Saturday, 28 January 2017

episode 67 a survivor's guide

a survivor's guide to how to handle people you hate.
or an analysis of episode 67

1. make sure, no matter what, you crash land into their lives at least once a day. a meeting a day will make the hatred, also known as nafrat, stay. you can choose to do this anywhere you wish. ramps have proven to be extremely useful, especially if tripping gorgeously is a major part of plan. you can find them on the streets, in their office, at sundry sacred trees, dargahs, mandirs, best of all, of course, at their home. oh nothing quite like that. home is where the hate is.

2. dream of them on a regular basis. in such dreams, it is best to see yourself in the role of hero, them as villain. for example, you are the white wigged, morally superior judge to their "darana dhamkana," rakshas who is forcing a helpless woman in skimpy clothes and come hither look to "l-l-live in" with him "bina shadi," and do "sab kuch" with him too.

terrible (where are the samosas). tell him there's no way he can have what he wants. "you are sentenced to living with lavanya (everyone holds their breath, will you force the rakshas to do the right thing and marry this poor maid?)... not."  yes, that's right, throw lavanya out of his life. this will lead to exactly what you want in the future and right now too. the rakshas looking monstrously good in his natty brown jacket, will peruse you ferociously from a low angle shot, say "oh, i can't darao her?!! but i can still scare you, can't i" and glide sublimely to his very own music to be right in front of you, breath touching distance, in just a few long strides. 

having accomplished your mission, you will fall backward eyes spewing nafrat, lips parting and quivering (it's an age old sign of hatred, especially when combined with heaving bosom). he will stare at you menacingly, eyes gone chocolate. justice will not be able to take such "tauheen," contempt of court.

she will discard her blindfold and appear to you as your favourite bua, rolling pin in hand (justice was despatched by you to make samosa, perhaps?). at this point if it all starts to remind you of the white rabbit, the queen of hearts, eliza dolittle, and the horrible henry higgins, fikar not. all is going fantastically. your nafrat is intact. rabba vey, you are so good at this.

3. every time anyone asks you to leave the city your adversary lives in, refuse to. insist that is what your dm recommends. conversely, every time your enemy says she'll leave town, go into a blue funk and get as many flashbacks of her as possible. nothing like a keen memory to sharpen the daggers.

4. following from 3 (which was a bit of a digression into other episodes but was necessary to create a complete guide), also refuse to be not insulted by him. sounds complicated, but it's simple really. this is what you do: even if someone is willing to pay you large sums of money to square up your debt, insist that the only way you will do this is by earning the amount. and that too, only by working in the very home of the person who doesn't farak you, who is always rude, nasty, as insulting as possible, and who makes you feel "main theek nahin hoon," every time you are mean to him. of course, make sure that you throw in a "shart," a strict one that says you will come to work only when he's not around. this works real well, he will hear of it and another level of how dare she hotness will be scaled. 

5. keep your ears clean. whenever anyone mentions, whispers, or even thinks of taking her name, hear it loud and clear. then go still. don't breathe. now, two options:
  5. a. glare at the one who has called your nafrat-ed one by a derogatory name such as chamkili, you may also narrow your eyes devilishly upon being told of her fiendish plans. how dare she put down such a condition... not to see you in your own house? it's MERA ghar... MY house, remember? the one from which you are determined to throw her out (i mean how to trust a guest who keeps climbing into you closet and other internal organs, who can blame you for shouting your most lusty "getooouuut," at her... if only your eyes would agree with your voice, sigh).

after eye narrowing, sashay sexily out into the hallway, and on finding her there as she is trying to look nonchalant eating chana, advance menacingly but with ballet like grace toward her, she will be compelled to walk in your direction, eyes only on you. as you cross each other she will mutter nuttily "bina shadi saath saath rakshas," (without marriage together together monster... to translate literally), giving you the perfect opportunity to do a mind blowing (see, everything is to your advantage) "what the."

then she will dash into a pillar, and you will not miss any opportunity to stare at her. for good measure, this will happen twice... this is serious nafrat, samjhi tum?

5.b when option "a" is not available, you must slip into flashback of woh ladki and plenty rabba vey. this episode however that was not necessary. the dream compensated most adequately, phew.

6. always remember to blame the other, only that one person... laad governor, rakshas, uss ladki, uss khushi kumari gupta, any other new names you might come up with... for all the "galati" in the world. one episode you say it, the next episode let your most important hated person do the needful.

1722. as a master strategy, take over his home. rush around teaching his girl friend how to be the girl he doesn't dream of; make her learn to do the things he doesn't like or care for. leap around the drawing room telling a most fascinating tale of a rather playful one, in the most charming and beguiling vein, leaving all who watch, like his nani, his sis, his favourite man servant, floored. to help you in this endeavour, his clueless l-l-live in poor girl friend in chhotey kapde is standing by.

at her wonderful cues, prance into action, point with grace and utter appeal toward the one you must hate, and call him by the name of another supreme villain, "kans." make sure you are looking like the cutest and most beautiful nut on earth while doing this, some extra ballet (or taekwondo) lessons might help strike the perfect pose. this will work. can't you tell be the way he's looking at you?

8. as reminded by chalhov. and because we are dead serious about this survival guide, we don't wish to hold back anything. so here goes: when sitting next to the baddie in his mythical suv (if horses and dragons can by part of myths, why not the white suv), remember never to put on seat belt. although you have driven your dad's car, and will later decimate all traffic rules hurtling frantically through sabzi mandis and things, but at this point, do make it a point not to wear that s thing. this will make sure the hate increases. the enemy can bark "seat belt peheno!" wear seat belt!! in various shades of boorishness. and at your fumbling, lose patience, reach across brusquely, thrust his face closer to yours, his torso mere millimetres away from yours, combat you in an eye lock while clicking the belt into its slot. even writing this can cause breathing failure, so please, whatever you do, don't miss a chance to inhale and exhale, you will feel the edge of your ear go hot, a certain prickle back of neck, definite change in heart rate, and a difficulty understanding which part of you is feeling what. do not worry.

 it is believed that the perpetrator of the seat belt nafrat is undergoing similar symptoms. you will both survive, just about. however, at every opportunity that presents itself try out the seat belt tactic. practice makes perfect. (this was first observed in episode 65, at the very height of nafrating, and although this episode did not present the opportunity, we felt it was important enough to be included here. you never know...)

STICKY (this applies to all episodes, everywhere in the universe, even the ones hunted out of yt and dm): beware, from time to time you may hear things. strange are the effects of nafrat. piano trilling do me so do... hey hey... heyheyhey... more music, then rabba vey... ey ey ey ey. do not panic. in extreme cases of nafrat this may happen. though in recorded history it's never been known to have happened. oh well, there's always a first time... just take basic precautions, you'll be fine. remember, no matter what happens, do not close your eyes, or look away from the opponent's gaze. also, do not move. and should the adversary want to pull you in closer or nuzzle your hair, or frankly whatever, go ahead and let him do it. this is absolutely imperative for survival. live demo of this threat unfortunately not available, but the illustrations will suffice we hope.

to be continued. we hope you found this guide helpful.

a fabulous chance to learn more skills hands on awaits. it's the musician's birthday party, they say he has some wonderful hate tricks that no one can help but fall for. see you at the bash, wish you all a bina shadi saath saath sab kuch kar sakte hain  and an ek saath do do time.

translatiya: wish you all a "without marriage together can do everything" and "1722 or what sounds like together two two" time.


episode 170 take my hand... teri meri (vm)

teri meri meri teri prem kahani hai mushkil...
do lafzon mein yeh bayan na kar paye.

what if words were never needed... 
and wasn't it always a dance?


exactly when did sensuous become sublime? or was it that from the very beginning, from the moment a beam of spotlight picked up a lithe man in blue black, standing still as though in prayer.

have seen this dance again and again... every time it has held me spell bound. a stylised version of the tango it seems to be. the body language is all about that gaze unflinching and a very close embrace. even when they are apart, the eyes never let the other go. locked in each others arms and gaze, they spin, twirl, rise and fall through space, outside time, an island in an unknowable world, that may be reached only with the emotion and what nurtures it... spirit.

his face was averted, still. a breeze lifted a few strands of hair, he seemed to be waiting for a sign. it came, she heard the unexpected applause and turned, the light shone on her startled eyes. the song with heart beats at its base entered in triumph... dhak dhak dhakdhak, under the hey hey i could hear the repeated pulse.. a throbbing in it. he turned his face toward her, what oh what was he saying with that expression, those glittering unmoving eyes. i had never seen that look before. quiet, dark, intense, concentrated, and completely giving.

his gaze seemed to travel the distance separating them and caught her in a warm embrace... i am here it said. it seemed to say more... there's nowhere else i'd rather be. i am here... hamesha. for you. teri meri meri teri.

why did i feel this? was this the intention of the director, the actor, or was i over reacting, as always a little goofy around barun's asr? but i knew it was really as i saw it.. as it felt.
arnav singh raizada could never stand by and watch while she was in trouble of any sort... unless of course he was creating it himself, because maybe his instincts always knew this girl with a funny plait was trouble in all caps.

the very first time they laid eyes on each other, there had been recognition of some kind. his arms had reached out instinctively to catch her, a stranger that night of sheesh mahal. and each time then onward, he'd been there to protect, to save, to hold, to never let her fall. he had let her drop below from his office one time though, but the conversation leading to that moment had a lot to do with it, and he had made sure she had a soft landing... not that that made it ok... but even the leaving of her hand was really in some ways an indication of this woman's power over him...
how we writhe and try to free ourselves when we first feel this power of another over us. as though it will swamp us, we'd submerge... die.  the ego can't take it, it fights back... it needs to flee to a safe place, fearing a complete take over, quaking at the thought of being utterly vulnerable, helpless before another. we draw away instinctively, we defend with every weapon we have... indifference, anger, ridicule, outright offence. love is akin to hate comes into play and a million mills and boons get written... we laugh at these silly books, never realising it has a sound idea at its core.
the love that we so idealise and want, interestingly, when it comes, we are more often than not terrified of its grasp on us. our gut senses danger and hits out. 


till we let down our guard, let it in and are willing to surrender to it.


and perhaps with that one act of submission we make the animal and present, spiritual... transcendent. the sensuous, sublime. 

she would reach this point in a darkened farm house one night, alone with him. but he seemed to be doing so right now, in front of the whole world, on stage, under a spotlight. all he can see though is her... trouble in her eyes. and he is here in complete submission to a feeling.
so it seemed to me.

yes, his dil hadn't heard his dhak dhak, it was still to come and connect it to that "khushi" which rode his breath. and sure his dimag was struggling. but not his instinct, him amygdala, his gut... they knew what everything else would register a little later... like the streak of lightning that can be seen before the sound of thunder is heard. 

this was the magnificent submission of arnav singh raizada to his love. that was all. this perhaps is what made a mere dance choreographed to a fairly filmi number into something beautiful, pristine. it is hard enough to take things to the sensuous pitch of the dance i saw again and again, and to watch an actor of the idiot box go all the way to pure spirit with it... ah no wonder i had to see it one more time.

she was puzzled at first, then came his gentle float toward her... i am not a lover of this oft used slomo device... but somehow in this context it felt right... suggested an almost ethereal part of him moving toward her.
months later, in captivity, when this same song would bring them together in a haunting reverie, we would see this expressed in the more conventional way. his subconscious, his essence, call it what you will would rise from his broken beaten body and look resplendent in billowing white as he walked toward her.

but tonight there's no need for any of that, all is in the stance of this man, that slight slouch somehow adding to the beauty of his posture, it's in his every move, his grace, his touch, his gaze and how she senses it and gives in.

trusting. believing. letting go on him. take me down. raise me up. i am yours. even if i don't know why. i am scared. i am perplexed. yet i know you are mine and i want to let go on you. only you. teri meri meri teri.
his gentle smile as he asks her, it's the last performance, won't you complete it. the gentleness on the second part of that statement has her looking at him in wonder. is this him? is this you? she's shaken. perhaps even more by the look in his eyes... she can see the adoration there. and she can't believe it, for has anyone adored her like that, in the pit of her stomach it seems to hit her. 

he had to had to win. yet here he is, making her complete her performance. he wants to see her win. when we cross the final border, the last frontier of us, me, the self, and walk over it with no regrets... for the happiness of another. isn't that somewhere really truly love? selfless, because at that point you don't consider your feelings, that in their winning you'll feel a sense of victory... all you want to do is make the other one's moment perfect... that they may win. they may smile.

how sensuous and inviting is he as he walks past her and behind, but eyes locked on her, tied they are this moment on to each other.
and on the other side, as she stands somewhere between nonplussed and enthralled, he reaches to pick up her hand with sweetness.
and then a tug.
enter rhythm, tension, unseen but ever present tie never breaking, no matter what. 

teri meri... she sees him singing as he pulls her into the first wild twirl. her hair streams out flying wanton. do they reflect the state of her heart her desire? she's shocked. what is he doing? surely not he? he gives her no chance to enter that emotion, instead, "do lafzon mein yeh..." and he falls away to one side taking her with him, it's a precipice, see, come with me... fall. his hands firm on her, she goes down looking into his eyes, trusting. just trusting him despite all.
that same gut feel... this man can be trusted... he will be there. his eyes stay riveted on her face, even in the silences, the pauses between moves... no pause in the feelings, in the wanting, the needing, the giving every bit of him.

"ek ladka aur ek laki ki yeh"... a quiet turn then she reaches behind him to hold closer and pull him to her as she bends backward... however mushkil, difficult, this tale, one thing is simple... he is there for her and she can go where she pleases, he'll get her back.
she's swinging all the way down to the floor almost and he picks her up, strong, graceful, no strain... flowing together, ocean and shore, now apart, now close, ever together.

a little calm and a sudden push in by him... "sara din beet jaaye"... i watched how close his face thrust toward hers, his lips on her flying hair... had i ever seen any man get that close to a woman? yeah lots of sex and mega kissing scenes in what we see... but this? this was sexuality of another sensibility altogether, uff the need in the thrust and swing toward her... and then the possessive lover's touch. i give in... won't you? aren't you mine? no permission asked, his brown large hand slides across her bare waist and covers her stomach, her navel and settles their with full right... a gesture so intimate i couldn't believe i was seeing it... the navel. at one end of the kundalini, isn't it? where desire sits coiled, and also transcendence? over that he makes his claim... and pines... "saari raat jagaaye"... makes me stay up the whole night, this not getting you, not having you. you... you are mine.

what would she do i wonder as his dark arm stretches against her gleaming pale ivory skin, and the green of her sari highlights the white of her bareness. desdemona, othello thinks a part of me. and then she lifts her hand and covers his, not to push him away, but to guide him and hold him there. there is ecstasy in this moment.

"bas khayal tumhara... lamha lamha tadpaya"... tadap, a seething suffering... it's there in his face as he yearns for this woman holding her hand gliding toward her, letting her sink into him. this was beautiful lovemaking going on in full view of astonished and entranced viewers. no shame, no demurring... teri meri prem kahani. a love story between two people who of course hated each other. she let her fingers linger over his cheek a moment after his hand had left, her body delighting to his rhythm his dance...
she looked on mesmerised...  unprepared for this deluge of feelings, those coming from him and those rising in her. 
i watched as his eyes never ever left her face... her. his hands held her close, there was no choreographer's teach in some things, the way his hand pulled her that extra bit in, or came up to support her even when it was not quite in frame... felt like this man really wanted to hold this woman. and he would always be there.

"yeh tadap keh rahi hai mit jaaye yeh faasle tere mere darmyaan jo hai saare"... the most beautiful plea, lifting her onto him, his face turned skyward, a top shot, his eyes closed, he circles as though in supplication to all up there... erase this distance, every bit of it, that is between us, that is what my suffering asks... let all the distance go.

many of my edits were made from an sbs segment shot during the actual shooting of these scenes. the expressions on barun's face... they make me believe such a love can exist. again, an apt interpretation of character. asr is a large bold character... his emotions are full, generous, mighty, they care not for limits, brimming over... hate, love, laughter, sadness, whatever. when he takes he will leave you bereft. when he gives he will hold nothing back. and tonight he is here to give her all of himself. his heart his soul laid bare before her. i belong to you... belong to me, he articulates with every move.

take me... do as you please with me, he seems to say. i wonder if she hears or is it all a bit too much for a girl herself in the throes of conflicting emotions. plus that physical molest by shyam. her hair flies, her eyes search and sometimes look down. shy? or maybe the passion in them embarrasses her. oh she wants him no doubt. yet... "ik duje se hue juda jab ik duje ke liye bane..."  she walks away, and for an instant he thinks she's gone... yes that is the kahani of their lives. his hand lifts, his brow furrows, come back, his body seems to scream, i can't live without you. i can't breathe.
she is back and together they stand, staring into each others eyes... so close, so lost, a knowing there i glimpse... he's again still, her eyes seem to search... then a lovely pause in dance, a return to reality perhaps and disconnect. neither seems to know the way forward... for quite a while after the terrace they didn't, all of that perhaps in that almost casual instant...
but soon beautiful choreography comes in, they are floating away on the wings of a feeling... they align one behind the other, and in synchronised motion their arms do a graceful balletic wing like arc. swan lake... two beautiful swans, one dark but prince really, the other ethereal princess, gliding over a lake. the elegance of these moments... he reaches up at an off beat cue and clasps her hand, drawing it close... and leans forward just a slight bit to see her face. the movement continues without pause, his other hand supports her head as she falls backward again... and this time it is down down till she's almost on the floor and back they come up in a fluid wave. these are not trained dancers apparently and one of them is convinced he can't dance.
teri meri meri teri... the refrain fades as she walks away again. and when she turns, it is their song.
hey hey. hey hey hey hey.
the dance was designed in two parts it seemed. each with its story, its purpose, its essence.
if the first part aroused the senses to touch the spirit and spoke of a submission that left one breathless; while the thrilling lines and energies  of two near perfect bodies hypnotized us and sent us on a spin to search our own souls... in the second, i heard their story from the day they met to this moment... and realised this was much much more than cool dance design wherein similar moves from their life were being matched or contrasted on this floor. i felt two things equally and both had tremendous significance.

but first the sequence:
hey hey... they are looking at each other, eyes deep in so many feelings... and she falls into his arms... their first very first meeting is here
on the floor, she walks toward him and he her...
while in another place he is walking away from her after tying that bandage and saying never ever would they meet again... 
they meet at the centre.
he turns, she's standing with his key held out, he doesn't reach for her hand...
he stretches out and holds her hand and she twirls in. the lights are dim, there's a redness in the frame, her hair is auburn as it flies.

he whirls away with her in the rain of that torrential night, just focused on saving her from a car when it was he who'd inadvertently left her out there to get drenched.

she spins as he holds her hand high up, round and round she goes and her hair dances free, her bare white back light against his dark brownness, the red of the lights...( just for this portion he is in galaband again... what was it? a mistake? a little fey touch... what.)

he lets go of her hand in his office and she falls...

he holds her as she bends keeping her safe...
she's lying prone in his arms at the guest house, the night he'd called out her name that very first time, and felt a desire to touch... to stroke her innocent skin...
she spins away as he holds her hand above her head... a fairy tale like dance movement, the prince and his princess.

he twists her arm and drags her close to him, the day he was so angry for she'd said he was of loose character.

she pirouettes in the opposite direction...

and strands of delicate fairy lights are coming off a girl looking tremulous, a man feeling sensations he can't name.

he holds her hand and she looks at him...

and remembers how she'd needed him in that tense hospital that day, running to throw herself at him... he hadn't held her back.

but today, he is here, fall on me... i am here, i will be here always...

he bends her back...

and there he is holding her hand as she's about to fall in the temple. teej, when he'd quickened... galvanize... to save her, not asking himself why, just a compulsion... always... from the beginning.
he again lifts her up in this ballad like dance of theirs. she's feeling him, she's wanting him back in return, it perplexes her this emotion... but the gaze... what's in his eyes... she is held by it.
she turns and leans back onto him, her head against his shoulder, an embrace from behind, barriers are torn as they let the feeling encircle them, his arms tight around her, she holding on... eyes closed... here in your arms is peace. a moment holds still.
he opens his eyes, and again looks at her face. he wants to see her beauty, he wants to revel in her, he wants her to win... rabba vey...
she turns and looks again...

and between them a memory... her hand slips into his, the rings of diwali are here... chakravyuh... he's leading her out of it, holding her hand most tenderly...

he holds her hand and she falls back, knowing he won't let go... when she returns... she watches him intently and he's about to kiss her. it's the night that passion had flared uninvited and he'd had no idea what to do with it. how hard he'd fought... how much pain he'd had to give in order not to surrender. not to submit.

yet here he stands now. never flinching, never turning away... the dance comes to an end, and they stand entwined, immersed in feelings, no one said a word... yet...
then came the applause, and her walking toward it. while he stood there watching with a proud little almost smile, the eyes gleamed.
the two things this portion said to me: it was all along a dance really. their whole story, a dance of mating, and beyond that.
and with his actions he seemed to start communicating things he'd find words for much later... ranjha would tell heer, "jab jo bura kiya uska koi matlab nahin... iss pyaar mein sahi aur galat ka koi matlab nahin... bas ek cheez ka matlab hai... ki main.. hamesha.. hamesha... tumse..."
asr had started crossing the barriers he'd created, he was here to give in.
and had events not taken the turn they did... that is where he was inexorably headed...

this submission was perfectly placed in story. he had to feel this pull, this power and his need to capitulate. then recognise it with his mind and heart, be all ready to act consciously... only then would the terrace drive him to the point it did... and yet, he would never be able to let her go, hurt her beyond a point. because he was already surrendered to the one he would love, hamesha.
and as he'd drag her up the steps of the temple, as bells would swing freely and without a care like her hair does now, as lightning and thunder would rend the night, deafen the skies, their dance would continue.

teri meri meri teri prem kahani hai mushkil...

an underlying song through it all: i can't help falling in love with you... take my hand hand... take my whole life too, for i can't help falling in love with you...



Friday, 27 January 2017

episode 191 this night onward

sometimes the rajkumar doesn't come on a horse, he comes on a rage and he yanks you to himself and and he hurts you beyond belief for he loves you beyond faith.

the ethereal lightness of love didn't even last a day before the darkest night came. two people both utterly helpless... he had no way out he believed, she didn't even know if there would ever be a way. from here starts a journey that will show us what human beings can be made of; if they didn't come here, maybe we'd have never known them for all that they are. i will never forget khushi in the next episode crying sitting on the floor, then getting up and slowly making her way to her room... her new home. getting up to face the life that had been forced upon her and no one to hear her heart shatter, see her world go awry. incredible strength. that slow getting up and walking... doing life, no matter what. this was a very special woman. and he? what a terrible error of judgment. yet i couldn't blame him. just hope he'd find his way back to her and himself one day. he loved too much, that perhaps was his folly.

just as asr never gave khushi a chance to think, ask, react, the creators of ipk too gave us none. they stopped us in our track, we were smiling and in fuzzy romantic mood, bemused by the man and woman falling in love, totally unprepared for what came next. suddenly we were being dragged shocked into a wild violent wedding while the night wailed and bells tolled and the wind screamed. and our hearts quaked, pounded, slammed against its beat.

i absolutely love the execution of this terrifying wedding they had devised. no preamble, no ponder, no shots of asr planning his move and talking about things in his head as serials are prone to show. straight into it... peechhe se shuru karte hain, they seemed to say, let's start from the back. so we saw the wedded couple first. then the proposal... well the coercion and blackmail. and now in two flashbacks the two essential acts that conjures marriage in the mind instantly... the putting of mangalsutra around the bride's neck by her bride groom... and then the sindoor that only a husband is allowed to put on the parting of his wife's hair.

but what perhaps always signals terror and excitement and the feeling of so it begins in me, is the holding of the hand of a woman staring silently at a man yet asking so many questions with her eyes, he pulls her out of a car, and without bothering to give single explanation, drags her behind him... up the wide shallow steps of a temple... it's night, nothing is too clearly visible and the music has an ominous ring. an inevitability spells the scene and leaves me shaken. whoever designed these scenes was working at a level of extreme concentration, story paramount, artistic flair at peak. in a low budget serial, which will be watched on not too big screens with resolutions of various levels, to create this power and pull... astounding.

up up up they go. the cuts are sharp, top shot, he pulls her, her lehenga and dupatta fly. cut to a shot from the side... up they climb.

cut to a shot from the back and fire rages before us at the top of the stairs. now we are behind the fire and the man and woman walk up. he keeps walking.

at rm, he looked at his weeping sister and tried to say something... you always wanted me to get married...

toh kar li.
baat khatam.

so i did it. end of story.

while everyone... perturbed, upset, even angry... asked again and again why they had done what they had, a silent man and a woman with no words stood there. what a situation. everything blowing to bits.

he really hadn't factored all this in had he. so much of a knee jerk reaction that was, that pulling khushi to him. he thought he was doing it all for his sister's safety, that's how he saw it. did he ever ask himself why he had to marry khushi for that? or this contract so called marriage for that matter. and why he actually bothered to get a mangalsutra and sindoor organised? he had no idea really what he was doing... and he also was so terribly wrenched by the sight of his beloved in shyam's arms, he was not quite himself all through. had he been, he'd have known that appearing like that before all suddenly marred would create chaos and akash's wedding night would get badly affected., had he been thinking cogently, he'd never let that happen.

the way he looked at shyam, wasn't this more a man's staking of his claim, taking what he considers to be his and letting the other guy know, hands off. she's mine.

bit a of a man's game there... she the unfortunate victim. and yet she the adored. the indispensable. he couldn't just threaten her and banish her as he had the day of the guest house. he had to adhere her to him and plunge into the abyss with her.

that struggle to somehow placate di not being able to look at her... too much too many things are there in these moments, his love for two women terrifyingly intertwined. "tumhe vajah bata ne hi hogi, chhotey," you have to tell me why, says anjali.

a face turned away, clenching of jaw.

"kaha na di, aapne kaha tha kar lo.. so kar li..." told you, you said marry, so i did. he was not in control of emotions, breaking down yet he's the karta, the man in charge... as he decided way back.

and yet today, he ran way. literally ran into his room to avoid his sister. and cried. i am sorry, di, par koi aur rasta nahin tha. i am sorry but there was no other way.

yes, if you loved khushi and thought she was a whore and yet felt you couldn't be without her, perhaps there was no other way. it will never be possible to fully comprehend or justify his action. which is why such depth and power in all of this maybe. and months later, she will perhaps give him the same bludgeoning pain when she'll call this whole thing not a marriage but a sauda, a transaction... something that can be ended. 

he spoke to no one... neither khushi... nor di. a 27 year old man who had decided to do everything to set a crashed world right, took a decision all by himself, without realising the lie that brought it about nor the flaw in his choice.

he escaped, but khushi would not be spared... nani ji held her and demanded an answer. everyone badgered the girl. she who had no idea that the man she loved had been standing at the terrace door, had seen her with shyam. one day she had stood there and seen shyam for what he was, tonight asr had seen her for what she wasn't. life.

it was awful to see khushi cry like that, losing all she knows to be right and real shaken, helpless. the questions kept coming. you know the significance of this mangalsutra, don't you?

and the first flashback.

a silent night, an suv glides into frame. screech of tyres as it brakes.

inside sit two people. one incandescent, the other darkly ablaze.

creatives used to speak of how sanaya and barun seemed to be pieces of a puzzle, fitting perfectly. that quality, that vibe, set the night alight. great story telling techniques were employed, but that yin and yang thing in them, the almost flowing into each other, tonight they were such a gorgeous contrast, finely balanced. it just made the wedding scenes explosive.

no one plans to have a wedding like this. yet there was a terrifying grandeur in it, like that of a volcano erupting or a mighty waterfall, or high rushing waves, something elemental, that seemed to sweep all resistance aside and my heart said, yes, they are man and wife.

he kept walking with her till they reached the deity. then a waiting. maybe something could be changed.. her look screamed don't do this.. his face was set and his eyes burned with an emotion, a determination in him, there will be no change... her gaze kept asking him to stop the nightmare.

then he turned and walked toward the deity... om swasti na... mantras began their chant. we cut to a long shot and saw him walk back to her. she waited tense but ramrod straight, not wilting... vis a vis.

with the goddess behind them, fire before them... agni and narayan as sakhsi, as witness, a mangalsutra was lifted, held and put around a neck, a job done... ommm.

a melody escaped a flute and picked the pathos and tears and perhaps ecstasy and annihilation of the moment.

the flames leaped and grew thick... a shattered man looked at a woman he wanted to hurt badly. visual rhetoric of fire continued, it wrapped around their shots in slow dissolves. it would ravage all and purify at the same time. the chanting faded, a conch shell blew, music crescendoed... they stood before each other... changing, no longer who they were before this moment. changed forever.

the second flashback:

they stood there staring at each other... both helpless though one seemed not to be. the mantras chanted. camera circled them, as though that had to be done, like pheras, auspicious.. he held up his hand, a pinch of red... blood, i thought.

yeh sab cheezein tumhare liye bahut maine rakhti hai.. yeh mangal sutra, yeh sindoor... toh yeh raha mangal sutra (loved barun's pronunciation, that sutr-).

in one harsh movement he pushed aside her teeka, bared her parting and streaked it with his vermilion. ownership.

aur yeh raha sindoor.

these things mean something to you, so here's the mangalsutra and here's the sindoor. he doesn't believe in them, yet he includes them in the night... why? why not simply coerce her into living with him and just put on the signs of marriage herself.

there was something cat like in his glance. an alertness, a pounce.

her eyes lifted slowly, she knew what these two things had done to her life... and that their mark was indelible.

ab tum meri patni ho. now you are my wife.

he said again as if to convince himself as much as her that this is only for six months, that she was his wife in the eyes of the world, that he would never give her the place of a wife.

the music lifted, she turned once to look at dm. then she wept while he gazed at her not raving any more, an unguarded moment. angry, betrayed, said his eyes.

the wedding was done. we'll never see the complete wedding, and i'll always wonder about the moments unseen. in offscreen segments we saw how small the actual sets were, how ramshackle everything around it. yet their was a magnificence in every frame. those swaying bells, the curtains, the sounds, the colours, a ravaging everywhere.

by the end of the episode, khushi is all by herself, pushed aside by her family, and that old pain, the unbearable one of not belonging, not being "sagi", their own had returned.

though we think it only happens in serials, things just as challenging happen in life too. yet we overcome. yet we love. we have such a need to. makes us human, makes us us. why should khushi and asr love each other after this night? yet they do. somewhere shyam deserves a tight hug for being the cretin he is, he showed them how much they really loved each other in a way. when the going gets bizarre the heart really speaks.

even as a kid, i never forgave ram for doubting sita. to me the most powerful phrase of the story of ram sita is, "dharani dwidha hao," i am getting goose bumps. she called to her mother, the earth, and said, part, take me back in your arms, and she went away forever. here asr and khushi both could find a way to look into each other's beings and "see" the truth... it needed no proof. i can't stop reveling in that. and the fact that the night before the so called remarriage she said yes to him. to me, this is their marriage. good bad indifferent this is it... because love was always there.


 i watched the expressions, the constant talk between two people. so much was said and heard, yet not... only two people who mean everything to each other could look at each other with such eloquence. and really how gorgeous were the bride and the groom. a sublime note, a sensual strain, a sustained sense of sacredness here right through. and that suffocation.