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Jodha Akbar 45: Shadows of the Past

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Jodha Akbar 45: Shadows of the Past

Post by sashashyam on 2013-08-20, 02:07

The one image that stayed with me at the end of today's episode was not that of Ruqaiya storming away gracelessly from her shock defeat by the Hindu Begum she detests,  and whom she wishes to despise. One knew that lacking both foresight and self-control,  she would also  lack the astuteness  to  gracefully congratulate Jodha,  and thus minimize the negative impact of her own upset.
 

Nor that of a victorious Jodha (how she won, by making a move again  after her  last move, which Ruqaiya had declared to be a very bad one, is a mystery, but then so are many things in Ekta's serials) saying, in a smooth left handed compliment to her husband, that she played the chess game Shahenshah ka maan rakne ke liye,  while  refusing the Shahi firman with elaborate politeness.  The young lady is learning the ropes of public behaviour in the Mughal court, I thought  to myself.


Nor that of Jalal later lecturing a raging Ruqaiya  on the rules of  siyasat and the need to play down your defeats and play up your victories.  One catches a glimpse then  of a mind naturally astute,  capable of doing all it takes, including biding its  time, to seize even a  very slight chance of victory.  A mind honed by his Khan Baba, a master of statecraft a la Chanakya, till its razor sharp edge rivalled that of  Jalal's shamsheer.


Nor of Jodha in full Jalal the Jallad mode, raging too, but this time at her Kanha for having  bound her to a man jisme maanavta ka koyi ansh hi nahin hai. By now, such declamations from Jodha are par for the course, and do not need more than  a passing   mention.  One does wish, however, that she would not glare so much, with the whites of her eyes showing all round the iris.



Shadows of the past: No, the scene that lingered in my consciousness was that of Jalal  - not the Shahenshah  - kneeling on the floor of the Diwan-e-Aam, embracing the little Hindu boy,  with eyes brimming with unexpected tears.  Of the  recalled anguish, and the lost  look on his face,  as the shadows of the past rise again to haunt him.



His father's brother lunging at him,  sword in hand and murder in his heart,  livid with hatred  for Humayun, as Jalal  cowers behind his aunt, who manages to shield him from her husband and save his  life. Bairam Khan and  Mahaam Anga standing by him, and with him,  against all odds, with rocklike loyalty, yes, but also with genuine affection and caring.



As Jalal says, no one knows better than he the trauma that the absence of parents causes to the abandoned child. Not every child  would have his good fortune in the presence of his Khan Baba and Mahaam  Anga, he adds, but still Bhale hi wo  walidein ke bina sari duniya ki fateh kar le, par wo kahin na kahin, andar,  akela hi rahta hai.



So there it was again, up front and centre, the hurt that is still unhealed and festers within him, and the  loneliness that eats away at the innermost core of his being. I have written of this often in my earlier posts, and  I will not repeat any of that now. Today, the wounds of the past in Jalal's zehen were ripped open again by  sheer chance, and the  simple plea of an uncomprehending and yet courageous little Hindu boy. 



The denouement of that scene was incredibly moving.  And the striking, and strange thing was  that the pain that was so visible in Jalal's eyes was mirrored in Ruqaiya's face,which twisted in empathy.  A lifelong friendship cannot be dismissed or written off so easily; it has its own intimacies and symbiotic bonds.


Jalal's reversal of his original judgement is  not on the merits of the case, which were in any case very  poorly set out by the complainant. In any autocracy, the  incredible folly of the husband in not stating his real complaint -  about the seizure of his house and his cow and of the attempt to convert him to Islam by force ' and instead railing  against the regime as a whole in loud tones, would have  produced the same punitive response (it is to be noted that the response is from a Minister, not from the Shahenshan directly). The wife then makes matters worse by attacking the Shahenshah directly  and dragging in his marriage to a Hindu queen. It is no wonder that Jalal's temper flares up and she is sent to prison as well.



But for the equally incredible good sense of the child ' his Aapka mere liye kya aadesh hai? brings the Emperor up short -  things would have  stayed as they were.  And if his parents had had even a fraction of his natural, diplomatic articulateness, they would have got justice from the Shahenshah right at the beginning.



Nonetheless, it is only because Jalal, after that intial spurt of anger at the parents,  has the kindness  of heart, and the empathy, to understand the plight of the child deprived of both his parents, that he sets aside  his own rule and restores to the child his  home and his  happiness.   It takes a meaure of greatness, especially in an absolute ruler, to recognize his mistake and to correct it. 



That he explains the reason for his doing so to the whole assemblage is another mark of a great ruler, the recognition of the need to carry his people with him.



It is also significant that this time,  he does not dress his reversal up in reasons of state, as he did while explaining to his advisers his decision to marry Jodha. It is primarily an emotional response to an emotional wrong, and he has no hesitation in  acknowledging it  as such.  Or in weeping in public, or exposing his inner wounds to the public gaze. He is too strong a character to have such reservations; he goes by what he feels is right, and he will then not change his path for anyone or anything.


This needs  to be noted. I have always held that while Jodha might,  in the future,  amplfy and strengthen Jalal's positive traits, such as a sense of justice, of fairness to all his subjects, religious tolerance ( a very, very rare trait anywhere in the world at that time) and so on, she does not create them. They are already present in him, and they have already surfaced at various  moments independentl y of Jodha: his assertion, when chastising Adham Khan for his atrocities in Malwa, that even in a war, there would be no  oppression of  women, children or the aged is a case in point.


The rest is incidental. That some of the other begums taunt  Ruqaiya about her defeat, and that they see a new  tolerance towards the Hindus in the Diwan-e-Khas incident, and attribute it to Jodha, are both predictable. Ruqaiya's crushing  response to them  is accurate, but it will not dampen the malice of those over whom she has always ridden roughshod, and who now rejoice to see her hold, as they perceive it,  weakening.


By the end, Bharmal & Co, are finally departing, after Jalal's slightly tongue in cheek assurance that thanks to his havng married their daughter, Amer is totally safe. Jodha is once more in full battle mode, any need for surface amenities to her patidev having departed with her parents.



I for one cannot understand why Jalal needs to  force his Shahi firman on her; it seems to have become a matter of his ego now. She, having predictably left the Diwan-e-Am before Jalal showed his soft side, is ready to bite his head off. And so she does, metaphorically speaking. 



I am pretty sure that when the Motibai vs Adham Khan case comes up before Jalal,  and Mahaam Anga fixes the evidence as she did in Malwa. Jalal will pronounce the death sentence largely to force Jodha to accept the firman after all and use it to save Motibai's life.



And so  we start all over again, with the next round of  the battle of this quintessentially  Odd Couple: Rhett and Scarlett, or Petruchio and Kate: take your  pick.


Shyamala B.Cowsik


NB: A historical footnote for those interested in such matters. The Emperor Akbar and Queen Elizabeth I of England were contemporaries for practically the whole of their very long reigns: Akbar from 1556-1605 and Elizabeth I from 1558-1603.  They also appear to have both  had a very rough and endangered childhood.



After her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed for treason by her father, King Henry VIII, the Princess Elizabeth was always walking a tightrope with her terrifying father. Later, she was constantly exposed to the risk being executed for treason by her elder stepsister Queen Mary,  whenever some of the Protestant opponents of the rigidly Catholic Mary plotted to assassinate her and replace her by the non-Catholic Elizabeth.  Jalal seems to have been equally at risk from his uncle, and then was always on the run from his father's enemies in the court of Sher Shah Suri. 


That they both surmounted all this childhood trauma and went to become very great rulers who wrote their names in history is truly remarkable
 
 
 
 
 
 

sashashyam
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Re: Jodha Akbar 45: Shadows of the Past

Post by pollyanna on 2013-08-20, 11:39

Wow...what a beautiful analysis with a crisp clinical approach!!!cheers cheers 

Ur explanation did full justice to the scene between Jalal-kid. My heart went out for Jalal's expressions, earlier I thot, why will the king show his vulnerable side to the masses but after reading you, I got my answer. Thank u Aunty. I felt a little sad for Ruks too......she knows she has failed(Jalal's heart and now Jodha's chess game) and hence tries to cover up with her arrogance but then she does understand Jalal.:heart: 

I was clapping when i read the following lines ---Jodha might,  in the future,  amplify and strengthen Jalal's positive traits, such as a sense of justice, of fairness to all his subjects, religious tolerance ( a very, very rare trait anywhere in the world at that time) and so on, she does not create them. They are already present in him, and they have already surfaced at various  moments independentl y of Jodha. 

Why cant we think that Jodha said shehenshah ke maan ke liye only to showcase in front of her parents, that she really is very happy in Agra and following all the terms/rituals Wink 

As for Jalal's making matters worse for Motibai so that Jodha comes running to him for farmaan, why cant we think that Jalal is the shehenshah of 16th century and has larger than life EGO, why would not he think and demands that his begums fall in line. As yet, Jodha hasnt done any good asa wifey so that he could give her the leeway, isnt it?Rolling Eyes 

I am in love with your foot notes; keep them coming, they are really interesting and informative.bounce


Last edited by pollyanna on 2013-08-20, 11:59; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Jodha Akbar 45: Shadows of the Past

Post by --sumana13-- on 2013-08-20, 11:41

Beautiful post Shyamala ... I cant resist your posts .. however long they may be ... they keep me glued ...

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Jodha Akbar 45: Shadows of the Past

Post by sashashyam on 2013-08-20, 12:31

Thanks a lot, Pallavi.As  for the part @blue, it is a very clever idea, which might well be true. I had not thought of it at all ! Please post this comment on my IF thread as well, there is a good girl!Shyamala Auntypollyanna wrote:Wow...what a beautiful analysis with a crisp clinical approach!!!cheers cheers 

Ur explanation did full justice to the scene between Jalal-kid. My heart went out for Jalal's expressions, earlier I thot, why will the king show his vulnerable side to the masses but after reading you, I got my answer. Thank u Aunty. I felt a little sad for Ruks too......she knows she has failed(Jalal's heart and now Jodha's chess game) and hence tries to cover up with her arrogance but then she does understand Jalal.:heart: 

I was clapping when i read the following lines ---Jodha might,  in the future,  amplify and strengthen Jalal's positive traits, such as a sense of justice, of fairness to all his subjects, religious tolerance ( a very, very rare trait anywhere in the world at that time) and so on, she does not create them. They are already present in him, and they have already surfaced at various  moments independentl y of Jodha. 

Why cant we think that Jodha said shehenshah ke maan ke liye only to showcase in front of her parents, that she really is very happy in Agra and following all the terms/rituals Wink 

As for Jalal's making matters worse for Motibai so that Jodha comes running to him for farmaan, why cant we think that Jalal is the shehenshah of 16th century and has larger than life EGO, why would not he think and demands that his begums fall in line. As yet, Jodha hasnt done any good asa wifey so that he could give her the leeway, isnt it?Rolling Eyes 

I am in love with your foot notes; keep them coming, they are really interesting and informative.bounce

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Re: Jodha Akbar 45: Shadows of the Past

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