A decade on and I remain tangled in those fairy lights like Khushi was just before a Diwali whose jaadu will remain with us always, by a poolside that holds the best memories for all IPK fans. I am a willing prisoner of eyes that speak the language of the soul and glitter with an iridescence that surpasses the electrical variety. My heart thrumming to the sound of a Rabba Ve wrapping itself around two seemingly vastly different people.
“Love can reduce anyone to anything.” He had said.
I have come to accept that it most certainly can!
It’s been 10 years to the day when we first looked up at the sound of a chopper streaking across the Lucknow sky, our gaze shifting from staring at a beautiful, incongruously dressed girl perched on a scooter. The Rumi Darwaza rising majestically behind her as her rajkumar-to-be winged his way into her city. Into what was also once his city aeons ago, as we came to see.
And see we did, didn’t we?! Again and again. What an amazing journey it was from the moment Arnav Singh Raizada first laid eyes on Khushi Kumari Gupta at his fashion show (and me on Arnav Singh Raizada;)), to the last moment we saw them in the same frame together. They spoke of a hamesha, and we took that to heart. The lows as much as the highs.
I first posted on this blog to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the show, thinking how astonishing it was that I, and so many others, still spoke about and fangirled over something that was last seen on our screens so long back. Clearly, “so long back” is relative! 10 years on and the love I have for the show hasn’t changed. I’ve watched other shows since, but never with the same passion and fervour. It has never been the same. It can’t be the same.
As much as the show itself, actually even more than that, it has been the amazing people I have met and interacted with over the years that spring to mind when I reflect on the past decade. Talented, witty, incisive, creative, warm; people who have made me look at myself with different eyes. Encouraging me to open up and express myself creatively. We came together because of our love for all things IPK but so many of us found common grounds beyond the show. Our SKD blending seamlessly into our AD.
I still can’t believe the things I have done over the last few years thanks to the influence of IPK. Putting my reflections out there has to top the list. Although, the madness of going to Mumbai to watch Barun’s first foray onto the big screen and doorstepping him at his hotel when he had come to London for the premiere of Tu hai mera Sunday are not far behind!
But, I don’t regret a moment of it. It has been an exhilarating ride. Thank you to each one of you for enriching my life in different ways. For making me look at life from different perspectives. For indulging me with your thoughts on my reflections. For the banter, the chats, the laughs.
And a huge thank you to all the outstandingly talented writers of our fandom. They have played a major role in keeping ArHi alive for us. As have the super creative VM and Gif makers. Thank you to each one of them. It makes me furious even now when I think of all that was taken down by the Sitara channel. A special mention to Ismailvegamze who had painstakingly posted the best scenes of IPK on youtube. I still remember the almost kiss Scene 122 which had crossed 2 million views before you know who had a go at it.
I can’t not mention IF where most of us started our journeys. It’s not a patch on what it was in its heyday of course, before they decided to self annihilate with their ridiculous treatment of writers and voluble commentators. But, it’s where I formed friendships that are very dear to me.
And last but not least, a heartfelt thank you to all the cast and the crew of IPk who created the magic that brought us all together.
As I write this, so many memories tug at me. The first time I plucked up the courage to say something on a story I was reading, the first time I met someone who I had only known through their words, the first time I posted a story, the first time a writer replied to me, the first time I was trolled… and so many, many more.
I would love to know how your IPK journey has been. Let us make this a celebration that is as colourful as Khushi’s wardrobe and Mamiji’s makeupiya and as lush as Arnav’s garden.
So, raise a glass of lassi / kala khatta / champagne and tuck into a few jalebis to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of a show like no other. Please get someone to force feed you a slice of cake as well, while wearing a dupatta that billows out and wraps itself around that someone. Feign a trip, fall and catch yourself if Arnavs are scarce on the ground. After all, we are ajeeb in our commemoration of our chhoti si duniya.
The best duniya there is, right?!
With a dammit wala love,