Monday, 19 December 2016

episode 379 don't go away

suddenly karwa chauth was upon us. as if brought out of nowhere, quickly pushing aside the issue of aarav's escapade and moving onto the next. i felt the abruptness of it, and i wondered why this change.

it was a mahaepisode. a lot of time was spent on establishing how khushi can't do without food. along with the ever colourful mami ji, who always manages to exaggerate things to a point of hysteria... she and khushi, the two raizada bahus who can't fast but will, because they think they ought to. 

one's husband has disappeared from the scene. the other's swami is not at all keen that his biwi do karwa chauth. he doesn't believe in such things, he says. 

again i wonder why he is so adamant. he has no problems with others doing what they believe they should, just that he has his own way of looking at things. his di is forever fasting. if his wife wants to observe karwa chauth, why is he so against it? is it because he is genuinely worried about her not eating and then passing out? or is he not keen on it because the fast is for him and he doesn't like to see her suffer on his account? or is it something else?

then he challenged her. i was surprised.

in the meantime, khushi is horribly worried about sheetal ji observing the fast.

of course, she is also eating like a maniac, at 8pm she says there's hardly any time left before she has to stop eating at 12 midnight. but she really doesn't, not that i know of 12 midnight being a cut off in a hindu fast.

it was only after asr had finished getting after his wife pretending to eat all sorts of delicious things, that i finally realised why karwa chauth at all.

okay, i can't say i realised. just that i felt a chill in my heart. 

"sabki apni zindagi hai. kitna jeena hai... kab marna hai... yeh vrat rakhke thodi change kar sakte hain?" 

when di asked him after the charade was over, why exactly they were pulling khushi's leg so much, he said after a bit... everyone has their own life. how much one will live... when one will die... can one change this by observing fasts? 

i can still feel the shock i felt the first time i heard these words.

why is he talking about death?
are they planning to kill him? is he going to die? 

my thoughts raced crazily around. these were extremely turbulent days at ipk. every day we'd here something new. show they were saying would end soon. the rumours regarding asr's death i don't think had started floating yet.

but now when i look at it. yes, last minute, sheetal track was changed. perhaps they understood how much everyone disliked sheetal and making aarav asr's son would not work at all.

even if asr lived. portrayed by another actor once barun left.

i get the feeling that's why the decision was taken that he had to die.


and in extreme ipk style, the thought of asr's impending demise was seeded in the episode where his wife would pray and fast for only one thing.

his long life.  

after hearing that sentence, i really couldn't concentrate on the episode. though i laughed at the mami khushi antics. and went to heaven along with khushi on the pakode scene. love making in the kitchen, something sensuous about it always. and something ipk... at so many points in their story, we have seen him here... the first time i think in 64, when he found her their and lost it. di! di! get ooouuut. and that quiet walk away of hers from him. who can forget.

and then when i least expected it, he stood there at the poolside, wearing a shalwar? was it like a pathan suit? whatever it was, he looked a little different but terrific anyway... an intensity in him.

and she appeared in red.

there was a lightness in the air, mirth... just for a few moments. as the food appeared and disappeared and the extreme eater went a little more nuts. then he said something about making her feel better.  

she said something which made him realise why she was doing this at all.. even if it was hard.

"hum mantey hain ki yeh vrat rakhne se woh hamesha aur lamba ho jaayga..." i believe if i keep this fast, our forever will get even longer.

a simple khushi like sentiment, said in her sort of words. he had to relent. he had to understand. even if he didn't believe. i though that is so essential if two people are to live together even if they have different thoughts on key issues... it's always hard work.. but one can get there... slowly... you need a longer hamesha perhaps. 


another ipk essential had been evoked.
and when she demanded a moon from him... he gave it to her.

albeit it was borrowed from a film, that scene, but barun sobti and sanaya irani wove it flawlessly into the tale of arnav singh raizada and khushi kumari gupta.

a melody came in just like that as it had on another evening... and another. a man and a girl in red.

memories came to the poolside and a melancholy with it. but so did magic. of a different kind, its language and spell new. a frown took your breath away, a smile took you on a voyage.

this time the song didn't say rabba vey, it didn't whisper jadoo hai nasha hai... it implored instead,

ab na jaa.

don't go away... 

beautiful song, but who was going away? was someone going away?

and barun sobti and sanaya irani took the poolside to such a staggeringly intimate place, i couldn't breathe. the nature of attraction had undergone change, deepened, grown older. a terribly adult man and his lover who knows how essential she is to him. who sees his need, his arousal, and returns it with her own... her expressions say so many things.

i stare at them wondering where they get that range of expressions from. how mature and sensual today the two, a place where love and its physical play intertwine, become inseparable. i remember a girl in red in an office and a man in a suit who couldn't stop himself... he had to walk to her.

was that the beginning? the seed of an attraction sown, an attraction that would become what no one knew? not understood, not rationalised. just there. elemental. you have to walk toward her. she has to stand transfixed.

then that night of diwali. again she in red.. by this poolside here... and the attraction raging. still not understood but utterly compelling... you forget you're a man with a girl friend, she forgets it too...  your eyes lose focus as you go nearer, her lips tremble... a hand clutches a saree. the lights glimmer.

the next level of an unnamed feeling overtaking all. 

and now here. feelings acknowledged, emotions named, attraction embedded and growing mature, sure. experience heightening the murmur within, the exploration without.

his longing no longer needing to be kept in check. her desire neither.

as the song moved, so did the two of them, in a dance of lovers. who felt the red in its deepest hue... i noticed how from a simple red saree, and the nubile, innocent look, diwali got a little more complex, older somehow, more out of control, and now the darker rich red, but the jewellery white like that very first time, only more grown up... a girl who is now a woman... pleased to allure her man. no longer apprehensive... though still a little shy, perhaps of her own reaction, her own need. who knows.

but there they swayed, hands reached, held, drew against the body, faces came closer, played, things were said though not uttered, bodies flowed toward each other, ab na jaa... don't go now.

a fabulous adultness to the language, the movement. a feeling so intimate, i actually wondered if i should put a signature on it and interfere. the space somehow sacred. only for asr and khushi.

ab na jaa.

flt as if the directors wanted to craft perfection. take us to a high like perhaps never before. i must thank all those who were involved with this scene. even the spot boys. there is a pure high here that is entrancing.

and it's in the middle of episodes that are really the downhill episodes of ipk.

a magnificent togetherness. 

yet when he said,
"khushi, yeh vrat se itna kuchh ho sakta hai kya?" khushi, can a fast make all this happen?... he the man of dimaag, of reason, while i had to smile at his question, i felt the chill again.

he averred he would always be there as she tripped and he caught her. as he had that first time she had come to see him in his house, just before he banished her to the guest house. where she might have died.

bookends. my mind said, bookends. a culmination here of all that is most viscerally asr khushi. a man walking toward a girl, a girl in red, a trip and a catch, hamesha... and vishwas. here at the poolside, where else. there was even that sindoor falling like that day in bersarai... red again.

don't go, i couldn't help thinking, ab na jaa.

but a mahaepisode all of a sudden, a change of tale, and those words, i couldn't tell myself i was imagining things.

maybe that's why sanaya and barun took the karwa chauth poolside where they did. perhaps they knew... this would be the last dance. an end of hamesha.

i loved the switch to lightness and kidding around between them. beautiful direction. like real lovers. and when he said earlier, so should i keep a vrat, i had to guffaw. tricky issue, asr. don't go anywhere, stay right there, will you.


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