I have heard (and seen) that some westerners feel that any vague information they know related to India makes them a minor authority on exotic/spiritual a.k.a Indian stuff. With such folks, it usually becomes fairly obvious that this exotic knowledge extends to hearing of the name Gandhi or attending yoga classes or seeing *one* made-for-an-international-audience Indian movie. Usually I just smile indulgently when I come across such examples.
But this comment from Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (no, I don't know him from Adam and frankly, I don't care either - I just memorized his name so I could make fun of him *evil grin*) I read in the magazine made me giggle uncontrollably. Basically various celebrities were asked about books they had liked. Our hero had to be different and make this thoroughly enlightened remark:
"The Mahabharata. It's pretty extraordinary. It includes the ultimate symbols of romance, like Emperor Shah Jahan building the Taj Mahal for his wife."Dude, while I do agree that the Mahabharata is filled with countless main characters, side characters and sides for the side characters, to the best of my belief and knowledge, Emperor Shah Jahan, his wife and the Taj Mahal very definitely do not feature in the cast. Thank you.