Thursday, 24 September 2015

episode 101 what's the connection



three scenes and a song made up this episode for me. and it was all about connections. connections that you feel, that you can't perhaps describe but you just can't deny. and the right of these connections over you... their validity, their need in your life. even when you say you don't need them.

when it dawned on khushi who had paid the bill at the hospital, something went crazy in her. she called out "rukiye!" as asr walked down the corridor. a man come to do what he felt he ought to. a man who didn't ponder why he felt he needed to do this, but who came nonetheless, as if compelled by something in him.

she was angry. why did he do this? she could take care of her own father. she could manage. he kept looking at her quietly, intently, as if he could sense every feeling of hers... as if he was with her in them.




asr didn't raise his voice. the man who loses his shirt at the slightest sign that someone is ignoring him or not giving him his due, stayed completely calm, just watchful... as if trying to understand her state of mind. he said he knew she could manage, he explained he did this because he felt his accountant had not been right.

her most pertinent question: why are you doing this for me? i just work for you, i am not family, not related.

in the context of what happened later in the episode i found it intricate and lovely. khushi had spoken of the sort of connections that do merit doing what he did. and between two people not related by blood, this tie is usually brought about through marriage, making someone from outside one's family, family.

it was not a heavy handed loaded statement she made. but ever so lightly, in the guise of a hysterical outburst the idea of rishtedar/rishta, relative/relationship... came in.




then a lovely turn, when without him saying anything, she suddenly struck her forehead with her hand and said, what am i doing, i have gone mad... you are only trying to help.

a vulnerable, extremely scared and anguished girl, who is tough and clean and a fighter and who is going haywire at the state her father is in; she'd tried hard to cope with it all but perhaps because he had come back and perhaps because in this hour of need only one person seemed stable and solid to her, she allowed herself to let go... feel her pain, her fear... her tiredness. she couldn't tell anyone. but maybe something told her, she could tell him. and he who had gone through enough in his life could sense her extreme fragility and didn't want to harm her in any way, every instinct of his made him want to come to her.




the next scene is of course of astonishing beauty.

she sat alone on a cold hospital bench. a stark hospital air all around. those who have been to hospitals and waited while a dear person suffered know the terribly hard, almost metallic coldness of this despair, enhanced by that hospital feeling all around. she had not waited for him. she must have thought he'd left as she sat there with her face buried in her hands. but he couldn't go. a beautiful top shot of him standing before her, like an oasis or island the two of them in a sea of pale indifferent off white.

then he sat gingerly, leaving the seat between them empty.

two orphans, two children, two people who know pain not many have known... two lovers.

he waited.

she tried to control herself...

then she gave in, she talked to him... she let him in.

"jab se babu ji ke saath aisa hua hai, hume kuch samajh mein nahiun aa raha hai..." from the time this has happened to babu ji i can't figure out what to do...

she broke down... she couldn't face all this any more she said. she wept, her body heaving, sobs erupting... if something happened to her babu ji... no, not a second time... she would not be able to...

he wasn't used to seeing the strong gutsy girl he knew, so broken. she was a fighter. he looked at her quietly, he seemed to be saying, don't worry, i am here with you. and then his hand which lay on the knee moved... come to life, it lifted slowly... reached out... he touched her head with the gentlest, surest touch.

he wanted to console her, he wanted to say, i will take care of you. it's a most protective gesture. usually an elder, a parent, puts their hand on the head of a child, a sign of blessing, of protection.

it was an unspeakably beautiful moment. the emotions in it were too deep and too vast to measure or name. above all i felt a need in him to connect to her. just connect.

and when she looked up and at him, looked as if she'd felt it.

there was no place for words any more. no need even.

at "rukiye!", hey hey hey heyhey, rabba vey had started, the call of their hearts was in those moments as they met.

as his hand touched her head, a song rose. tu hi bata mere maula tu hi bata mere rabba. the call of the innermost being to the most sacred in us, to the divine... tell me, god... tell me...

the sufi song, powerful and completely lost in a sense of the eternal, flowed all around asr and khushi. they sat quiet, as if tied by what had transpired. in khushi, a calm, a solace had been found. she was not crying and bereft... stronger, more resolute. he sat still, the slightest bit of tender awkwardness between them.

felt like their story had reached a new level.

and a permanent relationship had been established.

the song swirled around them as they both at last got up and walked away, going in opposite directions, both looking back to see the other as if unable to help themselves. this is an old movie/tv device. but when barun sobti and sanaya irani do it, it's absorbing, exciting, you can't look away.

as once before in episode 18, the song included akash and payal in its flow and the fervent call to the one above for answers... these two people were also caught in a conundrum of connection and its denial. back then these connections had just stared to get established, no one had any idea where they led.

a great distance has been covered. the man, who had asked a young innocent woman to go and measure five practically naked men in an effort to get rid of her, had just put his hand on her head in a gesture of a promise, of trust, he was here to stay.

akash and payal too had come to a place neither had envisaged...


tu hi bata mere maula... where were all these connections headed.




and finally the scene where khushi is told by bua ji and a smiling amma that she must marry shyam. i watched sanaya do khushi's reaction to this sudden suggestion. she was gobsmacked at first and then an unrest rose in her eyes.

marry shyam? it was as though it was wrong for her to even hear such a thing. she never said to both the ladies that this is hardly the time to talk about such things. she looked concerned when it was said that that's what babu ji wanted... it would help him recover... i wondered the first time i saw if she'd relent at that. the usual hindi serial achhi ladki attack.



she didn't. she said simply to shyam, he was her friend, she couldn't imagine marrying him. lovely clear eyed conscientious khushi... bold too.

but that talk of building a permanent relationship with another really unsettled her, it felt wrong possibly... for hadn't she just tied a tie quite timeless with another?

a simple gesture... a hand on the head. but what it meant, was it not sacred? was she not already beginning to belong elsewhere... a rishtedari beyond a conventional one.

many years ago, i saw the movie parineeta in bangla. it's based on a simple tale of connections by saratchandra chatterjee. during an auspicious hour deemed to be a good time for marriage, a young man puts a garland on a very young girl, who was their neighbour's daughter. in bengal, the mala badal or the exchange of garlands is a significant custom of a wedding. she always hero worshiped him and once he'd done that, she considered herself to be married. she believed she was his wife. even though he had no clue. she never married and never told anyone why, thankfully finally the young man returned and was terribly moved by her commitment... there was a happy ending.

today khushi reminded me of parineeta. when she looked totally uncomfortable at the mere idea of marrying shyam. when she went up to him smartly and clearly said no.

relationships are built in ways and moments that no one can really predict. the story tellers of ipk had a keen sense of that.

and barun sobti and sanaya irani made each of those moments true and undeniable.








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