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« Christmas Eve - Memorable indulgences that keep us inspired, even in the grip of bitter cold | Main | Illy - Helping my soul find a long supressed or forgotten indulgence or love... »

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


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Ah what a day we had! So many good memories of my time in India. I long to go back, i belong there. Good news is i found an Ayurveda doctor here in the WHALES. Can't believe how advanced we have become, you would be shocked dear S! Love to Charlie. I leave to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro tomorrow for a wonderful charity. Hope & Homes for Children. I hope to return in one piece if a little slimmer! love to you both xxxxx


Suvir - should you tire of cooking and your many related culinary endeavors, you have a future as a photographer.
You have managed to convey the grandeur of the tomb, along with the little details - all so amazing! I will add this place to my list of must-gos, for sure.


Deborah, have fun climbing and raise tons of money for the children. You are wonderful to do this. Another friend, Ilya, just came back after clmbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, he was climbing to raise funds for his charity,
You are both inspiring and grand.

Ayurvedic Doctor in Wales? WOW! Are you sure this person is not a whale really? Trying to get you to prepare it wonderful veggies, cooked the Ayurvedic way, so it can lazily rest ashore, and put you to work? Exercise and good eating are part of the Ayurvedic principles. So in end, this Whale of Wales, even if cloaked as an Ayurvedic Doctor, may do you good. LOL!

I long for India too.. and long to go back every time I am back. My love and longing for India, strangely though, begin only after my return home here in the US. Huh!

Sally, you are always too kind to me. You are too good a friend. Blinded by adoration of a dear one. The tomb is amazing. There are around 150 graves and many call it the Indian Necropolis.

That this tomb led to the creation a century late of the Taj Mahal, built using the same char bagh (four fold) landscape and architectural concept, is a testament to the grandeur, vision and scope of this much more modest tomb. And yet, what is shocking is the size and grandeur of this tomb itself. It is neither small, nor modest, nor humble in any way. It just is much smaller and modest in comparison to the offspring that it may have helped bring to life.

You certainly must go see this amazing example of Mughal architecture and life. I sometimes feel I certainly lived in those times, and that even today, I sometimes pretend I am living in those days. This perhaps explains why I am always humming away tunes written or even composed during that part of Indian history, and in the middle of our kitchen, in Washington County in North Country, NY, I feel I am still at peace and in the company of, and getting inspired by my Moghul peeps.


Moghul peeps, rofl! Thanks for the belly laugh!


Seriously, I wonder if I may have been Akbar, Humayun, NOT-EVER-Aurangzeb, Birbal (am I that wise?!), even the weak Bahadur Shah Zafar, Amir Khusrau or Ghalib (if I were lucky in my last life) or even Amiran "Umrao Jaan Ada"....
I meant this seriously.
Certainly feel most times, that I would rather have been living in those times, and so when not dreaming, I try and make as much of that period as possible, connected to me in this life.


Shall we address you as Alampana from now on, given your choice of royal identities : )?

I think Bahadur Shah Zafr would be nice (sans his last days).

اِن حسرتوں سے کہہ دو کہیں
اور جا بسیں
اتنی جگہ کہاں ہے دلِ داغدار
"kaeh do in hassretoń se kahīń aur jā bas'éń
itnī jageh kahāń hé dil-e-dāGhdār méń"

yup...those were interesting times. I do like the romance and the mystery of those times. I wish sometimes I was born as an Amish person and live a much simpler life than what I have now.

You bring back memory from 7 years ago. I went to Delhi from Dhaka. This friend promised to take me to Humayun's tomb. We drove around and around...saw the Fort and other neighborhoods. He showed me a small mausoleum and said that it was the tomb. Later in the day...he confessed...he didnt know where Humayun's tomb was. It didnt matter...the memories of searching for it priceless.

Thanks to I got to see Humayun's tomb.

There are some nice Moghul structures in Dhaka the river. One was of Aurangzeb ....that has a secret tunnel to escape to the river. to Aurangzeb : ).



Salaam to you too!

Alampana is not what i ever want to be called. Or perhaps I do. LOL!

That ghazal is so beautiful. Every word brings tears in my eyes. Can you translate that stanza for all. Please.

Glad you finally got to see Humayun's Tomb. It is electric. There is something very stately about it, even in simplicity and ruin.


My understanding is...he wrote this in captivity in Burma about his fate and his last days...Here is the whole poem. It does shake you when you read it in Urdu.

"My heart has no repose in this despoiled land
Who has ever felt fulfilled in this futile world?

The nightingale complains about neither the sentinel nor the hunter
Fate had decreed imprisonment as the harvest of spring

Tell these longings to go dwell elsewhere
What space is there for them in this besmirched heart?

Sitting on a branch of flowers, the nightingale rejoices
I have strewn thorns in the garden of my heart

I asked for a long life, I received four days
Two passed in desire, two in waiting.

The days of life are over, evening has fallen
I shall sleep, legs outstretched, in my tomb

How unlucky is Zafar! For his burial
Not even two yards of land were to be had, in the land of his beloved."

The last verses in Urdu:

"kitnā hé bad-naseeb zafar dafn ke liye
do gaz zamīn bhī na milī kū-e-yār méń"

If you like this might like Faiz Ahmed Faiz. He writes amazing as well!


Stunning photography, Suvir. As well as a compelling interpretation of your visit and India's intoxicating effects. It's definitely on my bucket list :)

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