Friday, 28 April 2017

took my jaan that goli

pyaar mein dil pe maar de goli le le meri jaan.
was this very cool writing with tongue happily in cheek or was there no connection between the song and the state of one arnav singh raizada? 

we'll never know since no one talks of ipk any more and even if they do, it's as if yeah, it was so long ago... but no harm in thinking they knew how the song works into the story and they gave a lot of thought to the design of the episode. it's 53. she is all movement and happiness and uncontrollable. i love the dance and the vibe. for the longest time, never connected it to the last, almost last, sequence.

in the middle, the very pretty, perfectly juxtaposed her sequence and his sequence over toot-ta tara, you couldn't miss the connection (and the point) even if you wished to. and all he sees is a locked door. a girl saying she is going.

was that the goli, the bullet, the heart took?

and now at night, he lies... so still, so deep, all that is uncontrollable is within. the bullet has found its mark it seems and there's a torture in its killing. tender sweet melody floats, a curtain billowing recalls a dupatta... how it touches him. memories come, softly, as if not to awaken anyone, just lie in him, stay there. a pensive, dark, elegiac scene.

nothing could be further from the loud, active, mimicry and mayhem filled scene of the one who has shot the goli.

i loved the contrast. and how happy she was, maybe because she had read isharas, which dm might not even have sent, and returned to delhi... not gone away hamesha ke liye. i liked the way, though dm was constantly referred to, we also saw that human action actually brought about things.

that silent reverie of his, the most subtle exploration of his disturbed state of mind, there was an actor who sensed beyond the brief. can an arrogant tycoon walk about in that state, thinking of a jhalli girl? of course not, the mind may say. but after this, the dil will laugh and rebut, if only you knew.

also smart was the way she kept saying something good will happen tomorrow, and nani threw a spanner in the works of mami and anjali. yes, something would happen the next day. a sweet tightness to writing. the paralleling with shyamwa continued, he too thought of that locked door and suffered. asr stopped his gf when she tried to get closer... lovely, almost a rejection... his mind is full of another ladki. and i suppose he is not into sneaking around and catching stolen kisses. instead he is struck in the heart and barely breathing.

love has shot a bullet in the heart, has taken away my life. 


she leaps and jumps and is inordinately happy.

he is still, silent, lost.

she's back, she's back, and tomorrow will bring good things.

she's gone, hamesha ke liye.



Thursday, 27 April 2017

episode 310 look at that fight

"kamse kam..."

"dus din tak. right? problem sirf dus din ki hai? hai na?"

for at least...

for ten days. right? the problem is only of ten days? isn't it? 

that "hai na," decibel dropping, taken into the breath, eyes growing more tortured, pain not adequately hidden by anger, a dreadful wait in the air... hit a point in me. 

how much can a person love another. how terribly real can a fight get. the night i saw this the first time, i almost couldn't breathe in that suffocation in a little pink room in lakshminagar where a man and a woman faced a pain that had to be faced and tussled almost unto death in the way only two lovers can. the fight was so real, i wanted to make my husband see it... the colour, temperature, insanity, abrasion, and yes hellish need in it... all of it was like it really is. if one has bothered to fall in love, that is. not the politically correct, this is how it should be love but the straight from the gut, this is how it is love.

there were many things that went a little off the rails in ipk, but i always felt, its understanding of love between a man and a woman, was beyond what most art/literature/popular writing/movies... anything has given us.

ipk never fudged or "curated" this emotion, exhibiting only what we want to see... it often showed us what we really don't wish to see. not if we are all in this happy "escape to romance" mode that our stressed out crazy world almost makes us slip into.

the hindi soap, as it's evolved, is seen as an easy "escape" vehicle. you don't get on the ride to watch what is true or real... even when we say we do... because we know soon enough, it will start showing unbelievable things, and really i don't wish to list them, but you know what i mean.

so what made ipk want to leave that path and get right into the nature of an emotion even the greatest writers find hard to explain all the way through? serious writing - quasimodo, wuthering heights, dracula, east of eden, for some reason leap to mind, and there are more - told me from a very young age, even as i read the abridged versions, that love is totally complex and yes, it has an underbelly, a dark side, if you will. it's a full complete canvas, not just flowery and serene but torn and storm tossed, at times wretched, unjust, downright wrong. i can practically see kay/diane keaton looking at michael/al pacino as he transforms and takes his father's place as the godfather. she knows she has lost the michael she has known, but she really can't stop loving him... she may leave so she can live with herself but she will never ever be able not to love him... and he, the murderer, the mafia boss, the man who can kill his own sister's husband...  in his place of love, a holder of extreme innocence. that's love i guess, you can't box it, label it, prettify it and say, this is how it's done. 

but really, why did a hindi serial want to get into the gut of it... perhaps a rapport beyond the said and stated things grew between writers and actors and directors, an excitement as they sensed something was too pure and timeless to make ordinary just for trp...

perhaps there came that compulsion a creative artist feels to go a particular direction because that is where salvation lies... and for a while you forget this bedard duniya where paisa is all and paisa above all is power. arnav singh raizada was never wrong about that. it is a sickeningly numbingly money crazy world and love is highly devalued... here you don't show anything remotely real in a classic escape vehicle.

yet they did.

asr really was not all nice and wonderful... oh he had magnificence in his positive traits, but he had a dark place in him as well... and many things he did almost instinctively came touching those spots. had his parents not died the way they did, had his uncle not betrayed, he may have not become as hardened as he is, but would he be a gentle sweet guy running around loving di and chirpily being the rich kid with a heart of gold? something tells you "nahiiin". inherent in him certain things. he is the deal maker, he is shatir, and games he will play... he may also believe in the power of wealth, even without that tragedy underscoring it.

and khushi kumari gupta, she broken in her own way, covering all with laughter, her sanka though i think was a real inborn trait... she too had her flaws, her fears... and she fell for a real rakshas, didn't she? why? why didn't he turn her off ? never in her rational moments she may have factored in this volatile attraction to a man who was in no way like her... he didn't even believe in god, such a fundamental difference, one most can't come to terms with. and he damn well believed money had an important place in life (which, wonderfully enough, he never quite stopped believing, that lovely fight during diwali post marriage about her not having a clue of real life... so husband wife sigh). while she tried to believe it didn't matter, she did have her own slightly crazy relationship with money, didn't she? i can't really see it as money doesn't matter. it's more about a struggle to understand exactly what its place is in her life. she wondered so rigorously how she could have fallen for a man so terrible, for whom she only felt nafrat... and yet that nafrat had become something else and the basis of a relationship she couldn't break...

ipk took us to the dhadkan of pyaar and made us feel its being. from the most delicate to the most excessive thing in it was explored. a sense of its vastness built up over time. had we just seen them in episode one, we'd have known the power of this emotion, how it calls. had we seen only till episode 22, we'd have felt the pull of this feeling, the song in it. had we seen only till 24 we'd have known how unseen and unknown to the rational mind it thunders in and pours all over us. but we didn't stop there, we went past guesthouse, teej, diwali, new year, sangeet, a temple with sindoor and mangalsutra, holi... and beyond... and now we are here.

she is determined to leave him. he is hellbent on never letting that happen. 

she is part of him, he must woo her back, he knows he has hurt her. though it takes him a day to figure out what she's up to. the moment he gets it, he goes into his natural reaction to a challenge. had she talked to him about things, he might have thought of doing things another way. but she has walked out on him. is arnav singh raizada terribly hurt by that? perhaps that's why he instantly decides to view this as a challenge and there's a need in him to win. she is not exactly moolrajani or chacha ji... but even then, when hurt, when stung... he gets into asr space, where sab kuch mere control mein hai... what he wants will happen.

he has seen his world collapse once. he will do everything in his power to not let it happen again. a terrible need for control sometimes does come over us when we have had to struggle with the consequences of everything going out of control.

he's going to win... the game excites him... it gives him the ideas that will ensure he is victor. till he understood what was going on, he was frazzled, sure something was wrong, but not exactly what. now he knows and he is instantly on alert, making his return move.

we are seeing them after two whole days of extreme game playing by the man in love and at times his paramour too. pain and hurt have shaded these playful, sensually charged episodes.

when 310 started with the water and electricity problem unleashed by the new landlord (okay, serialish writing), and she made faces and rushed off to get water from the tubewell, then he appeared and baited her, i had no idea where it would all go.

he was really in control and she angry, helpless. then the water fell... and suddenly, when he saw the droplets on her skin something unplanned happened. he had to reach out and touch her... he looked drugged almost... that need for her rising, below that outer layer of confidence and play. he is really not functioning too well, is he? and she... troubled, hurting, and feeling his need, needing him.

a moment that halts all thought.

"aap aise kyun hain?"

"tum jaanti ho ki main aise kyun hoon."

she asked him why he is the way he is, his answer touched me... you know why i am like this.

she knows, she knows him, yet she loves him, he wants her to know him, never leave him... he is the way he is... she has the ability to love him as he is. and she perhaps even knows he can't live without her.

words are said on a verandah on a bright lovely day, where many other words have been said and heard, have hurt and loved... and all around, the air murmurs with meaning and mutterings you can't hear clearly, but you feel them, everything is rich with the unsaid and the not shown. art indeed lies in concealing art. and two actors are taking a scene to a place who thought it could go to.

he has cheated to win already, deliberately dropping her little pot of water, it's clear that he is not playing by any rules... he will do what it takes to get her back... fair unfair have no place in this pyaar. i like the sudden bursts of sound the director brings in, and that water sloshing now, and then later when her matkas fall... a sense of outburst, of dam bursting there, and extreme unrest. i think of the day he had a terrible headache and the tin of flour slipped and fell and created an explosion... explosions here too. the material reflecting a state of mind.

deceptive is the banter at the beginning. he is trying not to erupt maybe. and she is struggling not to lose her resolve.

"uh ho too late!"

"waise tum bahar kyun gayi thi... apni kismat likhne?"

so why did you go out, to write your own kismet?

"dar toh nahin lagega, kyunki aaj raat main bhi toh nahin rahoonga... tumhara haath pakadne ke liye..."

you won't feel scared (in the dark), will you... because i won't be there tonight to hold your hand...

ziddi jo ho!

stubborn that you are! 

(yes, she is, and that is one of her flaws, she also can act in a terribly unilateral way when she feels pushed to a point. she decided on her own that she couldn't tell anyone about shyam, not even him, not even when she loved him... she has now walked out without saying anything, she will do this later too on the issue of arav... real people are not perfect and you don't love people because they are perfect... a serial shows us that. and does it so well, that it possibly will actually help us understand and feel love in our own lives. it certainly brings love to centre stage in a world that has gone loopy and ridiculous about money, and makes it terribly attractive to young people. and it has done so without saying the material doesn't matter.) 

mere saath ghar aa jao... that's all you have to do.
come home with me, that's all you have to do.

yeah, mere saath... with me... all this to just bring her home. of course, not realistic, but reading of character and how each of us reacts in a situation, just beautiful.

keen dialogue writers and screenplay people have designed this intensely emotional piece. where there is no big deal "action" as such... but yet worlds seem to collide, universes realign.

he throws an ultimatum of barbad and walks out. she comes running after him and gives in.

oh that faint faint trace of triumphant smile

"phir se kaho..." say it again, he commands. how much he wants her how much.

and then the claim, i am always sahi... remember i am arnav singh raizada.

but she is khushi kumari gupta singh raizada. and she is just buying time. a wonderful crossing over of two strains of longing... 

he says, 

"tumhe wapas lakar rahoonga, khushi, contract khatam hone se pehle!"
i will bring you back, khushi, before the end of that contract!

she avers,

"nahin aaoongi... jab tak contract khatam na ho jata tab tak wapas nahin aaooongi!" i won't come... till the contract is over i won't come.

what is khushi saying really? isn't she saying, that his mentioning the contract has bothered her greatly. and if she comes back it will be after that period is over so he can never say that again and accepts her as she is who she is and forever, also accepts he was wrong. isn't she really telling us how hurt she is? for whatever reasons, writers never chose to explain too much, made it more fabulous i thought. and i read it that way, rather than she is actually leaving him...

this is ongoing communication between lovers, not always conducted in parliamentary language. often pretty unfathomable.

when he returned to get her, she played her silly game... he knew she was there. of course, he'd know.

she is in a terrible quandary, a mess really. he too. how quick the swing from anger to extreme concern when he sees that clumsy bundle of bandage. 
beautiful music on "what happened... kya hua..." and oh his tone of voice.
but just as quickly he is onto the game.

when he gets up and begins to walk away, i wonder. then that kick on the door. 

who thought of that fascinating bit. melodramatic, yet just right there. and very asr like... he is an intensely emotional man. and he knows she will run when he hurts himself... she is willing to die for him but she won't come home. yeah, love.

"arnav ji! aap theek toh hain..." arnav ji, are you okay! khushi shows love desperately and at last, perhaps that's all she wants to show anyway but can't.

"tum gir gai thi na... tumhare pair mein toh chot lagi thi?" 
you'd fallen hadn't you, you'd hurt your foot... his voice is silky smooth angry furious hurt sarcastic mad. love is not an easy thing to fall in. you want to hate her, you want to tell her you know what her game is, you want to yell, i won... but you can't, not without showing your need, you absolute love.

i am seeing wonderful actors interpreting a script that says one thing, means several other things too.
she does as he thought she would. they rave and rant at each other, he threatens to take her home carrying or dragging, kheechkar... yeah, no political correctness around here. those who seek that must leave now.

he tells her, she can't lie to him. is it a command or a plea? she had in khushi like sanka told him earlier when he had wanted her to face him, that she can't look at him because it hurts her foot... only kkg.

 "meri taraf dekho!" look at me.

"kyun dekhen!" why should i.
they both knew she couldn't look him in the eye and lie and that he'd read the truth.

she now mumbles about how for a few days she can't walk... till...

and he suddenly can't let this go on any more. everything gets stock still intense. he mentions the ten days. the contract.

there's suddenly no hidden game, the cards are on the table.

"kamse kam..." for at least.

"dus din tak. right? problem sirf dus din ki hai? hai na?"
for ten days. right? the problem is only of ten days? isn't it?

"yeh sab tum contract ki wajah se kar rahi ho na..." 
you're doing this because of the contract, aren't you. she looks at him, her eyes troubled, misery on her face.

"bache hue dus din yahan rehna chahti ho... taki tumhe humari shaadi se azadi...m-"
 he can't complete the sentence... the last few days you want to spend here, so that you can get freedom from our marriage... but after azadi, he can't say "get"... he just can't.

"khushi, yeh sab hone dogi tum?"
 khushi, you'll let this happen? suddenly the absolute vulnerability of this man who looks like he is in control. she always had that power over him. it's in her hands... he may be one to err but she? yeh sab tum hone dogi? perhaps deep inside, khushi makes him feel all will be well... her sunny happy bright can do spirit restores his faith and heals broken bits in him? she sets things right... how can she let this happen?

"hamari... shadi yuhin khatam hone dogi?"
 you'll let our marriage end just like that? oh arnav singh raizada, why are you so beautiful in love? why are you such a splendid creature.

"kaisi shadi... humne jo kiya wo shadi nahin dhoka tha... ek sauda tha..." 
what marriage! what we did was not a marriage, it was a deal. khushi is too hurt to read what is so very apparent in his voice. she is not able to walk out of that quagmire of pain. so she hurls at him, what is so true at one level.

this was the contract episode. the midpoint of a track which meant to go to the heart of the thing, starting that night when he accused her and later brought up the contract again. 

the return to that terrible moment of cleaving in their lives. i had a sense that that was the initial plan, to show them work out the many nuances of that egregious contract and its consequences... but after it had been written and a lot of the shooting done, plans changed.

dadi came into the picture... 

and with voice overs inserted (why did he suddenly decide to take her home the next day, for example), track went in another direction.

had this track continued, we'd have had the delve into the contract that would have been hypnotically powerful i have no doubt. it needed resolution. i can almost see asr standing in the drawing room and declaring what he had done and why... again holding khushi's hand, and this time not letting anyone slap her. he did prevent a slap but for a trp generating remarriage.

"ab dus dine mein sharte khatam, sauda khatam aur baki sab bhi..." 
she couldn't complete the sentence now. in ten days, the conditions are over, the deal is over and everything else is...

 over, he said.

"itta easy hai tumhare liye..."
 it's so easy for you? said the powerful man who writes his own destiny and doesn't bow before anyone, to the one without whom he could not breathe. not really.

his itta was beautiful... colloquial, showing a tenderness and brokenness...

"ab hamara in sab baaton se koi matlab nahin hai..."
 all this means nothing to me, she tried to sound firm, for she was falling apart.

"koi matlab nahin hai?"
 means nothing? his words had been thrown back at him... and i began to notice his condition... i feared for him. this man knows no halfway type of feeling... he'd go under i thought. where was his gussa, i wished it would step in and save him.

it did.

"ok, sure kuch discuss nahin karte hain..." okay, let's not discuss anything, let's just wait here, and explain all to your family... get a divorce... we have witnesses here too. as she flinched at the turn of events, he pushed... he needed to close this deal badly. and yet perhaps a part of him had snapped, he was beyond caring. they fought on as lovers do.

"tum kya wajah dene wali thi... kuch jhoot bolti na... for a change ab sach bolte hain..."
 what were you going to say, perhaps a lie? now let's tell them the truth. khushi does tell lies when she thinks she needs to... while lies are anathema to him...

and we come to that unspeakably smooth writing and asr khushi moment.

"ab kissi ke saath bhi koi games nahin khelte hain!'' now let's not play any games with anyone, says he.

khushi instantly knows, the deadliest move in the game has been made and she knows him well enough to know what to say next,

"kya chahiye aapko?" 
what do you want?

"ghar chalo... mere saath," come home... with me.

love... many ways of saying how badly you are in it. how madly.

"dus din ke baad kya hoga mujhe usse faraq nahin padta." what will happen after ten days makes no difference to him. 

yeah, this was definitely the contract track.

changed to remarriage.

contract would have ended with a beautiful private ceremony between the two as many many of us had felt.

i love 310. the last five minutes are not acting or on a screen. it's happened. it's here. and the rest is heady, gorgeous man woman and a feeling, wonderfully written, directed, portrayed. it's a landmark episode to me. after this something went missing from ipk... even though no one could ever really say,
"sharte khatam, sauda khatam aur baki sab bhi..."


have we ever seen such real emotions on a screen... so real you feel it, you're in it, you're interpreting dialogues beyond what they say and going where who knows but you got to keep going.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

hot spot

he was the last person to think a streak of red powder on his cheek would completely throw him. fill him with a longing. remind him of faraq kyun padta hai... a girl by a poolside, a desire within. but then he had touched her innocent cheek with the red. contact. he had severed it with all his anger and disillusionment. how it surged back without even a moment's notice, no time to think, you've got to feel, now. intense. she reached out with tentative fingers and smeared him with red. a mingling of touch and turbulence, he couldn't stay calm, unmoved. not while the colour scorched skin, the powder was incendiary. he reached and let his fingers get burnt.


on looking at 122 again

something told him, it had to be her. who else.

and she did get caught. he wished he could...
he was ready to scream his head off, but h, they were not talking to each other. he had set the condition.

poor laad governor. 

and jhalli realised of course, what tripped him up. and jhalli couldn't stop the smile from sparking her eyes.

he threw a nice little tant. whacked the pillar, looked incredibly incredible and walked off.

gahahahhahhhha, he could sense she was laughing at him.

so he turned around with that deadly look, i have a feeling one part of him could never quite process the craziness of her actions. not in his wildest could he imagine doing such things, or in fact, any adult doing such things.

and she adjusted her features, trying hard not to let rakshas see she was guffawing at his predicament. his defeat. the laad governor wasn't speaking to her, so... how could he yell and shout. even though he knew who was creating the racket while he did tycoonishly imp stuff.

and khussie bitiya of course couldn't let that mean chappie be. she had to get after him. oh, the complications of lau. and the sublime take on it by one tv serial.

look at these two... when episode started could i have ever imagined, we'd be going here soon?

or here?

and before you know it... here?

this intuitive, elegant writing about a relationship between two people... who were the way they were. this understanding of asr kkg's specific romance. this crazy graph of now irritated, angry, exasperated, now melting, needing, reaching. unimaginably powerful it was, and of course barun and sanaya just cracked it so sharp, you almost wept every time, even as you wanted to laugh with a peculiar joy.

the mix of emotions being tapped to reach the viewer was not unusual though. this being a soap, every episode had to have its prescribed balance of laughter, sadness, passion, humour, drama, villainy, etc., almost all serials have it. but ipk always mixed the potion so you would be left gasping slightly, positive seeing stars.

episode 122 the khanak of you
episode 122 design notes

i have lost count of the number of times i have watched 122 and many others. every time even now, and it's been almost five years since ipk ended, i see new things. thrilling things. and how my fingers itch to make caps, make edits. classic really this show and the feelings it brings about.


Saturday, 22 April 2017

khushi's questions

khushi doesn't run away, khushi doesn't simper in a corner and become achhi ladki, khushi doesn't leave him be. it's 111, they've been to the poolside and both lost control. and soem of us on blast from the past are watching it all all over again and minutely dissecting the moment... teehee, nothing new. horizon feels, this was not very khushi like, i of course had to write a paper on it.

ok, now we argue and get all dissertation-ish or whatever it is that phd seekers do.

i thought that would be exactly the kind of questions she would ask. a straight forward girl... a very troubled girl with all these crazy thoughts going through her... a girl who is completely rattled by a man's intense attention... she is not supposed to want this but yet she does... she is not supposed to fling herself on him when she needs a place of safety, of everything is ok, yet she does... she can't stop thinking about him... he is in her work place, her thoughts, everywhere... she has been asked to marry another but she sees this man as her husband...

in short, our jhalli is in super turmoil.

then he seeks her out. and that fall of hers diverts everything to a sensuous physical thing over the fixing of an ankle... even thinking about it, breathing laboured, she goes through it... a thousand thoughts in her head... and then his turning back, and the interlude both seemed to just want no matter what. or who.

that is what the scene had in it i felt. everything and everyone else stopped for both. no one thought of lavanya... not asr... not khushi.

a more powerful feeling asserted itself, for it was just that, more potent than what either felt for la. what either felt for or about anything.

at a rational level of course khushi would always know it's not right, but this was way beyond all things rational.

and because it was so bizarre, she had to find out... at this moment, she was just a girl lost in an utterly confusing situation, she needed to find answers. precisely because she was not planning and scheming this, she needed clarity. thinking once the answers were there, everything would become easier to handle. her mind was not telling her all the what if scenarios, it just wanted calm. desperately.

khushi in trouble always talks non stop... quiet is not her way. she started to talk, question upon question.

and the more she asked, the more scared he got. appalled at his lack of control, every question stoked his feeling of this can't be happening to me.

two people really desperate in the situation they find themselves in.

pity, la had to bear the brunt of it.


what a diwali it was


since yesterday, wondering what to write for 111, should i write at all. will anything do justice. horizon, i am with you in that marvelling at the level of detail in these episodes. 

so much craft and such care. every frame, every edit, every expression, the whole thing in such wonderful flow, conveying layer upon layer of meaning. each viewing something stands out as your body registers it first, some part goes warm, breath catches a bit. you say huh and rewind and again it happens. last two viewings the word satyr in my head. that ear defined right beside an eye riveted, blue tinged with red, dark dark hair and a complete sensuality without a single mental/rational note in it.

and then again, the man turning back, the beginning of the conscious letting go of thought maybe, just feeling, just instinct, what made him turn back, did that little turning away of hers make him want to savour a chase, and conquer, or was it just her long gaze on him as he put on that payal, that inflamed his body with its intimate lingering over him. that long time stilling look at her, says you're beautiful, are you real, i just want you, draws her to him with his eyes, a bit of tenderness there though, as though he knows she's untouched precious and he is just helpless before her. who is the conqueror really and who the conquest.

i could go on. how she writhes in anticipation, the good girl forgetting everything, just wanting those lips she's looked at many times before to do what she fears they might, wants that they will.

this was the first time though that i did feel, there was no need for that song, jadoo hai nasha hai. just the soundtrack that was on with hints of wind and silences pregnant with rampant desire would have been enough. i watched with audio mute, and again felt the draw, my ears beginning to flame, breath erratic.

if you think about it a whole range of cliches: two gorgeous young people, a woman in red, night, pool side, attraction, opposites... oh it's all been done before... but never ever quite like this. fascinating understanding of a moment in an episode that was all about "nahin understand."

this scene does deserve an award of some sort. a recognition.