Sucking up to your boss can take you places. But it can`t take your mom places too…so when my mother wanted to see the Taj Mahal, I had to plan the trip myself.
Ever since my father fell to Cancer in 2005, my mother has lived a lonely existence. She keeps visiting her three children but goes back to the nest that her husband built for her with his post-retirement funds. So, when she is with us and wants anything done…no questions asked…it gets done.
“Son, I would like to visit Agra,” It was my mom talking.
“Why?” I enquired.
“Haven`t you heard of Taj Mahal? It is in Agra.” It was my mom talking, again.
It wouldn`t surprise you to know that my mother is a Master of Sarcasm. Especially if my mom is dealing with ANYTHING related to her daughter in law. Now, you ask…what do I have to do with my mother`s daughter in law? Well, my mom sees me as Rekha`s hen pecked husband.
“Ohhhh Taj Mahal.” Yeah yeah…heard about it.”
“Yes son…the Taj Mahal. I thought you would also like to see it because Shah Jahan built it for his wife – in a way he is also like you.” A few drops of sarcasm fell on my T Shirt and left a strain.
Rekha who was overhearing this discussion from the kitchen, made a sudden entry and asked my mother: “But mother, do you really want to see Taj Mahal – something that was built for a wife and not for a mother?”
Before she said anything my mother smiled. I knew the smile…it was the smile of victory. Victory over an adversary…I have seen the adversaries change…from my unsuspecting father, to an unnerving relative, to me…to now Rekha. And then she spoke: “Dear Rekha, I am not going there to see the white Taj Mahal that was built for his wife Mumtaz….I am going there to see the Black Taj Mahal that Shah Jahan never got to build for his mother because he ran out of time.” (Read the myth about the Black Taj Mahal here)
Since Rekha wasn`t close to Google she couldn`t verify the claim and retort. So, Round 1 went to my mother.
Round 2 also went to my mother when I asked Rekha to call the cab guy and fix a trip to Taj Mahal.
Round 3 went to my mother when I decided to pay for the trip.
Round 4 went to my mother when she started scolding us on Sunday morning for not being ready at 5.30 a.m. to start the trip, as agreed earlier.
On Sunday at 10.00 a.m…..there I was standing right in front of the Taj Mahal and enjoying its serenity. Not for nothing does it get counted as one of the seven wonders of the World. Now, the question is…should we count the busty Israeli beauty that I followed all along in Taj Mahal, in the seven wonders of the World? She deserves it.
But seriously, standing in front of the Taj Mahal got my creative juices flowing. I mean, why would a man spend 32 million rupees (I am not even bothering to convert this number to its current day`s value!!) on a wife who was dead? Couldn`t Shah Jahan take a Golf Club membership somewhere to spend that money? Couldn`t he come up with a Swimsuit calendar like Vijay Mallya, if he had the spare cash? Or some investment in Mutual funds…maybe a house on IT Highway in Chennai…heard the real estate is giving good returns in that area.
Standing there….I could clearly visualize Aurangazeb trying to convince his father Shah Jahan to stop his wayward ways before arresting him and imprisoning him in Agra Fort.
“Father, I think you should stop.”
“Why? I love her and anyway, she was your mother.” Shah Jahan defends his decision to continue to spend money on Project Taj Mahal.
“Yeah…but I shared her love with 14 other children. I don`t even remember how many of us survived.” There was anger and innocence in Aurangazeb`s tone and one couldn`t help but feel sorry for him. Imagine the number of dates with pretty babes he could have managed with 32 million rupees.
“What was I to do? The moment I clapped, all sentries left us alone…and with no TV…we didn`t have anything else to do?” At least Shah Jahan was sincere.
“Father, I can`t allow you to blow up 50 million on another Taj Mahal – this time in Black. That`s for sure.”
“But son, it is NOT 50 million…thanks to the recession I was able to pit L&T against DLF and get the best bargain. DLF is in trouble and they have promised to build a black Taj for just 32 million.”
“Sorry father, you are forcing me to arrest you. But I promise you…once you are dead I will bury you right next to my mother.”
As readers of this blog have the Agra heat to thank. Had it not been for the hot marble floors…I would have visualized a lot more.
This blog post on Taj Mahal was written by the insignificant being, Jamshed V Rajan.
Trivia 1: Just in case, you didn`t know…at the base of Taj Mahal one can read these words in Urdu – “Written by the insignificant being, Amanat Khan Shirazi”. Apparently, Amanat Khan Shirazi wrote all of that stuff that you and I can`t read.
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