

that got him seeing red again. yeah, he knows where she'd rather be, but she won't get to be there either.

khushi looked on not understanding a word he was saying.

had shyam not been standing there, would he have said such an unpalatable, pretty disgusting actually, thing?

he said to her that outside this room they would act as a happily marred couple... then a barb about her acting abilities.

again khushi was mystified. worse, helpless. the pagal who had married her was making no sense and yet she had no power, no way of getting away. but she kept fighting back.

they were again as equals... and if one has been in love and felt all the many feelings that phrase drags one into willy nilly, one would know, only lovers can have a fight this ugly and bizarre. no sense in all of this. one says a word, the other reads something in it and goes ballistic. in this case, everything khushi uttered, asr read stuff into...

what if shyam had not been standing there.

yeah, this night would have been impossible anyway, but would it have come to this... he dragged her to the poolside french window and said,
aaj se meri jagah yahan hai.. aur tumhari wahan." from today my place will be here, and yours there. 

he shut the door. a moment reminiscent of that sudden crack of thunder. he had just thrown her out. she would sleep on the poolside.

she watched him horrified and hurt, he turned away and stood with his back to her... he always did that if he didn't want you to see his feelings.

a sad low rabba vey as she turned away. 

this is not the first time he's acted in this extreme and egregious fashion... snapping her dori, ripping her dupatta, dropping her from his office, making her do parking, banishing her to the guest house, forcing her to marry him, when has he been exactly calm cogent composed and fair when it came to her. it's almost as if she just makes him lose control, go a little crazy. that "dammit" element in their interaction.

but tonight what he did was brutal and wrong and heartless. and yet at the same time it spoke of unchecked passion. endless emotion. aching writhing asphyxiating love.

yes, there was suffocation in him too... every time he thought of shyam and her, every time the spectre presented itself, that image imprinted in his mind, taunting his heart.

he threw her right out onto the stone floor, cold and hard.

and stayed up all night. tortured by his own action... unable to see her suffer, flinching at the sight of her sitting on the floor shivering. he knew she was scared of the dark, she might catch a cold as she had in the dhaba on the way to nainital. he didn't want to care, he paced, he ripped those fragile, stirring, streamers of flowers, he ran to give her a quilt, then threw it at her... she threw it right back at him, eyes angry, sparked with fire. she may be down on the floor, but she was certainly not out.

passion played hell into two people. and then came morning, bright and fresh. di knocked, and there lay a bride on the floor by the pool, the pool's edge her pillow. she looked so beautiful. and her bridegroom slept on his chaise longue in an awkward position, half sitting, so guileless his face.

when the knock startled him awake, he was hassled. di mustn't find out, so he ran out to awaken his bride. but this is khushi, never eager to get up from sleep.

there was only one thing to do. pick her up, of course.

i will never be able to completely forgive him his throwing khushi out of the room and letting her lie on the floor. hard and cruel what he did.

nor will i ever get over just how much he loved her. or the beautiful sense of belonging and right with which he just picked her up in his arms. khushi was always his, for she had really become his life... he didn't know it yet, but his heart felt it clearly.

khushi couldn't take his cover up of their "suhag raat" and railed let anjali ji know. i loved her anger, her lack of self pity.. so what she'd slept where she had, she was not going to wilt.

story takes us now to the next ritual, lighting the kitchen fire by the bride. the sister who had predicted the arrival of a girl like khushi in her bro's life is angry with him for doing what he did. the sister who loves khushi fiercely and had giggled with her about the boys, is angry with her for doing what she did. neither know, it was to save them that their siblings did what they felt they had to do.

innocence and passion, freshly cut.


glimpses of an episode that touched, moved, and shook one up.



episode 18 khushi's bros

"ye chappal hai ya padosi ka kutta... jab dekho kat.ta rahta hai." is this a slipper or the neighbour's dog... bites me all the time.

this khushi is the one i lau. 

and such a nice opening on tu hi bata; four people, young, with their own dreams hopes desires fears sadness, on a balmy evening of breeze and some showers. beautiful break from all the helter skelter of life.

tu hi bata mere maula, tu hi bata mere rabba     


 lovely episode. khushi finds long lost brothers. :)

she really brought out the worst in him, didn't she? something about her was just too much to take. he was of course unused to defiance and anyone meeting him straight in the eye and taking him on. but it was not only that, it never was. how delightful this meanness of the man. he has sized her up, he knows she can't win this challenge, laughter bursting inside him. 
buffy (the one that slayed vampires)

but he doesn't know madam. she ain't budgin'. then one look at the ganjeedhari hunks and madam's hawa is phus. "khushi kumari gupta!" he calls out for the first time, and again offers her escape. what? never. off trots the vampire slayer into the den of men, armed with measuring tape, dhaga, and a sweet sisterly spiel. how wily she is in choosing THE ONE.  wouldn't you say the second one from the right had some chance of being hero, poor boy. 

you know, this khushi in those awful clothes, funny choti, mojri, not too bothered with her looks, truly sanka, that's the one i'll never forget. she said she will do and not die if she fails, but do some more. attitude. 

what did she say: zalim zamaane ki chhoti behen dushman duniya? wicked world's younger sis unkind universe (i went for the alliteration rather than exact meaning in my translation). where did they take all her wondrous dialogues and hide them? she was weird, crazy, sometimes very passionate and idealistic, but never foolish.


 love shows another colour the other side of episode. sweet akash sits clutching chutney pink dupatta, smiling vacantly, day dreaming about "her". only akash could be this silly and not invite a tight slap from me. of course, appeasing sharp cookie mano is another thing. what a deadly scrutiny by motherwa. no falling in love, no letting go of power over bitwa. aw she wore a georgette i think, just this once a break to the gold adorned banarsis, paithanis, et al. the contrast between the rakshas and his human cousin was always fun to watch. good acting, how rare, and how much i am missing it these days. hope akshay lands a nice role somewhere too. all ipk cast i felt had loads of talent. in this episode, the expression on payal's face when she remembers a marriage broken is just a small glimpse of deepali's range.


"aap mujhe bana rahe ho," you're pulling my leg, easier to make a couture dress out of that dupatta, bhai. anjali, laughing, joking, sweetly interfering, happy. no damn idea what's happening in her life. in that context, her belief that "banaaoing" her is not easy is sort of sad, almost cruel.

stories in many lives are taking shape through dialogues, meetings, layer by layer. shyam has come to stay at bua ji's. bua ji makes the biggest mistake of her life carried away by affinity to a city and one act of kindness from a total stranger. he manipulates her innocent trust, perhaps there was a hint of a mother who never had children, specially a son, in that unquestioning trust she gives him. a lonely old widow that yearned for a son to turn to, just what shyam knows what to do with. he fooled everyone, even asr. but just look at payal here, some antenna up. she is not buying into him and his story. will watch keenly to see if she ever got taken in completely. 

 what a girl moment

this scene has a relationship, an intimacy, a freedom, and a sense of happiness that's just lovely and lifelike. never had a sister, but that fall back into bed and day dream with a person close to your heart... a girl... with whom you can speak of your deepest fantasy... nice. in a way that's what i'm doing half the time here with all of you.

might be an oft used technique: the slow dissolve across faces of similar magnification, but in this instance was apt. my eyes paused and so did my hand on the mouse. look at her merging into him almost. laughing, free, windblown. while he, silent, inert, intense, looking upward, thinking of his mother? so many layers and connections i felt here. in another universe where lovers meet, you don't see with just your eyes, your spirit observes things the eye never caught.

the happy virus
i caught the happy virus last night
when i was out singing beneath the stars.
it is remarkably contagious -
so kiss me.
~~~ hafiz ~~~

had so much fun watching then wondering about this episode.


"kabhi kabhi to nahin par abhi abhi mere dil mein yeh khayal aaya hai,
ki kash tumhara job mera hota" hyuk hyuk.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

episode 17 welcome to hell

"welcome to hell."


"naukri kya hai, khushi... pata nahin, jiji. kaam kya hai, khushi... pata nahi, jiji."

"arre shaadi toh zindagi ka sabse zaroori cheez hai... phere... sindoor, choora joda... bahut saare goto ke saath!!! aur shaadi ke baad pati ka dher saara pyaar!"

"tum gussa mein lag rahe ho."  "shakal hi aisi hai."

"...jiske bina tum..."  "jiske bina kya, di!" "jiske bina tumhari dhadkane ruk jayengi, jiske bina tum jee nahin paaoge."

"aap logon ki har baat shaadi pe kyon khatam hoti hai?!!" 

"tum itna so not important chamkili ko itna importance kyon de rahe ho?"

why do some people just get under your skin more than others? what's it about them that calls out to you right inside, where there's no place for lying, prevarication, pretense? making it impossible to look away, turn your mind off them? that clever promo four, with its evocative words comes to mind as i look at these two struggling to show the other who's right, who's not, what's what. without a clue as to what is really happening. 

as a format, they met/they hated each other/they fell hopelessly in love is not new. but to say it with finesse, intelligence, understanding, in a way that the ultimate result is beautiful, deep and long lasting, in this ipk is unique. for me, in any medium, anywhere. 

payal's very elder sis "pata nahin, jiji" don't know, jiji leg pulling seems to say, if you know nothing about this situation, why are you hanging around here. yes, why, khushi? rakshas, laad governor, you can't stand the fellow, but you don't leave. then there's the fabulous "itna so not important" so very so not important observation from la. of course, neither la nor payaliya know that they are giving leading clues into the matters of the heart to khushi and asr. on second viewing, these statements deepen in their significance, bringing a smile.

while akash is suffering from another oft told situation in the arena of love and romance: love at first sight, the object of his aroused heart is wondering if shaadi is what she wants. she has so obviously not been struck by the hapless akash, poor boy. and in the midst of this dilemma lands mami with her shaadi dreams for son. which of course includes a healthy dose of greed and dahej power, "gold pilated gaadi denge engagement ma" they'll give a gold plated car for the engagement. what's more,"angreji bhi satasat bolat hai hamre jaisa" will speak english as effortlessly as i. while akas bitwa is gagging, i'm thinking what casting for mami's role. an actress who just gets it. and in her mouth, all the ridiculing of our bad wedding related customs. niice niice.

as asr noted in frustration, har baat leads to shaadi in episode 17. naniji hears "miss kassyap" and promptly bends rules, breaks into bitwa's phonewa and calls the miss home. a round of not so sparkling comedy, the only mediocre patch here, but manorama saves the day.

and finally, another elder sister at it. it's time for di's dose. but before that, what's the angry young man doing, lying pensively on his comfort seat and flashbacking on chamkili. what's up, dude? and did you just say "oh god" with a very dilli accent wali "d" at the end? but i'll forgive you, for that really funny "shakal hi aisi hai," the face is like that and that killer smile on di's lecture about "jis din tumhari zindagi mein woh ladki ayegi..." the day that girl comes into your life and i will laud you for simply stating both to la and di that she is your girl friend, that's all. what's more there's no crime committed in having a girl friend, it also does not automatically mean you want to marry. this refreshing normalcy is utterly missing in our tv space which millions of women watch and get many ideas from. isn't it time this space got real?

bravo, asr, you're not as bad as you have been made out to be. pity, there are people out there who still don't quite read you. so accustomed we've become to shallow writing, cardboard characters, good is visibly and obviously good, bad is only bad, we don't feel the hidden depths, we don't appreciate the necessary imperfection. perfection is the ideal this imperfection gets aware of, then seeks; sometimes making it, sometimes not. that's human and me loves it.

cool episode, a perfect continuation to the storm and clash of yesterday. the aftermath rumbles in two hearts. the rest of the world carries on being sweet mad family. characters getting fuller, something very natural and easy in their drawing. did i spy a smile on bua ji's face as payal counted out the number of things khushi did for her dad? nothing is as it seems; as in life, so in ipk.

barun was good and even more asr. akshay, deepali, daljeet, utkarsha naik, jayashree t all really into their parts, the sense of a family. and for the very first time, khushi with hair open in her night suit, lovely. pretty breath taking in this mood and look.

to go back to the sort of stuff khushi does: opens the shop, keeps the books, goes to pay taxes and runs errands on her scooter, usually sons do these things. interesting, nayi soch with a light hand elevates this small town girl with a giggle and her sanka to another plane of being a girl. khushi was drawn with as much care and specificity as asr, pity later the ways of generic sp bahu had to be dumped on her. no matter, here she sparkles, and that makes me so happy. this beauty had the brains to know how to handle her beast, for she could feel his heart, one that even he had forgotten he had, or had wanted so hard to forget. jis din has come and woh ladki has arrived, realx, di.

office episodes

episode rambles
fan fiction

"naukri kya hai, khushi... pata nahin, jiji. kaam kya hai, khushi... pata nahi, jiji."

"what's the job... don't know, jiji... what's the work, khushi?... don't know, jiji."
"arre shaadi toh zindagi ka sabse zaroori cheez hai... phere... sindoor, choora joda... bahut saare goto ke saath!!! aur shaadi ke baad pati ka dher saara pyaar!"

"oh, marriage is the most important thing in life... the pheres... the vermilion, the bangles, the dress... with lots of shiny trimmings!!! and after the wedding, loads of love from the husband!!"

"tum gussa mein lag rahe ho."  "shakal hi aisi hai."

"why're you looking so angry?"  "i look like that."

"...jiske bina tum..."  "jiske bina kya, di!" "jiske bina tumhari dhadkane ruk jayengi, jiske bina tum jee nahin paaoge."

"without whom you..."  "without whom what, di!"  "without whom your breath will cease, without whom you won't be able to live."

"aap logon ki har baat shaadi pe kyon khatam hoti hai?!!"

"why does everything come down to marriage with you guys?!!"

"tum itna so not important chamkili ko itna importance kyon de rahe ho?"

"why are you giving that not important chamkili so much importance?"

episode 16 drop off

this time i just heard the music. usually, i am shocked and really upset during this scene and as he lets her go, a part of me can't help but hate him. how could he? and till date despite all the love he felt for a her later, this scene showed a side of arnav singh raizada i couldn't quite resolve. 

but suddenly today i was entranced by the delicate, searching, romantic notes that made an appearance, bridging gracefully from the dramatic piece earlier, as all sorts of heightening emotions rose in the those moments when he'd advanced toward her, saying it wasn't so easy to simply walk out and she careened backward, a bit scared, utterly taken aback, still trying to process that she had actually acquired asr as her boss. poor girl.

raju singh wrote memorable music for ipk and the directors were unerring in their choice of back ground score through out the series. i will never forget the introduction of the new rabba vey on the cataclysmic scene on the terrace after he tells her, he knows she was having an affair with shyam. smooth, emotion roiling contrapuntal sound. plays with every bit of you.

here this lilting signature tune, it took me to the emotions beyond the ones expressed, to that call they felt within, without thought or understanding, something that pulled them toward each other. it's easy to say they hated each other but deep inside they were attracted and were meant to love each other.

there i said it. but to actually express it. that too in keeping with the characters. and the tone of story. that's something. without losing lightness and a sense of sexy romance, ipk meandered easily into depth, beyond the surface, and touched exulting love in practically all its layers. that's what makes me want to watch again and again. in this everyone contributed, but what the actors did was just plain magic. there was always more in the expression, something beyond, i wonder where barun sobti and sanaya irani pulled it out from. 

paint spattered, humiliated was she. and a triumphant he. it's an unfair world.

all this time, because i was angry, i never heard lavanya say that he knew the boxes were there. but that didn't absolve him. lavanya showed glimpses of a girl within when she said as much. just as she had done a while back when she handed khushi a thousand rupees brusquely, but saving the situation. a not very resolved, apparently shallow girl with streaks of goodness, now completely under the spell of asr, willing to do anything to get him, even eat eggs and break into a rash. lavanya was always real. never a "vamp" in my eyes. loads of potential to evolve and the strength to do it. maybe in ipk 2 we'll see what happened to her as she came into her own?

khushi was not going to let it go. character before all... scared but not giving up. she stomps into the conference room and faces the demon. this was something he'd least expected. perhaps, for the first time, a little feeling in him that this girl was not like the others. a stir of excitement maybe? for he clearly tested her as he walked toward her. looking down at her her feet. what would she do?

khushi walked forward. the very first time. three times before she hadn't been able to resist the sense of threat, but this time she stood her ground. 

and advanced. 

i had a sense this made all the difference to what he told her next. and so, despite the letting go of her hand and all those insults, he just tied her right back to him. of course, both completely unaware why they were doing it. i mean, would you walk back to a guy who has dropped you from an upper floor and say, i insist on not leaving because i want to prove that i can earn the right way and i will return that money i owe you?  

love has weird starting notes. only their inner beings knew that actually a sweet romance was playing all through. 

and on the other side of delhi, but it really might have been another planet... out in the open, a crowded marketplace, far from the wealth and glam of ar office, on a completely different note, two lovers met for the very first time.

gentle, loving payal who had a mind of her own looked into the eyes of so sweet, tender akash who liked to see people happy. in his bespectacled gaze came hints of "kuch kuch hota hai." what a beautifully crafted contrast to the clash of the titans before. and could this first meeting have been any more different from that of the other pair? i so wish this romance had been given the attention it deserved for there was potential here. both strong actors, and in the beginning, both well etched characters. the strange things that they went through later, who will ever understand.

the attention to detail: akash leaves his jacket in the car before stepping off onto the crowded streets, the colourful dupattas and bright ferris wheels dancing in the wind, little touches that added to the mood and the setting. nice.

i was proud of khushi for going from hurt, horrified, humiliated to this:

looking forward to tonight's episode. again, major salaams to music and its use in ipk. i so wish they would do a cd set and a dvd box set. 

okay, can't think.