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Jodha Akbar 171: On the road to Camelot.

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Jodha Akbar 171: On the road to Camelot.

Post by sashashyam on 2014-02-16, 03:48

Folks,

This is being put out so late, with my  apologies,  because I am doing it, so to speak, only on popular demand. My last thread Sunshine on a butterfly's wings,  on  last Friday's episode,  has grown, to my considerable astonishment, to a gargantuan 64 pages, and this little post I had made there for the  habitues of my  threads was getting lost in the jungle. So, I was asked - no told! -  to put it up separately, and  as I love being bullied by young people, I hastened to comply!

Please  take this not as one of my usual  productions, but rather  as a series of points, put down in no particular order,  for further discussion. It is not going to be an exhaustive analysis, either chronologically or theme-wise.
Jalal the teddy  bear: As  for Rajat/Jalal looking portly, like a stuffed teddy, over which there is good bit of  secret (because they will NOT accept it, or if they do, not without producing  a string of mitigating circumstances!) heartburning among the vast tribe of his deewaanis, it is the beard, folks. It broadens his already squarish face further.
Moreover the pagdi, like some (not all) of his shahi headwear, covers most of his forehead, which does not suit him.  Plus they have padded him around the chest to make him look like a achcha khata peetha seth. It shows clearly in the precap.

At Gangaur, Jalal  looked young, eager and rakish, checking Jodha out with bold eyes that panned her from head to foot. Now he is too taken with her, and looks  more adoring than boldly admiring.

If  they dress him as he was dressed at Gangaur and cut him loose, he  will look just the same. Perhaps some extra workouts to compensate for the gap during the prolonged healing of his foot injury, and he should be fine.

The face in the water: This apart, I always wondered why they never again showed a flashback of  Jodha dreaming of Jalal's face in the water after Gangaur, in the water in the palace pools. They could have done it  at least after she began to feel much closer to him.
She dreamt of that unknown  face even when she was engaged to Suryabhan, and when she closed her eyes, it was that unknown face that she saw.

That is  a very powerful concept - that his face haunted her waking hours -  and they have completely lost track of it since then. Even last night, when they  are showing Jalal reminiscing  about Gangaur, I thought they would show Jodha remembering his  face in the water too later (not at Gangaur itself) as a follow on to her Gangaur flashback . They missed out on what could have been a beautiful diptych.

Plus points galore:
I liked today's episode for the following:

- the questions Jalal had about Jodha's teerandazi. The scene was handled very neatly, and I loved the  off hand thank you from Jalal. That was as it should be: if there are to be no sorrys and no thank yous between friends, what then about spouses about to become a romantic couple?
Plus, he tripped her up neatly by  turning aside and asking the boatman to get going again, just when Jodha was all set with  a  forceful comeback, which thus remained unsaid. It was proof of how indulgent she has now become towards him that she took in good spirit, even biting back a smile.
Then there was the procession of shifting expressions on Jodha's face, from total, deadpan denial to quizzical acceptance that it was she. It was a treat to watch, especially as she takes a deep breath and comes out with the truth. Paridhi is  clearly on a roll these days!
- the corny Rajasthani dialect snippet. It was  very good fun,   Jalal's sethji  dominated his sethani with comic panache, and both of them were delightful to watch. As was noted by  a reader on my last thread, the way Jodha was nodding her head in dutiful acquiescence while Jalal was instructing his fauj was exactly like an army sergeant with his major!

- of course the payal scene and the cut back to Gangaur, when he picks up her  payal. I wrote at length about the meaning of that scene, especially his rescuing it from the fire at the cost of burning his hand, in my first ever post here, on June 30, 2013.  
But as I have discussed above, they should also have included flashbacks of the face in the water that Jodha continues to see even in the pools in the palace at Amer, long after Gangaur, so that the haunting quality of  Jodha's inexplicable  obsession with the unknown face in the water comes out clearly. Jalal was always her destiny, and her subconscious mind perhaps knew that then itself, though it took her half an age to realise it and then to acknowledge and accept it.
And I loved the way  Jodha, now smiling so openly and affectionately at her husband, felt so shy when she saw him staring at her pretty, alta decorated feet, complete with the payals, that she  hid them under her  ghagra. How times have changed, indeed!

-  I loved the way  in which Jodha  realises that Jalal is tired and should take a break, and also that he will never acknowledge it and call for a halt. So  she says she is tired and forces the  halt anyway. Quintessential wifely concern and feminine wiles!
- - the now you win, now I win, seesaw at the inn where they have a meal, with the innkeeper's  wife acting like a Greek chorus.
The chirpy lady was, firstly, displaying  a solid streak of female chauvinism  in her putting Jodha Devi on pedestal (so what is new with that?)  and at the same time  trying to put her husband in his place good and proper.
I was in stitches when Jalal asked who Satyavan was.
Then there was the  typical feminine obsession with love stories, real or imagined. As she gushes that Jodha Rani must love the Shahenshah  a great deal,  Jodha looks  her most demure,  eyes firmly lowered while the face shows subtle but definite pleasure. Jalal looks at her, unsure if this is  for real, but so eager to believe that it is so!
His play  on words as he proves that Jodha Rani was the more mahaan (the chorus of delighted  approval from across the forum must have  raised the roof!)  was, in its convoluted logic,  worthy of a  medieval theologian.
And of course the adiyalon ke  sultanat ki malika bit. It all showed a surprisingly high level of comfort between them, which could even manage to  sidestep the second reference he made to The Dhakka, as Jodha got away by equating it to his kroorta towards her in the old days. 
As for the khamoshi ki deewaar that Jalal  is apprehensive about,  it is not about any new misunderstanding but about  a new jhagda. He mentions that too. 
But he should not  worry. This new Jodha of his is a completely reformed character..  She  nowadays spends most of her time niharofying her patidev, looking at him soulfully when he is not looking at her, and at times even when he is!
Let us see  if they  have any really substantive conversations during this trip. The one in the boat was good for starters, and then Jalal does say that he has a lot to talk about with her.
The Letter & The Shove: Jodha must  have realised by now that there is something really wrong here, and she must also have long since abandoneed her SKLL (stree ke  liye lalasa)  theory. But so long as she does not find out that he cannot read, she will never be able to crack this one.

In any case, as I  noted somewhere earlier in this thread, I have now come round to the point of view that the Mystery of the Misleading Missive has to be sorted out. Jalal simply cannot let it be,  even when he sees his remixed Jodha Begum being so meherban towards him these days.
He refers to it twice  last night, and  when he says Aapne hamein dhakka dekar apne se alag kar diya, it is a  very revealing and bitter turn of phrase, for all the superficial lightheartedness in which he camouflages it.
And it is, to my mind pointless to debate about what hurts him more, the apparent leading on and then humiliating him, or the fact that she rejected him as a lover.  It is like the proverbial chicken or egg question. It is obviously a deep hurt, a nasoor  that needs to be lanced and cauterised by the truth.  
For if not, Jalal will always feel, in some corner of his heart, that there is in a Jodha a wilful, capricious and cruelly insensitive woman who might resurface some time , and he will never again be able to trust her fully, without needing any proof, as she did during the false pregnancy track. And   that would poison their relationship.
I think the fact that he cannot read will come out on this trip, and then the penny will drop for Jodha.

The Shahenshah resurgent:I feel that this track will go on till Friday, or even Monday, when the jaziya abolition might be announced on their return to Agra. It is now clear why he chose to travel as a Hindu merchant on a pilgrimage. There was no other way for him to get at the truth of the way his Hindu subjects were being oppressed by the representatives of  the  Mughal empire.
It is good that Jalal is shown reacting to this matter without any need for Jodha to prod him. He will take the abolition decision too on his own, out of his intrinsic sense of justice and the religious tolerance that was inbuilt in him.  As I wrote in my Gordian Knot post about his visit to the  Kali Maa temple  at Amer:
"He sees the whole of the Hindustan that he wishes to unite under his rule, not  by brute force,but thru willing acceptance. Na ki shamsheer ki dhar se, par rishton ke reshmi dhagon me piroke.To win the heart of this Hindustan, he knows now what he has to do. For them to accept him, he has first to accept them. ...
(As he went down on his knees and paid obeisance to the Devi) The Gordian knot of incomprehension, of  a sense of acute oppression, of discrimination, and of the resulting hostility  and hatred,  that divided Jalal,   and the Mughal  rule he embodied, from the Hindustan of his dreams  was  sliced thru  as surely as the original one had been by Alexander's sword. "
There have been very few  such rulers in the whole of known history.
The immediate crisis: As for what is to happen now, the gold bangles prediction - that Jodha wll quietly pay the tax with her gold bangles - which is being  offered by many here,   is so predictable and tame. Moreover, that would amount to Jodha completely disobeying her husband's express wishes on what is, for him, a matter of principle,  and this she will never do.
The hopeful scenario of Jalal doing a lot of dishum dishum and beating up the daroga and a whole lot of guards to boot,  is, I regret to have to say, not at all realistic, seeing that he does not want to reveal his identity. He does not seem to be carrying his shamsheer either (NO, Sandhya , NO!  Not  a word about his shamsheer having gone rusty from lack of use! Get thee behind me, you imp!)
Plus, how will beating up the daroga  help solve the real problem, which  is the unjust pilgrimage tax? After all, the daroga was merely implementing the law as it existed at that time
So,  the present conundrum is this: Jalal has to be freed by the daroga - we cannot have our Shahenshah whipped by this chap - and he will not pay up  to go free, nor will he let Jodha reveal his identity. So what can be done? I have no idea!
A comic  scenario:  At my wits' end as to how to square this circle, I  cooked up the following scenario, with my tongue firmly lodged in my cheek. Do read  it in the same spirit, and please do not  berate me for being so frivolous about even the new Jodha ( of whom I have become  very fond) !
So, with this statutory warning, here goes.
 Jodha goes  and clings to Jalal from the back, shielding him from the lashes. He  will not be able to shake  her off as his arms are tied.  The  guards will thus be forced to stop whipping Jalal.

In short, Jodha as Savitri lite.

She will then put down her portable soapbox, clamber on to it  and give a rousing bhashan  about the daroga's anyay, kroorta, niyamon ka ullangan, Shahenshah ke prati vishwasghaat (for  shaming him in the eyes of his people, as they would think that it was all happening with his knowledge and approval), ityadi, ityadi.

The unfortunate daroga will be so shellshocked and deafened by this relentless flow of accusatory words that he will immediately have Jalal set free, and will beg him to take his wife away and to please not come back by the same route.
He might add a  man-to-man commiserative comment: Pata nahin tum roz roz is biwi ke saath kaise jujte ho! Tum par wakayi taras aata hai. Jiski aise ladaku biwi ho, use kya aur sazaa diya ja sakta hai?
Voila, another hunar of  Jodha's to be inscribed on a tablet, like the Ten Commandments. 
Payal chor ya dil ka chor?: For now, we have Jalal comfortably seated on the floor of the jail, looking across at  his sethani, seeming to be   on the verge of  responding to his fellow jailmate's eager query Kya churaya?  with Ek nakchadi rajkumari ka payal churaya!(credit to Tripti). While his eyes signal to his Jodha Begum, Kaash uska dil bhi chura pata! 
Shyamala B.Cowsik



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Re: Jodha Akbar 171: On the road to Camelot.

Post by megharanjini on 2014-02-16, 10:02

Valid points put forth in an intelligent manner ...

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Re: Jodha Akbar 171: On the road to Camelot.

Post by ShaliniRobinson on 2014-02-17, 11:50

Thank you for the write-up :) It is enjoyable as usual.

Just one mention here. Jodha already does know that Jalal cannot read/write. He told her so during one of the episodes where they began to be on good terms (after the tiger attack) before the Sharif-ud-din calamity struck.

So it is not whether Jodha knows whether Jalal misread her letter. In fact, this information should make her even more cautious about Jalal's misunderstanding about her letter's content.

The two people between Jalal and Jodha and the letter fiasco are Maaham Anga (on Jalal's side) and Moti (on Jodha's side). If Jodha did not write what Jalal thinks she did, then either Moti or Maaham is the possible culprit. However, the bone of contention is that both are super-trusted by their masters.

Hence -- an upcoming calamity. :)

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Re: Jodha Akbar 171: On the road to Camelot.

Post by sashashyam on 2014-02-17, 13:08

Well,Shalini, thank you, but I personally do not remember any passage when Jalal tells Jodha he cannot read or write, and I have not missed a single episode. As I would like to check out your statement, could you please let me have the episode reference?Moreover, if Jodha did know that Jalal could not read, what on earth possessed her to write him a letter? She was always barging into his rooms with or without permission,and she could surely have done so once more and told him what she wanted to tell him,would you not agree? Shyamala B.CowsikShaliniRobinson wrote:Thank you for the write-up :) It is enjoyable as usual.

Just one mention here. Jodha already does know that Jalal cannot read/write. He told her so during one of the episodes where they began to be on good terms (after the tiger attack) before the Sharif-ud-din calamity struck.

So it is not whether Jodha knows whether Jalal misread her letter. In fact, this information should make her even more cautious about Jalal's misunderstanding about her letter's content.

The two people between Jalal and Jodha and the letter fiasco are Maaham Anga (on Jalal's side) and Moti (on Jodha's side). If Jodha did not write what Jalal thinks she did, then either Moti or Maaham is the possible culprit. However, the bone of contention is that both are super-trusted by their masters.

Hence -- an upcoming calamity. :)

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Re: Jodha Akbar 171: On the road to Camelot.

Post by ShaliniRobinson on 2014-02-17, 14:04

sashashyam wrote:
Well,Shalini, thank you, but I personally do not remember any passage when Jalal tells Jodha he cannot read or write, and I have not missed a single episode. As I would like to check out your statement, could you please let me have the episode reference?Moreover, if Jodha did know that Jalal could not read, what on earth possessed her to write him a letter? She was always barging into his rooms with or without permission,and she could surely have done so once more and told him what she wanted to tell him,would you not agree? Shyamala B.CowsikShaliniRobinson wrote:Thank you for the write-up :) It is enjoyable as usual.

Just one mention here. Jodha already does know that Jalal cannot read/write. He told her so during one of the episodes where they began to be on good terms (after the tiger attack) before the Sharif-ud-din calamity struck.

So it is not whether Jodha knows whether Jalal misread her letter. In fact, this information should make her even more cautious about Jalal's misunderstanding about her letter's content.

The two people between Jalal and Jodha and the letter fiasco are Maaham Anga (on Jalal's side) and Moti (on Jodha's side). If Jodha did not write what Jalal thinks she did, then either Moti or Maaham is the possible culprit. However, the bone of contention is that both are super-trusted by their masters.

Hence -- an upcoming calamity. :)

:) I actually do not remember the episodes by the number... but it near about where she is beginning to read the shah-nama... prior to that. oh hang on! i think i might've written about it at some point. Let me hunt it on my PC. I hope I find it.

Though, yes, I do agree. When Jodha decided to write him a letter, it was strange. But then, Jalal does get letters and official statements... all written down.


Last edited by ShaliniRobinson on 2014-02-17, 14:15; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Jodha Akbar 171: On the road to Camelot.

Post by neha on 2014-02-17, 14:12

@Aunty @Shalini
I think it was not shown to us that Jodha knows he cannot read or write ...and like her obviously moti does not know as she was the one who delivered the letter to him ...if she knows and she seems to have forgotten then obviously moti could have reminded her....and I do not remember Jalal telling her about his illiteracy  scratch 

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Re: Jodha Akbar 171: On the road to Camelot.

Post by ShaliniRobinson on 2014-02-17, 14:34

Ah! I finally remember!! :D

When Ruqu was expecting, Jodha wrote a poem as a blessing for the baby. It was then that Jalal came to Jodha's kaksh to help understand the poem. He told her at the time that he did not know reading-writing, and had just come to understand what she said in the poem.

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Re: Jodha Akbar 171: On the road to Camelot.

Post by mishti on 2014-04-29, 08:26

ShaliniRobinson wrote:Ah! I finally remember!! :D

When Ruqu was expecting, Jodha wrote a poem as a blessing for the baby. It was then that Jalal came to Jodha's kaksh to help understand the poem. He told her at the time that he did not know reading-writing, and had just come to understand what she said in the poem.
Am late but that coz am digging in Aunty's all old posts now  study 



No, Shalini...Jodha doesn't know about Jalal's illiteracy...she'd simply asked that if he remembers the poem by heart, how could he not understand it to which Jalal replied that he understood that the poem is heartfelt but he wanted clearer meaning of the poem from horse's mouth, ie. Jodha herself.

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Re: Jodha Akbar 171: On the road to Camelot.

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