In my previous article I had speculated why it is possible that Shehnaaz can be Akbar’s elder sister Aqiqa Sultan in Jodha Akbar. However, balancing the speculation I would now focus on the opposite side i.e. Why Shehnaaz Can’t be Akbar’s Elder Sister Aqiqa Sultan in Jodha Akbar.
Aqiqa Sultan Was Only 4 years Younger to Hamida Banu Begum
Aqiqa Sultan during the Battle of Chausa was 8 years old. Now, Battle of Chausa happened in the year 1939, which means Aqiqa was born to Bega Begum aka Haji Begum in the year 1931. Aqiqa was the second child of Humayun and Bega Begum. Their first born was a boy Al-Aman Mirza who was born in the year 1928. Unfortunately, he died in his childhood or else he would have been the third emperor and not Jallaluddin Mohammed.
On the other hand, Hamida Banu Begum, Akbar’s mother was born in the year 1527, just 4 years before Aqiqa. So, how can Shehnaaz be Aqiqa (as assumed by many of the Jodha Akbar fans) because if Aqiqa was alive she would have been roughly the same age of Hamida Begum and not someone as young as Jodha and Akbar as shown in the serial.
However, now that we see Shehnaaz roughly the same age as Jodha and Akbar, it is apparent that she cannot be Akbar’s elder sister Aqiqa Sultan. In that case, the only connection of Shehnaaz with Aqiqa could be that of Daughter – Mother.
Aqiqa Sultan Was Lost and Never Found
There is no historical evidences that Aqiqa Sultan was ever found, which made it apparent that either the 8 year old girl died in the killings by Aghan soldiers of Sher Khan or she might have drowned in the Ganges along with two other Begums – Chand Begum and Shaad Begum.
But, but, but, Jodha Akbar is purely a fictional drama and here in the show even Chand Begum is said to be alive – She has sent a note to Akbar via Jodha. Also, Todermal has said that he had escorted Chand Begum into the harem of Humayun.
So, Is Shehnaaz Chand Begum’s Daughter?
Fictionally, if Chand Begum can be alive even Aqiqa Sultan can be alive or perhap’s Chand Begum’s fictional daughter as well. Because, going by the age structure Aqiqa Sultan cannot be Shehnaaz, however, she can be Chand Begum’s daughter (you never know the show might come up that Chand Begum disappeared when she was pregnant) then she can be roughly the same age of Akbar or 3 to 4 years elder to him.
Shehnaaz can’t be Akbar’s elder sister Aqiqa Sultan but she can fictionally be Chand Begum’s daughter, if the show tries to come up with a whole new concept that pregnant Chand Begum was alive and not dead post Battle of Chausa.
If Sher Shah Suri could Escort Bega Begum, He Could Escort Aqiqa too
Being a 8 year old girl, it is quite possible that Aqiqa might have lost her life in the battle because had she been alive, Sher Shah Suri, would have escorted her back to Humayun’s harem along with her mother Bega Begum.
Chances of her being alive is very slim because that fateful night witnessed heavy downpour where even the adults drowned. In addition, don’t you think Humayun being a ruler would have done a lot of search and investigation after Aqiqa went missing. Since, neither Humayun nor Sher Shah could get hold of Aqiqa, it is mostly possible that Aqiqa Sultan might have died. Besides, if Shehnaaz is shown as Chand Begam’s daughter then one must admire the writer’s creative mind for the fictional twist and turn!
By: Deepti Verma
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