Thursday, February 21, 2008


Each of us has studied Akbar as a great king in our history textbooks. But that was all in the textbooks, and in some boring history classes. Today with the release of the magnum opus ‘Jodhhaa Akbar’ we are taken back to our childhood days to retrospect our history learning.

Jodhaa Akbar is a beautifully made period movie with an emphasis on fusion of two cultures, Islam and Hindu. The war scenes were great and realistic. The royal Mughal and Rajput palaces, the costumes and attires were no doubt the most spectacular so far in Hindi film industry. There were some beautiful moments in the film.

One was when Emperor Akbar emphasizing on religious tolerance and matrimonial alliances with the Hindus. He questions, why none of the Sultanate and Mughal Kings prior to his rule could not achieve a longer and stable rule in Hindustan, because they lacked the vision in fusion of Islam with Hinduism. This transformation of the emperor moulded our history, which later produced certain brilliant synthesis of Hindu and Persian cultures, remarkably the Tajmahal, the Mughlai food, the Kathak dance and the miniature art.

Another touchy moment was Akbar going through trance after the song Kwaja mere Kwaja sung by the Sufi singers in the praise of Ajmer Sharif. The most beautiful moment was yet while Akbar giving freedom to Jodhaa to break the marriage if she wished and how Jodhha reacted, saying that according to Hindu customs once married the relationship continues for seven lives. This was a true reflection of melting of cultures.

The movie has certain un- researched elements. One such is the depiction of cauliflowers, potato and tomato while Jodhaa was cooking for her husband. These vegetables were very much unknown to India during Akbar’s time.

The film was also made too lengthy with some unnecessary scenes. Overall, it is a movie worth watching and introspect the importance of fusion in our own life.