Sunday, 20 September 2015

episode 109 part 1 happy diwali

something nice about a grandmother starting the diwali episodes with an arati and a happy smiling face. felt auspicious. nani ji was lovely as her smile of content spread and she seemed to look with genuine devotion and gratitude at "the god" as la would call devi maiyya later. a sense of "mangal," good fortune in the air. for some reason the only male member of family attending the diwali prayers is the malevolent one.

not even his filthiest plan though could taint the moment. one noticed, however, how again anjali read her husband the way she chose to, refusing to acknowledge something felt decidedly off. which is why perhaps it never occurred to her to ask her shyam ji why he had to go and grab some pineapple suji halwa just when she'd asked him to stay back and meet khushi ji. yes, shyam is slimy, but he's not all that clever, around him roams a battalion of people willing to suspend disbelief, each one in his/her own way affected by a traumatic death years ago, and just happy to see anjali happy. and so shyam takes advantage of their weakness and plans on.

meri aankon mein tu muskaraaye... meri dhadkan pe hai teri saaye...

a beautiful woman in red, bindi glittering between lovely arched eyebrows, smiles happily like nani ji and does the arati before their simpler little mandir at gupta house. she and her sister, their mother and bua ji, and their beloved babu ji, recently struck by paralysis. the girls are not mopers, they find solutions, together they help babu ji be part of the arati.

it's the festival of lights, a time to remember that in the end bad didn't hold sway... however dark it all might seem, the soul seeks light and finds it... that is perhaps the lesson of life itself. a beautifully lit night, when you will believe anew in all that is good. khushi's diwali is special because her parents are here, even if they are not in their home in lucknow. despite her sadness at babu ji's state, and her own dilemma... that decision about shyam, she is aglow with positive energy, touching everyone with it. if babu ji could smile at this moment, i'm sure he would.

she puts a tilak on her father's forehead, a tender, sad look on her face, she will take care of this man with all she has. 

payal can't understand why khushi needs to go to her workplace tonight of all nights. but she has to, after all anjali ji has given her a beautiful dm which she had done a puja for, and all these lovely things, she had to go and give them sweets at least. as she packs the packets of sweets, a question from payal, so what's in this pack?

"sukhe meve ka halwa, arnav ji ke..." stop. there's dry mewa halwa in it for arnav ji... the eagerness in her voice, the sense of right, the brightness in her eyes, that air of she is accustomed to taking care of his specific needs, what does it all say? "na woh hume... na hum..." this is why a certain decision cannot be taken, yet tonight is deadline.

payal looks at her curiously. since when is khushi so concerned about the man she calls rakshas, laad governor... arnav ji?

"uh, unhe shakkar mana hai na..." again she can't contain her khushiness and blurts happily... this is a girl in love. no doubt about it. she is showing love her way, just look at her face, she's just realised she may have given away too much... awkward... this special mithai making for a man she dislikes, abhors, despises, ahem.

"bye babu ji..." chimes the sparkler in red, not the usual "chalte hain," she is already picking up things from her exposure to a more westernised set up... sorry, man. her arnav ji says "bye" when he's not saying "get out" or "shut up" that is. see i learn something new every day, she quickly takes some credit for her own smartness and runs off.

enter pam, neetu, ritu, in really badly tailored dresses. la's friends, well at least for now. mami ji is supremely intrigued by the air kissing, the architecture of this salutation, "gaal chhorke hawa mein papi," why would anyone ignore the cheek to kiss the invisible air all around? you got a point mami ji. but your "hi bye bye" to the three idiots' "hello" was my favourite.

a lovely episode design, all central characters arrayed in a well knit screenplay. there's festival in the air, tension, beauty, realisation, and more.

khushi is at the door, op in full diwali deck up (cute) is taking the sweets from her. this packet is without sugar for arnav ji, she is very particular about that. anjali wants shyam to meet khushi at last. shyam needs to escape detection now. we have been informed along the way that he is allergic to pineapple, so not to put it in his suji halwa. ah, lots of desserts for the occasion... nice. tension mounts beautifully. khushi is done with op and gracefully moving toward the living room, shyam is desperate.

he drops a gift and as anjali's attention is diverted, walks swiftly away to the kitchen. and there he decides, to avoid being seen by the woman he is trapping, he will inflict injury on himself. pineapple is consumed rapidly, and the allergic sneezes start. i think of a young girl much in love... a little brash, forward, dressed in short skirt, seemingly out to get all she can, who ate eggs, which she was allergic to, so as not to deprive the man she loved. she was willing to hurt herself for her love. shyam, for his lust.

just as this episode's darkest note was to come from shyam, it's brightest from that girl who ate eggs... lavanya.

pam and co., were too flat and campy to be taken note of really. conceived without care, i felt, but they were exactly what was needed to make la speak her mind. her friends made fun of her clothes but she didn't mind, they said silly hellos to people who obviously greet differently, she let it pass, but when they made fun of lakshmi, she set them straight, and when they decided to traipse into the mandir wearing shoes, she intervened with no uncertainty. girls! stop, stop, take off shoes... yes, pam, the god is here na, and this place is very sacred for nani ji...

and when they showed no signs of abiding...

"guys, main ne kaha na, yeh mandir hai aur yahan bhagwan ji hain..." i told you, god is here this is a temple... authoritative, insistent.

when they made fun of nani ji, calling her a bag of wrinkles,

"enough guys, it's not funny ok... nani ji ke baare mein aise baat mat karo... woh hamse badi hai, aur hume unki respect karni chahiye... ok?" i don't want to hear such things about nani ji... nani ji is older than us and we must show her respect... ok?

"stop acting like a behen ji," retorted pam, behen ji... dowdy silly woman, erm no real translation i can think of, basically an unfashionable bucolic woman. when you're cool, you certainly don't wish to be called that.

but la doesn't back down.

to care for my family... to not do what upsets them doesn't make me a behen ji... and wearing all that stuff and behaving the way you do, doesn't make you modern.


but la is not done.

"agar tum koi baat ko nahin maante lekin usse hi humare kissi bade ko khushi milti hai... toh ussey karne mein problem kya hai, guys?" if you don't believe in something but your doing it makes some elders happy, what's the harm in doing it, guys.

that is evolved thinking, to my mind. way above what has come to be understood as liberal in our times. there is a give in it, a love, a respect for other human beings, especially our elders. i would include all those we love actually. doesn't mean you do something that harms you, doesn't mean you agree to marry the one you don't want to, but the little things, that are not such a big deal to you but give immense peace and joy to others, why not do them? any answers pam, and the me toos? apparently not, and off they go.


and nani ji, the astute one, is moved, at last she sees the change she'd hoped for. this girl can be chhotey's bahu, she has started understanding how to live with others, she has grown deeper in her thinking, and yes, she has just shown love and respect for nani ji. she thanks khushi, still not ready to give maximum credit to la. but some day she will.

across ipk, writers gave us their many thoughts on love and what it asks of you, not just the love between a man and a woman, but between people in different relationships. as la spoke, i was reminded of anjali saying, even if she didn't like the girl chhotey chose, she would still be on his side and let him do what he pleases. she didn't want to lose him, and she trusted his judgment somewhere. and nani ji agreeing even if unhappily to let la live at rm, and asr quietly buying his loud, clownish mami the gaudy necklace she'd liked and was hurt by nani's barbs over it...

to the many pyaars of ipk... happy diwali.


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