Friday, 27 October 2017

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?

No comments:

Post a comment