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Jodha Akbar 90: An apology of an apology

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Jodha Akbar 90: An apology of an apology

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

Folks,
This one is an afterthought, and so will be blessedly, if relatively,  brief.
There were only 3 significant scenes yesterday, which I will now take up ad seriatim, assuming that you would all have watched the episode.
Jalal-Jodha:  The earlier part of this scene was charmingly quasi-domestic, even if Jodha generally looks, whenever she is saying anything to her presumed life partner for the next 6 janams, as if she had a toothache.  
If, for example, she had smiled even slightly  while asking him if he now trusted her not to poison him, think how much more delightful the scene would have been,and this without the least slippage on her side towards affection or caring, only towards mischief!
Jalal's sudden look of trepidation,  as he looks back at Jodha after having  gobbled up all the kheer, like a little boy caught in mischief, is delightful. It  resembles nothing so much as Jodha's Kanha as a makhan chor.
One question here: Why does Jodha not eat the  spoonful of kheer that she is still holding in her hand, and fulfill her dadisa's desire that they should eat it together?
Rajvanshiyon ka gungaan: Jalal is so taken up with what he calles the aankhon ki chamak aur painapan in Prithviraj's black and white profile,  done in pencil,  despite the fact that he can see only one eye and that too not full front, that one suspects part of his gushing is Rajat's own nostalgia for his spectacular debut as the young Prithviraj !
One would have almost assumed, listening to such lavish praise from an emperor who must have been familiar with the best that the Persian miniature school of painting had to offer,  that he was admiring an Albrecht Durer (one of the most famous of medieval German  artists, specializing in etchings and very fine brush work), whereas it was  a pretty ordinary effort by an amateur artist, Suryabhan, its most striking feature being the  proudly twirled (half) moustache.
I suppose one should be grateful that Jodha did not provide that choice bit of information at this point!
Jalal is, like Darcy when Elizabeth comes to Pemberley, determined to be pleased with the Rajvanshis,  as he knows that is  the one sure fire way to please  Jodha. So he moves from the sketch to detailed praise of their manifold virtues, carefully avoiding anything the least negative.
 His earlier reference to  her triple bulleye in  archery,   which he cites  as proof that she would never try to do him in by staging an accident, is plain ridiculous, but I suppose such folly is to be expected in one new to feelings that are alien to him,  and which he does not as yet  understand.
The apology of an apology: Jodha listens to all of this with a face that shows very little warmth or even appreciation; she seems to take it as no more that the due of her race. She then launches, using his encomium to the unknown warrior in the sketch  as a  base, into the peroration that ends, unfortunately, in her hoping for more such Rajvanshi shoorveer, "hamein Mughalon se bachane".
In that one sentence, she cuts off  not just Jalal, but also Hamida and all the other Mughals who have been incredibly kind and accommodating and affectionate towards her, shuts them into a circle marked ghrina ke patra, and distances herself from them en bloc.
That her comment is made after Jalal had been extra generous in his praise of the Rajvanshis  makes  it all the more ungracious. Moreover, it reveals what Jodha  really feels, as a man might do if he is drunk. That she sees Mughals as a monolithic group deserving nothing but hate, forgetting  not just Hamida but the many others  in Agra who have been so kind to her. (Jodha should have been in the household of the Maharaja of Bundi, for example, to learn what treatment was often according, to wives and praja alike, by many of her own kind.Not all rulers were like Maharanas Udai Singh and Pratap, and later like Shivaji Maharaj. There were many very dismal specimens among them).

This is what hurts Jalal, and when he says that aapki har ek baat nishane par lagi, that bitterness and the hurt shows plainly.  

Any woman with some sensitivity would have begged pardon again and tried to soothe the hurt. Not Jodha, for she is self-righteous to a fault,  and can never say sorry from the heart, for she does not feel sorry at all.
Her apology, which is in fact an apology for one, looks and sounds proforma  because she does not, as she should have, immediately qualify  her faux pas, and at least say that she meant only oppressive Mughals like Sharifuddin, and that she loves his Ammijaan and so many others in his household.

Among us, Jodha  is generally indulged beyond all reason by the majority, rather like the way Hamida Banu treats her, and every small decrease in her rudeness to Jalal is treated as if a comet was blazing thru the skies heralding good fortune for all! When this decrease is, soon enough,  cancelled by her next bout of rudeness, that is sought to be slurred over. And so on and on.

In this instance, it is not enough to say that she did not mean to hurt Jalal. Everyone is responsible for the effects of his/her actions, whether they are meant or not. That is why the law has a manslaughter charge for those who kill another without meaning to do so. They cannot walk free saying that they did not mean to kill that person.

Jalal, however,  is relentlessly pilloried, no matter what he does, and methinks  he does far too much bending over for Jodha, which does her no good at all, in fact the reverse. Whence my pious but clearly fruitless hope that Jodha should have become better acquainted with the likes of the Raja of Bundi. It would have taught her to appreciate her current lot in life.

Oh, well, if wishes  were horses!!                                                     
The Gifts: I loved Jodha's reminiscing, for once with a half smile when remembering Jalal, about the bedtime story and her looking pleased when Jalal's chotti fauj  is visibly  gaga over him  and his gifts.
In her rushing to publicise her Ammijaan's Rajvanshi connections, and by extension, Jalal's as well, one sees some slight sense of identification with her in laws. Maybe she feels a tad ashamed about what she had blurted out to Jalal a little earlier, and about the residual bitterness in his face even after her apology of an apology.
Perhaps that sense of guilt is also the reason why she wears the  green dress the next day, puffing Jalal up no end!
But what is it with all those long Ameri faces on sighting the green joda? Is a good wife not supposed to adjust to the tastes of her husband and her sasural? Why does Mynavati not pull up the stupid Shivani, at least after Hamida & Co have moved on,  for saying that Hamida should have remembered that Jodha does not like green?

It was incomprehensible, and then she softsoaps the whole to Jodha, practically pleading with her and saying that gifts from the sasural should be respected. If this is the way she has brought up her daughters, no wonder Jodha is the way she is!

I  cannot see any bahu being indulged like this in any 16th century sasural, Rajput or Mughal. If Sukanya pulls any such stunts in her sasural, one can bet that she will get short shrift.

Moreover, I do not remember Jodha objecting to the rich green joda that Hamida had gifted her for the jashn after her marriage, which she then wore without any fuss. Bizarre.

Mahaam's incendiary quid pro quo:  Even before she gets to this, Mahaam, by ostentatiously stressing that two other gifts are from the Shahenshah's Begum-e-Khaas Ruqaiya Sultan, and his doosri Begum Salima Sultan, obviously  wants to rub it in that Jodha in only No.3 among  Jalal's begums.
When she burns the gift from Jodha's dadisa, she is being as ill-mannered and petty as Jodha was when she did the same. Jodha was in fact worse behaved, as she did it in front of all the Mughals.
So Jodha sounds hypocritical, to say  the least, when she now  talks of Mahaam's soch, for what about her own kaand  earlier?  What is sauce for the Amer ki Mirchi is surely sauce for the Wazir-e-Aaliya. As Vicki pointed out earlier, what goes around comes around, and Jodha's fishwife like behaviour, totally lacking in royal dignity and self-possession, has now boomeranged  on her.
I doubt, however, if she will learn anything from this lesson.  If only she had said to Mahaam, with impeccable dignity: Mahaam Angaji, wo toh meri bhool thi.  Par aap to mujhse badi hain, aayu mein , jeevan ke anubhav  aur gyaan mein. Agar aap bhi meri us samay ki  naasamajhi aur nirankush krodh ko dohrayengi, so apke aude ka maan karna nahin hua na?
Pot pourri: Poor Jalal will end up disgorging the prized Ratnapur fort to salvage Sukanya's marriage, but what puzzles me is how  Sharifuddin will extricate himself from a charge of either incompetence or, worse, chicanery. He can only do it by insisting that Raja is now blackmailing the Mughal emperor by going back on his word,  and is now demanding the fort after not having made any such demand during the negotiations. It will be his word against  that of the groom's father, and hopefully they will avoid a conclave that will end in a slanging match.
The chausar face off between Pratap and Jalal  should end in a draw. I am sure there is this possibility in chausar, as in chess.
So on  to the next animal in the queue, Jalal's oddly named Hawai.
Shyamala B.Cowsik
NB: A historical footnote about Prithviraj Chauhan, for those interested.
There is not the least doubt that in terms of sheer bravery and his  dauntless fighting spirit, Prithviraj Chauhan was all that Jodha says in his praise, and then some more. That is he is up there in the patheon of  our heroes for all times to come.  
But one thing that Jodha fails to mention, in her paean to Rajvanshi valour and intergrity, is that the chal that trapped him was that of a Rajput, his own father in law, not that of an Afghan.

Second, that  for all the well merited idolisation of Prithviraj, the fact remains that he lost the second  battle of Tarain in 1192 because the other Rajputs would not unite under his banner, any more than they did  with Maharana Pratap against Akbar. The fact is that as Maharana Udai Singh is shown lamenting in Maharana Pratap,  the Rajputs were chronically disunited and foolishly quarrelsome over trifles, which is why they wasted much energy fighting each other, making it easy for the outsiders to defeat them.

Third,  if Prithviraj had not been quixotically  generous and let Ghori go free after he defeated him in the First Battle of Tarain in 1191, he would never have been defeated the next year, and all  the atrocities that Ghori then inflicted on the whole of North India would never have happened. That was not great generosity on his part, it was irresponsible folly. Prithviraj should have imprisoned Ghori if he did not want to execute him, he had no right to take such chances with the safety of his people, protecting whom was his primary rajadharma. His uncalled for generosity had terrible consequences for hundreds of thousands of innocents, and his personal   sufferings, huge as they were, and his heroic end, do not compensate for what his people suffered because of his tragic error of judgment
.

sashashyam
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Re: Jodha Akbar 90: An apology of an apology

Post by pollyanna on 2013-10-23, 11:31

Loved the post Aunty...and I was super happy when MA gave it back to Jodha :) :)

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Re: Jodha Akbar 90: An apology of an apology

Post by ShaliniRobinson on 2013-10-23, 15:16

Thank you! 

I loved reading the post and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Jodha really does not learn. She is the one who always broke rules, but is quick to
point out if someone else seems to be breaking them.
When has she listened to anything taught her that she tells Jalal that he does not
listen well! By comparison, Jalal is a way better listener than Jodha is.

You're right about how she looks when Jalal is praising the Rajvanshis. Her expression is of pure pride for her line and there is no thankfulness. As you have put it well yourself - she think of it as justly due towards her line.
She really thinks no end of herself and her people. One should be proud of one's
heritage, but it comes with a respectful acknowledgment of another's as well.

I agree, she has lacked dignity and been ungracious to everything that Jalal and his
family has done for her - even to the point of nearly ignoring Jodha's stupidity
which caused Jalal to still carry the marks of the tiger's claws.

Every time she looks at his face, she should remember not just her folly, but his
grace and that of his family in the way they dealt with her.

This is one of the many times she's gotten away with 'I didn't mean to'. Only this is
probably the first that she tried to apologize -- and as you say, she didn't really
apologize. Her apology was more for saying what she should not have said, not for
hurting Jalal or being disrespectful about Mughals as a whole.

As far as her feelings go, there is little to no change in Jodha. The only bit of difference that is visible now is probably because she is in her maika.

*
The response that you have hoped would come from Jodha --- oh dear! I think it's not even in the darkest recesses of her mind.
She justifies herself in such totality that she is certain she's never wrong, and never could be. As per her, she was right in burning in public what Jalal sent her; and Maaham is wrong in burning what Dadisa gifted her.
For this particular tit-for-tat, I applaud the vazeer-e-aaliya!
And I wonder if her warning about returning the favor of ousting Maaham from her chamber is coming up in future in similar tones.
*
I am still not seeing why is kunwar pratap being focused on so much? I wonder if there would be a battle coming up in the near future between him and Jalal.
Or is he plain a bystander in the wedding just to observe Jalal and be a scapegoat when an attack is made on Jalal's life?
Though Jalal has sniffed that it is within his bunch that betrayal lies.
*
Jalal, I felt, has basically covered up for Jodha about the green clothes. He probably knows as well as Jodha that she would not wear the color just because the king, who also happened to be her husband, liked the color - especially on her.
He knows she did it just to appease the families. I wonder if the chap saved embarrassment for himself and others had Jodha been given the chance of launching into an explanation of why the suraj was rising from paschim on the evening of the party.
Thankfully, she displayed some sense by not disagreeing.
*

Thank you once again for the write-up! :)

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Re: Jodha Akbar 90: An apology of an apology

Post by pollyanna on 2013-10-23, 15:29

Heehhehehe Shalini....loved ur points cheers ...dil ko thandak milti hai jab Jodha ki class lagti hai bounce ...and I must say....both u and Shyamala Aunty are the best teachers Jodha can get :) :)

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Re: Jodha Akbar 90: An apology of an apology

Post by ShaliniRobinson on 2013-10-23, 15:57

pollyanna wrote:Heehhehehe Shalini....loved ur points cheers ...dil ko thandak milti hai jab Jodha ki class lagti hai bounce ...and I must say....both u and Shyamala Aunty are the best teachers Jodha can get :) :)
Thank you, buddy!

Jodha is the real spoilt brat in this pair - not Jalal. Quite an eye-opener! Wink

and.. i dunno if Jodha can be taught. If one is willing to learn then there have been more than enough occasions. Eklavya learned without a guru in person. But Jodha... oh dear. I think most of us thought that Jalal risking his life to the tiger on her account would fix things a bit, or Jalal being attacked left, right and centre would catch her worrying over him.

But as Jalal now points out - out of sheer misery it seems - she worries only for her Babasa... not her husband.

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