Shyam-The Stupid Cupid
Just as it is the night that makes the moon shine bright, and the Camel that made us realise the fate of the poor Arab, have you ever wondered what IPKKND would have been without Shyam? Forget the entire series, when I sit to analyze the Arnav and Khushi story, I always think it has been the presence of Shyam at every stage and level that has given their unnamed relationship a new dimension!
Take for instance the very first meeting. When Shyam first saves Khushi from the goons, he is the protector of her reputation, that very reputation that Arnav had supposedly ruined. He extends an open invitation to Khushi offering her to come to Delhi. When she lands up there, it is he who helps her move a step closer to Arnav unknowingly as he gets her a job in AR. Each time her hatred for Arnav grew, Shyam always presumed and felt he was growing one step closer to Khushi though initially the two never had a connection with one another! The effect of the unknown feeling Khushi experienced each time she confronted Arnav was such that, the nascent shapeless, formless love always clouded itself around her, enveloping Shyam also into the fold. So each time Shyam thought Khushi ji, whom he had taken fancy to also perhaps liked him, she was actually strengthening her unknown bond with ASR!
Until this time, I always would fight and debate with myself as to how Arnav and Shyams love for Khushi could be different in nature,other than the fact that Shyam was married and ASR who didnt anyway believe in marriage but was with a girl, felt drawn to her? This is the time when Shyam as a character began to change for me! The smooth talker, and the boy next door suddenly began to depict his negative shades as he began to hide not just from his own family, but also from the one that he claimed he had begun to love! On the face of it Shyam was this man who was always hungry for love and affection which he got from the simple Gupta household as he claimed and hence never related to the one at Shantivan!
Shyam later went on to become Khushi's inner voice and sounding board when in one of the episodes after Khushi starts to wonder what is it that she feels for ASR she comes home and starts looking for a nariyal while it is in her hands! He shows it to her and tells her how sometimes things are right in front of us but we do not want to recognize or acknowledge the same. He also encourages her to go ahead with her feelings as he complaisantly presumes it has been him all the while anyway ...
Uptil this time Shyam is everything a family would want in an ideal husband for their daughter! he is the right guy! Its no wonder buaji wants him for Khushi. How would Khushi then justify her affinity for ASR? Some relationships have no reasons for their existence, and even if one were to sit and put a few pointers down as to why they are so, you would only fail! So then Shyam here serves the purpose of being all that a girl would want in a guy, but still not being that one guy she wants in her life!!!
Shyam hurts Khushi's father. Manipulates her into getting engaged to him, though ASR beats him to it through the symbolic ceremony in the presence of Devi Maiyya! think about it, had there been no engagement threat, there would be no quarrel between ASR and Khushi, neither would she have walked out of the house injuring her hand, nor would have ASR followed her to the temple! So ,as much as Shyam wanted Khushi all for himself, he could never get her, as she already was taken by another!
Khushi's realisation that Shyam was indeed Anjali's husband took the story to another dimension! A man whom she trusted, a man whom her family loved was now exposed as the ugly face that was responsible for all the bitterness in not just her household but another! With this impliedly came a new found respect for ASR!! He may have been rude, he may be nasty, he still loved his family as much as he loved hers, since she had seen instances where he had dealt with her family! Unknown to her if Shyam tried to kill her father, Arnav paid the bills for his treatment, if Shyam showed extreme love towards her and creeped her out, Arnav showed intense hatred creating a greater dent in her heart!
She was happy her sister was being married into a household where though there was one monster the rest were surely angels ! Khushi did that for Anjali what Arnav does for Payal had he been in her place! Arnav apologizes to Payal for being responsible for breaking her marriage previously, while Khushi goes to break the bitter news Anjali about her husband only to realize how paranoid she is about a mere broken mantal sutra! So while Arnav brings happiness into Khushi's sister's life, Khushi decides to stay mum for the sake of his sister's happiness!
As they slowly begin to acknowledge their feelings for one another it is Shyams jealousy and anxiety that draws them apart !!! The growing closeness doesn't go unnoticed by Shyam as he calls her onto the terrace in order to meet her! Mistaking it to be Arnav's call Khushi walks into her own destruction, only to be caught in the cruel web of a hate marriage after Arnav discovers Shyam and her together in the wrong time, saying the wrong things!
Next Lap! Love instantly changes to hatred, as Arnav decides to punish the woman he loves as well as the man who did this to his sister, he himself suffering in the bargain!!!! Everytime he see's Shaym he thinks of what he has done to his sister, every time he see's Khushi he cant get over what she has done to him and all of this coupled with him not being able to control his unstoppable love for Khushi only makes matters worse!
Of all the people that get to know of their hate marriage, the truth gets revealed to Shyam as he chooses to use it against her. It is this very resolve that helps Khushi clear her thoughts as to what she feels for Arnav, though not completely it does sows the seeds!
When Arnav finally blurts the truth out to Khushi, he doesn't give her a chance to explain herself at first only because he has so much anger and bitterness inside him! He is angrier with Khushi than he is with Shyam as he perhaps never considered his jeeja apna! His jeeja mattered to him only because of the connection with his di! But now that man, had been controlling the two very women who mattered the most to him in his life! Unable to take the pain, Arnav walks away not believing Khushi....
During Arnavs absence, every action that Shyam takes towards Khushi only cements her feelings for Arnav as she realises what she feels for him. She is ready to beg and plead the man she hates, she learns to trick him and also manipulate him! If all of us know Khushi, even a man who doesnt watch the show but merely listens to it, would say Khushi wouldn't have done all of this, but she does since Shaym provokes her enough to almost admit her feelings for ASR. She laterr even nastily snaps back at him asking him, if he really doesn't know why she is getting so agitated and worried for a man who hates her so much and would perhaps never worry about her!
At every stage for Arnav post his wedding Shyam happens to pose the question of why not me, hence making it even worse for him to deal with Khushi right in front of his eyes!So when Arnav gets kidnapped and he finally confesses his love for Khushi, he is thrilled at the fact that this girl came seeking him out, risking her own life !!! He is finally sure he does hold a place in her heart that no one can take! Whether Shyam has kidnapped him or not, we are not sure if Arnav knows yet! But he is sure of one thing, and that is Khushi's love for him! With so many speculations over the future track, my question is what happens once ASR returns?
If Shyam has kidnapped Arnav even after getting the papers signed, what are his intentions? Is it his frustration towards Khushi's lack of reciprocity of love for him?
Shyam knows Arnav needs to be alive! If it was just money Shyam would have gotten rid of ASR ages ago! Now once Anjali or the family know of Shyam's intensions and as most speculations are rife if he is to push the blame on Khushi and Anjali believes him, will it mean she will for the first time turn against her own brother for supporting another woman who tried to wreck his sister's life?
Either ways, as I look back, I don't think Arnav and Khushi would have never learnt to love each other so intensely had Shyam not played cupid in his own twisted way!!! I am sure as much as Arnav and Khushi do not realise what they share, Shyam is equally unaware of what he has done for these two, if he did he would first kidnap and kill himself!!!
Niharika Vidya Sagar