Thursday, 6 August 2015

episode 179 once upon a night

an inky blue night over a ribbon of steel grey road, trees with spreading umbras, moonlight filters through, not a soul around. and a white car swings into view, going at a clipping pace, a man and a woman sit beside each other in silence, electricity in the air. he in shades of the night, she a splash of light.

cinderella's carriage became a pumpkin, here a reverse fantasy. a white suv turned into a gorgeous white steed, the woman wore flaming orange robes that flowed as she sat in front of the man whose arms held her secure as he steered the horse with steady hands, the man a valiant knight.

or a highwayman.

and this that moment when he carries her away from everything and everyone, gallops away through the dark to a place where they will be happy ever after.

this shot was like a fairytale point for me in the episode. surrounded by darkness and nothing else, two lovers and their trusted escape vehicle, took me away to some other land.

episode 179

"hooonh, nk koh tumhare kalai ka size bhi nahin pata..." huh, nk doesn't even know your wrist size. gruff voice dismissing her nanhe ji, he seemed pleased that nk was clueless...

and then she went and broke the bangle and it pierced her wrist. he spun to look at her, again the fear came over him. the fear of losing one he loves. he's just recovered from one bout of extreme panic. now once more. his feelings flew and expressed themselves with familiar anger.

"paagal ho gayi ho tum... dammit, tumhe agar kuchh ho jata... agar tumhari nas kat jaati toh?  "

have you gone mad... if something had happened to you... if you slit your vein?!!

asr couldn't face that scenario. and khushi can sense that, but since he never says anything clearly; just plays, and teases, and gets deliciously close, and shouts and screams...

and never completes faraq padta hai kyunki, she's confused. she's unsure, she's agitated.

plus it must be hurting like hell.

she snaps back, so what if that would have happened...

one long look, he's disturbed, he's also angry at her tone, but this time, instead of wasting time on reprimanding her, he must rush over to see her arm, help her... be by her side.

"maine pehle bhi kaha hai... mujh se aise baat mat kiya karo..." told you before, don't talk to me like that. sand in his voice, a smell of surf. deep inside the ocean churns. don't push him, really.

from blue we transit to yellow, the story telling style of the week is intercutting... build the drama. on the one side asr is going crazy for khushi. on the other, her sister's wedding is facing ma in law perils, while his sister's life is in danger too. when i saw it the first time it wasn't really clear where it would all go... in hindsight, it was an interesting instrument to augment emotions, neither did payal's wedding go kaput, nor did shyam's plans worke... but asr did reach his dhakdhak. that was the destination, the other stories were there to just fan the flames.

here an endearing scene between garima ji and bua ji, sisters in law who are very fond of each other... good to see that. how trustingly garima ji holds bua ji's hands, and she reassures her brother's wife. there is cause for concern, mami ji is in a dangerous mood. then akash steps in and with beguiling gentle smile promises that he will not let any unhappiness touch payal. his ma in law to be is grateful and touches his cheek, camera pans to show payal looking at them as anjali puts a hand on her head... the acceptance by two families of the couple, sweet and very heart warming.

but i can't help wondering, who is this man really? our akash? is he so sweet because someone else is willing to be the strong, not so sweet, completely hard working and smart thinking business man?

left to his own devices, how far would he go. and while it's true that two alpha males under one roof can create trouble, also he and his bhai genuinely love each other, it would have been nice to see some growth in this boy...

"iss ghar mein sabki apni soch hai... par faisla sirf bhai karte hain..." everyone has their own way of thinking in this family, but bhai takes the decisions. now though that sounds like bhai is a mafia don type, fact is in the real world such people do exist. sometimes because they have to, no one else is willing to take the risk of being a decision maker. opinions are easy to have.

but decisions?

arnav singh raizada has been taking them since the age of 14. not because he wanted to... he just had to. by 26/7, though he is young in years, he's known the authority and the challenges of being the one who decides. made him brusque and not so sweet and gentle maybe, but someone's got to be bad i guess so we can all be floaty and flying. the only one who seems to understand the burden this man willingly carries is his grandmother. she too has had to be the strong one for too too long. and oh, she's been pretty magnificent at it. you know in the initial stages she was quite starchy and grim, with glimpses of softness coming through in her way with anjali and her joy in her grandsons... i quite liked that. formidable like asr, with the same big love ability.

"bhai ne apne kandho par iss ghar ka, iss parivaar ka bojh utha rakha hai aur agar bhai ko kissi baat se aitraaz nahin hai, toh kisi ko bhi nahin hoga... ma bhi unke agey kuch nahin kahti..."

bhai has taken on the responsibility of this house, the entire burden of this family and if bhai is not unhappy with something, then no one else will be... even ma says nothing before him.

akash holds amma's hands and gives assurance.

"ab sab achha hi hoga... aap ko mujhpe bharosa hai na?" now all will be well, you have trust in me, don't you?

lovely scene, the music, poised with a low somber note and a rhythmic lighter note looking up, giving light... raju singh did such a marvelous job on ipk.

back to the white steed in the night, paused as lovers meet under the moonlight.

he stands outside next to her... reaches out and grabs her hand without ado, without a by your leave... this state of mind, this gussa pyaar, why is it so thrilling. why can't i demand moderate behaviour... expected, conventional politically correct love. why does this feel right, excite?

is this the instinct we've preserved from our days in the cave... or does a real woman enjoy a bit of a fight too? she needs it... in the right amount it is exhilerating, an aphrodisiac of sorts... but only in the right amount. too much and it is just so so wrong, leading only to chaos. this calibrated anger is such a perfect catalyst to love.

of course, there are different kinds of people... there are those who are of a calmer disposition and they need calm, non gussa love... that too works i guess. but i am a sucker for angry love... all my life. the pairing of asr and khushi was perfect, they both were fire people. but with akash and payal i felt a mismatch, as though she were stronger, with a glowing fire within, while he a little ainvain, wishy washy. can't figure out if it was the acting or the characterization.

he looks at her hassled... eyes dark, furrow on brow what are you up to now?

she tries to free her hand from his, he holds on...

the silent duel of will, of need.

through gritted teeth, trying to keep a rein on his short fuse, he says,

"khushi!... khushi, mujhe dekhne do!" let me see.

she looks up at him, he's sternly gazing back... ting ting ting tingtingting... the music has pace and drama, a bit of desire... i could hear at least four different instruments beautifully balanced... one thing they did spend time and money on... the music and sound.

he is wiping the area, she's tremulous, hurting, scared...

"hiiist" an indrawn breath.

she's hurt.

a jerk back, his hand stops.

a look from under frowning brows, she's hurting... glass in skin... the very thought has him cringing.

he lets her take a breath then goes back to gently dabbing the area...
she looks at him from under her lashes now... hey hey...

a change in the emotions of the moment. if they are close to each other, after a point this thing kicks in, no matter how happy sad in love in hate in anger they are.

music spoke all the while in ipk. a while ago harichandana and i chatted about this. it's true that raju singh and all the sound guys had a tremendous contribution in creating the asr khushi romance and deserve many salaams. just as the dialogue team headed by hitesh kewaliya.

she can't help but look at him.

"hhhiii" she flinches.

rabba vey takes off.

he looks at her...

everything is in perfect coordination, flowing.

a minutely directed scene again... like poetry. short and long lines... perfect metre.

he looks at her, sees her pained face, looks down.

he is deciding on a course of action.

he turns her arm and grips it with both hands, the shot places her arm just covering his chest, where presumably the heart is located... intentional? accidental? no idea.

then as she looks at him in wonder and not sure what he's up to, he slowly lowers his head...

he looks at her once...

her eyes are shut... she knows it will hurt... she doesn't want to see... and maybe she just trusts him. no need to look, let him take charge. interestingly, "i can do everything by myself" khushi is not so good at handling pain... sweet.

he bends further and catches the piece of bangle between his teeth... his mouth is over the wound, the tip of his nose touches his fingers curled over her wrist... as real as it gets.

 as he pulls the piece out with a little sharp jerk... another "hhhss" over the rabba vey, and trill of piano.

an almost happy jubilant sound.

the extreme intimacy of the moment. one night again away from all eyes, he was at her feet with a payal... the first time he touched her with so much desire, a burgeoning caress, his hands wanting to touch to feel her satin skin. tonight, his mouth is on her wrist, on her vein, tasting her blood... can it really get any more intimate than this. and not at all in a way you thought. good imagination at work and great acting as always.

on indian tv, in a family drama, it is impossible to show the usual things that say attraction, excitement, man woman love, so you have to find new ways. necessity is the mother of invention they say, here it is the mother of the hottest scenes on earth.

he looks at her again... and then turns to spit out the little trouble maker.

her eyes are still shut... she doesn't want to see this whole thing.

he swallows as he gazes at this strange and lovely woman he can't bear to see hurt, eyes unmoving while her lips tremble, she's all scared still...

then in a brusque yet gentle way he says "ho gaya," that's all... yeah ho gaya... but kya ho gaya is the question... that night it was "thoda dard hoga" there will be a little pain... tonight, "ho gaya" done. so very suggestive yet not aggressively sexual... sensuous and maddening really.

was there an almost smile, as she opens her eyes slowly and then looks a bit lost, uncertain, for once no bak bak?

and once more lean brown fingers hold fair delicate arm gently and he bandages the wound.

rabba vey soars... joy, the violins reach out... he's looking at her intently all through. both are silent, just feelings converse.

(my stomach somersaults... so we have the drool... the loop... and now the stomach somersaults...)

has anyone noticed how he holds the bandage and winds it around, expert fingers keep the gauze in place while the other hand goes round to catch it. so sexy... like the key ring on his thumb against the door. now bandage.

he makes such things feel exciting... should he have been a doctor you think?... how he loves to dress her wounds. yet how he will wound her himself.

suv and the two of them and the night... i could stay here a while.

he came over in one smooth motion from the other side to his, got in, she looked at him now, as he had before, he caught her eyes on him, and looked back, a connection there, he fixed his belt, started the car, changed gears and drove off, but before that, for the first time in a tiny mirror, their reflections together... (arshi's take has a lovely bit on this).

cut to yellow.

shyam is fretting, nani and di thrilled. about the same thing... asr and khushi.

they must be fighting, says anjali.

"ladat bhi hoge... choohe billi ki tarah..." fighting like cat and mouse... nani looks thrilled.

"pehle ladte hain, fir ek doosre ko manate hain... phir ladai karte hain... phir manate hain..." they fight first, then make up, then fight again, then make up again. anjali too is delighted.

the grandmother knows her grandson, really he's no aam, not mango, not ordinary... she understands attraction, love, and who makes whose boat float...

or suv rev...

"hume toh lagta hai saath mein rahne ke bahane dhoondte hain," i think they look for excuses to be together.

something always endearing about anjali treating chhotey as chhotey her younger bro, even if he becomes the world's richest tycoon, she'll behave exactly like this...elder sister...

snake is seething.

into the night races the white car, man in blue and grey steals a glance at his girl, she's silent, almost thoughtful, for a change... no eating, no talking... she looks as though she wants to say something.

"tum chalo.. main aata hoon." you go ahead, i'm coming... he tells her as they reach home. his eyes follow her... chooha billi. billi very cool now and jerry is pensive.

in the yellow world snake hisses. chooha billi snake, this is a zoo, i tell ya.
"saale sab abhi tak nahi aaye.." now shyam is worrying about khushi... again that mirroring, both asr and shyam vis a vis khushi.

she walks in wearing nk's shoes. disoriented. the whole family rushes to fuss over her... then she is directed to go to anjali's room, but on the way she remembers her phone and turns back.

only to bang into him... okay the shot of him walking in swiftly with a  purposeful air had me calling for a "just loop it" and missing issk.

ting ting la la lala la la. awkwardness divine.

"khushi, tum theek ho na," his voice is so gentle, as though asking her something else not just are you ok.

nk interrupts.

kya hua, comes the kabab main haddi ji... a little ott always like kkg.

"aur, nannav iss bag main kya hai?" what's in the bag, nannav? stylish black carrier bag in stylish man's hand... he does not wish to answer.

o m g nk has seen the bandage. more drama.

asr can't take it... "nk, tum jake havan mein baitho..." he does treat him like a pesky kid... as nk had complained earlier.

"okay... fine as you say... ravan."

ravan... an anagram of arnav. funny. clever. playful creatives. frowning asr.

the cutest pause and awkwardness after that... so light and sweet and airy yet deep. he's never done this before... she's never done this before... almost virginal, the awkwardness.

through the curtain someone watches... she picks up the black bag which says simply, khushi. happiness. actually, in a context khushi also means desire, wish...

it's his first gift to her. bangles... ma's kangans come to mind, how he loved the sound of it clinking... it gave him peace, sukoon...

he wants to hear the sound of her bangles says my hopelessly mushy brain.

her first smile at the sight. lovely... he must have been so so happy. how long has it been since he's been happy like this, for himself happy? he watches her rush to wear the bangles. she delights in them, and he in her delight. heart beats... oh they are mine.

of all the reflection shots, perhaps my favourite, they are in the same mirror and his frown of consternation tries to hide but only shows how full his heart is. her surprise is tempered, not ott at all. she is truly touched by his act.

hey hey...

he looks awkward, and looks away then leaves... she stands there shocked speechless...

"iska matlab arnav..." this means arnav... and in a trice ott, and kkg passes out

"khushi..." his voice is drenched with concern, he's sitting by her on the bed, in charge of care taking... he would do this for his di... and for his jhalli. she's wearing his bangle now. mehendi, touch of lips, haldi, return touch of lips, if i lost you, taking glass out of her with his teeth, bangles... sounds like a commitment ceremony, a wedding with rituals really.

khushi, tum mujhe sun sakti ho!

in this bedroom scene, whole fam is hyper. di and nani delighted at caretaker in charge.

"hosh..." she mutters correcting nk. she's back. he's breathing again.

it's his face she sees first... oh the look on his face when he sees her.

"woh chooriyan... aapne..." those bangles, you...? and so begins the bangle flirtation. payals... bangles... then bindi later.

but before that, man in charge has taken another decision...
"exactly! kahin jaane ki koi zaroorat nahin hai... yehin baithi raho," no need to go anywhere, keep sitting here. he is like that only with his di. and the quality of love in his voice is of a bro kind. but here?

"kya cooriyan aapne... bataayie nah kya aapne..." she pushes...

"bring her down, payal..." he leaves.

the decision maker and the one who will throw his head and heart helter skelter. aww. kya woh churiya aapne. this was such tenderness. who wrote it who acted it why is it all over.


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