Saturday, 19 March 2016

episode 168 the laptop and the laad governor

in the middle of song and dance at about 17:45, a girl dressed like a star of the nineties, all done up in cobalt blue and white stone dazzle, exactly as the actress had been in a popular movie and also in the colours of the ocean, did something only a girl like her could do. she hit on arnav singh raizada.

well, what else would you call that marigold aimed and chucked straight at laad governor's face with a glint of extreme mischief in your eyes, khushi.

he had been watching her transfixed ever since she burst onto the stage with her hwihwihwihwi hawa hawai number... then she was sri devi promising lightning strike. to be fair to her, she gave him ample warning... bijlee girane main hoon aayi... i've come to strike with lightning she sang as she smoothly swiveled and swayed through the moves. funny, on the beat, graceful, who could blame him for looking a bit glassy eyed stunned.

he practically didn't move through her routine. and she swung straight into her next ishara... ek do teen chaar paanch chai... tera karoon din gin gin ke intezaar... one two three four five six... i am counting the days and waiting for you. see? khushi said it all. i guess shatir asr was too stupefied to get the message.

sanaya danced so fabulously and that lightness and skim and grin of khushi, a room full of people were mesmerized, i kept thinking she's way better than the original dancers. yeah, there was a playful grace and a svelte sexiness that got me...

khushi meant to win and she had given this whole business much thought. in her darti hai par karti hai way, she may have quaked but she had prepared prepared and prepared some more.

as she had warned him, she knew so much about pratiyogita he couldn't even begin to imagine.

he couldn't. he really thought money would get the job done. primarily i guess because arnav singh raizada does not spend his precious time planning strategies to win homey challenges that typically assail us at shadi times. he thinks of strategies that make billions of dollars, okay millions... but deal, win, strategy, competition are in his being, so when he starts experiencing this thing, no name for it, it's not yet faraq mind you, for this crazy girl, he expresses his unsettling yet insistent feelings through this baiting and challenging.

he stalks her practically from the moment he sees her looking ravishing in her maroon velvet... threatening, saturnine, most nasty.
khushi tum theek toh ho na... khushi, are you okay? he asked her at the beginning of episode after he'd walked in on her and nk having a chat. he glowered at nk, obviously this cosying up to khushi not pleasing him one bit. in fact, khushi's friendly vibe with nk riling him further. poor chap, i thought, this happy easy friendship, he's possibly never had it with anyone. always having to be grown up, take responsibility. 

there were layers in that thing i have often called "jealousy" vis a vis nk and khushi's relationship. i don't think nk was the point, it was more about khushi in a man woman exchange with anyone other than him... and being a guy he could clearly sense nk was interested in kkg but kkg had no clue of course. there was also a little yearning perhaps for that chummy feeling between the two.

when khushi looked at him, quite perturbed by now with all the talk of competition and also his nearness, though she wouldn't thing so consciously, he probed...

"tumhari aankhen..." your eyes. his tone was low, intimate almost. khushi hyperventilated. who wouldn't.

"ank... hen?" ey-es? she said tremulous and fazed.

"tumhari aankhen... inme mujhe tumhara dar nazar aa raha hai!" your eyes, in them your fear is visible, said the laad governor smoothly, all set to take that point in this deadly challenge which is always on, stage or no stage.

khushi recovered quickly, she got the point... she gave it back to him, if that's what it looks like to you, go get your eyes examined, this is "lalkaar" a call to come and battle.

the beauty of it all was of course that palpable attraction. that neither would acknowledge yet that drove them both to do all that they did.

as khushi danced and asr sat unable to look away, it became clear that a little more than money was needed to win certain games. and i enjoyed the contrast between the ever moving girl and the completely still man. was as though he sat in one place just surrounded by khushi. khushi leaping, khushi shimmying, khushi posing, khushi flinging her arms, khushi batting her eyelids, khushi walking up, khushi doing signature backward steps, khushi thrusting her hips, khushi pouting, khushi laughing.

storytelling was smart this episode.

we started slow and easy with a bit of asr baiting kkg and some competition angst, shyam chased scorpion adding a slightly macabre but mostly funny note (though i wanted to box him on the face when he looked at kkg, lost a la asr and said, when is she not pretty. enough mirroring, storyteller). garima ji sweetly said, don't let khushi hear this but, payaliya, your saasu ma danced rather well. the trepidation of a middle class woman vis a vis her daughter's ma in law so visible there. touches of the real in a most filmi episode. mami refused to let khoon bhari... payal give her water and said several things in an arch note about trying to impress ma in law. does this happen in the real world? all the time. sometimes ma in law is dressed just as bizarrely too and spewing that engleesiya.

the episode was literally filmi as well, as four well known dance numbers were adapted for screenplay. karan g did a wonderful job with desi boy. i stared at our desi boy looking totally pleased with his candidate. that slight air of arrogance gathering. sigh.

and then khushi took over the floor.

but even as he sat staring fixedly did he for a moment think she might do what she did next?

tempo had been calibrated and raised gradually. then that hit.
tempo careened. seat belt! someone seemed to shout out.
a man looked shocked then angry. a girl lost her smile, then fear came into her eyes, she backed away and bumped into a brown...
"arre yeh toh bilkul..." she looks exactly... a guest exclaimed.

"bilkul mere jaise lag rahi hai,"
exactly like me... completed a gobsmacked asr. 

not even in his wildest had he imagined that she would pull this trick. screenplay deftly turned the original song and scenario around and instead of the boy being the diwana, the girl became the assertive, happy, unstoppable attention seeking absolute and utter flirt.

yes, khushi... you were flirting, that's what it was. not only had you observed him kareeb se as he'd point out, you wanted to be observed by this man.

with that hit of the flower and then the audacious parody based on a man in a brown suit, khushi told him exactly how good she was at assessing competition and having an ace up her sleeve. and throwing it on the table just as you think you've got the game.

i had a feeling her audacity thrilled him. her gumption. he is excited by spirit, by a fight back. he doesn't need a woman to be docile and doormat for him to feel good about himself. be all of arnav singh raizada.

khushi's won't give in attitude had already become fairly precious to him. when she had said she couldn't take it any more at the hospital it had almost physically hurt him. later, she had thrown him totally off kilter at diwali and he had done all he could to break her, but she hadn't broken. in fact, she had bounced back happy giggly and planning kuchh alag kuchh dhamakedar with him for payal and akash, their siblings.

this streak in her had his respect i got the feeling. he called her "pagal" when she did these khushiesque things but there was a respect for a fighter and one who had her own individualistic way.

wasn't he too exactly that?

in a culture where women are always asked to be a bit less, tone down, not think much of themselves, blend... where men need women to follow them and not stand out, arnav singh raizada is a fabulous creature really.

he admires guts, courage, deal making instincts and a definite nahiiin to breaking down or backing out in a woman. in this woman it absolutely excites him.

he also knows that this dance is a clear sign of her interest in him. he can feel the flirt. just look at her leaping all over him, touching him, yanking him, putting  a garland of money on him, getting him engaged to the laptop.
(well he might be thinking of a slightly different laptop in that context.) and oh the intimacy of her being him, mimicking, it almost reaches out and caresses the mimicked one.huh, why khushi, why are you so interested in his marriage plans. the lyrics are funny and terribly personal in a way. a man woman thing to it all the way. khushi possibly was just looking for a lethal strike to take the enemy down, her "kuchh alag, dhamakedar" to vanquish the laad governor. but did she realise what her choice said? where her mind led her?

the last four minutes were only about the two of them and despite a roomful of people i saw just them and their love making. she teased and baited and hassled him, she danced for him, her body was free and happy and reveling in a feeling of triumph. she felt delighted i thought to dance for him.

and he just got completely blown away by her overt happy hit, something so physical in it, by all the innuendo and conjecture, the khushi wink, the touching, the rambunctious hip bumps, the smile that was pure sunshine with a promise of moonbeam.

he put his head down. and his sister thought his famous gussa was about to peak at seventh heaven (awful translation) as in he'll be furious.

instead. he laughed.

from his heart. with his heart.

that flower had found the spot.

and not just for the second time as his sis said, but for the third time or maybe more, a girl made a man who'd lost his laughter, jo hasna bhi na jaane as the song said, laugh and carry on smiling. of course good story telling demanded that he laugh on the doesn't know how to laugh song.

not all love making happens on a bed. not all lovers need to physically touch to be completely ignited by each other. and sometimes a climax is a heartfelt laugh and a smile that just won't go away. 

laptop se inki kar do sagai

kaante se hai ye khate parathae...

what the kah ke ji hume roz darate

gusse ke yeh dhoonde bahane

kya kare yeh hasna bhi na jaane

get him engaged to the laptop (yes yes do)
eats his paratha with a fork (did he smile a bit at that?)

scares me with his what the every day (so it's all about you and him)
looks for some excuse to get angry (and you provide them so happily)
what to do, he doesn't know how to laugh (but you know he doesn't look at all like laad governor when he laughs, so are you out to do something here, miss kkg?)



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