Sunday, 18 September 2016

episode 125 what's in a faraq

he came striding down the stairs as though he had not a care in the world. master of his house, on top of things, busy, on his way somewhere, completely in control. yet when he reached the lowest flight he had to come to a stop and break his gait.

a girl who till minutes before was a pest, an irritant, a dream, a feeling in his heart, was now as he looked at her, another man's betrothed, and she chased the girl he had said he'd marry. did his heart even know how complicated it had all become? la teased khushi as she hijacked her phone and ran off, the phone was ringing.

"chamkili kitni excited ho rahi hai apni hone wali husband se baat karne ke liye," chamkili is so excited wanting to speak with her to be husband, laughed lavanya... she darted behind asr, still prattling, "asr, dekhona chamkili kitni impatient ho rahi hai... so cute na." see how impatient she is, asr... isn't it cute.

he stood there expressionless. no, he was not going to make an exhibition of his feelings, not his way. the phone slipped from la's hand, almost without thinking he reached out and caught it, even as khushi lunged forward to get it.

and that incredible long moment between them. all his burn, his scorch, his sear in his eyes. that is all. "mujhe kya faraq padta hai?" was in the air, and if khushi still didn't know the answer to that...

anjali came out of nowhere and swiped the phone before anyone could say anything. he walked away without so much as a question or a pause. did he go where he was intending to all along or elsewhere?

no one seemed to care as the rounds of felicitations and joy around the revelation of khushi's engagement continued. naniji had been sweet and delighted, mami was a tad arch about getting married to the tenant... the name shyam ji had all in a tizzy, till anjali said, cut it, people, not all shyam jis are her shyam ji. nice writing there.

la and anjali got into a slightly girl gang ragging mode with khushi and the usual teasing and leg pulling started. the scene had opened on a happy lavanya's face exclaiming, "o my god, this is so cool," as she hugged her pal, khushi. camera panned slowly around her grinning face and came to rest on a face registering just plain deep sadness, almost a letting go. could this be the girl who just got engaged?

she knew she couldn't show that feeling to anyone, though her heart was breaking at what had just transpired in his room. "aap yeh angoothi pehna nahin sakte... yeh humari sagai ki angoothi hai," she'd told him... you can't put this ring on my finger... it's my engagement ring. the two simple sentences seemed to devastate him... her. had she ever seen him so perturbed... so much in pain?  and what is it he'd said? "mujhe faraq padta hai, dammit, kyunki..." makes a difference, because... and his eyes? what was in them? why this turbulence in him? this sadness in her?

anjali had noticed something but was too busy right now trying to coax khushi's shyam ji into speaking to her. "humey na, sab pata chal gaya," started anjali, i have come to know everything. of course, shyam ji was dumbstruck at this situation... how tough life can be for our dear snake, really how will the poor creature survive this heartless world. so he decided to keep quiet, till the phone was handed to his khushi ji. and then had the temerity to suggest a date.

beautiful acting by sanaya as khushi negotiated the demands of her life with an eye to duty, where none of her own desires were of any consequence. for her babuji's sake she'd agreed to tie the knot with a man who at best felt like a good acquaintance, of course she was not to know how deceptive and not good this man really was. on the other hand, a man had entered her life out of nowhere and started to take over her mind and heart... a nasty rude laad govertnor kind of man, yet, she felt things for him. and just now she'd felt his pain, his love, his anger, his desperation, all at once, and yet she couldn't let heartache, the sadness of it all register on her face. she had to look happy, also make arrangements to meet this usurper next day. girls like her don't traipse around with men unless they have a certain significance in their lives. this shyam ji would be her husband soon? he will mean more to her than the man she'd have allowed practically anything that other evening by the pool?

when anjali asked her if all was well, she put on a bright smile and said, of course, and she'll join them once she's washed her hands, and she made her way to the wash room.

scissors cut snip, chop, maim. the gardener is turning his anger inward and hurting those that he cares for the most. his plants... his connection with maa. his eyes are opaque, he owns his pain, no one else gets in. all he thinks of is her... yeh humari sagai ki angoothi hai, oh that hint of tear, that delicate echo in her voice... dekho na chamkili kitni impatient ho rahi hai, apni... hone wali husband se baat karne ke liye... la's voice is full of laughter almost harsh and metallic unaware of the havoc in him. he carries on snipping with his scissors, relentless. edward scissorhands for some reason came to mind, the pain in his blanked out eyes, the frenzy of the scissors when he suffers.


she comes and sees the scene and is compelled to ask, "yeh aap kya kar rahe hain?!!" what are you doing?

strewn on the floor, parts of plants, leaves, flowers, still fresh with the pain of severing.

"aap jaante bhi hai ki aap phool kaat rahe hain?" do you even know that you're butchering flowers?

"toh?" so? his eyes have lost something.

i am not supposed to feel this extent of pain for a tv character who doesn't exist .

"aap saare phool kaat denge..." you'll cut all the flowers...? she starts, hassled.

angry angry gritted teeth, red voice... "mai kya karta hoon usse tumhe kya lena dena!" what do you have to do with what i do or don't?

"aap aise kyun baat kar rahe hain? aap dhyan bhi nahin de rahe hain..." why are you talking like this, she si almost imploring now, you're not paying any attention...

snip snip cut cut, more frantic the sound, more jerky his movements... he is going over the edge... no one can sense it... dil nahin hai seene mein. when the thorns hurt him he punishes the flowers. old habit.

just that he falls upon those thorns, and he does bleed.

"main kuch bhi karoon usse tumhe kya farq padta hai..." whatever i do, what difference does it make to you? oh that faraq. that crucial word in a love story that was always about that difference. not about money, power, fame, beauty, but about the crucial place of a person's life in another's existence... because they make that essential difference. how he wants to make a faraq in her life. how his tone seems to suggest she is his anyway, he can talk to her as he pleases... but she is wearing another man's ring... he has to keep cutting till the pain recedes.

"main..." he is still raging... and a wrong move.

he's cut his hand.

profuse flow of blood... the red of his voice, everywhere.

"dekha chot lag gayi na aap ko... aap-" see... you're hurt... you - she runs to him, voice rising in frenzy, horrified by the blood, his pain, she can't bear to see him hurt, not him. but he jerks his hand away from her, angry, accusing eyes. he is hurt elsewhere. no one can see it. no bandage can reach it.

she's shocked at his reaction.

no more, his look seems to say, no more am i going to let this "chot" reach me, let you reach me. very convoluted some may argue. if he hadn't run away that day and got himself engaged to la, this point may never have come. but that's not the issue, he still hurts.

la arrives. and the right of a betrothed is exercised. the girl who is no one to him must step aside. though her heart bleeds to see him in pain, wanting to tend to him... he is hers after all, just that this whole real world is such a  mess.

ihhh it hurts him... she flinches.

he steals a look at her as la does the nursing.

la calls out, "chamkili, asr ka haath pakdo na... mujhse yeh ban-" chamkili, hold asr's hand, thsi ban-

"koi zaroorat nahin hai..." there's no need, says he. i don't need you, go and be anothers... koi faraq nahin padta.

the subtext throughout episode 125 was almost audible, if your heart was working fine that is. not a single actor let the script down, every nuance was picked and explored, and together the ipk cast created an episode dense with emotion, complex and powerful, riveting to delve into and become part of.

despite his brusque refusal, his girl friend wouldn't listen.

and a tender moment at last... just as caring as he'd been while holding her hand to slip on the ring, she holds his with hers. secure, safe. as he feels her hand delicately settle on his forearm and grasp it firm, his eyes travel to her face, he so wants to see her, feel her reaction, her just her. he wants her to think only of him... "sirf mere baare mein sochiye," think only of me akash had said, just a while ago to payal in a neat cut away to that other love story developing alongside. was that a way of the writers to let us know asr's state of mind...? he can't say things like this.

mellifluous and soothing piano layered the scene.

"asr, tum kabhi koi baat pe react hi nahin karte..."
asr, you never react to anything, says la as draws a picture of asr, whose eyes never show his feelings, no laughter joy happiness, but is he happy with their lives, their future plans? excited, khush? happy?

a man of few words, who cannot say things that many can easily, who can't show feelings the way the world thinks people should, says words that are meant for someone... should she care to listen... subtext: main aisa hi hoon, i am like this i can't help it... which he'll say in a few day's time.

"aankhon mein dekhkar sab kuch nahin jaana jata, lavanya...  agar koi cheez nazar nahin aa rahi hai usska matlab yeh nahin  ki woh hai nahin," you can't know everything by looking into eyes... if something is not visible, doesn't mean it isn't there. the director chose to lay below this dialogue the saddest piece of music from the ipk score... what does one do if one can't express one's feelings, if there's no physical evidence of something that does exist... how does one know it is there... will anyone ever know it is there and it is what matters most?

i wonder if khushi heard what he said...

after a little pause, with a hollow but steady voice, he assured la, "main khush hoon. shayad tum dekh nahin paa rahi ho... par bahut khush hoon," i am happy, perhaps you can't see it, but i am happy. khushi felt a terrible pang of sadness... the complicated emotions that assail us, how are we to deal with them. not that she didn't want him to be happy with la... but she knew he wasn't, she knew she wasn't, yet there it was, the reality they'd both created.

he looked again at khushi to gauge her reaction. because she always did react after all. sweet notes of piano. the underlying conversation carried on, only a few minutes yet they could fill a whole day of feelings.

and then, someone kisses the man you dhakdhak for and leaves. but she won't suffer alone, la tells him she's going on a date.

"nahin... woh, lavanya ji," all khushi can do is mumble incoherently... maybe she should leave, slowly she picks up her phone.

"ek minute, khushi..." still voice, calmed, cooled. but he won't look at her, because the truth is somewhere else.

and "ajeeb" another beautiful ipk word comes in after a break.

"ajeeb baat hai na... jis din meri engagement announce hui thi tum mujhe wish karna bhool gayi...  aur ab tumhari engagement hui toh..." she's looking at him miserable... and equally unhappy he completes...

"congratulations khushi kumari gupta... tumhe tumhari-"

strange, isn't it... the day my engagement was announced you forgot to wish me... and now yours... congratulations, khushi kumari gupta... your-

oh that vulnerability on his face as he says those words, his back to her.

and again the phone...

"ji, shyam ji..."

yes, it is the other man. the man he has lost her to.

a quiet, almost lyrical scene of all the sadness a broken heart feels. after the storm of the room earlier, a flowing of tears in the garden where he feels the most like himself. and he has to find some hurtful words to say before this whole thing pulls him under.

"kya hua...sab toh tumhari shadi ke baat se bahut khush lag rahe hain... lekin tum?" what's up, everyone looks happy about your engagement... but you? oh he has sensed her misery alright. just that he hurts too much to understand why it's there or even if he does, he is not equipped to make it better while he suffers so.

she is uncomfortable... no answers she has... this is hard on her at too many levels...

"tumhe dekhkar toh lag raha hai ki tumhe abhi abhi pata chala hai ki ladka amir nahin hai," looks like you've just found out the man is not rich. his meaningless charge on her character based on nothing, just a wound from years ago.

she is deeply hurt of course just as he wanted her to be. and she leaves. only then, can that mask of indifference and arrogance be allowed to slip.

i look at this face above and there just below is the same man on 8 june, 2011, episode 3. eyes shuttered, face implacable, inert. from there to here has been an exulting, intoxicating journey. how did they get it done. unbelievable.

sorry for the super long ramble... just a couple more things i wanted to add.


a gentle love story comes into play elsewhere, this time by the clothesline.

payal collects dry clothes from the line on the verandah. outside the fence waits her forlorn akash.

a silent communication. he wants her to understand, accept. but her clenched fist says she's not ready.

"payal ji!" he calls out. but she leaves.

a poignant conversation between two people.
"payal ji, i know you don't want to talk at all about this but i want to ask you just one thing... you'd said that i and you can never become us because our back grounds are different. can this not be set aside for a moment? can you just think of one thing and give me an answer?

"payal ji, parivaar, paisa, haisiyat... yeh sabko bhool jaaiye... sirf... sirf mere baare mein sochiye. bas itna bata dijiye... ki main aapko pasand hoon... ya nahin?"

payal ji, family, money, status... just forget these things... only... only think of me. and just tell me, am i liked by you... or not?

how he beseeches her, and she is so moved, yet, she walks away without replying. he holds on to that with hope. at least, she didn't say no.

whenever i see the payal akash scenes i get the feeling a lot of hints regarding the asr khushi story are entwined there. what can't be said there is articulated here and if our mind plays along we transfer it to their story. just a thought, i may be way off the mark.



crazy phone games and shyam. first, anjali answers a call meant for khsuhi. then she tells him that her shyam ji must meet khushi ji's shyam ji, how he squirms and twitches. but the worst of all those intimate sounding calls to khushi, and both times in asr's presence. one good thing though, mrs shyam ji has put her foot down, the date with khushi is off. 


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