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Jodha Akbar 39: Shahi Shaadi 5 - Storms brewing

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Jodha Akbar 39: Shahi Shaadi 5 - Storms brewing

Post by sashashyam on 2013-08-13, 15:56

Posted: 09 August 2013 at 2:56pm | IP Logged
Folks,


I am really sorry for not having posted this last Saturday itself. Please bear with me!


I never thought to see the day when I would be glad to see Shakuni Bai grace the TV screen. But so it was today, and not just  for me, but for the Cassandra of Amer, Rani Mynavati, as well.  She is greatly reassured by Shakuni Bai's umpteenth affirmation that Jodha will, despite some initial hiccups,  have  a wonderful life and that her name would go down in history and be remembered for  ages to come.
I do not know about the latter part, for only those who seem, of late, to have remembered Jodha are, in chronological order: K.Asif, who made Mughal-e-Azam (1960) , Ashutosh Gowarikar, who made Jodhaa Akbar the film (2008), and now Ekta  Kapoor.
Still, taking all this for ages business  as literary/cinematic licence, I was very pleased with Shakuni Bai's unshakeably optimistic predictions, for these days one badly needs some good news for Jodha. Even if the good times are, like  a post-dated cheque,  not going to get to her (and us)  for a while yet!
Melodrama galore: The Shahi Shaadi series of megaepisodes all this week has been a greart success so far, with each episode topping the previous one. This could  obviously not continue indefinitely, and besides, Newton's law of gravity has it that what goes up must come down. He deduced it from a falling apple, and he surely never dreamt of applying it to TV serials, but it does work for  them as well.
So,  I was waiting for Megaepisode  5  to stumble, if not to fall outright, and sure enough, that is what happens today, with the melodrama content being upped and the dialogues becoming flat and banal, without  a single, memorable punch line.
As for the melodramatic excesses, there are quite a few examples.
There is Ruqaiya who - after running, literally,  into Jodha once again,  and being put down by Jodha with quiet grace and firmness - informs her sidekick Hoshiyar that Jodha would be her slave just as she was Ruqaiya's , and would  wear Hoshiyaar's hand me downs just as Hoshiyar wears Ruqaiya's (this boggles the imagination, seeing that Hoshiyar is about a foot taller than the petite Ruqaiya, and broad shouldered to match, and could not possibly have fitted into Ruqaiya's cast offs!) .
 There is Mahaam Anga glowering at Jodha when Hamida Banu Begum is looking elsewhere, and piling on the snide comments until her speech seems likely to buckle under their weight.
There is Ruqaiya again, doing full scale kaan bharofying about Jodha to Jalal. So kaan ka  kachcha  is he,  that whereas yesterday he was able, despite his initial fury,  to appreciate the reasons for Jodha's refusal to heed his summons to her , today, his temper rises visibly when Ruqaiya tells him that his shaan and ruthba are being eroded by Jodha's excessive guroor,as shown  by her studied indifference to  her imperial shauhar.
Jodha's mistake: Which is true to  a considerable extent, for at the jashn to celebrate her marriage to Jalal, Jodha does not make the slightest concession to public impressions, or even to the disappointment her very standoffish behaviour would cause her incredibly kind mother-in-law. She  is transformed into a marble statue of disdain as soon as Jalal appears, and the way in which she offers him the sweet is exactly like the  way in which  she held the chicken leg out to him at breakfast, making me wonder whether she was going to shove it up his nose. He salvages the  situation  by catching hold of her hand and guiding it to his  mouth, but  the impression conveyed is one of extreme indifference and coldness from her side,  whereas earlier, she is very  polite and pleasant to all the guests, and handles even the catty Ruqaiya with grace and  calm evasiveness.
The contrast is so marked that a great deal of gossip was  guaranteed, and this could  not have reflected well on the Shahenshah.  If Jodha had continued to be pleasant and proper, even if not at all forthcoming, to Jalal as well, he would not have been so open and receptive to the poison that Ruqaiya pours into his ears.
The upshot of this  rising spiral of anger is that  Jalal makes a highly undesirable move by forcing his wife  to sing at the jashn, something normally  unheard of for highborn ladies of the court. The ode to Rajput chivalry and their  code of honour that she sings only makes matters  worse. Jalal is roaming around the hall like a caged panther, and when he comes near her, Ruqaiya adds the last earful  of poison, by interpreting the song as a slur on the Mughals. That does it. He shuts the jashn, and Jodha's song, down in an instant and leaves. As the hall empties swiftly in the Emperor's wake, Jodha is left standing alone, humiliated, and not even Hamida Banu comes up to speak  to her and comfort her.
Jalal's OTT behavior does not end here. He then drinks himself into a state of mounting and self-reinforcing anger, dredging up every bitter memory of Jodha  to deepen his  resentment even further. When he sets off to get his inteqam, one assumes he is going to Jodha's room, and  one shudders at the thought of what he might do in an alcoholic stupor.
Now, by  all TV norms for precaps, the scene of him setting out for his inteqam should have been in the precap, with no hint as to its final shape and form. Then all of us coul d have agonized the weekend thru about Jodha's likely fate at the hands of Jalal the Jallad.
But this tempting scenario was not to be,  for though  there was nail-biting suspense  for quite a while thanks to Jodha's highly realistic and misleading nightmare,  Jalal was a no show in the end.  We were treated instead to a longish monologue by  Ruqaiya, who had invited herself to Jodha's rooms,  and had, inadvertently,  rescued her  from the nightmare.
Paridhi does exceptionally well in this scene; as she wipes the beads of sweat off her forehead, her face  is a study in residual,  blind panic. She is, for all her courage, really afraid of Jalal.  Which makes her handling him so well yesterday all the more worthy of  admiration.
Ruqaiya's monologue today was obviously tailored to alarm and dishearten Jodha by stressing the fickle nature of the Shahenshah's obsessions. What Ruqaiya does not know is that the very basis of her peroration is mistaken, for Jodha is not waiting for Jalal.  She is praying hard for him not to come at all,  and so she says not a word in reply to Ruqaiya.
The mistaken impression of frightened innocence that this  conveys will be very useful to her in the immediate future, as she settles into the harem, for it might blunt the extent of Ruqaiya's hostility towards Jodha.   
The Ruqaiya-Mahaam Anga combo, stitched together solely be their common hostitlity towards Jodha. Their  shared determination to teach Jodha  a lesson is voiced in  lurid terms,  and their coming together  sounds pretty much like the Stalin- Hitler pact during World War II,  and  is likely to be just as short lived!
Bright spots:  Young Mansingh restraining his father Bhagwan Das from flying at Adham Khan's throat  when the latter speaks insultingly about Amer and about the Jodha-Jalal marriage. It shows that he has a great deal of maturity despite being so very young, in fact more than his normally placid father.
Mansingh again, who, on being quizzed by Jalal about what had happened, does not babble idealistically and hide the truth, in the time-honoured  manner of TV serial good guys. Instead, just as Adham Khan is  opening his mouth to utter an omnibus  denial, Mansingh  recites, fluently and accurately, the whole list of his insulting words. He  has Adham Khan's  whole para down pat, without a single slip up of any kind. The  kid must have been the  star pupil of his  guru,  the shruti, or oral tradition being  still strong in the 16th century !
Jodha's handling of Ruqaiya, both after the collision and later  at the jashn She maintains a calm, unruffled mien throughout,  and never loses an iota of her dignity, even when faced with Ruqaiya's hectoring or her sly,  sneering remarks. It is only in the last bedroom encounter that  Jodha, worn out by fear,  does not react at all.
Hamida Banu Begum's warmth and great kindness to Jodha, to whom she transfers all her earlier  affection and gratitude   for  the Rajputs of Umarkot, who had sheltered  her whole family when Humayun  was being hunted all over north India by Sher Shah Suri, and had thus saved their lives. Besides, she sees Jodha as the catalyst who can really understand her son, and thaw Jalal's frozen dil, and  she says so yet again.
Storms brewing:Ah, yes, the storms of the title. There are quite a few of them in the works: between Jodha and Jalal, between Jodha, Mahaam Anga and Ruqaiya, between Adham Khan and the Amer duo,  and finally between Jalal and himself.  
As Mansi had pointed out in her very perceptive comments on my last post, Jalal's ominous lines to Jodha, that he likes to see the fear of him always there in her eyes,  and that there was no one to save her from him, can be best interpreted by turning them around and applying  them to Jalal instead of to Jodha. It would then be as follows: He hates that fear of him in her eyes, and no one can save him from her.
That mirror image take on what Jalal said to Jodha is,  methinks, exactly what is going to happen some time in the future.

This is because, in Jalal's reaction to Jodha, there is one thing on the surface - his being attracted to her because of her beauty and because she does not fawn on him - and there is a different undercurrent as well, of which he is not conscious as of now. That is the strange pull that dragged him on a  very dangerous mission into Amer, and this when he had not even seen  her.

Right now, he will be more and more angry with her for the immediate future, a process that has already begun at and after the jashn.  What I am waiting for is to see when it dawns on him that what he wants is not her. Not  the possession of her, legally or  physically even, for if he sought the latter, she, as a dutiful, wedded wife, will not refuse her husband that intimacy no matter how much he frightens her. What he will want is for her to want him, in the sense of caring for him, even if the idea of love is very long in coming.

Now he can, soon enough, command her dutiful obedience in all acceptable things, but not her respect and her caring. This will gnaw at him, and we shall  see how he handles that entirely unfamiliar situation. This is exactly where  Mansi's mirror image of what Jalal said to Jodha comes in. No one can protect him from that sense of deprivation that will eat away at him from within. It is going to be very interesting.

Joke of the day: Hamida Banu Begum is as fixated on Jalal's (lost) dil as her  new bahu used to be on Jalal ka sar, while for Ruqaiya it is his brain. The women in Jalal's life seem to have a curious obsession with his assorted body parts!
Finally,  never before did TGIF sound so very apt as it does to me tonight!
Shyamala B. Cowsik

sashashyam
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Re: Jodha Akbar 39: Shahi Shaadi 5 - Storms brewing

Post by pollyanna on 2013-08-13, 16:26

 "This is because, in Jalal's reaction to Jodha, there is one thing on the surface - his being attracted to her because of her beauty and because she does not fawn on him - and there is a different undercurrent as well, of which he is not conscious as of now. That is the strange pull that dragged him on a  very dangerous mission into Amer, and this when he had not even seen  her.

Right now, he will be more and more angry with her for the immediate future, a process that has already begun at and after the jashn.  What I am waiting for is to see when it dawns on him that what he wants is not her. Not  the possession of her, legally or  physically even, for if he sought the latter, she, as a dutiful, wedded wife, will not refuse her husband that intimacy no matter how much he frightens her. What he will want is for her to want him, in the sense of caring for him, even if the idea of love is very long in coming."



Loved this...yes jalal is definitely fighting with himself, the biggest battle :)


For me, Jodha was being just indifferent, neither rude nor polite. 

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Re: Jodha Akbar 39: Shahi Shaadi 5 - Storms brewing

Post by amimus on 2013-08-13, 17:24

Hi Sasha, a fantastic and insightful post on the episode.
Loved reading you

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Re: Jodha Akbar 39: Shahi Shaadi 5 - Storms brewing

Post by Abavi on 2013-08-13, 18:01

Excellent write up Shyamala.

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Re: Jodha Akbar 39: Shahi Shaadi 5 - Storms brewing

Post by --sumana13-- on 2013-08-14, 10:44

Excellent post Shyamala .. Just loved this ...


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Jodha Akbar 39: Shahi Shaadi 5 - Storms brewing

Post by sashashyam on 2013-08-14, 14:33

Thank you so much! Shyamala B.Cowsik (Sasha is my son's pet name, which I use a lot in my various ids)amimus wrote:Hi Sasha, a fantastic and insightful post on the episode.
Loved reading you

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Jodha Akbar 39: Shahi Shaadi 5 - Storms brewing

Post by sashashyam on 2013-08-14, 14:35

I am glad you liked it so much. I liked it too, especially  the part about what Jalal really feels for Jodha. Shyamala--sumana13-- wrote:Excellent post Shyamala .. Just loved this ...


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Re: Jodha Akbar 39: Shahi Shaadi 5 - Storms brewing

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