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Jodha Akbar 162: Neither a doormat nor a donkey

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Jodha Akbar 162: Neither a doormat nor a donkey

Post by sashashyam on 2014-01-30, 17:37

I  was not going to write anything about Episode 162 of last night, but I was  taken aback  to see some posts  today berating Jodha for being a doormat  and putting up with the ugly hoojra changing business,  instead of storming out of Agra. But  then I should not have been surprised at all, should I?

After all, for all the fulmination about Ekta's scripts, very many here love the Ekta-heroine-who-can-never-be-wrong in Jodha, and uske liye to sau khoon maaf.  So, in the past, she was backed unreservedly, no matter how she behaved with her pati. Now that the boot is on the other foot, I am not surprised that Jalal is being tarred and feathered across the forum. But I never thought to see the day when Jodha was attacked for anything!

Jodha & Jalal: Changing equations:The truth is that Jodha  had  a lot  to learn, in the first place how it feels to have someone you have come to care for mock you and ignore you. That is what she did  in the old days, after all.  She was  often  appallingly rude to her lawfully wedded imperial husband, often, as at the Meena Bazaar, in public. If he came into her rooms, she used to look at him as if he was something the cat had brought in, and invariably asked him, in a most off putting tone, Aap yahan?   If he came to thank her for something late at night, she used to look as if he was going to jump on her and ravish her.

Still Jalal  put up with all this day after day, and continued to praise her hunars, real or not, to the skies, rejoicing in the slightest evidence of her feeling some respect for  him. Very few  then berated him for making a doormat  - Afghan, Persian, whatever - of himself. 

All that pampering ended abruptly with The Shove and her morning after accusation of SKLL (stree ke liye lalasa),  and then with the entry of Benazir. Nonetheless, Jalal's persistent  weakness for Jodha, despite the deep hurt inflicted on him by The Letter and The Shove, was still  there, as strong as ever, and it showed at every opportunity.

At this point, even  though the special treatment  was at an end, Jodha was no doormat, no thank you!. During the run up to the Shivani wedding, she was still on her high horse, sidelining the Shahenshah and riding high on the approval of her cheerleaders Nos. 1 & 2, her Ammijaan and her devarji.

It was Shivani's elopement that brought Jodha down to earth down with a thud. She was deeply ashamed of what her father and her sister  had done, and correspondingly grateful to Jalal for his forbearance in releasing her father from prison and allowing him to leave for Amer.  So much so that she actually started calling  herself a Mughal khandaan ki Begum  and identifying, for the  very first time,  with her sasural.

Then came the  first hand evidence that Benazir was out to murder Jalal.  Which brought Jodha to  the (still strongly resisted) realisation that she could not bear it if Jalal died. So now we have this Savitri-cum-Durga manquee- cum-what now? Meera rebooted with the vish ka pyala?

NB:The latest promo, if correct, is a very silly twist,  for Benazir is no suicide candidate. She intends to survive and queen it over the empire at the side of Abul Mali (not realising that once he is on the throne, she will be the first person he will have bumped off). How can she  do that if Jalal is poisoned openly in a wedding ceremony?

Jalal: all at sea: Jalal is an idiot now for a different reason from earlier - for not having the GJ (ghrinit jantu)  properly investigated and spied on. Anyone from Abul Mali's harem should have been an a priori suspect, and surely it is better to be safe than dead?  I do not know what, if anything he has been doing, and whether his constant jibes at Jodha for being jealous of Benazir are just a put on or not, but on the surface at least,  he cuts a pretty sorry figure for a Shahenshah.

But all this notwithstanding, my heart went out to him last night when he says, the almost casual tone belying the depth to the recurrent pain he feels,  Par woh ( the jalan against Benazir) hamare liye to nahin ho sakta, kyonki aapne to hamein kabhi apnaya hi nahin.

The only spark of hope re: his grey cells being still alive was the assurance he gives his Ammijaan last night, in that unexpectedly emotional and very touching scene between them, that he knows how to face dangers and survive, and will be around with her for the rest of her life. Maybe he does know what Benazir is up to, but even so, Jalal looks anything but decisive. Or clued up, even in the latest promo.

Jodha: Neither doormat nor donkey:  
As for Jodha, she is now smarting under a volley of  insults and cold shoulders and persistent disbelief in her fervent assertions re: the GJ's guilt. Even her Ammijaan is  apparently not around to lend her a shoulder to weep on. But what goes around comes around, does it not? All of Jodha's chickens have come to roost, that too simultaneously, and  it seems, as Meghana put it, to be now payback time for her.

It is another matter that I do not see  Jodha being trashed by "everyone", only by this caricature of Ruqaiya Sultan Begum and at times by Mahaam, from whom that is hardly new for Jodha.

As for me, I loved Jodha  in last few episodes, especially the one I called Samhaar.  For her now all else pales besides the paramount need to save Jalal's life, even if it has to be in spite of Jalal. Faced with such an undertaking,  nothing else should matter to her, and I find it highly praiseworthy that nothing else does.

How on earth do people  expect her to storm  out of Agra in a huff because the ugly hoojra changing business, and leave her  husband, whose life is clearly at stake,  to the mercy of the vishkanya? They cannot be serious!

No, Jodha  is neither a Persian doormat  nor a laundryman's donkey, thank you. She is now a prize specimen of Rajvanshi  female tenacity and grit and singlemindedness. 

She has to save Jalal from the ghrinit jantu,  and thought the fates have been tripping her up repeatedly, save him she  will. And in order to be able to do that, she will swallow anything that has  to be swallowed,  her  ego in the first place, and continue to  stand at her post, like  (though it is not a felicitous simile) the boy on the burning deck.

Dismal prospects: What I do not like is the near  surety that next week, we will  see Jodha canonised by one and all, with Jalal heading the chorus,  and very likely reducing himself to a puddle of  guilt and regret and grief all mixed up. Not an enticing prospect, but kya karen, majboori hai! Serial dekhna chhod bhi to nahin sakte!

As for the  hairsplitting I see about the timing of the vish ka pyala scene - before, after or during the nikaah, I do not care at all about any of that. Given the CVs' disdain for such minutiae, arguing about them is pointless.

But I still cling to  three small but  persistent  hopes, like candles flickering in the wind.

One , that post the revelation, Jalal  apologises to Jodha in a dignified manner, as he did after the dature ka ark  affair.

Two, that he has known all along that Benazir was up to  no good,  and just might be a zehreeli dosiza,  and had asked Atgah Khan to get the antidote to snake  venom ready in advance (for himself, but now for Jodha). This would then have been the mysterious task he had wanted completed before the nikaah.  

Three, that in her moment of triumph, Jodha, this new Jodha, will be dignified  and  low key, and not cold or distant with Jalal for not having believed her about Benazir.  I personally  think she will be too limp with relief at Jalal's being safe at last, and too  lighthearted at being freed from the crushing burden of the last few days,  for her to sulk.

Lastly, the shock of  the denouement just might achieve, for Jodha and Jalal, what I had hoped that The Hug might achieve.  As I wrote in an earlier post, there will now be no need for apologies or a casting of accounts between them, The Letter and The Shove will be consigned to the dustbin,  and we will have a real love story at long last, if not the epic one we were promised.
This, however, is what I want. Not what is likely to happen,  which  would be the kind of thing  that the CVs  and Ekta's target audience both love. Another round of aloof chilliness, this time from Jodha, to hosannas from Hamida and her  coterie, while Jalal abases him himself.  I am quite prepared for that, though it is going to make me feel distinctly queasy.
Highlight of  the day: My having been, for once, correct in my prediction that Adham Khan was going to rope in Benazir to try and further his own ends. I had been sure that he had  not dropped into the GJ's hoojra just because  of his proclivity for her tribe (of baandis, not vishkanyas!).  So, the gentle thumping you might be hearing is me patting myself on the back . I always held, along  with the immortal Sherlock Holmes, that modesty is a highly overrated virtue!
Shyamala B.Cowsik


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Re: Jodha Akbar 162: Neither a doormat nor a donkey

Post by --sumana13-- on 2014-02-02, 10:15

Awesome update Shyamala ... I saved my Sunday to read this at leisure ....

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