Sunday, 21 May 2017

do you believe in kismet?


there was a bit of kismet in it.

i don't follow serials, hindi or english or in any other language. television is not my thing. catch some friends or csi or ncis once in a way. don't mind a little monk, 30 rock, frasier, or jon stewart now and then. won't lie, did watch the bold and the beautiful and santa barbara over a glass of bad bosca wine every evening for many months when cable first came to india in the mid nineties. and of course, loved star trek, hawaii 5-0, and family ties as a kid. i have never been hooked though, not on the serials i mentioned, not even jon hamm in mad men can get me to check schedules and be there, hah, i am that tv proof.

but after many years away from india, surrounded by cool calm green and peace and quiet, i started to miss colour, both in the literal and metaphorical sense. so the tv would be switched on the moment i got back home and i would carry on with my life while red, orange, blue, mithai pink, chutney green, big bindis, long mangal sutras, hideous saris, parivars and paramparas, bahus and saases, vamps who had a yen for english, characters that died and returned, all carried on merrily. always, but always, in the background. i rarely paid them any attention.


once in a while i watched, then admonished myself for being so idiotic and stopped. till one day, i heard "nafrat paas aaney na de, mohabbat door jaane na de." i turned around, saw a well dressed man and a very thin girl. it was a promo, seemed interesting. then i thought, forget it, they're going to ruin it anyway.

therefore, i was not there on the sixth of june last year.

one afternoon, sometime in oct/nov 2011, no idea which episode, i happened to look at the television. and just couldn't look away. a gorgeous young man... but hold it, i've seen him before, in shraddha, in baat hamari, yeah looked kind of nice, there was something about him, but like this? never. oh what's happening to me? so drop dead gorgeous, who is he? and is that delhi. delhi!


i was born in new delhi, spent lots of childhood there, with a fabulous nani, nana, mamas and mamis. in fact, class 7 to 11 went to school there and stayed with my grandparents three of those years. then ran away for college to calcutta. why? because i feared none of those good looking delhi boys would ever look at me.


honest. that was the reason. no intellectual bong here, sorry.
and now one of those guys was looking straight at me from that stupid screen. full circle, i was 50 and a bit, yet could feel the familiar urge to bolt. but this time i decided to stay.
my extreme knowledge of mills and b gathered from age 12 to 17, told me i was looking at an arms akimbo man. but it was the tadka of dilli that had me still, unmoving. english with a delhi accent, i mean please may i die. "d'you understand?!!" ohhh.


(i also found that he and his wife married around the same age as my husband and i did; his intensity of feelings for her, well i have been there too and am still there; struggled to be financially ok, us too; seven years in the same not too inspiring job because it was important to earn, like that. insists his name be spelt right. walking away became more and more impossible.)

barun sobti was not the first choice for arnav singh raizada. yet there he is. could anyone else have ever been asr, or arnav, even chhotey? and yet, he wasn't the first choice. a bit of a compromise, i get the feeling. remember hearing lalit mohan say that mr sobti had the eyes for the role. what would lm know about the jaw line, the widow's peak, the flowing limbs, the long neck, the crazy lips, the pop out irresistible ears, the down on the back of the wrist that shimmers in the light, the collar bones. but thank everything, someone sensed the potential of this man's hitherto untried acting ability. someone saw arnav singh raizada in him.

sanaya irani had often heard that she would never be able to do a typical indian girl's role. she said, getting gunjan gave her a sense of real achievement. but just imagine the genius of the person who decided that our small town, lower middle class, hindi speaking desi girl with the tedha choti should be portrayed by this big city, upper middle class, english educated, sophisticated young woman of rather videshi complexion. the contrast works like a dream. it makes khushi yours, mine, ours; whether you're from small or big city, desh or videsh, young or old. sanaya was told by nissar parvez (i think) that everyone knows her as gunjan, but after this, people should only remember her as khushi. what a fantastic one line brief. and how utterly successful ms irani has been in meeting it. a girl who'd never get a role as a typical indian girl.

iss pyaar ko kya naam doon? was pitched for star one. but kismet would have none of that. and so it was that number crunching, trp and target audience oriented channel went with a gut feel (i'm sure they backed all decisions with many so called facts and computations, and tender parts of anatomy were duly covered) and decided ipkknd ought to go to star plus. (mwah mwah to whoever was the executive.)

i used to be (just corrected the "am" i'd instinctively written) the last person to want to talk endlessly about a serial, and that too on some social networking (gak what a word) site. deleted my facebook account some time ago. i heard about india forums on the noreen khan interview, as by now i had got the bug badly enough to look for the actors and the show everywhere. sbs, sbb, what were these things! a whole new world out there. anyway went and signed up at india f.


soon after that i realised that my favourite niece (tennismaniac19, i think she calls herself, writes lovely stories) was as lovestruck as i. and while we gushed together and i mentioned the forum, she said i should check out crooner.


led to you girls, i was. by a nineteen year old. that's cool, since i'm about 15.


and here we are, priya. in your wonderful thread. talking, chatting, giggling, singing, getting closer, becoming important in each other's day. i read many of all your posts. there were bits of me in there too.

many instances of  this play of fate i will never know. like how did they decide upon lakshmi ji, a pet goat! or the posse of prakashes that keeps rm going. or how did such a perfect team of actors who not only act well but gel with each other come together. or that unbelievably beautiful strain of "rabba vey", how could a little known music director come up with it. and what wonderful improvisations and extensions on the theme. old rabba vey, sad rabba vey, new rabba vey, why am i smiling.

here's thanking each one at iss pyaar ko kya naam doon? and all of you in the crooner. and a very very happy anniversary to all.

my sleeping patterns are ruined (episode airs at 12 mn), my friends are worried about my mind, but the man i've been married to for 26 years patiently asks me every day, so what happened last night? then gives me my fifteen minutes on my favourite topic.


more than anything, even more than my crush on a 27 year old boy, or maybe through that feeling precisely, iss pyaar ko has led me right back to a most important thing in life: love and the expression of it through romance.


i flirt with my husband for no reason again. despite my age and weight. and there's a certain lightness to love that i haven't felt in years.

this morning he said over the phone: mami ji is a bit like aunty s. i said: no, a mix of aunty s and aunty h.

iss pyaar ko kya naam doon? was indeed a gift from kismet.



wrote this for crooner's anniversary in 2012... many memories of that chatty, funny, intelligent, insightful, snarky thread. 











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