I recently read somewhere the following as a brief intro to Taj Mahal, the endangered world wonder of India:
“In Agra, we will witness the world famous Taj Mahal built by the Moghul Emperor Shahjehan in 1630. Legend says the tomb was built for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their fourteenth child. The death of Mumtaz left the emperor so heartbroken that his hair is said to have turned grey overnight. Construction of the Taj began in the same year and was not completed until 1653.”
Even as I was reading this, I knew it was not the complete truth. Can mourning really do that to your hair? I was not convinced… so I had to do some – ahem – research and finally I found the blatant truth. The truth, which was never told before.
So here you go with the real story of Taj Mahal:
Shahejahan was a li’l finicky, correction: in fact a finicky to the core, when it came to being prim n proper. It’s said that he took longer than Mumtaj to take bath, and get dressed everyday. Some people say, the reason behind this was that he had employed pretty women who helped him take bath, then do make-up and get dressed, and in the process he ended up undressed more than getting dressed. anyway, that’s besides the point i was trying to make. sorry for deviating from the subject.
He’s said to have executed many of his makeup women, for slightest of mistakes. Like once, one of his hairdresser gave him the Hitler haircut and moustache. He was happy with the cut until Mumtaj saw him in that avatar and she could not help but ROTFL for few hours. This angered Shahejahan so much that he ordered to hang his hairdresser, when she(the hairdresser) asked for mercy – he told her to grow a similar Hitler moustache within a week, else be killed. As you’d understand being a girl she was not able to grow a mush and she was killed a week later. Sigh! If only they had Kaya skin clinics back then!!!!! After that Shahejahan spent two months in exile, to grow his hair and mush and only then he faced Mumtaj and his junta. (This probably explains why the said hair style is not known as Shahejahan haircut, but is named after Hitler – who, as a matter of fact, was born much later).
anyway, so when Mumtaj died while giving birth to his 14th child, he was soooo sad … so sad that he even skipped his appointments with his hairstylist for hair coloring, and when he finally came out of his room after few days of mourning, his hair were all gray. Everyone who knew Shahejahan knew immediately that he was really really really heartbroken. So heartbroken that he forgot to color his hair. This, everyone noticed, was an act of a great lover. No man (a king) had loved a woman (among many of them) like this ever before. He truly loved Mumtaj.
Some say, that choice of white marble to construct Taj Mahal is also symbolic of gray hair that Shahejahan wore those days.
Thus goes the story of Taj Mahal – the symbol of true love.
Tags: Taj Mahal | India |