A Photo Speaketh a Thousand Words. A Maaneet Photo Speaketh a Million! Sini Handa
As the sun sets on Geet Hui Sabse Parayi today, the 14th of December 2011, only perhaps to pave way to a better dawn in true Shelley-ian fashion, as I sat by reminiscing on this amazing journey that I was privileged enough to have won a ticket to, moments seemed to rush past my mind in an endless ceasless motion… like a train rushing by. So I decided to brake my train of thoughts to alight and peek at certain stations and realized these were just few of the moments that were etched into my heart. Hope you enjoy this journey with me…
It all began with The Infamous Drop!
Never on Indian television has the ubiquitous (black) knight in armour dropped the damsel in distress like a sack of hot potatoes! My instant reaction was an embarrassed involuntary guffaw followed by moments of stunned silence at something I had never seen onscreen! I’d seen Betty Boop types running scared and clambering up furniture at the sight of cockroaches and mice, I’d seen Victorian women’s honours at stake, why, I’d even seen reworked fairytale Cinderellas and Rapunzels trying on leather boots and bronze hair attachments. But Oh! Never had I come across as ruthlessly unabashed handsome hunk of a Gurmeet Choudhary who reincarnated as Maan Singh Khurana in that one moment in time, rescuing the damsel and literally dropping her on the sand and walking on as nonchalantly as he had waded into the waters! Maan’s was an entry that changed my perception of the quintessential bad boy and turned my life and my journey with Geet into one roller coaster journey! Gurmeet Choudhary with that shot onscreen that day, wrote a new chapter in his life and our lives too- that was a Director Sundeep Sharma masterpiece with his Midas Touch.
When Teri Deewani turned us into Official Deewanis!
(“Deewani” nickname to diehard Geetians courtesy Sundeep Sharma)
Yes, girl meets boy, boy meets girl, fall in love and confess their love. End of story. How many times have die-hard romantics seen old wines and new bottles? However, when Drashti Dhami in all her splendor of glorious white as Geet Handa, entrapped in a set that breathed a halo of smoke and spiritual high, with DOP Hrishikesh Gandhi playing riot with shades and shadows, ran through the corridors of Nizamuddin Dargah, hyperventilating, and us viewers along with her every bit of the way and concealed herself behind a wall and peeped over at her Maan, caught in the sufi spirit, history was written in white and gold! Never has the realization of love been as poignantly executed, shot and emoted on a female face in the history of Indian Television as Drashti did that moment. Here was Geet, the child-woman of an 18 year old, her face a riot of multiple hues- a mixture of love, shyness, curiosity, wonder- unable to handle the string of emotions seething within her, looking over until her eyes met her love’s and did they fall in a trance and entrance us!
A Mandatory Qualification: The Himaat Test!
Here was Geet, re-discovering the reason behind the butterflies in her stomach- the forever-etched-in Jacuzzi scene. Maan in beautiful burgundy that carted viewer hearts away at the verge of the jacuzzi, Geet clad in a modest white towel symbolic of purity, and within the milk laden jacuzzi, surrounded by rose petals. And then, just when the temperatures began running high… yet another classic moment was aesthetically captured.
Maan: Aise humare saath hi kyun hota hai ki duniya ke chaaron taraf hote hue bhi hum dono milne ke liye raasta dhoondh hi lete hain…
Geet: Kyun, aapko mere saath akle mein dar lagta hai?
Maan: Tumne toh kaha tha ki tumhara dil choohe ka hai, tumhari himmat toh badh rahi hai.
Geet: Who toh… bas… yuhin muh se nikal
Maan: Ghabrane ki koi zaroorat nahi Geet… aaj mere paas tumhere himmat test karne ka time nahin, par ek din….
And with that, Barry Dhillion laid his claim on the Geetian perception of what “himmat” would denote for them their entire lifetime!
Hospitals and Hugs- Never thought they’d go together!
Hospitals have never been symbolic of joy. But with Geet Hui Sabse Parayi, I’d imagine that many would have lost some of their phobic fears, for beginning with that day, every Geetian knew at heart that if Maan was at hospital, however dire be the circumstances, Maaneet would be back with a bang and more importantly, viewers would be rewarded with a hug that whispered a thousand tales. After having searched high and low for her Maan, our eyes and hearts yearning for them to meet and there he was Maan, standing with open arms for his Geet. Every girl who saw Geet run first slowly and then in pace, would have had their hearts pounding as mine did that day. And the warm embrace that spoke of care and concern and love and fear of loss could never be emoted as perfectly as Gurmeet and Drashti did at that moment. That day, hospitals and hugs became synonymous for us!
Maula Mere Maula- A Raja Ravi Varma Oleograph in Verse
The mood was tumultuous, dramatic and an air of tragedy had been foregrounded by expectations of romance. Geet all clad in a divine crimson and pastel sari attire reminiscent of yester year classic heroines had decided to break the news to Maan about Dev’s reality. Her young heart detested having to inform him, for his own sake, but she knew she would have to. Before that though, she hoped to give more of herself to her man, hopeful of some moments of joy, because the fiance in her feared how life thereafter would be. Candles and romance, curtains and breeze, with an air of suspense and the colour palette having art aficionados gushing at the picture perfect Geet resembling the quintessential Damayanthi out of a Raja Ravi Varma oleograph waiting for her Nala, only to be followed by one of the most poignant dream sequences, had the viewers breathless for its sheer aesthetics and us gasping needless to say.
Another Drop, but one that had our Hearts Drop Unfathomable Furlongs
Geet and Maan’s tale shall forever be an ajab prem ki gajab kahani, of tale of trials and errors, a tale of unsurpassed passion, a tale of battles, a tale of guts, a tale of heroism, a tale of life and living, but most of all, it would also be a tale of unconditional love, of sacrifice, of life that looked beyond. This was and is a fairytale that one was pressed to believe in. For some time had I wondered how deep was Maan’s love for his brother child, that Geet was carrying. As she lay was upon the bed in the sonography room, and the child’s sonograph appeared onscreen, our hearts surely stopped as a single tear rolled down Maan’s eye and the shot panned to Geet’s face adoring her husband’s face rather than the screen itself! One of Gurmeet’s flawlessly enacted moments, when women fell in love with Maan Singh Khurana all over again. And then she said it. I love you. And we fell in love with her too all over again. That was also the day when I stopped calling the child, a foetus.
Yeh Mera Prem Patr Padhkar…
Viewer hearts had been filled with despair. Maan and Geet had seemed to have reached an impasse with Maan in a bout of rage having hurt Geet verbally whereby she had gone to Amritsar to live at her Beeji’s. Maan had naturally followed her as Balwant and tried to woo her but she’d played hard to get and perhaps rightfully so. But what followed those days was one of GHSP’s all time classic scenes that I would grade in Top 5 all-time favourites. There was Maan clad in a see-through white shirt, Geet in glorious pink, and Geet imagining Maan sometimes on her lap, sometimes with a dove on his shoulder, sometimes gazing intensely into her eyes with his stalker gaze, uttering sweet nothings of apologies via a letter. That scene was such a beautiful portrait by itself for never before had a dove symbolic at mytiple ends rested on any onscreen hero, let alone the heartthrob of Geetians. That was a day when dialogue was superseded by sheer finesse in execution, and boy, had Director Rahul Agarwal struck gold with his magic and logic too!
It’s a Bundle- a Bundle of Joy!
The curtains have fallen but on a note of beautiful hope. While time leapt away from us, it brought Maaneet closer to us and rewarded us with a tiny bundle of joy. As the couple held the babe as tenderly as a fragile glass menagerie, my tears refused to cease. Truth be told, I’d have loved to see a pair of twins- a boy and girl, another Maan and Geet. I’d have loved to see them as toddlers tripping their parents, I’ve have loved to watch Maan teach the boy child taichi and the girl child to do nautanki with her mama- I’d have loved to grow old with this family… but hey, who says down the years, another addition would not be enway?! As complex our (un)conscious mind goes, I’ve already taught my mind to believe that Maan and Geet and their little bundle of joy shall live on their lives in a world far away from my eyes. So what if I can’t see them, eh?! Maan and Geet shall last beyond my memory and across the lengths of time.
And on that last note, I clamber back to my train of memories. Yes, this journey may be over… but our journey together may have just begun! My salutations to Gurmeet and Drashti, and to all who worked behind the scenes to make this one immemorial journey for me.