Thursday, October 04, 2007

In Memoriam

He knelt at her grave, remembering her face as it had been when he had first seen it, radiant in the moonlight, white marble with a touch of human pink. He had inhaled sharply at the beauty of his wife. She had lowered her eyes and the submission that followed would last throughout their married life.

Fourteen children. He was a busy man, and she had been quiet, uncomplaining, silently supportive if not always understanding what his life was like. Affairs of state kept him from her. And though he could not confide in her about taxation issues and political upheavals, though she would not understand the burden of what it meant to be him, he still waited eagerly for time he could spend with her, coming away soothed, calmed and enclosed in unconditional love.

The son she gave birth to was the bane of his existence. How was it, that the thing that tied them together also destroyed all that they had stood for?

Dead, cold, gone.

He would remember her. He would make sure the world remembered her. Cloistered in his gilded cage, a stooped man with failing eyesight, he would squint into a convex mirror that allowed him to see her grave. And the shimmering white mausoleum built over and around it.

The world would come to pay homage. To her. To him. To art. To beauty. But for him, it was just his beloved's grave.


A Muser said...

A grave for which he merely cut off the hands (? broke the fingers?) of the artisans who built it. Rumor or fact? Mars the romance for me.

the mad momma said...

that was beautiful anna... got goosebumps.

Anamika said...

A Muser: Agreed. That goes for places like the Pyramids too, built on slave labour. Wasn't going for romance. Just a different perspective, 'coz so many people visit the Taj but most forget it's basically just a grave.

MM: :)

eve's lungs said...

That's right . Dyou know I think the 2 buildings on either side are equally beautiful.

Sandeepa said...

Ki bhalo likhecho...But people do refer to Taj Mahal as the mausoleum, so it is not just a grave.

But yes, we do not really go to pay homage. jai hok...lekhta darun hoyeche, tomar short style ta khub bhalo lage

Anamika said...

Eve's Lungs: I agree. They get lost because of the Taj. I always think of the Taj as the buxom blonde and the other Agra monuments as the 'women of substance'!

Sandeepa: You are right. Just that when we go there we get so busy clicking photos that we forget what it must have meant to Shahjahan. I was there on Tuesday and tried to imagine the place empty save him, communicating with his dead wife. That's where this came from.

OrangeJammies said...

So beautifully written, Anamika! The minute I read 14 children, I knew who it was. :0) Don't know of anyone else who had that many, though I'm sure they did.
Remind me to send you a little something I wrote via email. It addresses precisely this issue of romantic vs. morbid.

Suki said...

Interesting perspective, that. Again, I'll give you the opposite. Great things are born of a simple gesture from a great emotion. ;).

Yes, that was a "filler" comment. To get you to visit Here.

Nits said...

Anamika, I am happy and said to say that Wriggly has found a home! A nice and caring one :). Sad because I was really beginning to enjoy the picture on your blog. He so looks like he belongs there! But I have to be truthful can bring it down. Thanks so much for trying.

Anamika said...

OJ: Send send. Will send you my email address via 360 messaging.

Suki: Great words from one so young. Irshaad.

Nits: Yeah, I felt like I'd kind of passively, virtually adopted Wriggly and am really disappointed that several people I targeted with emails didn't even bother to reply! Anyway, am sure he's happy and that's all that matters :)