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Jodha Akbar 67: Changing equations?

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Jodha Akbar 67: Changing equations?

Post by sashashyam on 2013-09-20, 02:49

Folks,
It was a curious episode last night in more ways than one, with the surface indications  being belied by the subterranean ones, and this even more for Jodha than for Jalal. It was also proof positive of the inadvisability of fervid speculation on the basis of precaps, which are meant to mislead even when  they do not lie.
The Grand Accusation Scene- Conclusion: Let us pass over the obvious, such a Mahaam Anga's second bravura display of  her terpischoreal talents, which would have trumped the jazbaat ki malikas  of Bollywood in the 1960s, Meena Kumari, Mala Sinha and Nutan, and left them in awe.  She runs rings round a bewildered Jodha, but the credit for this is not hers alone.
For Jalal goes into flashback mode, and out come, in one gushing torrent,  all the long hidden terrors, the  anguish and the loneliness of a haunted 6/7 year old, held hostage in Kabul and ever in fear of being murdered by his own chacha, by the sword or by being blown by a cannon. The total helplessness of his parents, and his total dependence, physical and emotional, on his Badiammi.
The words he uses as he reiterates his unshakeable loyalty to and love for her are incredibly moving, even as we are at one with Jodha in despairing about this unbreakable wall of his  faith in a false god.
Above all when he says, in an unconscious reaching out to her  to seek her understanding Tum jaanti ho, Jodha, ki hamare takht ke do pair hain. Ek hamare Khan Baba aur doosri hamari Badiammi..Khan Baba ko khone ke bad humne khud se vaada kiya ki hum tabah ho jayenge, par unko kuchch nahin hone denge jinse hum mohabbat karte hain' ,
And this is  a man  who is supposed to be heartless and immune to emotion?Of whom Jodha can, after watching him lay bare his heart and his innermost wounds,  still say, back in her rooms, Dikhane ke liye krodh, dene ke liye dandh, aur lene ke liye pratishodh: yehi unki paribasha hai?
Jodha escapes a solid slap from her patidev for her gunaah-e-azeem, thanks to Mahaam's ostentatious intervention wih Jalal. This is followed up by some rather childish near winks and other facial distortions from Mahaam, for our benefit and Jodha's. It would have been far better if she had kept a straight face and kept up her pretense of innoncence even with Jodha, but then all criminals are finally undone by overweening vanity, and I am sure Mahaam will be no exception, especially after the resounding vote to confidence from the only person  who counts - Jalal.
As for any outrage at what would be today seen as spousal abuse, even if Jalal  had  hit Jodha then  for having done something which he considered beyond the pale, that would not, in that age, have made him an abusive husband.  In fact, Jalal is not a wife beater. If he had been Petruchio, he would have caught hold of Jodha long ago, laid her upside down across his knee, and given her  a dozen of  the best and juiciest with a stout slipper!
The curious thing last night  was that the normally intrepid Jodha was plain scared as he advanced on her, though in the second encounter, she had returned to her hamein bhai nahin lagta mantra.
The Fallout: There is a strange similarity in the way in which both Jodha and Jalal pace their rooms after this encounter. Both resemble nothing so much as  caged tigers. 
As for Jalal, Mansi must now be glad of her reservations re: the previous day's precap, for Jalal does not go to Ruqaiya  for consulting her about the latest development. (Not that there  would be anything surprising if he had consulted her, his lifelong friend and confidante,  about this or any other problem he faces. She has always been his sounding board, even for political matters.  Remember the opening description of Ruqaiya in a voice over when Jalal decides to go to Agra to meet and consult  her before deciding to take on Amer?). He tells her about it only after she presses him, and then leaves immediately, being deeply  perturbed by the distress his Badiammi, as he imagines, must be feeling about this accusation.

Jodha, meanwhile, is raging along entirely predictable lines, but luckily for Kanha, to the long suffering Motibai, and not to Him!

As I wrote earlier, apni Jodha can never be accused of a having any imagination, even less the ability to  put herself in the other person's shoes and to try to think  as he would. So it  is not surprising that she had apparently has no inkling of how Jalal would react to her charge against Mahaam, and that too without any proof. She actually expects him to believe an accusation,  from a wife who displayed acute  hostility towards him even  half an hour earlier (when he came to her with that dibbi), that the mother-figure  who has been the sheet anchor of his life,  and to whom he has owed his very existence time and again, is guilty of extinguishing the life of his unborn child.
But what I found dismaying is that even post facto, what she has learnt from him now, about the horrors of his childhood, does not seem to have made any particular impression on her,  nor led to any greater understanding of the scars that must have been  left on his psyche, and of his desperate gratitude to those who stood by him then and protected him at all costs.
She seems, judging from the unchanged language and tenor of her complaints against Jalal, to have no comprehension of  where he is coming from about these persons, of whom, now, he has only Mahaam  left. I would  have expected a woman of Jodha's fames intelligence to see that Jalal's  faith in and love for his Badiammi, however mistaken, are  rooted  in valid reasons, and cannot be dismissed by declaring Jalal to be kaan ka kachcha, deriding his andha vishwas (how would Jodha have reacted to any such accusation against Mynavati?) or by coining nifty paribhashas  for him.
I do not know if Motibai has been briefed with the details of Jalal's horrible childhood. I think not, otherwise she would have had some good advice for Jodha. Bereft of such correctives, Jodha goes on ranting that even with the culprit in front of him. Jalal is still talking of finding the culprit. 
Then she adds something very curious. That Jalal does not realise that those close to him are there only because he is powerful (I said to myself - Atta girl!) and worse,that he pays no attention to those jo unke shubhchintak hain.  To wit, herself. So it appears that she has not only given up wanting his sar  but, even with  the abundance of ghrina  that she claims to still have for him, she is a self-professed shubhchintak  of Jalal's!  Now this is something for the record books, though Jodha does not seem to have realized that she is contradicting herself blatantly.
The pity of it is that this momentous revelation is not known to Jalal, who, not  surprisingly, is still operating from the premise that she  wants to get back at him for the humilation she and her family has suffered, by mujhe apne hi nazaron me giraakar, ie by the accusation against his Badiammi.
To revert, Jodha has no plausible answer to Motibai's valid question as to why, if she hates Jalal  so much, she keeps thinking about his loss and about him, and why she cannot leave the matter alone for him to handle. So Moti is, along with us,  treated to the same old spiel about why Jodha is so angry with this vivekheen purush that she has had the misfortune to marry, and a reiteration of her determination to keep plugging away at her recalcitrant patidev  still he is forced to believe in Mahaam's guilt. Not for nothing do I always say that our Odd Couple are each exactly like the other above all in their bullheaded stubbornness!
The Grand Accusation Scene: Part II: By now, this has started bordering on comedy, rather like a Pat and Mike or Santa and Banta cross talk act.
Jodha turns up  like the proverbial bad penny in Jalal's rooms.  He goes into his spiel about bahut bura hoga if she accuses Mahaam again, to which she responds by  trotting out her hamein dandh se bhay nahin hain mantra, adding for good measure that he does not know anything but  to hand out dandh  to nyaay-seekers  (not having believed Salima about the release  of the little Hindu boy's parents, as that would have spoiled her idee fixe about Jalal, nor, characteristically, checked up on it). When he warns that her good fortune in being saved twice will not last, she comes back with another snappy one liner that bhagya se kaayar hi darte hain, aur hum kaayyar nahin hain.  In his place, I would have retorted Kaayar to nahin, par aap dheeth to zaroor hain,  but Jalal is not known for sharp repartee, alas!
Jodha's clear eyed retorts  to Jalal's huffing and puffing are a delight to behold;  by now, his threats affect her as little as the water that runs off a duck's back! When he is warning her about, if I am not mistaken, Jalal ka qahar, she looks at him with the detached interest of an entomologist looking at  an unusual specimen thru a magnifying glass.  
So on to the promised sakshya ( I often wonder about how well Jalal/Jodha each understands what the other says,  for their lingo is as far apart as can be. This must have been a contributory factor   to  their perennial mutual misunderstandings!), little Rahim. Unfortunately, Rahim lands up  just as Jalal is snarling at Jodha that in the Mughal  regime, the guilty are not spared, even if they are relatives. He is, unsurprisingly, petrified with fear, especially when Jalal asks him point blank whether he took the dibbi. He does not mean to frighten the child, whom he loves dearly, but the tone of his voice is a carry over from what he was barking at Jodha, and it must have dried up anything Rahim might have been intending to say.
No prizes for guessing what happens tonight, but it does not seem that the Agra palace roof was shaken by any fresh explosion of Jalal  ka qahar. So perhaps he has decided to spart his vocal chords, and also realized - der aaye durust aaye - that there is nothing to be done with this Amer ki mirchi (courtesy Alakh and her mischievous toli)  but to disregard her buzzing around like a persistent mosquito.  
Mahaam: I did not like the way in which this historically fascinating character, who came across so well in the film, like an cross between a female Chanakya and an austere nun, has here been reduced to the lowest level of cheap and degraded villainy. The CVs do not even seem to have noted the clear  contradiction between the chortling now between Mahaam and Resham about the the earlier miscarriages of Jalal's other expectant begums,  courtesy Resham,  and Mahaam's expression of horror to the  selfsame Resham about the saazish against Ruqaiya's and  the Shahenshah's anticipated heir,  and of  her deep grief at her child having lost his child. The notes about that episode have clearly been lost!  
Mahaam is now plain awful, and as the only reason for her having bumped off all the earlier babies can be that she does not want Jalal to have an heir,  I am forced  to believe what  I could never believe of an intelligent woman like Mahaam:  that she can be demented enough to think  that Adham can somehow be made the emperor.This makes me think even worse of her; a clever villain is one thing, no matter how depraved, but  an unbelievably stupid one is insufferable.
It remains to be seen what she is planning now to checkmate Jodha once and for all. In this context, it is good that the Rahim factor has been brought out into the open, for if Mahaam had cottoned on to him earlier, she would surely have dis posed of him and made  it look like an accident, perhaps by drowning him in one of those water bodies.
Ruqaiya: I do not think there will be any  alliance,of convenience or otherwise , between Ruqaiya and Jodha, but I think Ruqaiya will start looking to the Mahaam angle very seriously. She has a very useful tool in Hoshiyaar, whereas Jodha has only  Motibai, who has no footing in the slippery maze of the harem.
Here, it is proof of Mahaam's astuteness that she takes special pains to avoid the trap that Ruqaiya sets for her by accusing her of being soft on Jodha. She also tries hard, by going into a fifth gear peroration about  seeking justice for the murdered heir to the throne (what if it had been a girl? No one ever allows for that possibility), to convince Ruqaiya that she is innocent.  She succeeds, at least partially. At the same time, Mahaaam thinks nothing of  betraying to Jodha her malicious  joy at having  checked Jodha's  first salvo. Here, she   commits the crucial mistake of underestimating Jodha. This will cost her dear, but when?  
Maharana Pratap: My guess is that he will attack and capture Bharmal, and hold him to ransom, thus helping finance his war against Jalal.  The battle, is there is one, cannot be the famous battle of Haldighati that Pratap lost, for that was in 1576.  Now, we might get to see how far the vainglorious boasts by Bharmal to Jalal about unsheathing his talwar pan out in a skirmish with the redoubtable warrior that Pratap is ( regardless of the unimpressive appearance of the PR casualty playing him here!)
The precap is a pleasant little puzzle. I would have taken it for Jalal making rounds of the city in disguise to nab wrongdoers, like Caliph Haroun al Rashid, and Hrithik's Jalal, except that I cannot see what he would then be doing inside the harem (unless it is the eternal dibbi chase, after all!). And if the scene is outside in  the streets, what would Jodha be doing there?
Anyhow, one thing is clear, Mansi, this has nothing to do with any deep plot centred on Humayun's humshakal,  Mullah Beqazi, so you can relax on that front. The second thing that is clear: they are no longer at each other's throats, the Rahim fiasco notwithstanding.  Jodha looks at the fake fakir with mild amusement, and when Jalal looks her in the eye and says Tumne mujhe pehchan liya , there is a curious undertone in the word pehchan,  as if it had a double meaning : what he is now pretending to be, and what he is inside, perhaps?
Shyamala B.Cowsik

sashashyam
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Re: Jodha Akbar 67: Changing equations?

Post by pollyanna on 2013-09-20, 11:59

Loved the post Aunty, rushing off to read 68 too :) :)

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Re: Jodha Akbar 67: Changing equations?

Post by ..rosa.. on 2013-09-24, 05:59

Shyamala ji aapka har ek post bahut hi sundar hai ... ..har character ke bare mein kitni bariki se likha hai aapney .. Padkey mazaa aa gaya ...
Thanks for this ...

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Re: Jodha Akbar 67: Changing equations?

Post by sashashyam on 2013-09-24, 08:44

Dear Rosa, I am really glad that you liked this one so much. Do see the one on Episode 69.Shyamala..rosa.. wrote:Shyamala ji aapka har ek post bahut hi sundar hai ... ..har character ke bare mein kitni bariki se likha hai aapney .. Padkey mazaa aa gaya ...
Thanks for this ...

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Re: Jodha Akbar 67: Changing equations?

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