Thursday, August 30, 2012
This resplendently semi-clothed gentleman is, as many of you may already have recognized, Mr. Shahrukh Khan, a top Bollywood star for several decades but a relative latecomer to the exhibitionist and muscular tendencies that have made such favorites around here of Messrs. Abraham and Patel. Still, he's no slouch, although I'm not sure the combo of leather pants and a kind of windowpane-eyelet puffy shirt is really a total success. Frankly, clothed, I find him rather a bore.
He appears here today, in fact, only because (a) I was able to find a snap this fetching and because (b) today is the 635th birthday of someone I've never heard of, who ruled over (and this is what I found surprising) a realm I'd never heard of. Having come into this world just before Labor Day 1377, he was Shah Rukh of Persia and Transoxonia, which was apparently a kind of joint empire along the lines of the late lamented Austria-Hungary.
Have you ever heard of Transoxonia? It seems that it corresponded approximately to Uzbekistan and some other -stans. I can't get over thinking it sounds like a spoof name out of a minor mid-century novel, along the lines of The Mouse That Roared's Grand Fenwick. It's certainly, however, more euphonious than some of the region's other names over the years, like Prdry, which is practically Welsh in its impracticability.
So now you've learned something and had a chance to see a little BollyBeef. You're welcome.