Saturday, 24 September 2016

episode 71 long drive

"khushi!" "khushi!!" his voice sounds worried, is that a trace of remorse in it? his eyes rend the darkness... where is she? he hits the steering wheel frustrated. "kahan gayi yeh ladki?" where has this girl gone! always comes back for her, like that time when it rained. tonight it wasn't the rain. it was the torrent of gussa. she walks alone in the dark, scared.

"mere hi ghar mein aakar, yeh shart rakhti ho ki main tumhare saamne na aaooon?!!" the last bit teeth grinding. come to my house on the condition that i shouldn't appear before you! hah, the cheek.

and so starts a fight he's been itching to have ever since he overheard the conversation between la and khushi. how khushi tricked him into attending the aarti. oh, hopping mad is he. in fact, that thing about her stipulating the condition, ever since la deliberately let him know of it, he's been seething.

and now that thanks to nani he has her alone in the car with him, he is all set for a super dooper asr gussawala fight. looks like she is in no mood to cower and back down either. great lovers are possibly great fighters too. i have heard from someone much into the ramayan, that valmiki's original had a really feisty sita, who fought with ram when needed. in fact, she roundly taunted him when he refused to take her along for the 14 year banishment in the forests. sita managed to have her way. ha.

the long drive has begun. in the cab, temperature pressure far from normal. plenty internal combustion going on. an about to erupt silence. he reaches to untie dm's chunari or so it seems. she prevents him with alacrity and without any thought rushes headlong into confrontation.

"yeh kya kar rahen aap?"
what are you doing?

you can't open the chunari just like that.

and mr angry lets it rip. "kyun? karoonga toh kya karogi? di aur nani ko bataogi? shikayat karogi meri? tum apne aap koi samajhti kya ho... mere hi ghar mein aakar yeh shart rakhti ho ki main tumhare saamne na aaooon? tum ho kaun? how dare you... tumhari himmat kaise hui?... mujhe dhoke se aarti mein bulane ki..."

why? what will you do about it? tell di and nani? complain about me? who do you think you are? his temper is rising fast. come to my house and lay down a condition that i can't come before you?!!! who are you (the hell, is suggested by his tone)? how dare you? trick me into attending the aarti...!!

a right royal battle ensues. reminded me of the ocean raging against the shore again. lashing out, receding, lashing out again.

she's surprised. but is quick to recover. she's angry. and in her case too, the real anger was triggered by something else. he stops the car suddenly, till she's heard all he has to say, she must sit there and listen. the heat of a sunday afternoon storeroom suddenly in the car this late evening.

she tries to get out. he locks the doors.

okay, she lets him have it too. i did it because you were rude to bal gopal.

"toh?" so?

how could i just let you go?

"tumne theka liya hai kya? tum hoti kaun ho?" have you taken the contract (to resolve such matters)? who are you?

"aap kaun hote ho?"
who are you?

i almost felt like stepping in and saying, "sh... don't fight like that... don't you know only married couples or at least couples in long relationships are allowed to yell and shout and make such a scene in the middle of the road?"

i respect god, can't bear to see anyone talk like this before him.

"mooh pher liya karo..."
silver smooth rejoinder, turn your face away then.

"aap kabhi apni sar jhuka liya karo"
cracking return, you should sometimes lower your head.

(if this were a  game of tennis, umpire would be having a mean time. love 15, love thirty, love forty, deuce, 30 love, 40 love... uff love all.)

"laad governor toh aap ho hi..."
you are of course, laad governor...

he looks at her...

thought you'd get some wisdom after doing arti, she completes. but... and this is when she really begins to go where no one should ever dare to venture in, his inner rage...

"bina shadi kiye kissi ladki ke saath aise rehna,"
living with a girl without marrying her, she mutters.

"jo bolna hai mere samne bolo,"
whatever you have to say, say it to my face, he rasps (at last i get to write an m&b verb)... "jab main tum se baat kar raha hoon toh meri taraf dekhkar baat kiya karo...main tumse kuch kah raha hoon!!!" when i talk to you, look at me!!! i'm telling you something!

"humne kaha ki aap rakhas hain rakshas!"
i said you are a rakshas, a don't respect god, you don't give importance to people either. which is why you're showing such disrespect to lavanya ji.

ah, finally it's out. her extreme discomfort with the whole living in thing. completely at odds with her view of life. repulsive, abhorrent, wrong.

he's confused. what's she talking about.

and khushi clarifies that living with la without marriage is what she considers "beizzati."

he stops the car again.

"kya bakwas kar rahi ho..."
what nonsense.

note how neatly the quarrel escalates this point on..

how can you do this, counters khushi.

i can... it's my life... and i don't believe in marriage. asr is clear.

"aur lavanya ji?" what about la?

"tum hoti kaun ho uski taraf se..."
who are you to take up the cudgels for her? he is incensed. voice rough, hard.

"ek ladki," a girl, says she. making la's cause her own. khushi as "jagruk nagrik" flits through the mind, but here the situation will take a really nasty turn, even before you know it's coming.

"darte hain aap... apne rishte ko naam dene ke liye... kyunki aap kamzore hain
," you are scared to give you relationship a name, because you are weak. khushi is getting very rude and moralistic, crossing a line... but she is now too far gone to stop and so, "par apne kabhi yeh socha hai.. aapke ma baap ne bhi sha-" but have you ever thought, you mother and father also mar-

"get out."

swift, almost sotto voce, doused with cold anger. who would have believed his voice was rising and heated just a moment ago. that reference to his parents seems to have hit a nerve. he isn't thinking. some place inside is in turmoil, waves rising, crashing, frothing. on the surface a deathly calm. a decision is done. "tumne suna nahin... maine kaha get out..." didn't you hear, i said, get out. again, no shouting, just a command.

she's worried, frightened, it's late. what's she to do alone here in the middle of nowhere.

and he steps out of the car, walks out, over to her side, opens the door, grabs her and pulls her out of the car. then walks back to his seat and drives off. that cold, that nasty.

his rough, angry wheels leave a last lashing on her. mud.

"keechar uchhalna." the hindi words for spattering mud on someone, speak of loss of face, of respect. of course, this will happen to khushi, in fact, just like this evening, his actions will mire her further in the muck.

but perhaps here as in later, the important thing really is he will not be able to go away despite all the anger, the hate, the gussa. how hard i tried to hate you, khushi, but my own heart wouldn't listen to me. yeh tumne mujhe kya kar diya, khushi. and me, how hard i tried that i may hate you, but i couldn't, arnavji. can you hear me, khushi... hamesha.

tonight, despite everything, all his red hot rage... he could still hear her. so he had to return. not just once, twice. there is a tie between them building, whether they know it or not, whether they acknowledge it  or not. the sort of tie that lasts forever, in sickness, in health, in gussa, in joy, marriage or no marriage.

extra extra extra
every shot in the car today and the sequences later, wanted to be captured and included in the post. i've chosen some i just had to share, hope you enjoy.

again a hot sunday afternoon storeroom crashes into the evening.

she won't take that hand. balled fist, again.

"gadi mein baitho," sit in the car. "pahle aap apni badtameezi ke liye maafi maangiye," first apologise for your rudeness she'll demand. of course, no chance of that happening, but a much more gorgeous outcome will her demand get, a classic sobti "palat," the turn back.

and finally, a question, if you had a chance to replace the girl in one of these cars (girls, not bua ji), which car would you choose. and why?




  1. while i was rewatching the episodes have been reading your takes. somehow couldn't find 71 in india forums, then remembered the treasures tucked in here. realised I should just come here so thought of saying hello hi before I get lost in this episode. I love that their love wasn't "right" or conformed to the expected. In these tumultuous long drives is an originality and understanding of love that transcends a tv show from the creators, writers and actors.. no wonder we sit here and watch rewatch and you get to write such dhak dhak inducing takes..

    1. how come i never replied? sorry, rhea. i read "in these tumultuous drives" and something in me came undone. a sure sign they got it, this thing we call love. yeah, i don't recall too many things that got to the feeling as instinctively and intuitively as this silly tv show. thanks for checking the obsessive fan's blog every now and then.