Monday, 17 August 2015

episode 189 take a decision

"akash, tumhari shadi hai, kisska wait kar rahe ho, bhai?" the exuberant voice of nk starts the episode. akash, it's your wedding, who are you waiting for, bro? he is in white and looking an absolute dish.

"bhai kahan hai, main bhai ke bina yeh jaimala..." the quiet, slightly perturbed akash... where's bhai, without him i won't exchange garlands.

bhai... bhai... is it a mere coincidence that in bombay hindi, that is the word for don.

and bhai enters. brown suit. slicked back hair. black fire in eyes. grim, dark, concentrated.

khushi watches, beautiful in her deep dark blood red with an edging of blue. a strange uncanny worry in her eyes. a sixth sense maybe? she could feel his rhythms and he hers. 

contrast this with all the happiness and joy and loud fun and revelry of a wedding. lots of jewellery, gold encrusted sarees, glittering smiles, makeupiya without touchupiya and ceremony and colour and custom and a sense of order.

while chaos brews on the side.

and i am thinking "the godfather" opening scene. that was a classic... a whole way of life and many facets of the story were told through a magnificent wedding sequence... at times out there in the festive lawn, at times in the dark, intimate, concentrated room of don corleone, of course there was sonny providing a bit of macho entertainment...

when i see 189, i think of all that. in fact, the whole way the marriage was used to take us into the heart of deceit, destruction, desperate love and deathly conflict, of man fighting fate, of a herculean push to preserve that would destroy... the way it took us to the core of character... each player's almost... the godfather had to come to my mind.

and on the scenes when he stood at the poolside with her, dark and saturnine, minimum movement of facial muscles, flat, compelling voice... again the godfather... the lighting, the tense tone of visual and sound, the suffocation... her imploring eyes, and slowly a realisation dawning, no way out. while just on the other side the wedding colours and sound. two spaces, one dark, one light, in both a crazy story unfolding. and only two are aware of it... a third gleans the tremors but knows not what is afoot.

but first the current of life... as all move forward, he comes in suddenly from the back, a decision has been made, he walks alongside her for a few steps, unnerving her with his look, his gait, then at one point he holds her hand... 

never will he let it go... on the day of his brother's wedding a promise will be made that will not be broken... i was watching the opening scenes of the godfather and echoes from here were somehow there...

he grabs her hand and turns her taking her against the flow, against the flow of life it seemed... the zigzag lines, the cross currents... a feeling of being swept away, gone, thrown into a whirlpool maybe.

the godfather was really fine cinema, of course, our serial may never reach that level, but in my heart it does, at this time, throughout the wedding. especially in its emotion and sense of drama... and that growing suffocation, the curious sanctity of certain things amid the turmoil and shatter.

he had reminded me a lot of michael corleone in the opening scenes of the show... the way he sat, the dead look in his eyes. there was that dark, no explanations given, no excuses made, don quality to this man.

classically, most of what he says to her is hidden from us. yet, just watching the first time, and even if one had no idea about the forced wedding (by now possibly already revealed by the promos), one would get a sense of calamity... of impending doom... and surprisingly of a beauty that will rend and tear and make us quake from within...

"arnav ji hume kahan le ja rahe hain, hamara haath chhoriye, aap humey chot pahuncha rahe hain..." why have you brought me here, leave my hand, you're hurting me... her first lines to him, tears gathered in eyes, a confused girl completely taken aback by this harsh behaviour, the hint of darkness everywhere.

he lets go of her hand flinging her away from him.

"aap... aap hume yahan kyon lekar aaye?" why have you brought me here.

"main batata hoon kyon..." i'll tell you. again that concentration, as though he is not quite himself... only one aspect of him has come and taken over. like an athlete about to start the race... the whole world falls away, he is only one single identity then... athlete.

here, he is perhaps just one single aspect of him too... brother. protective, unyielding, ready to kill.

maybe this is the only side of him he can stay more or less sane around right now. for to feel the lover in him is perhaps to just go utterly insane. or maybe perish. there is a fragile side to this man, an achilles heel, get him there and he is powerless. the girl of his dhadkan, can he really be nonchalant about her, can he really withstand the "reality" of her loving another man? it is better to turn to duty... to action... to fight back... to prevail. these are the things that have helped him survive before.

"tumhari behen payal ki shadi tab tak nahin hogi, jab tak tum meri baat maan nahin leti..." straight to the point, your sister will not get married till you have agreed to do as i say.

an offer is about to be made which can't be refused.

(interestingly, in the godfather, during the wedding it is michael who says this memorable line while explaining things to kay.)

till he reaches the mandap, akash won't marry. he makes the scenario clear to her in a few succinct words.

cut to wedding, and a couple understand each other's problem, both deciding to wait till their siblings return. and a villain can sense danger, he is uncomfortable.

back to the poolside and stories are told through eyes, and stance...

"jaldi faisla kar lo..." decide quickly.

does she have a choice? maybe she does... but he is in no mood to let her think so... arnav singh raizada in absolute don mode is out to get what he wants, he will solve the problem... that is all. that is paramount.

and then we hear nothing...

till... "hai re nand kissore, oo dekho," buaji breaks into a relieved exclamation, and they both return.

from now on, we will see a constant play of looks, gazes, glances... a cold determination in one, bruised broken heart and pitiable helplessness in another, questions in a third perhaps a premonition, and much happiness and laughter and wedding time emotions in others... a little mano meanness to spice it all up.

the music suddenly adds a more extended and fuller version of that violin cry we had heard when khushi got engaged to shyam.. a gnawing pain in it puts the heart on edge.

as smiles go around.

very cinematic... and reminding me of the most spectacular wedding sequence i have seen in the movies.

"bhai, sab theek hai?" is all well asks akash of his very terse looking brother.

"yeah... sab theek hai..." that is what he's working on, he seems to say, to make everything "theek".

at a wedding one night his world had gone to pieces... he had not been able to do a thing... maybe that is why he promised himself he would make everything okay for his beloved sister and gone out there to battle whatever needed to be battled. this time he is hellbent on making sure nothing goes wrong with his fam, especially his di...

and he takes a decision that is laced with extreme emotion however much he may think it comes from the head... and despite the fact that he loves a woman who is part of his heartbeat, he will be unfair... no matter what he will know that always and so will i.

this emotional content to me was ecstatically ipk, absolute asr.

i am told this marriage was worked in under duress. well whatever it was, there was a bated beauty in it, a fire that glowed deep in the story, keeping you awestruck, still, and breathless... like the love he felt for her.

this decision would change everything... she will have to take the offer but it will take them both down ways they had never imagined.

in one quick shot they'd be flung very far from the young and happy days of flirting he had just started... instead of going along with the current, they would whirl away into wild turbulent waters, the abyss pulling them in sometimes, the force of the waters tossing and churning them...

khushi struggles to seem normal and happy, the wedding ceremony commences, everyone does their duty, even the bride and the bride groom no one knows of...

duty is what keeps both going.

a thaal of shagun is picked up and passed, hands join, as they have many times before... at different points of a mohabbat that came out of nowhere and grew to where no one knew and now it moves into nafrat... 

shyam has guessed something is going on. everyone else is oblivious. despite the look on khushi's face... maybe in that situation, people don't notice things.

the wedding is done...

a mehhh break with mano and lakshmi...

but soon enough... khushi is not going to follow everyone to the next venue. as the monkey said in the lion king, "it is time".

she goes taking the first step, he follows. whither thou goest, i am thinking, from ruth, i found it in a mills and boon when i was 13/14.

shaym tries to follow, but again anjali is at hand stopping him. where would asr khushi be without their sisters' knowing and unknowing contribution to their relationship. tonight they will both marry for the sake of the two siblings.

he overtakes her, goes stands at the door, holding it open, his face impassive. she slowly walks out, helpless and not even knowing why this had to happen.

a sense of that's it.

and payal enters the raizada home on a ritually proper grihapravesh, lifting up in arms included.

i am thinking i need to go back and see the godfather again. i have bought the music from the apple store and right now speak softly love plays on what is it, a mandolin?

love speaks very very softly, doesn't it... bas karni hai... jaldi faisla kar lo... shadi karni hai, chhay mahine ke liye... main hamesha hamehsa tumse...

oh and i might be falling in love with nk. ab aapka kya hoga, asr?

"there are things that have to be done and you do them and you never talk about them. you don't try to justify them. they can't be justified. you just do them. then you forget it."
~~~ mario puzo, the godfather ~~~


  1. The most memorable episode of IPK for me as it was the 1st ever ep I watched. It was this ep that introduced me to arshi. I still remember being mesmerized by the intense scenes. It gave me goose bums. After that, I went online and caught with 188 eps in 3-4 days I think

    1. gosh, what an episode to start your ipk journey with. mesmerizing is what they were and intense beyond belief. the arshi scenes take you to another level of emotion altogether. i will write 190 for the first time today. nervous as hell. i started with the diwali scene, a man in a grey suit walking toward a woman in red... uff. 188 episodes in 3-4 days... i am laughing and remembering how intoxicating that feeling of going from ipk episode to episode used to be.