Meenakshi Shedde: Jaisi Karni waisi bharni
Mrs Todphod Singh was mighty pleased with the Supreme Court ruling on Padmaavat
Mrs Todphod Singh was mighty pleased with the Supreme Court ruling on Padmaavat. The ruling said that Padmaavat will be released all over India, and it stayed the ban on the film - issued even after it was cleared by the censor board - by the four, right wing-ruled states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Now, she came to the court of Raja Andhayug feeling vindicated, dragging her husband Todphod Singh by his collar, while thrashing him soundly with a broomstick. As you can imagine, it is quite difficult to do both at the same time, but sometimes aata-majhi-satakli anger can give you impressive multi-tasking powers. She had come to the Raja for justice. "Maharaj, I have told him at least now he must get a real job and look after our family and three children, instead of just being a blackmailing Rajput Karni Sena thug, but he simply won't listen," she said.
"Maharaj, please save my life," Todphod Singh begged the king. "My wife keeps telling me 'jaisi Karni waisi bharni'. She says that if I have even a drop of Rajput honour left in me, then after the Supreme Court ruling, I must defend my honour by committing jauhar, just as Padmavati did."
Raja Andhayug's brain was spinning like a ghoomar, so Guru Tamasoma stepped in. "What is this nonsense, woman? Only Rajput women commit jauhar. How dare you suggest that even Rajput men commit jauhar? Explain yourself," he roared. Cool as a cucumber, Mrs Todphod Singh replied, "Toady (that was her pet name for Todphod Singh) has already burnt many cinema theatres, vandalised a school where small schoolchildren were studying, threatened to cut off Sanjay Leela Bhansali's head and Deepika Padukone's nose. All because his honour was being besmirched by a film he hadn't even seen. What nonsense! Now that the Supreme Court has stayed the ban and ruled that the film will be shown all over India, I told him, if you have any Rajput honour at all, then you should commit jauhar just like Padmavati did. But only a true Rajput can do that, and Toady has no guts to commit jauhar. His Rajput courage goes only so far as attacking unarmed women like Deepika Padukone or small schoolchildren. If he does not even have Padmavati's courage, who protected her own honour by committing jauhar, how dare he claim to honour her? Can he, for instance, show us a Jauhar 101 demo, so this nation can see how it's done correctly? If India is going back to the Dark Ages, we must do it properly, in style, with all the bells and whistles." Vidhushak smiled approvingly.
Meanwhile, Raja Andhayug exploded on learning that Rani Shanti Devi had already done first-day-first-show block booking for Padmaavat for her entire ladies' gang. "You are anti-national," the Raja screamed. "But I'm not taking you with my friends anyway, darling," the Queen sweetly told the king. "Now, do you want to join me?" she asked Mrs Todphod Singh. Mrs Todphod Singh nodded, mighty pleased with the Queen. And the two, who had already seen Ae Dil Hai Mushkil together, sauntered out of the court.
Meenakshi Shedde is South Asia Consultant to the Berlin Film Festival, award-winning critic, curator to festivals worldwide and journalist. Reach her at email@example.com
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