Sunday, 13 March 2016

episode 318 what has any meaning

what was in his eyes when he looked back. was there memory of things he didn't remember? a dupatta, gossamer light, brushing across his cheek, lingering over his nose and lips, touching him... he had turned his face without thinking, the girl had walked away, he had not even paused to wonder who she might be...

she stood there now, hiding beside the wardrobe, covering herself with her arms, a frown on her brow, a complaint ready to escape her lips, a girl he had never known he'd ever meet. a girl he hadn't wanted to meet. and yet she was the light in his eyes.

what instinct had made him hold onto that dupatta of hers, the one without which he knew she would be in complete disarray, yet he had kept it back. with him. what instinct had told this man who didn't know how to say things men are supposed to say to express their feelings that this was how he would tell her all that he wanted to, this was how he would reassure her, he would cherish her, make her understand how terribly precious she was to him... how she was really his hamesha... and this was their first night together, it meant so much to him.


and this night wrapped in flowers and and fears and all kinds of set ideas for centuries was much more than a ritual, a name to him. more than taking, it was a night of giving.


he had waited long to make her part of his life. he had erred, and he would do everything to set things right... she was his patni... he so wanted her to forget her fears, reach out and exercise her right over him, take her place beside him, become part of him. in his mind and heart there was no doubt that he indeed was his wife. that's why he knew he could hold onto that dupatta maybe. he had returned it to her with averted gaze on a road to an unknown destination once. he had placed it on her shoulder with infinite care on a clifftop later, looking her in the eye for he knew she was his destination. tonight he wanted to bring her home in a way only two lovers can... two people who have committed to a notion of hamesha.


if it were just sex, there would be no need for all this. in her head it had become perhaps only a physical act, an act about which she knew too little, and so extreme trepidation filled her when she saw the bed, her eyes widened in a million worries, crowding out any excitement, any emotion... khushi kumari gupta had no idea what exactly this whole thing entailed... and suhag raat possibly was bedecked with too many ideas whispered in giggles and dread.

and though he had teased her mercilessly, even stalked her, he had noted her state of mind... the girl he had thrown onto a cold flagstone floor on a suhag raat once, and stayed up the whole night suffering with, ripping streamers of the the flowers decorating a bed, tonight he had put up those same flowers for her, readied the bed on which he'd like to bring and lay her and yes, make love to her. but before all that he would calm, treasure, hold near, honour... he wanted to place that dupatta on her head and tell her she was everything to him, she was his respect even... he would protect her honour, her izzat, for that is what love means to him...

"aap sabke saamne humpe kaisa chilla sakte hain..."
how can you shout at me like that in front of everyone? she sounds so much like a wife. and why not, she is that... she has even pulled that jhula, the swing, of infant krishna with him.

"kabse tumhe bula raha tha, tum sun hi nahin rahi thi!"
i was calling you for so long but you wouldn't come! he is gruff, impatient. arnav singh raizada for the first time in his life wants something for himself... his life with khushi... and tonight he has plans... enough of this being good, hanging out with family, ignoring his command. yeah, he da boss.

"yeh kya hai."
what's this?

"tumhare liye hai... pehenke aao!"
it's for you... wear it and come. yeah, keep it brusque, especially because you are puddle inside. and why is my breathing getting laboured at that pehenke aao! 

"yeh tohfa hai?"
is this a gift? she is still angry. good.

"haan... tumhare liye..."
yes, for you. terse, oh yes.

"yeh koi tarika hota hai apne patni ko tohfa dene ka!"
is this any way to give a gift to your wife! so... she is his wife, please note, milord.

"main aisa hi hoon... jaakar isse pehenkar aao!"
i am like that... go, wear it and come! yes, he is indeed like that... and there's no one quite like him. mere paas, mere saath, mere paas aa jao, pehenkar aao... near me, with me, come to me, wear it and come... he calls her to him in his words, in his heart... and just look at those eyes.


every little thing i was seeing before my eyes was portraying only one thing. love. and the active absolute feeling of this emotion by one person for another.

she came out of the bathroom looking hassled, in a quandary. in a khushi like way, she flipped and turned and walked along the wall trying to find a way out of this situation. where was the dupatta? her hands clutched at nothing, fingers showing her discomfort... so khushi like... right from that day in a red chiffon saree in a strange young man's office whose arms she had fallen into one night. lovely signature's from moments gone by.

i was delighted by the beautiful dress he had chosen for her... red and pink and sparkling lightly, there was passion and innocence and youth in it, and a tenderness... yes, a fashion guy might choose just such a lehenga with its chiffon and sequins and simplicity. and there were doris at the back too... the dori, always in their story, wasn't it. 

he heard her, he turned. a look in brown irises. then that getting up, the starting... the noticing of the bed...

"wahan kyun khadi ho... idhar aao!"
why are you standing there... come here. again that call. his whole voice had changed... what was in it now? a man a lover a worshiper a playmate he. guttural, trying hard to stay in control...

"hu--humare paas dupatta nahin hai!"
i don't have a duppata!

exquisite to and fro, a sense of the inevitable in the air. directors and writers crafting with intensity and intuition. actors completely slaying it... this could have gone all wrong, a bit silly...even too sexual, but no, this here is love... and all its vastness and glory and beauty can be delineated with the smallest, most insignificant of things. 

"isske saath dupatta nahin diya?"
didn't they give a dupatta with it?

that smile.

will you come or shall i...

if a man loves a woman this must be the way he looks at her... a light shines in him and reflects off his irises... he's a dark man with only torment in his self... a man torn between sahi and galat who doesn't give faraq but then faraq comes calling... the dupatta had warned him, he didn't listen... and look at him now.

rabba vey had already come in before, now gust of wind enters frame... all the tellers of their story congregate... dupatta, rabba vey, gust of wind, dori...

that slow walk up to her, the touch, his first touch tonight... on her shoulder... things i'll never forget. 

the camera so intimate, going closer, finding the bated emotion, the expectant note in undirectable, unwriteable (had to make those up) things, movement, turns, pauses, looks, holds, touches... the language of the body when love has lain in your heart.

the wind rose again after the song... what was he telling her with his hands, his body, his wait, his quiet? she tried to hear, she needed to hear the right thing. hands came up and tucked away strands of hair.. echoes of diwali... that desire building here... wanting to lose control...


it was on rabba vey he gathered her close, his longing and his ferocious protectiveness and his need all in the way he held her. making space for her in a thought she had not thought straight about ever perhaps.

the look on his face as he placed her dupatta on her head had been unfathomably intense, and yes, tender. the intensity grew deeper and there was a letting down of guard along with it... there was no longer the teasing husband, the commanding laad governor on that visage... only a man who loved. with all of himself. a man who cared, who gave a damn, a man who perhaps worried for her tonight as much as she worried for herself, a man who knew what her first time with a man would mean to her, a man who was almost humbled by the fact that he would be that man.

the emotion on screen was not thick and gooey awkward and unclear, the actor had pondered this moment and adorned it with the most beautiful unforgettable expression. those flowers were not the only thing asr had brought to decorate the night.

at last her hand went up his back, accepting... acquiescing. wanting.only when he was sure she was ok, he lifted her up.

she let him lay her upon the petals, gentle and slow was he, giving her time, letting her enter the momoment.

"nahin, arnav ji!"

no, arnav ji. she sounded strident, in panic.

"kya hua, khushi? you okay?"

what happened khushi? you okay? who wrote this adult little response? that beautiful you okay? yeah, you... tonight is really about you, don't you see?


perhaps she could. but the writers had decided otherwise. why though we'll never know. much has been said about why she refused him, how this was her young innocent self, how she was not comfortable they'd never had pheres. and even more has been discussed. i couldn't agree with any of it... my shock as great as his when he bellowed, what do you mean...

"tum mere ghar mein mere saath meri patni bankar rah rahi ho... aur tum yeh believe karti ho ki hamarai shadi nahin hui hai?"
you are living with me in my house as my wife... and you believe we are not married? she had called herself his patni just moments before that too with a patni like moue and huff.

now she said, this was not all right because "hamari shadi poori nahin hui..." khushi was never a silly girl. she understood things. she knew they had been legally married... and above all, she loved him with all of herself, willing to die for him.

i can understand her feeling a little lost and confused, even saying "no" tonight... but not in that way. a note of hysteria in sanaya's voice, acting quite forced, maybe because the actress who had created the fantastic girl called khushi knew something was just not right with what she had to say...

i can see him understand her reasons and set up a small beautiful ceremony with her where he could "marry" her the way she felt was true and auspicious, with his mother's kangan being slipped onto her arms under a sky glinting with stars being a major ritual of the ceremony... but not the "remarriage" that got concocted.

after all they have been through... after that moment of him giving her a string of pearls... after everything... phere? that too introduced via krishna and his eternal lover radha who never married? never got the writing, I am afraid. ceremonies and weddings are the usual ways of raising trp by channels... wonder if this one worked. the story was so wrong.

anyway... it took us straight to some good old raizada anger, dragging, pulling...

"phere? that's the problem right?"

slow mo... asr music. he is taking her somewhere.

it's the terrace again.

oh that magnificent breaking of wooden stools on the bare floor, with angry hard kick, the lighting of fire.. something in that moment... brilliant acting by both of them and the feeling of the wedding night in it all somewhere. shiva, tandav, ocean, turbulent waves, annihilation, birth, love, passion, grandeur...

"ab toh fire bhi hai... chalo... phere lete hain. jo tumhare liye itne important hai."

now we even have fire... come... let's take the pheres... whch are so important to you.

he lifted her up again... this time in rage. and started walking around the fire.


"saat ya aat?"
seven or eight? that fabulous imperviousness to ritual.

and again i wondered if the actors knew this was just a tv soap they were not supposed to take acting to such a height... and those directors, how keen their grasp of the moment... of the characters... even if they know the story is not what they had thought it would be. or perhaps to tell that convincingly, this had to be done with such conviction.

once he had stood on the terrace and read the situation wrong. now his grandmother stood there and khushi reacted to it all in the most un khushi way... okay, we had to get to elaborate remarriage, writers set it up clumsily.

but again what came later was utter beauty.

"kya ho gaya hai tumhe!"
what's happened to you? he asked of the woman he loved and knew to be much smarter and deeper than this.

"aur kya hai yeh phere?"

and what are these pheres?

"aur hamari feelings se zyada badkar kaise?"
and how are they more important than our feelings.

key question. great question. the dimaag man told us about the place of feelings, the dil's domain... in all our riti riwaz/rituals oriented ways are we forgetting the really important things, humey kya chahiye usska koi meaning nahin hai kya? what we want, does it have no meaning?

as our society stands at a crossroads, the older traditional norms of being rule bound and always thinking of the group, rarely the individual, begins to change, and we start to look at our own desires and not always treat them as sure signs of devilish selfishness, as we begin to give ourselves value, which is so very important, non negotiable actually, if you're to value anyone else... asr poses this wonderful question. are we able to value our feelings, the human being's greatest asset perhaps, over human made norms imposed from the outside? what is the place of emotion in life itself...

thirty episodes down in a farmhouse, the khushi i know will reappear for a memorable night... and give him the answer to that. she will not give ritual the control, the say... instead hold dear, hamari feelings.

"riti riwazon ka koi matlab nahin.. shadi ke vidhi ka koi matlab nahin... toh aap hi humey bataiye kis cheez ka matlab hai?"rituals mean nothing, she yelled back at him tonight though, the customs of marriage mean nothing... do tell me what has any meaning then!

and he told her.

his words split the night. my knees got the goosebumps... my heart raced. a world full of clutter, and a man holds up what matters really.

"that i love you dammit!"

hadn't he been telling her just that, all through the evening... in many ways, some hard to decipher, some impossible not to see and feel? an episode about that dammit love it was. that dammit all love.

his raise of decibel and single forceful sentence felt like a sudden absolute yank, a snapping of something... then it was a dori... now a man... that time the pearls had scattered. tonight they seemed to be strung back again, just like that.

perhaps that's why... that night there was a lone tear, but tonight, she smiled.


~ episode was carefully designed i thought and also sanaya was told khushi will be uncomfortable, irritated, even angry all through.. only breaking into a smile right at the end. great in terms of designing maybe, but i think she struggled a lot with the long takes minus any lightness...

~ so asr would say i love you in the way the fans had been clamouring for. i loved his phone call i love you too and wondered if anything else would match that beauty. then came that moment in the night. he said it the way everyone would love and the writer wrote it brilliantly... the actor aced it. classic moment there.

~ truly only one thing has matlab in this world.



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