Cinematic depictions of historical characters and situations have always clashed with the sensibilities of the people. Padmavati is definitely not the first or the last film which has faced such a backlash.
Rani Padmavati, the queen of Chittor was a woman of unparalleled beauty, a chiselled face, a gait to die for; she was pristine in her beauty but was also equally intelligent. When it comes to describing Rani Padmavati’s beauty it is said that she was so breathtakingly beautiful that whenever she used to drink water, the water was visible through her neck. Undoubtedly, she had caught the eye of many suitors. One of her earlier mention was in the poem Padmavat, a long poem in the Awadhi language penned in the 16th century by Sufipoet Malik Muhammad Jayasi. The poem talks about the queen, her husband Rana Ratansen Singh and Alauddin Khilji, the sultan of Delhi. The poem commences with a description of the kingdom of Simhala-Dvipa which is in Sri-Lanka. Jayasi strings in praises about the queens beauty which he stresses was such that it made even the goddesses envy of her.
A story of love, lust and honor
The rani had a talking parrot as her pet named Hira-Mani who sang praises of the queens beauty to her husband Rana Ratansen Singh, who won Rani Padmavati in a svayamvar about which he learned from the parrot. Both of them were happily married until Rana Ratansen, dispelled a musician named Raghav Chetan, who was a musician in his court after he came to know that Chetan was a sorcerer and was propagating the use of black magic in his kingdom. The musician was insulted, made to sit on a donkey and expelled from the kingdom. To seek revenge of his ouster, Chetan went to the then emperor of Delhi, Alauddin Khilji and sang praises of the beauty of Rani Padmavati to him which in turn aroused the interest of Khilji in Rani Padmavati. He then attacked Chittorgarh.
Infact when Khilji came to Chittorgarh, he saw the large scale security in front of the fort and then tried a trick in his bag to reach Padmavati. He asked Rana Ratansen that he wanted to meet Padmavati because he considered her a sister, to which Rana Ratansen agreed but the queen saw into the foul play behind the same and agreed that if Khilji wanted to see her he would have to see her in a mirror. That was when a room full of mirrors was constructed wherein Khilji got to see Padmavati and got smitten by her intoxicating beauty after which he decided to wage war against Chittorgarh and win Padmavati for himself. The room is a popular tourist centre in the Chittorgarh fort until it was recently closed for obvious reasons.
Later when Rana Ratansen got killed by Khilji in the war, Rani Padmavati tried her best to first save her husband and then to save her honor but when she saw no way out, she and the other women of the fort of Chittorgarh decided to commit jauhar by setting themselves on fire instead of falling prey in the hands of a lecherous Muslim ruler.
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