Have you heard of Natwarlal: The man who sold Taj Mahal?
The man who sold Taj Mahal?
You mean the universally admired masterpiece of world’s heritage: Taj Mahal ? This can’t be true, right? You would not have heard of Lindow man, the body preserved in perfect condition for 1000s of years, right? So you’ve probably not heard of this man who sold Taj Mahal too.
Have you ever dreamt of becoming famous and rolling in piles and piles of money? Most of us have, but how many of us have tried to do something to achieve it?
Jeff Bezos has: by building Amazon, Messi has: by playing football, Leonardo Di Caprico has: by acting, Natwarlal has: by selling Taj Mahal…
What?? By selling The Taj Mahal??
Ohh yes, not once, but thrice.
Natwarlal, the man who sold Taj Mahal, duped people of crores of rupees, and also had more than 50 aliases, just to disguise himself. With this, he reserved a permanent spot for himself, in the history of India, as the Greatest Conman to have ever lived in the country.
He was so pro in his act that his exploits were often compared with Victor Lustig: The Man who sold Eiffel Tower Twice.
It is said that he used novel ideas to cheat, and his best area of expertise was ‘Perfect Forging of any signature, with just a glance’.
Notice: Moonjis doesn’t wish to celebrate the list of frauds done by Natwarlal, but it cannot be denied, that his life has had a series of endless manoeuvring, which makes this article, an interesting thing to read.
Better known as Natwarlal 110, was born in Bangra village of Siwan district, Bihar in the year 1912, was a lawyer by education, and a conman by profession.
Mithilesh Kumar Srivastava (birth name) sold prized monuments of India and duped big shot industrialists smoothly.
The man who sold Taj Mahal thrice
He also sold the Rashtrapati Bhawan, and even the Parliament House of India (along with its 545 sitting members) to unsuspecting foreigners by posing as a government official. Don’t know why but there’s a similarity to these conmen, Victor Lusting had also sold the Eiffel Tower twice.
A Master of Disguise
He duped bigshots like the Birlas, the Tatas and even Dhirubhai Ambani, for tons of cash by disguising himself as a social worker or a needy person.
Even tried to forge the signature of Dr. Rajendra Prasad
The man who sold Taj Mahal, had as many as 50 aliases and even forged signatures like a pro. They say, with merely a glance at a signature, he could create a replica.
He was in the wanted list with over a 100 cases, in 8 states. He had been sentenced to a massive 113 years of imprisonment, but served a total of only about 20 years, and had made 8 successful and daring escapes from different jails.
The last time he was arrested was in 1996 and was 84 years old at that time. But he managed again to give the police the slip and was last seen by authorities on June 24, 1996, when he disappeared at New Delhi railway station, when he was being taken to AIIMS, under police escort from Kanpur jail for his treatment, after which he was never seen again.
Natwarlal died twice
He was not only the man who sold Taj Mahal, but also the man who conned people even in his death. It was in 2009 when his lawyer asked that the 100’s of pending cases on Natwarlal be dropped claiming that the conman had passed away on July 25, 2009. He probably would have died, because of the evident age factor. But, his brother claimed to have cremated Natwarlal in 1996 itself, which was 13 years before the lawyer made his announcement. How did the conman revive to die again, is still a question that remains.
Natwarlal’s work as a conman was seen as a clever art, and hence, Bollywood movies like Raja Natwarlal starring Emraan Hashmi in the lead and, Mr. Natwarlal starring Amitabh Bachchan were inspired by our Natwarlal’s high spirited behavior.
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Also, the people from his hometown take pride that Natwarlal belonged to their village, and have decided to put up a statue of him as his monument, at the place, where his house once stood (It was later demolished by the Britishers). They say that he was no less than RobinHood, who looted the rich and helped the poor.
Indeed, the life of the man who sold Taj Mahal, makes a wonderful article to read.
I really wished, I had his capacity of inventive thoughts and quick understanding, so that I could use it for the betterment of my country.