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Jodha Akbar 38: Shahi Shaadi 4 - Cat and Mouse

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Jodha Akbar 38: Shahi Shaadi 4 - Cat and Mouse

Post by sashashyam on 2013-08-13, 16:01

Posted in the IF: 08 August 2013 at 2:32pm | IP Logged

With profound apologies for the delay in posting it here, and on the off chance that some of you might still be interested in seeing itl

The title more or less sums up today's episode, and before we get into that, one has to applaud the CVs, or rather the  editors who decide the precaps, for bowling such a sly googly at us last night. It had all of us clean bowled,  as it slithered thru our guard and uprooted the leg stump.
Half the forum was breathless over that precap, interpreting it as Jodha rebuffing Jalal, and speculating  feverishly as to how harshly he would react. Even I was bamboozled into taking it at face value, as an attempt by Jalal to get up close and personal with his lawfully wedded wife, and I  was moved to assert that he  would never force himself on any woman, even a wife he wanted to tame.
When the telecast came, we were all caught flat footed. Alas for all our agonies of apprehension! It turned out that it was
-  an attack by Jodha with that khanjar, yes, but on what she took to be an intruder, not on her  patidev,  and
- Jalal was there not to make amorous advances to her, but to berate for not presenting herself when he had summoned her to sing for him,  with his entourage present,
- Jalal did hurt his hand on that khanjar, but thereby hangs  yet another tale.
The scene itself was sheer viewing pleasure. There was Jalal, fuming at having been stood up  by his newly minted wife in front of his courtiers, barging into her khema, prepared to haul her over the coals  for disrespecting her husband and not fulfilling her marital vows. Two minutes later, though she is trembling with nervousness and her breath is ragged in her throat, Jodha has managed to put her lord and master on the defensive,  moving him to concede Bahut khoob! Hum to aapke pas apni shikayat lekar aaye the, par aapne to humein hi mujrim tehra diya!
She does this  by lecturing him fluently on the need to put his patni's maan aur sammaan  ahead of his rights on her, and about how  no vow that she had taken permitted him to ask her to appear in front of outsiders, to treat a wife like a dasi or to use force on her. And she does all this with Jalal   barely one foot away, leaning over  her in a manner that would intimidate the most courageous of women. Atta girl, I said to myself, you deserve a standing ovation!
It is to Jalal's credit that, despite being very angry  with Jodha as he enters, he does not  rage at her mindlessly but seeks to argue his case by  reminding her of her marriage vows.  Later,  he accepts Jodha's  lecture and admonition in good part, and does not try to bully her. This says much for his sense of fairness, even towards a woman against  whom he harbours several grudges. This innate sense of justice bodes well for the rest of his reign.
Probably it was also a novel experience  for him to have  a woman conquering her fear of him,  arguing  her case against him with all the coherent logic of a  lawyer, and winning  it too. That he does not resent it, as most men would have, but is moved to reluctant admiration, also says a lot about him as he is now, even without having had the  benefit of Jodha's haivaan se insaan  magic that we have been promised from Day 1.  
But of course there is the male ego, and this one is an imperial ego. So, he gets back at her by commenting, approvingly,  on the all too evident fear in her eyes about what he might do next. And while leaving, after reassuring her that  she need fear no one and nothing as he is there to protect her from  every danger, he adds, with a wolfish grin of malicious delight, Par aapko mujhse bachane ke liye - a deliberate pause, and then Koi nahin! It hits bullseye, as we can see from Jodha's ashen face as she sits up in bed. She looks even better when she is frightened, by the way.
Chicken con trick:  This one was side splitting, that is if you were not Jodha. Having felt obliged, as a dutiful wife, to feed Jalal a chicken leg with her own hand  - which he promptly holds firmly with his sound (!?!) one-  not to speak of then washing his fingers and wiping them, Jodha emerges to find out that it was all a con trick, which Jalal makes sure she does not miss.
Rajat/Jalal was superb in his foxiness, the veiled  sideways glances at Mahaam Anga (for her to make sure that Jodha sits next to  him on the dais), at the servants, and at Jodha herself, pointedly not seeking her help, by word or gesture, as he apparently struggles to pick up the chicken leg. Then, out front, the deliberate brashness  with which he cuts thru the fake bandage,  and then hefts his shamsheer  with the practiced ease of an  expert swordsman.  (I am really looking forward to the Jalal-Jodha fencing match, which is bound to materialize somewhere down the line).
It is pure mischief, free of malice, of the kind a naughty boy would play, and Jalal obviously no longer holds her refusal of the previous evening against her. As he goes off, he  is very pleased with himself, while  Jodha must  be promising herself that never again will she be so taken in. Famous last words, for  the next time, it will be something entirely different and unexpected.
Till, of course, they reach a stage when he does not have to trick her into holding his hand.
Arrival in Agra:   Jodha has found a true blue guardian angel in Hamida Banu Begum, which was of course expected. This is preceded  by a flashback to Umarkot when Jalal was born, with an adorable baby Jalal, and a prediction that he would one day unite the Mughals and the Hindus. So for Hamida Banu, Jodha is a good omen, like the comets in old times .
She is in ecstasies over Jodha's loveliness - Jalal smiles with proprietary pride at this point,  while Mahaam Anga looks as if she has bitten a particularly sour lemon, especially when Bakshi Banu, in a welcoming ritual for the new bride, sweetly washes her bhabhijaan's feet in milk.
The lemon seems to  grow even more sour when the Hindu dasis, mobilized by the Malika-e-Azam's Girl Friday, sing a Rajasthani welcome song fo Jodha. .A moment later, one can practically smell the smoke coming out of Mahaam Anga's ears when Hamida Banu informs her that she need only prepare Jodha's rooms (in the harem) and she will personally escort her bahu over the palace and show her the harem as well.
This is just as well, for even with Hamida Banu's sympathetic  and reassuring introduction to the harem, including a little paean of praise for Jalal's sense of responsibility in having all the women in the harem looked after well, the set up  there was bound to come as a major shock for Jodha. She  is so taken aback by the hordes of assorted, squabbling  females, whose varied origins and status are explained by Hamida Bani with the insouciance of one used to such things, that when  asked why she did not want to marry  Jalal, she blurts out that one cannot want to marry a man with no daya and no dil. A dubious assertion, for any  number of females would do anything to get a hard-hearted, heartless emperor, but apni Jodha is not one of  them.  
The no dil  reference sets Hamida Banu off on her pet theme of saving Jalal's soul, and she voices  her hope that Jodha, now that she is here, will help Jalal find his lost dil,  while Jodha looks politely incredulous. She however recollects her manners, and refrains from voicing her firm conviction that Jalal has not lost his dil, as he never had one to lose!
Ruqaiya, as brashly confident as ever about being able to manage both Jalal and  his new 'toy', of which she is certain that he will tire soon, affects indifference towards the  new arrival. It remains to be seen if the Queen of the harem  maintains this self-confidence after she takes a  look at Jodha. Meanwhile, Mahaam Anga, rattled by the special treatment given to the Hindu Begum, is almost sure to try and recruit Ruqaiya for a stymie-Jodha operation.
The precap: The next storm breaks when Jalal, interpreting Jodha's singing an ode to Rajput  valour and their code of honour (this time acceptably,  in the harem, to a female audience bar a bunch of assorted maulvis)  as a veiled insult to himself and the Mughals, reacts furiously. I  do not propose to get worked up about that, for there will be a zillion such scenes to come, and  I have no intention of getting my blood pressure up about any of them.
I just want to know when the Krishna mandir is up and running, so that we can have that scene of Jalal coming in when Jodha is singing a bhajan and looking even lovelier  than when she is scared, and accepting prasad from her. It will come, never fear!
I will pass over that  pointless scene of the middle-aged looking Kunwar Pratap of Mewar berating the hapless Sujamal for his treachery, while lauding Jodha for having become a human sacrifice to Jalal the Jallad. And the one of a weepfest in Amer bemoaning the absence of Jodha.
So the only thing left is to pat myself on the back for having, for once, correctly predicted that the nek  that Jalal would give young Mansingh would be to take him  with himself to Agra and make him a great warrior.
Mansingh, who has apparently  not yet learned to smile, responds in a dampening fashion to this flattering invitation, making it clear that he is ready to come to Agra only to protect his buasa (it is not clear from whom, especially when she has the Mughal Emperor and half the Mughal army to do  this  job). He seems to be a gravely impertinent child, who is unaware of his impertinence and not in the least  in awe of the Emperor, which is probably while  the latter  is so taken with him.
 Jalal is going to have his hands full handling not  only affairs of state but, and far more difficult,  his recalcitrant Begum, and her pocket edition, Mansingh, as well. One wishes him luck, for he is going to need it! It might be a rather far fetched comparison, but if one took this as a Tom and Jerry affair, no prizes for  guessing who would be Tom!
Lastly, when Bharmal wished to send Bhagwan Das with Mansingh (it is not clear whether this is to be permanently or only for the  journey to Agra, especially seeing that Bhagwan Das is Bharmal's designated successor), the funniest sight of the day was Mahaam Anga's face. She was obviously appalled at the prospect of still more Amervasis invading the Agra palace!
By the way, where are Bhagwan Das and Mansingh in Jalal's entourage on the way to Agra? Or at Agra either? Nowhere that I could see, except for a Rajput-like figure in the precap.
Shyamala B.Cowsik

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Re: Jodha Akbar 38: Shahi Shaadi 4 - Cat and Mouse

Post by pollyanna on 2013-08-13, 16:20

Aunty, its always a pleasure to re-read ur much ever old they may be.cheers 

i loved the name u gave MS--pocket edition....hahahah so true.

I cracked on ...hameeda's  rant for jalal's dil...srsly both of them found each wants his sar, another dil......lolzzz

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Re: Jodha Akbar 38: Shahi Shaadi 4 - Cat and Mouse

Post by --sumana13-- on 2013-08-14, 10:43

Shyamala .. I loved reading you .....

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Re: Jodha Akbar 38: Shahi Shaadi 4 - Cat and Mouse

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