Saturday, 3 December 2016

episode 158 speak softly love

hush. speak softly. bua ji might wake up.

in dimmed light, among shadows and whispers, a clandestine air clung to the episode. at times stung by sheer nefariousness, at others touched by passion. and at least once, lit up by an unexpected spark in the heart, quickly snuffed by a lie.

the entire episode felt like a prelude in many ways. a build up to something big, the bated breath of the last evening of the year in it. what did the coming year hold? what was to happen at 12 midnight...



shyam swayed with his wife by the pool. a deadly wire waiting to spell death. she so trusting, so gullible. he peculiarly devoid of any conscience. all set to kill her merely because she comes in the way of him grabbing his latest fancy. khushi ji.

she would have gone too, if an elder hadn't stepped out at the right moment. mama ji.

"bhagwan ke sukar hai hum aa gaye sahi waqt pe..." thank g, i came out here at the right time, said mama ji in his customary quiet yet astute way. there was a sharpness in him, an ability to love, and perhaps a man who was romantic in his own way, seeking a more lusty mate than the upper middle class women of his generation.



sahi waqt. right time. why did i get the feeling, this was a little peek into the future. story would bring us to a point where mama ji would arrive at a timely hour again, to reveal the truth of shyam. remember him and shyam at that key makers'? what happened to all those hints that were dropped? all vanished, along with this understated actor with an endearing hold on tongue in cheek humour.

in a darkened living room at khushi's place, mama ji's son, like his father a romantic at heart, has come to woo his lady love. amol palekar in the mid seventies comes to mind. the classic portrayal of the middle class everyman with a gentle tender quiet lover in him. his view of romance a little different from the matinee idol's with spark, storm and thunder. no no, here a shimmery caressing sort of breeze of feelings... wafting, lilting, and seeking sweet affirmation.

but tonight akash, when thwarted by his cautious payal ji, showed the thrill of passion. in just one unexpectedly grabbed and held hand.



payal is confused... and excited... and scared.. not used to midnight trysts clearly. akash has planned a surprise for her, gallantly he holds out his hand... will you come with me... she is of course demurring. they sit at the gupta house dining table, pickle jar in front (365 days a year the jar sits there... when does the pickle ever get ready?).

akash reasons with her, everyone's sleeping, khushi is visiting neighbours, he is proposing a something close by. please come.

payal jumps to her feet and requests him to leave.

as she hurries off, he catches hold of her hand to stop her. and something ignites. not akash ji and payal ji for this moment. they were just akash and payal and an "i want you" unspoken between them.

akash had something smouldering in him too as did payal. within the essential calmer, quieter make up of their personalities, there was the possibility of passion. one that could have been used well in the story. we crib about the destruction of the tale, but i wonder is it possible to stay true to what you try to create if every week it has to be assessed for marketability and you are badgered to change things around, somehow fit that moment's "brief"? i have heard ved raj say that they had no idea payal and akash would become a couple when they started out but somehow these two seemed to come together well, so a track was created. might have been successful too. but the frenzy for trp, the silliness of thinking just showing lots of asr khushi with no real base/story coming along would solve all problems... not accepting the ebb and flow of everything, even trp... just finished it all off.

i can't cook a thing straight if too many dos and don'ts are stipulated... write a beautiful story? not possible i think.

in their moment too, a prelude... to what is still far away in the future. between asr and khushi, this exact gesture will be repeated with them. at least twice. akash and payal were often like mirrors in another timeline.
"shikayat toh nahin karna chahta, par aaj main parde ke pechhe chhupa, table ke neechhe bhi..." don't want to complain, but here's all that i suffered today for you...  so cute akash is doing a gentle blackmail to get her to agree.

just when he thought he'd lost, she said she would, "it's very cold outside..." yes, it's delhi, payal... "hum shawl lekar aate hain..." i'll get a shawl.

her gallant offered her his jacket, pleading with her to hurry up, before anyone woke up and came into the room and discovered him... one threat of that having just been averted, and in the bargain much suffered.

he  is about to get up and leave. but he is stuck to the chair.

so started a round of comedy with the lover stuck to a chair, though mysteriously at one point a sheet appeared, it covered the back of the chair, and found its way to the space between the stuck posterior and the cushion. nothing, as they say, is impossible.

a great struggle to free the midnight lover boy ensued. bua ji woke up. quilts were thrown to cover the truth. bua ji almost beat the boy to a pulp, but payal showed courage and brains and a presence of mine that saved her young man's life.

it was a riot.

and in it was another scene soon to come in a new avatar. a shot of mr akash singh raizada under the dusty musty quilt, a precursor to the angry mr raizada in a similar state but in a totally different frenzy.

finally payal convinces the stentorian aunt, that she would manage all, you just go to sleep in peace... "aap aram se so jaiye buaji... hum kar lenge." in a short while khushi will be saying the same thing to bua ji. the whole evening the two girls will try to get bua to sleep and get up to some ahem with the boys... hawww.

just like those bad bad girls they are not not not at all like. this is terribly cute. human nature i guess, when romance arrives, a little clandestine behaviour becomes de rigueur.

"khushi agar hoti..." if khushi were here...  payal needs khushi to solve problems... but she doesn't have her phone with her.

"payal ji payal ji payal ji, mujhe chhorkar mat jaiye... bua ji phir wapas aa gayi toh" akash exhorts payal not to leave the room, in case bua ji arrives again... akash, chill baby. poor man in such a state... akshay almost convinced me that he was indeed glued to the chair.

"m... m...mein bhai ko phone lagata hoon..." khushi is payal's and asr is akash's problem solver...

bhai is at laptop, looking grim... and sort of ddg. i need to pause and gape.



"hello...bhai..." whispers akash. shush, bua ji will come... she the gabbar singh of this sholay night. two men, two women and a formidable villain. khushi will definitely go basanti later something tells me.

"hello, akash, tum itna dheere kyun bol rahe ho?" akash, why are you talking so softly! ah the frisson of impatience in the voice already.

he is stuck, wails akash. yeah, asr is not surprised, bro had gone there to get embroiled in things romantic.

"bhai bhai... main waisa nahin phansa hua nahin hoon, main chair pe phansa hua hoon... bahut boori tarah se." no, bhai, i am not stuck in that, i'm glued to a chair... badly.

aaah so... but someone else will be "waise phansa hua" soon. stuck like that...

a major explanation is furnished by akash... silent film style only on music. then "what!" an expletive splits the night.

followed by "that's ridiculous. now what!"

if you'd come... akash pleads.

"main nahin aa raha akash, tum uss khushi kumari gupta se help le lo... waise bhi usske paas bahut saare stupid ideas hotey hain..."

i'm not coming, akash, you take help from that kkg, she has many stupid ideas.

khushi is not here.

akash is visualising the new year morning with him glued to the chair, babu ji walking in. is stuck/glued another soon to come theme?

"yeah ok...main aata hoon." bhai can't take it, he capitulates.

bhai! bhai!... meri ek pant la aana... please, please get me a pair of pants, akash requests his impatient bro.

an exasperated look...

and we have nk doing his quilt act. once satisfied with his camouflage, "khushi ji... main aa raha hoon," he declares to flamenco beat in bg.  khushi ji, i'm coming.

somebody else is also coming to not see uss khushi k g.



when he arrives at gh and realises she's not here... "thank god, yahan pe nahin hai..." thank g, she's not here. so he has given that 12 o'clock thing credence. and why that forlorn look as if uh huh, he almost wishes she were around.

akash: haanh?

asr looks back startled and immediately guards his expression... "er, nothing. let's, er, get your problem fixed."

sabse pehle sabse simple cheez try karte hain. let's try the simplest thing first.

simple?

akash is rather good as the uncertain ditherer.

tense moments...

"payal ji, yeh glue lagta hai bahut achhi quality ki bani hai..." payal, looks like this glue is of very good quality, akash battles frustration in his way. wonder what would have happened if bhai were stuck instead. poor chair, would certainly not have survived.

he's of course, carrying some glue dissolver or whatever they are called. payal is sent away by the boys as the operation glue bye bye takes off.

memories of eighth standard summer holidays visit, akash recalls glue on his bed and being stranded there the whole day.



"why are you telling me... i didn't do it," says bhai. but what's that look?

liar.

thank g she ain't here.

liar.

i hate you.

liar liar.



he is not carrying trousers for akash, so bounds into khushi's room to ask payal to get some pants for her fiance, and bangs against the chair.

soon a fashion statement by lover boy akash. dapper in pa in law to be's big bad pants. (um, doesn't shashi ji always wear pyjamas though? hmmm, socheka padi.)

"bhai, kaisa lag raha hai." how am i looking, asks the desperate akash. what a hot date, in these sexy clothes. poor boy.

"bahut achhe lag rahe ho..." you're looking great, snaps back the un-simpatico bro... as in stop asking stupid question, get on with doing what you came here to do.

payal says sweetly, "haan achcha hi lag raha hai." yeah, it's looking good. takes up for the underdog always, this young woman.

hotwa stands in the night waiting.



lovers retire to nearby huddle. darwaza bhi nahin lock karna padega... the door won't have to be locked. niiice touch.

he is about to leave... when... oops no phone... and where could it be... inside... goes in after a lovely bit of considering things.

i enjoyed the entire setting up of asr reaching khushi's room at the right time.. sahi waqt was key to this episode, wasn't it? every detail was taken care of to transit asr to kkg's domain, for a little hamesha making. well written, light and crazy yet focused.

in walks madam jalebi and cracks standard see you next year joke on her way into her home... she will have such a good time with jiji...

lariya bhi toh jalane hai... kuchh achha bhi toh mangna hai. got to light crackers, and ask for something good.

well something gorgeous is standing in your room. did you ask for it?






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