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And so I watched the first episode of the second season of Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha on Colors with mixed feelings. Mixed because it is not the continuation of a well-loved story but a deviation from the core we had come to identify with. That of an undeniable connection between two disparate individuals. What had frustrated viewers in the first season was that an unusually refreshing love story, built nuance by nuance had been disrupted by an illogical soap operatic twist and ofcourse just when we could have seen the longing for a joyful culmination reach its logical end, the series ended.
I am not sure the story needed a leap especially because so much between the protagonists was left unsaid, undeveloped. Some of the most beautiful moments in the story wove together threads of quiet domesticity and tenderness and the banter, be it over a broken fridge, the price of a saree, the need for intimacy and more space and household finances and child rearing. Through one crisis after another, you saw the irrevocable love between the protagonists and there could have been more of that along with the inherent challenges, the shared joys and divided struggles that the commitment of a lifetime brings with it. Or maybe, there is more that we do not know yet. Maybe, there will be flashbacks to explain the gaps in the story but the track of Megha’s life finally finding peace and fulfilment has obviously not had a happy culmination. So much for a brave remarriage against all odds.
The strongest track in the story was the bond between Mohan Bhatnagar and his chatty little soul-mate Nanhi. His relationship with her and Megha were the two pivots around which everything revolved. If at all the makers needed to tamper with these two tracks is something that will become clear in the episodes to come. I for one will miss the uncompromised purity of Mohan’s love for Megha and Nanhi. I also don’t know if I will warm upto the idea of the wise old soul Nanhi developing into a bitter, bratty naysayer with a venomous aunt watching on with perverse glee. Why fix something that ain’t broken? And break something that was perfect?
The writing too, which was one of the strongest aspects of the first season, is so far predictably soapy but that said, it was pretty clear from today’s episode that the makers know that the real draw of the show is its lead pair and we almost saw cinematic introductions for Megha and Mohan. I will refrain from mentioning the grown up Nanhi’s entry because in my head, Nanhi will always be a cherubic, affectionate little thing. She will always be Ashnoor Kaur.
But yes, the introduction sequences of Megha and Mohan showed us how far Aakanksha Singh and Kunal Karan Kapoor have travelled since the debut episode of the first season. They were characters then..now they are characters who have become stars. And good for them. In television, it is rare that fame goes to the deserving and these two deserve the obvious gloss and star dust they are now sprinkled with. So while Aakanksha, now decisively beautiful like a Bhansali heroine was serenaded by loving camera angles and golden light and pleasing shadows and was a far cry from her cotton saree clad avatar, Kapoor made his entry like a mainstream Bollywood star which his fans hope he will be some day.
So soccer moves in the dirt? Check. Close up of gaze, smile and curls? Check. Fainting fan girls? Check. I smiled at the way, he is now, not just a part he is playing but a sum of all parts his fans love. I just hope, the story will not just celebrate his charisma, his dialogue delivery and occasional flashes of goofiness but give his formidable talent all the opportunities the first season did where he was raw and emotional, deeply angry, moving and gentle and the complexity and the simplicity of Mohan Bhatnagar. I hope this season challenges the actor within him, far more.
So yes, I watched the first episode with mixed feelings but for the sake of the gifted lead pair and the fans, I hope the story will build on its strengths and create something we will remember. If not, I can always rewind the episodes when Mohan and Megha were just that. Two ordinary people in the middle of an extraordinary story.
Reema Moudgil has been writing on art, theatre, cinema, music, gender issues, architecture and more in leading newspapers and magazines since 1994. Her first novel Perfect Eight ((http://www.flipkart.com/perfect-eight-9380032870/p/itmdf87fpkhszfkb?pid=9789380032870&_l=A0vO9n9FWsBsMJKAKw47rw–&_r=dyRavyz2qKxOF7Yuc )won her an award from the Public Relations Council of India in association with Bangalore University. She also edited Chicken Soup for Indian Woman’s Soul and runs unboxedwriters.com. She writes art catalogues and has scripted a commissioned documentary or two. She has exhibited her paintings in Bangalore and New York, taught media studies to post graduates and hosts a daily ghazal show Andaz-e-Bayan on Radio Falak (WorldSpace).