Joined: 23 December 2006
Friends, I thought yesterday's episode was a reasonably good improvement on the episodes we saw all of last week. We can't say that storywise there was much movement, but certainly the scenes between Jodha and Jalal together, and even their scenes separately, seemed more satisfactory than they have been before. I have no doubt that the collective mass-telephoning of the Zee office by our forum members has had some impact on the Creatives, and even if they haven't yet been able to turn the story and the track around sharply, there was something in the episode to feel that they may have heard our messages. I am saying this with cautious optimism, though, because we know the Creatives are unreliable. All we can say is "So far so good!".
Ben continued to be the irritant - from the start of the episode (the scene where she talks of the paigam to her Ammaji falling into Jalal's hands) to the last scene of the episode (where Jalal and Adham seem overly-brotherly and plan a men's only jashn with the Great Benazir dancing for them). The Creatives seem to have understood however, that none of us want her anywhere near Jalal, and have promised to end her track soon. But curiously, although the episode began and ended with Ben, the episode itself seemed to have an entirely different focus for me.
Almost all the scenes seemed to be all about Jalal and Jodha trying different ways to shield each other!
This is my reading of the episode:
There were at least four scenes that showed us that Jalal definitely knows something about the khatra to his life and the plots of his enemies, but he is keeping that knowledge secret to himself. Meanwhile, in the same scenes he also showed two other things: one, that he is trying to keep that khatra knowledge as far away from Jodha as possible; and two, there are clear indications that for public consumption Jalal is keeping up pretences that he is still upset with Jodha, but in private he is not at all as miffed with her as he used to be!
It thus looks like he has a three-point plan and is buying time ... he is trying to get his grip on the truth by giving his enemies and long rope to hang themselves, rather than accosting them openly about their plots ... and meanwhile he is able to see that Jodha fears for his life danger but he is deliberately, it seems, either brushing off her fears or talking of Ben or of other things to keep her off the topic of his life danger ... and a part of his enemy-trapping plan seems to be to give the continuing impression that he is miffed with Jodha still about the spurning (whereas privately he is not so angry with her any more).
I have a small doubt that perhaps this Rahim has already pieced together the Jodha letter to Jalal and Jalal has come to know the truth already on that issue, but for reasons of his own he may be pretending not to know about that yet and is acting upset with Jodha still to be able to watch the movements of his enemies (including Maham)? I wouldn't be surprised if they later show us in flashback that Rahim has re-read the correct paigam from Jodha to Jalal a few days back itself, and thus set right Jalal's misperceptions of Jodha and cast his doubts on Maham. Thus parallel to the exposure of Ben on the vishkanya plot we may also have a quasi-exposure of Maham on the Jodha paigam issue. Let's see if this prediction of mine comes true ...
Meanwhile here are my pick of the four Jalal scenes where he seemed to know the truth, but seemed to be shielding Jodha from the truth, while also giving the imppression that he was continuing to be miffed with Jodha and playing Ben against her.
Jalal asks Ben regarding the paigam to her Ammaji:
The scene opened with Ben expressing worry to her baandhi that the paigam to her mother had received no reply and it may have fallen into Jalal's hands. Ben then told her baandhi, if that was the case she had to finish off Jalal in haste, because there was very little time left before she could get exposed! Just then the summons from Jalal came, signalling the worst.
Jalal directly opened the topic of the letter with Ben when she appeared before him. Jalal's questions were very sharp. What language is this written in? Why the need for the Awadhi language? Ben seemed to reply readily and smoothly, albeit a bit hesistantly. She said her own mother was a non-Muslim, an Awadhi who later converted her religion, and she was used to talking to her own mother in Awadhi. Now this is where I suspect Jalal played a hidden hand regarding Jodha ... Jalal acted as if he was still upset with Jodha, because there was a short sentence by Jalal praising Ben's mother for changing her religion when Jodha Begum wouldn't! But this sentence belies the whole background story where Jalal supported Jodha's decision not to convert to Islam. So we must assume that Jalal was just trying to give Ben the impression he was still "against Jodha' but he wasn't actually!
Ben also then tried to seduce him by hugging him and getting close to his face, which itself must have been a dead giveaway to a sharp guy ... why should a suspicious a lady being questioned suddenly start getting coy with him? Jalal was not rude to Ben, in fact he was careful to act complacent, but he did brush her off, he seemed not to be too impressed with her wiles, and then said in a bit of double meaning "I believe you" ... and then he sent her off, and sent off the paigam to its intended owner (that Jalal seemed to know was not her mother but Abul Mali). Throughout this interchange I thought Jalal's eyes showed he had got the grip on this situation and was weighing the result of this paigam on Abul Mali.
The hair massage scene with Jodha when Jalal knew of the khatra
The second scene when Jalal betrayed he already knew the khatra to his life came during the garden head massage. Jodha was combing and massaging Shivani's hair in the garden when Jalal insisted Shivani vacate his usual place where he got his daily head massages from Jodha! Shivani then wanted to see the Ambe Ma temple in the city but Jalal refused permission saying "masonry repairs were going on" (an opener for Tejwant to become part of the marammat team?). Jalal then told Shivani more lies that he and Jodha regularly went to the temple together. These were all such blatant lies that Jodha was thrown. But notice, folks, how her mind had been preoccupied all day with this khatra to Jalal's life. She wanted so much to talk to him about it ... but with his smart lies he just sidelined her from broaching the topic uppermost in her mind, even as he kept Shivani in the group talking to them and not leaving them. Then again the topic veered elsewhere when Jalal switched it to talks of Ben, thus giving even Shivani the feeling that Ben was being pitted against Jodha in his affections.
I thought it was all a masterly performance by Jalal to keep the banter with Jodha light, to continue to give the impression to all that he was favouring Ben against a jealous Jodha - and yet he was cleverly also fobbing off Jodha's worries about the plot to his life. Eventually, when they were alone, Jodha did broach the subject to him directly, but he said he'd already heard it from Hakim Mirza and was not too fazed. He left soon thereafter, discouraging any further talk between himself and Jodha on this subject, and left Jodha frustrated that she had not been able to impress him with the urgency of the situation ... but in his eyes there was a gleam of cleverness at what he had done. He had sidetracked Jodha adroitly on this topic! But all the while, his eyes reflected his sharp mind ticking away on the subject of his jaan in khatra!
Jalal and Jodha at the tulsi prayer
Things seemed to come to a head for Jodha in the tulsi prayer scene. She was as usual doing her tulsi ki aarti, when suddenly Jalal was standing in front of her. But her worries for his life from these past days had come to become such a heavy burden on her, that she suddenly saw hallucinations of soldiers running for his life with a knife ... and she suddenly hugged him from behind with all the tightness she could summon. Jalal looked strangely at her, quite liking the pose she was in ... but then gently asking her "What has happened to you?".
Again she was on the verge of talking about the khatra to his llife, but the untimely arrival of Shivani and Moti prevented the topic from coming up. Folks, again, in this scene, it looked to me like Jalal was actually quite pleased at this interruption and after turning the topic elsewhere, he insisted on Shivani remaining where she was and decided to depart the scene himself. Jodha was again unable to express her fears for his life to Jalal. I thought in that scene, Jalal knew what Jodha wanted to satrt saying, but he grabbed the chanceto depart from thhere leaving her words unxepressed.
I am quite sure that if he had still been miffed with Jodha about her paigam (that Maham misread to him) he would have been less tolerant of her hug. But instead I saw him actually enjoying that interlude and his query about "What has happened to you?" to Jodha was less upset and more silently mocking! It seem to me as if he has long since forgiven her for that supposed paigma and the spurning. It may be juts my impression, so I'd like to see what everyone else thinks. But again, his eyes were a tad too revealing, I thought, that he was keeping up the pretence of surprise at Jodha's hug ... but not quite finding it out of place either!
The end scene of the Adham-Jalal jashn with Ben dancing!
At the very end scene, when Adham seemed keen on having a jashn just for the men with the dancing of Benazir to entertain them, Jalal seemed ready to accede to the request. Again overtly it looked like a continuation of the "let's make Jodha jealous" theme that Maham was trying to further with him, and when Maham made the suggestion that she was fed up with Jodha and her antics, Jalal even seemed to agree that Jodha needed pulling down a few notches ... but he had that look in his eye that he thought the jashn was a good idea for various other reasons of his own. I got the feeling here again that Jalal was probablly calculating the odds of letting Ben have her room to act at her worse - whereby he could then react swiftly?
Although Adham sugggested they all could drink a lot for the jashn (and the precap shows a drunk Jalal hallucinating that it was Jodha, not Ben, ministrating to him, whom he later pushes over!), it's my definite belief that Jalal will be pretending to be drunk throughout the jashn waiting to react to the "bite" from Ben. Meanwhile, of course, what's to prevent him from imagining Jodha in Ben's place, making loving advances at him? He could have his fun and do his serious work too, couldn't he? Maybe all this pretend-drunkenness would make Maham and Adham complacent, and leave Jalal sharp-eyed regarding Ben when the other two were not on their guard? Let's wait and see how this jashn pans out. But I have no doubt that even as this idea was being mooted by Adham and Maham (in tandem, no doubt) Jalal was ticking over in his mind about the plot to his life and also keeping up a sham that he was still upset with Jodha.
Two other scenes that caught my fancy yesterday:
One, Abul Mali saying he has to himself now proceed to Agra to settle Jalal once and for all, as his agents have all turned out to be duds. One of his henchmen says Hakim Mirza is still in Agra to "do his job" but Abul Mali seems to suggest that at the moment Hakim is more loyal to Jalal than himself and therefore cannot be relied on. But it does suggest that Hakim is brainwashable later - especially if as history says, Jalal decides too support Shivani marrying Tejwant, then Hakim may turn against Jalal. One version of history seems to suggest that Jalal will entitle Tejwant and allow him even to eventually build the Fatehpur Sikri under the name of Tuhir Das, the great builder. If that is true, then Shivani will marry a powerfully-established Tejwant, supported by Jalal, while Hakim may get upset with Jalal and turn to Mali as a friend against Jalal. But that's for much later ...
Two, as regards Jodha, she was not trying to hide her visit to the jail to Sharif and was instead seemingly doing her best to rope in Hakim as a friend in saving Jalal's life. She was also not betraying so much "jealousy" of Ben anymore and was more concerned with Jalal's life than with his so-called liaison with Ben. In the scene where Jodha meets Hakim in the garden and confesses to him that she went alone to meet Sharif and that he told her of Jalal's life danger ... and where Hakim also told Jodha of Ben's strange paigam ... I almost thought the two of them would crack the code and put two and two together regarding the plot against Jalal. But even if that did not happen, I was ever so happy to see that Jodha had confided to somebody about having met Sharif secretly - I was so afraid all weekend that if she hid that info it would later become a huge scandal boomeranging on her as to why she was meeting a treacherous jailbird secretly. I even callled Jodha's idea of meeting Sharif "stupid" because I was so afraid for her. I was sure Maham would have blown this secret meeting out of proportion and given Jalal to believe that Jodha and Sharif were an item. Thank God the story is not going in that direction!
It seems there's a new spoiler that suggests Ben will try to kill Jalal and Maham will try to help her - even as Jodha realises her concern for Jalal is actually love!
This sort of confirms my theory that Jalal is getting ready on both fronts simultaneously - to expose Ben and to expose Maham. I feel sure of my prediction that maybe Jalal already knows of both issues - the Abul Mali plot via Ben ... and the Jodha paigam misreading by Maham, pieced together already by Rahim perhaps and already told to Jalal?Both Ben and Maham may be exposed together?
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old post: jalals begum pic
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An upcoming Star Bharat show..
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