wrote this for crooner anniversary celebrations...
there was a bit of kismet in it.
don't follow serials, hindi or english or in any other language.
television is not my thing. catch some friends or csi or ncis once in a
way. don't mind a little monk, 30 rock, frasier, or jon stewart now and
then. won't lie, did watch the bold and the beautiful and santa barbara
over a glass of bad bosca wine every evening for many months when cable
first came to india in the mid nineties. and of course, loved star trek,
hawaii 5-0, and family ties as a kid. i have never been hooked though,
not on the serials i mentioned, not even jon hamm in mad men can get me
to check schedules and be there, hah i am that tv proof.
after many years away from india, surrounded by cool calm green and
peace and quiet, i started to miss colour, both in the literal and
metaphorical sense. so the tv would be switched on the moment i got back
home and i would carry on with my life while red, orange, blue, mithai
pink, chutney green, big bindis, long mangal sutras, hideous saris,
parivars and paramparas, bahus and sases, vamps who had a yen for
english, characters that died and returned, all carried on merrily.
always, but always, in the back ground. i rarely paid them any
once in a while i watched, then admonished myself
for being so idiotic and stopped. till one day, i heard " nafrat paas
aaney na de, mohabbat door jaane na de." i turned around, saw a well
dressed man and a very thin girl. it was a promo, seemed interesting.
then i thought, forget it, they're going to ruin it anyway.
therefore, i was not there on the sixth of june last year.
afternoon, sometime in sept/oct 2011, no idea which episode, i happened
to look at the television. and just couldn't look away. a gorgeous
young man... but hold it, i've seen him before, in shraddha, in baat
hamari, yeah looked kind of nice, there was something about him, but
like this? never. oh what's happening to me? so drop dead gorgeous, who
is he? and is that delhi. delhi!
i was born in new delhi,
spent lots of childhood there, with a fabulous nani, nana, mamas and
mamis. in fact, class 7 to 11 went to school there and stayed with my
grandparents three of those years. then ran away for college to
calcutta. why? because i feared none of those good looking delhi boys
would ever look at me.
honest. that was the reason. no intellectual bong here, sorry.
now one of those guys was looking straight at me from that stupid
screen. full circle, i was 50 and a bit yet could feel the familiar urge
to bolt. but this time i decided to stay.
knowledge of mills and b gathered from age 12 to 17, told me i was
looking at an arms akimbo man. but it was the tadka of dilli that had me
still, unmoving. english with a delhi accent, i mean please may i die.
"d'you understand?!!" ohhh.
(i also found that he and his wife
married around the same age as my husband and i did; his intensity of
feelings for her, well i have been there too and am still there;
struggled to be financially ok, us too; seven years in the same not too
inspiring job because it was important to earn, like that. insists his
name be spelt right. walking away became more and more impossible.)
sobti was not the first choice for arnav singh raizada. yet there he
is. could anyone else have ever been asr, or arnav, even chotte? and
yet, he wasn't the first choice. a bit of a compromise, i get the
feeling. remember hearing lalit mohan say that mr sobti had the eyes for
the role. what would lm know about the jaw line, the widow's peak, the
flowing limbs, the long neck, the crazy lips, the pop out irresistible
ears, the down on the back of the wrist that shimmers in the light, the
collar bones. but thank everything, someone sensed the potential of this
man's hitherto untried acting ability. someone saw arnav singh raizada
irani had often heard that she would never be able to do a typical
indian girl's role. she said, getting gunjan gave her a sense of real
achievement. but just imagine the genius of the person who decided that
our small town, lower middle class, hindi speaking desi girl with the
tedha choti should be portrayed by this big city, upper middle class,
english educated, sophisticated young woman of rather videshi
complexion. the contrast works like a dream. it makes khushi yours,
mine, ours; whether you're from small or big city, desh or videsh, young
sanaya was told by
nissar parvez (i think) that everyone knows her as gunjan, but after
this, people should only remember her as khushi. what a fantastic one
line brief. and how utterly successful ms irani has been in meeting it. a
girl who'd never get a role as a typical indian girl.
pyaar ko kya naam doon? was pitched for star one. but kismet would have
none of that. and so it was that number crunching, trp and target
audience oriented channel went with a gut feel (i'm sure they backed all
decisions with many so called facts and computations, and tender parts
of anatomy were duly covered) and decided ipkknd ought to go to star
plus. (mwah mwah to whoever was the executive.)
used to be (just corrected the "am" i'd instinctively written) the last
person to want to talk endlessly about a serial, and that too on some
social networking (gak what a word) site. deleted my facebook account
some time ago. i heard about india forums on the noreen khan interview,
as by now i had got the bug badly enough to look for the actors and the
show everywhere. sbs, sbb, what were these things! a whole new world out
there. anyway went and signed up at india f.
soon after that
i realised that my favourite niece (tennismaniac19, i think she calls
herself, writes lovely stories) was as lovestruck as i. and while we
gushed together and i mentioned the forum, she said i should check out
led to you girls, i was. by a nineteen year old. that's cool, since i'm about 15.
here we are, priya. in your wonderful thread. talking, chatting,
giggling, singing, getting closer, becoming important in each other's
day. i read many of all your posts. there were bits of me in there too.
instances of this play of fate i will never know. like how did they
decide upon laxmiji, a pet goat! or the posse of prakashes that keeps rm
going. or how did such a perfect team of actors who not only act well
but gel with each other come together. or that unbelievably beautiful
strain of "rabba ve," how could a little known music director come up
with it. and what wonderful improvisations and extensions on the theme.
old rabba ve, sad rabba ve, new rabba ve, why am i smiling.
thanking each one at iss pyaar ko kya naam doon? and all of you in the
crooner. and a very very happy anniversary to all.
sleeping patterns are ruined (episode airs at 12 mn), my friends are
worried about my mind, but the man i've been married to for 26 years
patiently asks me every day, so what happened last night? then gives me
my fifteen minutes on my favourite topic.
more than anything,
even more than my crush on a 27 year old boy, or maybe through that
feeling precisely iss pyaar ko has led me right back to a most important
thing in life: love and the expression of it through romance.
flirt with my husband for no reason again. despite my age and weight.
and there's a certain lightness to love that i haven't felt in years.
this morning he said over the phone: mamiji is a bit like aunty s. i said: no, a mix of aunty s and aunty h.
iss pyaar ko kya naam doon? was indeed a gift from kismet.