It’s The Little Things

Valentine’s Day is upon us. And whether you’re single, in a relationship or it’s complicated, we all ironically hate the day dedicated to love. You’re either made to feel awful that you don’t have anyone to share 24 hours with, or angry that a calendar is dictating you spend money to prove the affection you have for your partner. If you need a specific day to show someone you care, then maybe give your other half the gift of being more attentive.

I am by far perfect, but i try to be a good husband. I remind myself it’s the little things that count. It doesn’t come naturally for me, or most men, to do regular little things as we generally aim for one grand gesture every now and then. The bigger the better. That’s genuinely how most of us think.

But no matter how hard we try, us men are put to shame when it comes to Shah Jahan and his relationship to Arjumand Banu Begum. Shah was the fifth prince Mughal Emperor of India; a country famed for the Kama Sutra, so I imagine they know a thing or two about love. Probably why Apu was chosen to be the quixotic character during a Simpsons Valentine’s Day special. (On a separate note; why isn’t the Kama Sutra laminated?)

If we put aside the fact that she was betrothed to him, which is a nice way of saying given as property, and that he was also married to two other women, aside from that, his relationship to Arjumand was special. And it’s kind of cute when i tell you this happened when they were 14 & 15 years of age. Aaaaww. Now it’s different and magical and not at all creepy.

In all fairness, he was genuinely besotted by her. The other two wives were just booty call incubators. Arjumand however meant so much to him that she was later renamed Mumtaz Mahal, meaning The Chosen One Of The Palace. She was given much power and was always by his side. It is said by the official court chronicler, “the intimacy, deep affection, attention and favour which His Majesty had for the Cradle of Excellence (Mumtaz) exceeded by a thousand times what he felt for any other.”

Shah was a master of the little things. I try my best to show my wife that i love her. But in my defence, it’s a lot easier when you have the wealth of an empire to make her feel like a Queen. Nonetheless, incense sticks are like 25 cents, so you just need to think outside the box. You don’t need money to cherish your beloved. Wether it be writing her a poem specific to your relationship, bake her a heart-shaped quiche or construct her a beautifully varnished table so that she may invite her friends for tea & bitching; it doesn’t have to cost much because it’s the thought that counts. (The table sounds like it could eventually be expensive to make, but you can find free wood anywhere nowadays. Just keep an eye out for roadside furniture while driving.)

The love Shah had for his wife Mumtaz was so strong it still echoes in our collective consciousness and in sepia toned pictures on Instagram. His greatest gift was the 22 year long construction of her tomb, the Taj Mahal, which was once described as “the tear-drop on the cheek of time”. And that’s the mausoleum in India, and not Trump’s failed Taj Mahal casino in New Jersey. I somehow doubt the 45th president would build anything for Melania. He can’t even be bothered to wait for her as she steps out of the car and offer a hand to walk up the White House stairs. Like i said, it’s the little things that count.

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