Sunday, 16 August 2015

episode 187 a day of mombattis one night

it's "bahut saare mombatti ka din", valentine's day.

"do dilon ke meeting ka din, couples ka din... mombatti ka din..." a day for two hearts to meet, a day for couples... a day of candles, says the innocent and pure nand kishore, always the friend, the facilitator of heart related matters; krishna's namesake of course had to remind us which day it was.

payal corrects, "mohabbat ka din."

it was indeed a day of mohabbat. the word mohabbat comes from the arabic root "hab" i think, which means heart. and today the heart would be tried. sorely. mercilessly. terrifyingly.

1. the battle intensifiesepisode opened on the staccato beat of drums... a sense of impending catastrophe, ominous. two men faced each other. looked like it would be a fight to the death. from 186, a feeling of chakravyuh and the honourable warrior is now in it... no way out. yet he will fight.

 from years ago, an epic hero came to mind, beowulf... and the monster he took on with bare hands, the hideous and rapacious grendel...

who would live, who would survive, who would bear the cost of this horrific battle.

through gritted teeth and ripping crazy pain, asr said, "meri di ne iss ghar mein aap ko itni izzat di... itni izzat di... aapne aur khushine milkar jo hamare saath dhoka kiya hai, usske liye main aapko..."

in this house my di gave you so much respect, khushi and you have together deceived us, for which i shall...

the shape shifting monster jeered, "kam se kam shabd toh dhang ke istemal kijiye na, arnav, ji." at least use proper words, arnav ji.

a feeling of a pressure cooker about to explode.

"jise aap dhoka kah rahe hain... woh humara pyaar hai khushi ji ke liye." what you call deceit is in fact my love, for khushi.

as a whole house full of people went about happily organising a joyous occasion; singing, dancing, reveling, dressing up, shouting, rushing around... a man's entire world fell apart.

no one to hear the tearing of his heart, the shredding of  his emotions, the dying of his happiness.

at 14 he was alone, at 27, why should it be any different?

a pattern repeated itself. that night too there was a wedding on, and he was by himself he'd heard his father was untrue to his mother. tonight it was rubbed in his face that the only man he had trusted after his father's betrayal... his beloved jija ji, who he believed was devoted to his sister, was in fact also just a common, low down cheat. and as if that were not enough, this time life played a more devastating game, the one the monster cheated with was the girl who made his heart beat faster, without whom his very breath might stop. no exaggeration, exactly as his di had said.

shyam used the word pyaar, love... yet, all he really felt for khushi was a four letter word: lust.

asr is stricken to hear his brother in law say that word for a woman other than his sister. and also his heart lurches with pain when he hears another man say that word in connection with khushi. his tender, newly identified sensations of love, that made him flirt, and play, and smile, after so many years, all they had was a day to frolic.

and then this.

the game was set so well... the conflict has almost an ancient eternal design... archetypal. a larger than life, passionate, courageous, straight forward, honest man with a fragile heart and a great capacity for love, tripped up by a shallow, uncouth creature, a product of dark slithering things, who knows neither love nor courage nor the straight and the narrow.

and yet it is that in life again and again, such creatures will get the better of the heroes among us.

"khushi ji humari zindagi ban chuki hai, humara pagalpan, humara diwanapan, humara sab kuch..."

khushi ji has become my life, my madness, my craze, my everything, said a ranting shyam, out to do maximum damage.

asr couldn't bear this, his eyes closed... the body blows that had started on a terrace, resumed; hitting target every time.

"aur ab hum dono ke beech sirf ek rukawat hai... ranisahiba!" and now between us there's but one obstacle, ranisahiba.

on that last word, the game took a turn... in a mercurial instant, the lover was overshadowed by the brother. his primary responsibility, his dear beloved sister, he would let nothing, nothing hurt her. every year on rakhi he made that promise to her, the only religious tradition that had meaning for him... like a soldier he has disciplined himself to be her protector.

the brother turned around, his instinct to defend aroused... fully armed, said his eyes.

shyam is shameless, reckless, high on some belief that he is going to win this one... he declares he never loved anjali...

heartbreaking to watch an innocent strong man feel the smite of deceit... a thing he knows nothing of. nothing. he has his dad's gussa maybe, but none of his galat.

which is why he is so unprepared for this low down skirmish, he fights fair, head held high. in fact, he can even come across as arrogant in his refusal to bow down.

way back when we first met him, a slap on moolrajani's face... no, two slaps, but give him a crore of rupees for each slap... and then too, he had fought because his mother was mentioned in a derogatory fashion.

two opposites are arrayed here against each other... the innocent versus the clouded, the murky, the unclean.

as khushi runs around looking for asr, the battle rages behind closed doors. shyam threatens, he goads, he uses his wife as his all powerful weapon. how will you tell your di, what would it do to her, would she believe you?

this war is going nuclear clearly.

when hp comes to call them just as asr is ready to beat the knave up, he mocks, "arre wah, toh jalsa shuru!" wonderful, now starts the entertainment... hysterical and frenzied.

in contrast, the slow smooth deliberate glide of asr's irises and their steel like glint... his jawline hardening. it sure chilled shyam's innards and entrails. which is why even though he feigned a triumphant exit, he did look back to check whether he had succeeded or not and was later found fretting and worrying for his safety.

2. the proxy lovers

elsewhere, akash actually tried to get rid of nk and wrangle a lovey dovey chat with his payal ji. maybe there's some hope for this boy i thought, even though i knew where that tale went. i heard akash tell payal "main aapse bahut pyaar karta hoon aur hamesha karta rahunga..." i love you a lot and will do so forever.

just the words asr had hoped to say.

reminded me of an evening far away when asr had looked at stars and for the first time allowed anyone into his tightly closed inner world of maa and all its pain... and parallel to this akash had set up a meeting with payal in the park, an awkward but heartfelt attempt to tell payal of his love. that evening too it had seemed as though the episode design used akash and payal to hint at what asr and khushi would say to each other some day.

akash's key words that night:
"aisa lagta hai ki uske bina jee nahin paayenge... jaise main nahin jee paaoonga apke bina... payalji, mujhe aapse pyaar ho gaya." one day asr would say exactly that to khushi... "main tumhare bina jee nahin paaoonga... promise me, you'll never leave me."

today again payal and akash said things that the two lovers were meant to say to each other...

"aaj ka din bahut accha hai..." today is a very good day. yes, it would have been, it might have been.

"hum bhi aap se bahut pyaar karte hain," i too love you a lot, said payal... it will be a while before khushi finally says it.

yet another night of wedding, deception and tragedy ticked away.

3. the night plays a trick again.

he came to the head of the stairs looking for his di, khushi saw him, he didn't see her... she was expectant, happy she'd found him at last, ready to tell him everything, though i did feel khushi might have been a bit more frantic than she was, given the situation.

she started walking to him, light, floaty, still feeling his flirt and love, still hoping to hear what he had to say, wanting to reach him.

he saw her... a falling away of sound, a gust of wind, and a crash of disaster.

she stood there smiling at him tentatively, completely unaware that their world has been turned upside down.

he looked back at her, nostrils flaring, his gussa coming in to protect a very fragile heart. two loves battled in him... the one he had trained himself to take care of... he will protect.

the other... what will he do with the other?

a dark threatening air is building, storm gathers, you can feel its rumble... no matter how light and sweet nk, akash, and payal are.

memories cut through him sharply... how much he'd desired her, wanted her... he had yearned to to kiss her... he had held her in his arms and danced with her telling her so much, he'd felt jolted when he thought he'd lost her.

what if i lost you?

he'd kissed her.

he seethed as he remembered and anger mixed with intense pain, almost injury, gathered in his eyes.

she smiled...

she clutched her hands, she had to tell him.

but he just looked ... and remembered her in another man's arms.

and her "agar aap ke liye... chor di jiye anjali ji ko!" leave anjali ji!

his hands clenched into a tight fist. all the anger and angst and fury there.

but in front of a hall full of people, he will not create chaos... it is akash's wedding... he cares about his family too much... a sense of occasion.

he came down the familiar steps, gaze fixed on her face... when he reached her, she didn't notice his hard expression, "arnav ji, hum aap hi ko dhoond rahe the" said she. i was looking for you.

"hume aap se kuch baat karni thi..." i wanted to speak to you about something, she continued. he walked toward her, perhaps wanting to haul her to a quiet place an give her hell, but di's voice came in the way... if this conversation had happened before he met di...

well, again life played a complex game. he did not get a chance to speak to khushi. i often asked myself why he didn't come to her, even if to accuse and berate... but now i realise, he did. it was not to be.

4. and again a twist.

he saw his di... his entire thought stream turned. he ignored khushi's call and walks away...

"di, mujhe aap se kuch baat karni hai!" di , i need to talk to you.

holding his sister's hands in both of his, that one gesture saying more than words ever can, he struggled.

then he turned away... alas, this time to speak the truth.

"di, jija ji aap ko dhoka de rahe hai... he's cheating on you" he blurted out and hurtled into the words he so hated saying.

this is so asr... up front, honest, guile free about certain things. he knew it would hurt his sister, but his instinct possibly said she would be able to handle it... and plus he would not want her to be kept in the dark about such a sick thing. so he went to tell her... shyam's gambit failed. but the night was out to trick him.

one other thing... this same man, however, could not bring himself to tell khushi why he hated her, why he was so mad at her...nothing. that too was so asr, to even say such a thing to her would kill him, he just couldn't... he loved her too too deep inside him already... the only happiness he'd ever asked for himself... the girl who felt like sunshine, who took the cold icy darkness away from his life. who he wanted to flirt with and have fun with and love and say "faraq padta hai" to. sad sad sad.

it was only when she took everything to a ridiculous chaotic extreme... suicide, that finally he just hurled it at her... wanting to hurt her even. with her somehow he always was himself, never a role, not even when he tried.

when he looked back, he saw di had passed out...

di di di di di di di ankhe kholo...

a crescendo of di rose, i thought of his voice calling khushi months later on a cliff top.

open your eyes, he said to her. again the writers hinted perhaps at anjali's gandhari like blindness. she would not see anything negative in her husband. she couldn't, she wouldn't, even with eyes wide open. funny how people can live together for years and never really know the truth about each other... that too happens.

desperately he sought doctor, water, some relief for his dear sister. "di, i am so sorry, di... di, hume maaf kar do... di, aapko batana zaroori tha..." he who hardly spoke kept saying things, asking for forgiveness, reassuring, saying it was necessary to hurt her so he did.

when asr loved there was no limit, no mean streak, no holding back... this seemingly cold man had the greatest capacity to love... and to give. and to suffer for those he loved.

"i... i'm really sorry..." he's almost in tears... beautiful and so very natural in this situation. his heart has taken such a terrible beating on this lovely valentine's day evening.

it had to be this evening, of course, when two hearts would get wrenched and torn asunder... but through it all would hold on a desire, a longing, a light, a mombatti already lit that will have the power to burn all evil and let two hearts unite.

di hasn't heard a thing... and soon will come the news that will change everything... forever and chay mahine ke liye.


the terrace episodes 

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