By Nilanjana Dey
The red sandstone burnt in the scorching heat
Holding memories of the city that was.
Engulfed by vague curiosity and idle hours
The city is no more than a distant spectacle today.
Borne out of pride and power
The city stood witness to the great Mughal
His content consort, The Queen Mother
And other women, who filled his needs and greed.
The abandoned floor chess board
The bygone songs
The empty temples
The faded paintings
The vacant palaces
The dilapidated offices
The looted riches
The melancholy air
The lost love
The unfulfilled dreams
The futile seduction
The hidden tears
The fallen pride
All muddled up
As time smirked its way around!
The tired black dog lay in a corner
Of the once fabulous abode of the Queen Mother.
He looked up as I walked around
Half in pain and half in longing.
Why did I think it was the great Mughal?
Still attached to his city that was.
The basil plant stood
In the centre of the Queen’s Palace
Smiling through the heat.
Her great grandmothers once occupied this seat.
And life has now given her the chance.
She nodded with the hot breeze
Standing happily amongst lost grandeur
Singing to herself
Distant from the lost pain
And yet close to the reign
That once ruled the city that was!
The tomb next door stood in its glory
Sparkling in white, exuding grace
Visited by longing mortals.
The kingdom has long been lost
But the faith continues…
(From the ruins of Fatehpur Sikri)
A post-graduate in English Literature, Nilanjana Dey is a marketing and communication professional based out of Mumbai, India. Her first novel, a children’s tale, The Adventures of Puti – The Cheese Trail, was published last year. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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