The clash of steel on steel. Neighs of skittish horses. Dust storms and cries. Thundering hoofs, caprisioned elephants running in mad anger. An army in disarray. The front has given way. An emperor out to battle, backed by an army of peasants and a few knave noblemen. An emperor more familiar with the delicate phrasing of a line of poetry, and fine latticework than the stratagem of war. A battle that his cunning brother has long planned to win. You weep when he is finally cornered and put in chains, dragged through the wide avenues of his capital in filthy clothes. For the last few days I’ve told myself that the battle was over a long time ago, in the 17th century. That it is silly to mourn Dara Shikoh, dead so long. But what a superb account. Does reading aloud make the grief more real? The past is, afterall, the past, folded over and put away. I am sure to remember this account over the weekend when I watch from a distance, that retinue of jesters, sycophants and sundry hangers-on. Time extracts what it is due. I should finish this book quickly and move to something solidly real-life, like the stock market.
Holi? Cleaned the kitchen, remembered riotous past celebrations when one looked like a ghost by mid-morning, Sang all the hori and holi-related garbas I could remember. Since I could recall only two, on and on it went in a loop.