Friday, 21 August 2015

episode 190 presenting the couple

khushi pata nahin kahan chali gayi... wonder where khushi's gone, said her mother.


cut to a pair of feet in dark shoes firmly planted on the ground.


behind that moved in an edging of red and blue... khushi's ghagra.
 

her face came into view; miserable, troubled, but more than that... vulnerable. hands clutched the border of a dupatta; her hands always spoke, they said things she couldn't say.





and a face in frame, not as neatly arrayed as usual, eyes lost in another world. a dark chaos approaching.




3:18
has an episode in a mass entertainment medium ever been this elevating. a grandeur held the frame, there was the sense of high drama, as if we were watching a greek tragedy perhaps, and yet there was a touch so light and minute and modern in tandem, one felt a sense of euphoria.

 
i should have been able to hate arnav singh raizada, i know i have despised characters for doing far less egregious things than what he did when he coerced and blackmailed an innocent young woman into doing as he bid and forced her to marry him... on terms most bizarre, each of which he lay down, while she watched helpless, caught in a terrible situation, unable to even ask what she had done for which he did this horrific thing to her.

but i couldn't hate him.

i should have felt like crying for khushi kumari gupta. that charming beautiful girl who had just started to sense that a man who intrigued her, enthralled her, was trying to flirt with her, tell her something... something that made her heartbeat pelt and her hopes run amok, and now he had dragged her away and look what he had done. she was clearly blown away by all that had happened, and in a position so powerless one had to feel pity.

yet, how could i... not when she exuded that pristine dignity even amidst all this... as if she was the one with the power, though she was being vanquished.

the terrific game of life, with all its knots... hadn't the episode started on talk of games and knots and how they must be untied with one hand only, the other as if tied behind one's back. how one had to have enough and more knots. how a couple must untie these knots and that would mean they'd all their lives help each other solve problems, even the most entangled ones...

the knots had been tied by life. intricate, elaborate and most recalcitrant. and two people had to find a way to open them, before they choked and suffocated them to... what?... love?

what makes us love what makes us live what makes us die.


anjali wondered about chhotey... music changed note.




a sense of preparation, she closed her eyes... he seemed to shut all out.
 

again he turned and looked at her...

arre ranisahiba, saaley sahib toh kahin nazar hi nahin aa rahe... ranisahiba, can't see saaley sahib anywhere, said the man who had vitiated two lives. arnav and khushi, a man and a woman and a primeval beautiful feeling, an archetypal moment... an archetypal enemy of beauty and innocence. here he was called shyam.

your hands will be tied... he holds her hand... why? if she is as fallen and as filthy as he believes, or tries to believe; if he hates her so much, why does he bother... why must his instinct be to hold her hand, and not let go? did he even ask himself.




startled, she looks up...

he looks away.

and to the beat of ominous percussion, he steps forward... she stumbles behind, reaches and grips his hands with both hers.

 
a complete story in itself...




yes, there will be problems, untold knots, their hands will be tied behind their backs... yet all knots will be opened, must be... for their is mohabbat, there is nafrat: the surest sign perhaps of mohabbat that.

in the godfather, tom hagen had said to michael corleone as he took crucial steps that would change his life forever and take him all the way to becoming the don,
"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."

michael could never forget... nor could asr. some part of him knew what he did was wrong. and he also could never forget why he had to tell khushi "faraq kyon padta hai" even as he tried to crush and control her... contain her almost as if she were a disease, it became his "chot". but how did an actor portray that tremendous complexity? as we went into the fabulous story telling of the wedding, with its tense tight cataclysmic flashbacks, i thought the directors had felt their work splendidly and their entire design was breath taking, audacious.

not easy to show the hero of your story blindly judge the love of his life and then force her into marrying him, so so brutally. how would they save such a hero from the wrath of the viewer, how would he be redeemed? oh they must have spent a lot of time pondering that.

however, i believe they barely had any time, the channel having insisted a marriage take place. no, not payal and akash's. asr and khushi's. i also must absolutely laud the writers... payal and akash were not supposed to be a couple, it just worked out that way, what skill writers showed in using this jodi's marriage as a perfect device to present the rapidly evolving story of asr khushi and a marriage not planned. against the thick suffocating dark contour of the khushi asr scenes, the happy light bright and colour filled akash payal wedding scenes. gives the viewer a break, and accentuates the darker scenes, making them seem even more potent... gorgeous.

i have no idea who came up with the solution of the temple marriage, but whoever did was imagining at a heightened level, the sort that makes you go slightly crazy... i keep thinking of beethoven's fifth symphony and its storm and thunder and sweet melody intertwined. the dha dha dha dhaan always blasts into me, here asr and khushi did it with two firmly placed feet and a swirl of a ghagra's edge... almost silent sound track, but what a crazy making moment. the sense of a symphony with all its build ups and climaxes and crashes and breath and soul and emotion, all of it here.

everything was well put together, but ultimately, it was two actors who pulled it off. and the music. raju singh understood it seemed every nuance, every desire of his serial.

i stare at barun sobti's face in these episodes (okay i stare in other episodes too) but here i really am struck by the way he seems to change his features, their set, their slant, their very arrangement almost.. and his body, like a fine instrument expressing his state of being.

aside: for almost two years now this actor has not been cast in a meaningful production. shame. had the original directors and producers who made hindi films into a phenomenon called bollywood been around, this would be never have happened. and that seismic jodi, barun and sanaya, would our great film makers, who had tremendous gut feel, who went about discovering superstars and matinee idols in the strangest of places, have wasted that power, that promise? the opportunity to do good work, to make hits, to make money... seems nowadays our film makers are not really hot on talent. i wonder what it is they seek.

akash opens the knot, nk is elated, di smiles and looks up and is the first to see them. just as nk says, you will solve each other's problem at the same time. union. a sense of it in his words

a whispered, "chhotey" from anjali... and the music at last rose... it was time.

incomprehension. shock on faces... a note of music as if stuck and breathless inhaling... and they walked... raju singh made sure there was no let up, no lack. barun sobti and sanaya irani became two people alone, just by themselves, in the midst of commotion. 




barun and sanaya seemed to create another plane within the frame, like they were right there and yet in a separate place... i make no sense. it was the kind of episode that makes you lose it.

shyam looked up.

as a whole room stood up, before them stood a man and a woman, together, in garlands of wedding, hands firmly held. the couple, the dampatti, hamesha.

a curiously stunning moment. an exhilaration in it. despite the look on the couple's face... despite everything.




camera rose higher. conch shell blew. auspicious chants of invocations filled the air. bewildered, worried, dumbstruck faces seemed like a counterpoint to that feeling of splendour. this might have been melodramatic.

again the acting of the lead pair kept us riveted, not bothering with whether this is melodramatic or not.

khushi's parting had sindoor. our first sight of it. no explanations, no story of the wedding. we just know it's done. and it can never be undone.




a man in a garland with averted face, again so many things that said. he has done what he believed had to be done. one can't fathom him, one can't perhaps forgive him, and yet why is it that his action seems like that of love?

terrifying, upsetting yet what's that beauty of hands held... dampatti. neither he nor she is alone any more.

"ee sab kah hai, nand kissore!" bua ji had to be the one to speak first.

"jawab wahi hai jo dikh raha hai," a brilliant pithy comeback from the man in garland.

"humne shadi kar li hai..." we have gotten married.

"shadi? aise chhupke? bina kissiko bataye? par kyon?" di is lost... married? without telling a soul, so quietly? why?

cut to a suffocating scene.




poolside, a man drags a woman there... "aap humey yahan kyon lekar aaye?" why have you brought me here asks a bewildered young woman, dressed in blood red.

still, dead voice from a man whose face has goine so motionless, his eys are blank, yet there is smoulder somewhere. main batata hoon. i'll tell you.




tum apne behen se kitna pyaar karti ho... how much do you love your sister.

cut to the view from the other side... beautiful story creating.

usske liye kuchh bhi kar sakti ho... right? you can do anything for her, right?

why is the strong one, the perpetrator looking so vulnerable...

toh aaj tumhe apni behen ke liye kuh karna hai... so today you have to do something for your sister.

minimum words yet a terrifying note to it all. again i think of godfather. brilliant dialogues here.




kya? what? sanaya has not yet lost her voice i think.

shadi karni hogi, mujhse... abhi. got to get married, to me.. now. i'll never forget that delivery or the look on the face.

kya?!! the same word, now in a completely different vein... sanaya's voice was slipping away but she never let khushi go far from her.

stern silence on a face, complete bewilderment on the other.

sahi suna tumne... you heard right. you have to marry me... for six months. wonder why that was added later.

the threat came, won't let your sis marry my brother.

shadi? chay mahine ke liye? marry? for six  months? again the six month line added later (by another voice?)... aap kya bakwas kar rahe hain, arnav ji... what nonsense are you talking, arnav ji.

main bakwas nahin kar raha hoon... aisa kaise ke sakte hain. i'm not talking nonsense... how can you say that?




haan ya na?  yes or no... asks the man, jerking her close to him, twisting her arm, holding her close, gritting his teeth. months ago, when she first came to ar, the same question had been asked of her... by la. that time too her hands were tied. why should it be any different now.

he asked her three times.

she said na, kabhi nahin...aur humne socha tha... and i had thought. she had so thought he'd tell her he loved her, he'd flirt again, he'd...

ekbaar phir soch lo... think once more.

he shows her what will happen if she refuses... jab tak main wahan pahuch nahin jata aksash shadi ke phere nahin lega... till i reach there, akash won't marry. and she knows how akash listens to everything he says.. and mami ji is just looking for one excuse to break teh wedding. that excuse he will give her.

asr has come prepared to win this deal.

funny how, and this is what adds depth and poignancy to the tale of asr and khushi, the smart intelligent deal maker was completely credulous and believed what he saw mainly because he loved khushi so much.
he couldn't think straight. he made the biggest mistake of judgement. he somehow couldn't examine the moment with his mind. his heart shattered.

but now he has come fully prepared. he has tried to shut his heart and he's devised his strategy. to make the biggest strike against the same one... this time he will not err... how sharp his judgement. he knows exactly what will make her agree. he doesn't make a single error.

we are back at rm and he tells his sister he has nothing more to say. di steps away... he is silent..

an aunt berates, a grandmother is horrified, cousins are dumbfounded.

a mother screams, humri taraf dekho, khushi, ka ee baat sach hai...loo at me, khsuhi, is this true!

haan... yes, whispers the one who wouldn't back down in a battle, she must protect her loved ones, even if she must annihilate herself.

a slap.

and he steps forward and grasps his wife, holding her, being there... glaring at her mother.




you have no idea why you have married her, she has no idea why she has agreed... you think what you think... but you are man and wife... hands held... hamesha.

 
khushi begins to look up... a question in her eyes. she senses a partition in the stone wall, a streak of emotion escaping...  he turns away perhaps realising what he has done, what it said, maybe he didn't mean to even, but how could he not protect her.

nani ji shouts...

a pathetically silent khushi.

a memory again. it's getting desperate at the poolside. you can't do this... kar sakta hoon aur main aur karoonga... i can and i will. if you don't marry me i will not let this marriage take place.

tum meri shart manogi... mujhse shadi karogi... and a whsipered almst.. aaj.

you will accept my conditions. you will marry me... today.

again from the back chay mahine ke liye is added.

she held off. he began to walk away. but jiji's wedding... the night that a wedding broke and a dori was snapped, the night it all began haunts her.

rukiye!

stop!

and he stopped. he turned... and he walked back to her. on the night of diwali too he had started to walk away, but he had had to stop. perhaps what made him turn both times was the same thing... that uncontrollable, extra rational attraction... made him completely irrational both times.

a brave young warrior, who only knew how to love with all of herself, beyond herself, with whom you could solve all the problems of life said,
hum taiyaar hain.

i am ready.


a ruthless deal maker who had without ever meaning to fall in love had done just that, knew that the deal was his... though his heart broke and he for a second let a feeling show. only that she was in tears, face covered, she didn't see.







........



 
i don't think i've ever seen a face that impassive.






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