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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Who Ate my Cheese


Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled at an early age. The Kingdom of his father was divided equally amongst the children of the first wife, who were dominant Politically & Militarily.
Sons of the other two wives had to live with nothing. While in exile, he built a flourishing cottage industry that spawned cheese. Zeenat Mahal died at a young age, and Bahadur Shah bereaved of her loss decided to seek another companion in wedlock. Young Shehnaz Begum would have none of it, and undertook to care for Bahadur Shah Zafar till the very end.

One morning at the Table as all gathered for breakfast, Bahadur Shah Zafar declared his intent to divide his empire. The elder daughter Rabeya Begum had feasted while Zeenat Mahal was alive, and set off on her journey. Abdulla, Ali Shah and Shehnaz Begum the other three children   listened in silence at the division.
Abdulla decided to have a cellar made, to preserve the cheese he had to sell later.
Ali Shah was busy selling on a daily basis and did nothing to preserve the unsold stock, resulting in excess stock produced losing flavour with time and not fit for consumption.

Shehnaz Begum enjoyed her breakfast and daily chores with Mirza Ghalib her husband.
Seven years later Bahadur Shah Zafar called all at the table to check the status of the last division.Shehnaz Begum informed Bahadur Shah Zafar of the issues she faced after her marriage. To hold the pledge given to Zeenat Mahal of ensuring Shehnaz Begum lived well, Bahadur Shah Zafar decided to handover what was left of his empire to Shehnaz Begum and retire for the rest of his life at her new home. Bahadur Shah Zafar decided that since Ali Shah's Cheese had turned sour and thus incurred a loss, he had to be rewarded anew. Abdulla doing well with his share, was asked to compensate Ali Shah for the loss.
This resulted in Abdulla having none of the Cheese given to him at the first division. Miriam wife of Abdulla, suggested that Abdulla go into the unknown and search for a new supply of cheese. Abdulla wanted to know from his siblings ................................." Who Ate his Cheese".

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