Sunday, 27 October 2019

happy diwali and really koi matlab nahin

there can never be diwali again without my mind going to a poolside, a haircut, a backward step, a forward step, a pair of quiverting lips, a hand going up, another hand going up, a transfixed gaze, a tear rolling down the cheek, a koi matlab nahin, a means nothing, a koi matlab nahin? 

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

that morning after

that morning there was anger in him and perhaps a hint of guilt too. perhaps he sought the comfort of his plants, their calming effect. he was a gardener deep down, he wanted to create, see things grow, blossom, it perhaps soothed him in unspoken ways too. it was perhaps also a way to shut the bedard duniya out.

but this morning, it wouldn't shut out a voice. a voice that accused him. a voice that insulted him with that bhad mein jaaye. a voice that questioned his very character. a voice that did something to him that he couldn't quite understand. and his character... so precious to him... to be sahi... to not be galat... like his father. in fact, his dimaag and dil have whispered to him before that what he's doing with this girl may not be right... in the suv, after the rain, in the rain... kyun, kyun mujhe aisa lag raha hai...

he who had sworn never to let kissi ladki make any faraq... because a woman, an illicit romantic relationship perhaps, had ruined their lives... now this ladki was so much on his mind. i think he genuinely was uncomfortable with that. in fact, had kkg not run after him in the mazar, he would have walked away. if she hadn't landed up in his office and insisted on working, he'd have been fine. he was comfortable where he was, his safe zone. now this knocking on the gates of his domain, his fort.

the voice connected him to an anger that had possibly become part of him. it triggered fury. just as there was extreme tenderness in him, there was a proclivity for violence. did it take root on that night he saw his mother die and all because of his father's misdemeanour? so much of asr is in that echoing maa.

when he lost his cool, he catapulted to violence often. that snapping of the pearl string on their first meeting. she mentioned his sister, he lost control. this out of proportion anger, that made him lose his senses was always there. on the night of a wedding, on a terrace, he would again lose all control over his feelings and commit an act of violence almost by yoking the one his heart ached for to him but in the most painful and traumatic way.

today, he was at the beginning of this yearning. it was still not clear to him what it was... why her words mattered. why he couldn't stop thinking of her. and how dare she insult him. he had to do something. and do it now. her tirade had left him speechless. she had railed at him. he had tried to say something, but she wouldn't let him speak... he had been struck deep by her words, he could only express that feeling through anger perhaps. all that pent up anger was bursting forth now. had she been around, the brunt of his anger would be borne by her. but she wasn't, he reached out for something precious and flung it down. all his tenderness and violence mixed in that act? we see the gussa. we don't sense the tenderness... he needs to apologise to the girl he almost harmed irreparably becasue he was angry with her... t his sister knows him well, she knows what hdes underneath that anger.

asr was an upright human being. he'd never knowingly have sent khushi to a dangerous place. that was bothering him. her believing that he was a man with no conscience was bothering him. her tirade and insults were something he never would take from anyone, that was bothering him. the girl was too much on his mind, that was bothering him. he reached out and expressed his anger. without words. with just a violent act.

why did i hear that jagged sharp maa in it as i thought about it now? just like that moment in his life, from normal to chaos... was this a leitmotif in his life?

and did the anger of guesthouse and the resignation also make him note there was a similarity in him and this girl from out of the blue... did he hear echoes of his gussa in hers? again di pointed out there was something that was alike in both... she didn't say the rest, that in everything else they were poles apart.

but it wasn't just their gussa, it was their tenderness too, that was alike and sweet as h. just look at the way he's taking care of his plants. wonderful direction, taking it from that sweetness to that chaos. the play of contrasts. and who could do it more brilliantly than one asr.


Sunday, 13 January 2019

gussawala asr

on the forum, someone asked me, after reading my ff not cut out for love, why i was "so obsessed with this dominant-ruthless-gussawala ASR so much?" :) my answer...

oh, that gussa of asr, sneha, how to explain how deeply it used to move me. the sudden flare ups of this otherwise cool calculated reasonable young man. his gussa spoke stories, stories no one ultimately told... nani ji had once said his gussa was like his father's and oh the sharp snapping retort... i am nothing like him.

and his gussa's measure hinted at the measure of the pyaar he could give... till then only given to his maa and his sis... but to overcome that shattered trust always echoing in his gussa and to give his pyaar, as intense as and even more than his gussa, to a complete outsider... for someone to actually breach that gussa fort of his... that was their pyaar which was difficult to find a name for. would anyone love a man who dragged them to a temple seething, cursing, angry and thrust sindoor on their maang? should anyone? this was a question almost implicit in the show. yet, khushi did. she could read beyond the gussa, she knew somewhere what brought on the gussa, and she perhaps ached to soothe it even as she was stoked to gussa herself. this was a beautiful story of emotions, how they are not always easily understood or explained.

that marriage was forced on the show, intersting that writers turned it into a forced marriage :). i have heard it was not supposed to be this, it was to be a forced live in situation instead. well, whatever it was to be... the crux of it would be asr's gussa at the thought of betrayal. khushi made very interesting observations about his anger. how he gets angry and does ridiculous and wrong things, then calms down and tries to set things right. that gussa was as much asr as his sexiness, his intelligence, his humour, his deep down soft heart, his regard for women, his ache, him.

ohhhohoho, no, mushy sweet asr just doesn't feel like asr to me.

and the asr i feel and hold dear, will do things which aren't always completely right. sometimes i will not be able to forgive him even, like that dropping her to the floor below from his office, even to some extent that marriage, and that snappng of dori... but all of that is him. you have to take a person as they are if they mean anything to you. yes, you can suggest change, hope they'll calm down a bit and get better... but there are no guarantees. khushi took that chance. i have great regard for her for seeing right into his character. and because she perhaps understood love better than he did, she never decided to change him even when it hurt her... and she could make him see sides of things in the most touching way, i so enjoyed her ultimate explanation to asr as to why she is doing karwa chauth, and how it really doesn't matter if he does not believe in such things. the girl is grand in many ways, and she has her share of gussa. thank h.

so yeah, hmmm, seems like i like gussawala asr.


Tuesday, 8 January 2019

talking about la

recently, on the forum, started chatting about ipk with someone. la came up. i am sure i've written about her somewhere, can't find it. but here are some thoughts. la was important... even asr knew it.

i have always liked la and have marvelled at the way ipk writers presented her, even if yes, there was some unfairness flung at her just to keep either story going or up the image of main lead.

la was not stupid. so making her seem so was irresponsible writing. i can understand adding nuance to a character, but this was ham handed messing with a character. perhaps having created a character that indian soap had really not seen before... or perhaps worried by the chemistry between la and asr, for there was plenty of that... or perhaps on some days they just needed some filler scenes, they were pretty unkind to her.

but really, la managed to handle all that and still had us feeling terrible for her at that moment when he said, "bahut bura lagta mujhe... par main kuch kabhi jaankar nahin karta, khushi, main bas aisa hi hoon, shayad main..."

(i feel really bad... but i never do anything knowing what i'm doing, khushi, i'm just, i am like this, maybe i...)

la heard khushi's name and seemed to freeze. he still had no idea what he's just said... he carriesd on, la can't stop him.
but then, la had to make him stop. for her sake. for his sake. she put her hand on his shoulder.

broke my heart. for la, for asr, for khushi, for this thing we call love.

i think sana got la. and she enjoyed being la, she interpreted her with emotion and integrity, and so no matter how much you tried to make her less, she remained relevant, touching your heart.

i used to seethe at the idea of la being "trained" to be more "bahu" like. the whole moving of la to shantivan and so kkg too, was done to get the romance out of the office to the home... i think i heard somewhere that for the general entertainment channels with their sort of audience, things have to happen in a "family" set up, so no cool ar office, and yes, the shadi must take place within six months, otherwise palpitating aunties of the world wouldn't be able to take it. this is the condescending and shallow target audience reading of most of these channels... so we had the forced wedding.

while they handled the coming of la to shantivan fabulously i just couldn't get over that whole asr saying, i'm leaving... haan, ussi ke paas jaaonga (words to that effect), and finally the solution worked out by the wily shyam and the live in girl friend scenario that "training" of la though made my hackles rise, as it did asr's.

again, it was la's character and sana's portrayal that made it work... she would eat egg which gave her allergy, because she's willing to do anything for him. from that perspective, knowing how much his family means to him (though he says only di matters and the rest don't), also wanting so terribly to be part of his life, i guess one could argue she'd agree to be "trained". thankfully, she rants angrily before giving in.
i was grateful la did not lose all of herself... her deciding she'd give kkg her kind of clothes had me grinning. yeah, la was willing to learn stuff to get what she wanted, but no, she wasn't walking out on herself. she also said very clearly what it was she had learnt and why it was precious.

la was refreshing. she never played "good girl". if she wanted something she went after it. she admitted to her own feelings. she was what she was, and there was a generous, not petty side to her... that paying for all the pizzas casually in an early office episode when sim and pam were out to rag kkg, and she didn't even like kkg.

la also loved asr more than he knew or perhaps even she. which may be one reason why she seemed to miss all the signs of attraction that asr was merilly exhibiting. he had called her khushi back in 80 (was it?), he had over reacted to kkg even earlier in 25 calling la for her phone number at night... la had pointed it out.

"tumhe nahin lag raha tum uss chhotey se employee ko kuch zyada dhyan de rahe ho?"

(don't you think you're paying too much attention to that junior employee?)

"enough, lavanya... number!"

but they say, the wife is always the last to find out about a husband's affairs... could it be that when we love someone too much and want them badly in our lives (or are so used to having them in our lives as happens with wives/spouses), we just don't see the obvious because we subconsciously do not wish to?

anyway, she finally did acknowledge what was going on. she went beyond. she understood exactly what this was about... it was about that sabse bada thing. it was about pyaar. this was pyaar.

she had been there... she knew what it was. even if her clever handsome astute and beautiful boyfriend didn't.
writers ultimately couldn't deny la her her place in this love story. or her compassion and the depth of her character.
how many women would walk away with such grace at the moment that la did? and without any rancour, wishing her friend and the man she loved the very best.

oh that scene with khushi... take care of asr.

that was la.

she could call you chamkili. she could be nasty as hell. she could disrespect an elder when drunk and call her gabbar. she could order you around. she could get allergy for you. she could long and agree to change for you. she could apologise. she could go for a party on her own. she could give what mattered most to her to you because she knew that's the way it had to be.

she always had a fear that asr would not be hers, didn't she? for perhaps she knew she never reached beyond a certain layer within him, and she knew there were many many layers beneath that and it was a matter of time before someone got there.

it was not that la didn't matter to asr. just that someone came along and slipped in even deeper. he had not planned for it. and he did all he could not to let it happen. he knew finally, he had not been fair to la... perhaps ever.

when they let la go... the writers seemed to be in a hurry. in a hindi serial evoking such positive and tender emotions for the "other girl" is rarely done, perhaps never... maybe they were scared, it might affect the main love story... i don't know. but la was lovely.

i would have liked to know what happened to her later. i really would.

you're right, asr would have never had such strong feelings for a bimbo. and their relationship had a touching quality to it. so very sweet (and predictably tycoonish) that sending of a bag to say sorry to la... months later, another bag would come along trying to win over another girl he'd really hurt.  asr had that obvious side to him, which made the other, less readable side oh so so very absorbing (i am being very circumspect with my words here hahha).

wrote this in my episode 12 take: i grew to really like this character. mind of her own, many shallownesses, yet a loving side, and extreme wisdom when she realises that the one she loves, loves another. her parting scenes are some of the best i've seen anywhere. also like the slowly growing friendship between her and her opposite, khushi. both girls were special. not stereotypical. each was human, filled with the aspirations of girls their age, time, and place. real people. as long as women are bound and gagged by so called tradition - because, sorry, indian tradition is very very far from what saas bahu serials will have us believe - we have no chance of respecting ourselves or being respected by society. strong words perhaps, but had to be said.


office episodes
episode rambles

i have written about lavanya on many of my takes. in episode 58/59 two girls and an attitude, i am quite irritated with her but right from her first appearance i'd taken to her as is evident in episode 12 look it's la. in episode 78 veil of truth, you'll find my thoughts on this not easy to dismiss girl just below this visual.


Sunday, 6 January 2019

that diwali which meant nothing

diwali. a momentous episode in the story of their love. here a delineation of the powerful, elemental pull between a man and a woman... a carnal, physical, mindless thing in it. every encounter would change them a little, make their relationship take a step, but diwali was a tectonic shift. a heave in it and when things settled back, they weren't exactly the same as before, a permanent change had taken place. nothing would be the same again. and that's why maybe story wise, it was the perfect moment to have them commit to a life with someone else.

doesn't mean a thing.

koi matlab nahin? 


Saturday, 5 January 2019

ipkknd rewind 7 jan 2019

the tycoon returneth day after tomorrow. can't say some amount of sanka isn't spreading already... smell of jalebi being fried in the air. or is it chameli ka tel.

the finger had to pause there. it's only business, said my head. but my dil was in no mood to listen.