Thursday, 29 September 2016

episode 78 veil of truth

as she lifts the chunari, he pauses in his stride and turns to look at her. hey hey... and another moment stolen from time. from hard rational reality.

"sometimes when i look at you, i feel i'm gazing at a distant star. it's dazzling, but the light is from tens of thousands of years ago. maybe the star doesn't even exist any more. yet sometimes that light seems more real to me than anything."
~~~ haruki murakami, south of the border, west of the sun ~~~

he could never not turn and look at her, and she could never say no to that look of his, no matter what their lips said later. her little ploy to get him to agree to marry la had not gone down well with him. he was shocked at la's words. he didn't believe in marriage, certainly not in these strange assertions from a girl that did even stranger things to his mind and more.
"humari amma toh yehi kehti hai, ki jisse rishte ki taar judi... agar usske haath aapke sar pe chunri gir jaaye... toh uss jodi ko shaadi ke bandhan mein bandhne se koi nahi roke sakta."
my mother says that the one with whom the thread of tie is joined, if a veil falls upon you from his hand, then no one can stop that thread from becoming the tie of marriage (a very literal translation, nowhere near as pretty or colourful as the original).

he of course, did what he would do, took the chunari, bright, pink, beckoning, full of its desire of love and threw it away unceremoniously. heartless man, uff. but bending every rule of physics, the determined dupatta - you know how dupattas have a certain will and mind of their own in ipk, instead of flying carpets in this ajeeb tale it's them flying and flirting dupattas - flew and landed on the head of its choice. the veil had something to say to two people completely unprepared for this revelation.

yet neither could turn away, neither could not long, neither could say "phooey, don't mean nothing."

i am looped in the loops of her hair.
o love is the crooked thing,
there is nobody wise enough
to find out all that is in it,
~~~ w b yeats, penny brown ~~~

longing in his eyes... hey hey heyheyhey. you can't measure longing i suppose, if only there were a unit for that moment when you feel your stomach churn, empty out, and do a somersault. well, watching him watching her, had me in that state again and again. what all went through his eyes? and how much of it. is that how barun sobti looks at tinker tailor fruit vendor (especially, mango man) and it's just the normal look in eyes, blessed with an intensity that's purely incidental, means nothing; or is this acting at a level where everyone forgets it's only an act?

rabba vey...

he looked into her eyes, he was caught in a breathless moment... as was she... she took her chunari off her head, but it was as though the colour of that moment wouldn't leave him... her.

and then he broke the spell with all his might... turned away, and continued on his way. she stood there wondering, dumbfounded... she had a belief. a vishwaas.

did that call him? for he paused again, and turned around... another long moment on the edge of time.

he again made the first move to walk away. but before that many songs, poems, epistles of pining and unknown yearning had been written through silences and the slightest movements of irises, a magical tune, and the lyrics of mellifluous editing.

when lavanya came and found her, she reached for the laughing pink chunari in khushi's hands. and just for a moment as the silken fabric slipped away, it looked as though khushi struggled, not wanting to let go.

a strange moment, isn't it? the monster, the laad gov, the rakshas, the magarmach, the man who left you in a dark alley and drove away, the man who snapped your pearl dori, the man who made fun of your aukat, the man who never missed a chance to be rude to you, the man who kept making innuendos about "tum jaisi ladki", a chunari from his hands covers you and makes a claim, and you are not offended, upset, agitated... just bemused.

then the chunari slipped out of her grasp, the enchanting notes of rabba vey caressing them. were your fingers just a bit reluctant to let go. did you wish that thing your mother said would come true?
"bahut badi gadbad ho gayi," if only she knew what had gone topsy turvy, and how much of a gadbad had happened.

every once in a while the director and screenplay writer got together and decided to create a moment in the episode that would be difficult to extricate oneself from. leaving us all in the state of asr when caught in thoughts of khushi. today they placed this three odd minute long scene right at the beginning of episode. it started on a note of what the, an incredulous and fast becoming angry asr listening to la's words. then the chuck of chunari, the beginning of a walk out, when suddenly, the whole world changed. and stopped. and said, come, lose yourself in me. 

two committed actors connected in a way that's more instinct than thought out strategy, and really took me far away to eternity. a place of longing within all of us.

the rest of the episode felt more like a whole lot of tricks and treats looking for an antidote to this spell.

then there were two people who began to care for each other, and share interesting man talk. 

it was normal for khushi and la not to get along, for in many ways they really belonged to different spheres of everything. yet, they were the same in many ways too, both young girls, both out to make something of their lives, and shaadi seeking or not, both hopeless romantics, hoping to meet the man of their dreams. 

inside la there was always the possibility of a conscientious girl: the chamkili whom she so disliked, the moment she saved her from nani's wrath, la acknowledged from her heart, and went straight up to khushi, apologised, made friends. asr is after all not so tsk tsk for liking la. at the same time, without doubt, she was also a girl who understood, "what's in it for me." i respect the writer's instinct regarding la's inner workings. the way to convince her about marriage (if one had to, as khushi for some reason decided she did), was not preaching and lecturing on virtue and stuff. the thing to do was to show her, what she might lose if she didn't insist on the tie. ever pragmatic, la instantly grasped the danger inherent in the live in situation, and went all out to change things to her advantage. shaadi. and whatever it takes to get there. i liked that, stay with the character, don't make her what she's not.

la would ultimately understand things that neither khushi nor asr did. sometimes you don't know the difference between daals, the real name for "round round," and such things, but you are uncannily sharp in other matters. and with one simple act, give what many of us wouldn't ever dream of or even be able to. the man you love to the girl whom you consider a friend. because you can see and you don't look away from truth. there again, a trace of your self preservation, you know this would go nowhere ultimately. but you do indeed wish both these people well. which is why her leaving never felt like a sacrifice. it felt like a person doing what's right. a certain joy in that, just watching it. and a certainty that her life will take her to a good and right place. 

as la and khushi got girl talking, there was a lovely ease in the scene. this point on i felt the story became the tale of two girls for a while, both important in their own ways.

la is irritated, khsuhi is trying to make her feel better. enter... ta ta ra... bayi phrend... "dikhte toh woh bahut hi achhe hain... aur bahut hi raubile kism ke hain... aur kaam? unke ek ishare se saare kaam ho jaate hai, unhe kabhi hath uthane ki zaroorat hi nahin padti..." he looks very good, and he's quite a powerful man, work? oh just a tiny sign from him and everything gets done, doesn't have to lift a finger, he...

must be a senior sort of executive in an important position? counters la, the incorrigible. uh huh. watch out asr, your rival is here. jalebi bai has the dhak dhak for sallu bhai. and you are merely "bhai."

ladki badi hai kamal ki... 

but la is still all antsy. no point resisting, khushi brings on her age old remedy of all ills, the vibrant energy of dance that defies all blues, all doom and gloom. some day, la will remember this precious lesson and use it to woo her dear friend. nani would have real reason to change her opinion of la.

fabulous, out of control dance sequence. why did i get the feeling that khushi needed that dance as much as la today. the sexual tension of those early moments, the play of all sorts of things in her mind, she needed to work it all out too.

of course, i got to be in control headmaster face mr we are not amused raizada appeared (just as song reached "lagta hai murga halal ka" and khushi made all appropriate gestures to establish state of murga). the girls yiked to a stop... what is this fear, ladies, uh huh. the angry one glared, but when khushi got a call that brought worry to her voice, somehow it got reflected in his eyes as well, and the little lines on his brow.

the episode ended on two neatly delivered surprises.
1. khushi and payal had an announced visit from amma babuji thanks to an interfering slithery sort.

2. la proposed to asr. now i will forgive this young lady everything, even switching to khushi style clothes, but not this. "asr, will you marry me?" how dare she steal my line.

try as i might, i couldn't stop thinking about the scene of the veil. all its revelations still murmuring in my head. stop it, got work.

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