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Jodha Akbar 84: Mischief abounding

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Jodha Akbar 84: Mischief abounding

Post by sashashyam on 2013-10-13, 19:45

Folks,
The title is of course for Jalal, whose eyes were, on Friday night,  exactly like the magical potions bubbling and boiling in a witch's pot. Eyes that  gleamed at times, clouded over at others, as diametrically opposite emotions chased each other in their depths. Emotions  that swam up to the surface for varying periods, just to tantalise us,  and then vanished again as Jalal gazed, at  times outwards, thru a lattice, at the setting sun, at others at his own reflection in the mirror, as if to share with it a secret he could share with no one else.
A Puck in Jodha Akbar:This sub-title is for the impish sprite of Shakespeare's  A Midsummer Night's Dream,  if you will bear with the superficially incongruous comparison of such a creature with the Shahenshah-e-Hindustan, in all his imperial splendour.  But Jalal on Friday was nothing if not puckish.
The leit motif  throughout was mischief, unbridled, unfathomable mischief. Jalal  was devilishly provoking, teasing, confusing, with both the women in his life - Ruqaiya Sultan Begum , demanding and doubtful, seeking reassurance ever as she sought to tame him , and Jodha Begum,  exasperated and enraged by this dancing dervish of a husband,  who managed to unsettle and  infuriate her with his mocking sallies even while always dodging out of reach when she attempted a comeback.
After weeks of indecision and trauma, of   physical  and emotional stress , Shahenshah Jalaluddin Mohammed  was back at last.  Clear-minded and decisive,  a surface candour veiling his secret plans as he reassured Bharmal, countered his Badiammi,  convinced Ruqaiya and baited Jodha, and laughed conspiratorially with, not at,  his aks in the mirror.
An excess of analysis: Before we proceed, two thoughts I would like to leave with you.
Firstly, I begin to think that we all, and I am a major culprit here, parse and analyse the show too much, to the extent that the pleasure of watching  it gets eroded. We are dissecting it even as we look at it, and it becomes like reducing an impressionist painting, a Van Gogh or a Monet, to a collection of coloured dots.  This is to do, not Jodha Akbar, but ourselves a disservice.
So on Friday, after  pondering the question marks of the day before and then cobbling them together into my ???????? post on Episode 83, I decided, for Friday night, to go with the flow, and soak up broad impressions.  I did not bother about what seemed like a discontinuity in the screenplay and the characterization, I just watched. And what I have set down above is what stayed with me.
Secondly, there are only 2 separate ways to analyzing a show. One is to treat the characters as individuals and praise or critcise them for their acts of omission and commission. The second is to treat them as creations and  puppets of the CVs, and blame the scriptwriters for everything that we feel is wrong with this or that character.
I always follow the first option. But that is not the point. The point is that we cannot follow both options at the same time. When things seem to us to going wrong with a character whom we have been praising and defending till the day before, we cannot suddenly say that he/she seems to have gone bonkers because the CVs have messed up.
nuff said. Let us come to the collection of scenes of which Episode 84 consisted. Throughout, what struck me was how adept Jalal  was becoming,  astonishing in such an alpha male who claims he finds it difficult to understand his begums, in handling  all the very  different women in his life, Mahaam included. And he does this not by blunt commands, but by finessing his equation with each expertly, so as not to bruise the relationship seriously, and if possible at all, while still getting his own way and disregarding what each wants.  If this means that he has to  dish out plausible, not lies, but half-truths, who shall blame him? Even an emperor seeks, like any other male of the species,  to  avoid domestic discord!
Jalal-Ruqaiya 1 & 2:   Those who see the sunset motif in the latter scene as an (admittedly attractive) symbolism for the fading of Jalal's relationship with Ruqaiya, as that with Jodha gains ground,  are doing Jalal a signal disservice.
He is emphatically not one of those who discard an old, time-tested relationship for a new one,  no matter how beguiling the latter might be. He values those who stood by him when he needed them - his Khan Baba,  his Badiammi, and Ruqaiya -  very greatly, and he will never abandon them until  he is forced to do so, and then it will be like having an amputation. Whence his agony when it seemed that Mahaam was the culprit  in the dature ka ark  affair.
As for Ruqaiya, however jealous she might become of Jodha as matters develop, she would not, I believe, ever stoop to the depths that would cut Jalal off from her. Her antagonism towards Jodha, rooted in jealousy, would not be a reason for  Jalal to break up with his childhood friend; he would merely be amused and even pleased.
Morever, however the script might modify history, it cannot alter it so drastically as to  reduce Akbar's chief Empress to  a pathetic has been. So I do not see any sunset ahead for the two of them, and in any case, all that Jalal says is that she has come at the right time, and how beautiful the sunset is.
But Jalal  is testing the waters with  Ruqaiya, for he does not want excessive friction with her as he becomes closer to Jodha, something he intends to achieve, whatever the Amer ki Mirchi might be thinking.
So, he now  appeases Ruqaiya  by repeatedly laying exclusive emphasis on the siyasati wajah for the Amer trip, embroidering it with the ancillary themes of winning over the Ameri awaam and eliminating any rebellion for keeps, as he moves step by step, adding one relationship after another with erstwhile enemies, towards uniting all of Hindustan under his rule. He even digs up the old chestnut of jhukofying the Rajvanshi sars.
For us to shrink in alarm at the last point is as unwarranted - for that is meant only  for Ruqaiya's consumption  -  as  for us to assume that the entire siyasati  rationale is just a smokescreen to hide Jalal's real reason, to get opportunities to spend time in Amer, as up close and personal as can be managed, with Jodha. 
We should  not forget that Jalal is an emperor, and the  expansion and strengthening of his  empire would, for him,  come first, always and every time, and this no matter what he feels, or does not feel, for Jodha. This is as it should be, for I for one would hate to see  Jalal reduced to a pathetic lover sighing verses to his mistress' eyebrow',  as, who else, Shakespeare  would put it.
However, the siyasati reasons are not the whole truth either.  Jalal knows his Gatti, and banks on her believing his half truth to be the whole truth, because she believes what she wants to believe.
The whole spiel about Hum mohabbat karte hain Jodha Begum se,  is also part of the testing of the waters. But when he turns back after that deliberately exaggerated confession (not fake, be it noted; but as soon as he got to unke deewane, unke ghulam, I knew it was a con, for never would Jalal become any woman's ghulam, not even of the love of his life!), and sees the frozen shock and despair in Ruqaiya's eyes, Jalal  knows that he has gone too far and has to retreat, for he has no notion of wrecking his bond with  her. Not for anything, least of all  for the uncertain prospects that lie ahead with Jodha.
When he asks her if she is not coming to Amer with them,  he might have assumed, knowing Ruqaiya, that she would refuse.  But he could not have been sure, so why does he broach it at all? Methinks it was just more of mischief, for I am sure he  does not doubt his ability to juggle both these balls in the air while at Amer and never drop either!
Jalal-Maham: It is revealing that Jalal does not go to the lengths he goes to with Ruqaiya to persuade Mahaam to accept the Amer trip. For one thing, he knows that if he argues this one out with her, his shrewd Badiammi will start trying to take his siyasati  rationale apart,  and he does not want to go down that road.
Moreover, emperors do not explain their decisions. So two crisp sentences, ending in Yeh tai hai ki...  and it is all wrapped up (it is to be noted that his Ammijaan is not in his list, but I am sure she will add herself!). Again, in the Diwan-e-Khas with Bharmal, he neatly prevents Mahaam from raising any  objections by saddling her with the responsibility for the  gifts for the bride.
In all of this,  one also sees that while asserting that his  decisions are not to be altered, he nonetheless is never abrupt towards or dismissive of Mahaam. He merely sidesteps her, and  is considerate even while being unyielding. He has, beyond any doubt, grown up, has our Jalal.
Jalal-Jodha : & 1:   The half scene is the exchange of understanding glances between them  as Bharmal leaves.  Jodha's  eyes brim over in gratitude, as Jalal acknowledges it by an almost imperceptible nod (Rajat must be having a micrometer in his head, to be able to achieve such miniscule shifts of position and expression) that seems to say:  Don't worry, it will all be fine. Very nice going, I said to myself, and got ready for a pleasant rubaru between them soon.
Then came the Scene 1, which of course upset all my calculations. For the first 30 seconds, as Jodha neither enquired after Jalal's health,  nor sought to apologise for the narnaal fiasco, nor even thanked him for arranging Sukanya's alliance, but launched into a broadside against  his taking aapke parivaar ko (in which she obviously does not include herself)  to Amer, I was all at sea.
Then I  switched to my earlier resolution, abandoned any attempt to understand the discontinuity in Jodha's behaviour, and simply went with the flow. It was  a wise choice, for what followed was pure delight.
Rajat's Jalal was fabulous from start to finish.  He never missed an opening to trip up his angry, flustered Jodha Begum. He was brimming over with mischief - it was there  in every glance of his,  in the teasing tones in his  voice, in the mocking  lines after he has extracted a reluctant and qualified  thank you  from her: Bura chaho to gussa karti hain, achcha chaho to gussa karti hain. Yeh aapka hunar paidayeshi hai, ya phir aapne isme taaleem  haasil ki hai?
And much more in the same vein, about baaghins and about the mortal danger to him from Jodha's assorted deadly weaponry, all delivered with the same lightness  of touch, the  same effortless mastery of flirtatious leg pulling, while his eyes, gleaming with ill-suppressed merriment as they never left her fuming face, sought to unsettle the Amer ki Mirchi even  more.
I  was very sorry to see Jodha play right into his hands, and make a complete, pokered-up, ungracious fool of herself  by the time  she reacts to his last sally,  about his being now ready to eat her mirchiwala khana,  by turning her back on him and stomping off  in a huff. She  leaves Jalal, predictably, chortling in glee with his companion in the mirror.
Her problem is that she is utterly devoid of a sense of humour. If she had only laughed out loud at his description of her phatne ke liye tayyaar top jaisa gussa, shamsheer se bhi tez zabaan,  and all the rest, and declared
Apitu  hum to Amer ki beti  hain, Shahenshah, Amer ki mirchi jaisi teekhi. Hum jaise bhi hain,aapko to  isise santrusht rahan padega!  Humein apne aap mein kuch bhi parivartan laaneki  koyi bhi  ichcha nahin hai. Aap to is janam mein to kya, agle cheh janam ke liye  hamare isi kaaya aur isi pravrutti  se bandhe rahenge. Kya karenge aap, Shahenshah? , he would have been totally stumped, and might have started laughing  with her, not at her.
Similarly, if she had thanked  him warmly for arranging Sukanya's marriage, and told him how sorry she was about her having put him in such mortal danger without at all meaning to do so,  he would have been disarmed.
But no, she has to go wandering into the morass of accusing of having ulterior motives in arranging Sukanya's marriage, which was ungracious, to say the least. From there to  insisting that he never does anything without the hope of gaining something else, is  but a step, as she plays further into his hands.
I felt like shaking some sense into her head. Not that it would have helped, and so finally she stormed off, looking nothing like the baaghin  he was comparing her to, and more  like an angry kitten frustrated at not having been able to sharpen her claws on her tormentor.
In all this relentless,  but not malicious teasing, for that is what it was, one revealing point has to be noted.
When Jodha asks, angrily, whether he had no faith in Amer or her Bapusa's ability to ensure his safety, Jalal answers her seriously and reassuringly, stressing  his conviction that her brothers would be ready to do anything, including giving up their lives if necessary,  to protect him. A girl with a bit more of perceptiveness would have noted the sudden change of  tone and of content, from being frivolous towards her to admiration and respect for her family, and reacted accordingly.
We might them have had the first ever civilized conversation between them.  But Jodha made sure that this was not to be.
Hope belied: I suppose we are now going to be treated to every corny trick in the panoply of romantic pulp fiction after Jalal and Jodha land up in Amer. It will all  bore me stiff.  So much for my vain hopes for Jalal and Jodha (please bear with this repetition), of
seeing mutual caring and affection develop,  slowly but surely. Of an  edgy friendship morphing, insensibly, into love, with all its yearnings, its restlessness in the absence of the loved one, the misunderstandings, the jealousies, the protectiveness and the possessiveness, and beneath it all, the undercurrent of a hidden sensuality.
Of a Jodha whose pride in her magnificent husband would make her say, as Cleopatra once said to Julius Caesar : "But for you, the world is full of little men".
What  a fall this is going to be, my friends (apologies to Mark Antony)!
There is only one  thing I am looking forward to, and that is Dadisaa getting to know Jalal. I would bet anything that if she had been 50 years younger,Jalal would have flipped for her without a second thought, instead of this sulky, irascible, pokered-up female he has now landed himself with, complete with  her bhashanbaazi    and her tantrums.
Quid pro quo:I also  have the idea that during the attack on Jalal, obviously  in their bedchamber, by the fake Rajvanshi commissioned by Adham, it will be Jodha (who I  hope is stuck with the couch this time around)  who will save Jalal, thus squaring accounts with him. She will now have even less (if that is  at all possible!) of an impulse to feel guilty about having endangered his life in the  forest!
Wishing you and  your families a wonderful Vijayadashami today, and a healthy, peaceful and fulfilling year ahead (if you have these three, happiness, an elusive commodity, is bound to follow).
Shyamala B.Cowsik
 
 
 

sashashyam
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Re: Jodha Akbar 84: Mischief abounding

Post by pollyanna on 2013-10-14, 11:21

Hello Aunty, wish u a happy Vijayadashmi too :) 

Loved the post, especially Jalal-Ruks and Jodha Thumbsup 

I just hope the romance doesnt turn ito sachharine.....but has lots of push-pull moments.....i just dont like mushy ones......

it wud be great to have badtameez Jalal and baaghin jodha to have a duel in private .....but at the same time.....i do want Jodha not to forget her basic manners, hopefully Hypervati will take her to task this time...

pollyanna
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Re: Jodha Akbar 84: Mischief abounding

Post by sashashyam on 2013-10-14, 11:28

Dear Pallavi,Don't get your hopes up. This Jodha is an unmannerly, obstinate, humourless and self-righteous female. Jalal ki to naseeb hi kharab thi jo is ke saath phans gaya!Shyamala Auntypollyanna wrote:Hello Aunty, wish u a happy Vijayadashmi too :) 

Loved the post, especially Jalal-Ruks and Jodha Thumbsup 

I just hope the romance doesnt turn ito sachharine.....but has lots of push-pull moments.....i just dont like mushy ones......

it wud be great to have badtameez Jalal and baaghin jodha to have a duel in private .....but at the same time.....i do want Jodha not to forget her basic manners, hopefully Hypervati will take her to task this time...

sashashyam
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Re: Jodha Akbar 84: Mischief abounding

Post by pollyanna on 2013-10-14, 11:32

sashashyam wrote:
Dear Pallavi,Don't get your hopes up. This Jodha is an unmannerly, obstinate, humourless and self-righteous female. Jalal ki to naseeb hi kharab thi jo is ke saath phans gaya!Shyamala Auntypollyanna wrote:Hello Aunty, wish u a happy Vijayadashmi too :) 

Loved the post, especially Jalal-Ruks and Jodha Thumbsup 

I just hope the romance doesnt turn ito sachharine.....but has lots of push-pull moments.....i just dont like mushy ones......

it wud be great to have badtameez Jalal and baaghin jodha to have a duel in private .....but at the same time.....i do want Jodha not to forget her basic manners, hopefully Hypervati will take her to task this time...
U know Aunty.....in Friday's episode....since the makers wanted to draw a parallel between Jodha-Ruks...it wud have been better if there was one sentence from Jodha about his wounds or the lep......it wud have marked a difference between the two instantly.....but both came to see Jalal....and apni apni raag alaap ke chali gayi.....uffff Shocked Rolling Eyes

pollyanna
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Re: Jodha Akbar 84: Mischief abounding

Post by sashashyam on 2013-10-14, 11:43

No, Pallavi, when you say that they both came  to see him and both thought only of their own concerns, you have forgotten one thing, and a very important thing. Ruqaiya has  been with Jalal throughout after he regained consciousness. Remember the sevaiyaan scene with little Rahim? This is not the first time she is meeting him after he came round.The only other such person who was with him was Mahaam. Not Jodha and not Hamida either, for they were busy with their own lovefest. But for Jodha it IS the first time, which is what makes it so ungracious and ungrateful, But that is the way she is. So do not equate the two of them, or nearly so!Shyamala Auntypollyanna wrote:
sashashyam wrote:
Dear Pallavi,Don't get your hopes up. This Jodha is an unmannerly, obstinate, humourless and self-righteous female. Jalal ki to naseeb hi kharab thi jo is ke saath phans gaya!Shyamala Auntypollyanna wrote:Hello Aunty, wish u a happy Vijayadashmi too :) 

Loved the post, especially Jalal-Ruks and Jodha Thumbsup 

I just hope the romance doesnt turn ito sachharine.....but has lots of push-pull moments.....i just dont like mushy ones......

it wud be great to have badtameez Jalal and baaghin jodha to have a duel in private .....but at the same time.....i do want Jodha not to forget her basic manners, hopefully Hypervati will take her to task this time...
U know Aunty.....in Friday's episode....since the makers wanted to draw a parallel between Jodha-Ruks...it wud have been better if there was one sentence from Jodha about his wounds or the lep......it wud have marked a difference between the two instantly.....but both came to see Jalal....and apni apni raag alaap ke chali gayi.....uffff Shocked Rolling Eyes

sashashyam
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Re: Jodha Akbar 84: Mischief abounding

Post by pollyanna on 2013-10-14, 11:48

sashashyam wrote:
No, Pallavi, when you say that they both came  to see him and both thought only of their own concerns, you have forgotten one thing, and a very important thing. Ruqaiya has  been with Jalal throughout after he regained consciousness. Remember the sevaiyaan scene with little Rahim? This is not the first time she is meeting him after he came round.The only other such person who was with him was Mahaam. Not Jodha and not Hamida either, for they were busy with their own lovefest. But for Jodha it IS the first time, which is what makes it so ungracious and ungrateful, But that is the way she is. So do not equate the two of them, or nearly so!Shyamala Auntypollyanna wrote:
sashashyam wrote:
Dear Pallavi,Don't get your hopes up. This Jodha is an unmannerly, obstinate, humourless and self-righteous female. Jalal ki to naseeb hi kharab thi jo is ke saath phans gaya!Shyamala Auntypollyanna wrote:Hello Aunty, wish u a happy Vijayadashmi too :) 

Loved the post, especially Jalal-Ruks and Jodha Thumbsup 

I just hope the romance doesnt turn ito sachharine.....but has lots of push-pull moments.....i just dont like mushy ones......

it wud be great to have badtameez Jalal and baaghin jodha to have a duel in private .....but at the same time.....i do want Jodha not to forget her basic manners, hopefully Hypervati will take her to task this time...
U know Aunty.....in Friday's episode....since the makers wanted to draw a parallel between Jodha-Ruks...it wud have been better if there was one sentence from Jodha about his wounds or the lep......it wud have marked a difference between the two instantly.....but both came to see Jalal....and apni apni raag alaap ke chali gayi.....uffff Shocked Rolling Eyes
Ohh yeah.....ur right.....i just hope ..we have one monologue of Jodha --thinking about if she should go and see Jalal and ask how is he feeling etc etc......else if she is all goody in Amer...it will look like she is not really concerned on her won but only when forced ..she does things for Jalal......

I mean...if she has got a golden heart ...she must at lease think about Jalal when alone....isnt it??

pollyanna
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Re: Jodha Akbar 84: Mischief abounding

Post by sashashyam on 2013-10-14, 11:50

You are not going to get any such monologue. I only hope that Jalal keeps his end up.Shyamala Auntypollyanna wrote:
sashashyam wrote:
No, Pallavi, when you say that they both came  to see him and both thought only of their own concerns, you have forgotten one thing, and a very important thing. Ruqaiya has  been with Jalal throughout after he regained consciousness. Remember the sevaiyaan scene with little Rahim? This is not the first time she is meeting him after he came round.The only other such person who was with him was Mahaam. Not Jodha and not Hamida either, for they were busy with their own lovefest. But for Jodha it IS the first time, which is what makes it so ungracious and ungrateful, But that is the way she is. So do not equate the two of them, or nearly so!Shyamala Auntypollyanna wrote:
sashashyam wrote:
U know Aunty.....in Friday's episode....since the makers wanted to draw a parallel between Jodha-Ruks...it wud have been better if there was one sentence from Jodha about his wounds or the lep......it wud have marked a difference between the two instantly.....but both came to see Jalal....and apni apni raag alaap ke chali gayi.....uffff Shocked Rolling Eyes
Ohh yeah.....ur right.....i just hope ..we have one monologue of Jodha --thinking about if she should go and see Jalal and ask how is he feeling etc etc......else if she is all goody in Amer...it will look like she is not really concerned on her won but only when forced ..she does things for Jalal......

I mean...if she has got a golden heart ...she must at lease think about Jalal when alone....isnt it??

sashashyam
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