Saturday, 28 January 2017

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...



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