Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, February 10, 2011

Historical Hook-ups

By Sifana Sohail

Love transcends all barriers, even time. Or so they say.
Cleopatra and Mark Antony
From: queencleo@nilerulers.com
To: m.antony@romantriumvirs.com
Subject: Trip to Tarsus

Hi. I had a great time in Tarsus. I hope now you are convinced that I didn't kill Julius Caesar. As to my grand arrival, I don't know about you but I like to travel in style, with pretty companions and royal sails. I hope you don't think I'll let you escape so easily back to Rome. Why don't you join me in Alexandria for a few days?

From: m.antony@romantriumvirs.com
To: queencleo@nilerulers.com
Subject: Re-Trip to Tarsus

Dear Cleopatra,
Seeing your name in my inbox sent shivers down my spine. I'm honoured (and excited) by your invitation… I should be getting back to Rome, but I'm sure it's nothing Fulvia can't handle. I'll swing by Alexandria in a few days.
Your Mark

From: Cleopatra

How can you be thinking of leaving Alexandria so quickly? Are you that eager to go back to Rome?
From: Mark
I need to take care of a few things back in Rome. I promise after I do, I'll come back and stay with you. I'm yours forever.

From: queencleo@nilerulers.com
To: m.antony@romantriumvirs.com
Subject: You B*****d

YOU! I knew I couldn't trust you. You go to Rome and what do you do? You get yourself another wife. Your last wife was killed by Octavian and now you go after his sister, Octavia. You deceitful, traitorous, ibn el-sharmoota. WE ARE OVER!

From: m.antony@romantriumvirs.com
To: queencleo@nilerulers.com
Subject: I am not a B*****d

My dearest Cleopatra,
This marriage is a political alliance. I swear I am yours and yours only. I will love you forever. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.

Cleopatra VII, will you marry me?
Your Mark

From: queencleo@nilerulers.com
To: m.antony@romantriumvirs.com
Subject: Fine, you're not

Well, that took you long enough. What kind of an unromantic git proposes by e-mail? Oh wait, you. I am a grand and beautiful queen, not to be trifled with, Mark. But I love you too.

From: Mark
So, how did you like your wedding present my beautiful Queen of Egypt, and now Crete, Syria and Cyprus? Antioch was the perfect place for our wedding.

From: theoctavian@romantriumvirs.com
To: queencleo@nilerulers.com;
Cc: m.antony@romantriumvirs.com
Subject: WAR

I am sorry to say this, but your treatment of my sister is unforgivable. Also, giving your children royal titles? Ptolemy, King of Syria and Asia Minor at 2? I am sorry, but I cannot accept these atrocities any longer. I thereby declare war on the Egyptian rulers.
*Mark Antony was said to have committed suicide by falling on his own sword, either to escape imprisonment by Octavian, or due to grief over the false news of Cleopatra's death. Afterwards, Cleopatra committed suicide by arranging for an asp, a poisonous snake to bite her.

Shah Jahan and Mumtaj Mahal

Prince Shah Jahan's Blog
I met the love of my life in the market today. One glance at her and I could tell that she is the girl I will spend my life with. I have learnt that her name is Arjumand Banu Begum. I asked around about her. She is a Muslim Persian Princess, graced with intelligence and beauty.

From: Shah Jahan
My dearest Banu, I have spoken to my father and the auspicious date for our wedding has been set five years from now. I can hardly wait to have you as my queen.
(5 years later)

From Shah Jahan:
You are so exquisite, so beautiful. You shall be my Mumtaj Mahal.

From Mumtaj:
My dearest
I think you might, well, start a tradition of giving your love nicknames. I love you very much.

(And they lived happily ever after.)
(And then, 19 years later)

Shah Jahan's blog
My dearest Mumtaj,
We have been together for so long, but it hardly seems enough. How could you have left me alone in the world? We have so many children; it seems a cruel twist of fate that you should die in childbirth so far from home. I shall carry out each of your dying wishes. Your tomb shall be the greatest in the world; I shall build you a Taj Mahal. And there you shall rest in eternal grandeur. It shall proclaim the story of our love to the world.

Napoleon and Josephine
bonapartebonaparte@fmu.com says:
Hi Rose, it's me Napoleon. Add me.

Rosebud says:
Hi Napoleon.

Bonaparte says:
I had a great time at Paul Barras' party. Ur charming.

Rosebud says:
Thank u. U'r not bad urself.

Bonaparte says:
Rose… I hate tht name. I wnt call u tht. Wht's ur full name?

Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie

Bonaparte says:
Josèphe… Josephine. I shall call u Josephine.

Rosebud says:
Alright. I g2g. Ttyl.

Bonaparte says:

From: budding.rose@fmu.com
To: p.barras@pmail.com
Subject: Napoleon

Napoleon asked me to marry him. I don't want to. All of my friends and family oppose it. Can you convince Napoleon to back down?

From: p.barras@pmail.com
To: budding.rose@fmu.com
Subject: Re-Napoleon

Dear Josephine,
I am sorry but the time has come for us to part. Frankly, you are too expensive to maintain and I have found someone else. If you do not marry Napoleon, I shall throw you out into the street. Choose wisely. Think about your children.

From: bonapartebonparte@fmu.com
To: budding.rose@fmu.com
Subject: Missing You

My dear Josephine,
I miss you dearly. I replay all of our moments together in my mind as I languish in Italy, fighting this war while I pine away for you. When will you finally concede to join me in Italy? I await your reply with a longing heart.
Your Napoleon

From: bonapartebonparte@fmu.com
To: budding.rose@fmu.com
Subject: TRAITOR

I have found out about your treachery! How dare you! Junot told me all about your betrayal. Your actions anger me beyond words. And here I was languishing for you! Loving you was a mistake I'll never repeat.

From: Josephine
Napoleon, please forgive me. I love you, I truly do. My behaviour was not as you think. Please, at least hear me out.

Napoleon Bonaparte's Blog
I have negotiated with the Austrian Emperor to marry his daughter Louise. It is fitting for the Emperor of France. However, I do not like her name - Maria Louisa. I think I am going to call her Marie-Louise. Now that I am divorced from Josephine… an heir of my own blood shall claim the throne after me.

I have abdicated the throne. This will be my last post. My wife has left me and gone back to Austria with my son. Josephine was dying of diphtheria. I have heard that one of the last words she uttered was, “Napoleon”.



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