Sunday, 29 October 2017

she is leaving

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



Saturday, 28 October 2017

episode 33 the confrontation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                  ~~~ robbie krieger, the doors ~~~

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

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

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

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

fan fiction

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

episode 36 calendar girl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

relationships and their meaning throughout episode.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



those teej episodes
episode rambles

Friday, 27 October 2017

a friday with 35

fixing the pictures on episode 35. while watching again and making caps, i felt that old familiar feeling. no name for it yet. not easy to frame in sounds with boundaries feelings that know none. that just flow. that just are.

episode 35 he is leaving


those teej episodes
episode rambles


episode 35 he is leaving

main kissike saath zabardasti nahin kar raha,
main sirf itna kah raha hoon
ki apni zindagi mujhe apni tareeke se jeene ka haq hai...
kyonki main kissike jeene ka tareeke par kabhi ungli nahin uthata...
jab aap sab woh kar sakte hain, jo aapka man karta hai...
toh main kyon nahin?"

"everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedom - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."
~~~ victor frankl, man's search for meaning ~~~

this is the one thing, arnav singh raizada does ask for himself, the right to live his life his own way. everything that was his right by birth has been messed with. a father who didn't do "sahi" and all its consequences. asr never shirked, never shied away. he did everything he could by his di, nani, family, everything for them. nothing asked for in return, but this one thing.

yet nani, out of that love of hers, his caretaker and guardian since he was 14, was not ready to give in. she had sensed that her chhotey hadn't chosen the right girl, and she was going to get her way, get him away from her, for his own good. haven't we all heard this story many times before, in our very homes? this too is love. just that it doesn't see that it is time to let go.  later he will say, "maaf kijiyega nani, par aap bhi bhool rahin hain, ki jinki zindagi ke faisle aap kar rahi hain, woh bade ho gaye hain." in our culture, elders are always accorded a special respect by virtue of their age. he doesn't defy that, but he points out that there's a basic fallacy in the approach nani has taken: she hasn't understood that those whose lives she wants to make better and as their elder has taken decisions on all these years, are now grown adults. capable of making their own decisions.

beautiful, classic counterpoint. a wonderfully crafted scene that left me breathless, from the point that he hears nani has refused food and enters her room.

first a tentative, "nani?!" then sitting by the matriarch whom he too loves completely, "nani, aap theek toh hain?" akash joins him with "dadi, kya hua, aap khane pe aa jaiye," and a  scene of family ties, bonds, concerns expressed through body language; grandsons leaning on either side, grand daughter, daughter in law, son, all arrayed around. everybody gives a damn for this elder. she is special to them. and as we watch we can't help but notice, how much asr gets from her. at times mirrors of each other, in their stubbornness, their turn of phrase, and their ability for big love and deep conscience.

when she says she isn't eating. the grandson is perturbed, trying to cajole, "nani, yeh kaisi zid hai?" but nani is not to be coaxed, and a battle of words ensues. slowly the temperature rises, the pressure increases.

everything takes a turn for calamity on nani's, "aap wahi kar rahe hain jo aapke pita kiye rahe hain." being compared to his father in any way is intolerable to asr. he can't take it. still he tries: don't bring him into this, this is about me. no, avers nani, this is not you, this is your father's blood talking. that does it.

when nani, not realising where asr's feelings are spiraling to, continues: he did as he pleased and his mistakes ruined our home, i won't let this happen again in this home; a suffocated feel in his expression, a lethal coldness. and the words, "toh theek hai... main hi iss ghar se chala jata hoon... aap se door... iss ghar se door... sab se door," he'll punish himself and go away from his family if that's what will solve the issue, but he will not compromise on the premise of living his life his own way.

with her wisdom nani might have checked the damage and turned the tide, but this was not to be. she pushed on. next button. so, where will you go leaving us, to that lavanya kassyap? he had probably never thought that, why probably, certainly. this whole, okay i'll leave home so that we can all live in peace came as a reaction to escalating pressure. when nani said this, he was too far gone... his anger wanted release. he said, yes i will go to her. "haan ussike paas jaaonga..." with more emphasis, "wahin rahoonga..." and the final hit, "usske saath."

the whole world stopped breathing. including me.

(the word "usske saath," brought memories of 1 august 2012. he's telling khushi, all she has to do is come back to him... mere saath, mere paas. something terribly sensual in the way he says "paas, " "saath," possession, ownership, belonging in there.)

you couldn't blame anyone and you couldn't stop the mayhem. this and the following two sequences on the subject were some of the best in ipk. the level of acting by all was commendable. di, worried, perplexed, desperately looking for a solution, shocked at what's transpiring. nani, absolutely in character, her anger ricocheting off surfaces, glittering. asr, unable to stop himself from picking that anger up and reflecting it amplified, getting deeper into a terrible moment. notice how he turns away on those final words.

so characteristic. can't be cruel looking into the eyes of those he loves. they need to be shut out. the man who looks you in the eye and speaks, when he turns away, he knows he is saying something he really shouldn't. but his nature won't let him stop.

in his room, as he packs, a sudden stillness. he hears his nani accusing him of being like his father. unbearable. and after days, his dreaded memory flashes. his sister, he, a gunshot, a trapped scream "maa". he will not live where he is compared to the man he will have no part of.

before the mirror he stands looking at himself, questioning, looking for resolve. nani and he were like reflections of each other just a while ago. now he faces himself. no, he is not like his dad. a decision is taken, his movements quicken, he turns, reaches his wardrobe, swiftly packs, picks up his bag, and out. he is leaving.

a riveting scene. barun sobti said more in this dense scene minus a single dialogue than all the words he said this episode. packed with nuance, body virtually speaking, conveying all his feelings; as he looked immersed in thought while packing and then pulled himself upright hearing nani's words, that jerky, focussed way in which he packed, that waiting to get a hold of himself before his own reflection... who would have thought this was just a performance, and he but an actor of asr. this man was asr. i was rapt as i watched him. brilliant is the only word that seemed to fit.

an important episode, here we heard asr spell out his philosophy of life really, vis a vis others. respect for others way of life and respect for his. that's all. level, undemanding, fair. there was also a cry many of us have felt in us as we became adults and those who cared for us couldn't see it: i am grown up now, old enough to make my own mistakes.

there was also a shade of the individualist sixties' rebel. deep, emotional, intense, and willing to take action if his way is not respected.

so many shades in just this situation. i have to say there was something utterly sexy in the way his concern changed to assertion, then anger, losing control, resolving to stay with his decision, packing and leaving in that energetic, young turk way.

but di was at the gate. and when her voice hardened, chhotey had to listen.

this is the woman around whom his place of hope and happiness is built. she is indeed his world. otherwise it is bleak inside, hurt, crying. he has hardened to withstand that. his laughter is in her smile. he will do whatever it takes to guard her against harm. protect her happiness.

the agnostic's hand reaches out swiftly to keep her diya from blowing out. he insists that she have juice, because he's done research on teej and knows this is allowed. research? as he did later on every ritual he didn't believe in but was important to the love of his life. and insisted things be done the right way. strangely cute is our mr arnav singh raizada.

no wonder someone is not happy after raving at him. and around her hovers the the man who is in reality the "galat" man, who says, god has given us eyes in front so we can look ahead, but something tells you he isn't free of the past. in whose, "asal baat toh yehi hai... zindagi mein jo bhi karo... apne hisaab se karo. apne marzi se jeeo aur hamesha apni dil ki suno," somehow doesn't sit right. sounds platitudinous, perhaps even selfish. his phone games continue, as does his bid to get close to khushi.

two young men speak of the right to live life one's own way. how different their paths to this right. the themes of sahi and galat, exploration continues.

when i see this man, many thoughts and references come. today, frank sinatra's unforgettable "my way" and my favourite robert frost poem, the road not taken:
two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
and sorry i could not travel both
and be one traveler, long i stood
and looked down one as far as i could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;      
then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim,
because it was grassy and wanted wear;
though as for that the passing there
had worn them really about the same,      
and both that morning equally lay
in leaves no step had trodden black.
oh, i kept the first for another day!
yet knowing how way leads on to way,
i doubted if i should ever come back.     
i shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and i,
i took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.


those teej episodes
episode rambles

nani... i'm not forcing anyone to do anything.
all i'm saying is, i have a right to live my life my own way...
because i never object to anyone's way of living...
if all of you can do the things you wish to...
why can't i?