Monday, 29 August 2016

episode 49 lucknowi chaat

a rather delicate situation. and a disturbing one for me too. how will this living in thing work out? and will i have to watch asr getting all boyfriend like with another girl? how would i deal with it? the problem, of course, was solved by the man himself.

he was lovely. responsible, sensitive, and man in charge. around la, he was supportive, but not all over her, though he didn't mind her getting close and possessive, sort of enjoyed it. yet, in his eyes and his never too keen body, a certain aloofness. asr aloofness. one that's always been there, and la is aware of it; it's him, she just lets it be. from the moment that we saw them together first, it's been this way.


remarkable, how the look in asr's gaze has been kept consistent by barun sobti. those eyes play love for only one person.  

old "generator" and hopelessly romantic me was oh so relieved (i am worse than nani ji). he would make sure lavanya settled in well, despite nani ji's disapproval. he strode into la's room breaking up the early morning tete-a-tete with mami. when he asked her if she needed anything and she said "you" and it sounded a thousand times more intimate in hindi/urdu (zaroorat... tumhari), i almost switched off the tv. but only for the sake of research, i persisted.

and soon came reward. playing cupid, la mentioned chamkili. how the eyes changed. ignition on. a memory flashed. the angry wild khushi pushing him... guesthouse. fire in brown irises. la pulled the arrow and let it leave the bow, hey didn't ya hear shyam? "kaman se nikli teer" can never be taken back. she said, calling her chamkili all the time, i've forgotten her name. usska ek naam hai! conflagration. the arrow had found its mark.

khushi kumari gupta!
miss gupta!
khushi! khushi!!!

just look at those cognac irises. where is the cool in them? the aloof? and madam is not even here. i was delighted. move in lavanya, get comfy. all will be well. ah, so you want to move into his room? outrageous, i thought, but looks like it worked. he was back in control; a neat, let's go, breakfast is served. man in charge.

aap unke saamne ye kaam rakhiay jo muskil to ho, par namumkin nahin. 
give her some task that may be difficult to accomplish but not impossible.

nani was in don mode today. managing her looked not only mushkil, but pretty namumkin. thanks creatives, for this lovely respect paying to a classic dialogue from filmdom. gautam hegde apparently is much into hindi films, his penchant gave a nice touch to this scene. poor anjali, desperately trying to convince nani, chhotey's happiness is essential to her. but so is peace in the household. having seen the worst face of a family falling apart, she wanted to keep things together. nani's discomfort was most understandable, but the demand she made that la be trained in the ways of the more traditional raizadas within a month, how would that be met? clever way devised by writers to bring khushi back. this facility with ideas was sadly missing post dadi attack, but that's another story.

anjali's travails continued. she walked in on her husband acting super cagey about a phone call. she even went as far as to want to check his phone. but when he turned away, she couldn't hold on to her determination. that fear of discord in the family again. a bit miffed, she walked away. shyam got another reprieve. time and time again, he escaped discovery by anjali. created enough tension in the viewer, and in life such things happen all the time. doesn't make it any less creepy though.

if there was tradition in shantivan, there had to be traditional politics. nani ji, mami ji, saas bahu. interestingly, though mami ji was campy, her eyes never "bhadkoed" a la hindi serials. she hello hi bye byed, looked bizarre, but at heart was a complex, interesting woman, with plenty lau for the fam. and all her face making at nani, fairly and squarely returned by her sasu ma, hid a simple truth. she wanted ma in law's love and respect. a girl from a lower "class", always a bit diffident of her position, she yearned for status too.

but she was delightfully lazy, a pretty bad cook, obsessed with makeupiya, poor sasu ma just couldn't not disapprove. yet if i'm to decipher the smile on her face when she watched mami opening her teej gift, i'd say she had affection for her weird d-i-l.

can never thank ipk enough for bothering to create real, believable people and trying to stay as far away from serial stereotypes as possible.


politics of the moment demanded an alliance. mami and la. mami was as shocked as nani at la's la-ness, (poor girl having to explain bath robe to the incredulous mami who had taken the "ladder" to her room), but she realised helping la fit in was important if she was to fulfill her dream of getting akash wedded. so she was here offering her hand in friendship. i have to say, i blessed her at the breakfast table, trying to shield la from nani ji's acerbic tongue, perhaps she empathised? that biscuit giving, lovely. of course, the "calorie devi" getting tired of climbing la's tall frame, an abs classic. dear dear mami, may you never suttupiya.


breakfast was battlefield. nani ji on the offensive, la bombarded by arch questions, abject impoliteness; asr flying to her defence ever so sweetly, every time. but what touched me even more was la's reaction. she wanted to handle things herself. she was not deserting. she would fight by trying, not running behind her lover boy for cover. got to give it to the girl. asr has chosen her after all. i wonder, does the boy whose life has become unbearably grim, need a bit of that flakiness la is so full of? lightens his moments perhaps? and sharp that he is, he knows deep down, she's not a bad soul. and perhaps this girl out there, wanting to make her life on her terms earns his respect even? i notice, with khushi too he's smitten by her cooky jhalliness.

la's "mineral water" query re the paani in the poori earns her a whoop of laughter and a hug from me. whoop because here's at last a perfect match for mami. and hug because of that expression on asr's face. has a man ever looked so sexy amused, head down trying to hide smile, a guffaw building up somewhere.

ok, since watching asr's glances taking it all in and talking nineteen to a dozen, now irritated, now irked, now amused, now concerned, is making breathing hard, taking a respite with khushi, payal, bua ji. khushi is still torn about the decision to return to lucknow, "duvidha", doubt, plagues her. the thought of being alone plagues bua ji. payal is perturbed but quite clear it is time to go back. suddenly khushi breaks into a poetic take on their dukaan, declares it's not just a shop, it's air has "chashni ki mithaas", the sweetness of syrup... there's the smell of saffron everywhere, it's where there memories of growing up play. i wonder why. is she trying to convince herself? if anyone reading can crack this one, will be grateful.

back to the table and its drama. again a cupid. this time shyam. at his mention of lucknowi chaat, a pair of eyes move and concentrate. 

then shyam lets the teer leave kaman, "par lucknow ki cheez toh special hoti hai... usska muqabla karna bahut mushkil hai." there's something special about things from lucknow, impossible to compete against really. eyes dart and mind begins to travel.

taking over from her husband, wither thou goest anjali says, guess what, khushi is from lucknow. two frowns, a smile, and head turn one... head turn two.

so much enters a pair of eyes as the owner recalls a young woman telling him she's going away... to lucknow... forever.

tainting the purity of that moment, an illicit sneaky memory of a girl in a saree, looking beautiful, smiling. camera puts the two men thinking of the same girl in the same frame. felt more vulgar than la romping around the house in a bathrobe. obscene almost. bet that's exactly what the creatives planned.

but what was really intolerable:

aargh shyam fed anjali golgappa and said, "hume bas pata chal jaata hai." one just gets to know. creatives, how could you.


episode 49 version two

if i were to do a real quick concentrated one of 49, it would be called "aankhen" (eyes) and would have just these two visuals. i bet it would say it all, and much better than any words i could ever write.




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