Sunday, 31 December 2017

the boss and the nutcase

gahahhah, khushi and her food love. sanaya never let her get cheesy, i dislike cutesie girls, but i couldn't get mad at khushi. there was an innocence and a fire in her; and that appetite. even for swearing and cursing: the man got called many names today: teen naam wala rakshas (the monster with three names), laad governor, kadva karela (bitter bitter gourd), she was too cute when she referred to her nasty boss, that "sir".

episode 25 atishoo

teen naam wala rakshas in the meanwhile, seemed absolutely desperate for her "bakwaas"... said with a nasty snarl, of course. and if you're watching 25, do not under any circumstances miss the glissading, glancing, truly mean look on kadva karela's face when he glowers her into a state of confusion, and she tells nani ji, she'd better leave, she won't have breakfast. oh, the joy of victory, esp while looking lethal in brown.



Saturday, 30 December 2017

episode 25 atishoo

atishoo atishoo we all fall down.
caught between two sneezes, episode 25. and a design that moved from light to passion again. perhaps after the last two episodes that had made breathing difficult, it had been decided to give the viewers a respite. because after that, wham, it was mahaepisode time.

this week it became clear that there was an attack on the dimaag man's dil. and try as he might he couldn't slam the gates shut. the enemy had crossed the drawbridge and stood there, one mojri in. yet the valiant asr tried. poor arnav singh raizada. reminded me strangely of poor professor higgins. bit of eliza in nutty and innocent ms kkg certainly, and a bit of higgins's crusty matter of factness in asr.

at the first sneeze, khushi managed to make a mess of lighting the candle on payal's cake, shyam offered his kind help, ugh. and everything went gentle, sweet, lilting then on, bua ji's pointed remarks the only riff of nastiness, a perfect accent. between bua ji and mami ji they make sure the sweetness level never exceeds a certain limit, good for our health the two extreme aunts. but what's this bua ji, cake for nandkissore? hai re, aren't there eggs in it? must say, that cake was a nice touch, even the most desi homes somehow associate birthday with the phoren concept of cake.

on the other side seethed the man under siege, as he paced up and down haldi doodh in hand. a lovely desi touch to the angry young cosmopolitan man. he's looking for a way to make sure she doesn't get chain ki saans. he must get her out of his mind, his life, he must get her to resign. type me a million letters on rickety typewriter now and come and give it to me seven am tomorrow. as he makes his unreasonable demand, the mercury rises just a bit, then again back to calm and cool. and shyam leering at jhalli while she clickety clacks the night away, cursing the rakshas with three names every time she comes up for air.

rakshas in the meantime is in bed, first time i'm seeing him there and looking away is impossible. however, sleep eludes him. only thoughts of her. try as he might, no use, she's there. now turning around, innocent alluring beautiful in red. and now in the rain, shivering, soaked to the bone, trembling; he wants to protect her. toss, turn, and toss some more. poor asr. life just ain't fair.

morning brings bright and competent khushi in sunny yellow churidar kameez edged with gota, to rm. the humour level is up, khushi's expression upon making an unthinkable connection is a clear sign of it. laad governor is the brother of the ladylike anjali ji? what.

and even as the poor girl tries to come to terms with it, the next shock. what the... the man loves to garden. he's poring over his plants, so unlike the man she meets otherwise. she can't seem to process the information.

just at that moment, he turns and seeing her standing there, completely taken aback, he trips on the edge of the pool and falls. but she reaches out instinctively, as does he, and steadies him. no fall. just the perfect first poolside rabba vey.  both gripping the other's arm. this time she notices her hand holding him and lets go.

his eyes start to darken looking into her face, again that searching gaze. then the spell is broken. everything is lighter today though, even him. he's somehow less brusque and peremptory, but taciturn as ever. maybe it's an early morning state of mind, only when he's at home, and before the jacket comes on.

first rabba vey by her tears, the next under a sheet of rain, and now by the pool. water water everywhere. the ocean is never too far, is it.

somehow anjali is a crucial part of this meeting of the two at rm. she will have a major role in their lives no doubt. right now, he's surprised di knows this girl. and despite his insistence and her reluctance, di is not letting her go without having something to eat. it's one of those days and anjali will not give in.

so we come to the dining table and naniji's insistent but loving hospitality, khushi must sit here right next to her where chhotey usually sits. mami ji peppers the scene with her balancing rudenesss in chaste engleesiya. anjali is indulgent. then the man walks in. the jacket is on, and oh does brown work for him.

khushi sees the look and tenses up, now what's coming. 

things would have gone on in this vein if it hadn't been for the second sneeze. they both sneezed at the very same instant. a look at each other across the table. di said bless you to both. maybe they'd recover from the moment quickly.

then nani reminded them of the rain. did khushi get drenched last night like chhotey? the night before she had mentioned the diya, fire, and brought khushi right back to his mind. today she spoke of water, and in a second, heat rushed in. the scene grew dense, the music passionate, tempo rising.
they looked at each other. memories flashed.

in khushi's mind.

in asr's mind.

just the two of them. close, up against each other. he couldn't stop looking. and she kept on asking things unknown.

fan fiction

the unsaid, the unuttered, the moments are drenched in their downpour. two tv actors take you to attraction and leave you soaked, shivering slightly.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

she is leaving

she's walking away, she's done with him, he's angry, she's angry, it's over. resignation. it's sunday, i sit at my comp, watching, my toes feel things. she looks back, he crushes the letter in his fist. why is she feeling so bad. why is he not shouting.



Saturday, 28 October 2017

episode 33 the confrontation

at the heart of the greatest tales told there's always conflict. the crux around which the story breathes, acquires colour and grows. here too there was conflict from the word go. a visceral clash that was palpable almost; and as often such things are, hard to describe in words. why did they react with such vehement force toward each other from that first meeting in sheesh mahal? why did he snap her dori and the pearls scatter? that night she was truly at the receiving end of his wrath. an anger that was always laced with whispers from the past. he overstepped the mark. she was shocked and something else, again hard to describe. her rage flew at him and in her till then pristine heart came the first shards of an undeniable emotion that finally became love.

today she came to return the compliment and ended up being as unfair to him as he was to her that night. that night he hadn't listened to a word she had to say, suspecting her of the most terrible things. now she refused to let him speak, accusing him of pretty awful things. he had told her he knew girls like her well, and even spoken insultingly of her sister's marriage breaking. all she could do was plead. now she said to him that he was heinous enough to put her life at stake knowingly. and he said not one word.

about 10 minutes of conflict visible and invisible right in the middle of the episode. around it other themes developing plot. but in the middle the battle of dil and dimaag, and two contenders curiously equal. today khushi was consciously acting from her dimaag. in fact, right from that chat with lavanya and her hangers on, khushi displayed this other side of herself strikingly. she was a bit scared she had admitted, but then she'd calmed herself and perhaps switched on her "dimaag ki batti" to survive the battle royal. she knew her dil would be hopeless at this job, being as loving, as giving as she is, she'd find it hard to tell him all she'd made up her mind to. she'd told payal, if the rakshas wants a fight, i'm prepared for it.

he was in a funny state of mind, emotionally churned. di had just gone through a fainting spell and she was his "sab kuch," he'd been reminded of his parents and felt the familiar anger angst turmoil his memory always brought him, and back of his mind he was still worried about her. her thoughts practically stalked him (they could teach the forum stalkers a thing or two about lurking without permission, barging into all sorts of places and refusing to leave). how telling that thought filled little pause in front of khushi's desk, looking at dm, when he ought to be rushing to di. and of course, the beautiful "usska ek naam hai." she has a name. 

in the midst of this the telephone rings. khushi wants to meet him. a wondering but not unhappy or angry look. "khushi?" so comfortable with that name now. let her come. and so she arrives, armed with her letter and her darti hai par karti hai courage, ready to take on mr arnav singh raizada. as she walks in, there he is at the top of the stairs. on his face a shade of concern, a bit of some question, nothing else. her eyes widen, many feelings flow in her, but she walks ahead. the contenders approach each other, exactly as in a battle (nice direction, stirring music, and prolonging this only whets the appetite, gets us ready to watch the smashing duel). as they come face to face, both pause. khushi looks a little nervous, hand instinctively reaching to settle dupatta (nice touch), he waits. her eyes fall on the scar, so do his.

and in a second we are in dil land. he remembers her pushing him in the guest house, so furious, and him holding her back, then by mistake breaking her bangle, cutting her. strains of rabba vey stir the visual. an almost tender look on his face, she looks at his face, seems a little nonplussed, and she lowers her arm. wound out of sight.

"tum... theek ho?" are you... alright?

soft, empathetic query. he needs to know. "mujhe interest nahin hai" i have no interest is easy to say. khushi has never heard this tone of voice from him. and somehow it acts as perfect fuel for her fire. strange are our reactions when those who mean more to us than we know are concerned. instead of being mollified she's enraged. what did you ask? am i ok? after so much has happened only arnav singh raizada can say such a thing... she takes off. he opens his mouth to explain, but...

"nahin!aaj hum bolenge...toh jahan tak aapka sawal ka jawab hai... toh haan, mr arnav singh raizada, hum abhi theek hain...aur agle kuch hi minton mein hum aur bhi theek hone waale hain... kyonki humne yeh faisla kar liya... ki hum yeh naukri chhodenge."

today i will speak...
as for the answer to your question... then yes, mr arnav singh raizada, i am fine...
and in the next few minutes i shall be even better... because i have taken this decision.. that i am going to leave this job!
he looks stupefied almost at this declaration. she holds out her letter and he stands immobile just looking at it, almost a flash of pain in his eyes. then she continues, before you say i have lost... she counts out all the difficult tasks he'd set her and made her suffer through. he looks uncomfortable, perhaps even a bit remorseful about that... and speaking of the contract which she tried to live up to with sincerity and hard work, she ends:

"khushi kumari gupta ka naam aapke keemat se zyada maine rakhta hai."

khushi kumari gupta's name has more meaning than any price set by you.

she was trapped in the guest house for quite some time. gave her time to think, and all her thoughts led to the same conclusion, "ki bhad mein gaye aap aur bhad mein gaye aap ki naukri," to hell with you and to hell with your job. as her anger pours out, she throws caution to the wind and speaks of rights and responsibilities, and how he had abdicated the latter, therefore had lost the claim on the former. she then accuses him of sending her to a dangerous place knowing it might threaten her life. the tirade loops back elegantly to the opening gambit... after all this you say "tum theek ho?" yes i'm fine, not because of you, despite you. and don't think i have lost this bet, you have.

people who love me, would never send me to such a place and put me in harm's way. people who love me... neat dialogue, emotionally resonant, hits the viewer.

all the while he stands there silent, just looking at her, slight changes in expression in reaction to her words. at around the point she decides he knew she might die there, yet sent her, i thought i saw anger enter his eyes. if so, would be perfectly understandable.

he steps forward, she backward as though on cue. "bol diya?" had your say? he says, terse, clipped, efficient, maybe reining in his temper (why? because he understands her panic and really doesn't want to be nasty to her?) and sticks out his hand for the letter. the contenders are face to face, she spits out "bol diya!" and slaps the letter into his palm. boy, that felt like a real fight between lovers. just that bit. otherwise it was kkg asserting herself before the naturally authoritative and powerful asr.

yet surprisingly when after bidding nani ji farewell khushi turns there's this deep and uncertain look in her eyes. rabba vey fades in. they gaze into each other's eyes. a connection you feel you can touch.

dimaag had had its say. now it was dil's turn. all the while she walks away, there's an anguished look on her face, while he stands stock still watching her leave, away and a bit further away she goes, he can't look away. right at the door, she stops, and turns to look at him. pain on her countenance? he looks as though his whole world is going away. neither says a thing. he crushes the letter in his fist.

"don't ya love her madly, don't ya need her badly
don't ya love her ways, tell me what ya say,"

"don't ya love her madly, don't ya love her face  
don't ya love her madly as she's walkin' out the door"

                  ~~~ robbie krieger, the doors ~~~

 fantastic acting by barun and sanaya in this tense, erupting scene. a whole dialogue seemed to take place in parallel just through their looks at each other.

the smart and a bit naughty screen play has mami ji wondering if shyam has a woman in his life at the beginning of the episode only to be admonished by mama ji. and at the end, we see, shyam indeed all set to let another woman into his life. he will calm khushi down, he knows how, yuck.
before that a little teasing of bua ji. mami was always the hintiya giver in ipk. her "cantrobhersial" weather forecast is about to come true i bet.

anjali moves into the asr kkg equation with a little hijacking of khushi on the way out. she is proud of the way khushi confronted him, however chhotey is not that bura a guy. khushi leaves, but that lost look, that confusion never quite leaves her face. in his room he reads her resignation letter. both remember things. he sees her in her red saree, hair flying. she remembers him holding her in the rain. they both recall the conflict in the guest house. you can walk out the door, but can you leave each other?

conflict takes us to resolution, without it, we can't really strive. as they say, all's fair in love and war. a powerful episode. brilliantly devised and of course, performed.

fan fiction

this anger needs to be close at hand and raging and making me forget everything. sunday with resignation, ha... as i redo edits since dear photobucket has blocked all my visuals.

episode 36 calendar girl

"miss gupta!"
he was standing there in his office, looking down at her. glowering, dark, unreservedly mean. then he spat out those two words.

khushi leapt out of bed. she'd been dreaming of him.

"hey devi maiyya," she exclaimed horrified, "har subha hame uss rakshas ka sapna kyon aata hai?" why does he come to her every morning? is this a curse upon the innocent princess? if that's the case, why is she rushing to get ready, go meet him? especially now, now that there's no valid excuse to? she resigned the day before.

khushi looks stricken when payal reminds her.
"haanh abhi humey uss arnav singh raizada ki shakal dekhne ki... koi zaroorat nahin hai," her voice drops wistfully on the last few words. her rakshas, and she won't be able to see him.

"ok... ok..."
he's flipping through the calendar shots and talking to aman. he turns to the third page, and she's there.

sound of breeze fades in, as he gazes at her photograph and the phonecall is forgotten. the swishing breeze envelops him, the only thing moving as he goes very still. soft piano notes, rabba vey comes in to join him in his reverie. he is locked, a prisoner of what his eyes behold. or perhaps his heart. memories of a woman in red shyly walk by, he wants more. his fingers move searching, he turns the page. camera goes closer, as absorbed in him as he is in her. a muscle twitches near his right lower jaw. he looks on, unblinking. his hair catching the breeze, playing with it gently.

what's happening to him? a gargantuan effort to control his helpless succumbing. he closes his eyes. a flash of anguish on his face. he really is trying to get a grip on himself. this whole thing is disturbing.

almost a minute and 10 seconds of no dialogues but it was as though a whole emotion came to visit and time had no idea what to do, it just stood quietly and watched.

what do you do when someone gets under your skin? when you have to do nothing, they will come to your mind unbidden. when you can do nothing, for what's done cannot be undone. a feeling that catches you unawares and leaves you in no state to think, to be in control, to breathe calmly.

jo tum mehsoos karti ho... jo main mehsoos karta hoon... a link is forming somewhere, an awareness making its claim. in two lovely sequences, episode 36 brings this feeling closer to us. the treatment is light, quirky, cute in one sequence, the way of the character. yet at the end, the look on khushi's face, something deeper there almost a yearning, and a delicate confusion. what is the matter with her? and for him, a sensual interlude with the woman whom he can't stop thinking of. alone he sits in intimate space with her. lost in a world of beauty and burgeoning desire. till the pain of it is too much.

di walks in and unwittingly saves him, jerking him back into this world and his ever present shell.

"di, mujhe khushi ki photographs dekhne mein koi interest nahin hai..." just as he wasn't interested to find out how she was doing after the guesthouse mayhem, now he couldn't care less about her photographs. perhaps anjali believed, or perhaps not. but the moment she left, he had to pretend he believed. and he threw the photographs away from him violently.

relationships and their meaning throughout episode.

a younger brother who became the mainstay of his crippled elder sister one terrible day, gathers her hands and says, promise me, you'll never believe you are less, for you are not, you are precious, priceless. "aage se aap kabhi yeh nahin kahenge ki aap lucky hain kyonki jeeja ji aapke saath hain... aapse bahut zyada lucky jeejaji hain, kyonki aap unke saath hain."

an underhand young man with ties he will not acknowledge is caught in the dreams of an older lonely woman, who sees in him a perfect match for her sweet innocent niece. little does she know that her niece dreams of a monster, or the young man she trusts is perhaps the last person to give that precious commodity to.

akash is caught in the problem being created by his sweet mother with all her desires for rich bahu. ostensibly because it's good for the girl, but is there a trace of self interest here, my dear hello hi bye bye? maybe you think you can grasp power more securely in the household with a bahu from a wealthy khandan? ah, the queen of kitchen politics is at it, the two men in her life perplexed and helpless. akash dreams of a lakshminagar girl in the rain. he is sweet, gentle, not a harmful bone in his body, and everyone walks all over him.

"mujhe kya chahiye, kissiko parwah nahin hai," he mutters as he exits. completely oblivious of his desires, certain that the her boy will not even dream of questioning his mother's desire or choice, she counters "ee leo... aingree young maeen banke chal diya."
bua ji wants payal and khushi to observe teej, so they may be blessed with handsome and good husbands. just like shiv ji. an interesting outwardly imperfect male principle, with all that's perfection within, shiva. a sophisticated understanding of character in our mythologies and pantheon. however, i must say, these figures remain deeply patriarchal and troubling; women very often playing the role of consort, somehow not quite equal. which is why perhaps, what asr says to his sister touches deeply, becomes  even more relevant: never say, you're lucky because your husband is with you, many times luckier is he because you're there with him.

but back to shiv ji, for him today five women will fast.

khushi is almost as horrified by the prospect as by the dream. what, no food? "kya? hum khudse poochhe bina vrat rakh liya?" poor girl keeps reaching for the papad and jalebis, but bua ji seems to have a third eye.

payal is accepting of the inevitable, just keeping the peace, sympathising with her voracious eater younger sibling.

mami ji is in hell, in this matter exactly like khushi. she is sure she's going to become a kareena like size zero after this single day's fast.

lavanya receives a call from di, and pragmatic and focussed soul that she is, decides if giving up food for a day will get her closer to nani and therefore asr, so be it. "ok, la... tum jo kar rahi ho, woh asr ke liye kar rahi ho. aur yeh vrat toh sirf dieting ki jaise hi hoti hai. don't worry, yeh din bilkool butter ki tarah smoothly nikal jaayegi." poor girl, collapses at "butter," food food. but she ain't giving up, she will get it done.

and anjali is gorgeous in red, colour of her status as a married woman, her sindoor, fasting with devotion for her shiv ji like husband. he who never comes after promising he will. but she has faith. and she tells mami ji, he's never let her down on this day these three years. today, she trusts, it will be the same. bharosa. poignant on the lips of this gentle, loving, woman who walks with a tender hobble, makes you want to be there, help her, ease her life. that's what her brother does, that's what khushi will want to do some day. but her husband? watch out, make sure the diya flame is steady.
a phone rings away in a cupboard. bua ji, in the strangest fit in a while has decided shyam must hang around with the girls. a secret ploy to get him to open khushi's fast maybe. she's confiscated his phone. this isn't school, bua ji. anyway, the truant boy, manages to sneak out his nearest and dearest, the phonewa, and escapes to a corner to kootchie koo with someone.

teej, what will it bring to the celebrants? a hint here maybe, in this clever edit?



those teej episodes
episode rambles