Wednesday, 23 March 2016

episode 353 because of you



shaat shomuddur tero nodir paare...



i wrote this on crooner after first seeing the episode. almost all i wrote at the time works for me even now. this is an edited version of my first thoughts on 353. and even though i may have seen something meaningful here, i still totally disagree with the remarriage idea.


across seven sees and thirteen rivers... did the prince have to travel to find the princess's heart trapped in a box in some secret location, in the bangla fairy tales my grandma told me. it felt as though that distance and more was journeyed by asr from the moment his unloving, unscrupulous grandmother said the words and held up a picture. i saw his eyes then and i could feel him spiraling out of himself toward what heaven knows. while his bride waited, she'd told him not to be late, not on their wedding day. yet he had to go away.

i usually avoid journey as a metaphor for i feel it is overused. but last week what arnav singh raizada went on was an epic journey, no less. one he was pretty much pushed into, and where for a while i feared for him as i had the night he and khushi had a terrible row when he realised she'd left because she was waiting for the contract to end. "tum aise hone dogi, khushi?" you'll let our marriage end just like that? i can still hear the agony in his voice, the numbing pain.

yesterday, as he screamed into the night and broke furniture, i worried that his customary reflex: anger, would again destroy everything. yet one part of me held firmly on to hope: no, it said, this time he will find a way out, khushi is too much in him to just turn away from, no matter how shattering the revelations before him, and even if it is about his mother. he was in her garden and i prayed she would show him the way.

she did. he heard her. his mother's memory and words played gently through his mind, calming him, taking away all horror and pain, bringing him back from the first part of his journey which took him to the edge of disaster, he felt himself unlock and return. milestone.

when he thinks, he never goes wrong. he was on the brink, but love helped him come back and navigate right. his mother's love for him. his love for his mother. and a new love that had taken the place that an old wound had vitiated for too long.



once he took the path, the crossings became easier, yes, many rivers and seas, but all pointing in the same direction: love, life, khushi. and the ocean rushed toward its shore. in those fairytales the prince rescues the princess's heart, but here she was the keeper of his heart, and that's what the path showed him.

i was fascinated by this travel through space and time within. the power of an emotion that guides you from miles and miles away. he could sense her waiting. he could feel her love, her longing, her trust. it brought him back from the moment where trust was broken in his life. by the action of a parent, a father, the one in whom a child puts maximum faith. what a completely broken place he had inside him. one he'd never spent time looking at or mourning, because he a boy of fourteen, had to get on with it, "chhota tha, par himmat dikhai maine." i was young, but i showed courage.

then the princess touched that broken place with her heart.


 

"hum bhi aapse i love you dammit," the culmination of so many clashes, quarrels, attraction, rejection, hurt, pain, utter madness, tenderness, faraq padna, chot, doubting, hating, aching, oh endless feelings, but never ever indifference. for it was always love. even the nafrat was mohabbat, nothing else.

the tale of this journey was told with skill and passion by the writers of dialogue and screenplay, by the directors, and by the actors. i was happy to see ved raj is back. an awkwardly posed remarriage became vital to story and character growth.

i was never comfortable about a second marriage. it felt wrong. but i let it roll, thinking to myself, ipk has always found interesting solutions, let's see what it brings me to this time. so they made a mainstream shadi, into a most hatke one. now what do you say to guys like this. thank you, i suppose.

"khushi aaj main sirf yahan tumhare vajah se khadah hoon, jahan dard, dhokha, aur nafrat ke alawa aur kuch nahin."
khushi, today i stand here only because of you. where there's nothing except pain, treachery, and hate.

oh, that line could be looked at in so many ways. as he stepped away from her touch, the princess, for just a moment, feared; and began to falter. but out he reached as he always had: to hold her, save her, cherish her. as she looked, so did i into his eyes. his eyes lost their ice and grew warm, they said so much to her you got lost in a conversation of love, feeling almost that funny word from my childhood: de trop. she replied with all her heart.

"khushi, tumne mujhe aaj yahan khada kar ke mere saare sawaalon ke jawab de diye."

khushi, by making me stand here, you've answered all my unanswered questions.

"i'm sorry khushi, aane me thodi der ho gai, par aana toh tha..."

i am sorry, khushi, got a little coming... but come, i had to.

then a married man said to his wife:

"khushi, main tumse shadi karna chahta hoon, apne zindagi ka har pal tumhare saath bitana chahta hoon."

khushi, i want to marry you, i want to spend every moment of my life with you.

my insides didn't protest and say, how come he's saying that to her now, he's already her pati. because i'd felt the journey, and i knew it had brought him to a completely new place. he was standing at a spot where perhaps khushi stood the night of her submission. when she felt her vishwas in him and that became bigger than her belief in socially approved conduct.

he was now at a place where he knew his greatest truth. no, it wasn't the truth that broke him, but the new one that restored him, which urged him to leave his past behind and walk ahead into the future:

"sab se bada sach yeh hai ki main khushi se pyaar karta hoon."

the biggest truth is, i love khushi.

"kaha that na jee nahin paaoonga tumhare bina."

had told you, can't live without you.

and so arnav told khushi something he never had in so many words. and he said it as a young man who has not only fallen in love, but has begun to understand what love is. milestone.

brave and righteous that he is, he wouldn't have run away from this marriage, not after everything, but it is a testament to the power of khushi's and his clear pure feeling that he felt its draw, realised the undeniable nature of it, sensed this was the way out of pain and past and let himself be propelled toward tomorrow and its promise. he said all this in those few simple words from his dil. he asked his wife to marry him. this time for himself, not for di, not for social custom, not for maa, not even for khushi.

this time he asked for khushi for himself. perhaps for the first time ever asking for something just for himself.

 

when his venom spewing grandmother stopped him, he told her of his mother's lesson about roses and thorns, he had understood it only today. milestone. this will lead him into the future, looking to nurture rather than ruin. he consciously stepped onto this path, he will learn slowly, but as long as the direction is right, he will surely get there.

the mention of roses brought to mind a day that khushi, lovely in red, stood poring over rose buds musing that soon when they'd bloom and di's child will also arrive. actually, on the same day arrived dadi, ready to oust khushi and set her descendant's world "right." and today as she loses power and khushi is given the place she more than deserves, roses again show the way. (i was not too keen on the roses and the rose/thorn story as presented through his maa when i saw the episodes recently, the problem was perhaps more in execution, there was an idea there.)



into the brave new world, he walked in further and told his dadi, your son is to blame for everything, for he was married with two children. he cheated two women who didn't know the truth. i was delighted to hear the bald, simple, matter of fact words. it was said as it is, minus frills, and one of the most "male" characters on television, struck fearlessly at the root of pretense and semantics that keeps our male dominated society rabid and strong.

bravo, arnav singh raizada, i feel like dedicating the whole of kipling's "if" to you. my most precious poem since childhood.

khushi was beautiful in her steadfast faith. her love had come to her and submitted without condition. but her quiet taking in of various nuances said, she knew her arnav ji better than you thought. she knew this was a new path for him, and it would take all take time. but i take heart from steinbeck's words:

"i believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. i guess a loving woman is indestructible." 



khushi kumari gupta singh raizada got her pheras. on the night of their wedding as the winds tore through the skies, the temple bells swung hazardously, the havan kund fire glowed fierce, and devi maiyya looked on, khushi stared terrified and shattered at asr as he tied her mangalsutra, put her sindoor. he never looked at her, not once. today, she sat absorbed in prayer, happy and contented and her man couldn't take his eyes off her.

asr had found his home, it was khushi. only khushi, he didn't need anything else.

and so it was that we went on to a happy griha pravesh; with a just a little nastiness from mami ji, a little kala tika, to give slip to buri nazar. i mean what's a raizada function without barbs and backbiting by mami ji. but this time payal spoke up. delightful, so the cat returned her tongue finally. nani ji, the just, the loving, the ultimate in nayi soch welcomed them in. and then he carried her over the threshold toward their new life.


 

"all journeys eventually end in the same place, home."
~~~~  chris geiger







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