Thursday, 3 September 2015

episode 22 the first rabba vey

"the minute i heard my first love story,
i started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
they're in each other all along."
~~~ rumi, the illuminated rumi ~~~

yet it seemed as though they were meeting for the very first time. as though he'd never set eyes on her. not that night in sheesh mahal a couple of weeks ago, not right here in this very room just a few minutes ago. 

there was something utterly different in this moment. something elemental. wind water earth sky, amazing light. and a breath caught.

go there, jeff had said, he wanted to see her in the light. she walked to the set and began to turn to face the camera. diffident, unsure, tense, beautiful in flowing red. at that very moment, as often happens i guess when fate says "it is time", he came down the staircase to see what progress had been made on the held up shoot. his eyes fell on her. he wasn't prepared at all, maybe that's why it struck him so hard.

his dark brown pupils grew dense, his body jerked to a standstill, an explosion in his gaze, and i could almost feel his breath gather and freeze. "laga jaise hamari saansey ruk gayee", seemed as if my breath stopped... from an episode more than a year later floated by, tying future to past as i watched rapt.

he couldn't control this shattering moment. in that instant something broke and she entered him. boundaries fell away, another reality was touched. the last lines from harold pinter's beautiful love poem written for his wife came to mind: it was the breath we took when we first met. listen, it is here.

and on this ethereal landscape someone stepped in to create another dimension. rabba vey. 16 minutes into episode 22, as she turned and he saw her in a sheath of intoxicating crimson, the delicate notes of rabba vey... hey hey, hey hey hey... the yearning, upward reaching melody, which became part of our lives, was heard for the very first time. 

would he ever be able to look away?

for about two and a half minutes from that point on, it was poetry, in perfect metre. not a hair out of place, just deliriously windblown. his gaze finally move down to take all of her in, his hands rested on her nervous fingers, fidgeting. the tiniest movement in his eyes, unspoken barrage of emotions. arousal, hunger, immersion, was there also tenderness, something protective at the sight of one so defenceless, though he was held in thrall?

"... the heart is an organ of fire."
~~~ michael ondaatje ~~~

her pallu slipped and she moved to hold it in place, reminded me of her diaphanous dupatta that spoke almost as much as she did, only silently. it fell off leaving her feeling vulnerable and scared once, another time it blew up in the wind and caressed his face, and now in the guise of saree, it tugged her attention and took it to the right place. she looked straight into his eyes. and saw his different gaze. she stood motionless, hand on pallu.

a myriad emotions rend the night. i could almost touch their locked gazes. fear, torment, trepidation but more, yes there was awareness there. he was not just a monster, but a man. and she was all woman. not a single physical touch in the entire scene, yet they seemed to came together in the wildest convulsive embrace.

she collected herself and pulled up the pallu. he was suddenly reminded of his surroundings and did his best to pull himself together.

he walked up toward her, as if propelled by some other force. ever since he's met this woman, so separate from his world, it's as though he just can't stay away. whenever they are together, his steps take him to her. she retreats, but he is in continuous advance. this time too. and yet when he reaches her, he has nothing to say. or maybe they were saying things to each other that even they didn't know?

lavanya breaks the reverie. real world calls. and arnav singh raizada reaches out to grab his anger. familiar, steady, useful anger. his most trusted defence. you can almost feel his relief at finding this emotion. for everything before this was unlike anything he'd ever felt and it had shaken him up, scared him even maybe.

he is about to start the battle afresh, bend her to his will, make her quit. but again, like an angel out of the blue, jeff steps in. let her be in this. he was the first one to see her in the red saree, and his photographer's instinct knew it worked. "hot, beautiful, phir bhi traditional," in jeff's mouth the most physical words of the episode. 

hot. yes, she was that, though she was not aware of it. in her usual plucky way she'd refused to give in. no "aadha adhoora kapda" for her, "hum haar nahin manenge" i'm not accepting defeat, she'd prayed to dm for help and put together this ensemble from the racks of clothes in the dressing room. a saree, that was from her land, where she had grown up, got educated, and she wasn't about to lose her tradition and values for some laad governor and his spoilt brat model, let alone peremptory girlfriend. "nahin ma'am, hum woh ajeeb kapde nahin pahen sakte." no, ma'am, i can't wear those weird clothes. so she had done what she felt was right. and oh yes it was. he on the other hand, had insisted, "the shoot is on, jeff. yeh shoot hoga." arnav singh raizada apna kismat khud banata hai. arnav singh raizada makes his own kismet. between the two of them, they had engineered this undeniable moment. wonder if they ever realised that?

akash does a marvelously diplomatic number on bhai, and finally, the mighty one gives in. "go on," he utters, and walks away, as gracefully as he had come in, and even as he arcs away, his head turns as if he just has to and he looks into her eyes. she's looking right back, and the conversation goes on. as rabba vey comes in for the second time...

"when two people meet, each one is changed by the other so you've got two new people."

~~~ john steinbeck ~~~

one of the most superbly crafted scenes of ipk for me. the rest of the episode was tight and developed on shyam's villainy, anjali's helpless love, nani ji's protective instinct toward her grand children. but today i can't think of anything but this :)

from the light to red to dark of yesterday, we've been coming here, to dark, red, and blinding light. the colours were primary, primal almost as the desires and instincts explored.
there was hardly any movement in the scene; only of him moving in and out, while tresses in the breeze, eyes in emotion, lights glinting, and the stirring climb of rabba vey echoed and gave body to the sense of motion. they seemed to all be tied together  in a wonderfully choreographed dance. an invisible string holding them together. 

arnav, the sea, seemed to flow toward his shore. flow and ebb, are you my shore, are you my home? who are you? while khushi, happiness, waited with a still expectant air, edged by fear, confusion, incomprehension. what's going on? why can't i look away? who are you? 

there were always undercurrents, today they became dangerous.


"oh, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
it seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
like a rich jewel in an ethiope's ear,
beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear.
so shows a snowy dove trooping with crows
as yonder lady o'er her fellows shows.
the measure done, i'll watch her place of stand,
and, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.
did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
for i ne'er saw true beauty till this night."

~~~ romeo on seeing juliet for the very first time, william shakespeare, romeo and juliet, act 1 scene 1


"a kind of light spread out from her. and everything changed color. and the world opened out. and a day was good to awaken to. and there were no limits to anything." 
~~~ john steinbeck, east of eden ~~~

asr wasn't the only one. i couldn't look away from khushi today. barun did his usual thing. but et tu, sanaya? how to survive this.

episode rambles 

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