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Jodha Akbar 75: Realism at long last

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Jodha Akbar 75: Realism at long last

Post by sashashyam on 2013-10-01, 13:36

Folks,
You would all have viewed yesternight  goings on in our favourite melodrama - and it was seriously dramatic  today - so   just  a few reflections on what these goings on mean - on the surface and on the subterranean plane - and about how they lead to my title.
Mainavati: I always knew this was what she would say, and she is brutally frank about it - Jab beti parithyakta bankar aati hai, to hum rah bandh kar dete hain. What she tells Jodha in the court are her real reasons, not the sugar coating she  puts on it while talking later to  Hamida Banu. And who shall blame her? That is the code by  which a Rajput girl in that era was  taught to live, and this all the more so when she was a princess, and now a queen.
I was very skeptical when Jodha was assuring Jalal that despite the disgrace they would face, her parents would take  her back and try their best to keep her happy. It sounded remarkably like someone whistling in the dark to keep her  spirits up and fear at bay.
Then there was speculation in the forum that her family would feel morally bound to take her back as they had emotionally blackmailed her into this marriage. This was missing the whole point: that it was, in their code, Jodha's duty to obey her parents and make this sacrifice willingly. In the normal course, she would never have been asked, only told to do it.
The CVs' treatment of the pre-marriage shenanigans by Jodha was very unrealistic for that age,  and seemed  like a concession to modern feminist sentiment more than anything else. It was the same with a lot of what followed in terms of Jodha's endless, acidulated confrontations with her patidev. If she had uttered a fraction of the things she tells Jalal to Maharana Udai Singh of Mewar, for example, she would have been jailed and/or banished. The patnidharma for Maharanis those days was crystal clear - they had to obey their royal spouses unquestioningly in all things -  and the Maasas would  have drilled their daughters in it from the time they were 3.
Now, at long last, like two slightly oblique lines intersecting  far down their length, a dose of realism has come to Jodha Akbar. Never fear, it is not going to make things more logical or sensible! This is merely  a reasonably plausible plot device to justify the suicide attempt, and once that is past, we will revert to the earlier pattern of a  21st century female plonked  into  Jalal's harem as a reluctant spouse.
For now, I am mildly pleased with the success of my prediction that a refusal letter from Bharmal might be the trigger for Jodha opting for a watery grave a la Ophelia, but of course far more turbulently, as is her wont. Instead of Bharmal, it was Mainavati, but the principle was the  same!
Jodha:  I am not about to explore the ethics of suicide or suicide attempts, or to anguish over Jodha in  her misery, for there are others enough to do that. Besides, the CVs have, for once, got it right. They have built the walls of the cul de  sac high enough and narrow enough so that Jodha cannot even breathe.
For hers is a one track mind, and the track so far has been that she has the worst husband in the whole world. So she lashes out at him time and again, like a furious kitten out to draw blood. She was never one for introspection re: her own actions and their repercussions, in a purely practical fashion, about whether a shift in her ways of thinking might help her. The escapism of suicide is the inevitable result of such a state of mind.
So  I was not in the least surprised by Jodha' despairing tears and her boiler plate accusations  against the Shahenshah.  She has so far never made the slightest commitment to this marriage, and one does not expect the public prosecutor- which is  her self-assigned role -  to suddenly start looking at things from the POV of counsel for the defence. No, there was nothing new there.
What was new was the blanket condemnation of her whole approach to Jalal by her alter ego, the Green Jodha (neat and telling choice of colour, Humein hara rang khaas pasand hai, use pehene rahiye).  It was as brutally frank as what Mainavati had said in the court,  stressing that it was the Yellow Jodha who had first brought all the baggage of ghruna  to this marriage,  and unhein kabhi nahin apnaya.  
Of course not, for the Yellow Jodha's idea of a tolerable life in Agra  was to carry on as before, boycotting Jalal and any overtures he might make,  overlooking anything positive he might do, and making sarcastic remarks to  him whenever the opportunity,  public or  private,  presented itself,  while basking in lovefests with his Ammijaan. Whence her current complaint  that Shahenshah chahte hain ki hum Agra chhod dein, which is far from the truth.
When Jalal offered her his 2 choices, he pulled the plug on this convenient scenario from the Agra end. Now her Maasa has done the same from the Amer end. It was only to be expected that Jodha  would outdo Niobe in the tears department.
But what I did not expect was the clarity and ruthless logic of the Green Jodha. And since she was only a partial manifestation of Jodha's inner  voice, we arrive at  the momentous discovery that Jodha had been feeling all this, at some subterranean level,  of late,  but suppressing these inconvenient truths and clinging for dear life to the Yellow Jodha.
I have of late been wondering about the total absence of  scenes showing Jodha talking to herself,  which would have given us clues about the  inner workings  of her mind. Today, we got it in spades, and with a solid dash of realism too!
So there is hope for our Amer ki Mirchi yet, and though her sudden embrace of Varunadev might seem OTT, it was really the best thing she could have done at this stage in terms of clearing the air with Jalal, preparatory for a fresh beginning en route to Mohan.
It would also have been useful in giving him a salutary fright. Plus,  as the heroine, she could not have died in any case, this not being Romeo-Juliet or Heer-Ranjha!
 Incidentally, she sets a sizzling pace to the pool,  probably she has had a lot of practice  in 400 metre dashes to save oppressed pigeons!
Jalal: In  the precap, Jalal is shouting after   Jodha, who is doing an Usain Bolt to the pool, Ruk jayiye Jodha Begum!Yeh hamara hukum hai! I have not laughed so much since Alakh made Jodha lecture Mohan about his being ehsan faramosh (krutagnata heen, to be precise), unlike the atyant krutagna Ameri variety of sher!
For the rest, Jalal was clearly blindsided by, firstly, Mainavati's public refusal to take Jodha back. He responds unapologetically to her initial references to the nazarband  of her sons ( please note that she does NOT include Jodha in this, for in Mainavati's eyes, Jodha no longer belongs to Amer,  but to Agra and to Jalal),  and is almost blunt in what he has to say about Jodha, including  that she wants to leave him. But Mainavati's appeal to him, with folded hands, is acutely embarrassing, and he at a loss how to react, till Jodha rescues him from his dilemma. Then, he is again at a loss, this time about what to do with Jodha.
At the very end of the darbar scene, after his parting salutation to Mainavati, Jalal  looks across at Jodha, who is  wiping her tears. His expression is no longer angry, or even upset. It is puzzled and worried, with a tinge of sadness. Perhaps, if she could only read his face, Jodha would have realized  that the husband she detests does feel  for her.
Later, once again blindsided by the news of Jodha's disappearance,  Jalal reacts at two levels. On the surface, he is bound to stick to the Mughal sultanate ki shaan ko barkarar rakhna routine, and so he does. Inside, especially after Ruqaiya fulfills her sole purpose in that scene - that of bringing up the suicide theory - he is really frightened, for this is  a situation he had not anticipated. But still, it is characteristic of the man that he will not panic,  but is doubly determined to  find her and salvage the situation.
Why finding her is so important to him is another matter, but he has a ready explanation for public consumption.
I found all of the above refreshingly realistic. Firstly, contrary to the conviction of the romantics here, Jalal was quite ready to let Jodha go back to Amer. This was only natural; an emperor does not beg to be cared for by a wife who constantly proclaims how much she detests  him. There IS something about her that pulls him, like  a hidden magnet, and this  has been so since the time he ventured on that risky trip to the heart of Amer just to catch a glimpse of her.  But that does not mean that he cannot master that longing, the desire to make her care for him.  
Secondly, while he tells himself, and others, that he will not let her die so that the pride of the Mughals will not be besmirched, the fear that lurks behind the determination in his eyes in the last shot tells its own tale. Rajat was tops in that one frame.
The rest: They don't count. But I loved the indiarubber fashion in which Javeda bounces back, unfazed, after each encounter of the close kind with her thug of a husband. Some female, this!
The pool: So, folks, onwards to the pool dunking, and the extra strain it will put on the JA wardrobe section.
Jalal's rage after dragging Jodha out will be directly proportional to, first,  the  fear he felt, and then the relief he feels. Both will  speak to his zehen,  perhaps, and clarify  for him what exactly this tiresome, obstreperous, infuriating wife of his means to him.
As for Jodha, if the Green Jodha can have a go at her again, she will realise that there is someone who not only cares whether she lives or dies, but is  prepared to rescue her from  herself.
The romantics can then rejoice. As can even accredited realists like yours truly!
Question for the day: Why on earth were the personal affairs of the Shahenshah - he himself says sending Jodha back to Agra was his duty as a shauhar,  so there was nothing either  siyasati or riyasati about it -  up for discussion in the Diwan-e-Khas, which is meant only for high political affairs of state? It was ludicrous, like a circus.
Oh well, I suppose it is the 16th century imperial equivalent of the catechism scene of the heroine  in a regular soap,  with the whole family - husband, wife, kids, in laws, siblings of both genders and their kids, plus of course the family matriarch -  all  lined up on sofas in the living room of the mansion (which expands, like something under Hermione Granger's Undetectable Extension Charm, to contain this whole horde)!
Shyamala B.Cowsik

sashashyam
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Re: Jodha Akbar 75: Realism at long last

Post by pollyanna on 2013-10-01, 13:47

Aunty, to be very honest, i really wanted to read u last night itself, i so wished that ur post was up for reads during bedtime like earlier. It was a fabulous episode and I knew even u would be sharing my feelings :) 

Ur posts are exemplary, loved the underlined statements and also the thoughts that we are talking about characters who lived in 1500s and its time we stop treating them as one of us in modern times.

Absolutely  adore u for the Green and Yellow Jodha symbolisms and the way u defend Jalal:--- WOW!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed yday's episode and u have made it all the more wonderful.

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Re: Jodha Akbar 75: Realism at long last

Post by sashashyam on 2013-10-01, 14:24

Thank you so much, Pallavi dear. I too wish I  could do it the same night but  that then takes me past 2 am. One post takes 3 full hours to type and fine tune. My eyes cannot take such late nights. Even doing these in the mornings is getting to be very  time consuming, and I just do not have so much time on a daily  basis. Let us see how long I can stay the course. I would like it if you could comment on the IF threads as well, if it is not too much to ask.Shyamala Auntypollyanna wrote:Aunty, to be very honest, i really wanted to read u last night itself, i so wished that ur post was up for reads during bedtime like earlier. It was a fabulous episode and I knew even u would be sharing my feelings :) 

Ur posts are exemplary, loved the underlined statements and also the thoughts that we are talking about characters who lived in 1500s and its time we stop treating them as one of us in modern times.

Absolutely  adore u for the Green and Yellow Jodha symbolisms and the way u defend Jalal:--- WOW!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed yday's episode and u have made it all the more wonderful.

sashashyam
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Re: Jodha Akbar 75: Realism at long last

Post by sonia1 on 2013-10-01, 20:08

Beautifully written post Thumbsup  
I have read other posts too and you write so beautifully. :) 

Loved the Green Jodha / Yellow Jodha part :lol!:

And thank you for pointing out that this matter was not up for discussion in Diwan-e-khaas.


Will look out for your next take.

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Re: Jodha Akbar 75: Realism at long last

Post by sashashyam on 2013-10-01, 23:24

Thank you so much, Sonia!Shyamala B.Cowsiksonia1 wrote:Beautifully written post Thumbsup  
I have read other posts too and you write so beautifully. :) 

Loved the Green Jodha / Yellow Jodha part :lol!:

And thank you for pointing out that this matter was not up for discussion in Diwan-e-khaas.


Will look out for your next take.

sashashyam
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Re: Jodha Akbar 75: Realism at long last

Post by --sumana13-- on 2013-10-02, 14:29

Awesome post Shyamala ... Loved this detailed explanation of every character's point of views ....
Thumbsup 

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Re: Jodha Akbar 75: Realism at long last

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