Sunday, 20 September 2015

episode 110 drink to me

what more could a man do to show he loved a woman, what more could a woman do to show that's all she wanted. the second episode of diwali and a story takes careful, mesmerised steps to the heart of it all, where the light burns brightest.

yet in the same scene that takes your breath to another star, and you watch unblinking as a hand is given with unbearable beauty and taken with an an emotion you wish you'd felt in your life, as the slow, arresting steps are taken in flickering diya light and you want them never to stop, in that same scene, back of your head a sense of danger. because someone said,"yeh tumne kya kar diya..." khushi, what have you done, surrounded yourself with diyas.

first time i saw it, i was looking at the beautiful arrangement of diwali lamps, nothing felt threatening, so i was a bit surprised at the slight panic in la's voice. big deal, rows of diya, of course, she can make her way out of that thing. yet, it seems khushi couldn't; and then came asr, with a curious light in his eyes, and took his graceful strides over the rows, stood their waiting for her. who could even imagine thinking at such a point.

yet, there was the word "chakra vyuh" suggesting itself. enemies, battle, entrapment alongside lover, magic, enchantment. ipk was always written with depth, and all the skill, the craft of writing powerful stuff. the most beautiful scene of the week, that girl surrounded by her circles of lamps, could be a hint at dark things to come.

nainital had its destination, and it took us to a more heightened awareness, a need growing, a loosening of tightly closed emotions, and a realisation of pyaar... at the same time the rise of evil, the darkest forces of ipk manipulating the situation, the people; culminating in the pressure of shaadi.

diwali has its design. in a week of five episodes depicting just one day with a long evening, a fascinating calibration. on the first day, he sees her and is entranced. on the second, he decides to get lost in her. on the third he loses control as his heart flies its course, he struggles to find grip by hurting her. on the fourth day he shatters her as he does so himself. on the fifth day it's all over, they belong to other people, now formally. a whole chapter in the life of asr and a lovely young woman called khushi. happiness and her ocean as the tides flow, ebb. crash.

he swallowed once. then he held out his hand. she slipped her hand into his after that little hesitation and he walked her out of the circles of lamps... as though guiding her out of a tricky place. and when she twisted her ankle and fell, he was of course there to catch her, their nearness sending screaming signals that their silence tried  hard to contain. they stood outside the rings of fire, hands still held, a boy, a girl, a dream far away.

"chamkili, arre tumhari ek pair ki payal hi nahi hai," as they stood their lost in each other, hands still held, hearts still aloft, la came back and asked the question that will take us to the next intimacy. oh you have a  payal missing, chamkili.

khushi is embarrassed to feel his eyes on her exposed bare ankle. oh the awareness of each other. she is shy of his gaze, he sees things others don't, she thinks of him, she gets lost in him, oh drop the saree quickly.

"woh humari amma ki nishani hai iss liye humko utarke koi aur payal nahin pahan nio hai." it's a token of my mother's memory (can't think of the right english equivalent of "nishani"), i don't want to take it off and wear something else. sanaya's voice is so clean and pure here, hard to believe she is not a real person called khushi.

he is instantly alert. troubled. he has it. so it was her mother's. he walks away, and this time it is she who turns and looks for him. her eyes search, he isn't there. she walks away forlorn.

he stands looking at the payal, remembering where he found it. the beautiful night on that day when she'd returned, when he thought she was gone forever. he'd seen the payal leave her ankle by the pool, in the heat of the moment, she'd missed it. he had come back much later, after the scene at the party and all was done, to pick it up and spend time with his thoughts, holding it just like he was doing now.

"chhotey," di calls out.

a stylish catch of the payal and it is slid smoothly, though hurriedly, into his pocket. he wants no one else to know f his thoughts. not even di.

and two perfect scenes are set side by side.

in the first one:
di and nani speak to him about la. nani has accepted her, so no need for that drop dead "
oh god nani, ab kya hua?" in fact, nani has no problems with him marrying la.he turns away at that. the classic asr swivel way. shut up, world. i don't see you, i don't here you.

"i am not marrying..." again confrontation with nani, and her ultimatum, aaj nahi toh kal, if not today, tomorrow, you have to settle down and start a family...

"chhotey..." a trentaive di, to easily troubled by chhote/nani duels.

"di, please." he is not ready to open the subject of marriage at all. something tells you, there's no point, it's on its way. only even in your wildest you can't imagine how it will reach him.

the second scene:

here we have la and khushi. la is delighted that nani has accepted her.
shuru kiya... started, says la for shukriya... thank you. thoughts of nk in writer's head? my head: why shuru kiya? what started, what does that mistake mean?

khushi smiles at her friend and corrects her.
now asr won't be able to say "no," he will marry her, continues la. oh the contrasting expressions on two girls' faces at this declaration. one all sunny smiles. the other, getting overcast, thunderclap near by.

at la's question about that expression, khushi recovers or at least tries to... she is so happy for la. so happy. (if you've seen roman holiday, audrey hepburn's last smile looking at the handsome mr peck, came to mind.)
then a tense interlude in anjali's room where shyam skulks under the covers while khushi looks for anjali. shyam is on the verge of being discovered, but again at the last minute, his wife walks in and saves the snake.

with all the uneasy feelings from the past three scenes, we take the next step, and enter the party. noise, people, general gaiety. nani is proudly escorting la around, manorama is just as proudly "sowing aaph." happiness on faces.

and that wind comes visiting again. khushi senses it, knows who's there... she looks in the direction the wind seems to point... and there's him, looking at her as he gently turns his head feeling her in the air. he turns and is just unable not to show his feelings. attraction is red. and it means to show its colour tonight.

"jaadoo hai nasha hai madhhoshiya..." a soundtrack which will join in creating the spell fades up... "tujhko bhulake ab jaaoon kahan..." there's magic, there's intoxication, inebriation... how can i forget you where would i go...

the attraction with no end nor beginning, as though always there somewhere, in the wind, in the stars, in scattering pearls, in picked up payals, and half forgotten keys... in eyes that can't not look, in heartbeats that must increase, in a need to go running if one hears the other is in trouble, in an inability to see someone's tears, in a need to make sugar free sweets... that attraction has come to the party... certainly invited. and it wants to hang with only the two of them.

no matter where she turns, his eyes follow, and when it doesn't she looks all over for it. it shocks her a bit, thrills her too, and him it only mesmerizes. again i think of ocean and shore, ebb and flow, how closely ocean adheres to the shore, how much the shore wants the ocean to stay alongside. the party flows on around them, they seem in a different space, hearing a different call. a music all their own. 

at a point though, they find themselves right next to each other, suddenly all by themselves... awkwardness... they begin to walk away from each other... she looks back with a query and wish in her eyes.

he is wondering what to do, when he stops, and in a fabulous shot from the back, you can almost see the decision being made by him, as he cocks his head slightly as though looking for an answer.

decision made, he turns and looks for her. 

she's not there. he can't locate her instantly.his eyes pick up worry, desperate almost, where is she, just a few short seconds and he can't take the separation, the not knowing.

then he sees her. and almost at the same moment she realises he has seen her.

he starts striding toward her purposefully. he means to get to her. an extraordinarily exciting scene. i think the director opted to slow the motion down, kept him in longish shot, to catch the determination in his body language. he is coming to get her. a man who has made up his mind. yet a note of a man dreaming too... again, this reality has ceased to be... the sheer force of that walk makes her step backward... oh so many times before this has been their pattern... soon it will lead to a moment no one will ever forget, but for now, she dashes into somebody, flustered.

he is about to reach her, when la neatly cuts into his path and calls him back to the here and the now. she is insistent, he has to disengage from the moment and look at her.  (
a thought: did asr just then, decide to give in to the feelings assailing him, and did that sudden butt in by lavanya cause him to lose the decision he'd arrived at scaling his innate fears? guess i'll never know.)

opportunity. khushi leaves.but she can't escape.

not when a man feels a gathering storm in his being, a junoon as it were (a very dear forum friend, nandalala would use this word for asr's passion and feelings often, and it was at this moment, no less than that), a madness.

he finds her by the poolside busy with her lamps. "khushi," a quiet call, shatters her composure. she gets to her feet too quickly, and twists her ankle... she would have fallen, but would he let her? oh that look in her eyes as she allows them to slowly lift to his face, so many feelings, all confusing, all compelling... and what's that in his...?

she tries to regain her balance, yet once more, a weak ankle...

he takes over...

"come," gruff, man in command. let me take care of you. (i adore the way he says, come, to her, this was the first time, there are a few more, something just too simmering there.)

again before her he sits. just like that day of the flying dust. he looks at her with something in his eyes that makes her quiver, makes her want to stop him from touching her ankle.

ever so gently, but determined again, he lifts her hand away, places it on her knee. her saree goes up clearing her ankle, she is looking at him unable to say anything. he places her bare foot on his knee; tender light, yet nothing reduces the heat.

a confused look from her... what is she to do with these feelings.? who is she to him? he to her?

his hand cups her heel. his fingers descend on her her foot near the toes, and the most goosebump giving caress of skin, before he secures a grip on her foot with both hands and... "thoda dard hoga..." it will hurt a bit.

she is beyond speech.and he twists her foot.


she jerks forward and clutches his shoulder over the jacket, digging her nails in. he waits patiently, eyes never leaving her face.

one more twist and another sharp yelp of pain. and it's done. she holds on.

"ab theek hai...?"
now is it ok? he asks, he is still holding her ankle

she lets go of him.

she makes to draw her foot away, but he is holding on to her heel, not letting go.

he pulls out the payal and sits in that classic pose holding it out to her, head bent. she's shocked. this poolside where he had thought he'd lost her and then found her again and they'd fought...

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