I have been thrilled by the quality of the responses on this thread, and am so grateful to the topic starter for it.
May I be bold enough to share my opinions-- many of you have already said what I want to with great clarity, but I feel almost compelled to write!
I can understand the feeling that some of us have, which is that the show is currently concentrating too much on the other characters, and not enough on KKG/ASR. My take on that is that the CVs have learnt from the mistakes they made with their last show, the late and much missed Geet. In that show, they had concentrated on the main couple to the exclusion of almost all others, leaving the show very difficult to handle when the main actors needed to go on holiday etc. For this reason, I feel that the CVs have kept the other characters in play- they've given them storylines, development, backgrounds etc.
Even back in the early episodes, Payal was never just an after-thought; the Payash relationship has been developed well and is now progressing nicely; I wouldn't be surprised if Payal's trials at the hands of her MIL as well as Akash's reaction to the fact that Payal kept such a huge secret from him are further story twists. After all, we must remember that in two of the qawwali sequences, Payash were picturised almost as much as KKG/ASR
It is also important to keep the other actors happy and satisfied-- whilst I would love to see constant KKG/ASR-- there would be a great risk of losing good character actors such as the the ladies playing Naniji, Mamiji, Buaji; as well as the stalwarts playing Babuji and my personal fave Mamaji.. The last thing this show needs is to be reliant only on two actors-- this is not healthy either for them or the storyline; spreading the load is a great way to go
(For example, I wouldn't be surprised if BS had a little time off around his anniversary-- but we haven't really noticed, as the other storylines have been developed; also when SI had time to go to her friends wedding in Delhi, it wasn't really too much of a problem)
Those of us who came from Geet can tell you-- this decision to share the burden around is a good thing. It will only help to increase the longevity of the show.
When we come to the on-screen development-- character development in other words:
From my perspective, KKG and ASR are in very different places, both emotionally and in their lives. KKG started out WILLING to love, whilst ASR started out like a hibernating tortoise-- his heart hidden away in a shell.
Their interactions have changed them both- softening ASR, and hardening KKG-- can you imagine the ASR from the start of the show allowing La to cry on his shoulder, can you imagine him saying he respected her-- I certainly can't. He has changed, gradually, little by little. He is fighting with every breath in his body, with every fibre of his being. Having been hurt so badly in the past, he cannot bear to think that there might be someone in front of whom he is so helpless. He fights the only way he knows how, with cruelty and absolute ruthlessness. But the speech he gave La, that tells us-- everytime he hurts KKG, he regrets it-- to the point where he is now unwilling to hurt her further. And in thinking of KKG, he has started to think of others (specifically La) and that is huge character development. I could write so much more, but I think others have already said it all.
KKG has developed-- she is no longer the happy-go-lucky girl we met. KKG has been battered and bruised from the moment she met ASR. She met him at the moment that her view of the world was already battered by demands for dahej by the man she had thought would be a good husband for her beloved sister. ASR showed her repeatedly how cruel the world could be, battering her self confidence further and further into the ground as he demonstrated the power of money.
She continued to try and believe, somehow being drawn towards him, feeling feelings, attraction, some emotions she had never felt before and in all likelihood had never even contemplated. Her ideas of love were extremely romantic-- we heard her say to her sister "we thought a prince would come on a horse to carry us away"-- she didn't realise that love could start with attraction, with lust. To be honest, she didn't know what lust was.
When ASR came close to her on Diwali, she almost gave in-- but to be honest, I don't think that was love, I think that was overwhelming physical attraction, with a developing liking, affection- something that could have developed into love if ASR hadn't crushed her. Not only did he crush her that day, he continued to taunt her, torment her, and also made himself untouchable by engaging himself to La. Considering the way he had treated her in the past-- you could almost think that she would see this as another way of punishing her (a more subtle way than making her stand in pouring rain, but still a punishment).
From that day till now, she has put a lid on her feelings- she has stopped allowing herself anything. Sometimes her feelings break out, sometimes the hurt and baffled attraction are still there (as in the shopping scene) but then he does something else to hurt her and she retreats further into her shell.
She doesn't love him, not yet-- she is still attracted to him, but won't even let her inner-self think about that. It's not acceptable to think about a friend's husband/mangetar, so she won't let herself do that-- not even in her inner thoughts.
And to be honest, having had such a massive blow from him, she's probably glad to try and forget her slip and instead concentrate on the rest of the mess that her life is right now. First there was the whole thing with Payash, and then the complete blow about Shyam. She may not have had any feelings for him, but she is a good traditional girl-- I truly believe that the character would have tried really really hard to be a good wife to him. Imagine if Shyam hadn't have been the cheater that he is-- of course she would have done her best to be faithful to him, both physically and emotionally. Whilst they (KKG/ASR) were both engaged to other people, she would never let herself develop feelings, or even allow herself to think that there was anything to feel. She would quite happily deny her attraction even to the depths of her inner self
As to whether she was right to do what she did regarding telling Anjali-- I think she did the only thing she could. She knows Anjali, she knows how weak she is, she knows how dependant on her husband she is. Anjali is the type of person I feel so sorry for, but she is realistic. She has been shown to be emotionally scarred, both by losing her parents/the breakup of her first wedding, and by her physical problems. So for her to have someone who she believes loves her-- it is the underpinning fact of her self-respect and self-belief. If she loses Shyam, she will die (if not truly, then emotionally). And though we don't like that, though we wish that women like that didn't exist-- they do, and the characterisation of Anjali is very realistic. KKG did the only thing she could- in this situation. She is doing all she can, in my opinion, in this situation. However, I do believe that if she knew about Shyam's murderous attack on her dad, she would NOT hide things-- at the moment, all that has been hurt is her family's honour, and she can deal with that.
So, in my opinion, right now, we are exactly where we should be: ASR has changed, become more like KKG in some ways, softened, has started to acknowledge that there are other people he might love apart from his family. He's accepted that he is wrong in some situations. He has not, IMHO, accepted yet that KKG is reponsible for this-- at least not accepted it fully. I think any acceptance will be delayed MASSIVELY by Shyam's revelation
KKG on the other hand has become more like ASR- less trusting, less willing to keep giving ASR chances, less willing to see only the good in people.
They have developed- they have both developed immensely. I think the CVs are playing the clever game-- they are allowing people to go on the journey with the characters, accepting that the viewers are at least clever enough to see the way that these people are changing.
What will happen when ASR and KKG marry (and yes, I truly believe that a forced-marriage/marriage of convenience is where we are headed)- that is a journey I am keen to go on. If the CVs continue along this path, ASR will not tell anyone else why he is marrying KKG, whilst KKG will be hurt/angry/devastated that he thinks of her that was and hate him for forcing her to marry him, especially when she thinks he hates her.
The two of them will be in a position where their hearts are totally closed off to each other-- and then love will strike. Love, that inexorable juggernaut will overwhelm them both. Who gives in first is an interesting question, but eventually they will be together. I'm looking forward to the journey!!!!!!!!
(btw, napstermonster, I second your thought-- seriously, good punctuation and grammar are so desirable, and who really cares about ASR's sex life)