Tuesday, 13 October 2015

to love a shaitan


"my name is not my lord," replied the monster, "but beast; i don't love compliments, not i. i like people to speak as they think; and so do not imagine, i am to be moved by any of your flattering speeches. but you say you have got daughters. i will forgive you, on condition that one of them come willingly, and suffer for you. let me have no words, but go about your business, and swear that if your daughter refuse to die in your stead, you will return within three months."

~~~ jeanne-marie leprince de beaumont, beauty and the beast ~~~


would like to chat about rajkumar, shaitan, women and their expectations re whom they will marry and such stuff.

also about love meaning you've got to love the beast not just the prince...

i may not be too coherent...

completely whacked right now, back from a beautiful but strenuous trip, and two whiskies down... but 226 bothers me... got to place it in the structure somewhere.

one of the most stunning first episodes i have seen was ipk's... so full, so detailed and such a fabulous opener... key aspects of the story all there... except for shyam.

it starts on a wedding. weddings are a major concern in india... somehow there is this premium attached to it... our cultural norms are such, that no matter how educated or independent or "modern" or "westernised" we may be, girls are constantly being told about when they will get married, etc., also a notion of the prince or the raj kumar who will come to marry one.

of course, the prince is a constant in  most european fairy tales, perhaps all fairy tales.

in the idea of the rajkumar is perhaps the collective desire of women in what they look for in the man with whom they hope to make a permanent relationship.

first episode... she's haring off on her scooter to meet a man who is about to marry her sis, she's dressed for the occasion, people stare at her... maybe she's  a runaway bride... again in nainital days this idea comes up... she was always a bride maybe.

anyway this large family stares at her and by way of explanation she says she's got a drama competition on at school and so is going dressed up as "rajkumari".

prompt comes the curious boy's question, so where's your rajkumar.

and a second later, the helicopter drone is in... rajkumar is here.

after this, the theme of what kind of a guy one wants to marry has come up, especially in the lovely conversation garima has with her daughters in 127 and 128...

she says in 127:
"aur kuch toh.. kuch toh shadiya itni jaldi jaldi tai ho jaati hai ki, hum apne aap se poochte rah jaate hain ki yeh jo bhi hum kar rahe hain kya sahi kar rahe hain? kaun hai yeh insaan jisske saath hum poori zindagi bitane ja rahe hain? hum toh theek tarah se isse jaante tak nahin... hazzaron sawal poochte hain... lekin jawab ek bhi nahin milta...  kahe? ki oo jawab zindagi jeekar hi milte hain... aur kabhi wahi rishte jeevan bhar ka saath ban jaate hain..."

"and some... some weddings get fixed so fast, that we are left asking ourselves that this what we are doing, is it even right? who is this person with whom we're going to spend our whole lives? we don't even know this person well... thousands of questions we ask... but not even one answer we find... why? because that answer is found by living this life... and sometimes that relationship becomes the mainstay of ones whole life..."

in 128, she completes her thought:

"jeevan mein halat kaise bhi ho achhe burey... koi faraq nahin padta... jeevan saathi achha hona chahiye. bas."

"whatever the conditions may be in life, good or bad... doesn't make a difference... one's life partner should be good, that's all."

 
shaitan/rajkumar doesn't come up but it's a beautiful chat about what makes a life partner... a hint that preconceived notions can come in the way... it's only after you live a life with a person the many questions you have about the one you marry get answered and that relationship becomes essential to existence along the way.

in 226 the rajkumar idea comes back, but this time with the added element of shaitan. is he beast, is he prince? while i did not like the choice of tale or perhaps more, the execution of the episode... i have to say there is a lovely idea it brings up...

they never spoke of this in the show, but there was a wondrous condition that had to be fulfilled if the prince had to be released from the curse in beauty and the beast.

someone had to love him as he was... ugly, unpolished, not at all rajkumar like... someone had to love him as the beast... only then would he be free of the curse.

belle loved the beast as he was... not because she thought he was the prince, not because he looked handsome, not because she was less scared, she loved his many virtues... she just loved him. that was all.

here too, khushi grew to love him for whatever he was... no matter how monstrous he appeared at times, she could sense his beauty, his loving heart, his conscience, even his kindness... the most touching sign of that came when he finally told her why he had married her. yes, she was at first enraged that he should think such a thing of her, but soon enough her entire concern became him, how bad he must be feeling, how she had to prove to him that this was not the case. she did this not to prove her innocence, but because she didn't want him to suffer. and later came the most poignant confession of love ever... without using the word love even once... her soliloquy about the feelings that grow in nafrat, in hatred... and feeling in all of that which says, give it a chance.

khushi went further than belle, she loved the beastly bits of her man and his essential prince. 

a sense of love beyond the pretty stories of princes and princesses all the time in ipk. perhaps that's why it was so real.

but back to beauty and the beast... after 226, the theme of shaitan/rajkumar continues in 242 during preeto's wedding... when khushi sees him with the bridegroom and realises he had a hand in the whole resolution of the problem.

"kaun hai yeh... shaitan yehi... rajkumar yehi... ek insaan ke do chehre... hum inhen kabhi samajh hi nahin paayenge, ek pal me itna pyaar... aur doosre pal mein inse itna dar lagta hai..."

"who is he... monster is he... prince is he... one person and two faces... i will never be able to understand him, in one instant so much love... in the next i feel so scared of him..."

words similar to what she'd wondered about in 225 when she saw him loving and gentle with his sister and recalled his uncalled for brutality with her the night before.

later she described asr to her mother as "duniya ke sabse achhe pati" the best husband in the world, attributing to him several rajkumar qualities... which no doubt he had. but again the beauty of it was that it wasn't true yet... and still she loved him... her own shaitan.

i have no idea if the rajkumar/shaitan thing was explored or alluded to later... but obviously 225 was the starting point of the exploration of asr in a more stated way, with her first ponderings on his complexity... his two sides.

in 226 this is made even more apparent using the beauty and the beast story... and through the gh track we will see shades of this exploration, how he seems to be one guy, but is in fact much more complex, nuanced.

the same man who without consulting anyone brusquely orders a whole airconditioner set up in someone else's house, is also sensitive to the elder's fears and needs... adjusts with things he feels he ought to, shows extreme respect to garima ji, bua ji, babu ji... and how sensitively he handles the issue of rations for the house.

khushi thinks he knows nothing about how the other half lives... that he looks down on the middle class but in fact, she starts seeing his virtues right here in this milieu, none of which she expected to find in him.


in the fairytale the beast would ask belle every night if she'd marry him and she'd say "no", because she could not go beyond his ugliness till she was ready to.

at gh he'd lie next to her night after night, so often a heart touching emotion in his eyes, a mix of regret remorse love helplessness and more, maybe his heart was asking khushi what he had wanted to ask that day not so far away... will you marry me.




ps: writers started the rajkumar shaitan thought again, i realise, in episode 225... when khushi sees asr with his sister being sweet and wonders how can the same man be so different with two people.
 

......................

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