Friday, 23 December 2016

episode 75 tears and smiles

"iss baar galati humari hai..." as khushi said in a clear voice this time the fault was hers, i felt something move in me.

the frantic tension of the past few minutes disappeared, the need to thwart him vanished, as did the desire to win. khushi set aside all her angst and anger against asr. ever since the night of janmashtami an awareness and an ire had stalked both. they had reacted to each other from that place.

he had been harsh and nasty, throwing her out of his car, accusing her of being underhand, finally saying she was a mere servant, there was no need to apologise to someone in her position. he had meant to hurt her. he had succeeded.

she in the meantime had mounted a khushi like offensive using song, sugar, shoes filled with juice to stymie his relentless asr-ness, to get him to rue the day he had dared to dislodge her from his car and driven off.

they had constantly thought of each other. but really as objects, not as who they really were.

in fact, from the very first day their view of each other was filtered by prejudice. it may have been an instinctive defence for the impact of that first meeting was disproportionately massive.

on this day, khushi was winded by his dismissive and cruel words and possibly wound up and in a frazzled state with all the plotting and planning. he too i had the feeling was wearied by their confrontations, wary too. and maybe just a little disturbed by his own harshness.

it was in that state he had come across her at the poolside. he had stopped instantly, looking lost for a second, as if he was searching for the right thing to say.

she had sensed he was there without even turning around, that feeling around each other ever stronger. she'd turned her head just a little, yes, it was him. she'd resolutely looked away. she would not interact with him.

i felt he knew he had crossed a line. this is him.. the anger makes him lose all bounds, then sense returns and he must make amends.

"khushi, tumne..." he started. i wondered what he wanted to say. but she cut him short.

"bas! humey apni aukat ke baare mein aur baat nahin karni!" enough! i don't want to talk any more about my station in life, she said whirling around.

when she turned back and bent to get the tea cup, she felt the pull on her dupatta. she grew tense... we saw them standing by the pool, him behind her, a dupatta stretched. no one knew what would happen next. perhaps not even khushi.

it had to be the dupatta, i thought. from that very first episode this piece of gossamer garment has had a thing for him. it fell in episode one. in three, it reached out and touched, in fact, caressed him. since then, again and again it has flown and blown and done all sorts of things to touch him, like an unknown part of her reaching out, needing him, wanting him. now it would lead her to do something she'd never dreamt she'd ever do. so that we can arrive at the poolside once more.

and if we thought ascribing feelings and will to inanimate objects is ott fangurrling, i just heard that during sabbath when the blessing of the bread and wine are on at jewish homes, the bread is always kept covered because in mystical judaism there's the thought that the bread feels bad because the wine is chosen first and so is covered so as not to hurt it. hmmm.

yeah, that dupatta does its own thing and it finds the most mystical ways to mesmerise the two.

"humara dupatta chhoriye," let go of my dupatta, she commanded.

"what??" he scrunched his brow and looked puzzled.

she gritted her teeth and the next instant a quick swivel, a flash of hand and something was splashing on his face... violence again.

like that flinging of her arm in his room just a while ago.

"aap ki himmat kaise hui!!" how dare you! echoed, her voice full of distress and umbrage.

his face was in profile. pain, no agony, began to ride it... lines on the forehead and tightening of the lids. what had she done?

his fist was clenched tight. he stood stiff and straight. hot tea had been flung on him... have you ever been burned by tea? piping hot tea?

he opened his eyes and looked at her... his jaw hard. he said nothing, he showed nothing.

music recorded the raging moment and she would have turned away in a fit of self righteous anger but her eyes fell on the potted cactus that actually had caught her garment.

horror descended as she realised what a terrible mistake she'd made. her brow trembled and creased. music changed again, becoming light, whimsical. khushi reacted in her comical way, panic perhaps making her turn to this defence of hers. hands covered mouth, horror reached eyes. he stared, stony and still.

she yanked her dupatta, caused some more mayhem, dropped pots and tables, sidestepped him and did what a brave person must do. she ran.

but when she had reached safety, she did stop and peer to see what damage she had caused. and she saw him wince. he thought he was alone.

a riot of different emotions touched and sparked the scene. thanks to the two performers i went through all of them.

khushi had no idea how to address the situation, she was in turmoil, but she still had not leveled with herself perhaps.

when anjali fretted about chhotey's terrible burn, she was almost tearful with concern. she fetched the ointment and stepped into his room only to see the angry red weals on his chest and his stoic face. he didn't want his sister's help, he was fine, he'd manage.

with every second khushi's remorse grew.

he bears pain, physical, emotional, without complaining without fuss... he has got to be tough.

a poignant scene. when anjali asked how this had happened, khushi started to reply, "anjali ji, woh... main..."

he cut in brusquely, "kuch nahin hai, di... chhoti si chot hai! main handle kar loonga. baccha nahin hoon main."

it's nothing, di... a small burn! i'll handle it, i'm not a kid.

he kept the truth from coming out and saved her. why? that protectiveness toward her was already there though he still called her "uss ladki". beautiful, isn't it.

when khushi tried to apologise to him though, he walked up to his door and closed it without a single word. he shut her out.

there was so much and so many feelings in those moments. and a poised beauty. two young people, a boy and a girl and a world of theirs getting made with a set of fights and feisty words, with gussa and with sanka, with shut up get out and aap shut up... in a space no real estate guy can reach or sell. pristine primal space that only a man and a woman and their unguarded instincts can find their way to.

as that door shut, khushi felt the surge of absolute remorse. he became a real person... not just laad governor or rakshas or even aapke bhai.

he became the "unhe" he had become to her. arnav ji. that's all. and at last she empathised, she felt his pain. again a deeply gorgeous moment, characterised by the quietness and clarity of such moments, i thought.

she sat alone on the steps and mulled over things, most contrite.

babu ji always said she was foolish, but she didn't know she was such a big bewakoof. when her hand had touched that hot cooker in childhood, "humne rote rote poore navratri nikal di..." she'd cried through the whole of navratri (a festival spanning nine nights).

she is entering his feelings, his pain...  "uss garam chai se unhe kitna jala hoga..." how much that hot tea must have burned him.

sanaya's voice is clear and sad and full of feelings for "unhe".

"hume unse maafi maangni hogi," i must apologise to him she resolves.

and we come to the poolside again.

he is working with his plants, the undone buttons of his shirts reveal a red and badly burnt chest. i am trying not to let my concentration waiver. the dark grey shirt and the loose grey brown linen pants create a different silhouette. the mind wants to stay on such matters.

but a pair of hesitant mojris approach.

she walks up to him and stands waiting, he notices her footwear this time and looks up... he is distant, in his own world.

and he is unwelcoming. "tum yahan kya karne ai ho?" what have you come to do here. rough voice.

"hum... woh.." her face is getting all funny, her eyes are filling up.

he watches her. his gaze growing intent.

her tears have come...

"humara matlab hai ki hum aisa nahin karna chahte the... " i mean i didn't want to do this, she sniffs.

he is nonplussed.

"hum aapko jalana nahin chahte the.." i didn't want to burn you.

her hands come up and in that innocent khushi way comes the most strange line in the middle of an earnest apology, "aaj tak humne kissiko bhi nahin jalaya." i haven't burnt anyone till date. aah so he is exclusive... only he gets to sizzle for her. sorry bad joke.

later we'll learn her tears always dislodged him... he is looking worried now as though he needs to do something. possibly run.

i thought you'd held my dupatta but you hadn't, she wails.

a funny yet tender something comes on.

he looks around a little helpless as she cries away loudly. nothing subtle about madam and her remorse. gota shining pompom swinging feeling bad this is.

he steps forward, his gardening fork aloft.

she looks at it and her feet go back, she is pretty sure, perhaps, he wants to strike her.

he lowers the fork and watches her backward step. he is completely unsettled by her spate of tears and stammers out (yes, he stutters):

"toh... kya pakadna chahiye tha?!"

so, should i have held your dupatta!

how beautifully the heaviness exits the scene and a traipsing, twirling man woman things starts.

"dekho, pehle tum rona band karo!" see, first you stop crying.

yeah, important. he can't take it. even though he snarls at her all the time. at this point, she decides since she is already in this much, she may as well dive right in. 

and so she exclaims, "aap na? aap bahut ajeeb ho!" you know... you are really strange.

wonderful writing... as relief washes over her, she is a little loopy, her tongue a little loose.

he stares at her, what!

then a quick return, "main ajeeb hoon!" i am strange?!

"aur yeh tum keh rahi ho," and you are saying this. garden fork waves in front of her. stress on "tum". something changes. he is no longer looking at her like she is an "uss ladki". he is unwittingly engaged, and very amused.

you can feel the romance but you must giggle at the absurd exchange and his genuine "what the" at being called strange by the strangest one of them all.
a tad affronted that this clearly "ajeeb" girl thinks he, he asr no less, is strange. perfect connecting to the moment by both actors. i laugh even when i think of this scene.
this is the beginning of ajeeb which will see such intoxicating denouement at a farmhouse one night far away. had i not known it, even then just by itself, just the way it is, this exchange would be etched in memory long and always cause a flutter inside.

she nods. he looks her up and down. it feels like a sexy turn in an intimate yet humorous jig.

madam is now in full confession mode. he is her confessor.
the mishri she had put in the tank.

"aur aapke jooto mein joooce," and in your shoes juuuice!
again the wail. the enormity of her crimes are crushing her no doubt. if she hadn't been so funny, i might have felt bad for her too.

he looks around and can't let the chance go.

"mango juice!" says he loudly and sternly. very head master like.

"woh... santre ka nahin mila na!" didn't get the orange juice, that's why, comes the pure unadulterated sanka touched comeback.

and that is the man's undoing.

eyes narrow, lips purse and begin to slant. that gradual sublime ascent. the lopsided smirk of one mr arnav singh raizada.

we had come to a heartstop moment. music knows it too."hansa toh phansa!" khushi might have exclaimed.

he smiles, eyes alight with a tenderness and mirth. who has made him laugh last? i feel her enter his heart space on that smile, as her tears flow.

in that second, that split second in fact i felt his heart burst open and let her in... no, drag her in and shut the door. no longer will she be shut out. never again.

he fell hard i thought. though of course the shatir tycoon hadn't a clue what had just happened. this was breakthrough point... the real treasure of the game that had started a while ago.

soon the snot has him horrified, then to make matters worse she blows her nose in her dupatta, the cause of all the trouble, then with an "hume jo kehna tha humne keh diya, ab hum jaa rahe hai" i've said what i had to say and now i'll leave... she leaves.

"unbelivable!" says a very handsome very smitten man. the sweetest endearment ever.

intercut with this enchantment was the story of another wealth... the goddess of it in fact. lakshmi ji.

trying to win nani's heart and get a little time by herself with her friends, la took lakshmi ji out for a walk. and lost her. mami ji said "nebher pheares bhen mami ij heres" and got fake lakshmi in... "lakshmi naahin ooke double role hai". i thought of asr's double in 74 and how you know instantly it ain't the real deal. nani would of course know the difference. to prevent things from getting really bad, khushi resolved to to search for asli lakshmi.

no one knew the real priceless stuff had been found at the poolside.

75 is a classic episode. so fabulous i haven't had the nerve to write about it for the longest time. i will never be able to express the sweetness, the purity, the fun, the bounce, the joie de vivre, the tenderness and the delicate sensuality of a romance here. the reaching out of two people toward each other in a way only they can. barun and sanaya are both so in tune and not a shred of overacting where that might have been a pitfall with many. the funny never cuts down the romance, the romance never smothers the funny, all the while you giggle and guffaw and you dhakdhak and wonder what next. you feel insanely happy. 

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