Saturday, 17 September 2016

episode 57 maha ankh micholi

ankh micholi, anyone?              

episode 57 indeed a maha episode

but first, i would like to start with an invocation to the god of handsomeness and thank her for bestowing upon us this incredible creation of hers which now looks at our heroine with incredulous eyes. sorry, have to gush. really, how good looking must a man be, and that too while he's acting so terribly well in of all things, a daily soap. spiky hair, lean hassled visage, everything motionless, just an eruption of feelings rushing to get to the climax. i could watch this scene for hours, like that other one of him walking into the mazar, long loping stride, inert eyes, black clothes, white bandana. "what the" has never sounded so divine.

it's a good thing that she didn't open her eyes. if she had, the story would have ended right here, no question of not falling in love and crashing into his arms. but today a celestial game was at play, that was devised to keep the story interesting, dynamic, and without end.

as i watched, it was quite obvious that the whole 45 odd minutes were laid out around hide and seek. people missed each other, feelings stole into corners and never got caught, secrets were almost out, phew! but not quite. but why? why this devise suddenly? and that too right across an extended episode? perhaps it was just to raise the tension, keep us glued and use a familiar film technique. or it was ankh micholi, the game of krishna come to visit this drama that has references to him in so many ways right through.

"hai re nand kissore!" the first words of ipk. and if i look back, so many many krishna moments all through. he was in the name of the friend, the sakha, nk; and he was in the name of the villain; his story was told with such charm by the lovely ingenuous khushi; and he and his consort were there when she felt like his patni, and when she didn't; of course, he was always in buaji's words and thoughts, and allusions and traits of him were to be found in many a character during the telling of the tale: as charioteer, as wise counsel, as giver of judgment... maybe, in this ankh micholi too? and if so, it was a fascinating creative leap to keep krishna in the proceedings. interestingly, the child actor who played bubli, used to act as little krishna in her previous role.

krishna played blindman's bluff, with the boys and the girls, his gopis too. minor modification for the ladies: he had to kiss the girls to identify them. rule made by him, of course. there was always a sweet naughtiness, a lightness to the tales of this avatar; a certain empathy, beauty, fun, and delight. you didn't have to worship him to find him engaging. if indeed the hide and seek trick was borrowed from nand kissore, i'd find it really clever.

if not, no matter, still reminded me of him and his lover. especially, loaded as the game was with matters of love. and light and sprightly it went, traipsing and trilling through the bhoolbhulaiya (maze) of shantivan, with concentrated bursts of earth shaking emotion in in between. fantastic balance of light and deep, dhoop chhaaon... hai dhoop sa agar woh, woh chandni raat si hai.

and joining the sport to make it delicately deliciously interesting: curtains. diaphanous, floating, now revealing, now concealing, cousins of the dupatta. that opening sequence was the first sign, i guess. the breeze is telling them both, she's here, he's here, but since both are hesitating before truth, it hides itself, behind the decorator's curtains.

i can't see you, you're not here. but i can hear you... khushi is the first to know, and she's determined not to get caught. what she doesn't know though is there's another thief in the premises. a sick man with ugly intentions and desires.

"mujhe galatiyan aur unhe karne wale pasand nahin," i don't like mistakes and those who make them, says the man in charge, arnav singh raizada, making sure all arrangements for the party are impeccable. a certain terseness in him, so much to do, all sorts of unsettled feelings at home since la's entry, and the constant "ahsaas" of a person, something he swears he has no place for in his life. maybe that's the "galati" you make, and nand kissore is playing a game with you to see if you can find the truth and be "sahi"?

she's constantly worried about being discovered by him, and so misses the the truth right under her nose, or at least next to it. she passes by shyam and anjali's room as they chat standing before the door, but doesn't see him. nor he her. again and again this almost reveal. sometimes in the most interesting layered visuals.

di and shyam have a little tiff over his many admirers. creatives give the pretender krishna little touches of the real and eternal lover. but here is one who has no notion of love, at best what he feels is lust. a pity, his consort isn't radha, a bit of a gandhari our anjali. reminds me of the magnificent queen from mahabharat who wore a blindfold forever because her husband couldn't see and so she decided to suffer with him. just like her, anjali  couldn't see a thing, and shyam again won the ankh micholi round, his prize, a gentle, loving, credulous, "aap bhi na."

in playful vein, creatives bring in stairs from ar office to shantivan, to test us no doubt. was i wrong or was there a curved staircase just behind khushi which i've never seen here? spotting the rakshas, she hides in shyam anjali's room, he passes her and senses... hey hey...

he bumps into someone, "dekhkar nahin chal sakte? tumhari galati ki saza tumhari naukri bhi ho sakti hai." can't you see where you're going, the cost of your mistake may be your job. but sir, was the mistake his or were you distracted... by that sense of a woman?

shyam almost sees her but doesn't. khushi runs helter skelter through the unfamiliar corridors and leaps into a room. one she doesn't know at all, but had at one time thought belonged to the bakri. unfortunately, it belongs to the lion and he is on his way here, his attendant music following him resplendent. our man is thoroughly displeased, is rushing to change.

sanaya was simply brilliant as she ran around frantic looking for a space to hide, then jumped into the wardrobe. only khushi could have done that. something so very specific in that move. the visual space is super crowded these days, so many images, it's rare to come across something original. yet, ipk found new ways of showing things so often. can't remember ever seeing a girl in a cupboard, one eye open, comic air getting giggles going, and then wham... thick, pulse rate quickening passion, can't breathe, a crazy note of romance... and off she goes again, dupatta flying, something really funny and really desperate at once, his khushi... khushi... khushiii making you wonder, making you sad, making you happy. thrilling, wasn't it? yet delightfully light like a perfect souffle, with a little red dupatta flambe. oh that flying streak of vermillion, and him leaping to catch it, just took it all to another plane.

wasn't he supposed to be mad at her? decided to not think of her just a while back. no place for such feelings. she is a part of my past that is over. and yet you just know it when she's around. what's in her that calls out to you? and now she sits inside your cupboard, inside you essentially.

"tum yahan kya kar rahi ho?"
what are you doing here? oh the pain of knowing she isn't here. the grappling with it. all the upheaval. and suddenly, she's before his eyes. of course, he's startled at first, then perhaps a bit angry, but deep down maybe a feeling more forceful is taking root, a feeling of finding his breath again. of sheer relief. the kind that makes you let go inside, leaves you dumbfounded.

when she jumps out, you reach out instinctively, wanting to keep her near, for all your roughness, and anger, the moment she's close you're nonplussed... rabba vey, and she flies off taking advantage of your state of mind. playing ankh micholi with your feelings... now you catch it, now you don't...

and what about her, she'd just said she hadn't returned to delhi for him, but in that long moment that he held her and they looked into each others eyes, why that change of note?

behind the veil of comedy, serious, seething, heated emotion telling its own parallel story.

i needed to pause here for breath and let my eyes rest. and before we resume, a question, was akash wearing the shirt that asr wore the night of faraq nahin padta? nooo.

nani ji notices "mithai ki khushboo kuch aur hi hai." the sweets have a delightful aroma... talk of sweets from lucknow; and dreams of sweet nothings in akash upon seeing payal. of course, mami the sharp eyed notes this dose of sudden sweetness in her son's life and decides it's bad for him, "jo bhi hao e laknow sisters ko out kareka padi." whatever it is, got to get these lucknow sisters out.

asr is tortured, pacing, remembers, "hum aapke nazron se hamesha ke liye door ja rahein hain..." i am going far from your sight forever. khushi yahan kya kar rahi hai? what's khushi doing here, he is immersed in this conundrum. his girlfriend floats in, all dressed up and sexy, how am i looking, she asks getting close. he almost doesn't see her. the eyes are on the one who's flown, that's whom they seek. when his sister walks in, he asks, irritated and hassled, forgetting his resolve to not let anything disturb the cadence of his sister's big day, "di, khushi yahan kya kar rahi hai?" what's khushi doing here? if i knew she'd bagged the order, i'd have cancelled it. really, so that's why you ask the same question again and again. shatir asr totally stumped.

in another hide and seek ploy, shyam is told by anji about khushi. when she turns around, he's not there. he hasn't heard a thing. months later, the same would happen the night of the betrayal, asr would tell di all only to find she's passed out. hasn't heard a thing. it will lead to chaos, but tonight, all it leads to is a "yeh bhi na."

another echo from the future in his announcement to the guests, "meri zindagi ke do sabse important log... di aur jeeja ji." the two most important people in my life, di and jeeja ji. there will remain two most important people in his life, just not in this combination.

a cascade of neatly edited scenes peek into hidden thoughts and faces. will khushi see shyam? will shyam see khushi? will anjali find out? creatives are having much fun obviously. and in the middle of all that a strange surprise from la. she obviously is completely blindfolded, no idea who her target audience is. a neatly packed episode with all the bits in place for the next climax.

in the middle of all this mami is being really rude to khushi and payal, treating them like waiters. mami ji... aap bhi na. anyway, payal drops juice and khushi leaves the room to find tissues at the poolside, relieved at the thought of escaping his nearness.

but looks like that isn't going to happen. he has seen her and he follows her out. "tumne toh kaha tha ki lucknow chali jaogi..." you'd said you'd go away to lucknow, he barks at her.

she's shocked, but opts to remain mute... not a word since he found her in the cupboard. she is just too disturbed to say anything i guess. she tries to walk past him without a word. he catches hold of her arm in a tight grip. yet again. she stands there still, taut, tense, eyes confused, unsure. finally, in measured undertone, "aap badtameezi kar rahen hain." you're being discourteous.

"kyunki badtameezi ke elawa aur koi bhasha tumhe samajh mein nahin aati hai." because you don't understand anything but this sort of language, he is in a nasty nasty mood now.

and he goes for it.

"main tumse kuch pooch raha hoon..." i'm asking you something... so intimate the voice, like it's touching her. "tumne toh kaha tha ki lucknow chali jaogi... waapas laut kar nahin aogi," you'd said you'd go to lucknow, not come back. my heart shivers/leaps at his voice, that wapas nahin aaogi is killing him somewhere... "phir yahan kya kar rahi..." 

you'd said you'd go away... so why are you here... you'd said you'd never come back... what are you doing here... if you go away on a summers's day... again the sadness of the song hidden behind the anger of the voice. 

but if you stay... my wayward mind adds in...

"majboori thi... tab bhi... aur ab bhi." had no choice, then too... now as well. khushi is no longer running, skipping, jumping, acting cute, nothing, some part of her that no one else touches but this man, is touched again. only for him her voice grows deep like this, mature, poised, a woman vis a vis a man.

"aap hamara haath chhodiye warna..." leave my hand...

"warna?" or else?

"warna kya kar logi tum?" what will you do?

"aap asr honge aapke ghar mein." you may be asr in your own home...

a khushi like flip into a rash statement looking for a solid repartee to shut this terrible man up.(a little break for respite by the creatives for us panting viewers?)

"mera hi ghar hai." it is my home.

if i hadn't spent all the money, i'd have died before coming here to the home of people such as yourself. khushi returns to the seriousness of the moment.

"pehle bhi tum hum jaise logon ke yahan hi kam karti thi."
you used to work for people like us before too. "aur waise bhi, tum jaise log toh paison ke liye..." and anyway, for money, people like you...  he stops as she looks up.

tonight he doesn't complete that sentence. something in her gaze, angry, gaining a power of its own, stops him. the intensity in both was of another order. out in the open. ankh micholi ceased.

la walked in. no one practically noticed her.

khushi walked out without a word. but what's this?

her payal slipped off as though it had a mind of its own. he saw it.

one day, a key had slipped off from his hand, so they could meet again. now this payal. what will this bring? and why is it that everything around and on them wants them to find each other, yet these two... and he turned and looked back.

this is the first time we see khushi in red with asr by the pool. there will be many times more when the colour of passion will attend their love story unfolding here. today's red was definitely chilli padi red. those who've lived in south east asia will know the power and bite of this deadly chilli, small, red, sharp, and has it got oomph. you don't need a little or long black dress to be an absolute bomb. i can't live without my chilli padi, looks like asr is beginning to catch the ailment.



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