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It started innocuously enough. Intrigued by UL’s post on her blog, I clicked the link to the first episode of Iss Pyar Ko Kya Naam Doon. One click lead to another and before I knew it was 3:00 AM in the morning. The pattern repeated itself for about a month when I got caught up on over 370 episodes worth of the story. I watched transfixed as I saw the Khushi the sunshine girl transform the dark and tormented man-child ASR aka Arnav Singh Raizada into someone who learns to laugh and love with abandon.

Through fabulous story telling, chemistry that set the screen on fire, I escaped into my personal world where dreams came true, tall handsome strangers and beautiful women felt drawn to each other like moths to the flame. I sat through deviations in the plot, uninteresting detours and butchering of characters purely in the hope that the loops would be closed and an epic love story will reach its foregone conclusion.

So, this week as the curtains fall on this story that has captured my imagination like no other, I wonder what was it that made me besotted enough to follow the personal travails of the lead characters? I think of myself as a rational person. Someone who shudders at the over the top dramatics that has come to epitomize desi soaps. What was it about this particular story that kept me hooked?

Escapism. Pure and simple. Twenty minutes each day when I forgot the image in the mirror and lived vicariously through Arnav and Khushi. The nervousness and the highs of falling in love, the desperation to name the emotion and the battle between the head and heart. The romance, the angst, the hopelessness of love. The unflinching trust. The story of soul mates who communicated through heartbeats and stars.

One more day and the story that captured the imagination of countless folks like me would have come to an abrupt, unsatisfying end. My time will be mine again and perhaps I will stop haunting blogs in search of analysis and symbolism.  Till then, hats off to the brilliant Sanaya Irani and Barun Sobti for providing hours of entertainment. The likes of which I had forgotten since high school.

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