Woah !!! It seemed like Jodha Akbar was a weak and diluted version of Ramsey’s horror movie incorporating all the elements of a horror show – There was the ghostly moonlight , There was the ghoulish laughter of the Vamp, There was the Dracula ( succubus ) effect with red eyes , a Fantasy factor was inserted with a Vishkanya getting her fix by getting bitten by a cobra and almost biting off the poor cobra’s head in her eagerness to get her high ! How can one forget the catfights between two beautiful dolls vying to win the heart of the hero, we had that too! Now comes the stamp, the mother of all stamps which surely puts this episode into the portals of “Horror” show THE HAND OF GOD! Yes, The munificent God acts as the pointer and exposes the real threat to Jalal ! Phew!!! A full 3 hour movie in 20 mins ! Truly a laudable feat.
One felt that the episode was finely woven with each links interconnecting beautifully and seamlessly, the hotch potch and jerky scenes that was the norm until yesterday came together coalescing into a perfect episode, the Ramsay effect notwithstanding.
Vishkanya ! The stuff of folklore, the toxic maidens who were used by Chanakya extensively to rid Magadh of its rivals makes a comeback in fifteenth century love story! Benazir is that Vishkanya who consumes venom like one consumes lemonades. Jodha who had become increasingly suspicious of Benazir gets her proof through the machination of the Lord! Casting aside the validity of whether Vishkanaya existed or not , lets delegate it under the creative liberties of the writers, the subsequent actions of Jodha clearly does not speak well of a queen who was renowned for her dignity , her intelligence . What does happen? Jodha forthwith rushes to meet Jalal , commands the guard to reveal his whereabouts , gets to know that Jalal his spending his ‘night’ in Ruqaiyya begum’s apartment. THIS ought to have been the moment when Jodha paused for a second, wondered at the feasibility of interrupting the king when he is with his queen but such thought do not even enter her head as she marches on to Ruqaiyya’s Boudoir with a single minded intention of alerting Jalal to the perils of allowing Benazir close to him.
Jodha reaches Ruqaiyya’s apartment , demands that the maid should allow her in as she has some ‘private and urgent ‘ business with Jalal , The maid respectfully informs Jodha that Ruqaiyya has forbidden the entry or interruption of ANYBODY on that night which ought to have soothed the disturbed mind of Jodha , for if Ruqaiyya has placed a curfew in and around her apartment, it means that Benazir cannot make her approach nor kill Jalal that night but no..Like a simple minded soul who is capable of only one thought at a given time, Jodha wants to inform Jalal Pronto!! While it might be considered as an attempt to underline the caring aspect of Jodha and her growing softer feelings for her Pati, it belittles her intelligence. The creators should clearly finetune their balancing of Jodha as a compassionate girl without undermining her intelligence and dignity.
Ruqaiyya predictably refuses to allow Jodha in to meet Jalal and issues a veiled warning to Jodha not to trespass. The character of Ruqaiyya was always a interesting one. A pampered princess, The only one who could claim friendship as well as a wifeship with Jalal. She is a woman who is conscious of the power she wields, is possessive of the power that comes with being the honored consort of Jalal , Ruqaiyya is a woman who jealously guards her turf , one hint of trouble , a challenge to her position and she can turn ruthless which is what Ruqaiyya has become. She has identified Jodha as the potential challenger to her position and is taking measures to ward Jodha off. What surprises one is that Ruqaiyya has reached this conclusions due to the deft manipulation of Maham Anga, where is the famed brain, the clinical, dispassionate intelligence of Ruqaiyya which could sum the intentions of people accurately ?? where is that Ruqaiyya who had pledged friendship and gifted a diamond as a token of gratitude to Jodha ! Ruqaiyya today had a very important line to deliver today, She says to Jodha” I will ensure that you remain far from Jalal and that you get thrown out of the harem sooner”. Does this imply that Maham and Ruqaiyya enter into unholy alliance to throw Jodha out of Agra , out of Jalal’s life ? Is the separation of Jodha and Jalal looming nearer? The incipient signs seem to hint at that, don’t they?
One thoughtless gesture, a bit of clever manipulations by Maham , the fledgling friendship of Jalal and Jodha lies in dire straits , A relationship that was beginning to form on the basis of trust, respect, admiration now wobbles on a shaky foundation , the foundation made all the more weaker by the actions of Raja Bharmal. The suppressed frustration , the controlled anger has begun to take a toll with Jalal beginning to move away from Jodha, while Jodha remains bewildered at the change in him , sensing the anger but not knowing the reason, her every attempt to be amiable is rebuffed.
Does this invoke compassion on Jodha’s plight ? It does not! If one were to look at the situation dispassionately, Jodha was having the cake and eating it too without actually giving anything in return to the relationship, She began to soften when she begun to understand that her conception of Jalal was not accurate, but her efforts are slow and are hampered by her own lack of understanding of the relationship, of Jalal’s feelings, the pressures that he is subjected too . Jodha has begun to realize the importance of Jalal in her life but has not yet calibrated WHY he is important, until that realization this relationship will be akin to a boat adrift on choppy waters.