Monday, 4 January 2016

episodes 286/287/288 as breath falls (vm)

love slipped out and was free finally. it landed a flying kick on dread, shoved terror away with a lethal punch in the gut, grabbed the collar of betrayal and said don't mess with me. then pointed the gun at fear's head and rasped through gritted teeth, "paani hai, plan barbaad ho gaya?!"

a long time ago they'd got him. on a night when he was too vulnerable, too young to fight back. they trapped him in a scream and locked him right in. a heart that ached, that tore and ripped, hardened instead, combating demons that wouldn't let him go. he couldn't walk away, they took him and walled him in.

they planned to set him on fire some day.

but then arrived water laughing and babbling like a brook, speeding on a scooter hell bent on reaching her destination like a river, a girl from gomti sadan. she raced to meet her destiny...

and down from the sky came a man called ocean and said he never misses his mark. little knowing, he was the nishana, a river was on its way to find her ocean.

as i watched the terrifically well shot fight sequences and chase and the magnificent clifftop scenes of these episodes, i could hardly think. every second was thrilling and then you were thrown straight into the grandeur of a man and a woman and a feeling melded with air water earth fire.

was this not a movie? a tacky hindi tv serial merely?

shyam realised he had been duped by khushi and gave the order to burn the place down, set asr on fire... the horror of that moment.

his wife shrilly wailed to her aunt that she was hallucinating even as she clung on to her vaham, her essential hallucination of a perfect husband... the ever practical aunt brought her beloved niece home and called out to the servant for water. the servant was named after god, of course.

"hari prakas, paani deo jaldi se!" and god seemed to bring water raining down on arnav singh raizada. rocky opened a window and hurled a fluid from a plastic jerrycan at asr. he was drenched... and i was shocked thinking that was diesel.

the first time i saw this scene i had no idea a switch had been made. but he smelled the liquid, being the ever pragmatic and focused man he is with a curious mind that never stops ticking. he knew this was no gasoline. yet he waited to see what the goons were up to, he had tackled a couple of them earlier, but now there were many more, he had to strategise.

what was interesting was that ticking mind.

he had actually allowed it to be bludgeoned on the night of the terrace, and stopped thinking... making a terrible mistake. surrounded by every demon of his, he had screamed again and they had reinforced the trap. water had not won that night, darkness had.

but this time he was not going to just give in to death as he had at 14, nor to fear as on that other night. this time, he was somehow better armed to take it on.

he had to meet her in sheesh mahal, didn't he. and she had to find her way to him in some strange and unpredictable way, didn't she. that evening too there had been a switch... she was not supposed to be on that ramp. yet she was. and she fell into his arms, crash landing and just refused to disappear after that... running after him at the dargah, insisting she'd work in his office, making deals with his girl friend to stay on and teach her... as he said that night before rakhi, she just refused to go away.

to break down that hard wall of terrible adversaries... lallan, rocky, stand back for you are nothing compared to dread, death, terror, ache, fear, pain, anger, betrayal... to vanquish them, he needed to be reached, touched, brought back to life. water is fluid, it flows into places solids can't, it seeps in through cracks and crevices and finds a way to get in, stay.

she did find her way into him. the day he smiled at her antics, was perhaps the first day he took a step toward fighting every demon off. and no matter how much he tried to not feel for her, believing she had betrayed his trust even, nothing worked, she kept flowing in... on laughter, smiles, her utter upbeat rhythm, her sanka, her sweetness. he could not resist. and as he said to her just a couple of days ago... she had found him, haan, mujhe dhoond liya tumne. was that not really about her making her way, against all odds, right into his being? his heart?

when lallan's matches fizzled out, he knew only one person could have made that switch... the little sizzler who would not be put down, never fizzle out... and with a smile of wonder and pride came, "khushi kumari gupta singh raizada!"

she popped up from behind packing cases, gleeful at having succeeded, and thanking devi maiyya, for a few moments so much the sparkling girl of the first episode. fresh and full of trust.

then arrived shyam and his disgusting frenzy. seemed he'd have loved her more if he'd known she were so twisted. an interesting conversation about how "gire hui" was she. and a bold assertion by her that for her husband's sake she would fall even further if necessary, because she loved him... so much. but perhaps what i enjoyed hearing most was her cutting tone when she told him she was nothing like him, shyam... nothing. 

the first time i saw these episodes, and this time too, shyam made practically no impression... his story was weak, his acting flat. and given the beauty unfolding elsewhere, i really did not care.

but before i dump him, i wonder what was that about "pandrah din." asr had got only fifteen days to live... now that was done. was this in some way a reference to the dark period in one's life? in crooner, priya had talked about the fifteen days standing for a "paksha"... there are two in each month, one dark/krishna when the moon wanes, the other bright/shukla when it waxes. is this a reference really to the dark phase in arnav singh raizada's life ending though it is flipped to sound the other way round and the dark one, shyam/krishna, speaks of it?

the ocean had decided he needed to meet his life force. arnav singh raizada was going to come out if his wife was out here. the fabulous fight between ugly hoods and a beautiful man that ensued was so gracefully filmed, him throwing off of barriers and flowing toward us, almost like a tide coming in... a sense of freedom in it.

a stunning communication when he burst out of the godown and standing on the verandah caught sight of her for the first time. almost instantly a smile flashed, no matter they were in the middle of absolute danger. and she smiled back ever so slightly right back at him... a connection, a giving of breath to each other... of life... a moment of immortality... and rabba vey of course was the name of this moment.


he didn't see shyam, in a fairly well directed placing of actors and camera angles, this got done. and onto the ballet like chase, a terribly handsome man with hair tossed by the wind and a search in his eyes in an open top rugged vehicle followed by a clutch of murderous men on bikes, while in front raced the small half man who so wanted to be the big guy with the girl, who now feared even less, now that her arnav ji was here and determined to reach her.

she had saved him, now it was his turn. i wondered why we had to come all the way to death for their story to complete. the words "jeetey ji," while one is alive... was used by both shyam and khushi. as long as she were alive, she would not let any harm come to arnav ji, she spat out at shyam as 287 began. shyam vowed what asr hadn't given him while he lived, he would give him by dying... khushi ji.

but then i felt, it had to come to death. and betrayal.

for it had all started with death and betrayal... of a loved one, and by a loved one. and it had to come back to the death and betrayal of a loved one and by a loved one for arnav singh raizada to be free. and perhaps that's why there had to be that misunderstanding, where he believed the one he loved had broken his trust... he would have to grapple with that... and today he would have to see her in the grip of death.

fire destroys fire... to catch a thief set a thief. and so his mother's death and his father's breaking of trust... khushi brought both spectres back to him. she the instrument that would let him live again. she that key... the mannat key, i suddenly thought. he had said "phenk do" but she wouldn't.  she was that key on which a mannat stayed... maybe a dying mother's wish or am i being melodramatic?

a truly beautiful tale springs ridiculously elevating surprises at you... in these episodes ipk did that again and again. a moving story had been brewing in someone's heart... i am grateful that despite all the horrors that the trp chase brought upon us, the real story of ipk did not plunge to its death, it only seemed like that. it breathed dammit breathed. and a love story lived on.

what he had lost to death and betrayal, today he would have the chance to win all that back... but would he be able to?

need i have worried?

how viciously the goons had tried to hold him down, but he brought forth all his physical might and prevailed. shyam gagged and bound her and left her to die under the tyres of his jeep... but he kept his head and swerved in time to save her. he watched over her as the hoods caught up, and again fought with all he was when they circled him like vultures. but then he saw what he never ever thought he'd have to see.

khushi plunging to her death.

he forgot everything, he ran to save her. they tried to stop him, but he was not going to let them. lallan should thank his lucky stars, asr was too focused on khushi to bother to pull the trigger. he couldn't care less whether lallan died or not... khushi... where was khushi?

actually she had been on his mind from the moment he saw that water and realised it must have been her.

her name was on his lips constantly as he drove... and as she fell off the edge of the cliff.

khushi... khushi... khushiii had started already... he knew very well she couldn't hear him calling her from the car, then why was he saying her name? if we happen to be theist, the very name of god is considered powerful... to have the name on every breath is a form of praying, on the inhale, on the exhale... the name.

i did not count how many times he called her by her name... i just felt his devotion, his love, his conquest over himself... and the freedom within him. at long last.

in 286, we had been cooped up in a godown... in 287, it was the road... and now we reached the earth and the sky. rabba vey sang the wind, water flowed and washed away pain in untrammelled tears.

but before all that, again.. a smile. when he spotted her lying prone on the slope under a tree. his sister had commented on it earlier... this crazy girl who'd stop at nothing to reach him, perhaps the most precious gift she released in him was his smile. his laughter.

it made him happy, it made him strong.

how moving was the acting by barun sobti as arnav singh raizada felt every terror, fear, pain, hurt, horror, tear, ripping of a single thought. khushi is no more.

he has always feared the loss of a near one. he cannot face it... he cannot take it. a part of him ends every time he thinks of his mother's death.

and now, khushi is gone?

when he was 14, he could not do a thing about what happened. but this time he was damn well not going to let anything happen. he ran about wildly, calling her, he spotted her, he gathered her in his arms and pulled her up and he sat on mother earth cradling his love in his arms, reviving her, calling her, telling her to come back... he spoke to her constantly, his fear perhaps propelling him, but also his determination not to let her go.

talk to me, say something, khushi khushi khushiii... and then he saw her hand fall limp to the ground, the hand that always held him when he lifted her... fear rushed through him. he remembered moments when she had spoken of dying... a chill clutched his heart, he checked to see if she breathed, he tried to resuscitate her, he told her to speak to him dammit, this was not funny. he commanded her to breathe. breathe.

he pleaded and said, she couldn't do this to him...

for endless minutes he did all he could to get her back, there alone on a clifftop, no one around, no help for miles around... and the sky and the earth watched quietly.

he raged, he shouted, he seemed to be standing before the eternal and demanding she be brought back to him. every time  fear came, he fought it off and grew more strident in his call to her. he had tried to reassure her at first, how very tenderly he'd said, look, everything is alright, you're okay, i'm fine, we're safe... open your eyes, khushi, say something. he'd thought she would respond... did i see a little child in him for a moment then? almost asking his mother to open his eyes, look at him, come back? he has been to this terrifying place before.

then he grew more and more desperate... and fierce... refusing to give in.

he tried to massage warmth back into her palms, to find a sign of life.


whatever he could do using his powers of reasoning and thinking he did. nothing worked. she was not breathing.

he was bereft, broken... and with a desperate love for her in his heart, he turned to only that feeling and lifted her still hand and put it where it belonged, on his heart... the place she had streamed into despite all the barriers and walls and met the ocean within. his deep, vast heart.

holding her close, letting his tears come, he let his head rest on hers... khushi, he murmured. this time perhaps sure, she would not answer...




the heart beat... their story was all about that after all. dhadkane. he was hers and she his... he seemed to give her her heart beat back by putting her hand on his...

in that heart beat perhaps today is a trust in life that was robbed a long while back. 

when he heard her, for a moment, disbelief... and then a smile. yes, again a smile. arnav singh raizada has found a thousand different smiles with and for this love of his... each one says love in its own way...

she coughed as she started to breathe again, you could see a spray of saliva come and hit arnav singh raizada... why did that look so wonderful? felt real...

and then with the most incredulous joy he turned to her and held her.

even the way he put his arm around her seemed to have changed and become more nurturing... like she was the most precious thing ever. and indeed she was. she was perhaps that pearl that made the scattering, the bikhar jaana of his entire life bearable.

he sat with her in his arms, smiling, crying, just being thankful... a grace in these moments. and sitting up there on the clifftop, we seemed to move up another level in this love story... going even deeper into the nature of love and reaching upward with an ambitious lunge.

she looked at him and she too had to say his name first... to have him near, to be in his arms, after the hell she has gone through these past few weeks and the damnation of having to be near another man... and yet, i don't think for even a second khushi doubted that her arnav ji would reach her and save her. her calm, tired smile seemed to say that. she tried to speak, he said shh shh, no need to say anything.

the first time too i'd found that intriguing. and it was beautiful that he believed her without her having to say a single thing later when she accused her culprit.

on the bridge the other day he had not been able to believe her even as she told him everything. but today, after all they had been through, and after he had finally battled and wrestled with demons and was at last free... he really did not need to hear anything any more.

he put her dupatta back on her shoulders in a telling gesture. her dupatta always said many things and it had been the last thing he'd seen as she fell. as he placed it where it belonged he seemed to say, he'd protect her honour always.

as he went to pick her up, her hand did go up as it always had, right from that day at the guest house and she clutched his vest... oh the happiness on arnav singh raizada's face at that.

there was a sense of completion up there beneath the clear sky. the young man who had held darkness in his eyes, now his irises held a bright new light and the girl who had looked up at him petrified in his arms one night, now stroked his cheek lying comfortably in his arms, becoming his, making him her own.he carried her and walked to the car, a temple in the background, white pristine. the shots had a sense of the sacred and a larger than life feel, something elemental, big. like the feelings within, like the feelings without.

on this clifftop, for the first time he said, though he did not complete the sentence perhaps because he couldn't, not when she was in this state... but he did realise clearly... main tumhare b-

i can't live without you.

if not for a great plot or even a rational basis for kidnap, for using it to reach this point, many thanks to the writers.

ipk would not be what it is without the acting of barun sobti and sanaya irani... these episodes again said that repeatedly to me. they made ipk breathe... even when everything tried to throw it over the cliff.

no copyright infringement is intended. this is a fan appreciation video and there's no commercial transaction involved. thanks to all at ipkknd, the beatles, and the original owners of the material.