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Jodha Akbar 302-303: The Atifa Code 2

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Jodha Akbar 302-303: The Atifa Code 2

Post by sashashyam on 2014-08-10, 15:34


Here we go again,  and this time, I can promise all my long suffering readers that this one is going to be much shorter ! hpee

So let us start with the Thursday episode,the one  of revelations, and analyse it in  exactly the same manner as  for the five previous ones,  ie in terms of Jalal-Jodha and Jalal-Atifa.

Please note that it  is being done without pre-judging the TE issue. If it turns out that Jalal was executing a convoluted plan of his own to  outwith his enemies, well then,  he is so convincing in these episodes that the denouement will be all the more satisfying!

Moreover, all the convoluted theories and  counter theories as to who is whose mole on my last thread literally made my head spin. I cannot afford to spend time on such stuff at my age, and then  I have 2 episode analyses for Yudh,  my real love, still pending, so I am NOT going into any of these theories. 

The real plus points for me in these last 7 episodes have been

- the disappearance, undoubtedly  temporary, alas, of Begum Mahachuchak and her bald sidekick, and at the Agra end, of Javeda,and

-Atifa, who, papaya-like or not, Sandhya, is a pleasant, non-OTT presence. She does not coquette, does not put herself forward, and does not draw back when closeness is  needed.  Plus she knows how to hug Jalal as if she meant it, unlike you-know-who hpee . I am thus enjoying the Jalal-Atifa scenes while they last. Soon enough, we will be back to the diabetes-inducing  gushing by Jalal and the coy smiles, with the mandatory 2 1/2 feet of separation, from Jodha. If they add the twins and billing and cooing over them, I shall really run away  hpee , Yudh or no Yudh.  I am not interested in juvenile romance.

Episode 302:

Jalal-Atifa: Humein iski nahin, aapki zaroorat hai.. Jalal smiles up at Atifa contentedly, like a purring cat that has just eaten all the cream, as she carefully wipes all the sweat off his face, with a kind of sweet and gentle  coquetry.

But what intrigued me in this passage was the very curious expression on Jalal's face as he repeats what Atifa has just told him: Ruqaiya Begum ne  aapko bheja  hai .. It could be instant perception of Ruqaiya's game plan of  using Atifa to Jodha's disadvantage. It could be recognition of the accommodating thoughtfulness of his best friend. It is  ambiguous, and therein lies its  fascination.

Later, after  he has suddenly learnt, courtesy Todar Mal, that Atifa is going to be taken away from Agra by her husband after Eid,  Jalal goes straight to her rooms. He finds a woebegone Atifa, who weeps in his arms and confesses that though she had said nothing when he had told her his  dil ki baat the night before, ab mujhe ehsaas ho gaya hai ki mera dil kya chahta hai... She does not speak of loving him, but  that she has never felt so safe,  mehfoos,   as she does now  with him, and she does not want to go away from him.

What Jalal says then  is so strong that it seems to rock the TE (teda emperor) theory a good bit.  Tumhare jaane ki khabar sunte hi humein ehsaas hua ki tumhare bina hamara koyi wajood nahin hai. Very strong words, that speak of a sudden fit of deewaangee,  of an overmastering need for this woman, than of  a carefully  planned act of deception. But of course the TE, if that  is who it  turns out to be, is probably laying  it on thick to carry total conviction!

NB: The way Atifa hugs Jalal  is so natural that it makes  the painfully correct marital embraces of Jalal and Jodha look even more  stilted and artificial. No one  hugs anyone else the way our  leads do!  hpee 

The Mughal-e-Azam parallel: Well, it is not quite a parallel, but the scene when Jalal and Atifa are embracing each other , and Amanullah Khan, Atifa's husband, makes a sudden entry and glares at them  from the entrance, reminded me forcibly of a scene in the K Asif classic of forbidden love. This is when  Akbar  surprises Anarkali in Salim's rooms. Fleeing from him,  she runs headlong into Salim's arms, and as if she could feel the fury in Akbar's gaze even from behind, she crumples with fear and slides,  limply, to the floor at Salim's feet  as he  stares defiantly  back at his  father.  The only thing missing here was Atifa  sliding to the floor at Jalal's feet!

What followed between Jalal and Amanullah brought back the old Jalal of the first few episodes.  Ramrod stiff, his hands behind his back, eyes sneering in cold contempt and the jaw set rock hard. The voice that cracks like a whiplash as he utters, in sudden fury, Ise haath lagane ki himakat nahin karna, badzaat!, which  brings Amanullah Khan up  short as if he had been punched in the solar plexus.  The icy arrogance with which he commands Amanullah  to be gone forthwith, and the level,  cold, considering gaze  with  which he looks at his retreating figure.

Now Amanullah Khan is clearly in the right as far as the  law goes,  and  the prevailing (and even our present ) social mores as well. Jalal can hardly argue that Amanullah's condemnable  mistreatment of his wife would automatically dissolve the nikaah  between him and Atifa. But then that is exactly what he claims, and   he does not feel any need to argue the point, nor does he care  to whom the angry husband goes, the qazi  or the wazir, or anyone else.

Atifa will not  go with Amanullah, and there  is now no relationship betweem them, because Shahenshah Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar says so.

It is a perfect example of the  medieval concept of droit de seigneur (the master's right), that the overlord had a right to every woman  in his realm  who pleased him,  except that here there is no question of  zabardasti,  and Atifa wants to stay back  as much as Jalal wants her  to remain with him.


This was all from Jodha's side, for there was no Jodha- Jalal scene at all. Jodha launches into  a torrent of lamentations after she stumbles, courtesy Ruqaiya, on the towelling scene between Jalal and Atifa and  is then subjected to  a spiteful tirade by the Begum-e-Khaas as well.

Ruqaiya's pent up bitterness at  having had to cope, down the years,  with one favourite after the other absorbing Jalal's attention, be it only for short spells, came thru strikingly as she articulates,  her face twisted with the memories she cannot erase: Phir koyi aur, phir koyi aur.. It was a superb take on corrosive disappointment and what it had done to her.

To revert to Jodha, Kanha is loudly berated, all of Jalal's OTT declarations   on their suhaag raat  night about his eternal love  for her which would lead to his being remembered in history only as Jodha ka Jalal  (which made me shudder then, and are best forgotten!  hpee )  are dug out and wept over.

Poor Moti has to use up her limited stock of expressions to convey  sympathy and offer consolation Yeh thode samay ka bhatkao hoga..

Then Salima appears to offer the mandatory shoulder for Jodha to cry on, and lament Na jaane Shahenshah mujhe kis apradh ka dand de rahe hain ,   and this after Jalal has loudly berated her for the Khyber fiasco, both before and after!

But then Jodha can never ever see where and how she has gone wrong. It is hard-wired into her DNA. But the difference now is that the rock  hard self-righteousness of the past has now been replaced by fear. Fear of the loss of something precious, her jeevan ka ek matra aadhar, Shahenshah ka prem.

The  extent of this fear was clear from her declaring to Salima that if the Shahenshah was angry with her , she was ready  to fall at his feet and do a kshama yaachana.  This from a  wife who had never so far made  the  traditional  Hindu gesture of touching her husband's feet after offering  him the puja aarti (the contrast with the Jodha in the film in this respect is marked).  I have never understood why Jodha is here never shown following this  traditional custom.

While I did  feel for Jodha in her misery, I could not help thinking that it was all for the best. We might, just might, at the end of this track, get a Jodha who does not take  Jalal so much for granted.

Episode 303:

Jalal-Jodha: Well, the blow up that ostensibly began with the Champavat patra   and ended with the  Ab humein lagta hai ki aap uske (Jalal ke dil ke) layak nahin hain..   produced a strong sense of , what else dj vu ( seen already).

NB: It is not quite clear to me where  it is indicated, as has been speculated in my last thread,  that the letter from the princess of Champavat was  a trap for Jodha.  A trap for what? To engineer yet another rift between Jodha and Jalal? If so, how could the plotter assume that Jodha would not go to Jalal with it, as she would normally have done? My take on it would be that the princess was obviously caught red handed with this message by her father the Raja,  and promptly, and understandably,  ditched Jodha Begum and claimed that she knew nothing about it and  it  was all Jodha's own  initiative!

As for the discrepancy in the way the Raja makes it out to be, and what Jodha tells the sakhi,  there is no real difference at all. We are never told what Jodha wrote in that letter, and what she tells the girl who takes is that she will not anything contrary to the princess' desires happen. Which is tantamount to saying that she will stop the wedding. Plus, even if jodha had shown Jalal the princess' letter, he would still ask why she responded to  it without his permission, and he would be right.

To revert, Jalal, starting off with a furious and entirely pertinent question as to why she took it upon herself to try and sabotage the wedding he had himself arranged, and this without even consulting him, then proceeded to demonstrate how Jodha has always been able to get the better of him in their arguments . He let her push his valid anger to the backbench, and instead pin  him to the wall with her counterdemand  about whether he was in a relationship with a married woman.  He could not  get  his question back on track for all his  declaring that he was there to get  answers, and not to give them. He was forced to say that yes, he was in such a relationship.

Old habits, clearly, die hard! Round 1 to Jodha.

He then sought to recover lost ground by digging up all his old grouses about her preferrring a  janwar's  life to his (he forgot to add "prestige", but let that pass!)  her repeated  naafarmaani,  her making him lose face in public, her having used his mohabbat   and the powers he had given her against him. And so on and on and  on. It sounded like an LP stuck in  one track.   hpee 

The only new element was his blaming Jodha squarely for his having fallen in love again, which was rather a  good comeback.

Jodha, during all of this, did and said precisely nothing. She totally sidelined her weakest point- the Champavat letter - and  continued to stare at Jalal  with large, limpid,  tear-filled eyes. She probably recalled his having told her again and again that he could not bear to  see her in tears.  It was a neat move.

Round 2  was thus a draw.

But this time, Jalal had worked himself up too much to cool off at once, plus the incident with the Raja of Champavat was  more humiliating that even the fiasco  of the Khyber execution, for that was limited to the court and the  local awaam, whereas this involved an outsider, who would clearly despise a ruler who could not control even his wife.  

So he declared, before  winding up and leaving, that yes, he had mohabbat  for Atifa, and saw nothing to be ashamed about in it. Nor did he feel that he  had  made any galti in  doing so, and in fact his biggest  galti had been to fall in love  with her, Jodha, and give his heart into her keeping and trust her, whereupon she had proceeded to trample it underfoot. 

It was all very OTT and  more than a tad defensive,  and he had forgotten to pursue the Champavat letter issue as well.  hpee 

Still,  he ended on a high note, looked back at her with his trademark half sneer,  with eyes bright and angry, and pushed off, leaving Jodha standing there looking like a statue of despair (and Mahaam rejoicing outside).

Round 3 to Jalal.

The Shabbe Qadr and the Zakat:  I am sure a great deal will be made across  the forum of the deep, sombre look Jalal gives Jodha when he does a drop by at the all night prayer meeting.  And even more so of the way he calls out to her after she has finished reporting on the arrangements made of the  zakat distribution to the poor and the Eidi gifts for the palace staff.

I frankly could not quite make out either.  The first was probably because he feels, in the end and as usual,  guilty for chewing her out (or trying to)  earlier in the day. After all, it is always he who apologises; Jodha, ever convinced that right is on her side, very rarely does.  But it was significant that she senses his presence even before she spots him.

As for the second, he deliberately avoids calling her to distribute the gifts with him, and he tells this only to the servitor, not knowing that Jodha is within earshot, so it is not meant for her hearing.  Next, when she is  detailing the arrangements, he looks  at her without either anger or softness.  It is a level, considering, inscrutable look. 

And when he calls out to her, the tone  of the Jodha Begum  is very interesting. It is neither pleading nor angry.  It is  as if he was calling her to tell her something, but by the time he gets up and approaches her, she has left. He does not call after her, so he  might have changed his mind about telling her whatever it was he had in mind.

The TE option: These are the parts that tie in the closest with the  Teda Emperor  option. If Jalal is indeed engaged in an devious plot of his own, which he has not revealed to Jodha because he cannot trust her discretion or allow for  her rashness,  then these two scenes can be interpreted as a point where he wants, while  keeping up the public image of having had a serious falling out with Jodha and falling for Atifa,  to keep Jodha in the loop to some extent to prevent her from becoming too depressed and falling ill, or doing something rash.

That this was necessary is shown in the precap,  where Jodha is, as usual, going to save Khyber, or at least to see how to help him. But  of course he has to fail to warn her,  for otherwise how would we get to see the cliffside rescue?  Jodha's babies must be made of stern stuff to last unharmed thru all this jolting and literal cliffhanging!  hpee 

I do not see why there is speculation about Jodha trying to commit suicide. How  on earth can she commit suicide by falling into a well that is closed with a solid frame of metal bars? What I want to know is

-          How did  Jodha know where precisely Khyber was imprisoned and how did she get there  in the dark?

-          How did Khyber climb out of the  pit by himself?

Finally, I too would love it if it could be shown in the end that Jalal was doing all this wooing of Atifa and  risking a zinakari  charge with a teda plan in mind, to unmask someone - Atifa? Her husband? - who was working to get him dethroned on this pretext, failing all else.

If one pursues this option seriously, many  small points, like Atifa somehow managing to get into the Shahi hamaam at just the right time to run into Jalal alone, or Atifa's veil coming off in the Diwan-e-Khas so opportunely, would fall into place.

But to fit this theory in properly,  one would have to completely reboot the baby-faced, sweet, pliant Atifa, who  seems  to be  a very unlikely seductress, as I had noted in my earlier post. And if she was simply declared overnight to have been a subtler version of Benazir,  and in Mahachuchak's employ, why that would be a great letdown by being so very predictable.

As I wrote earlier, I am not  an automatic convert to  the Teda Emperor theory, nor am I against it. It is just that it is too simple, which is probably why it will happen. The CVs  prefer to keep things simple, believing, very likely with reason, that their audience neither understands nor relishes psychological complexity.
Plus, they are hardly of the Hercule Poirot school, insisting that the final theory must account for every single fact, or be discarded.  For example, Jalal fuming to himself as he strides angrily after countermanding Khyber's execution, and raging internally about Jodha's having made a laughing stock of him and his love, cannot be explained by the TE theory, so it will simply be ignored, in the well-founded belief that the audience will neither spot this lacuna nor care about it.

Also the TE option does not seem too  likely, going by the  Tasleem and the Benazir precedents, but  then again, hope dies hard in the human breast! And maybe the CVs might want to compensate Jalal's fans for the depths to which he was reduced  in the Mirchi War track.  But if they choose to do it this way, it might end up as  OTT and unconvincing as the other track was unbearable.

Barring this Teda Emperor  hope , one will have to fall back on the zinakari charge being dismissed on some technical ground. I do not  see how Jodha can possibly save  Jalal on this one, but then the word "impossible" does not exist in the bakwaas  dictionary (apologies to Chennai Express!)  of the Jodha Akbar CVs hpee  . I can only hope not!

For now, the story, such as it  is, seems to be hanging, literally, on the edge of a rock face.  So much for a cliffhanger of a climax! As soon as she is rescued, what would you  bet that Jodha's first  question would be: Us nadaan, nasamajh Khyber ko  adhik chot to nahin  pahunchi, Shahenshah? hpee   

Shyamala B.Cowsik

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Re: Jodha Akbar 302-303: The Atifa Code 2

Post by adianasr on 2014-08-10, 16:44

Shyamala, if one thinks of as Atifa having been sent to distract the Emperor then the girl playing the role is a mismatch - but if one looks at her being sent to harm Jodha's pregnancy and having deduced that, Jalal diverting her towards himself with this being attracted to her scenario - the TE option becomes evident - also if you had seen the last part of thursday epi where Jalal tells Amanullah Khan to go climb a tree - just look at the exchange between these two - Atifa and Amanullah - they have that look of abb kya karen as in they have no idea what is happening and where it is all going - and it is here that Amanullah then threatens to go to the Qazi - at which too he falls flat - yet 'manfully' decides to go ahead.


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Re: Jodha Akbar 302-303: The Atifa Code 2

Post by mandygi on 2014-08-11, 11:33

shyamala, i too am enjoying jalal atifa scenes they look so natural and i have seen glow on rajat's face and he seems to be enjoying the track!


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Re: Jodha Akbar 302-303: The Atifa Code 2

Post by ela on 2014-08-25, 18:29

Excellent take Shyamala......Liked Jallu especially when he called Papita badzat......Want to press like button to ur post but don't know how to....


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Re: Jodha Akbar 302-303: The Atifa Code 2

Post by sashashyam on 2014-08-26, 11:27

Thanks a lot, Ela dear, but have you seen my latest, An accordion finish, on the  resurrection of Adiana's TE? Do take a look at it; I have PMed you.  See if you like it.Shyamalaela wrote:Excellent take Shyamala......Liked Jallu especially when he called Papita badzat......Want to press like button to ur post but don't know how to....

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Re: Jodha Akbar 302-303: The Atifa Code 2

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