“Wo chaand jaisa sheetal hain to Kumud suraj jaisi tez.”
The dialogue held true with today’s episode where Kumud spewed fire on Saraswatichandra while he sat there, gobsmacked by the attack. The precap for Monday showed us Kumud being cooled down with the calming presence of Saraswatichandra in her house.
The struggle, the fight between mind and heart continues for Saraswatichandra and Kumud. Had we been following the original storyline, Kumud’s dialogue today would have set the precedent.
“Hum dono ki baat shuru toh tumhari na se hui thi, par khatam meri na se hogi.”
Not that we’re following the original storyline here. The original story ends in tears whereas, from what I’ve heard, Mr. B wishes to give it a happy ending. Just hoping the story is adapted nicely, is all.
Anyway, the main point is- Kumud vents her anger in this episode. Or maybe it’s just the hurt talking when she calls him a shameless coward, who has neither inclination nor guts to stand up to his father. Furthermore she thinks he’s a selfish, cold man who considers his own whims need to be fulfilled and doesn’t value the importance of relationship building in life.
The episode begins where Kumud informs her sister Kusum, that she will ensure Saras realizes what a grave mistake he’s made by rejecting her without seeing her. He would be replied back for his letter- right then and there.
Saras, who has reluctantly agreed to the video conference, waits in his living room quarters to see the girl he has refused. I sniggered when I saw him buttoning his shirt up. Trying to impress someone Mr. Saraswatichandra? 😛
Anyway, he waits, and what does he see? He sees a horde of relatives on the screen when he logs in, comparing him to a heart throb hero. His embarrassment at their praise turns into question as his eyes search for Kumud. How in the hell did he know the girls gawking at him weren’t Kumud?
At her request, Kumud is left alone to talk to Saras. She approaches the computer, slow and firm. His first glimpse to her is of her tiny waist, cinched by a “kamarband” connected to red and yellow pom poms that swing at her waist with each step, singing a melody that attracts him. His discomfort vanishes one instant and is back the next when her hand tightens on the chair. What does she look like, he wonders. What will she say? Has she received the letter?
Kumud is nervous. She knows what she has to say but she stands still and a small smile at the look of his eyes on the screen graces her lips. She wipes it away and sits with her back to the screen as she speaks.
He wishes to see her face, to know whom he is talking to, but she doesn’t let him that have luxury. After all, as she points out, what is the need to see the face of a person that is not going to matter to you in life at all? Her voice is firm, each word hurting Saras like a tight slap. He struggles to keep his arguments at bay. He recognizes her hurt, her need to talk. It is surprising that when she talks of her own hurt and anger, he listens avidly, but when she starts challenging him, his mind wanders. He is distracted by the small bells that speak to him, making him smile. However her last words make him realize, he’s done her great injustice. His manliness is now challenged- will he go to Ratnanagri and say no to her father in person?
The pre-cap shows him arriving in Ratnanagri. Will he say no or will he change his mind remains to be seen.
When they finally showed the pre-cap for the show, I wanted to say- well now, the story has finally begun between Saras and Kumud. Until now, it was just a foreplay that went on. Now they will actually start with the game of love.
What a downfall from the heights of rosy imagination! Kusum teases Kumud about the letter from Saraswatichandra, not knowing the lightning that is going to strike Kumud’s heart. She reads the letter for Kumud and stops, unable to read the horror that is written in the letter. Saras has denied any interest in marrying Kumud!
When Kumud reads it for herself, she feels herself falling deep into an abyss. How quickly can one’s mood change, how deeply can one’s heart sink. How much can one person’s words affect another? Her shock is not unwarranted. How could a man send a proposal and then send rejection too? How did that work?
The more she thinks about it, the angrier she gets. Saraswatichandra had mocked her family, insulted it. Worse, he’d insulted her father. She forgets her own suffering, her own shock when she thinks of the reaction of her family once the letter and its contents are shown to them.
Not that she gets a chance to tell them at all. They’re all excited because they’re going to a cyber café to see family’s first son-in-law on the computer, via video conferencing. While Saras had been writing his refusal and Kumud digesting it, their fathers had arranged for a video conference so that they may speak to each other.
It was quite touching to see her father acknowledging the efforts of her daughter’s wisdom. It was Kumud who had brought cyber café into existence in their village. And now her wisdom will bear fruit, in the form of Saraswatichandra’s face. Or so her father thinks!
The only person in the family who still feels wrong about all this is Dugba; her badi-ma. Despite her protests, the whole family travels onwards to the cyber café. It is time, as Guman appropriately mentioned, for a “dhamaka” (an explosion) in the story.
Saras feels he’s not done it exactly right when sending the letter to Kumud. He feels he’s not apologized for his actions enough. His rejection for the proposal has been enough for a shock for Laxminandan anyway. What would his reaction be if he found out about the letter? One thing puzzles Saras though while his father talks about he and Kumud coming online for a video conference. He’d sent the letter with his refusal. How is it then that Vidyachatur has not responded back to it. Did the letter reach the right hands? Had Kumud not told her father about it then? He has to wait and see.
Kumud feels tied in knots, trying to find words and situation where she can talk to her “bapu” (father) about the letter. Her anger deepens against Saras. He’s the one who’s put her in this position. Her eyes ice up as she thinks of what she wants to tell him.
And this is where the pre-cap comes in. I’m all agog to see what she says and how Saraswatichandra responds to her anger, her challenge.
The story is being put together, or at least the process has begun. The pre-cap for tomorrow brings promises and with it dread
Saraswatichandra is struggling with his memories. His later mother had ingrained in him, gently ordered him to follow his father’s wishes, whatever they may be. She had illustrated Lord Ram’s actions when it came to fulfilling the wishes of his father. She wanted her son Saraswatichandra to follow Shri Ram’s footsteps.
Saras finds it very difficult to do that. Of course, he has no Dashrath for father, even though he has “Kaikayi” like step-mother. He had realized long back that his father didn’t understand him, he would never be able to. Who then could he talk to about his wishes?
He wants to talk to Kumud and tell her that he can’t marry her. But how can he do that? He can’t ask his father for Kumud’s father, Vidyachatur’s phone number. He has no idea if Kumud has an E-mail address. In an instant, he realizes then what he must do. He must write a letter to her!
And so he does that, hoping that she will at least be able to understand him. Strange isn’t it? He expects her to automatically understand his point of view but doesn’t trust anyone else would. Is he not then already attuned to her, without knowing it?
Of course in the later part, he groans that he had ever given the responsibility of posting the letter to his friend. The receipt of the sent letter falls in the hands of his step-mother Ghuman, who for reasons of her own, supports him and doesn’t let his father, Laxminandan find out about it.
Kumud is on cloud nine, unable to believe her luck. Could fate really be so kind as to bring the man of her dreams into her real life? Was that possible? She writes poetry, waiting for her dream man to come face to face. Her sister Kusum adds to her hopes. Of course, she had met her dream man and what’s to stop them for having a happy ever after?
Mother comes in and urges the girls to go to Shiva temple. It is Mahashivratri and they must go and offer milk on to the lingam, so that they may be blessed with a husband who’s fair, handsome and rich.
Kumud will not make up her mind until she’s spoken to her badi-ma. Here enters a new character in the story in the form of Vidyachatur’s elder sister, who runs the house with a strict hand. Kumud is her sweetheart and they both share a special bond where they are more than aunt and niece. They are friends. They can read each other’s eyes and share all joys and sorrows.
Kumud’s aunt is overjoyed that Kumud had received an offer of marriage, but turns stone cold when she finds out who has sent the offer. She makes it plain to Vidyachatur and his wife that she doesn’t trust Laxminandan Vyas or anyone in his family due to the bitter past they share. She is obstinate in her belief that Kumud will never be able to find happiness in that household, rich though it may be. She rejects Saras as a suitor for Kumud but quiets down when Vidyachatur tells her that Kumud has her heart set on this wedding.
At the Shiva temple, Kumud asks for forgiveness from God and offers milk to the hungry children sitting outside the temple rather than pouring it over the Shivalingam. Her sister Kusum warns her of Shiva getting annoyed. What if Kumud finds that she may have married but not found love? Kumud is, however confident. She will find both; love and marital bliss. Kusum teases her by saying that she, Kusum will definitely marry a better man than Kumud. Their conversation gave me goose bumps. The two sisters spoke unknowingly of what was to happen in future.
The third sister pops up, excited with the news that a letter has come to Kumud from Saraswatichandra. Surely it is a sign of love? It is with eager hopes that I wait for the next episode where Kusum will read out Saraswatichandra’s letter to Kumud.
It is said that eyes talk. Kumud found out in today’s episode that indeed they did, or at least Saraswatichandra’s eyes spoke to her. They spoke to her of his solitude, his pain, himself. And just like that- she fell in love with them. Whether she is in love with Saraswatichandra himself, remains to be seen.
What this is that she feels she is not sure, but she is surely intrigued by the idea of Saraswatichandra as her bridegroom, her life partner. So much so that she has already started dreaming of him. It was just yesterday when she had said there was no man that she would say yes to, no one who would be worthy in her eyes. She was cut above everyone else. She wanted the man to prove himself before she gave him any regard. And yet, we find Kumud’s heart melting just at the sight of his eyes. She dreams of him- of his eyes but can’t see the rest of him and wakes up with a jerk. Her heart is beating frantically in her chest, busy anticipating the time when she would see him in person.
Saraswatichandra, on the other hand is in a tussle of his own. He has promised his late mother that he would always accept and obey his father’s wishes. But this one wish goes against everything he wants- peace, solitude, spiritual awakening, etc.
How can he live the life of a monk, how can he attain peace for his tormented soul, if he is bound tightly to this material life? How will get away from it all if he commits his life to another soul’s wellbeing? Desperation and frustration run amok in his veins. He runs in the vast expanse of the Dubai desert and declares that he will not marry that girl. To me, he is like a child who knows in his heart that it is right but won’t accept it.
The character of stepmother Ghuman, played by Monica Bedi is shaping up quite nicely I’d say. After being in the limelight for lots of wrong reasons, finally Monica has hit jackpot with Sc. She is portraying the stepmother of Saraswatichandra. She has risen from the low rungs of the society to riches, by seducing a rich tycoon Laxminandan, whose son Saraswatichandra is. All she wants now, is to remove Sc from the road to complete her goal. Her son studies away from home and she is soothing his path to becoming sole heir.
We’d seen yesterday that she doesn’t want her stepson to get married. Today it became clear why. She wants him to take the path of a Sanyasi- to leave everything behind and becoming a monk. She wants him out so that her son becomes the only heir of her husband. I shall wait to see what she does to stop Sc from marrying Kumud.
Finally the waiting ends and Saraswatichandra comes into plain view. The first episode ends and I know that I’m going to be occupied on weekdays from 1930 to 2000 hours, with my eyes glued to the TV. J
After watching all the promos of the show, I am hoping that this show is going to bring a revolution in the field of Television. At least in the show, I hope I won’t complain about the sets or the make-up being garish, as it is in the other TV soaps. It already looks as if it will be a “no expenses spared” kind of show.
Through the first episode, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has lived up to the name he made in the world of Cinema, as a man who does not do things by half. Both the settings in Dubai as well as in India are grand and the introduction of the characters just as powerful. The music quite reminded me of “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”. I’m also reminded a little bit of the movie “Saraswatichandra” made in 1968, starring beautiful Nutan and its songs. The songs of this movie are evergreen in my memory.
SLB is known as a romantic who wishes for the stories to have a happy ending but is unable to do so. Not that one can blame him for the way this story will unfold, of course since the original is a tragic love story.
The original Gujarati novel “Saraswatichandra”, written & set by Govardhanram Tripathi in 19th-century feudalism in India, from which Sanjay Leela Bhansali has adapted his screenplay, is divided into four parts. The first is a love story between Saraswatichandra and Kumud Kumari. The second encompasses the life of an ideal housewife; the martyr, in the form of Gunsundari. The third part focuses on the displays of political nature in the lives of the characters, whilst the fourth is dedicated to the sadhus of Sundargiri, who talk about 18 ways of being an active Sanyasi while living in the material world.
It is said that the entire novel; all four parts of it covers 150 characters in total, with the inclusion of kings, ministers, Englishmen who ruled over the country at that time, as well as middle and lower class families. The novel is all about these characters and their life experiences/struggles.
If Mr. B goes as per the novel, he will show the mental and physical struggles that all characters go through, along with the third kind of struggle that two main characters; Saras and Kumud have to go through- struggle against the rules and norms of the society. The question of what is right and what is wrong will persist endlessly during the entire story. One will be reminded of Shakespeare and his women characters while watching the female characters of the story.
I am hoping to see and discuss the glaring and subtle differences that will pop up in the show with the readers and viewers of the show. Of course the show is set in the modern world, modern surroundings. The male lead, Saraswatichandra is living in Dubai but holds on to his old country culture- the way he prays to the Sun and touches the feet of his late mother and step mother- they are all quite right in characters, as is his defiance in small matters. The suit that he wishes to wear for the party is just as dashing but without the mark of richness that his step mother would prefer him to wear. These subtle games of mind and differences, I’m hoping to see more.
Then there is Kumud- the lively, emotionally strong and already matured character. Kumud is what an ideal daughter would be- smart, beautiful, engaging, lovely voice, intelligent, obedient of her parents’ wishes (most times) and well aware of her responsibility as a daughter of the house. Yet, one sees her small act of rebellion when she says no to the proposal without hearing much about it.
In a way, both Saras and Kumud are similar. Bound by their manners and yet giving out hints of their stubborn nature and their internal strength. They will consider it all but in the end, do what they think is right.
With the end of the first episode, the stage has been set for the first meeting of Kumud and Saras who have no interest in each other and very different views of life. Let us wait and see what happens in the next episode.