Dwelling on the Details: Mummy, Papa, aur Chai
July 19th, 2012: "Har uljhan ko suljhaaye...Kasak meethi si de jaaye..."
I know that watching scenes with Maya Bua in them are a test of perseverance in some ways - I have mixed feelings about them, personally. Her presence in the show and the way the writers are elaborating on her relationship with Palak ensures that her scenes bring a constant reminder of the image of "the stepmother"/"sauteli ma" that has been around for ages. The negative stereotype and stigma attached to that term is being addressed very well: for every malicious attempt on Bua's part, there is nearly always a deflection or respectful retaliation or rise to the challenge from Aarti. If Bua's impulsive strategies are irritating at times, Aarti's presence and reactions to Bua are what neutralize my negative feelings. Sometimes the battles between the two are quite fun to watch, actually, but that's more because of Aarti than anything else.
That is not what my post is about today, but I just felt the need to say something about it!
I'm going to be writing about the sweetness that sugar cannot provide...
- I wasn't the only one who thought it was really cute the way Yash noticed Aarti step into the room and kept watching her, was I? He doesn't take his eyes off her for a second once he sees that she is completely lost in thought, and there's a curious and concerned expression on his face. He's definitely more familiar with Aarti's mannerisms now! More elaboration below...
- Interesting that Aarti turns as if she's going to leave the room but then looks down, realizes that she came to give Yash tea, and turns again to deliver the cup to him. What was that about, I wonder? (Music note (pun intended!): Kratika's eye movements and the music went together again, and it was pretty awesome. I really want to know how the editing/music addition process works now, because the way GC/KS's movements are complemented by the score in so many scenes is seriously worthy of praise to the people who put together the final episodes!)
All the while, Yash is watching keenly, taking in every little movement that his wife makes. Another notable thing is the way Aarti walks over to Yash. Thanks to the camerawork, the wonderful attention to detail and direction is highlighted even more in this scene - Kratika's slow, plodding walk justifies two things: Aarti is holding a cup of hot tea and must travel slowly...but she is also unfocused and therefore her steps are heavier...she is preoccupied, something is troubling her. Fantastic interpretation and execution!
- The wide shot of Aarti and Yash shows that Aarti isn't looking at Yash when she steps up to give him the teacup, but she's not looking at where she's putting the cup, either. When she deposits the cup at the corner of the desk, she is just slightly off...She almost gets it there safely. What I found remarkable was the way Aarti is about to place the cup on thin air...she is about to let go, when Yash's hand appears; she smoothly deposits it onto his hand as if it were the top of the desk, and a drop of the tea splatters onto the saucer. I thought it was so funny that Yash keeps his hand in place because he's so focused on the reason behind Aarti's trance-like state but then also shows her that she was about to drop the cup. Nice, nice. And then what does Aarti do? She apologizes, takes the cup, puts it on the desk with a clatter, and then turns to go...
- The ritual begins! Gosh, Aarti's "I want to tell Yashji something" prelude is so cute! It's become so predictable by now, and that says something about the depth of characterization. Both the viewers and Yash know that Aarti wants to say something that's eating away at her...All it takes is a "Bataiyye" from Yash to get Aarti to pour out her dilemma - that reminded me of Aarti's "Please...?" from quite a few of the earlier episodes; that was seemingly the catalyst for Yash to take action when he initially was unmoving.
- Ansh's fantastic timing (that shirt is Divyam's favorite shirt, I bet! I've kept an eye out for it ever since the episode where Yash re-folded it properly, and it has been shown a lot!
) results in a silent conversation between Mummy and Papa. Aarti's "See. Now what?" is answered by Yash's reassuring blink..."It'll be okay. Let me talk to him."
- "Ansh...Mumma ke liye aise nahi kehte." - Forgot to mention this since I'm focusing on this scene only: Yash's repeated use of "Mumma" "Mummy" and "Mummy-Papa" (and "humein") to refer to Aarti and himself is a gargantuan leap that has turned into just another step on the staircase of life by his constant use of the word "Mummy" to denote Aarti's role as the children's mother. I still remember that day in the mall when Yash could not open his mouth to introduce Aarti as their to-be-mother or even later after the marriage as their "nayi mummy." This is significant, but not anymore for him...That comfort with Aarti's space in his life is encouraging; he is living in the present, where Aarti is the mother and he is the father to their kids. Not his daughters, not her son. Their kids. Yash's gentle admonition to Ansh is yet another small gesture of support for Aarti but the important thing about everything that Yash says in defense of his wife is that it comes completely from the heart, with no conscious damage control motivations involved.
- As Yash talks to Ansh, it's fun seeing Aarti's apprehension change to surprise when Yash announces that he will write Ansh's speech for him, and then to a thoughtful side-to-side nod as she realizes that this is a nice, neat way to resolve the problem. The ever so brief nod when Yash turns the competition into one between Mummy and Papa is a great little touch! Aarti approves of the idea! LOL at Aarti's amused-with-a-tinge-of-surprise expression when Ansh gets all excited about the fact that he and Papa WILL win the competition! (Oh, and sorry to mention Bua at the time, but there was a second where she smiled just a bit - the idea of speech-swapping came to her mind there, it seems! Wow! Details!)
The Game Begins!
- Love how Aarti has no reservations about offering Yash help with writing the speech! That's not something we see every day! Yash just keeps springing one surprise after another, and I'm enjoying it lots! He turns Aarti's comment inside-out and throws it back at her with a competitive jab...
- Adored Gurmeet-Kratika's expressions in this part until the end! Yash's confident, matter-of-fact statement, in "typical Yash Scindia style" is met with an "Ahh, so much confidence?" from Aarti...Kratika looked SO pretty here! Aarti's amusement is like a radiant glow, and it's incredibly cute how she smiles to herself and shoots a question at her overconfident husband without looking at him! She just keeps smiling and smiling until Yash's "shakkar" reaches her ears, at which point the smile immediately flips into an utterly confused frown and the illogical answer's perplexity reaches her eyes as well. Yash continues giving her pointed answers with his eyes this time, answering the question in her eyes, but also clarifying verbally. Significant strides have been made! Theirs is a balance so delicate yet so natural!
- "Oh! I-I'm so sorry!" seems to be Aarti's trademark apology. It tumbles out of her mouth naturally - consistency points and points for Kratika, too! I'm not surprised actually, because the writers have proven so many times how deeply they've developed the personalities of these characters. Yash's curious little quirk of the head...Anyone have any thoughts about that?
- "Aap peejiyega mat..." - And she rushes off to get the sugar, but not before casually throwing a glance over her shoulder (very smoothly done!) and she is stopped because Yash is drinking the sugarless tea even though he expressed dislike about it only seconds ago! Yash's tiny sip and shake of the head at one end of the room are observed by Aarti at the other end; that smile on her face as he, the picky perfectionist, continues to drink the imperfect tea that spilled onto the saucer! - Aarti's imperfect tea - is beautiful. Her eyes casually travel to end up resting on the photograph of Yash-Arpita, and something hits her for a second. A slight twinge of longing, followed by realization and resignation that the woman in the picture was and is the one who occupies Yash's heart and has a grip on his soul forever?
Aside: I found it very odd that the way the camera angle caught those three people - Yash, Arpita, and Aarti - made it appear as though Yash is covering up Arpita's eyes but is looking past her...and is in fact looking at Aarti...
- Beautiful, beautiful camerawork in these next moments! In terms of capturing Kratika's beauty and the innocence within Aarti, one second stands out: the one that begins with her looking down at the floor...she looks up, and as she does, her eyes fall on Yash, who is poised with the teacup, caught drinking the very tea that he had subtly complained about!
- Yash had no idea that Aarti was still there or that she had in fact been watching him drink the tea, but he notices her just before she looks up at him, and I thought it was rather interesting that he all but froze when he noticed her standing there! Mesmerized again, Yash? Or guilty about the tea? Or both? Or none of the above? "I...wasn't drinking this. Okay, maybe I was. But there's still no sugar..."
- "I'm going...to get the sugar. I'll just..." *SMACK, tinkle* The silent "ooh" of pain on Kratika's face, besides being absolutely positively adorable and entirely spontaneous, strangely enough, sort of mirrored Gurmeet's puckered expression when Yash was "caught" with the teacup just a second before that! Anyhow, very interesting that her eyes travel to the photograph again and that she smiles to herself for a brief moment before leaving. I felt that maybe she was thinking, "I'm so silly...Blind in the light, and I'm not even blindfolded by anyone!" Ah, but maybe you are, Aarti...It's that person's magic...And speaking of that person...Yash's encounter with the column outside the children's room was the first thing that came to mind when Aarti ran into the door. It's so lovely how even the most small moments of mundane tasks have magic hidden in them. It's a matter of finding the magic, that's all!
Aside: The Shobha-Aarti conversation! Foreshadowing, I suppose, given the nature of the teaser promos that are yet to be explored and the recurring theme of physical contact...I loved the subtle yet clear discomfort that Aarti showed whenever Shobha started talking about the possibility of physical manifestations of love. Respect and trust are Aarti's most valued aspects of her definition of love, and I think that sheds a little bit of light on the nature of her love for Yash right now. Before it was more centered around distant admiration, awe, and faith, I believe - hence her previous God-devotee analogy regarding love...Now it is something different and more personal, but still can't be described adequately using the words I wrote above.
EDIT: I really like that Aarti disconnected the phone when she couldn't stand Shobha's advice any longer. She looked irritated at points as well; another reminder of her reactions to the way Mansi kept harping on and on about Yash's "intentions" and physical relationships. Maybe Aarti will eventually tell her mother to back off? I hope so, but let's see!
Edited by MelodiousDreams - 19 July 2012 at 11:48pm