Dwelling on the Details: Shades of Sorrow
March 1st, 2012: Le Gayo Rang, Rang Rasiya
I've been seeing LOTS of complaints about the slow pace of the episodes, too much emphasis on Aarti and whatnot...I may be in a minority here, but I don't mind the pace and the focus of the episodes at all. There are many important details that come out more strongly if the pace of the episode is "slow," and there's more time to observe what each character is like based on their mannerisms and reactions to situations and other people.
I don't think it's fair to dismiss Aarti's scenes as repetitive or monotonous. I have seen different shades of Aarti come out in many of these scenes. Kratika has been demonstrating the immense amount of control she has over her craft and her understanding of her character by bringing out nuances that show Aarti's feelings as well as her relationships with other people through her body language. If one actually takes time to focus on the execution/performative aspects of such scenes, one can see just how much care has been taken to present a large amount of information nonverbally. This is a recurring aspect of Aarti's personality and the way that she has been characterized and portrayed, so I simply cannot ignore it or gloss over it.
Kratika has already shaped Aarti Dubey into a realistic, identifiable woman when it could have been all too easy to turn her into yet another one of those unidimensional female protagonists on Indian television. I applaud the entire Punar Vivaah team for their efforts - for conceptualizing Aarti this way, and for picking an exceptional actor who truly understands how important it is to step into the skin of a character to be their Aarti.
Moving on to the actual episode...
I like that the writers created a foil for Aarti's character by including Mansi in the story. I know that a lot of comparisons can be made between the two based on their interactions so far, so I won't go into that here. Honestly, one thing that really annoyed me in the first episode was Mansi's "theory." I understand that she is supposed to be an outspoken and "besharam" person, to use her own adjective, but I really didn't care much for the girl as an individual. Her relationship with Aarti was much more interesting, especially the way Aarti responded to her friend's comments. Using Mansi as a contrasting personality with which to figure out more about Aarti's own beliefs and values was a good tactic, since I ended up noticing quite a bit about the latter that came out through the smallest of expressions from Aarti/Kratika.
There have been a few moments in these episodes where Mansi is shown to have brief moments of serious concern for Aarti, and I liked those small moments much more than the bulk of her other dialogues. When she isn't spouting lines about her theories, I like her a bit more. Today, we see that Mansi, for all her "lightheartedness," actually cares about Aarti's happiness and seems to understand her pain. The nicest part of Mansi's monologue was the way that she used the Sports Day race to transition into talking about how Aarti should move on because Prashant isn't coming back...Ansh needs a father, and his reaction to seeing the other boys with their fathers after the race just brought that yearning to the surface - he spoke up about it, and this outburst acts as a catalyst for Aarti's realization that she can't fulfill that emotional bond that Ansh could probably only get from a paternal figure in his life...
SO many details in the past episodes keep coming back, feeding into Aarti's consideration of remarriage as a possibility for Ansh to have that nurturing, guiding support from a father. Aarti's "realization" has been gradual. I don't see anything to complain about. In fact, I applaud the director and actors for linking everything together in such a way.
When Aarti returns home, she is obviously tired, sad, and lost in thought...The effect of the day's events weigh down on her, and this is reflected in the way she slowly walks in (I immediately thought she looked a bit defeated and visibly fatigued), eyes downcast, putting one foot in front of the other as if with difficulty or reluctance, oblivious to the fact that her dupatta is falling off her body and trailing on the floor. She simply doesn't care, because she is understandably preoccupied about Ansh, along with the troubling decision of whether or not to follow through with this marriage...Even when Shobha expresses concern and asks her to freshen up, Aarti doesn't say a word or move until Shobha realizes that Aarti hasn't moved an inch and urges her gently...
Once in the room, she closes the door slowly and leans against it, looking up towards the sky, supporting herself while at the same time trying to control herself. Even when she moves to sit on the bed next to Ansh, her face displays the pain she feels for his state of being. She feels sad for him, and that translates into a tender gesture of stroking his hair, which she seems to do often, as an expression of her natural maternal love for her son. I find it striking that Aarti doesn't shed a single tear here: from Kratika's body language, we see that she is holding back the urge to cry, a mannerism that is indicative of Aarti's tendency to internalize her grief and not cry in front of others...She does this a lot, which is why I have come to pay attention to scenes like these even more.
What seems to prompt the tears to slip slowly from Aarti's eyes is the letter under Ansh's pillow - and this also seems to spur Aarti's decision to remarry: I absolutely love the resolute expression that takes over Aarti's face as she stands up, clutching the letter, strengthened by her decision to get married to Yash for her son's sake.
She comes downstairs with Yash's photograph in her hand, and tells her mother that she is ready to get married...While Shobha is happy with this declaration, Aarti's face is devoid of any definitive expression...Her heart isn't in this. Shobha realizes this, too, and reassures her daughter that she doesn't want to pressurize Aarti into getting married, but Aarti finally speaks up, reflecting to some extent what Gayatri had said to Yash about a mother's aanchal being necessary for growing daughters...Here, it is "uski sir par uski papa ka saaya hona bahut zaroori hai..." That caught my attention because of the wording...She and her future mother-in-law both understand this and it's interesting that this is what partly spurred Yash's agreement to the proposal as well...Further reinforcement that the only reason each parent is remarrying is out of finding the "other parent" for their child and not out of personal desire or emotional or even physical attachment.
Aarti's reaction to Prashant's phone call - her eyes widen as she recognizes his voice, her breathing speeds up, she puts down the phone, and backs away, hitting the wall behind her - all exhibiting her shock at this unexpected event. Dramatic but not melodramatic in a bad sense. It's interesting that Yash's picture in her hand is shown just after she hears Prashant's voice...and then as the scene progresses, the picture slips from her fingers and falls to the floor...Symbolizing how Aarti has been trying to move on in her life, but she is still hurt and affected by her memories (much like Yash and his memories, but in the opposite manner). Her expressions show her vulnerability perfectly, although I found it noteworthy that she doesn't appear to shed a tear as she listens to her mother-in-law, now her mother in every sense, proclaim that her own flesh and blood is irrevocably dead to her and her husband; in contrast, Shobha's emotions find a physical manifestation in her angry tears. Aarti must have many years' worth of tears bottled inside her, but she rarely lets them out. She wants to show the world that she is strong and unaffected by what has happened to her, but sometimes the wound is aggravated and ripped open just as it begins to heal, and it hurts so much more then.
This is also portrayed beautifully in the scene where Aarti is on the balcony and her mother comes out to be with her. As always, Aarti speaks with her back turned to Shobha, trying to hide her face, which gives away her emotional state that she so bravely tries to suppress...Again, the sheen of tears in Aarti's eyes that doesn't overflow until Shobha places a supportive hand on Aarti's shoulder; Aarti pulls away immediately, taking refuge behind the sari hanging on the line, trying to hide her tears as they finally begin to flow. Shobha probably knows Aarti well enough to understand that Aarti doesn't like crying in front of others, but she goes to comfort her daughter, and the dam that Aarti usually keeps built up finally breaks. I don't think we've seen this side of Aarti yet, this completely vulnerable Aarti, who has let her defenses down and has taken refuge in her mother's embrace, clinging to her desperately. It broke my heart to see her like this, coming to terms with the fact that all those years of trying to overcome those memories that still haunt her haven't helped her at all. She hasn't been able to shut her ex-husband out of her heart and mind even though she has been trying...It is indeed unfortunate that she loved him so...He doesn't deserve her love or her tears, but it is through this episode that we are able to see how Yash and Aarti are similar in this way also: they are both so devoted to their respective first spouses that these memories and emotions are going to be their greatest obstacles in forging a new bond after their marriage.
Shobha's conversation with Prashant made me so proud. The intensity of Shobha's emotions, the magnitude of her love for Aarti and the power of her anger all culminated in such an impactful outburst, and I was awestruck. And another favorite element: the recurring "umarbhar ka saath" ideal with respect to the sanctity of marriage comes up yet again when Shobha says confidently that Aarti's husband-to-be will stand by her: "umarbhar ka saath nibhaayega."
Ah, the "Yeh ladka mujhe uljhaaye rakhta hai jaise -" line...Another link to that memory of the entangled hair and the ex-husband...Aarti's memories are suffocating her; she is entangled in them and can't seem to find a way to break free. Aarti's situation looks so bleak, it's heartbreaking.
For anyone who has been able to make it to this line of text: Thank you for your patience!
Edited by PaNa4ever - 01 March 2012 at 3:59pm