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Jodha Akbar 71: Crossed wires

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Jodha Akbar 71: Crossed wires

Post by sashashyam on 2013-09-25, 15:42

Not just crossed, the wires between our Odd Couple, like those of star-crossed lovers. Rather tangled, like  a ball of wool that a  kitten has been playing with.  Just consider.
The Shahi maafinama Part 2: Jalal does the unthinkable. After disposing of the fake Mahaam, Jalal tells his Ammijaan, who is praising him,  Insaaf abhi baki hai,  and he proceeds to apologise to Jodha and her brothers in the open court. Not obliquely, but upfront, and as openly  and candidly  as could be, even from  a common man, not to speak of a Shahenshah-e-Hind. Bhagwan Das falls all over himself to negate the Shahenshah-cum-javaisa's  stooping so far, and leads the acclamation to Mughal insaaf  with a Shahenshah ki Jai!
What does Jodha do? Smile? Look gratified,  or at least relieved that the aan, baan aur shaan of her beloved Amer has been not only restored  but freshly burnished with a  24 carat overlay? No. She looks blank, almost angry.  In fact the only time  she reacts, and that too slightly, is when the fake Mahaam lunges at Jalal with a khanjar when his back is turned. Why  this indifference?
Where is our Jodha?: We are being indulged with a daily Jalal-Jodha scene these days, and top quality ones from the performance point of view. The only hitch is that  they seem to be dancing the old fashioned minuet: one step forward, two backwards, one again forward, the next two sideways.
Where does that leave them? And us? Why right in the middle of the most standard issue Mills and Boon pulp romantic fiction. Any hopes  we had of a subtle, intelligent build up to a trusting friendship between these two headstrong, feisty individuals, if not to love, with that too on the horizon, is being dashed on the rocks of pedestrian melodrama.
The worst sufferer in this process in the Amer ki mirchi, who now resembles nothing so much as a wet blanket, the wet coming from all the salty  tears in which she drenches it. Where is our gutsy  gal, who could beat her warrior husband at  shamsheerbaazi  and her hostile souten at the game of kings? Or even the one who dressed down those bazaar types the other day and then pulled  the Shahenshah's leg  with a straight face?
We have to immediately  file a Lost and Missing report about her with the Agra police.  This watering pot cannot be our Jodha, even after allowing for the obvious fact (obvious to everyone except her) that she is falling for her exasperating husband and is at her wits end how to proceed while keeping her pride intact.
The old Jodha would have stood up to Jalal and informed him,   when he was giving her what Tripti so  cleverly labelled The Illusion of Choice:
Thanks but no thanks. I am not going to add to my parents' woes by landing up at their gates like a bad penny. I am a Rajput woman, and I would have you know that when you married me of your own free will, you landed yourself with me as a wife not only for this janam, but for all the next six as well.
I do hope that I will get an improved model in our next birth, but for now, I will make do with what  I have.
And so should you. As far as I am concerned, what you see if what you get. I will obey all your reasonable aadesh, to keep my marriage vows, reasonable' to be decided by me.
Don't you try to act magnanimous with all this talk of khula and bandh. There is no khula for either of us as far as this marriage is concerned. It is all firmly bandh.
So thank you for your unprecedented condescension in actually saying you are sorry for your atrocious behaviour of the past two weeks; I can understand how close your stiff spine must have come to breaking in the process.
But now I need my beauty sleep, and so I would be obliged if you could spare me the continued honour of your presence.
End of scene.
Now that would have been the Jodha I have learnt to love. But what did we get? A girl who stares white faced and speechless at her  would-be-magnanimous husband, who is secretly  hoping that she will send him to the devil and proclaim that she is not going anywhere, thank you. But of course she completely lacks the instinctive feminine savvy to make that out,  and adjust her reaction accordingly.
Instead, once he has left after producing that lovely throwaway line Humein hara rang khaas pasand hai. Use pehene rahiye, which should have made her dimaag ki batti  come to life at once, she proceeds to, what else, both laugh and cry hysterically, and bewail her bhagya to the hapless Motibai. And this from  the daughter of a mother who told her, as parting advice,  Bhagya apne yoddha swayam chunta hai. Kya pata, ki wo yoddha tum hi ho! Some yoddha this!
Amer, Amer,Amer, Amer!!: Yesternight, this changeling Jodha  went one better. Jalal comes  to see her,  clearly  buoyed and morally uplifted by his public apology and feeling good about himself. He proclaims, with a small but genuine and friendly smile, Hum aapke liye ek khushkhabari laye hain, probably about the Meena Bazaar, which he might presume that she would enjoy.
He is hoping, not without reason, that she would have been pleased with his public apology, and will at least respond with a decent show of interest, so that they can, for the first time bar the aborted discussion about Ammijaan's padayatra  to Ajmer, have a sensible exchange and take a few small steps towards normalizing their relationship. He does not  quite know as yet why this is so important for him, but he realises that it is somehow very important.
His timing, alas, could not have been worse, and this is due to no fault of his. Jodha is depressed, angry with  him,  with herself and with the rest of the world,  and dismissive of her maid's well meant suggestions for improving both her looks and her mood. She cannot understand herself, and much less understand him and what he is trying to do. But even allowing  for all this, what she proceeds to do is guaranteed to make everything worse.
To Jalal's  growing bewilderment, then disappointment, and finally dawning anger  - and Rajat brings this incremental process to vivid life thru microshifts in his facial muscles -  Jodha, her face rigid and sullen and streaked with tears, goes into melodramatic overdrive.  A deluge of tearful accusations, all apparently rooted in her conviction that he is sending her back to Amer in disgrace as  a woman abandoned by her husband, cascade over the  head of the uncomprehending Jalal.
To us,  detached outside observers, it is clear that Jodha is no longer angry about her patidev's past failings. But then nor  is she in the mood to give him any credit  for the distance he has moved, from rockhard imperial hauteur, of the kind he described to her the night before, to making a public apology to her and hers.

She is crabby and tearful because she wants to stay but does not want to lose face with Jalal by confessing that to him, or  even letting it be known indirectly by, say, wearing a green joda . Come to think of it, the one in which she sang that paean to Rajput valour, perhaps. It would be perfect provided he recognised it! 

He too is entangled in crossed wires, but is far less to blame for that. He had given her two choices, hoping she would stay, and of her own free will, but ready to accept it if she chose to leave. Seeing her constant proclamantions of her hatred for him- and this since long  before l'affaire dature ka ark -  he cannot be blamed for thinking that she is still at that stage.

But he is trying, as hard as he can,to nudge her in the opposite direction, and he is justified in harbouring modest hopes that his recent moves would have had some beneficial effect on his Amer ki mirchi.
After being subjected to her lachrymose tirade, he is, unsurprisingly,  on the point of giving up,  He naturally thinks she wants to leave, so he is not able to help her out as she would have wanted him to do, by simply asserting Aap yahan se kahin nahin ja rahi hain, Jodha Begum.
So Jodha proceeds, like the heroine of a railway station bookstall paperback,  on the same track,  only at an even  higher pitch. She complains bitterly about having  never been happy in Agra (thus discarding the kindness and affection shown her by Hamida Banu, Salima and Rahim  as inconvenient facts).
She also makes  it a point to tell Jalal, complete with the full quota of  melodramatic doli-arthi lines,  how disgraceful  it would be for her to go back  to Amer as a wife discarded by her husband, but that she would prefer that to dying daily in Agra. It is all in the worst traditions of the Hindi cinema  of the 1970s,and the complete antithesis of the intelligent, rational, courageous Jodha we have seen earlier.

No wonder Jalal, who cannot understand what more he is expected to do to placate her, and why this dratted woman can never say two civil words to him, is left climbing the wall, and clenching his fists to contain his rising rage.

This last moves her to what could be called the apogee of her tirade, when she effectively invites him to beat her as an outlet for his rage, adding for good measure that  it would  provide her with santosh  to have been able to satisty him at least in that way.  
If Jalal had been a Petruchio, he would have taken her at her word at this point. He would have advanced purposefully on Jodha, picked her up, put her upside down across his knee,  removed his jooti and given her a dozen of the juiciest and best with it on her derriere.  It would have done her, and him, a lot of good .
But of course he is not Petruchio. He is then not  even a Shahenshah. He is merely an unhappy and  acutely disappointed  young man, taken aback by her totally unexpected behaviour, and driven to a pitch of anger that he has to struggle to control.
And control it he does, except for his exasperated outburst Amer,Amer, Amer,Amer!! Jab se aayi hain, yahi Amer ka rat laga rakha hai. Yaad rahe, Jodha Begum, aap abhi Agra me hain!
His parting line, as he turns on his  heel and leaves her, is a classic  in its subdued but sharp bitterness: Do din ke mehmaan se kya gila aur kya shikwaa.
If Jodha had had even a modicum of sense or sensibility, that line would have stopped her in her tracks. But she is too far gone, and impervious to not just the voice of reason, but even to a bullhorn if it was blown in her ear.  So she takes it as confirmation of her worst fears regarding  his intentions, and looks, if it was at all possible, even more miserable and desperate.
I was looking around for a stout slipper myself, to do what Jalal had, regrettably, failed to do.
As for Jalal, he must have gritted his teeth in the corridor and muttered Women!!
The precap: I liked it that by precap time, Jalal was back to being the Shahenshah. I was afraid, after the public apologies in the open court, that he might start going the marshmallow way.
I do not think he has made any arrangements at all as yet to send Jodha  back to Amer. He is now assuming that she has decided to leave, but his instructions to her in the precap seem to me to indicate that he  is in no hurry to do anything.
He is waiting for her to tell her clearly what she wants, and not to shoot from his shoulder, and at him, turning all the laws of ballistics on their head!
The Mahaam Mystery: Let us leave aside the whole Mahaam puzzle, along  with all her tiresome high pitched horse  laughter, accompanied by a show of her batteesi, for all the world like a Colgate  with namak ad. And the annoying chorus of the pop-eyed Resham, and the even more meaningless irruptions of her sevaiyaan-obsessed daughter-in-law.  Those of u who have tried to read deeper meanings into Javeda's past pronouncements, to no avail, have by now been reduced to docketing her under  the almost empty khana  of Comic Relief.  
To try and ascertain which Mahaam was where when is a recipe for brain fever, quite apart from the ludicrousness of a rustic Rajputani-sounding village woman  being able to talk to the Shahenshah face to face almost like his Badiammi,  not to speak of sitting in her rooms smoking the chillum, and wandering around the Agra palace all these weeks without running into the real one or being otherwise exposed.  And how is that her face resembles' Mahaam's so much that she has the whole Agra palace fooled? Abu Hamza's lore was obviously not tapped for this Great Impersonation.
Then again, the fake Mahaam claims that she added the dature ka ark to the kesar,  and the real Mahaam also darkly hints to Jodha that it was she who actually did it. How can one  square this circle?
The only conclusion  to be drawn is that the outgoing Jodha Akbar CVs, who left in a huff as part of the Great Walkout from the JA team at Balaji, must have deleted all the humshakal files and introduced a particularly nasty virus to corrupt whatever was left. So the new entrants did the best they could and wrapped it all up in a hurry, and logic be damned .  
Never mind. Let us all instead look forward to Tiger, tiger, burning bright, in the forest of the night. Maybe Mohan can achieve what Jalal could not, drill into Jodha's head that if her patidev is bending over backwards to please her, it is not because he plans to dump her back in Amer!
Shyamala B.Cowsik

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Re: Jodha Akbar 71: Crossed wires

Post by pollyanna on 2013-09-25, 15:57

First and foremost, Aunty, take a bow for that illusion of choice and the karara jawab by Jodha which should have been given by the real Jodha Wink 

Second, i just loved when Jalal ka maafinama happened both in private and public....he is such a darling...and the Amer, Amer part : I am in awe literally with lyrical symphony u bring about in your posts.....kal Jalal ne khush kar diya aur aaj aapne cake ke upar cherry laga diya :) 

MA mystery will get solved only once Mohan comes inside the circle Wink  i srsly want this Jo-Ja to move on to next track, enuf of MC/MA stuff :( 

Once again, thanks for getting such wonderful posts Aunty, u make JA serial worth a watch :)

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Re: Jodha Akbar 71: Crossed wires

Post by clarissasham on 2013-09-25, 16:24

Bravo aunty superb post and superbly written cheers 

U know, like u im too pissed off with this jodha. This is not what I had expected from her. I was saying pallo when I read the spoilers that  she might attempt suicide, I will not except and accept if jodha does something like that
She is a very respectable woman and courageous and for me only losers and coward opt for suicide. Yeah it disgrace for her and family to go back to ameaer. But as you said she could have chosen these words. alas but cvs are not  with full of logic u see.
Now that would have been the Jodha I have learnt to love. But what did we get? A girl who stares white faced and speechless at her  would-be-magnanimous husband, who is secretly  hoping that she will send him to the devil and proclaim that she is not going anywhere, thank you. But of course she completely lacks the instinctive feminine savvy to make that out,  and adjust her reaction accordingly.

This is the jodha we all wanted

after being subjected to her lachrymose tirade, he is, unsurprisingly,  on the point of giving up,  He naturally thinks she wants to leave, so he is not able to help her out as she would have wanted him to do, by simply asserting Aap yahan se kahin nahin ja rahi hain, Jodha Begum.
Indeed u said it right aunty he is confused and I would say completely believe that jodha hates him for what he is. So he is letting her free … rajat nailed the anguish well..
Let us leave aside the whole Mahaam puzzle, along  with all her tiresome high pitched horse  laughter, accompanied by a show of her batteesi, for all the world like a Colgate  with namak ad. 
Her laughter is taking a toll on me, i cant take it anymore. Last day my hubby was LOL seeing her and insulted me.  Grrrrr he was asking who is this namoona.
Once agisn ur gracing JA forum with ur priceless post and insights I rather would not look into… great going mam and do serve us more.. ur posts are yummilicous. 

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Re: Jodha Akbar 71: Crossed wires

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