Tuesday, 27 September 2016

episode 292 a story of love


just saw 292. i couldn't take my eyes off this actor. felt his part was written with empathy and the acting... what can i say. i just kept feeling a whole lot of things for arnav singh raizada. he had never ever meant to hurt his sister... never ever thought he would have to do what he did today. all his love, his need, all his man, his child, all his fluid deep vast emotions, all his vulnerability and all the roles he must play because he must, because he can. such completely honest acting... that you forget this is a show. i watched and just kept watching. will be back with a few thoughts.

episode 292


for a couple of seconds, asr paused with his forehead almost touching the door frame. he had just turned his sister's husband out of the house. and he had done it with his usual dominant powerful demeanour... laced with enough and more anger. one might have even thought there was an air of satisfaction about him as he threw shyam out.

but this really was the last thing he'd wanted to do.

the very last thing... for he knew how much it would hurt his sister. di... whom he loved with the most complete love... who had been there when the whole world had gone haywire... who was the only person he could call his immediate family... his one and only sibling, his elder sister, had she not been around, how would he have lived all these years. he who had lost all interest in his own happiness, who smiled when he saw di happy, who would do anything to make sure di was okay.

he had not been able to tolerate the unrepentant duplicity of his brother in law one night and had taken the terribly difficult step of going to her to tell her all. but things had taken a turn he had no control over and again choosing his sister's well being over all else, he had tolerated shyam... giving him a chance to change, to live happily with di. maybe arnav singh had a desperate hope in his heart that shyam would change. only for di.

he had even chosen to hurt and denigrate the woman he had just started feeling a powerful feeling for, only for di's sake. that is really what he believed. 

but shyam did not change and today he did what he figured was the only thing he could.

though he knew who would be though most terribly affected. and if she was, how would he stay immune to it.

he was her brother, her caretaker, her pillar of strength, her mainstay. he took care of her with the most giving tender love. she loved him no less, she needed him even more... maybe he thought he could put his faith in that... even if he had to do the unthinkable. i said she needed him more, but really did arnav singh raizada need anjali any less? there is a way he says "khushi" and i always comment on that... but today again and again i heard the way he says "di"... a need in it,  a demand, a love and ownership.

i felt for the young man standing there... as though taking a moment's much needed break, so he could turn around and face all he must... because he would, because to run away from his responsibilities was not something he did, because behind him, he knew stood his biggest responsibility slowly going to pieces.

when he turned around finally, a complete vulnerability and his first words...

"di, i'm sorry."

the music was interesting here, none of the usual loud dramatic stuff, instead sombre, low, unintrusive.

"jaanta hoon ki aapko bahut taqleef ho rahi hai"... i know, he said, that you are in great pain...

and then arnav singh made perhaps the mistake a more "canny" man would not have. asr is one of the cleanest most innocent characters in matters of emotion... the politics of relationship are of no interest to him... he loves or hates simply... absolutely; he says what he needs to, even if that means people get hurt at times.

"but i trust khushi," he said these words without playing any "clever" game or anything. just stated things the way he saw it.

he trusted her of course... between the night of the terrace and the day on the clifftop many miles had been travelled. he had come to feel an atoot vishwas in the girl who made him believe again. he was always capable of great love, now when i think, that night he married her was also because of love, a broken torn, battered love, that felt like nafrat, but love it was. and in it was also the love he felt for his sister.

but it was trust he had lost really, on another night when he was only fourteen. you couldn't trust this world...your own father could betray you... you have to fight on and fend off a world that is bedard, and for that you needed power and wealth... because no one could be trusted.

that trust returned to him with khushi...

besides, he also did know who shyam really was.

of course, what he told nani later about shyam and khushi he could have said here too, to buttress his case... but no... how could arnav singh talk about his wife in that manner in front of a roomful of people.

and anyway, he always liked getting straight to the point... even the night he had gone to speak to his sister, he did not haw and hum and prepare her much... he just went for it... jeeja ji is cheating on you, he reached the sentence pretty quickly into the conversation.

"mujhe poora yakeen hai ki khushi jo kah rahi hai, woh sab sach hai," i am convinced what khushi is saying is true.

anjali stood looking aghast, and then she began to sway... he ran... she was everything to him. 

on teej, he had pelted to save a girl who meant nothing to him, or so he'd thought.

yet both these girls mean everything... they are life itself to this young man of twenty seven, who has really for the longest time never had a break.

i wonder where that energy comes from, can it be justified, given the terrible amount of trauma both he and khushi have gone through just a few hours ago, and for a couple of weeks before that, ever since airport, in fact? i guess a nervous wild energy stays in you when you go through so much, and you just keep tackling stuff till at last you get a break and let go.
not only is his mind and body alert, khushi can sense things too... she can feel its not going to end with only shock and grief of the entire family... she has seen the look on di's face and she senses this is all headed to hell.

there were two telling scenes in two different bedrooms after that. in one he was pushed away... in the other he was pulled closer.

both scenes were beautiful. both spoke of love... between men and women and between two siblings, children of the same mother. potent love... both equally valid and complete and essential. that you should have to choose between the two loves, is truly cruel. and life rarely passes up on such an opportunity.

perhaps in these scenes i found and felt again the power of the story of iss pyaar ko really.

if ipk were just a story of boy meets girl, boy hates girl, girl hates boy, then boy falls for girl, girl falls for boy and they live happily ever after, it would have been yet another mills and boon type love story, with plenty chemistry and a surfeit of dhakdhak. but little else. turn to episode 57 for first kiss, go to episode 98 for consummation, lovely. now scan channels to see where the next romance is starting.

but iss pyaar ko was never that. it was a story of deep beautiful love, of large, humongous powerful emotions, of human beings caught in the their crosscurrents, struggling, getting lashed, breaking but finally rising to overcome all odds. in this story of love, the man woman romance was as true and integral as the brother sister love. if the entire issue of anjali went missing, if we never felt asr's love for his sister and hers for him, would we have really experienced and understood the depth of asr and khushi's love? every conflict the brother sister love presented, tested and strengthened and nuanced the love of arnav singh and khushi kumari... and at the same time, it was his sister and her love for him that always kept the idea of a woman he would give his heart to in the forefront...

the story of iss pyaar ko is about a man and his two greatest loves at one level. it is a romance of course, but a romance that would feel empty without the love of the brother and sister... and also without the crazy give all love for family of a young innocent permanently afflicted by sanka girl.

this is a love story that has scale and depth and dares to enter many feelings, some inexplicable even, some perhaps not easy to condone, but there they are, exactly as in life... and that's why they murmur in us. one scene here reminding one of something somewhere else... connecting dots in places we didn't even know there were dots... a tale that stays and nourishes the heart...
she too by now has grown to love the sister of her husband almost as much as him. i have asked myself how that is even possible... but it can be... because when you love someone truly you know who they love with all their heart... and somewhere those others become part of your heart too... she genuinely did not want to hurt di. she cared for di... a woman who had always welcomed her, who was always good to her. even when she was really angry, she was always fair to her. and of course, as the story teller would write it, it would be anjali who'd welcome her into shantivan first and then do many things to make sure she kept coming over.

the day khushi had found out about shyam, she'd so wanted to tell the man by the poolside what had upset her, he had even guessed it was her fiance, but she couldn't bring herself to... because she knew how much he cared for his di... if his di's world fell to pieces, he would be hurt immeasurably.

today all of that and more is here in every moment of the scenes in the bedrooms.

he stood tense and waiting to get a chance to talk to his sister alone as she lay there looking wan and helpless. he had to explain to her, he had to make her feel better. he knew he had hurt her unbearably.

a clear signal that all was not well came as she denied him the first time by brushing his hand away.

he knew what that meant. so did his wife. he stepped back, a hurt he tried to contain on his face. his wife sensed it. i did too. but he tried again. when they were alone he told her, again in his simple way, no frills... every rakhi what he had promised to do, the time had come to do just that. his face showed a million emotions with understated expressions before he uttered shyam. the man who had gotten past him and inflicted pain on his two most loved people.

anjali heard without expression. he thought he could reach her. he so so so needed to... she was not only his elder sister, he not just her brother, somewhere the son in him had always needed a maternal place, and her lap had been the only place that offered him a vestige of that. he had clung to it the night before his mother's barsi, he had fallen on it when he thought he had lost his sister but she was alright, today, after days of suffering, of being alone, perhaps even of fearing he'll never see her again, and the terrible moments they had all gone through, he needed her, her lap. he wanted to bury his head there and reach her, let her reach him, soothe her, be soothed by her. 

he sought her lap, resting his cheek against her hand.

for a moment it seemed as though all would be well. but then came the memories of a devoted husband to a loving, even besotted, wife. one who would not see the truth, who perhaps for many reasons, including her handicap, could not bring herself to see the harsh reality... her need to believe in a perfect picture of the ideal marriage which had been wrecked maybe when she realised the truth of her parents' marriage... whatever it was, she chose between two loves... something her brother could never bring himself to do.

and she turned away from the love that was true. clinging to the myth.

he denied him a second time: she drew her hand away... she who always stroked the cheek in her trademark style to show love.

then she denied him the third time with one single word... arnav.

oh the look in his eyes when she cut in and said that.

and then in a curious replay of a terrible scene from the night when everything went haywire, she caught hold of his hand and forced him to walk with her, and threw him out of the room. i found the scene surprisingly thrilling. felt real. anjali raizada asserting herself... saying enough!! in her way... there was a strong woman in her somewhere... i hoped some day that would ascend again. also it was such a di thing to do to a chhotey... elder sister i am, stop messing with me.

he had used his power one night, tonight someone else used hers over him. both nights it was all and only about love.

my heart felt many things as he cried out desperately... di, di... you can't do this to me... aap mujhe apne aap se alag nahin kar sakti aise... don't separate me from you...

i often feel his love and need and joy in the way he says khushi. but even the way he says di has so much in it, i am repeating myself i know, but an entire tie gets established in just the utterance at times.

he begged her to not do this. she was impervious to him. she shut the door on his face as he had done on hers before... she said let me be alone. when she was implored not to, her voice rose to a hysterical pitch... terribly real.

he left frustrated, horror descending.

there was one difference though between the two bedroom sequences. here khushi was witness to every moment of it. growing more and more desperate, hurting... and feeling vulnerable. a young girl, full of innocence and generous love, did she ever think she would be in any way a cause of such a situation? of course, the cause was one man's filthy self... but unwittingly she had become the instrument that would bring home this shattering truth.

the last thing she had wanted to do was speak of shyam, rob di of her perfect world. yet she had had to to do just that... maybe only because the thought of her arnav ji being burnt alive did something to her... she just could not keep quiet any longer.

she too had to choose finally.

the same girl who had told asr that she kept quiet only to save his di's happiness... and who actually believed that... she had to today begin the storm she had fought hard to keep at bay.

again because of love.

she watched helpless as he walked away, that frenetic energy of his buzzing around him. she knew he was broken.

he reached his room and at last let go and sat down... alone. the loneliness of this huge character here. even now, even in this state, he is thinking of his sister... how much i have hurt her... i can't see di like this. no he can't. it kills him... and he can't really talk about such things, he is just not the talking and sharing kind... actually, our deepest emotions, can we really talk about them?

grateful to writers for understanding that in this episode. and to directors for letting the actors say it all often without a word.

in a beautiful cut away, nani and mami like a mini play. an entire relationship and its nuances got told as they sat together in this nightmare moment. then mami buried her face in her mother like ma in law's lap and her often acerbic sasuma, gently stroked her head. somewhere amid all the gussa and hum drum and bitching and cribbing of life, the business of making and becoming family gets done.

akash walked away from his wife, angry she had hidden such a big truth. she hoped he would understand. i would completely get akash's reaction if they had bothered to keep the character true, someone i could relate to. i really couldn't.

payal could have been a fabulous character, but again they had played with her insensitively. here at least she reminded me of the girl i had met way back.

nk walking around without saying much, again i got what they were trying to do, but something did not feel natural... it seemed contrived.

the slight rattle of china speaks of worlds crashing and shattering.
he stands alone... in anguish. she is behind him, feeling terrible, perhaps even feeling like an intruder, but she needs to reach him, know he is alright. she seems worried though, she knows her man is a loner by instinct, she does not want to upset him. maybe she feels a little guilty in her way though we all know she mustn't... she has no idea how to soothe him, how to make this terrible feeling go away. she needs to take care of him... and i get the feeling she needs him to hold her too.

he senses her presence, he turns around... and in his look just a surrender to every emotion i sense... it is her... and she is looking shaken... he first takes the tray out of her hand... why am i thinking of the morning when he had pretended he was not sick?

she looks at him for a second and then not wishing to force anything on him, turns away.

and his hand moves.

in a simple gesture a universe of need, of adhering... forever.

and arnav singh raizada steps into the other role he has accepted, no demanded, from life. that of khushi kumari gupta's husband. he is brother, he is husband, take either away from him and he is damaged, incomplete.

and she is so utterly his wife, today perhaps her primary role... yes, she is sister, daughter, daughter in law, but i sense, what defines her at this moment is being his wife.

and as man and woman, as primal beings, they are mates. just meant for each other. two parts that come together to create such a powerful bond, they become much greater than the sum of the parts. the yin and yang comes to mind. 

humans are not monogamous creatures maybe, but somewhere deep down our instincts have always yearned for the ideal couple... from the dragon and the phoenix, to radha krishna, lakshmi narayan, ram sita, romeo and juliet, laila majnu... always one man, one woman... and an indestructible something between them. reality may be whatever it is, we seek this ideal.

and why am i thinking all this looking at a tv soap?

how much can you put into a pair of eyes. i stare at the two lovers...

why did i find the rabba ve jarring? it really was not needed... these two had become that song at this moment... and in his holding her hand and stopping her and in her holding his later to do just that a whole love story again... of a coming together of two people around a commitment called hamesha, of becoming what we call husband and wife. 

she turned and looked at him, he at her, the moments ticked by, whatever needed to be said, was... she rushed and put her arms around him, unable to hold back any more, that little hint from him enough... relieved she was perhaps at him allowing her in. he hesitated for a second and then put his hand on her hair... i had a feeling it was to make her feel better.

this is arnav singh raizada, really, never ever turning away from his responsibility. 

he carried her in his arms as he wanted to, liked to, as she wanted him to... trying to restore "normalcy" while he bled within and he knew she could not be at peace if he were not. he had tried to put his head on his sister's lap, hoping for peace... that was denied.

here, his mate waited for him to do whatever he needed to feel better. they had just been through the entire trauma of kidnap... now this.

he lay her on the bed and he would have left her there, but this time she stopped him. oh, i felt he so needed that love.

she tugged his hand gently and he came and sat by her. not a word they spoke right through... nothing was said between them since her asking him to trust her and him turning to shyam and giving his answer with a resounding slap... where was the need for words.

between them was history, was vishwas, and love... not of sweet romances but of epic poems. love that held. love that defied transience in a dimension essentially transient.

he sat and with tender fingers cut a familiar trail... pushing back strands of hair off her forehead, a simple signature of a feeling that had started on another tumultuous night in a building falling apart. a little gesture, of course it had to say everything.

and he looked at her... i can never find words to describe that look. it said love. it said i am always yours, it said jee nahin paaoonga... and it said i will be strong for you don't worry... this, while the person who was his entire world threw him out of her room.

khushi knew perhaps what many of us may find hard to accept, her arnav ji was incomplete really without his sister... he would not be able to bear the loss of his di... jee nahin paayega, no matter how hard he tried... even if she were there with him, even if she said he needed nothing else. she understood, because she was khushi... and she felt his heart. she knew more than anyone else, that her man of dimaag was really all about his dil.

i had said to rhea this episode did not connect with me at many places... it did not. i found the spate of flashbacks of shyam in everyone's mind a bit to obvious and unnecessary... the music often felt too soppy. i felt there was too much of "arranging" of emotions, among the family members that is.

i missed something in sanaya's acting... a little more was needed i felt...

i enjoyed the polish with which the asr and di interaction was handled. and the entire feel of the khushi asr moments at the end.

what touched me and made me write all that were... barun sobti's acting and the whole essence of the story of ipk, which became so clearly evident once more.

interestingly it's always on turbulent nights that the story comes to us... guesthouse connected khushi and asr in an elemental way, terrace inextricably tied di to the story of arnav and khushi, tonight arnav knew both di and khushi were equally important to him and for the first time in his life he felt his sister banish him.

i must say daljeet was pretty good too. loved the way she closed her eyes and then removed her hand from below his cheek, well directed and acted.


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