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Showing posts from July, 2013

The Story of the Peacock Throne

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Shah Jehan’s Takht e Murassa As stories start - Once upon a time, there lived a king in North India and he had a very long name – Zille-i-ilahi A'la Azad Abul Muzaffar Shahab ud-Din Mohammad Khurram. I guess people found it very difficult to call him thus and in any case it was not very wise to call him so, for it was considered not so respectful to call a king by his name, so they hit upon a simpler name, that being Shah Jahan or the king of the world (actually a smaller world forming parts of North India). As you may have read, he was also the son of the illustrious Jodabhai or Princes Manmathi and ruled over the Mughal Empire during 1628-1658, those three decades being a period of opulence in the Mughal domain. Kindred souls have called it the golden age and a period of excellence for Mughal architecture during which buildings like the Red fort, Juma Masjid, Taj Mahal as well as many splendid gardens were built. Shah Jahan as you can imagine, intended his capitals to rival both…

The Half-naked Fakir and his Loin cloth

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Mahatma Gandhi’s scanty dressing and its reaction in the West
“A proper dress keeps up decorum and shows our regard for others. If I had to go to a foreign land, I would by all means put away my loin-cloth in a trunk.” Can you guess who said this? None other than our own Mahatma Gandhi - But since 1924, after he originally wrote this, Gandhij changed his mind and went to Britain in a loin cloth. Care to find out why and how? Read on…. Appearances count – says the management guru. You must be properly attired and you should carry yourself well ,walking purposefully, upright – but not necessarily ramrod straight, and do not slouch. Another researcher admits that having a Mont Blanc in your pocket has been associated with a good possibility of getting an airline upgrade or getting off the waitlist. I have seen often that if you are tall, smart and somewhat fair, you can get away with a lot at certain places. If you are well dressed, then shift it yet another notch. Now with that backgroun…