I am happy it is the monsoon season in India and more specifically,in Delhi,where I am now.The skies become very dark with clouds and when it rains-it really pours ! So different from the almost constant, light drizzle that I was becoming used to when in Dublin.
The evening of our return to Delhi–I went for a walk down Rajpath, the central boulevard that leads from the iconic India Gate to the Rashtrapati Bhavan or President’s house . I stopped to buy roasted bhutta-corn-on-cob, typically grilled over charcoal in the monsoons, churmura–puffed rice with peanuts,chickpeas, onions and lemon, and a rose flavoured milk bar from the Mother Dairy ice cream vendor. It felt good to be back !
Oh-and I got charged in excess of the MRP for the ice cream. I pointed this out and after minor resistance the vendor accepted the right amount . Reality check!
Then- another place I love going to in Delhi-and which I visited again this time- is actually a tomb- the tomb of Mughal emperor Humayun.
Here is the perfectly symmetrical gateway to the tomb-
The beautiful monument that houses Humayun’s grave-
The Mughal kings built beautiful monuments all over India- among them exquisite tombs built by them for their wives or by the wives for their husbands. These tombs would then be surrounded by symmetrically laid-out gardens called ‘char-bagh’or ‘four-gardens’ with water channels running through them. The best known tomb is , of course, the Taj Mahal but the very first of its kind was Humayun’s Tomb–built in 1569 for the Mughal emperor Humayun by his first wife, Bega Begum. Yes,she was muslim, a woman- and had enough power and influence to commission the making of this tomb.
It is supposed to have cost 1.5 million rupees at that time ! Someone tell me how much that is now–six or seven billion ?
Built entirely of red sandstone and white marble-the monument is perfect in its symmetry and is topped by a central dome and four smaller canopies.Behind the monument and feeding the channels in the garden- lies the river Yamuna.
The exquisite lattice work screen (there are many of these)carved out of sandstone and the pietra dura floors-
The grave in marble on the main upper floor- but the actual grave, not accesible to the public, lies on ground level, directly under this one-
A view of the gateway from the monument with a stairwell leading to ground level-
A view of the monument through a typical Mughal arch– you can also see part of the water channel- and a dog drinking from it-
This is a place I associate with my image of Delhi. A place that calms me and makes me marvel at beauty created by human hands.
For tomorrow, I wish all my friends a Very Happy and Joyous Eid ! May God Bless !