Saturday, 19 March 2016

episode 169 two men and a tango

what if it wasn't a "blooper" as we keep thinking it was. that was my first thought when episode opened and khushi wore the pink of ek do teen instead of the blue of didi tera jeth ji...

i had a strong feeling 168 had seen a rearrangement of the dances after shooting, after the editing, when it became amply clear just how powerful the didi tera sequence had turned out. perhaps editor said to director, just look at that. and director gazed rapt, scratched his head and knew instinctively right then that this sequence had to be at the end... the high note, the climax.

and so we saw jeth ji being struck by a marigold (quite a wedding time flower that in delhi, usually seen at prayers and nuptials only) in dance number three and not two. i could be totally wrong. but surely an entire episode could not have been planned in the wrong dress for the lead.

the thing that struck me about this episode was its elegance. two mirroring sequences hit the right note. at the poolside, two men accosted a woman who had walked into their lives quite by chance and without meaning to turned their lives upside down.

without meaning to. that was key. khushi never plotted and planned to get the attention of either of these men. by now she knew one had a thing for her and it was really despicable the way he went about expressing it. she also sensed perhaps the other's interest, but it was confusing, unsettling and awoke a response in her she hardly knew how to handle.

this is a young girl in the midst of a man woman thing for the very first time and suddenly there are two men in her life doing utterly bizarre things. i feel a little bad for her really. the man who ripped her dori and was aggressive beyond belief when they met is the one that she started feeling things for. completely confounding that must have been. and the one who she thought was a decent gentle man turned out to be a rascal.

today, when asr caught her at the doorway (again an important conversation in front of a door, i wonder why the creatives did that all the time, maybe some symbolism, i am no good at deciphering, or maybe it's just that hrishikesh gandhi and lalit mohan/arshad khan have a penchant for doors...) he was intimidating and yet it was all about getting close to her.

jeth ji, despite his aggressiveness, was really in disarray. he couldn't get over the fact she had done what she had. he even asked her why she hadn't acted as him since she knew him so well. of course, he had to throw her off guard with the threatening tone, that guttural recall of the lines, making her stammer and choke. he had to get under her skin with the i had no idea you observe me so closely, etc. he did his walking forward, she had to step back... but then she fought back right and proper. such delightful signatures these, i can see this happening at their fiftieth wedding anniversary, suddenly out of the blue, and both feeling the dhakdhak, a smile slanting rakishly, a pair of hazel eyes looking scared then charged and triumphant.

neither had any idea but the tango had already started and it was totally sensuous.

there was a heat in that exchange and it had to go straight to internal organs, the very working places of a human being... dil and dimaag. they both reached out and touched the place which hold these organs, buzzing and beating in us. a need to touch? a feeling they had the right to? there was a part of us never mentioned but it was always at play... the gut. they were already present in each other's basic gut instinct, the often mentioned vibe between the two actors had a huge role in getting that across... totally tastefully, no cringe factor in it too.

both were completely wound up and yet the meeting was tightly conceived, poised. a density in it.

the other scene exactly at that spot was with shyam of course. that mirror. if asr looks at her lost, shyam looks at her smitten. if asr has found and caught up with her here, shyam too must do some catching up.

in this instance, shyam was not seeking her deliberately as asr had, it was that lost scorpion (sorry, creatives, that whole thing was ridiculous, you don't play with a scorpion like that and if indeed it was sitting in khushi's green saree, by now she'd be in hospital... this whole thing reminded me of those hindi movies where they have hero/heroine tied to the chair, an electric wire ends exposed close by meant to blow up something or the other and then the switch is turned on, and we see electricity move slowly along the wire... yes yes this has happened, my memory says, check).

when shyam reaches her, all he wants to do is save her. he whips away the saree and watches horrified and worried... then the scorpion leaves.

by then though, khushi has misread this whole thing and starts berating him. suddenly, all that he's been witness to, that flirting with saaley saab which he no doubt has picked on, as also his inability to reach the object of his obsession, all of it gets to him and reflecting her anger, he lets his ire surge, from terrified for her (he only means to kill his wife, and in his eyes that is perfectly valid, he's doing it for love) he gets nasty as hell, gripping her arm, threatening her, being aggressive. pushing her back against a wall, literally and metaphorically.

what really can khushi do?

well i believe she could have done much. but for reasons she thought were valid, she did not reveal his truth. at this moment thought all that is unimportant, this is about a beautiful young woman who met two men that treated her in ways unfathomable and the hurricane that set up in her.

i feel her vulnerability. all the actors were brill i thought. even abhaas. sometimes he made me feel the heart of shyam... a confused, amoral, totally selfish heart, but in it, in his weird reprehensible way, he did have a very soft corner for this woman. story will make his character become utterly destructive toward her too one day. had the middle part been told well, even that would be understandable. sick obsession grows in unpredictable ways. funnily, so does true, beautiful, edifying love.

we saw bits of both on that poolside i think.

predictably, but not off puttingly, frame showed all three players together during the plundering of an innocent girl by a sick man, but the man who loved her, who she observed so closely, who couldn't stop looking at her, was turned away and too engrossed in his work to notice.

when he did look at her, he instantly realised she was in pain, beautiful shot of reflection, another ipk staple, talking reflections. but he misunderstood. she heard him say she was pretending, incredulous. already tired from all the tussle and wrangle, her arm hurting from the mauling by shyam, her heart disturbed by both the men, trying to find the mind to go back on stage again, she drew away from him, gathered her strength, and walked away.


he knew perhaps then, he'd got it wrong. but too late. damn. (please say that under your breath, through slightly clenched teeth, head bent at an angle and completely disturbed look in eyes.)

in the meantime bua ji stalked mami ji, who ran madly around. while bua ji claimed she had started with three but now she saw fifty krishnas, abhi pachaas nand kissore. mami ji might consider selling this whatever it is she mixed in bua's orange joooice, she'd be a tycoon in her own right.

bhatiji kaunki hai sanka devi, whose niece is crazy khushi, bua took the credit for khushi's smash hit dance too. she who was forever on about khushi not being their own. sweet, typical family, chaotic aunt.

nk was horrified to hear masi ji had cheated. this character is a beauty, nothing dark touches it and his innocence is utterly unlined. in that innocence perhaps sits the sense of the eternal. hai re nand kissore.



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