Chandigarh based Vijendra Trighatia is a film buff and writes extensively on cinema.
This is the story of Cassius Clay, oops, Jalal-ud-din Mohammad Akbar whose name was changed to Mughal-e-Azam. He was always busy in conquering the country, marrying Rajput princesses and listening to Santa-Banta jokes of Birbal as result of which he was unable (despite his best efforts I am told) to sire an heir to the sprawling empire. On royal command an email was sent to the mandarins of Aastha Channel who deputed a full time mumbo jumbo man to invoke divine intervention. Finally, the joint and/or several efforts of royal exertions, mumbo jumbo man’s incantations and Vicky Donor’s ancestors bore fruit and a dude was born. My extensive knowledge of Hindi movies bears me out that this Salim dude took his royal privileges very seriously and had a keen eye for birds. The feathered kinds went into the cooking pot and the others moved to his boudoir.
Then on a fateful day he saw one that refused to move or date him and like countless idiots since then who fall in love with the first girl who refuses to play ball, he too succumbed to her nubile charms. What’s your name babe, he asked? With a flick of her finger in her hair she pouted, I am Miss Pomegranate Bud and I don’t dance. The dude’s knees buckled and his pajama fell on the marble floor and with his tongue hanging out he panted his way to his dad’s study and blurted his wish to get married. The great Mughal gave an imperious look at his horny progeny and thacchhack, one tight slap landed on the royal left cheek. Salim’s undies joined his pajama on the floor. He wailed, I want Bomegranate Pud… I mean Stun Grenade..I mean the Puddy Bomb !! The King gave another suspicious look and thought; what kind of name is that? Looks like westerners have made an entry into India before they were supposed to.
However, seeing his little one’s ardour the father softened a bit and asked “How can you jump into bed with a gal with an unpronounceable name”. Salim quickly adjusted his undies and flashed his iPhone 10 (oh yes, everybody knows we were far more advanced in ancient days) and with tears of happiness reported “Jahanpanah, Google translator says it means Anarkali”. Thank God, Mughal-e-Azam thought, at least now I know whom I am going to bury alive. So, what’s it gonna be, Salim queried? Do I get the chic or shall I join Che Guvera? Akbar blinked, Che who? You know, the bearded rebel dude whose face is on everyone’s dress! ‘Bagaawat’ the King thundered, ‘are you going to defy I, me and myself for a roll in the hay’?
Salim crooned “She is beautiful and therefore to be wooed. She is woman and therefore to be won and Cupid, dear Jahanpanah, is a knavish lad, thus to make females mad”. Damn, Akbar thought, this is the height of the West meddling in my affairs. Even this Shakespeare fellow is in league with Che Guvera. But the man wasn’t a king for nothing and he knew how to take quick decisions. He took off Salim’s pajamas again, spanked his bottom with the iPhone 10, summoned a trusted general and dispatched both of them to the Southern part of his empire with strict instructions that the only bird the prince would see is Chicken 65.
While the prince’s entourage and his mood headed south Akbar summoned Anarkali and threatened her with a fate worse than death. She screamed ‘oh pullllease, anything but Ranjit & Shakti Kapoor’. But, Akbar stuttered, I only want to bury you alive. Oh cmon Kingling, she pouted, the days of mummies are over and women are about to be empowered and we are getting voting rights and I am going to sue you for gender discrimination and sexual harassment and tell me what’s wrong with me and by the way are you straight or bi ? The King of Kings, the ruler of a nation was flummoxed and at a loss of words and all he could mumble was ‘Anarkali, you gotta die”! Oh no, she replied, I am alive and I want to break free and I wanna love somebody. Having had enough of medieval pop for the day, Akbar sent her away and ordered a double shot of Royal Salute.
Meanwhile down South Salim was filled up to his throat with Kingfishers and Chicken 65. Every time there was a call to arms he raised his beer and promptly flopped back on his couch brooding for his Puddy Bomb. Since time immemorial it’s always been your friends who volunteer to help and ultimately get you into trouble. Seeing his friend wallow in beer and self pity one Mr Goody Singh from Rajasthan suggested that Salim ought to show some balls and revolt against his father. The royal dude was already seven bottles down and in his heightened sense of perception found the idea bold and romantic. He got up from the couch, furiously shook his beer and yelled ‘Love shall prevail and Daddy I’ll be back’.
An invitation was sent to Che Guvera with a carbon copy endorsed to Mughal-e-Azam and a blind carbon copy to Anarkali. Guvera took the next ship out from Cuba, Akbar started the march to the South with an army of a hundred thousand and Goody Singh took Anarkali out on a date to Chandni Chowk. The two armies clashed midway and a furious battle ensued. Akbar unleashed his 61st Cavalry and the elephants of the 89th Armoured Corps who ran rampant on the brave but lovelorn troops of Salim. The night before the battle he had made a long and a passionate speech for the cause of lost love which had the soldiers in tears.
All you need is love, he cried and the troops ardently responded ‘She loves you; yeah yeah and with a love like that you know it can’t be bad’. However the tremendous motivation of love was no match for the might of the Mughal army and ultimately it came down to a one on one match up between the father and the son. Both the warriors were clad in iron armours and with razor sharp swords they let loose their primal instincts at each other. Salim lunged at Akbar with his sword who caught hold of it with his left hand and wrenched it out from the prince’s grip. And with the right hand, thacchhack, another tight slap landed on the face of the cheeky prince. The pajamas and the undies of the horse fell to the ground as well. Salim was promptly picked up, laid across Akbar’s horse, and got his bottoms spanked all the way to Fatehpur Sikri.
Anarkali eloped with Goody Singh and became Miss Jaipur, Miss Mewar and Miss Chittorgarh in rapid succession and ultimately became a leading lady of the Bhandarkar Nautanki Company.
Goody Singh, who screwed his friend was last seen in Afghanistan having others do unto him what he had done unto others.
Che Guvera had his ship hijacked to Venezuela and was never seen thereafter.
Shehzada Salim struck a contract with Kingfisher which ensured his unending supply of beer and birds.
Jalal-ud-din Mohammad Akbar banned Aastha channel and started his own which guaranteed his place in the Mughal Hall of Fame. 360 years later he was immortalized in the movie classic Mughal-e-Azam but of course as you all know now, K Asif got all his facts wrong.