Thursday, 27 February 2014

One thing in History I would do differently

Kudos to IndiBlogger for launching IndiSpire this week - for inspiring ideas and aiding the pursuit of intellectual happiness.

This is an initiative wherein bloggers suggest an idea for the week, all ideas get voted upon & the idea that gets the most votes is the chosen topic for the week, for all of us to blog about :)

Here is the debut topic:


The hashtag is #RewriteHistory.

hmm.. alright, there comes my licence to effectively make History into Herstory :)

Which historical figure's shoes do i want to be in? A Fashionista can't be spotted in ugly shoes so i rather make a wise choice here.

Emperor Shah Jahan it will be!  For sure, he wore nice shoes.  See:

Those shoes are what fashionistas call as 'loafers' & traditionalists call as 'jhootis' - whilst contemporary loafers can be made of any material, jhootis are always ethnic Indian flats made of environment friendly fabrics.

After all that shoe obsession, before the guys get away without reading this post, now, let's get down to 'what is that one thing Shah Jahan did, that i would do differently?'

As we all know, Shah Jahan built the World's most popular Monument of Love, the Taj Mahal in Agra.  

No .. that is not the one I am about to 'undo'.  Yeah, I still have a modicum of discretion left in me or what? :)

The monument was built, reportedly, over 22 years by approximately 20,000 workers (goodness me, that would be a whopping 440,000 man years)!

Legend has it that Shah Jahan, upon completion of the monument of love Taj Mahal, reportedly cut off the hands of the chief architect and all the workers, purportedly, to ensure that another clone of this monument never comes up.  

Wait .. jumping (in the present) is prohibited ..

Yes, this is just a 'legend' - a strong 'legend' at that.  A social belief or myth that has existed for long.  I do not know for sure if this is true or false.  Nor have I been able to find out proof or sources that either prove or disprove this (actually lost a day and half already in finding it - if i delay this post any further, this topic will lapse tonight :)

Therefore, for the purposes of this blog post, I will 'assume' this were true.  I apologize if that hurts anyone's sentiments - kindly consider it as creative freedom and subjunctive mood romancing each other (yeah, subjunctive mood is my most loved aspect of the English language :) 

If I were Shah Jahan, assuming he cut off the hands of the architect and the workers, here is how I will do it differently (these are purely my personal views, in exercise of the freedom of speech in my Country, so hence treat this exactly as that):

1.  I hate clones, yes, as much as Shah Jahan did - to give you some proof, someone couldn't even take that I copyright my avatars (that i created) on Bitstrips :)  However, may be, thanks to the fact that I was born four-and-half centuries after Shah Jahan (in which time, we shall safely assume that humankind progressed forward for good) & a modern education, I hate 'destroying' - even on the face of the gravest provocation, I stop just one step short of pressing the 'delete' or 'destroy' button, as it were, in real life.  But i do everything else to contain & conflict-manage the situation though.

Therefore, I wouldn't cut off people's hands.  That said, I would fiercely protect my right to the architecture because I engaged and invested in the art & architecture. Is that what we would call as having the Taj ('Taj' in Hindi means 'Crown') and wearing it too? :)

How would I do it?

Before I proceed further, for any of us uninitiated , if we don't know of the Taj's unparalleled architecture and design including gem inlay work, here is a glimpse:

One of its kind isn't it?

So, here is what I would do different instead of cutting off people's hands:

1.  I will copyright the architecture as the inventor (yes, my people and I would be the inventors) & original patron of the genre :) See, this is why I told you its unfair to compare us with Shah Jahan - he just didn't have our education & Google power :)

2.  I will bind the Chief Architect, all architects for that matter and all the workers as well, into individual signed written agreements that:
(a) should they disclose / impart the trick of the art / architecture, they shall do so with disclosure to my Court (no, not Court of Law, this is the Emperor's Court, which I think was the closest Kings had to Cabinets) with an accompanying payment of 'Royalty' to my people's exchequer (I will have my Courtiers publish Royalty calculation guides).

(b) a strict non-disclosure clause if (a) is not adhered to.  They just cannot do it and if they do it, we would take social (ostracize), legal and trade (boycott) actions.

3.  Therefore, they cannot clone it for free. Yes, they will clone it for payment. I will receive that payment and channelize it to (a) maintenance of the Taj Mahal (instead of relying on my successors in future) (b) in setting up formal schools to teach the art and architecture so it spreads far and wide and brings in more revenue (c) set up research labs to come up with preservation techniques and come up with improved art and architectural genres.

4.  Because of the goodness I seed in 3 above, by the time these folks are busy cloning the Taj Mahal, my people & i would have moved on to better architectural splendors we have since built :) Who cares if someone is cloning the iPad 2 when we have iPad 4 with retina display released? yeah? Especially when someone is paying us for the delayed cloning act!

By doing this as differently as i have articulated, I believe I would have given the art its due (in letting it spread) - after all, all art & science is for humanity as a whole - we are journeymen & women Nature chooses to endow, only for us to play our part in improving the journey for humankind as a whole. 

At the same time, I would have fiercely stamped my authority on a genre I helped fund, nurture and bring to fruition - something that I incubated and therefore my people & I own.  

wait, i am not done yet ..

5.  As part of the Royalty clause, I would write in and therefore get a good percentage (is 15% good enough?) of all the tourism revenues of every monument thus built (built? ah, well, cloned).  


Like it? Leave your comments and share your thoughts with me :) What's happiness without the joy of sharing and what's intellectual happiness without the tadka (that's Hindi for 'sautee') of debating?

Thank you IndiBlogger for this nugget of intellectual happiness .. I LOVED putting this post up .. hopefully, you, the reader enjoys it. 


All images in this post have been derived from 'Free to use, even commercially' advance setting Google search; each image is gratefully acknowledged and credited to its source.  Copyright for the images rests with their respective owners. 

Cheers :)