Sameer’s trip with Eesha to the Taj this time was indeed special. A long friendship turned into commitment when they realized what they meant to each other.
“You are the most beautiful girl in the world.” Sameer said gazing into Eesha’s eyes. The way he said gave her butterflies. The feeling was as cute as the Taj Mahal beside.
“I have heard this a million times from many. But didn’t get this feeling this from any. For the first time ever, my heart believes the words. It actually wants to. I feel loved. I feel special.” Eesha replied with awe.
“You are special honey! Just as Taj, for a symbol of love!” Sameer added with his eerie voice.
“Taj? A Symbol of love? I think by now most of us know that it’s more lust than love. Do you mean it that way?” She winked.
“I mean it the way it is meant to be. It’s love. What is making you think that way?” Sameer was now serious.
“It is surprising! I thought you were good with History,” Eesha began. “It’s quite popular that, Mumtaz was Shah Jahan’s fourth wife, out of his seven wives. She died while delivering her painful 14th child on the maternity bed. And the lustful Shah Jahan married Mumtaz’s sister after her heartrending death. This shows his itchy character. Added to that, this place was actually the temple of Lord Shiva – Tejo Mahalaya. And –”
Sameer stopped her with an I-know-this-shit look. He gave her a sheepish smile and said, “Do you believe in what you said? Do you trust it?”
“Of course, I do.”
Sameer let out a sigh. “The soul of your words is missing the track of truth! But do believe it. Believe it more. Believe it strongly that you find the truth.”
Eesha looked confused. “Please add light to what you are trying to say. I’m not getting a word.”
Sameer is now trying to catalogue his thoughts. He begins, “To know the truth, one has to get intimate with the lie. That’s how truth emerges. The more you justify the lie, the better the truth you find. It’s like churning curd. Milk is fat emulsified in water and so is curd. More the curd you churn, more the fat comes up. Leaving the water behind. Lust is the lie and Love is the truth”
Eesha’s carved eyebrows arched with intrigue. “Continue,” she said.
“In this experiment with the truth, we begin with a short rapid-fire. Start. Is love a personal issue?”
“Is marriage a personal thing?”
“Of course, yes.”
“No. It’s not!” Sameer replies gazing directly into Eesha. “In India, marriage happens when the Bride’s family falls in love with groom’s family. In a traditional Hindu or Muslim marriage, the boy sees his fiancée during the marriage or sometimes after it. Marriage is a responsibility. It is much a social phenomenon. The concept of boy and girl seeing each other, loving, marrying, is much recent and Christian.”
Sameer continued, “Moreover, when wars for Kingdoms happen, sometimes the losing king gives his daughter to the winning king, more like compensation. So Kings had wives. Socially many. So for Shah Jahan,it may very well be, six social and one personal – Mumtaz.”
“And the 14 children?”
“Lack of contraceptives. Even if they existed they were hated. Universally it is believed that Sex was for reproduction and not for pleasure. So even if a couple does it for pleasure, it led to pregnancy. Logic dictates more love will imply more children.”
Eesha offered a smile and said,”But why does he have to marry Mumtaz’s sister if it’s not for lust?”
“Sororate. It is a type of marriage in which a husband engages in marriage or sexual relations with the sister of his wife, usually after the death of his wife or if his wife has proven infertile. Its more of a warranty scheme. The bride’s family substitutes the deficient product given by them. Putting it in simple words, if your mom dies early, your aunt helps you and your father. The term Sororate was foriegn, but the custom was Universal.”
Eesha somehow did not like the concept of Sorarate, but what he said was convincing. Something was still bothering her. But she was ready with the next question. “Why does he have to corrupt the name ‘Tejo Mahalaya’ and make it Taj Mahal?”
“It’s respect. Moreover, that’s how names are arrived at. Satisfying everything. This Mahal is dedicated to Mum’taz’ and is built in the place of the Shiva’s temple. What more can one do? Other than clubbing both. That’s how the name. Tejo Mahalaya. Tej Mahal. Taz Mahal. Taj Mahal”
It was all intertwined. Eesha felt a new wave of excitement as she stood in silence beside the edifice and stared at Sameer. The more the truths Sameer unveiled this evening, the more the love she felt for Taj, And for him. Eesha is now getting into her sapeo-sexual nature. A behaviour of becoming attracted to or aroused by intelligence and its use!
“So anymore queries Eeshu?” Sameer asks grinning.
“A Hell lot. But I don’t bother anymore. I love Taj Mahal. I love you.” Eesha’s eyes now have a thing for him.
Before Sameer could say anything she quickly moves her arms to his back for a hug. She then moves her face towards his and finds his lips.