[Continued from Tuesday, 14th April, 2015]
In my college days in Bangalore, I had a Reddy friend from Ananthapur, who was a quick wit and naturally a great flirt. He was not handsome. Though with a swarthy face, he had the gift of the gab and girls would hang around him. I have, however, not seen any girl swoon in his presence. Being rich, he was bit of a bombast, if not a snob. He boasted of his latest conquest but we asked him to show us his new acquisition at the Jewel Box, Koshy’s, Bengaluru. While we were not sure, for sure he brought her to Jewel Box. I and my (boy) friend joined them. At one point of our being there, the conversation between them went this way:
Reddy: (Looking at us) Folks you don’t know how much I love her (guffaw).
Girl: (Going pink in the face). Don’t be silly. How much?
Reddy (turning to her): As much as Emperor Shah Jahan loved his Mumtaz Mahal.
My friend was quick with a repartee: “Then you must build her a Taj Mahal.”
Being poor in history, the girl merely said, “How wonderful it would be to live in Taj Mahal.”
The conversation then veered to other frivolous subjects none wanting to make her a ghost so soon after the marriage — in case she married him.
That’s the everlasting interest in Taj Mahal even to those who have not seen it or read about it but merely heard of it as a marble building dedicated to love. Variously described for its beauty, Taj Mahal is among the seven wonders of the world. Built in pristine marble mined from famous Makrana in Rajasthan, it is also described as “poetry in marble.” It was designed and constructed by a Persian (Turkey) architect named Ustad Isa. It was his creative genius that gave us this great architecture, Shah Jahan merely spent money to build it.
In our Royal Rajasthan on Wheels (RROW) group, most of us had seen Taj Mahal before. For me, it was the third visit. Yet, the interest in this monument persists. Thousands visit, revisit daily, including hon...more