Wednesday, 28 December 2016

episode 3 a touch calls

khushi's dupatta reached out and touched arnav's face, lingering.

if i had to write a precis of episode three, that's what i would write. nothing else. for that's what touched and lingered over the heart. it  was beautifully written into the story and shot, and it powerfully embedded the idea of connection. 

connection that is made unknowingly, unknown to both. perhaps true connections are like that... you don't seek it at a rational plane, you let it come to you, or rather, it comes to you. that in our existence replete with challenges, where usually extremely practical concerns have shaped thoughts and ideas, the very fact that we have come to the notion of love and given it so much value is a surprising thing. and then to actually evolve to a one man one woman idea, where we hope to create a permanent tie, how childish at one level really... is human the animal even remotely monogamous? even nature doesn't make us so... yet we have been touched by and yearned for this feeling we name love. and search forever to find its name, paradoxically... its meaning.

we have lived and died for it, written songs novels essays poetry, and dreamed of it. love, such a difficult to rationalize thing. why do we love someone or something? hard to answer that one. we humans who keep talking about "reality" and "get real" actually have never been able to snuff out the call of this ideal, even if we speak of it mockingly at times.


from where does it come?

it comes wafting and touches us and lingers.

3 always feels like a song to me; that song which plays, arziyaan saari... all my wishes i have brought written on my face. powerful actors and a director along with writers who wanted to go beyond and touch another kind of realm in their story, have created twenty odd minutes of beauty and lyricism that a trp/money obsessed "reality" driven genre neither seeks nor celebrates. but who is to tell barun sobti, sanaya irani, shashi gupta, daljeet bhanot, deepali pansare that, especially the first two... and also nisar parvez, maan singh, and the creative team.

whoever thought of that gold coloured fiat... absolutely inspired choice that, i laugh and yet i feel a whole world and its feelings, its milieu, its heart and hopes.

the wishes were really written on faces. even if i close my eyes i can see a still profile, sharply etched lines, regal bearing of head. feels like all the breath, all the air from everywhere has been trapped and taken in. nothing out there. and yet one can sense a fire somewhere, a fire that burns and won't be put out. it calls and i stare.

the director of these three shots of a solitary arnav singh raizada standing on some terrace in lucknow, looking out at the city with its graceful ancient contours, he the utter counterpoint... a man of his times, needs a special salaam. and where exactly did barun sobti learn to create that stillness.  

i get stuck on that scene at times and can't think of anything else. there was often in barun's delivery a thickness, a volume... layers and layers which possibly came from the thought he had put into the moment delineated... i'll never know, but something beckons at certain scenes and one just must look and feel.

the other face was a young beautiful sprightly girl's who was in tears and we thought she was going to set herself on fire. instead she made jalebis, mountains of them and bit into them from time to time, weeping buckets.

sanaya irani did some sort of magic here. what could have become a ha ha hilarious scene, she with her capturing of khushi in her heart and mind, made into a moving portrayal of vulnerability and a valiantly sunny nature, also that inexorable innocence that almost nothing can vanquish. she is badly shaken up by all that has transpired... a horrible encounter with a terrifying man, her sister's wedding broken, and then her mother and her aunt reminding her of the one thing that completely breaks her. she is not their own flesh and blood... she is not real family. adopted.

after the storm and shatter of 1 and 2, where the protagonists met and wrangled for the first time, the story is telling us a little bit about the characters. establishing their sketch, what's important to them, what makes them who they are, and most importantly, how completely unlike each other they are. one is black, the other white, as it were...

and yet, on that still face, there is vulnerability. and just as khushi has a deep relationship with her babu ji who has taught her from the time she was a child that "khoon ke rishto se dil ke rishtey..." more significant than blood ties are the ties of the heart, so does the stone faced man with the young woman who had interrupted his show.

he is perturbed to see chane ki roti instead of oats for breakfast by the pool. he knows who could have done that. and why is she still here, he barks at his assistant. she appears just then and says, well she is the culprit. he is not appeased or amused, she should go to delhi and be with his jija ji, her husband, but this beautiful woman in a gauzy saree does as she pleases and smiles beguilingly, bossing over him a bit. he has told her many times not to call her "chhotey", little one... how beautifully barun says that without losing even a bit of asr yet sounding huffy and cute.

and at one point he gets too angry to hang around and begins to stalk off. she calls out, her helplessness in her voice and lurches after him... suddenly he stops and turns, she takes another halting step, obviously she limps. he simply walks back to her and holds her, supporting... he can't hurt her or see her in that state. 

his di. asr with all his hard heart and nasty tongue and don't care and ruthlessness has a completely vulnerable side to him. his sister, he can't bear to see her in pain, a complex set of reasons there no doubt. but the most powerful one is love. his love for her.

and in khushi's life no one is perhaps more precious than her babu ji. she adores her sister who absolutely dotes on her, she needs her amma who is the giver of tough love, but babu ji is her life, her succour... and why not, it is he who understands what makes his chhutki  feel really terrible, he senses her tender heart and gives it the balm it needs, the truth it must accept and be strong with. the relationships of the heart are stronger than those of blood.

chhotey and chhutki. so utterly different, tycoon and jalebi maker, city and small town, remote and engaged, dark and light, ruthless and tender... and yet somewhere both broken, both needing something... the wishes, the arziyaan that need not be said for it's there on their faces and the one who knows will know what to do with them.

usually i am allergic to overtly religious bends in stories, mandir masjid church used arbitrarily to bludgeon the viewer into believing in a higher power. but this mazar scene is so very beautifully written in and reached and walked through... i love it. again and again while watching the initial episodes i have got a feeling i am watching a movie with all its largeness and details and not something small. the language is often of cinema, the shots, the angles, the expanse. beautiful direction. the qawwali's sound pouring upward the devotee's plea... it's a real mazar i get the feeling, the ensigns, the fakirs, the peacock feather bundles for blessing... authentic, touching, remind me of sikri. 

and there they arrive, one sent by his sister to complete the mannat, aloof, uninterested, just doing his duty, he'll be done in a few minutes, no need to cancel meetings.

and she comes with her family to the urs they go to every year. this year it will perhaps heal them, lift the gloom that has entered their lives.
khushi and payal are obviously familiar with the place and want to be completely involved with everything. khushi will not stay away from anything, she is here for a maximum urs experience. and baba must be spoken to loudly and told all her deep desires and wishes. also about that laad governor. she has mentioned him a couple of times already to her sister, obviously he is never too far from her mind. next time she sees him, she'll really give it to him, yeah.

he however shows no sign of even remembering her. not till the very end that is.

this ease with which hindus come to a muslim shrine especially a mannat place... makes me miss india every time. for it is exactly like this, even now. i recall going to a mazar in bangalore and making a mannat... also at sikri.

the scene where the sisters and the dark inert man come into frame and cover their heads signals at something momentous, i don't know why.

then my favourite scene... the two walking on either side of a procession. one in white, grinning, leaping, taking part in everything, eyes shining. the other, with long loping stride that i could watch forever, all black, handsome forehead below pure white hankie, a chiseled unmoving profile, eyes still, closed, no entry for anything or anybody.

the song rises from a group of qawwals who feel even more real than what we see in films. the main singer is surely that in real life.

as words of desires, messed fortunes, of being erased being made, beseeching, maula maula maula mere maula, oh my lord... fill the air, the two walk, parallel lines literally.

but they shall meet.

she will take a turn and pass before him, both unaware of the other. and her white gossamer dupatta will blow in the wind, reach and find the face that has no hope on it and... touch.

it will stay there, clinging to the craggy features of that stony face, getting caught in its peaks and planes, almost caressing. he who is so impatient and snaps at the slightest, will say nothing as the fine virginal cloth will do its thing and move on... he will only look after the one who wears the dupatta and walks away, with an impassive face. nothing in his eyes, no expression, yet a pause. that seems to say something vital.

how magnificently barun sobti interacts with the moment.. and sanaya moving away, no idea, that laad governor has been beckoned by her dupatta.

the dupatta. an oft used slightly obvious device employed by many directors, here though it rarely felt contrived, heightened reality but not silly and jarring. dupattas don't do such things, and yet they do fly and when two actors start treating it with a certain dropping of their sense of disbelief, it almost becomes an emissary. khushi's many thoughts, which perhaps a well brought up middle class girl would never say, were expressed by the flying odhni.

while thinking of the dupatta, i was reminded of the other piece of cloth that flutters in the wind and says so much... the flag of a nation. there's a funny power in just a piece of cloth dancing in the wind.

today though what was the dupatta saying exactly? i had no way of knowing, but it was eloquent. it made him stop. take note. it connected the two just as the ripping of a dori in episode 2 had done. then there was violence and knowledge, here neither, but it was just as powerful.

arnav singh raizada had entered khushi's life with an egregious rip that reflected him perhaps. and now a reply from khushi, with her untouched absolute innocence, gentle and soft yet with a weight and power of its own.

every scene inside the mazar was beautiful and poignant.

he was done at last and ready to leave, while she continued to pray. but then a key fell. mannat ki chabi... like a symbol of something. or someone. the ever alert miss sunshine saw the key fall and had to rush and pick it up...

wait, your mannat ki chabi has fallen.

when he heard her voice, what was that in his eyes? did he sense something? did she sound familiar? he turned and there was of course instant recognition. turmoil in her. a strange noncommittal air about him. he was here because di wanted him to be here, he was ready to leave. the girl from last night, he didn't care.

"phenk do..." throw it away... with two words again he painted a character...

but she would not let him go...

and in seconds from an almost ethereal moment to a chase a la good old hindi phillums. chaotic khushi run after the man walking calmly away, taking off his bandana, looking deadly cold and handsome beyond belief and she charming, nubile, mojri slipping off, funny, pretty, utterly delectable almost as crunchy and delicious as her favourite jalebi, an orange ire in her, how dare he? how dare he!

you can't go like this... and so it was that the girl whose dori he had ripped stopped him from leaving and altered the course of their lives forever.

arziyaan sari mein, chehre pe likh ke laaya hoon
all my requests have i brought written across my face

tumse kya mangu mein, tum khud hi samajh lo...
what should i ask of you, why don't you yourself understand

ya maula... maula maula maula mere maula
o my lord... my lord

maula maula maula mere maula
oh lord... my god

maula maula maula maula

dararein dararein maathe pe maula
cracks (lines) on my forehead, o lord

maramat mukadar ki kar do maula, mere maula..
repair my fortune, my fate, my lord

tere dar pe jhuka hoon mita hoon bana hoon
i've bowed at your door, been erased, been made,

marammat mukdar ki kar doo maula..
repair my fortune, my fate, my lord

jo bhi tere dar aaya, jhukne jo sar aaya
whoever has come to your door, whichever head has come to bow

mastiyan piye sabko, jhoomta nazar aaya
drunk on fun/happiness and dancing they've looked to all

pyaas le ke aaya tha, dariya woh bhar laya
he had come with thirst, and filled up a sea

noor ki barish mein bheegta sa tar aaya
drenched in the rain of light, he has came


o ek khushbu aati thi
a fragrance would come

main bhatakta jata tha
and i'd lose my way

reshmi si maya thi
there was a silken mirage

aur mein takta jata tha
and i'd keep staring at it

jab teri gali aaya, sach tabhi nazar aaya
when i came to your lane, only then did i see the truth

mujhme woh khusboo thi, jisse tune milwaya
the fragrance was in me, with whom you introduced me


aaa aaa...

tut ke bikharna mujhko zarur aata hai
i know how to break and scatter of course

varna ibbadat wala sarur aata hai
otherwise i know only how to pray

sajde mein rehne do, abb kahin na jaunga
let me stay at your feet, i will not go anywhere now

abb jo tumne thukraya to sawar na paunga
now if you leave me i will not be able to recover

maula maula maula mere maula
maula maula maula maula
dararein dararein hai maathe pe maula
maramat mukdar ki kar do maula, mere maula..

sar utha ke maine to kitni khwahishe ki thi
i had asked for so many things with my head raised

kitne khwaab dekhe the, kitni khosishe ki thi
i'd seen so many dreams, i'd tried so hard

jab tu rubaru aaya...
when you appeared before me

jab tu rubaru aaya nazarein na mila paya
when you appeared before me i could not meet your eyes

sar jhuka ke ek pal mein...
with bowed head in a second...

sar jhuka ke ek pal mein maine kya nahi paya
with bowed head in a second what have i not received

maula maula maula mere maula
maula maula maula maula
maula maula maula mere maula, mere maula..
maula maula maula maula mere maula..

mora piya ghar aaya, mora piya ghar aaya
my husband/partner has come home

maula maula maula mere maula

the song is written by prashoon joshi for delhi 6. ar rahman's music. i have attempted a translation. took the translation by princess on as reference.

the first meeting

and you came to me, as if guided by a star
that tragic autumn, stepping
into that irrevocably ruined house
from whence had flown a flock of burnt verse
~~~ anna akhmatova, the complete poems ~~~

the first meeting.

i just saw the first meeting of asr and khushi with the sound on mute. there was something almost indestructible, elemental, in those moments, when his eyes seem to "scroll" down her face and come to rest on her innocent, parted, almost inviting lips, as she panics and feels other things, tilt up to her transfixed gaze on this stranger's face, forbidding and scary, then back to his eyes, now scrolling up, slowly, deliberately, as though a purpose in that look. not a word is spoken yet such extreme communication there. what happened to him as he looked at the lips seemed to have an impact, his eyes retracing their steps have added a note of insult, insolence, cruelty almost... as if a violation of her is the aim... yet something has happened to the one who looks too. it is there in his dark deliberate eyes... maybe it was this confusion that set in immediately which made it imperative for him to quash her, obliterate her, banish her. she had hit a spot and stoked a wound under his skin.

journeys end in lovers meeting
~~~ wiliam shakepeare, twelfth night ~~~

n i s h a n a   e p i s o d e s
fan fiction

episode 127 why does it make a difference

he asked her a simple question, and though her eyes said everything, the pucker of her brow spoke of her consternation, and the wind underscored each word her heart possibly replied, yet she uttered words that conveyed just the opposite... for there was nothing else to do.

ever since her "yeh humari sagai ki angoothi hai," a tightly packed ready to burst emotion has entered the scene, an explosion lurks near. 

something was intriguing really as the episode started though. he'd thrown an ultimatum at all, this engagement will happen tomorrow or never, and before leaving he'd paused and looked at her squarely in the eyes. a challenge leaping in his. so you think you're happy, let me show you how happy i am. a classic struggle of emotions intertwined, inevitable... who will admit first. who will as it's called "give in."

early life trauma had damaged both. asr had shut out "love" and latched on to money and power to negotiate life. everything had become a deal. khushi was more together in many ways, believing much in love and all the good/wholesome things of life, having given herself the support of a belief, that her parents rested in those stars up there and watched over her. and there was devi maiyya as her constant companion and "mother". yet, this man rattled her composure like none other. he made her feel different. he didn't accept her at face value. he questioned her basic goodness. he got under her skin. he became her rajkumar.

hard to explain, but there it was.

with asr perhaps, khushi for the first time entered the real mysteries of life.

and somewhere she started assuming she had a right over him that nothing in their relationship really gave her. interestingly, it was the same with him. he has a right to be terribly attracted to her, then terribly mean and hurtful, however only he can drive her home on diwali night and make sure she's safe while he's nastily telling her she means nothing to him. but how dare she then go and get engaged.

he's coming across as most confused and confusing. how come the shatir one is not seeing this himself.

but to get back to that thing that was intriguing me... look at her. after asr shimmies off, satisfied with his lethal move, la is in a mess, "asr ko aisa kya ho gaya, itna gussa?" what's happened to asr, so much anger?

di assures her that she would speak to chhotey. but khushi takes matters in her own hands. she knew he was mad at her, but what makes her think that she can persuade him to change his mind? in fact, even di isn't waited for... she rushes off to talk to him.

a sense of right... intimacy... perhaps even, power. and soon enough an argument that had the sound and feel of a husband wife fight.

"arnav ji..." he pauses then walks off... she chases him out to the pool, he picks up a  file pretending to be busy or maybe he is.

"aap aisa kyun kar rahe hain?" why are you doing this?

"main kuch bhi karoon, mujhe tumhe jawaab dene ki koi zaroorat nahin hai." i may do whatever i wish, don't have to explain to you. in your face, angry and definitely looking to engage in battle.

"par aap itni jaldi kyun...?" but why are you rushing...?

"tum hoti kaun ho mere life ke decision mein interfere karne wali..." who are you to interfere in the decisions of my life? just the kind of thing we say to those who are important enough to us. much later he'd ask her to claim her right, her "huq" over him, wasn't this also in a way a plea for the same... almost? he goaded her... what if she'd said, i'm the one to whom you matter, what would have happened to all that fight and fury in arnav singh raizada then?

"aap samajhte kya hain apne aap ko... aap ke saamne dar ke maare koi mooh nahin kholta iska matlab yeh nahin ki..." who do you think you are, she parried with equal rage, just because no one opens their mouth in front of you... she stops... she knows she's gone too far.

there's that intimacy here... who are you... who do you think you are... an entering into each other's personal space... not what polite acquaintances do... this is close personal private circle stuff.

a certain sexual undertone since "yeh kya kar rahi ho tum," in a husky torn voice. he is cut too deep. he's not really in his senses. hitting out at his tormentor; she who thinks she is the tormented one. again a classic bind of two people in a tight embrace of feelings... not neat understood clear sweet feelings, but convulsed, tumultuous, almost threatening, confusing, hardly understood ones... all of which compel and pull like a magnet.

"chumbak" is magnet in hindi, "chumban" is kiss... i think not by chance.

when anjali ji and nani ji have consulted the priest and fixed your eng- she stops short again. why? can't she say "your engagement?" he is looking at her, eyes slightly narrow... studying her expressions around that word she didn't say.

the duel continues.

if la hasn't send you... "toh kyun ayee ho"... why have you come? i won't listen to her, nor you... "so just get lost."

"nahi get lost." a sparkling khush retort. "aapko sunni padegi... yeh aap ki sagai hai... koi khel nahin..." this is your engagement, not a game.

"tum mujhe samjhaogi.. tum pehle apni engagement toh sambhal lo..." you'll make me understand? first manage your own engagement...

alas... no one is "sambhalo"ing anything, both are falling apart.

"hum apni nahin... aapki sagai ki baat kar rahi hoon," not mine, i am speaking of your engagement, says khushi, trying to bring him to topic and get him to see reason. quite unaware how very vulnerable she's made herself with that one assertion, how exposed and without chain mail she is now.

the warrior moves with lightning speed. he senses victory. "exactly," burn in his voice at the edges, "sagai meri hai... khushi, meri sagai ho ya na ho... kal ho ya ek saal baad ho..." he's walked closer to her, his voice is level, his eyes look deep into hers, a confrontation, he seeks an answer and in that is her defeat... rabba vey under his clear, questioning words... "tumhe usse se kya faraq padta hai..."

kya faraq padta hai.

what makes a difference, what doesn't. who makes a difference. who doesn't.

exactly... the engagement is mine... khushi, whether it happens or not... happens tomorrow or a year later... what difference does it make to you? an echo in his voice, a hollowing out, not put there by a machine, just by a breath releasing a feeling...

arnav singh raizada ko kissi ladki se koi faraq nahin padta, he'd asserted in a torrent after seeing her in red, holding her in the rain, feeling things he'd sworn he'd never feel.

yet her, "aapko usse kya faraq padta hai?" had blown a hole in his carefully constructed fort faraq nahin padta, and he'd lashed right back, "mujhe kya faraq padta... mujhe faraq padta hai dammit kyunki... ?" showing his extreme vulnerability, his need, his despair.

now it was payback time. she'd ripped off his ramparts, he wasn't letting her get away with it.

what difference does it make to you... a dance around each other has started... sensuous, sinuous,  ferocious, a sexual dance that seeks a culmination... in an admission, a surrender, a submission.

tell me, say his every word, look, move, shard of gussa, tell me i make a difference... baat aapki hai iss liye faraq padta hai... she answers him months later...maybe that's why it hurts him so much to go away, far from her... to her, he always made a difference... just that she didn't know how to place it before him... he was someone else's and he had told her she meant nothing to him.

a gust of wind, that storm since 124 sweeping in, it will make her say all the wrong things.

he looks at her intently, a slight swallow, the wind plays on, he tilts his head ever so slightly to catch her expression, enquiring.

in a confused disturbed voice she avers, "aap ki sagai ho ya na ho, hume kyun faraq padega?" whether you get engaged or not, why should it make a difference to me?

the wind was keening as though running sadly over barren moors...

and she gathers her strength, all her yearnings, into a tight slam of indifference..."suna aapne, humne kya kaha... hume koi faraq nahin padta," did you hear what i said... it makes no difference to me whatsoever. this time the echo came from a machine, it sounded distorted to him just as her "hum bahut khush hain" had sounded.

he just held her gaze and let his longings seethe. rabba vey, wasn't that its most melancholic note ever.

his gussa made his nostrils flare, he grabbed her hand and dragged her after him as he went to make his next announcement...

has television ever seen such layered sequences before? that hint at things gone by, things to come, things seen and unseen? so much in every scene, every look, breath, word? i have never hung on to every move and sound of a serial like this ever before. not likely to happen again. rabba vey.


first thoughts on 246

honestly, words fail.

i watched 246. almost had heart attack. how terribly well designed was that nonsensical suicide scene... how they contrasted his panicky serious thing with her chaotic goofiness... both though coming from the same emotion. and as time passed it grew denser and denser... so damn much feeling for another person, yet no way to resolve it. extraordinary acting.

i have told myself not to even try to attempt to write everything, because that will never get done. and really, most of it, i can't find words for.

what can become complete melodrama they get so well. the chaos within both are in tune with.

i think "airport" was barun's last day of full time shoot at ipk before he left. but for some reason since the terrace in 246, almost all shots where khushi is facing camera and it's from asr's back... it is his double, with that different ear.

even in dhaga, so many shots from the back, i try not to think of it, just look at sanaya. 


because you don't 
have a character episodes
episode rambles

episode 247 because you don't have a character

fights relieve me. they are real. they get rid of masks. as much survival technique as anything else. a human, a tiny being in a humongous world, a human's bid to hold on, not give territory, prevail. 

a fight between true lovers is thrilling. it takes to a peak need, love, hunger, despair, desire, just about any emotion you associate with lovers and that thing they have. not too many actors can give so much of themselves and go all the way to a bridge on a desolate not too pretty road. barun sobti and sanaya irani were just plain spectacular. it was a man woman fight, a husband wife battle, a lovers' earth shattering tiff and a leap by mere mortals to claim their life back from what felt like death.

while thinking and getting into that vicious fight between asr and khushi, i was reminded of an interesting conversation i had with my nephew recently about rugby. a pretty violent game, he is suddenly very keen on it, and he had said something to me about what his coach told them about the emotions of this aggressive game. wrote to him just now and got him to quote the coach's words.

"through every emotion you can get out happiness."

"so even when you are angry after you hit, eventually you turn out to be happy."

one should check to see if one of the writers had a thing for rugby... what a superb understanding of this conflict between two who only want to make love to each other and be happy. nothing else. 

something utterly raw about the whole thing, almost like unrehearsed fights between two adults who care like hell... there's aggression, demand, mad anger, crazy hurt, wrecking desire, and no real sweet script. goes here there everywhere... to horror and accusation and then again to the most vulnerable plea... am i not important to you? the opponent finds exactly that moment not to hear what's being said and retorts, hah, so you want an explanation is it! her way of saying perhaps, what about me... don't i mean a thing to you...

"khushi," a little pause, "mujhe explain karna zaroori nahin samjha?" didn't think it was necessary to me?

it's me, me... his eyes seemed to say, his face had lost all aggression, just his need, his fond hope that he was important to her. she had that power over him always.

seeing that gentleness, she reacted so terribly normally... with anger. 

"achha toh aapko safai chahiye ki humara bartav aise kaise hai? jaise kuch hua hi nahin hai? aapko himmat kaise hui humse yeh poochhne ki..." oh so you want an explanation as to why i am behaving like this... as though nothing has happened? how dare you...

she always fought back, didn't she. and that's why perhaps he looked at her differently. from day one, she never held back, never minced her words... in fact, when he was nasty to his girl friend the way she would rave at him. and there fights always went all over the place, never quite moving along a straight line... always unfathomably real.

she had gone to give it to him by the poolside once, episode 127, and tell him why exactly people keep quiet around him, that his gussa, his aggression hurts people... he had listened to her and then thrown her completely off kilter asking her, why? why did it make a difference to her when he got engaged, what difference did it make to her? she had been completely thrown by that as he had been by the fact that she was engaged... but she had said, it made no difference whatsoever. 

anger and friction from day one, "aap kya bakwas kar rahe hain" she said to him then, to his, "tum jaisi ladkiyon ka kya, ek jayga, doosra phassa logi," today again that "phassana," trapping, accusation comes full circle... self fulfilling prophecy like, the words of that first day seemed to turn out to be true... she had trapped a "shadi shuda" married man he told her. she had done a "phassana." like shyam is this innocent who got nabbed by a scheming home wrecking khushi... girls like her are all out to ruin guys... an old old pain always messes up his judgment, makes him say terrible things.

and he hasn't held back at all today, let all his anger, his terrible sense of betrayal pour out. how could you?!!! he has raved on the terrace after that ridiculous situation where he almost lost her forever. his anger is at an unimaginable high now. relief mixing with pent up anger and frustration of a month and more, perhaps an ancient anger mixes with it too, wanting expression, expunging even.

he has held her to him, he has pushed her off vehemently.

he has called her characterless. he knows everything, he has said. 

"jaanta hoon ki tumhara aur shyam ka affair chal raha hai..." i know you and shyam have an affair on. very colloquial hindi, kinda nice and angry.

that is why he has married her. to save his di, her baby... he can do anything for his di, even marry a wretch like her... 

"in fact, you know something, itne mahino se main yeh soch raha hoon ki tum iss had tak kaise gir sakti ho... tumhe dekhkar hi mujhe..." okay it's not so many months, it's so many days... but he has been wondering how she could have fallen this low.
then he says, i should have known the moment i saw you... is he talking about the first time they met?  is he in his crazy anger admitting that was the day she had started making a difference? oh that beautiful flashback from yesterday of the first very first time he saw her and she fell into his arms, just as she is about to jump off the ledge and he has no clue if he will succeed in saving her.

everything goes haywire. he can't take it, he walks off, the angriest stare at her walking away all the while... contact he can't seem to break.

she is left stricken, speechless. smited. at last she knows. knows why he married her.

because she is a lowdown s**t. so he believes. how will khushi deal with this. any accusation on earth she might have handled... but this? and how hard she believes she has tried to protect him and his family from this painful truth... his sister's husband is not faithful.

the writer opts for a response quite typical of certain personality types, especially when the situation is colossally painful.

khushi collapses on the ground, alone, bereft, shocked, horrified, then she decides to shut up and go almost into denial... 

if the man you loved the most in the whole wide world thought you were a harlot and said that is why he married you... where would you be, how would you defend yourself against that scrum of accusations most vitriolic and gargantuan when you haven't even taken your position? you are still thinking it's all about some left over feelings for an ex girlfriend or something and getting all emotional about how you would have walked away had you known. 

when all along, it's something else. you are the one with a boyfriend. having an an illicit love affair. you are the one people need to save their helpless innocent sisters from. and he can do anything for his di. even marry you.

"tum jaisi ladki se shadi bhi kar sakta hoon" finger jabs down, "aur wohi maine kiya..." 

khushi does what khushi can. what people who are suddenly thrown such a big one often do... a sadness deep mixes with a denial bordering on hysteria. as a reaction, one can't argue with it... people react in different ways... but i felt the acting fell short. especially since the other one had taken it to a high most dizzying.

and now having said what has riven him this past month and hurting the one for whom he gives such faraq, he is trying to find solid ground again. and failing. a beautiful few minutes on a verandah with a silent man and his memories, body taut, face eloquent and thoughts that "lie too deep for tears." he hates to see her unhappy, when she says aisa kyun hota hai his heart aches, but she is saying to a man that he must leave di... khushi!!! you can feel that ache.

then khushi comes in with her happy chirpy talk.

he is flummoxed for a second, but then it only stokes his anger, did his opponent know that would be the result of her reaction? maybe her subconscious did. this is the classic "nothing" when a woman means everything is the matter i think. but in its most hysterical form... and in fact all it does is goad. 

fights are unpredictable in their twists and turns.

and so a lithe angry man must slam on the brakes and stop the car on the middle of a bridge, swing out burning with anger... walk across, pick up a framed picture and smash it on the road. break break break.

break, break, break,
on thy cold grey stones, o sea! 
and i would that my tongue could utter
the thoughts that arise in me!
~~~ alfred, lord tennyson ~~~

then he must drag her out of the car and push, badger, rave, ask for answers... how how could she do it.

and if she keeps quiet, where's her jugular... aah in the stars, go for it... go on, speak of her parents... respond to me, dammit.

how could you hurt me so much and keep quiet.


stray thought... when othello found out about desdemona or so he thought... he killed her, tom jones has told us what happened to my my my delilah when she was unfaithful. when men find out their lovers or those they love madly may have a sexual liaison on with another man, something goes crazy... there is often killing involved... and it is understood as a crime of passion. asr had to do something huge that night as reaction... he forced her to become his, he married her, he couldn't throw her away... maybe because he knew the other option would be what... this is not a man of small feelings... nothing that night would have led to a nice meaningful chat over coffee and masala tea. because not only were a man's arms around his woman, she was screaming and telling the man to get rid of his wife... confirming she, khushi kumari gupta, was party to this whole despicable unbearable thing. as a kid, my cousin and i would often get into arguments and he he most often i beat him, once he was so angry, he hopped up and down and threatened me, if i don't behave, he'd marry me and take me to my sasural, show me his power. i think this dragging women off to tribal enclosures and showing them who's the boss may be an ancient cave man, male thing... well whatever it is, with those feelings, nothing could have been rational that night... thank g the writer chose this option... and most touchingly after that, no sexual assault, none.

coming back to the bridge over turbulence.

"that's enough... enough!!!!"

what do you think, i am going to forget everything so easily... don't pretend you don't know what i am talking about...

why is he doing this i wonder. does he want confirmation or negation...

i think a part of him wants to hear it is not true. and another can't take it that she seems unscathed while he is dying like this...

at last khushi starts to thaw a bit.

"actually, tumhe toh koi faraq hi nahin padta..." actually, it makes no difference to you, "shayad issiliye mujhe explain karna zaroori nahin samjha..." perhaps that's why you didn't think it was necessary to explain anything. how badly he needs her to say, heck he does matter... baat aapki hai, she will say soon. in all his rant what's getting lost is, baat tumhari hai, khushi... that's why he can't think sanely.

a sad empty voice... "shayad kuch kahne ko tha hi nahin..." perhaps there was nothing to say.

and anger returning, "aur hoga bhi kaise, kyun ki tum achhi tarah jaanti ho, ki tum galat ho.." how would you say anything, you know you are wrong. the woman he loves is galat. the man who so wanted to be sahi, loves the galat girl... irony of life, never fails to wham you.

he is relentless... you are great at hiding your mistakes, it's sad that your and my family love you so much... "kyunki tum unke pyaar ko deserve nahin karti..." because you don't deserve that love...  he doesn't know it's his love for her he speaks of, of course.

he can't stop, he goes no... he needs a response... crosses the line... 

"achha hai ki tumhare mom aur dad aaj yeh din dekhne ke liye zinda nahin hai..." very asr trait this line crossing with her...

not a word, not ek shabd about my amma babu ji, khushi opens her mouth at last.

he seems to relax a bit... at last she speaks, and he doesn't mean to back off. he needs a face off, a battle with her... all that has been pent up in him this month and more... it needs to work itself out ... a right royal fight with her is needed. i love this humanness of asr, earthy, real, flawed. it is hard to be a mortal really.


nasty nasty tone.

push her... what have i said wrong... you say your parents have become stars, so how do you meet their eyes.


yes, he is drawing blood...

not a word about my parents.

he watches her intently. he is looking for something... constantly at her he looks again and again ever since that terrace.

as though his life depended on it.

silence... she sees her raised finger.. he just waits.. waits for her to say something... he is perplexed by everything.

she tries to take back calm again.

humey ghar jaana chahiye... we should go home.

but no way... we are not leaving this place till i have answers to my questions. so he has sawal and wants jawaab...

he always gets physical when angered... hauls her to another part of the road and faces her... he wants answers... what answers.

they will not leave, till he knows how come despite getting such a good upbringing, she could go so low.

in the middle of rising chaos, he did break out into that beseeching almost "mujhe explain karna zaroori nahin samjha" like he just needed her to say, it's all nothing, just a lie... but then things again went haywire as it must.

his anger returned. and she raved. why did you not ask for this clarification that night when you forced me to marry you and that too for six months...

something from 127, there were bits of this bridge even there, even perhaps in episode 2. and many places along the way.

"each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't light them all by ourselves."~~~ laura esquivel, like water for chocolate ~~~

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

on a verandah quietly

sometimes i forget to phangurrl even, so intense and powerful is the portrayal. not a word is spoken by him in this sequence. a few well chosen flashbacks to speak of the fight to the death of two separate claims on him, one of his heart, the other of his brain. i look at this part of 247 with a certain rapt attention every time. just a man's anguish. he has accused his wife of something that is killing him as well, while she breaks to pieces elsewhere. a thick insurmountable emotion, gripping a man who refuses to be held down. so much is told just by an untrained actor's expressions... i have watched enough expressions in my life to know which one is getting to me and sweetening something inside me. or not. very rarely does this happen. there are two shots there where everything looks identical, but something in the eyes has changed. i would some day like to know how this actor's mind works. how he gets in so deep, to the true place within, where just that is there... and if he tells me he just does it, just like that, i would choose not to believe him. i am grateful to the directors who understood the innate strengths of their actor. whoever decided to tell him to express this feeling... i have a feeling they did not have to tell him, exactly how. 247 had many lovely things. this is perhaps my favourite. also in the sbs segment kate has posted (no longer on the net sadly), his many bungled takes and finally the one where he gets all three sentences right and advances angrily toward her, the voice, the inflection, the body language... even better than what you see in the episode. so it's not all dubbed i think, and feel a thrill difficult to explain. pity, i couldn't cap the hand hitting the railing hard... and even in slomo moving with a thrilling energy.


because you don't 
have a character episodes
episode rambles

Monday, 26 December 2016

saansey at 45

a shot that knocks the breath out of me. every time.

saw dangal last night. aamir khan said he had found sakshi tanwar thanks to his mother, who watches hindi serials and likes her a lot. i hope some day he hears of barun in some such convoluted way.

that rare unbelievable chemistry.