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Jodha Akbar 73: A contrary view

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Jodha Akbar 73: A contrary view

Post by sashashyam on 2013-09-27, 14:06

Folks,
You might well ask, contrary to what? Well, contrary to some other takes  on this  episode,  inspired by the endemic romanticism that prevails in large chunks of the forum.
The romanticism that keeps reading  the tea leaves at the bottom of the pot,  trying to  interpret the significance of every acid-tipped exchange between our odd couple as a hidden (to themselves and to flatfooted realists like yours truly! ) indication of the red hot passion for each other  bubbling and boiling beneath their hostile and/or bemused exteriors. Trying to  predict whether the nirvana of amar prem between them will be reached before we all are flat with emotional exhaustion!
Warning: If you are an endemic romantic, you are not going to like what comes next. You are hereby given a warning advisory, and if you stay with me, it is at your own risk!!
There seems  to be no shortage of  those who were aux anges yesternight,  with  allusions and similes and parables centred on colours, and the hidden romantic implications perceived in every remark and every act of our principals. It was like Omar Khayyam in overdrive, and of course they had every right to be so.
In fact I  too did try my very best, over the last few days,  to get into sync with this approach, writing alternative, snappy lines for Jodha and translating the resentful Jalal-Jodha exchanges into something they ought to have said instead,and hopefully meant in their heart of hearts. I did it for the talaq-e-khula scene, the  one of Jodha ripping into Jalal when she invites him to beat her, the tulsi lep scene (what lep she found at the foot of the tulsi plant I do not know, there is only earth and dried leaves  there), the argument over the Meena Bazaar.
But yesternight's display by Jodha when Jalal comes to her khema at the Meena Bazaar  has exhausted all my stock of patience with  her. If I could have got hold of a stout slipper, I would have walloped her with it good and proper.
Not, as you might assume,  for misbehaving with Jalal, right from not greeting him with a pranam when he arrives (what had happened to the famed Ameri sanskaars, especially  towards an athiti?),  till the end, when she wantonly stains what she thinks is his dupatta. Rather because she was shortchanging herself, and demeaning her royal status, as also her status as a woman of quality and substance.  

This is not about standing up for Jalal because  she treated him shabbily. Jalal   can look after himself,  and I do not think he gave  two hoots about anything she said or did yesterday, for he made a complete fool of her. It is rather that I hate it when women behave like petulant idiots, so that men can treat them like retarded children.

Jodha was brattish, and overtly and publicly rude to the man who is both her husband and  the Shahenshah, and thus has to be accorded at least public respect. 

Not to forget  her holding  forth  about the superiority of her native culture in the most condescending and even sarcastic manner possible, like a Hyde Park soap box orator. I found her lecture on colours pompous throughout, delivered as if she was talking to an uncultured,  inferior being, and in parts completely meaningless. 

She was also trying so hard to needle Jalal  that she lost sight of all good sense and even her royal  upbringing.  It has been often said in Jodha's defence that she never fails to maintain proper decorum towards her husband in public, no matter how she rails at him in private. Yesterday, she threw even that to the winds.

The way is which she declared, in answer to his polite question of what was the significance of having a stall of colours, that she did not consider it necessary to tell him that,   was not only extremely rude, but betrayed a total lack of breeding dismaying in a princess born. One wonders what the Shahenshah' s attendants, not to speak of her own,would have thought about such behaviour in public. Nothing  flattering to Jodha, I am sure. 

I was thus  delighted  that her deliberate impertinence in soiling what she thought to be his white dupatta boomeranged on her,and she fell flat on her face. I almost cheered Jalal for having tripped her up so smoothly and effectively.

He was in any case smiling into his moustache right from the moment when she reached past him and picked up the dupatta, for he knew what  was coming. He waited, with a perfect sense of timing, till after she had run the gamut of her ill humour and her tantrums,  to inform her that it was his gift  to her. Very neat, but as a  woman, I do not  like it when another woman exposes herself to ridicule in this fashion.

The symbolism of her colouring what would have been, in the Hindu cultural matrix,  a widow's white,  with pink, thus making it a sign  of happiness for a suhagan (though, strictly speaking, then it would have to be red, not pink), as has been expressed eloquently elsewhere, would have been perfect, except that Jodha  did not do it for that purpose. She  did it to spoil something that she  thought belonged to him. That she was left with something gifted to her that is now unusable seemed to be poetic justice!

It seemed to me that Jalal treated her today the way an adult treats an ill-behaved and obnoxious child, with exaggerated patience and unshakeable  calm . Not  as if he was trying to patch up an as yet non-existent relationship, but rather as if he wanted a civil parting free of any hostility or vindictiveness.

He  thinks she has chosen to leave, which does not surprise him  given the assurances of hatred and contempt that she bestows on him  so liberally. I do not think that at this point he is thinking of  her staying back, and when he refers to the aakhri khwahish  of a departing guest,to my mind,  it is  precisely that and no more.
The curious thing here is that Jodha  does not seem to remember any longer that he had given her a choice, and she insists on behaving as though he was railroading her back to Amer against her will!
When he bought all  the colour powders in her stall, after she had, with gratuitous offensiveness, told her maids to give him as much of  them as he wanted, it was not because he wanted to convey that he alone has the right to all the rang in her life. 
It was  far more likely because he knew that no one else was going to buy any of the stuff, which would be of no use to any of the other women there, and he did not want her to stand there at the end of  the Meena Bazaar, looking foolish  with all her stocks untouched.
This too fits in with  his treating her like a spoilt, ill-behaved brat. When he gives her permission to play Holi, as a parting gift, but adds that it should not inconvenience anyone else, it sounded exactly like a hostel warden giving permission for a late night to a disobedient and unreliable student, whom he fully  expects to violate curfew deadline!
Lastly, to those who would protest that Jodha  is doing no more to Jalal now than what he did to her during the dature ka  ark phase, much of which was in fact far worse,  there are two answers  to that.

One, that he has set aside  his imperial ego and  apologised for his unfairness then, and in public. He is not being given any credit for that by her. He should be. Not many modern husbands would do as  much, if they were in a similar position of absolute power.

She herself has been  extremely harsh and rude to him repeatedly in the past, and still is. In fact she is going from bad to worse. This is hardly  in line with the Rajput marital code for queens, of which she  was only  recently reminded by her mother.

Two, that there is a distinction to be drawn between public behaviour and private behaviour. Good behaviour. especially in public,  is something one owes to oneself  and to one's upbringing, it need have nothing to do with the way others have behaved or behave with you. I thus have nothing against Jodha ranting at Jalal in private. But in public it is an entirely different matter, and that is what distinguishes  a lady, and more so a princess or a queen, from the common run of ill-bred humanity.

So when Jodha burnt her shaadi ka  joda, after having been cautioned by her mother about the likely consequences for Amer, I had  felt that she was behaving like a reckless  fishwife. Yesterday I felt that she was behaving like a shrew. Royalty  are taught, above all,  never to let their self-control slip, no matter what the circumstances. Judged by those standards, Jodha is  sadly wanting. She has always been so.

To sum up, while we all know  what is to happen eventually, probably after another 200 episodes, right now,  to interpret yesterday's goings  on to mean  that Jodha is "promising that this marriage is for keeps and she will always be his shield",  seems to  me to be so far out into the future as to be clean out of the range of sight  for the present.

In the meanwhile, I am  fast tiring of all this  unending  prodding and poking of the tea leaves or chicken entrails that we seem obliged to do, to  try and guess where the  putative Jalal-Jodha love affair is headed,  while all we get onscreen these days is an endless series of tiresome squabbles and exercises in one-upmanship, interspersed with bouts of rona dhona  and acid-tipped exchanges.

If I had paid for a ticket  for this show, I would ask for my money back and go buy a DVD of Jodhaa Akbar. Aishwarya's Jodhaa, though no pushover herself,  would  be balm for nerves frayed by the shenanigans of this avatar.

I do realise that I sound acidic myself, but the Meena Bazaar encounter set my teeth on edge. I set great store by  proper behaviour and good breeding, and I do not like it when these are found to be so patently wanting in the accredited heroine.

I   hope the CVs do something to improve this Jodha, if not she will soon irritate me so much that it might have a beneficial side effect for me, and for all my gentle, patient, long suffering readers as  well! For I shall then drop out of this forum, weary  of criticizing Jodha all the time, and then I can use all the hours thus saved to read books instead!
Question of the day: How did Mahaam Anga get  to know of  Jodha's going back to Amer? Jalal reveals it to Ruqaiya by mistake,  but they are alone then, and there is no reason why she should tell Mahaam.
Star of the day: Salima Begum, for her gentle grace and  her quiet dignity. The way in which she offers her shauhar,though he is one only in name, his favourite ittar, and explains why she looks out for his likes, was as charming as it was  genuine. No wonder Jalal looked touched  and happy. Jodha has a lot to learn from Salima, not to speak of Hamida Begum, about how to develop and maintain relationships, no matter how difficult they might be at the beginning. No meal can be created only of Amer ki mirchi.
Shyamala B Cowsik

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Re: Jodha Akbar 73: A contrary view

Post by ShaliniRobinson on 2013-09-27, 14:32

Thumbsup  Well said! I stand in agreement.

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Re: Jodha Akbar 73: A contrary view

Post by sashashyam on 2013-09-27, 14:57

Thank you, Shaini. It is good to find some company outside  the endemic romantics category!Shyamala B.CowsikShaliniRobinson wrote:Thumbsup  Well said! I stand in agreement.

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Re: Jodha Akbar 73: A contrary view

Post by pollyanna on 2013-09-27, 16:50

Aah...once again loved reading it to the core.... and the last line nailed it No meal can be created only of Amer ki mirchi. 


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Re: Jodha Akbar 73: A contrary view

Post by ShaliniRobinson on 2013-09-27, 21:04

sashashyam wrote:
Thank you, Shaini. It is good to find some company outside  the endemic romantics category!Shyamala B.CowsikShaliniRobinson wrote:Thumbsup  Well said! I stand in agreement.
he he i think i will always be outside that category :)it's just doesn't work for me somehow.

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Re: Jodha Akbar 73: A contrary view

Post by sonia1 on 2013-09-28, 02:53

Loved reading this Thumbsup

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Re: Jodha Akbar 73: A contrary view

Post by sashashyam on 2013-09-28, 02:56

Thank you, Sonia. If you happen to also be an IF member, do look into the thread at wrote:
http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3751978#p92912335

There are some very interesting comments there/


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sonia1Loved reading this Thumbsup

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Re: Jodha Akbar 73: A contrary view

Post by --sumana13-- on 2013-09-29, 12:22

Shyamala your points on Jodha are absolutely right ... She lacked the charm and grace and the regal bearing of a princess ... She was too rude ... She had agreed to marry him ... For what ever reasons .... He had apologized for his excesses .... And also thanked her for not breaking the harem rules by participating in the Kheema ... And today he asked her a Qs with a smile ... She behaved with insolence ... I found it very unbecoming of a princess ...


Last edited by --sumana13-- on 2013-09-29, 19:51; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Jodha Akbar 73: A contrary view

Post by sashashyam on 2013-09-29, 16:56

Thanks, Sumana,  and now see the latest. I am just going to put it up. Shyamala--sumana13-- wrote:Shyamala your points on Jodha are absolutely right .. She lacked the charm and grace and the regal bearing of a princess .. She was too rude ... She had agreed to marry him .. For what ever reasons .... He had apologised for his excesses .... And also thanked her for not breaking the harem rules by perticipating in the Kheema ... And today he asked her. Qs with a smile ... She behaved with insolence ... I found it very unbecoming of a princess

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Re: Jodha Akbar 73: A contrary view

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