Thursday, November 18, 2004

fragmentary prose marsiya


‘

A marsiya is a poem of mourning, and this is fragmentary prose....
a twenty first century prose form that is a cultural reflection of on an eighteenth century poetic genre,
shehr-ashob = mourning the city....

'Every place in this city is a memory of loss.
Every place in this city is a loss of memory.’'

Every place in this city is a memory of loss. The truism hammered itself into my heart as we sat in the wide, mowed lawns of the world across the Ring Road, Humayun’s Tomb.

- Slanting sun fingers caressing blushing sandstone, she said, and laughed at herself for saying it.

The perfection of the marble dome rising over the marvellous intricacies of the honeycomb building with its elegantly faded red exterior simplicity, in the centre of a garden built to represent Paradise…its beauty such a cloak for the hideousness, the sheer magnitude of the loss…the dormitory of the house of Timur …where slept the beheaded Dara Shikoh in a humble bunkbed … where Bahadur Shah Zafar and retinue were arrested even before they could make a last-ditch stand …and the Delhi I will never know and can only guess at was humiliated, imprisoned, exiled …

Every place in this city is a loss of memory...

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