Let us continue our quest to review Hindi TV Serial Bharat Ek Khoj which is a magnum opus of Shyam Benegal. While you may find some of the stuff controversial but remember that the serial is a dramatized version of Discovery of India, a book penned by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.
While reviewing previous episodes we talked about earlier phase of Akbar ruling and his attitude towards various religions and his way of administering. His religious approach lead to Din-E-Ilahi and regular meetings of various religious figures in the palace. This episode continues the tale from where it left.
We see that Akbar is getting older and his princes are now adults. And as it happens with the sons of a wealthy rulers, they are keen to get the inheritance. Salim, the eldest one was quite furious that despite of being of proper age, he is still not crowned. Akbar knew shortcomings of Salim whom he used to call Shekhu, and was not very fond of. To add to the fury of the emperor, Salim did a lot of mistakes.
Obsessed with the thoughts of possession of the throne, he often overheared and ignored the emperor’s orders. He had his own group of supporters and a private army, which eventually grows upto 70,000 soldiers! Emperor wanted him to be stationed at Ajmer, but he went to lucknow.
Akbar has other sons too, but they all have their own limitations. As it often happens, there lies the darkness just right beneath the light. None of the sons of Akbar are of his caliber. While one of them is able to succed in a a battle, he succumbed to alcoholism. And Salim too eventually fall for the same.
While these battles are mishaps are going on, Akbar eventually started loosing his close friends and confidantes. Raja Birbal already met with his death and Raja Todarmal now needs the days of solace. One of the Akbar’s best friend was assassinated by Salim! So, Akbar started losing hope of giving a worth successor to the kingdom and seeing his last day quite near.
Will he be able to convert, at least one of his sons to the person he want as his successor? Do relations have any importance or power and wealth are the only goals one should care for, or at least the keens of the ruler think so?
You can explore it by watching this episode which is made available by public resource organization on the public domain of YouTube.
However to enjoy it is better quality and keep it in your possession it is advisable to purchase a DVD set for the same.
This is probably the toughest period of Akbar’s life. And while considering his fatherless childhood, it is really a big statement. He implemented remarkable amount of efforts in weaving the tapestry of his kingdom, and he see that it is going to be ruled by short-sighted successor(s). When you get older, you need support from your loved ones and friends the most. And he started felling getting alone.
The dark side of politics and the it affects the domestice peace, is explored quite authentically in this episode. In that manner, this episode is a must watch. It explores the devilish side of a remarkable amount of power and wealth. The episode is written beautifylly and the director is in complete control of the same in executing the script.
The role of female members of royal family in this fued of power comes in convincing manner on screen. The fate of almost all considerable rulers often remain same. In this episode, the makers mentioned (probably by taking away directly from the book) that while Babur is responsible for bringing Mughals to Bharat (that is India), it is Akbar, who actually was the first Mughal ruler of India. From his time, Mughals started considering India as their native, convincingly.
This episode proves Kulbhushan Kharbanda as a good choice for playing Akbar. As, in this episode we see the last days of Akbar. The pain of a ruler who is a father and a husband too is conveyed by him very convincingly. His love for his chidlren, grand-children and friends and his helplessness when seeing the dark future is not an easy thing to portray on the screen. Surendra Pal has comparitely smaller role in this episode, but he makes his presence felt. Same we can say for Vijay Arora. Pankaj Berry is also there and we see good performance from him as well, though, his role is very small. Ila Arun plays Jodhabai and she didn’t get any powerful scene. In whatever scenes she got, she could have done better. Other prominent actors which makes their presence felt are Vinod Rathod as Tansen, Aparajita as Salima, and Ranajay Bahadur as Azeez Koka.
The dialogs are simple and powerful. The writers take care of various dialects and other stuff while writing them. And of course, the actor followed it effectively. The wardrobe is convincing. There is a limited budget but the period is explored quite nicely in this episode. The use of horses and other animals adds to the authenticity of the incidents.
The background music is quite good. It is a tough job done well by the musicians. The episode almost starts with Akbar’s need to hear soothing music and song by Tansen and ends in almost similar manner.
This episode proves that if you have a talented team working on the various aspects of a media, you can create a magnum opus, even in a tight budget and without the use of SFX and VFX.
Overall, a nice episode taking a look to the history and elaborating some of the lessons to learn from the same.
Did you watch this TV Serial? Are you going to buy it’s DVD Set? (It is available in two versions, economic edition and premium edition)? Do share your thoughts via comments below. And yes, if you like this article, don’t forget to share with your friends and loved ones on various social networks 🙂 And yes, watch out for next episode review for Bharat Ek Khoj.
»Reviews for all the episodes of this TV Serial