A Book You learned From-Taj (T.N Murari)

“Taj” was given to me by Naomi one summer while we were living in Allahabad. Though I’m not a voracious reader but as I read the book, I fell in love with it. The characters, the storytelling , the beautiful amalgamation of factual and fictional happenings captivated my heart. Even now several years down the line I still hold the memories of those feelings that I went through while reading that book.

To my surprise, I fell so in love with this book that I got the book copied at a local shop and carried with me. Something in it struck a chord in me and it would take months for me to know what was it. I was born and raised in the city of Taj. I had seen all these forts and monuments a hundred times during my childhood. I could visualise almost every single detail mentioned by the author about the forts and all the delicate artisan work done during 1700s. The book had told the ever-lasting love story of  Mumtaz and Shahjehan in a very subtle manner. Right from their childhood, how they met, fell in love and promised to love each other through thick and thin. It also adds a piece of fiction in it by adding a character who is close to Mumtaz and from whose point of view we see the world.

Pure Love

Pure Love

We come to know what Mumtaz feels for Shahjehan and how every time he is out on a battle, she accompanies him on a chariot taking all her young children with her, so many times even while she was pregnant. Shahjehan too loved her like no one else could even when he had a huge task of taking care of his empire. The author makes that delicate balance of facts and fictions so well that you could feel the intensity of the lovers in that era. It almost comes to life for me because I have seen all those small little nooks and corners of Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri where this love happened in real times. While I soak myself up in history and in the love of the Emperor and the Empress, I also know how vibrant and important my city was at that point in time.

The political scenarios, the culture, the economics, the trade and the intense love is depicted exquisite and precise. I love this book for its depiction of sheer love, sacrifice and honor of two human beings towards each other at the times when emperors were busy filling up their harems and expanding their empires. I’m basically an ardent lover of historical facts and books written on them.

This book has been a thorough pleasure to read while you let your imagination go back a few hundred years back into time. Shahjehan and Mumtaz’s eternal love stood the test of time through centuries, even though the Empress died at a young age of 36, Shahjehan never remarried and spent rest of his life making this monument. Legend says, after Taj was made, he died looking at it , remembering the love of his life.

Gist of the story is to love with all your might for you never know how soon this life would get over and one would be left with only memories.

Love in the times of an Empire

Love in the times of an Empire


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