Monday, 29 August 2016

episode 115 if you go away

it was a moment only, a fraction of a second, yet it told an entire story of its own. he turned away, all set to ascend to his ivory tower, and never see her again. and then after a few steps, he stopped. she was being welcomed in by his family, all trying to make her feel better, but her eyes still held an ocean and a half of hurt.

he stopped.

head slightly turned this way as though he just had to. he struggled again, then giving up, slowly turned and looked at her.

a long look. and somewhere along the way the anger in his eyes shifted out a bit, letting something else in.

then it was time to go. he was outta here... or so he wished to convey.

how much of him was there in that little hesitation and capitulation. to feelings he just never ever wanted. yet now they were here, and he was powerless before them. in a state like that what is a man do. he had to fight back. at least that's how he saw the whole thing.

after that the little wordless communication between the two, dense with meaning, a massive conversation, visceral, valid, utter, not the sort where you calmly sit back and say "let's talk." and there is no place for anything remotely akin to "calmly" in all of this.

a long time back, i saw a movie called dr dolittle. i was a kid then, remember laughing hysterically at an animal called push-me-pull-you, that neither lets you move this way nor that. did i detect this animal in that pause of asr's just now? he'd just heard that today was her last day; little eye movements, always telltale, had hinted at the fact that he hadn't thought of that and also some other feeling this news brought on. then there had been mami ji's nasty suggestions as to how to throw a major party to send off phatti saree and di's admonishing words: khushi ji has done so much for the fam, without her the dream of seeing chhotey married would remain just that, a dream, we must do something really nice for her.

by this time, his biggest protector, his anger, had walked in, jaws clenched, eyes grew nasty, an outburst looked imminent. he stalked off. and perhaps because he so wanted to see her though he kept saying he didn't, he sat in his castle, face grim, glued to laptop. but peace was elusive.

in no time, thoughts of her. in a beautiful
contrapuntal arrangement, dialogues said one thing, visuals showed another. the push-me-pull-you was having a good time. don't think a rich guy was hanging around with your payal clasped to his heart... but here he is, tenderly, reverently, romantically putting the payal around her anklet, taking his time over it, enjoying every moment. doesn't make a difference to me, you don't matter... yet he's getting lost in her, drawing closer to hungrily kiss her pearly trembling lips, that's all, all he wants.

he's telling her these horrible things, her voice is a whisper, struggling to fend off the onslaught... koi matlab nahin... doesn't mean a thing. naniji's voice layers on, how about this pendant for khushi bitiya, today's her last day.

his eyes shut involuntarily. the pain is sharp.

just then la had to walk in, with more talk of khushi's last day.  what should i give khushi, now that she's going away, should i give her a la sort of dress after all she taught me her style... i want to teach her la style... what do you think.


the poor laptop took the brunt of that fury. he stormed out and down those steps to tell everyone what he thought of their idea. this fussing over khushi.

not that the morning had been easy for the girl who never left his mind. though khushi affected an unaffected air and when buaji called her tried to look calm, her mind was on that phone call she'd been asked to make to say goodbye to the raizadas.
"nahi hume nahi jana..." no, i won't go she'd said to buaji, i won't go. but didn't she want to? "toh nahi jao..." so don't go, said her aunt. "haan nahi jana... hum kyon jaaye taake phir se woh humse buri tarah se baat kar sake," and like a little lost girl, yeah, not going... then to herself... why should i go so that he can again talk badly to me.

talk badly? the man has insulted her, crushed her emotions, told her she means nothing to him, alleged she's out to catch a rich guy, and all this after he was desperate to be with her. and now she says, talk badly. and she's not looking too convinced about not going to rm also. muttering to herself. oh, she misses him, he misses her, it's real mess. just that the acting is so good and dialogues so measured you want to see how far and how well this can be taken.

just underneath her jhola sits the thing that will again make going to see him easier. his mannat ki chabi.

still she says, as though echoing his words, a nice play of words here, key phrases pulled up like repeated notes in a large long piece of music, giving depth and focus, a sense of continuity... "hume isse koi matlab nahin...   hum nahin jaayenge," means nothing to me, i won't go. this despite naniji speaking to her and requesting her to come to rm, if not for her job, then for naniji. naniji had also said "
hamesha humra maan rakkha hai... bahut hi achhi ladki hai.," she's always given me respect, a very good girl is our khushi. but she says she won't go.

i wondered how they'd show her changing her mind. i needn't have worried, the pull you was working harder than the push me it seems.

in his anger, he's come rushing down the steps and stands at a point above them. reminds me of an angry wave racing in swift, fierce. the visage though is thin, drawn, pale, looks like he hasn't slept the night. his voice when he speaks is hoarse, rasping, sandy. was this by design or barun wasn't keeping well? it worked perfectly though. after saying the things he had the night before could he have retired to sound sleep?

di," peremptory, gussa all over the syllable.

"kya zaroorat thi ussko yahan bulane ki," ... decibel rising... "usska kaam yahan khatam ho chuka hai na.. wo iss ghar se jaa chuki hai... aur hamari zindagi se bhi... toh phir kyun bulaya use?" what was the need to call her? her work is done, she's left this house, and our lives, then why, what's the need to call her?

anjali is dumbstruck. why this rough anger suddenly, and such words? she tries to tell him to calm down. matters escalate. he takes it to money, but naturally. she'll come and ask for money for this extra day, a rather crudely put together thought, none of the asr polish. he's losing it again.  anjali is livid. reminds me of janmashtami (episode 68), then too he'd felt this pull you and pushed hard with his money insults. that day too, he'd had to look back at her from these stairs (episode 69). the stairs were such a gorgeous place for their love story. so much happened here.

and today, the feelings were at a much higher pitch. the attraction had gone all the way to a predatory walk in the dark with only one clear intent. he'd fought it off desperately, torn all beautiful feelings asunder, leaving a mass of seething, roiled emotions. he went on relentless.

"haan, di, main bhi yahi kah raha hoon, kyunki main bhi pareshaan ho chuka hoon... khushi yeh, khushi woh... bas kijiye." yes, di, i am saying the same thing... i to am tired... khsuhi this, khsuhi that... stop it, please.

with that, he turned, and shhh the gust of wind... he stopped, his eyes registered change, a gash of feelings quickly masked, he knew she was here. 

he turned back. she was standing there, tears in her eyes.

a flow of emotions that neither could help any longer, a little chat without words, between heart and heart, gut and gut, skin and skin. convulsive. unstoppable.

she made to leave. and the lady who saw a lot of herself in this refreshing young woman, said "thairiye, khushi bitiya," wait, khushi bitiya, you have come here on my invitation... no need to go because someone else says so.

he swallowed, again those feelings.

she smiled at something la said, his stood watching...

then he decided to let anger rule and turned to surge right back to his den... but as he went up the steps, he just had to. had to stop. let himself turn and look at her. and she had to look at him with all her complaint her hurt in her eyes.

khushi tried to remain calm and accepted the gifts and mamiji's customary insults.

but not asr. everything was too much for him today. when you've been terrible to someone and are not planning to own up, perhaps the conscience plays its own game and makes you suffer as much if not more than the one you inflict pain on?

breaking glass.

and a roar from upstairs. "just shut up... maine juice nahi, coffee mangi thi." just shut up, i asked for coffee not juice? why not juice, i think, because you want her to pour it into your shoe, or you want her to mix coughing powder into it?

like me, poor op had several questions and things to point out, and boy did the poor man named after god who khushi wants to play ankh micholi with get it from the chhotey terror. first a reminder of janmashtami, now the blind man's bluff om prakash. sense of krishna in the air. this too is a rasa of prem, an aspect of love nothing else.

asr is screaming blue murder, poor op tries to place the broken pieces of glass on the table by the pool and clear up the mess, but he is ordered to get out, i said just leave it, dammit.

nani wonders why her grandson is so angry all the time these days. she obviously hasn't noticed a thing. but since the priest comes by, all waft off to get la's horoscope made. this is a traditional household, asr is the only one perhaps who will openly disregard the astrologer's opinion and predictions.

khushi is asked to join them but holds back. she had said she wasn't coming here. but she is here. she had said looking at the key, doesn't mean a thing. apparently, it does.

for some reason it ties her to him. she wanted to return it that first day but he'd refused to take it and said "phenk do."  throw it, she hadn't. it stayed in her bag. and the day she'd gone to his home, screamed at him and resigned, she'd come back and found that key in her bag (episode 34) and held on to it, just feeling him, thinking of him, that meeting of theirs.

the key stayed. but today, after what he'd said, she wanted to end this connection. or maybe her gut knew this was the only way too keep it alive. we are contrary creatures. i am sure khushi's conscious being wanted to finish all relations with asr. but are we just our conscious selves?

from the living room, she sees him in his garden... he sees her, but they both turn away. then a change of mind. she will go to him. why khushi? why? i wonder.

and we go into a shyam break. usual putrid games with babuji, today it's chucking medicines day... to coerce khushi into wearing that ring he has bought with the money he's stolen from his wife. charming man. never shouts, never screams. never says get out or koi matlab nahin.

back to poolside.

he feels the gust, he knows what it says...

their first meeting here after the night before.

gruff, shallow voice, tired, hurt, angry, mix of emotions. "chali jaao yahan se.. na tumse baat karni hai... na tumhari shakal dekhni hai..." go away from here... don't want to talk to you... nor do i want to see your face. sounds like a lover's tiff.

"just say bye to everyone and leave."

he has turned away, he is finding the whole thing too difficult to handle.

"hume bhi aap se baat karne ka koi man nahin hai..." even i don't want to talk to you... not submissive and sad, spunky jhalli khushi... "hum sirf yahan aaye the taaki-" i'd only come so that-

he interrupts, "maine kaha na mujhe tumse koi baat nahin karni hai, khsuhi kumari gupta... ek baar kahi hui baat tumhe samajh nahin aati?" told you, didn't want to talk to you... don't you understand what's being said the first time.

"par aap..." but you-

"i said... leave, dammit."

suddenly he turns and he lunges at her, holding her shoulders in a vice like grip. out of control.

long long moment.

and he pushes her away as though all he wants to do is hold her forever... but he can't... a resigned and helpless turn of head.

she falls back, hand on broken glass

when he turns around after composing himself, she's not there.

"tum abhi yahin ho..."
you're still here,  half hoping perhaps... "i said..." she's gone.

her dupatta, now her saviour, wraps around her left palm and hides the truth from everyone. she takes her leave with a promise from la to take her to parties and... under the tiger eyes of naniji... also satsang. tears are still making khushi's eyes red.

someone hurries to windows overlooking the entrance, a pair of eyes follow her as she walks out. words will always fail to describe what's in them. 


a song from years ago, if you go away on a summer day/then you might as well take the sun away in my mind. here's shirley bassey singing it, and here's to if you stay.

 credit uploader

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