Tuesday, 10 January 2017

episode 174 by fire on water

the intimacy of this frame has me riveted. so very very close to each other they are really, she seems to yearn to be near him, he's reaching out and in for her sake, he's ready to go far and deep into this whole thing... no holding back.

once is happenstance. twice is coincidence. three times, it's enemy action. 

~~~ auric goldfinger, goldfinger, ian fleming~~~

what do you do if the enemy is really powerful? in fact, a confounding four letter word that refuses to go away... "kitni koshish ki maine." love, pyar, call it what you will, it was in action mode and its two victims, though they fought valiantly, were really no match for its fire power.

going down with them was a viewer not known for her resilience against such assault.

the strategy by creatives was equally brutal.

after having asr dance, prey, and flirt for three killer episodes, causing dhakdhaks across the world to escalate, just when you thought you couldn't take it any more, they threw us into an asr deprivation tank on thursday, episode 173.

only in the last couple of seconds he appeared, an insanity inducing intensity about him.

then came friday and 174. on deprived sensory organs were charged three rounds of utterly asr and extreme action between him and khushi. you gasped, you writhed, you held up your arms to defend yourself, then finally succumbing to superior might, you fell flat and wondered how the h am i going to write about this.

you spent four days figuring out how not to write a book on it. elegance... elegance, write a pithy one said your finer sense, your gross one said, forget it, just go for it, hun. so, here's going for it...

come back, please come back, she'd prayed. i say sorry from my heart, she'd averred. and the moment it went all the way to the heart, seemed he had to appear. she sensed him in her dhakdhaks, before she turned and there he stood, before that cardboard cut out tree, more real than flesh and blood has ever been on tv.

dhak dhak dhak dhak.

music in: soft, measured, a flow of feelings, by the most significant body of water in ipk.

water was always a strong presence in this narrative. arnav the ocean, scattering pearls the harvest of deep waters, the sense of a turbulent ocean and its calming holding shore, and of course, the magical pool by the bedroom. we never cared about its obvious lack of size and depth, we saw them by that tiny tank of aitch-two-oh and we experienced untold highs.

and now by that pool started the drama of ocean and shore, ebb and flow. khushi, absolutely tired by her worry, tense as anything, completely forgot to hide her feelings. oh she needed him badly alright. just that perhaps being the middle class girl she was, reared with the idea of what kind of men one could like and how much feeling was a decent amount to have for such "good" men, she just didn't know how to glean that she had lots of feelings for this sort of bad man, in fact her feelings were way more than what her world prescribed as safe and sound.

a lot has been said about what she did for asr, but perhaps not enough about what he did for her. why he was as essential to her. how he released her. how he made her feel more. in that first "aap?!" from her, with a frown and an aggression, in that feeling that she had the right to speak to him as she pleased... maybe there's a clue.

a matter of huq. how many people on this earth can we speak to with a complete sense of right over them? maybe for khushi ultimately there was just this one man. no relationship by birth or society, not even supposedly do they like each other, yet always, from that second meeting onward, she spoke to him as she pleased, said what she had to, often in a way she'd speak to no one else on earth. he was rough, rude, even wrong... he dragged her, tore her dori, insulted her at the drop of a hat. yet something in him seemed to reach her.

she didn't back off, something in her wanted to go near. was it just a fascination of the moth for the flame, or was it something else. was there a sense of coming home... at last someone to call entirely and absolutely her own.

look at how angry she is with him for disappearing... her voice rises on "aap," then forgetting all barriers, anger... "kahan the aap...!"

he moves his head a bit at the vehemence and demand in her voice...

and she flows toward him uncontrolled, insistent, unable to check her urgency... has she ever walked toward him with such purpose?

"aise kya dekh rahe hain aap, aur aise chup chap kyun khade hain? aap kab gaye, khahan gaye? kissiko batake kyun nahin gaye?"

what are you looking at, and why are you standing here so quietly? when did you go, where did you go? why didn't you tell anyone before going?

"aap jante hain humne aapko phone karne ki kitni koshish ki? aapko andaza nahin ki..."

do you know how many times i tried to call you? you have no idea...

and he breaks his silence finally... was he a bit taken aback at her tone, her whole reaction? i wonder what she would have said if he hadn't cut in.

"kyun?" he says softly... she draws back, "tumhe kya faraq padta hai mere jaane se..."

why? what difference does my going make to you?

oh he is playing a bit but he so needs to know it makes a diff, damn well does. her coolness, her fighting, her i don't give a damn, he wants it all to end... not in defeat though, in the triumph of a feeling acknowledged.

she's beside herself with worry... "faraq padta hai! hum kitne pareshan hain... hum.." makes a difference, she says, i am so worried... i'm...

"mere liye," a quizzical almost happy smile, for me...

"haan aapke liye," yes, for you... she's walking into the trap...

and he sta
rts his advance, he looks as if he must... get near, make her accept.

a feeling of flow and ebb, she had rushed at him, now he walks up toward her pushing her back, a shoreline undulates.

"oh really?!" music picks up tempo, asr moves in, kkg starts backing off as realisation dawns... she was revealing things she didn't mean to.

a cut to the most gorgeous advance retreat, so deliberate, so full of longing and hope, and why are they both looking so so good.

he fixes her with a gaze... predator again, she is suddenly lost confused awkward.

"haan... woh... nahin... an..jali ji pareshan..." she's dashed into the table behind, is losing her balance...

"be careful, khushi, nahin toh main samjhoonga ki tumhe meri chinta ho rahi hai..." be careful, khushi, otherwise i'll think you were concerned for me.

khushi is a stuttering, stammering mess, her emotions in turmoil, his nearness causing havoc again... "humne kaha na... hum nahin... anjali ji!.." liar liar liar, softly laps the pool.

of course, his di came in as if on cue and that moment was gone... but not quite... why is everyone so worried about me? he asked and khushi had to stop at that, then he continued...

waise achcha hi hua ki main gaya... pata toh chala ki mujhe itna miss kiya jata hai." in a way, it's good i went, got to know that i am missed so much.

oh he enjoyed that bait and her rise to it. she ran for cover.

di was concerned, plaintive in her worry... but khushi was gussa, demanding. as he is usually. feelings of love are hard to hide.

as teatime progresses at the table, and akash is trying to get a peak at payal's hand where his initial is written, khushi sees the "a" on her palm. good opportunity for a comedy break before the heat is turned on again... this time in the kitchen.

"a" is  the beginning, the first. "a" is for arnav. and when it's written in mehendi that stays on the soft surface of the palm right on your person, so very intimate, "a" is for aphrodisiac.

"a...a... aaalo jiji, chai lelo na!" khushi switches to weird mode the moment she catches sight of that telltale letter. he's here, coming down the stairs to join them for chai, but he hears the voicemail... she's saying, please, just come back...

"khushi?" he's perplexed. and perhaps hopeful?

"khoosie, khoosie! arre ka hua bitiya..." what happened, khushi... wonder her aunt and mother...

she rushes to the kitchen to do something about that "a."

scraping her henna desperately with a knife, she's muttering... so many times i told the mehendi wali my name is...
"khushi..." he completes, nice sound edit. the "a" man is with her and he has some questions...

torrent of heart beats.

the knife drops. his eyes take that in and come right back to her face... not a moment is missed by the predator, the lover. she stands, face averted.
"main tumse baat kar raha hoon..." i am talking to you.

a wonderful exchange about the voice message. fun, a bit crazy, constantly sexy. why did you call me. i? called you? when? "i don't know" gorgeously delivered of course, just a while back. you were saying you're sorry or something?
"inhe kaise pata chal gaya, " she thinks looking badly stuck... looks away, up, down, under the lashes, gets back quickly with a shrug shrug cool, "nahin toh..." 

music was cut perfectly to the sequence.

he advances again... first by the water, now by kitchen fire... the elements always there in the telling of this story. cool voice, gentle and sweet, enjoying the leg pulling though, the power... "pothey esho" my mother would have said, come to the right place... you do give a damn, admit it, dammit.
why should i say sorry? khushi is still trying to wiggle out of it.

for saying those things to me in the morning... you were saying you're very ashamed, were asking for my forgiveness. i did no such thing, retorts the tigress against the wall... rock and a hard place situation. he switches on voicemail.

"toh tum pareshan thi... itni pareshan ki tumne mujhse maafi maangi... kya laga tumhe... ki main ghayab ho gaya hoon?"

so you were worried... so worried that you apologised to me... what did you think, that i would disappear.
how lovely his pauses between sentences... he is so happy he matters to her.

"dekhiye..." look... her hand comes up, the "a" palm. his eyes move down immediately noticing it.

"yeh humari awaz nahin hai..." this is not my voice. "really?" the most gently devastating tone, turn of head, lopsided smile. khushi's classic kkg defence... madness. switch that off, that's not my voice... (i have done this sort of thing in college, hoping my hundred and one denials will wipe out one simple truth).

"aur hume koi faraq nahin padta, aap kahin bhi jaaye, kuch bhi kijiye... hume uss se kya..." she is fighting back. and it makes no difference to me, you can go wherever, do what you like, what...

"toh tumhe koi faraq nahin padta?" so it makes no difference to you? oh the need for faraq in both and both claiming there is none.

"bilkul..." absolutely, says she. and her hand is grabbed.

shut the hand quick. something funny and something terribly tender in that moment. he keeps holding her hand, pries her fingers open, the struggle a delight to watch, finally she has to give in.

"toh yeh kya?" so what's this. "a" for arnav, she's got it on her palm.
he thinks he's got her. he knows he has.

but did you know, mister, there's "a" in her name too?

arms have to be crossed, amusement has to be taken to another level... 

"tumhare naam  mein... tumhare naam mein... really?"

in your name... in your name... really?

the fun he's having.
what an opponent... crazy, determined, inventive. no wonder asr could not give up... such a hard one to crack. this deal he had to win.

no... i mean ye-es, read my lips... khushi kumaaari guptaaa.

"aa... i see."


just as he settles down for a major flirting session, nk has to walk in. he has a job to do... the nk from up above has sent him to get something done.

so he comes with his "bigul" meaning "bagal"... is that bugle in hindi? battle cry?

she sees asr's face losing mirth, irritated, and swoops in to use the moment... she latches on to nk, all smiles, and escapes... she also knows this will  stoke something in the "a" man... something more than just irritation.

as she sits laughing and chatting a bit too much with nk, even di seems to notice it, he comes with grumpy face and sits down. before that a moment in the kitchen where he looks almost bereft.

at the table... it's clear the shooting was done separately... yet his upset look touches the heart. he can't take the khushi nk tete a tete any more, he leaves with a gruff, gotta make conference call.

that was round two.
khushi did think it was over, but no... chance has a way of working things the way it wants to... so khushi it is who has to go to his room to get the bangle for payal. that mehendi is looking for colour today.

he is pacing... remembering nk and her... it's getting to him. 
today the thing he feels is clearly jealousy. he now senses he has feelings for khushi. in keeping with his nature, he's acted on it... from that submission in teri meri, through every moment after that, he's tried in different ways to reach her, to gauge her feelings, to make her admit... so now when he sees nk and her together, and she's so engrossed in another man, he is not just irked... he is jealous. lovely.

it's so hard to make one who has slammed the door on love understand that is what he feels, nothing else. nothing less.

she reaches his room on heartbeats. music changes as kangan falls into the pool. seems like a new piece. can't recall hearing this before.

she is trying to reach the bangle, stretching her palm with it's "a", and not quite making it.

a splash of water.

and another arm comes in... brown, surer, with a longer reach.

it is him.

from the fire to the water. has a scene ever been more stirring. the private just you and me of the moment. two people sitting close to each other, arms dipped in clear water, searching for something. together.

he picks up the bangle, she is shocked. he looks at her, "faraq nahin padta?" his gaze seems to ask.

"aap yahan kya kar rahe hain... humne kaha tha na aapse..." what are you doing here? i'd told you... she is aggressive again... that huq.

"khushi, yeh mera room hai... remember?" it's my room, remember? a gentle reminder.

"hum khud kar lete," i could have done it myself. a quintessential khushi trait. i can do everything alone, by myself... don't need help. being orphaned young isn't easy... i can quite understand her need to be reliant on herself. even if to a fault.

"har kam tum khud nahin kar sakti..." you can't do everything by yourself. anger, pulsating somehow... is this triggered by that jealousy somewhat?

"haan... hum hum kar sakte hain!" she's getting nervous and trying to hold on to her premise.

a funny moment, a curious tension, music tender, feeling its way around. he looks at her, something in his eyes, he lets the bangle go, it falls back into the water.

again a splash.

droplets on her face. she flinches. he looks at her surprised. carefully crafted each shot. lots of care. a precious scene is being put together with care...

the slightest smile at this stubborn girl... a swift but filled with edge and love, "tum theek ho?"

she looks up... hey hey... in the process of losing and finding things, hearts are being lost so they can finding their way home...

"main neekal deta..." i'll take it out.
"hum kar lenge..." i'll do it.

again the duel starts. two hands in the water, his hand covers hers, how terribly stomach emptying.
under water, skin against skin, a closeness, unlike any other. her hand has his name on it and he wants to touch it... he so wants to hold that hand that says what she refuses to.

she looks at him shocked..

he is noticing her every look move expression...

"tum itna dar kyun rahi ho?" he really wants to know... why is she scared.

she snatches away the bangle... i told you i can do it myself. and gets up to leave.

she feels the tug on her dupatta, she is about to turn when she remembers the tea and the thorns.

all her not understood and confusing emotions, her tension, her stressed out state on her face... she turns and this time he is holding her dupatta. he, not the thorns.

"aap humara... dupatta chhoriye..." leave my dupatta, she's unprepared for this, terribly uncomfortable, but not angry. how can she be? hasn't something in her wanted to be held long? and i imagine all that worrying for him is bubbling somewhere inside, she needs him to hold her and soothe that away perhaps?

"kyun?" why? a little lift of head, lips barely part, eyes stay fixed on his quarry. barun sobti has a way of delivering single word dialogues that i can't ever describe. they strike home every time. "hi," "really?" and this episode twice,"kyun?" 

"bas...chhoriye..." nervous she is, losing fire.

he stands up still holding the veil of pink chiffon, now pulled taut between them.

then in measured tone, ready to make the strike, he lures, "tum har woh kam nahin kar sakti jo main kar sakta." you can't do everything that i can.

she can't let go, she insists, "nahi... hum..." she tries to pull her dupatta, but he ain't letting go... 

with a victorious air and on a change of music that feels the excitement, he begins to use the dupatta to reel her in... like his catch. of a lifetime.

"tum kuch bhi kar sakti ho na? chhura lo apna dupatta..." you can do anything, right? so get your dupatta. how smooth and provocative is the voice.

"haan kar sakte..." yes i can.

at that, he tugs, and she is upon him almost.

music out.

dhak dhak... dhak dhak...

intently looking at her... no game in his eyes, just a bit maybe in his voice, on his face a potent combination of need, desire, craving. his voice kept a laughter in it perhaps just to keep things light, somehow under control.

"jo main karoonga, kya tum woh kar paaogi?" he asks.
what i'll do, will you be able to?

she nods. her eyes perturbed... now what?

a tiny smile... "lagi shart?" it's a bet? a break in the voice.

a still moment of bated breath.

he leans over and surges forward to give her a kiss on her right cheek... for a split second, he stays there and slowly returns... hey hey...

has a kiss ever been more igniting, more earthquaking. and that single clear sound of a kiss. exploding. a thrill, an indulgence in it. a right, a delight. done. lagi shart. no need to bother the censors, take hours over close ups and setting up, and reach for lips. if you know how to do it, a touching of lips on cheek is enough to start the fire.

yes, it was enemy action alright.



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