love sonnet xi
i crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
silent and starving, i prowl through the streets.
bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
i hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.
i hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the colour of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
i want to eat your skin like a whole almond.
i want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
i want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,
and i pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of quitratue.
~~~ pablo neruda~~~
the cinnamon peelers wife
if i were a cinnamon peeler
i would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.
your breasts and shoulders would reek...
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. the blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.
when we swam once
i touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
you climbed the bank and said
this is how you touch other women
the grasscutters wife, the lime burners daughter.
and you searched your arms
for the missing perfume.
what good is it
to be the lime burners daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in an act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of scar.
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
i am the cinnamon
peelers wife. smell me.
"pata nahin yeh sab kaise hua jiji, hume pata nahin tha ki woh... woh laad governor aise..." i don't know how this happened, jiji, i didn't know that... that laad gov...
change of tone, a gentle breeze seems to waft through the words that come after this, a feeling escaping strictly imposed bounds?
"aise humare saath naachenge..." would dance with me like that.
the beauty of it is he hears that.
before her quick recovery, and, "pata nahin samajhte hain kya woh apne aap ko... hume faraq nahin padta..." don't know who he thinks he is, makes no difference to me. ah the protest on a higher note, who is she trying to convince. he knows otherwise.
"unhe shayad..." perhaps he...
a gust of wind, then music pours in... a rhythm in it, a knowledge. we are looking at a state of mind. hers. his. she may say whatever she likes but that she can't resist is pretty clear. the direction in many of these scenes was instinctive and lovely... just as you'd see it in your mind.
and he? two poems, both sensual to an ecstatic point, both about extreme love, came to mind. i have quoted them many times, and in both i find asr and khushi. tonight he was here to mark her it seemed to me. to be predator, to hunt. to make her his own, and no lingering doubts about that.
on the dark night of diwali, he had felt a desire he could neither understand, nor accept. but tonight it's different, he has made a journey, he still may not understand, but accept he does. he submits in that dance of his... reminds me so of spiritual submission, faith, religion, god. to give in first without "knowing," then should understanding come, wonderful, if not, one believes anyway. i think the gut reacts often before the heart and brain, instinct before emotion and intellect...
so he danced.
if the desire expressed in teri meri took us to a spiritual plane almost, no matter how sensuous their undulating bodies, now it was time for the flesh and its desire... equally beautiful, powerful, pure, animal, tactile.
he was here to claim his woman, he was here because he so wanted to see her as she looked affected by him, still in the afterglow of their intense lovemaking before all. oh he knew what her state of mind would be... arnav singh raizada is no novice when it comes to women... and he can guage what effect he might have had on her. the difference this time, he's equally shaken, craving...
i crave your mouth, your voice, your hair...
have you seen how terrific that asymmetry of his lips looks in a mirror... cuts into the mind. funny how the mirror can see what we can't. right through this hold your breath sequence we kept seeing him in reflection. layers of images at times. wonder why... his inner self is here... and hers? both naked, unmasked? he willingly, she haltingly?
"koi faraq nahin padta toh ruk kyun gayi..." if it makes no difference, why did you stop. confident, male, victorious. a magnificent maleness to asr in this episode... alpha male i think it's called... unabashedly man.
she looks up, speechless, hand still stuck midair.
silvery grows the sure voice, "kya hua... ruk kyun gayi?" what happened, why did you stop?
"aa... aap?" y.y...you... tremulous, suddenly not so feisty.
"haan, m..m..mein," yes, m..m..me. he moves at last and advances, teasing her with sexily for her confused air, oh that almost smile on the lips, it glitters full force in his eyes. "tum itna dar kyun rahi ho?" why are you so afraid? he gets that fear in her, she fears her own feelings, just when he's decided not to fear his... she's walking backward, even before he's come anywhere near her.
"main tumhe kha toh nahin jaoonga." i am not going to eat you...
i want to eat your skin like a whole almond. i want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body...
kha toh nahin jaoonga? i won't eat you? i am thinking what the. where did that come from? maybe he does wish to devour her, maybe she wants to be... oh ok it's just a turn of phrase, but here it's just so much more. please do devour each other you two... you have no option. this is how passionate your love is, i think neruda would have written a poem just for the two of you.
"tum hamesha peechhe kyun jaati ho," why do you always walk backward... after a quick, terribly cute, check.
"kyunki aap hamesha... aa aage... aate hain... " because you always come forward...
she has to speak the truth.. she is totally out of her depth in this game of attraction... hamesha aage goes this man... the predator, the stalker, the puma.
"khushi," a change of tone, a seriousness suddenly.
"thanks nahin bologi mujhe?" won't you say thanks to me?
she has no idea what he's talking about, she's possibly forgotten all about the bet... everything... almost in a daze. the raw charge of male sexuality coming at her... intoxicating, scary almost. who can think clearly amid this.
purse lips, kill the viewers, then in velvet voice, gone especially husky as though a hand just stroked the velvet the other way... "tumhare ishaaron pe na sahi... par tumhare saath toh naacha." may not have danced to your tune, but did dance with you.
oh don't remind us, i'll have to rush back to previous episode pronto...
just music on the two. she looks dumbstruck and smitten. he just so loves looking at her.
director cuts for breathing break... for audience. with the mami bua story... it's face blackening time, in reply to bua ji finding out that her drink was spiked. hints of things to come? actually the night of the terrace, his judgment was spiked by shyam's venom... a world of difference between what he saw and what he thought he saw. and her reputation was ruined... blackened face as it were.
yet even in that state, somehow the dance continued.
we return to the forest of desire.
and he's not going to let her off the hook so easily, plus he seems to want to see her win the trophy, so...
"ab time waste karna band karo... aur jaldi neeche aa jao... sab wait kar rahe hain." stop wasting time now and come downstairs quickly... everyone is waiting for you.
and the heart beat is back, clutch your heart and hope to... what?
no need to ponder too long, for suddenly, without warning he's back, right before her, the mirror shows his approach... an air of purpose about him. yeah he's got an agenda. and if that smile is anything to go by, khushi ji had better get some oxygen ready.
when he comes and stops before her and his smile, his quiet dark gaze the mirror reflects back, i know i have found my most significant moment in the episode. everything that this episode wants to say seems to be here. it's the edit i've left between the two poems.
over the dhak dhak and the tender tones of music, he takes off the single pin that holds up her long silken strands and as her hair cascades down and frames her face, he looks at her enjoying the vision and quietly avers, "ab theek hai."
what an intimate gesture. he'd done the same thing in the kitchen of her home one day, but at that time possibly without thinking of how she'd look, more to save her from getting caught by hawk eyed mami ji. he'd done it with a sense of right then too, but not for his pleasure. that has changed. now, this is a deliberate gesture... to leave his mark on her. to tell her, she is his and somewhere she dresses and looks beautiful for him.
this is ownership. first i submit to you, then i own you. two key aspects of love.
whom would you allow that close? who would dare? well we know who would. but what will she do?
i am the cinnamon
peelers wife. smell me.
she looked demure and confused but she did not protest... and before she could come to a response, second assault... the sense of this man's timing... he knows exactly how long the opponent needs for the blow to sink in, then sweetly one more is delivered.
"waise yeh rang tumpe..." pause, get her tense... "utna bhi bura nahin lagta," grazing, granular huskiness. well that colour doesn't look... too bad on you either. what's the opponent to do but fall flat.
dhak dhaak dhakdhak, hold the gaze. let her feel the battle, let her grasp its intent.
and walk away.
cool. devastating. hunting for you, for your hot heart, like a puma in the barrens of quitratue.
when khushi returned, where was she headed? straight to her laad gov? khushi? payal stops her... itni der kyun laga di... beautiful tension between the two... he looks up the moment he hears her name... and then the touching of the ear... he with keen eyes has noticed one ear ring missing. always parts of her stay back to chat with him, or he leaves a key with her so she may never feel alone.
in his eyes at the end though, no sign of a game, just a desire that he has stopped fighting. letting her know that is all he wants to do.
the understanding of character that writers show here is wonderful. arnav singh raizada is a clever man who once he decides on something believes in going after it. not hang around waiting for things to come to him. from the very beginning this has been his way. now when he is ready to give in to khushi he will not delay anything, not sit ponder wait weigh, it will be act act act all the way.
and in the very same vein alas, when the terrace tricks him, he will not wait to find out more... just go ahead and act.