Friday, 1 April 2016

episode 359 brothers and sisters

i promise. i promise to love you and protect you, your happiness means more to me than all else.

bless me. bless me that i may never fail to keep you safe, to restore you, to rejoice in you.

tie me to my duty, my sister. tie me with your love. tied we are by memory of the same, the shared womb.

i wrote this on the crooner thread after seeing this episode while the show was on. my feelings about the episode remain unchanged. so i am posting the take, with just a few minor edits.

iss pyaar ko has explored some beautiful and different loves. the most central ones: love between a man and a woman and love between a brother and a sister. yesterday focused on the latter; while the other love got included in, as that most interesting process of becoming family got going. and it was executed with heart and knowledge and ken, by all involved. without too much of fanfare and big words, ipk has shown us again and again what being family means. what relationships are really all about. 

siblings really are part of who we are,  and they keep in a way our identities, even as the world around us changes and at times becomes unrecognisable. i grew up with two brothers, the irritated elder sister, wishing they'd leave me alone. yet, along the way grew a love and a possessiveness that i sometimes can't explain to myself. i noticed this is reciprocated by the siblings.

honey priya of crooner made an interesting connection between the five lakhs on the cheque anjali gives shyam and five senses. anjali is actually very perceptive with a sharp sixth sense when it comes to her brother. the only time i recall this not being evident was when he was kidnapped, and we all kept remarking on it. wonder why that sense has not been functioning when it comes to shyam? is it because she doesn't really feel him with her heart but with her need? and that interferes with intuitive thought? 

when i think of last evening, what leaps out is the inspired acting by an actor who was here by chance. over the past week we have seen him prepare for no less than war. he knows this war is not going to be easy for anybody, least of all for the person whose security and happiness this is being fought for. so, straight after bringing his wife home post a long drawn out battle with his deepest nemesis, he readies himself again. true to character, arnav singh raizada thinks of those he loves before he thinks of himself. in fact, in these months we've known him, only once has he asked for something, for someone, for himself. his khushi, tumhare bina jee nahin paaoonga. 

last evening, he set aside his troubles and worries to make his wife, one of the two most important people in his life, feel comfortable. and that was beautiful, in a light all its own, set aside like a jewel in the episode.

this morning, it is time to reassure the other most important person, his di. the younger brother who from the age of 14 has been his elder sister's rakshak - because, meine himmat dikhai - knows what devastation is about to visit his sister. he is feeling terrible for her. and for himself. that he should have to bring this about. that he would be the destroyer of her dream world. he knows there is no other way, he takes full responsibility. his wife has helped him focus on this truth every time the emotions have got the better of him. she is right, so is he. if only being right were a little more easy.

he sees his sister gathering flowers, for puja of course. ever so gently he leads her to a place where they've often sat together before. here it was by the water that she had told him of her theory that he will one day meet the woman whose absence will make him feel "humaari saansey ruk jaaygi." he had laughed that day. 

today, tears struggled near his throat somewhere wanting to pour out.

he had come to tell her he would always be there for her, no matter what. and also take her blessings for the fight most vile about to unfold. looked to me like an arjun had come to a gandhari for her to empower him with her love. whether it was or not, the power of mythology was in every second of that scene. the brother choking on his words, tender and caring of his oblivious childlike sister, holding his box full of strings that promised unending love and raksha. the more he felt all the hurt and horror, the less she understood. believe me, i will always protect you, it is my duty to take care of you, but if i should ever hurt you...

you'd never hurt me. you'd never hurt me. she refused to hear anything as was her wont. he held out his arm and said, though this is not the right time, please tie that rakhi for me today. what a neat little idea, a simple thread, organic, perishable, yet for centuries signifying a brother's undying commitment to his sister, to protect her honour and happiness, to love her.

today he needed to feel that thread around his wrist, both for her and for him. i could see him getting lost in that pain. the very thought of hurting his sister with the truth about her murdering, philandering husband was  swamping him. he struggled to overcome it. yet she didn't feel his unspoken words. how strange, she felt nothing. and every time she missed the cue, his fear grew, his pain increased. 

what a fabulous touch when right toward the end, when khushi had already strolled into the scene, we hear him not being able to stop, a note of panic in his whole demeanour. the what ifs of the situation are such.

then khushi took charge. and di, blissfully unaware shut both of them up with a very elder sister like "enough" and pulled them into a hug. elder sister like. but is she really.

i was pulled right into the scene way before that. somewhere around the time he walked up to her with that characteristic measured, slightly swaying walk and held her hand to lead her to the chairs by the poolside. a difficult scene, to convey real emotion without becoming maudlin, without losing the character of the cool clipped arnav singh raizada, without letting anyone feel it was only glycerine. barun sobti has said he finds it difficult to cry. watching him yesterday, it was difficult for me not to howl, especially when the tears almost spilled out and he swallowed hard, and then when he couldn't just stop saying things.

can anyone teach this kind of acting? or maybe that's what they get to learn at bpos?

it has become hard to connect to anjali. thanks, of course, to that introduction of a selfish, underhand streak in the character during the return of shyam phase. personally, i have no problem accepting complexity. i can even live with arnav loving her no matter what her flaws. that's how family is usually loved, especially siblings. i thought, initially, that when he finds out about her sneaky meetings with shyam or of her unnecessary coldness toward khushi, he might be upset. i was wrong, this man will forgive his sister these things, his love is big enough to overlook all that. he will know, she has her not so nice sides but will not respect or nurture or need her any less. he knows how blind her love is, but he has never judged her. what he said in that mandir is true: you are my world, di; for the rest of the world i'm khadoos, but you mean everything to me.

to connect back to anjali, i personally will need the creatives to lead her back through the right gates and path. doesn't mean she has to become all sweetness and light, but does need her to look at all she has done and how she has viewed things and then come to a better place. this character has many possibilities, but a quick fix won't work. her smiling words at the wedding: these people's love is way above all that, left me utterly cold. and i do have a problem with someone recovering from a miscarriage quite so quickly and without a single trace of sadness anywhere. there are many inconsistencies in the narrative, especially about her shards of glass torn feet, the electric shock, her reaction to garimaji, etc., i'm sure they can be resolved if the way back to a more sympathetic anjali is wise.

the rest of the episode didn't make much of  a mark, so i won't go there. just that, the writing for shyam and the direction/acting is feeling a bit loud and filmi and not too clever. i understand the connection between khushi and asr is being further established, a sort of equal status being given to both the characters in terms of their strength, purity, purpose, etc. sometimes i feel the handling is too obvious, but that's ok, as long as i get a few minutes to get lost in, not complaining at all.

only, please bring back mama ji or at least mention him once LOL and someone give nk a big hug from another bua ji type. ready with my veil and huma hoon do.


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