Latest topics

Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

Post by sashashyam on 2014-02-16, 03:49

Folks,
As I often do, let me begin at the very end of these two episodes.
Jalal and Jodha are on their knees in front of Sheikh Salim Chisti, in their Seth-Sethani garb. He sees through this disguise at once and welcomes them by their real names. Jalal is not surprised, but Jodha,  though her face  uncovered and the saint has  seen her before,   seems taken aback.
Jalal makes an infinitesimal sign with his head to Jodha  - this has by now become  a habit between them, which is very significant in itself - and she joins him in doing a matha tekhna before the saint.
He praises Jalal as one who will change taarikh (history) by willingly assuming the garb of an aam aadmi (to ascertain their woes and  give them relief and succor). The warmth in  Jodha's eyes, and her half smile, reflect her proprietary  pride and pleasure in seeing him so described.  
I was reminded of  a line  I had cited long ago in one of my old posts, about the Jodha I had long wanted, and have now got  at  long last:
A Jodha who would look at her magnificent husband  with radiant pride and say, as Cleopatra once said to Julius Caesar "But for you,  the world is full of little men."
Saanjhe raaste, saanjhi manzil: They  both have of late faced grave vicissitudes, the saint goes on, and have both triumphed over them, though hers  were extremely difficult/ Such trials are  meant for you to find a saathi,  he adds, looking now at Jalal, and I see that this saathi  has already been found.  Jalal looks across at Jodha's serene face, half hopeful, half still wondering if this is true.
The Shaikh then turns to Jodha Begum,  and announces, the level tone of his words belying the momentous import of his vision: You will show a new path to the Mughal sultanate.
Jalal looks pleased but  somewhat confused. "What new path? ", he seems to be asking himself,  and not getting an answer.
Then comes the second line : By becoming the Mariam-uz-Zamani.
I was profoundly relieved to see that Jodha's eyes are  still and tranquil, almost as if she was in  a trance. There was not the slightest hint of the hidden distaste, the instinctive withdrawal, that one saw there when the same prediction, that she would bear the heir to the Mughal  throne, was  made by the saint   soon after their marriage. 
She seems now to be receiving the prediction not as an imposition, but  as  a benediction. A benediction  that was but an affirmation of her new realization of her own destiny.
Jalal's face, by contrast,  is a study in rapidly changing emotions.
First, an expectant stillness, as he waits for the answer to the question in his zehen, Kaunsa raasta, aur kaise?  Next, as he hears the words, his eyes light  up, fleetingly, with a surge of incredulous joy - as if a lamp  had been lit inside him.  But he immediately  lowers his eyes and looks down, as if to contain his  heartbeats and his joy alike.Kahin kisi ki nazar na lag jaye.
He does not look across as Jodha, as he does so often these days, for confirmation and empathy. No, his delight  at this sudden gift  from the Almighty is, at this moment,  his and his alone. For it is the fulfillment of his two  most  fervent desires. The one,  the  yearning for an heir, and the other, the   craving to  be willingly accepted and loved  by the woman to whom he has now given his long lost  heart. He is limp with relief  and gratitude, but  he cannot, as yet, share this with anyone else. Not even with her who will, he hopes now,  fulfil both these desires .
Then again, there  is   perhaps the old hesitation, the doubt as to how Jodha will receive this prediction. For Jalal would not want even his long awaited heir  to be from Jodha if  the child was not as much a source of joy for her as it would be for him.  I wish he had turned at once to look at her face. He would have got all his answers.
NB: Saanjha  means "common", in the sense of "shared", like a saanjha chula,at which everyone can cook
Shades of Laila Majnu:   For this  is not the  Jodha of old.
Do you  folks remember the tale of Laila and Majnu? When  Majnu was whipped, the red weals appeared across Laila's back as well.

Jalal and Jodha are not quite at this level of  aatmaanubhooti,  the perception of soul-connectedness, as  yet, but they are working towards it.  When her hand touches the hot tawa by chance and she winces audibly, Jalal reacts instantaneously as if it was his hand that had got burnt.  
As Jodha  applies the lep  to the deep sword cut in his back, she exclaims aloud in empathetic pain, making him remark Ghaav humein  laga hai, Jodha Begum, aur siskiyaan aap bhar rahi hain! He is right, for in her reaction at the sight of the wound , there is nothing of the detached do gooding of  old with which she used to tend to him, describing it  as her seva to a ghayal. Now, her gasp is one of  shared hurt,  and of pain which is perhaps even sharper than his.
Sangini in the making: Jodha has also developed a degree  of understanding for Jalal's  feelings even  when they might be not hers, or at odds with hers.  And a degree of  wifely concern for what troubles and angers him.  
Thus, when, on seeing Sher Shah Suri's portrait in Todar Mal's residence,  and hearing him say that it was he who had defeated the Emperor Humayun,  he clenches his right fist in suppressed fury,  the immediate concern on Jodha's face is striking.
Later, when she is tending to his wound,  she  unhesitatingly asks him about it , adding a typically wifely, inquisitorial query Aap hamse kya chupa rahe hain? His rage and his frustration at having had to accept the hospitality of an enemy of his father's boil over as he talks to her of what his Khan Baba had told him about Todar Mal. She listens silently, for she does not know much about this slice of recent history. But she does ask him, a little later, why then he had saved Todar Mal's life.
Jalal's aswer, that as the Shahenshah, it was his  duty to come to the aid of  everyone anywhere in his realm who was oppressed, touches a  chord  in her. She registers silent approval, both then, and again as he speaks of having to pay off the debt of gratitude to Todar Mal for  having sheltered them  for the night.
But what struck me was that when he announces, fiercely, that he will come back here as the Shahenshah to punish Todar Mal for the harm he had  visited on  Jalal's family, Jodha  is visibly apprehensive and  does not approve of this at all. The old Jodha would have immediately launched into  a bhashan about the need for forgiveness and  about the quality of mercy that is not strained (apologies to Shakespeare). This new Jodha stays discreetly silent, for she understands where he is coming from and his rage,  even if she does not share it.
These days, she consults him with an enquiring glance before doing anything - whether it is going off with the banjaran to the women's section, or going indoors at the Todar Mal residence when the dacoits attack.  He too accepts her advice, as when she feels that Todar Mal is trustworthy and they can accept his hospitality.
Again, when Todar Mal offers them a palki  for  Jodha,  she might well, footsore and  tired as she must  have been from all the unaccustomed hardships of the day before,  have longed for that bit of  comfort. But she knows that Jalal would not want to be beholden to Todar Mal for anything more, and so she turns the offer down gracefully.
It is equally touching that Jalal too does not jump the gun and refuse  the offer on his own; he gives her the choice in the matter, whatever his own reservations might be.  I was delighted with both of them!
Jodha is also learning the essential art of coaxing  Jalal to do what she wants, instead of haranguing him about it. Though Todar Mal has refused  to take his guest, Badal , with him to fight the dacoits,  when his wife is weeping in an agony of apprehension about him, Jodha wants Jalal, who  is standing there in sullen anger, arms crossed across his chest, to go to his aid.
But she does not know if  he will want to do so, given his visible anger about something she does not as yet understand. So, instead of asking him openly, she looks at him  over here shoulder, in a fleeting look of mute entreaty. It registers, and though he looks as angry as before, Jalal nods and moves off.
She continues to be fiercely protective of her husband, When  Jalal is threatened with the lash in the jail, Jodha, who has been temporarily silenced by  Jalal's kasam and has been shunted off the podium ( the flare up rage on Jalal's face as the guard drags Jodha off roughly is instinctive; he cannot bear it  if anyone mistreats Jodha), comes alive in a surge of  fury. The sudden strength with which she seizes the whip and throws  it  aside is powered by this protectiveness.
She is a wonderful companion in hard times. Unfazed by any troubles, big or small. Ever cheerful and uncomplaining. In short, to borrow a modern term,  a very good  sport.
No wonder that Jalal, in the precap,  after making it clear to a supercilious Ruqaiya- with  a masterly and  unerring grasp of her nature  - that if she wants to accompamy him for the rest of his journey, she has to do it his way,  as a common riyaya, adds:   Jodha Begum ko dekhiye, kitni khush hain!
No one but a man would have made such a disastrous faux pas, but  then, this is a Shahenshah. As he looks at his Begum-e-Khaas with  weary patience, it seems clear that he simply does not care if that riles her, as it assuredly  will!
To revert, Jodha is ready  to sit on a dirty floor in a crowded jail without any fuss.. Unwilling to let Jalal take so much trouble with wood  gathering for the fire to keep her warm.  Ready to walk  on  despite swollen feet. 
The scene of Jalal trying to tend to her poor   sore  feet was so gentle and charming, even if  he could not stop himself from  camouflaging his latent hurt about the past rebuff with a tart Rajvanshi auraten apne shauhar ko kya kya nahin karne deti hain?  followed,  bitter laughter catching in his throat, by  his  7th reference to The Dhakka  in recent times.
She is coming along nicely, is apni Jodha Begum.
The Shove vs The Handhold:  The single most delightful scene in the last episode was undoubtedly that of The Handhold.  Jodha is now acquiring a new hunar, the  gentle art of  flirting with her husband, though in a tentative fashion, as in only natural  in a novice in coquetry.  Or at least so I hope! At all events, she  is becoming quite direct in handling him.
There was the Aap mere pati hain na? To aap mujhe baahar nahin le ja sakte? on Friday last, when you could have knocked me down with a feather in sheer shock. Last night, I was better prepared as she got up,   threw away the  sticks he had gathered for the dying fire, made gentle fun of   a Shahenshah  so concerned about the wood , and then, to his bewilderment., took his hand and dragged him off to  sit next to her. Once there, as she assured him that there was no  need for him to be so concerned about her, she held his hand firmly clasped between both of hers. It was not till Jalal pointedly looked down at their entwined hands that she (had to) let go of him and move slightly aside.
What followed was at once sidesplitting and very revealing. Jalal, ever on  the ball,  and having decided to abandon his dhakka  mantra, got back at her for all her earlier stree ke liye lalasa  taunts, though with gentle mischief. He now realized, he asserted,  why she had thrown away his sticks. It was not that she was concerned about his exertions. Not at all. It was really because:
Aapko bahana chahiye tha humaare paas aane ka, humein choone ka, hamare haath to pakadne ka. Aap ne sochaa,  raat kaa andhera hai, aas-paas koi nahin hai, mauk hai, mahaul hai, dastoor hai, to kyun na in sab baton ka faydaa uthaya jai!  Shahenshah  saamne hain, aur aapne bina jataye yeh sab kuchh  kar diya! Waah !
Jodha, caught unawares by this wicked broadside,  neither lashed out in angry denial nor  moved  off to sulk at a safe distance.Instead, she tried to recover lost ground by rushing to pick up the sticks she had thrown  away, merely noting, in a somewhat proforma manner Aisa kuchh bhi nahin hai, her body language seeming to convey   merely exasperation at having been caught out,  and  at Jalal's refusal to play along instead  of exposing her little trick.
I have been repeating this too often of late, but indeed , how much have things changed!
The Teddy Bear & his Sethani: While we are on this topic, whatever  anyone  else  here feels about it, I love this Seth-Sethani gig,  every single bit of it.  I do not care if Jalal looks even more like  a teddy bear, especially when Jodha is imagining him capering about  with unaccustomed  gusto as as the banjara musician.  Incidentally, Jodha  looks gorgeous as the banjaran ,  as she dances with  svelte abandon, and the costume suits her to a T.  
There are so many charming vignettes of them both  that I have lost count.
There is the open amusement in Jodha's face and the quizzical look in Jalal's as the fellow jailmate descrives their  jodi  as kauwe ke chonch mein moti.  She is no end pleased at all the talk of the Shahenshah having acquired such a beautiful begum who was ready  to sacrifice her life  to save his ( I must say the  grapevine in the Mughal sultanate seems to rival the   internet in both speed and reach!) .
Her laughing at herself after  imagining Jalal as the banjara musician, and responding to Jalal's standard issue gripe about not understanding women (strange, but men are still sayong the  same 450 years later!) with a smart putdown Agar samajh nahin sakte, to samajhne ki prayaas kyon karte hain?  Accompanying that by  a little pout, and then tilting her face with a satisfied smile.
Her bustling over to the oven, and persuading the  banjaran, Kaki, hamare bartar ke liye roti banani hai,  and then settling down to the chapati making without  a belan.  A quintessentially wifely desire to cook for her husband. Not to pay off a debt of gratitude, as when she made that fancy lunch for him in Agra, but out of simple caring.
The way she  sits next to  her sethji on that charpoy, one leg bent at the knee and the other folded under her, proferring the  rotis and the water. Exactly  like the  way a farmer's wife sits down next to her husband  in the field and produces his lunch. And watches with proprietary pleasure as he eats it.
When he enquires about the burn in her hand from the tawa, her candid pleasure at  his concern, and her gratitude for it,  is charming in its sincerity. Jodha Begum has now learnt to value this husband of hers, jo use har  waqt palkon par bitatha hai.
And I simply adored the way in which he calls his Sethani Bhagwan. I would have suggested Ramu ki Maa,  but perhaps that would have been too much even for the new  Jodha!
So, I am not one of those who turn their noses up at the Seth-Sethani segments, deriding  them as corny. How else would we have ever got to see such charming domestic scenes between Jodha and Jalal, thanks to the mahaul   and the total privacy? 
Moreover, these scenes are like a series of stepping stones for Jalal and Jodha to get across a morass of misunderstandings, doubts,  lack of faith, and all the malevolent  attentions of several denizens of the Agra palace. And reach  the other shore safely, to a genuinely happy togetherness.
Jalal:   I am sure that like Sandhya - jiski aankhen Jalal ki shamsheer ko jung mein dekhne ke liye taras gayee theen -  the rest of the forum too  is in the seventh heaven after Jalal's unexpected and savage display of shamsheerbaazi  (even if the shamsheer  was borrowed one!). Rajat was as agile and ferocious as ever, and I loved it too,  though the shaky takes robbed it  of the clear cut, raw physicality of the similar display  when  Jalal was escaping from Amer with Abdul.
For the rest, two of Jalal's scenes stand out.
The one, in the jail,  after Jodha pays the jaziya with her jewellery  and  prevents Jalal from being whipped. Jalal says to her  Apni hi mukarrar ki  gayi sazaa ko kaatna bahut kam shahenshaon ke naseeb mein hota hai, Jodha Begum. Aapne hum se yeh mauka cheen liya.
The bitter sense of shame  he feels  at the injustice being done to his subjects  under his rule, his desire to assuage his sense of  guilt by taking the very punishment decreed for them in his name under  harsh and unjust laws, plus the unstated determination to set things right at the earliest - they are all there in Jalal's eyes and face as he looks at a troubled , unsure Jodha. The deep  regret and the (temporary) helpless frustration   are dissolved in the final Khair..  as he leads her away.
It was an unbelievable display of deep, complex emotions conveyed with a single look.
The other is when he is bidding farewell to Todar Mal and his wife.  Never was the  duality of Badal and Jalal more evident than  here. Preeti.r has pointed this out with remarkable perceptiveness on my last thread  of yesterday (please don't ask me where  in those 53 pages!).
As she has noted, even earlier, while asking whose portrait is the one on the wall, he is all unsophisticated curiosity as Badal. Once he learns that it is Sher Shah Suri's. his voice cracks like  a whiplash Yeh yahan kya kar raha hai?  It is pure Jalal, and Todar Mal must have been startled, and possibly alerted to the  fact  that this is no Sethji.
He takes leave of Todar Mal as Badal, but when he  receives the Shahi mohar,  inspects it,   and comments on  it, the tone of voice and the quick assertiveness are Jalal's.
Finally,  after listening with unwinking attention to Todar Mal's exposition of his personal code of chivalry and war, when he says that Todar Mal is a bhalmanus, he is pure Badal. But in the same breath, whem he assures his host that he will remember the lesson he has learnt from his for the rest of his life,  he becomes all Jalal.
This scene also brings out, once more, Jalal's ability, like the swan of  myth, to  separate and drink only the milk and discard the water. Akbar kept  up this trait all his life,  no matter from whom he learnt something useful. It was one of the special attributes that made him Akbar.
Todar Mal: He is calm, dignified, perceptive, astute,  and has a flair for doing exactly the right thing at the right time.  He turns Jalal's hostility towards him   into acceptance and appreciation by gifting him the shahi mohar of the Emperor Humayun. With that one stroke, he achieves three things.
One, he shows his profound gratitude to  (the supposed) Badal for saving his life.
Two, he defuses Jalal's enmity towards him by telling him how he got the shahi mohar.
Three, he makes it clear, thru the very special nature of  the gift, that he recognizes who Badal really is. At the same time, by preserving the Shahenshah's incognito, he displays his impeccable discretion.
No wonder that Jalal dockets him away in his mental card index as a very valuable find, whom  he will summon to Agra at the soonest. The Navaratnas  are slowly taking shape.
Precap: I feel  sorry for Ruqaiya from time to time, especially now, seeing that she is pathetically ill-equipped to cope with what is going to hit her very soon. But last night, I was very sorry to see her land up so soon. I want more of  the delightful Badal-Kajri duo, and I feel irritated at  the prospect of  being shortchanged. 
Well, let us hope that she baulks at the prospect of traipsing with Jalal-Jodha on foot on bad roads, and pushes off  in a palkhi while our Seth and Sethani  meander leisurely  across the countryside communing with nature and the riyaya. Their entourage can  be extricated from  prison  in due course, perhaps  by Ruqaiya and her escort. The prospect of that daroga facing  the Malika-e-Khaas is too delightful to be missed!
Shyamala B.Cowsik
PS: For those curious about the Camelot in the title of this one and my last one, Camelot was not only  the castle of the mythical King Arthur,  but is a  place,  like Shangri La, where all is calm and bright, and serene minds and hearts are in perfect harmony. I see  both Jalal and Jodha approaching their personal Camelot on this journey together. I hope I am proved right.

sashashyam
Glittering Gold
Glittering Gold

Posts : 855
Join date : 2013-08-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

Post by megharanjini on 2014-02-16, 10:04

Wonderful post Shyamala

megharanjini
Beginner
Beginner

Posts : 34
Join date : 2013-11-09

Back to top Go down

Re: Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

Post by Manasvi on 2014-02-16, 10:10

Shymala, you made the whole thing come alive all over again with your superbly splendid writeup. Loved how you put the gist of the last 2 episodes so beautifully. Take a bow!

Rajat and Paridhi and the creatives have totally floored me. Man, I am watching the last 3 episodes starting with their expedition in the marwari costume and the boat ride as aam admi. You really feel the chemistry between the leads. Simply superb. No show in the recent past has had me so hooked on to the TV. The ease with which Rajat and Paridhi switch between Marwari/Rajasthani and Hindi/Urdu, all with the right accent and diction makes it delectable. Their command over the language is very commendable.

Manasvi
Shining Silver
Shining Silver

Posts : 331
Join date : 2013-10-21

Back to top Go down

Re: Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

Post by anurao66 on 2014-02-16, 10:54

Shyamala.

It was sheer pleasure to read your brilliant post where you have described the episodes. Thank you for giving us such a pleasure.

anurao66
Dazzling Diamond

Posts : 9171
Join date : 2013-02-04
Age : 50
Location : Chennai

Back to top Go down

Re: Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

Post by pollyanna on 2014-02-16, 22:27

Superb post Aunty......loved the saanjhe part in particular :)

pollyanna
Channel Moderator
Channel Moderator

Posts : 5890
Join date : 2013-02-02
Location : Bangalore,India

Back to top Go down

Re: Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

Post by Maria J on 2014-02-16, 22:51

Loved reading u  hpee

Maria J
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 8584
Join date : 2013-02-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

Post by sashashyam on 2014-02-17, 13:34

Thank you so much, Manasvi, and as for your comments, I agree completely. Paridhi is now coming into her own, and Rajat was always superb.ShyamalaManasvi wrote:Shymala, you made the whole thing come alive all over again with your superbly splendid writeup. Loved how you put the gist of the last 2 episodes so beautifully. Take a bow!

Rajat and Paridhi and the creatives have totally floored me. Man, I am watching the last 3 episodes starting with their expedition in the marwari costume and the boat ride as aam admi. You really feel the chemistry between the leads. Simply superb. No show in the recent past has had me so hooked on to the TV. The ease with which Rajat and Paridhi switch between Marwari/Rajasthani and Hindi/Urdu, all with the right accent and diction makes it delectable. Their command over the language is very commendable.

sashashyam
Glittering Gold
Glittering Gold

Posts : 855
Join date : 2013-08-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

Post by sashashyam on 2014-02-17, 13:35

Thank you so much, Maria Shyamala B.CowsikMaria J wrote:Loved reading u  hpee

sashashyam
Glittering Gold
Glittering Gold

Posts : 855
Join date : 2013-08-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

Post by sashashyam on 2014-02-17, 13:36

Thank YOU, my dear Anu, for without such discerning readers,where would I be? So the pleasure is all mine! Shyamala B.Cowsikanurao66 wrote:Shyamala.

It was sheer pleasure to read your brilliant post where you have described the episodes. Thank you for giving us such a pleasure.

sashashyam
Glittering Gold
Glittering Gold

Posts : 855
Join date : 2013-08-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

Post by sashashyam on 2014-02-17, 13:37

Thank you, Megha, I am glad you liked it so much! Shyamalamegharanjini wrote:Wonderful post Shyamala

sashashyam
Glittering Gold
Glittering Gold

Posts : 855
Join date : 2013-08-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

Post by Maria J on 2014-02-17, 14:15

sashashyam wrote:
Thank you so much, Maria Shyamala B.CowsikMaria J wrote:Loved reading u  hpee
Thank you very much for posting.. Love ur posts..  Starry Love

Maria J
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 8584
Join date : 2013-02-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

Post by sashashyam on 2014-02-17, 15:59

Thank you, my dear Pallavi! Shyamala Auntypollyanna wrote:Superb post Aunty......loved the saanjhe part in particular :)

sashashyam
Glittering Gold
Glittering Gold

Posts : 855
Join date : 2013-08-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

Post by sharmibalan on 2014-02-17, 16:31

Hi Shymala......a very nice post...loved reading it...:)

sharmibalan
Glittering Gold
Glittering Gold

Posts : 770
Join date : 2013-02-04

Back to top Go down

Re: Jodha Akbar 172-173: At long last, Camelot !

Post by Sponsored content Today at 09:52


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum