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Yo Yo Shah Jahan, lay in his chambers, trying to catch grapes with his mouth, thrown by his favourite slave Gulabo. Ever since he had lost 12 of his teeth last month, he had been advised a diet of kakoris and fruits.
So far he had managed to catch 6 with his gums, while the rest lay splattered on his beard. As he sat admiring his reflection in one of the 56 mirrors adorning the walls, he couldn’t help but notice the purple stains on his pristine white beard. They were going so perfectly with his brand new silken pajamas in pomegranate pink. SJ made a mental note to ask his favourite personal hajaam, Habib to create a purple dye exclusively for him. He possibly couldn’t have every Salim, Haleem and Asif sporting the same coloured beard!
He would have to keep it a secret from Mummy-Taz. The last thing he wanted to hear was that harridan rant about his midlife crisis. This is what happens when you have been married for over two decades!
Agreed, he was sick and tired of his job as CEO of Mughal & Co. And who wouldn’t? Imagine having to sit on a jewel studded throne all day, listening to a bunch of losers having no interest in art and music, complain about no rains, no grains and hunger! He’d had enough of being treated as the universal Aunty Agony.
These people just love wallowing in their pool of misery!
This despite the insanely successful Agra Literary festival he had organized for his awam, just last month. Which Emperor spends time, money and effort to promote a book fair under the garb of a lit fest? All the months he wasted sending his messenger boys all over the world, to invite luminaries including Miyan Salman, his many girlfriends and the dark slave Oprah Begum! True, some high caste Hindus had created some needless controversy by blaming corruption on the lowliest. But he had their heads chopped off immediately in the Bazar square.
And how could they forget his annual extravaganza, Jahangir Art Summit. The many sacrifices he made for the sake of art – sitting for hours, nursing a bad back, just to get 23456 portraits of him painted in different-different poses. But he still put himself through this unbearable torture just for the sake of his subjects. Imagining their joy as his, as they spent hours, admiring rows upon rows of his and his many begums portraits!
How foolish of him to assume that discovering the higher purpose of life was more important than hunger!
Yes, he tried water skiing on one leg on the River Yamuma. Went sliding down the corridor inside Fort…Ordered Armani’s Achkan online…had booked a diamond-ruby facial at Shahnaz’s Begum’s hamam! Big deal! It was his damn asharfees that he had appropriated as taxes from the Awam.
He tried telling Begum No. 1 that these were just attempts to overcome the frustration of not being understood. But nah! She was more interested in reading “Fifty shades of grey”!
He knew why Mummy-T was mad at him. He had made her pregnant yet again, for the 14th time. Just last year she had complained of having had enough of popping babies. She wanted to take off on an all-girls vacation to Persia. Stock up on kasturi and pamper herself with the finest silks. Could he help it that the awesome Hakim Sablok concoction of bulls balls, lizard tail and tiger claws, managed to turn him into a virile bull!
He had tried to make up for it with a candle light dinner on Valentine’s Day. Gifted her a 24 carat gold beard he had ordered from Tiffany’s, ignored her ghastly new hair-do and the pan stains on her chin. But she? No sire, she would have none of it and chose to torture him with her infamous silent treatment.
She was in labour now. My God! Can that woman cuss. His face was turning rose red with embarrassment. What will his courtiers think if they hear his begum scream – Khuuuurrrrraaaaamm…befakoof…namakool….may you have to go through labour to feel my pain! He ran to her chambers, as fast as his aging legs could carry him. For Allah’s sake Begum, can you please shutup? I promise to build the greatest erection in your honour - the world’s greatest wife who has never faked a single headache in her lifetime. Just as she was about to slap him, he hastily added – a monument so beautiful, that thousands of years from now, it will become one of the most popular tourist attractions of the world.
She looked calm now.
Shall we name it Wah Taj?
Mummy-Taz said yes! Yes! YES and dropped dead.
As he held the wailing baby in his arms, his mind was F1 racing with plans. Yes, Taj would be a perfect preoccupation for his bored mind.
He must ask his chief architect to start looking for 22000 workers who will willingly get their arms chopped off after the assignment.