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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Flowers, travel, and interesting women

Here are a few samples of my maiden effort at gardening, ably assisted by a friendly elderly maali. I started late this season, and the vagaries of the weather didn't help. I am wishing myself even better luck next time.

Another 16-year old whose wisdom eye has just opened told me today, 'You know Sir, you are right, just about everybody, no matter what they claim to the contrary, is guided by the herd instinct in everything'. 'Attaboy', I said, and promised myself to write about it here soon.

Since I have got a sudden holiday because all school examinations have begun, I am going to go a-wandering tomorrow morning. Just the car and driver ... haven't decided where I am going yet! I wish I had a few (male, it goes without saying-) ex students to take along. Happy memories, Saikat and Arko?

Summer is about to set in. I am dreading the admission rush, slated to begin in a month's time. But there will be the swimming pool to compensate.

Reading White Mughals. Here is a description of an 18th century Hyderabadi courtesan of high repute: "Mah Laqa Bai (was)... the most celebrated beauty of the age.... (she) was not just glamorous and seductive: she was widely regarded as Hyderabad's greatest contemporary poet (in such a completely so-called patriarchal age, mind you - SC)... she built a famous library... and commissioned the Mahanama, a major new history of the Deccan... later she became an important patron of poets in her own right... such was the Nizam's reliance on her wisdom that alone of the women of Hyderabad she was given the rank of a senior omrah... she also accompanied him to war...and gained a reputation for her riding skills, her accomplishments with the bow, and even with the javelin." (pp. 172-3, Penguin India paperback edition, 2002). Where have all those women gone? (look up Abigail Adams, more or less this lady's contemporary, in my post titled 'Those who love')


Tanmoy said...

Hope you had a good drive dear Suvroda.

Saikat Chakraborty said...

Dear Sir,

Reading this after your most recent post- it is good to know that you have thoroughly enjoyed the sudden trip.

It was December 2010 when we went on the road trip to Bandel and Chandannagar- can't believe it has been five years! Our first stop at the park that had various statues of some monster (from Arabian nights?) and Atlas holding the world, then the church, French museum and Imaambara. Not to forget our final destination at the sweet shop for raabdi! And the small speedboat on the Hooghly when you calmly joked that it's going to shoot off right now which Boudi believed and got worried as we were not far from where it was anchored.

Sir, I do wish to go with you again, even if it's for short, sudden trips.

With regards,

Nishant said...

Dear Sir,

I read 'White Mughals' a couple of years ago and I found it quite difficult to put down. I loved reading the instances which bring to light the fact that assimilation wasn't a one-way street, with just the natives learning the ways of the sahebs. All the stories of the Brits who converted to Hinduism (Hindoo Stewart, was it?) or Islam, started dressing themselves up in Indian clothes, and learnt the local languages, were quite fascinating. All the intrigue going on between the different kingdoms, some siding with the British and some with the French, some of the foreign merceneries who were up for hire, made for a gripping read. Equally fascinating was how the author stumbled upon the stack of letters in an old shop in Hyderabad when he had all but given up hope.

Glad to know you have picked up a new hobby and that the sudden trip turned out quite a pleasant one.