Saturday, 9 January 2016

a ponder on barun and asr and archetypes around episodes 300-307

he is new on every watch, subtle... endless. barun, perhaps even without realising, gave so much to this character. yes, we all have our own asr in our minds, and he is all of them and more.

my thought on christian g and asr is that, by some strange coincidence, they are both dashing, young wealthy men who wear suits and arouse all sorts of things in women. but that is where all similarities, if there ever were any, end.

two women thought of the kind of man any girl would love to have in her life. an archetype really, he is the handsome prince on a white horse. red room white suv, whatever... they were things to take their women on a wild ride.

cg's writer openly and honestly looked at women's sexual needs joys fantasies and instincts and went for a story that may not be ever read by me but has thrilled millions of women across the world and that's great.

asr's "creator" was more curbed in her exploration of the sexual side of the matter, but deep down, it was really a lot about that too. she saw him as the quintessential m and b hero, in a way cg is an emanation of that too, who gets girls giddy with longing in the heart, mind and ahem other places.

then asr's writers layered on worthy traits that made him fit to be a true star plus hero, since the real world no longer manages a space for true heroes, star plus's hero is i guess what the good indian girl has to be satisfied with. they considered making him "dark", a word i don't quite get, but then they chickened and gave him obvious good notes, like love for family, and thappads for those who denigrate women and a crazy tenderness for his sister, again a very good boy trait... little obvious markers that would resonate with a viewer they thought they understood and create a positive character but with exciting western touches, suit and all and some amount of sexy arrogance.

perhaps the most striking characteristic they gave him was his individuality. his courageous bold even brash sense of being the master of his own life. not very achha beta star plus hero this trait. more salim javed of the seventies and with a sense of free will that we rarely find in our mass media characters. very much a "main", an "i" as opposed to the more asian "we" and "hum". the sensibility and attitude had something western about it and i am sure there was much talk about how to make this sell in a soap.

they meant to create a big memorable character.

but that he would reach fairly epic proportions i don't think anyone foresaw. nor that he would reach women in all corners of the earth and awaken a deep longing which even they often couldn't explain to themselves. some of the girls on the forum were clearly not used to falling flat at the mere thought of a tv soap hero... that too a hindi one. you could see their resistance in the snark and humour and sharp posts, even posts that raged against the man... but ignore him no one did, no one could. asr reached a mindset which really other hindi soap heroes have certainly never reached, in fact very few fictional characters have, in any language.

i particularly like the things that barun added which were not written in. it is in those that asr really got made and went way beyond the word or the imagination and yes, drove right out in his white suv and parked himself often illegally all over the place.

a depth he added with just his bearing, his gaze.

a tenderness, with little turns of head, smiles, the way his hands moved.

he took charge of every moment while he was on screen... not a single expression felt unnatural, asr was not just asr when the camera was focused on him, he was always asr, even while listening to someone or just sitting and drinking coffee.

in the way he spoke to women, he said, i don't believe in the gender bias, this was not actually written in i feel, it was conveyed more through his stance... i am full of myself, i think i am smarter than you, khushi, but you are not less because you are a woman. it's just that, alas, i am more. with lavanya too, he yelled and screamed and was quite peremptory, seemingly heartless, but then suddenly infinite understanding or tenderness... oh the scene where he says yeah i don't care for you that's why i have brought you home... or when she gets drunk and he just sits there with something to help her with the hangover...

barun knew how to make asr seem impregnable, he also knew how asr would break... magnificent how he felt each and every feeling of asr and expressed it minutely. completely.

as he worked every day earnestly trying to build a character he did not believe was like him, barun started to hear his heartbeats and they guided him unerringly.

asr is a man we miss... today i missed him like crazy and had to look at smiles and moments that could only be him. some day barun will understand that what he has done with asr is an abs triumph of his skill, his art... the risk he took when he set out to make asr, i hope his career offers him risk of that intensity again.

on facebook, my young niece is posting pictures of barun in his ron sen look and wondering if that could have been asr in his thirties... asr in the future... yeah, i have thought of him at 50 at 60 and her too. do people think like this about soap characters? my niece is an extremely bright young woman who has a life teehee. and we are chatting about where the show really should have gone... in the middle of that my other niece, who does not watch ipk, jumps in and says aaargh that beard makes him hot hot hot. i am giggling and thinking what's with this boy. in two hours from now, my young cousin's younger wife will be here, another girl crazy about asr... there's a not at all westernized, not really angreji speaking sweet girl i know, my bro's friend's wife... she always quietly comes and leaves a like on the asr edits that i post on facebook... and now on all barun/mamr edits.

the show has been over two years.

what did barun really do with a man who was meant to be just another mills and boon inspired tv hero, like many gul has helped create. kya kar diya asr ke saath, really.


  1. I swear!! I remember watching the show back in 2012 and drooling over him. And it still the same now! The way he has portrayed ASR is so different than the other tv soap heroes. Never a boring word, no overdose of sanskaar. Just an angry guy falling in love. It never seeems as if he's acting, n thats his charm. Plus, he's easy on the eyes too ;P

    1. hi sayoli,
      thanks for dropping in and your comment. yeah... back in 2012 it ended and i am still stunned, hahah. "just an angry guy falling in love" yes, and no no no none of that tghick gloopy so called "sanskaar." you are so right, never ever looked like acting... hewas asr. very easy on the eyes and about to assault them again if the news about the zee tv series is accurate. can't wait. hope you enjoyed your browse.