Thursday, 15 October 2015

episode 222 where forever lies




look at me
don't you know me or am i
for eternity your stranger
though across
the myriad skies
through vast unending universes
as time bends
and space complies
i walk toward you

in me through me beyond me and beyond
i walk toward you
won't you look at me?

it is i
i who am lost
i who must find
i who am found
when you look at me

far away in the worlds expanding
where reality meets a million other realities
there you and i only you and i
are
we are
for eternity
come near me here
look at me, won't you now?


jab jo bura kaha uska koi matlab nahin.

 
the sets were pretty tacky, the costumes over the top. story was slipping away, suddenly, perhaps only for trp, a "chemistry" moment was devised; fairly outlandish lines written and a competition presented which certainly no billionaire/millionaire/harvard educated tycoon would take part in... two young actors, now working for nearly 11 months nonstop, often 12 hours a day, barely any time off, who could feel the tensions of the production house, the pressure for trp, the unhinging of the script they'd done their best to communicate, and who knew exactly what was not quite it about this moment, decided to give it their best anyway. and so instead of me rolling on the whatever and laughing my head off as i saw this sequence and heard the words, i sat transfixed and watched them again and again. sanaya weaving a fantasy world with a twirl and a float of dupatta, a dip in the voice, a smile, a question in the eyes; barun walking straight into the crazy fantasy, leaving all hesitations behind. only then would all this work, and we'd believe in that other place, the "kahin aur ek duniya hogi jahan tum (divine pause) aur main (surrender in the voice)..." and of course the "main hamesha hamesha tumse..." a sentence left incomplete, just like his "faraq padta hai kyunki..." would have us in a state forever. mad thought: once upon a time in tele serial land kyunki belonged to a saas, now it belongs to a hot young businessman and the ultimate non saas bahu serial, a gorgeous romance, an epic tale of love and uff that chemistry.






nani, ranjha male tha, toh costume bhi male hi hoga na...  khushi ko stage pe jaane kyun diya? nani, ranjha was a guy, so the costume will also be that of a guy, won't it?... why did you let khushi go to the stage?

when episode started, it was asr, bristly and impatient, fed up with this silly show thing. nani, of course, relentless in her pursuit to get grandson closer to his wife. and now a concern for the hated one just as nani had hoped to provoke. the girl who brought happiness into the home... nani had a feeling for her...

he's horrified when nani holds the dark jacket of ranjha's against him.

khushi waits. sanaya lovely in red gaudy costume. filmi, punjabi lungi (am i right?) inspired heer outfit.

announcement is made... nani ji is still missing.

she is pushed onto the stage... we are about to see khushi do her darti hai par karti hai thing... ad libbing desperately. trying to keep an impatient and uncouth audience engaged. seems in ipk, no one other than the cast had any manners... ridiculously rude guests came home, attended parties and shows.

"r...ranjha..." she calls out loud and clear..."ranjha?"

she whips around, turns her back to all, starts praying and eating. one moment heer, next moment khushi... sanaya calibrating beautifully.

hum heer hai aur aaj hamari shadi hai! i am heer and today is our wedding. laughter all around... she's defeated. too many fumbling attempts have failed.

a shadow floats in on a gust of wind. this was for me the most breathtaking moment of the episode. that arrival on stage... a man committed to his wife. always there. the rest of it was lovely, but this is where my heart leapt and i smiled and felt a sense of sanctity... and utter excitement.

yeh koi business deal nahin hai... ek stoopid sa competition hai, this is not a business deal, he'd told his grandma, this is a stupid competition... yet he is here.

hey hey the song, their song, starts to hum... unable to stay away like him.

there never was any choice, was there. ana toh tha hi... he had to come. why do some people pull us to them like this... defying all thought, all logic? arnav singh raizada, tycoon, arrogant dude, who thinks this is a stoopid sa competition... he is here, dressed as ranjha to save his wife from becoming a laughing stock.

his wife whom he hates.

hey hey hey, heyhey hey hey is all i can say.

applause all around, hecklers take a break. phew.

"arnav ji?" she's surprised... shocked... maybe a little confused.

"ranjha." he is dead sure.

one simple word and it says everything the way barun delivers it. i am here... i will always be here... whatever you need me to be, i'll be... as long as i am alive, no one can harm you or hurt you...



aaj hamari shadi hai, today is our wedding the writer had made heer say, are we going to see a wedding, a commitment ceremony, a little "hatke", a little ipk, through this heer ranjha tale?

and a quiet husband wife moment, lovers moment, haters moment...

communication, us against the world.

a voice in submission and simple in its trust... trust, i remember all the trust exercises you do before acting in anything. it is all about that one thing, isn't it?

when he tells her... khushi, mujhe ek line nahin aati hai, i don't know a single line, nani ji sent me... tum kuchh karo, do something... he puts complete trust in her. in some part of him, he always knew she could be relied upon.

kuchh bolo! say something, his voice is urgent.

"uh!" she's still gawking.

aur jaldi bolo, khushi, and say it quickly, khushi!

at that "khushi" she seems to get it and, her expression resolves, her eyebrows dance... "heer," she replies.

both ranjha and heer are here.

jissko jee jaan se chahte hain... jab usse nazron ke saamne paate hain... tab aankhe bolti hain... when the one you desire with all your heart is before your gaze, then eyes speak... his eyes are indeed talking... zuban nahin... not the tongue. she smiles, eyes brimming with that feeling.

yeh hum jaantey hain... yeh aap jaantey hain... iss mein sawal wohi kartey hain jinhe pyaar kya hai uski hawa tak nahin... this i know, and you know, and those who ask questions are ones who know nothing of love. at last khushi gives it back to the rude audience.

jo tum mehsoos karti ho... jo main mehsoos karta hoon... his words play in my head... what you feel is what i feel, what you know is what i know... because maybe we are somewhere become just one. even though nothing seems to say that on the surface.

a beautiful moved expression on anjali's face. a sister who loves her brother and wants to see him happy... a kind of love that is pristine and sacred too.

arnav ji, hum jo shuru karenge, aap woh poora kijiye. arnav, what i will start... please complete it. isn't that what life partners do? how lovely the choice of words around love and being always together.

today heer ranjha are getting married...and the tableau begins.

jisski baansoori ke dhun sunke... she is telling her tale and krishna peeps in on a flute dhun... he turns to watch his beautiful lover, his tormentor, spin her yarn...



jisski sirf ek nazar se mujhe khud ka hone ka ahsaas hua... just one look of whose made me understand my existence as me.

his longing surges as he hears her words... does he want them to be true?

jisne mere liye har sitam sahe... who accepted every torment for me... and heer does a khushi nautanki move...

beautiful, the strokes go deep dense at times, then break on a light note... varying, lifting me to each of the moods...

aur jiske liye maine har sitam bhula diya... and for whom i forgot every torture... she carried not a single grudge, letting it all pass... he knows she is somewhere telling their tale even if not consciously or maybe that's how he sees it for that feels like their story to him... he is getting lost in it. funny thing is, so am i...

jisse main bahut waqt tak milti rahi aur jisse... main bahut waqt tak juda rahi... whom i kept meeting for a long time... and from whom i was apart for a long time...

bahut waqt.

a sadness in the air...then she lifts it with... aaj ussi ranjhe se meri shadi hone jaa raho hai... today, that very ranjha am i to be married to.

another twirl.

main... kehne ko heer, lekin dil se ranjha... i... though i may be called heer, but at heart i am ranjha. again that concept of oneness.

ranjha ranjha kehte kehte diwani hui... i have gone mad saying his name... lekin aaj... but today... and she twirls again... happy now... main bahut khush hoon.

she is a consummate actress... he is moved by her act. she is khushi, she is heer, she is the woman he can't live without...

she smiles... lights dim... and sanaya moves to one of the most haunting scenes of  ipk, her hand goes up to portray a mirror. she speaks looking at herself, a bride to be, completely immersed in thoughts of her lover.



i don't know how much to dress for my ranjha... he swallows... if i look into the mirror, it is him that i see.

shadi ki mithai... aaj main zahar bhi kha loon toh bhi meetha lagega. wedding sweets... today if i have poison even it shall taste sweet.

the legend says, heer was given poisoned sweet to kill her before her marriage to ranjha...

so much poison had entered khushi and asr's life. he'd tried to hold it all in him, but it had burned her nonetheless. that is love i guess, there is poison in it, but you still have it anyway... love and death, somehow always intertwined... but a death that seems to want to take us out of here... to eternal life...

khushi, bata dena kab aana hai. khushi, tell me when i have to come in, he says as she comes close.

thodi der main... in a while.

aur phir... and then? 

phir aap ke zindagi ke sabse achhe aur ranjhe ki zindagi ke sabse buri ghadi aaygi... and then the happiest moment of your life and the worst of ranjha's will come. she says it with relish, a dash of anger there.

matlab? meaning? he is genuinely perplexed.

she smiles and gives it to him.

hum mar jayenge... i shall die. he's shocked. he hadn't expected this.

he is not good around anything to do with death of a loved one. it shatters him, scatters him, he can't deal with it. he certainly can't jest about khushi's death. a childhood incident comes to mind perhaps? in an instant he is in a terrible place.

yeh hume kya ho raha hai... ranjha... ranjha?  what's happening to me, ranjha... ranjha? khushi is getting into a convincing heer is poisoned act.


she lies on the floor. a tension.

then he speaks."heer..." fear in the voice.

asr is making it up as he goes along. he sinks to the floor by her... "heer"... and urgency gathers.

utho, heer, get up... break in his voice, tears storming... he can't bear this, is it only an act? those tears?... the pleas come as tears threaten to drown every word.

heer, ek baar aankhe kholkar mujhe dekho... heer, main tumhare bina jee nahin sakta, open your eyes and look at me once, i can't live without you.


a rush in his words... his fears... barun is making it all real...

melodrama is a trap lying close by, how deftly he bypasses it and ranjha and asr blend and yet remain separate...

tumhare bina ranjha kuch nahin hai, heer... without you ranjha is nothing, heer.

a voice rises in the background on a plaintive note, seeking upward. this is a carefully created sequence... set aside from the normal place of action and even time... meant to convey many things.

heer, main tumhe chhorkar chala gaya... apne man ko behla raha tha... ki mujhe koi faraq nahin padta... par tum toh janti ho ki main tumhare bina jee nahin sakta? i left you and went away, trying to fool myself into believing it makes no difference, but you know i can't live without you.

he always was dependent on her knowing without having to be told... perhaps that's why it hurt so much more, that she... she could be in another's arms



jab jo kiya... jab jo kaha sab bhool jaao... bas wapas aa jaao... aaj kissi aur cheez ka koi matlab nahin... kissi jhoot ka, kissi sach ka... whatever i have done or said, forget them all, just come back, today nothing else matters, no lie, no truth...

nothing matters, truth lies beyond all that in a place where love lives eternally. unsullied and untouched.

bas ek cheez ka matlab hai... only one thing matters.

agar tum nahin to main nahin... if you're not there then nor am i.

tumne hi kaha tha na, heer, ki heer ke bina ranjha ka koi wajood nahin? agar heer hi zinda nahin hai to ranjhe ki zindagi ka koi matlab nahin... you'd said, hadn't you that without heer ranjha has no existence? if heer is not alive, then ranjha's life has no meaning.



her irises move... she has to respond to all that is there in his voice, his words... she'd been lying still... he had gotten carried away... thinking that she was gone... at long last i understood that... so every word he said was what he wanted to say. had to say... he could not live without her, it was as simple as that.

as she breathed... and he calmed a bit, the beautiful lines... their reality is what it is... but yahan na sahi, shayad kahin aur ek duniya hogi... jahan tum.. aur main... kabhi alag nahin honge... even if not here, perhaps there is a world somewhere where you and i will never be separated... so rumi like these thoughts.

this is asr talking... all emphasis, inflection breath pattern that determined man's... 




i will eat the poison that takes you... take me to you... to that place where we will never be alone. yes, asr will take the poison, whatever is her lot he will accept as his. he bites into the sweet and plays the last sequence of the story, now letting go, falling toward her as he too goes where she is.

jab jo bura kaha usska koi matlab nahin... jab jo bura kiya usska koi matlab nahin... iss pyaar mein sahi aur galat ka koi matlab nahin. whatever terrible things i have said, mean nothing... whatever terrible things i have done, mean nothing... in this love right and wrong have no meaning.

voice broken, deep, giving, honest... goosbumps on my arms again.

music has moved to rabba vey.

bas ek cheez ka matlab hai... ki main... hamesha hamesha.. tumse... only one thing has meaning... that i... always always... with you...

his eyes close, a sentence is left unfinished.

last strains of rabba vey.

she opens her eyes... feelings in them she had not felt for a while.





at last he opens his eyes and she must ask, were you saying something? a tender hopeful moment. she would forgive him everything if he'd only say what he had started to say.


uh, kya? er, what?

no, he is not going to say it... back to reality he comes. and all its anger. its hurt. its arrogance. its broken hearted wretched feeling.

he helps her up, holds her hand, takes the bow, both looking gorgeous together... i didn't care none of this made any sense.

but he was not going to give in...


  
while checking for the dialogues, i happened to notice the date of first telecast, 3 april... the man in my life and i started dating officially on that nice april day in 1983. serial drama moment. this would be a good time to make the camera focus on my face and his repeatedly. i called him to tell him about the date, "do you remember the scene with heer ranjha, did you see it?" i asked... but before i could finish he cut in, "oh of course, the one where they wore costumes hired from maganlal dresswallah!" apparently, it's where nani ji got her pink costume from, and such things once seen are burned in the memory... never ever to be forgotten. i am still rofling, let me check if that name is the right one. inbhestigationia kareka padi.

it was motilal dresswala... close enough to the famous maganlal. this being ipk, guess it had to be moti or one of krishna's many names.




he'd walked away but in the dressing room, a feeling catches up with him.

while smartly fixing his sleeves, his eyes fall on her earring...  he had left earlier, but now his heart wants to stay and linger and touch and have. he reaches for it almost mesmerised and holds it... and lifts it up, looking at it with a need, an anguish, love and something exploding. a man in love, a man in a terrible quandary, a man hurting.

so much in that one gesture... 
and she sees him there  like that...

she knows yet she needs to be told. layers in both of them, inner, inner still, at so many each embedded in the other... yet one needs to know, the other won't tell.

she reaches for her earring, he passes it to her... yes, he was holding it in his hand, he is not going to deny it but he won't say what she wants to hear. he can't... he looks at her with so many things in his eyes, and then he turns away.

she tells him to not turn away when she is addressing him, what he expects of others is now expected of him. he can't turn away like that. a wife demands her right... shows her huq, behind that a lover pleads, tell me tell me that you love me forever.

but he won't. that was not him, that was ranjha. no, she roars, that was you, arnav singh raizada. he can't let her break him like this... he thrusts forward aggressively, no that was just me doing this whole thing only for my family... do you understand?

the aggression hurts her, drains her. leave, she says, leave, like you always do. a beautiful woman wanting to hear the words that make her feel like herself. a beautiful man who walks away thinking he can... heer and her ranjha. ranjha and his heer.







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